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New gear from Castelli, Enve, Sidi, Moots, HJC and more teased at Saddleback’s 2019 House Show

Cyclist takes a look at the highlights from the UK cycling distributor’s range going into 2020

Sam Challis
13 Sep 2019

UK cycling distributor Saddleback recently hosted its House Show, an annual event where it presents all the latest and greatest products from the brands it manages.

Saddleback boasts a strong portfolio containing several desirable, premium brands - Castelli, Enve, 3T and Silca to name but a few - and  recently it has made a couple of important acquisitions that have bolstered its range even further.

Korean helmet manufacturer HJC, sponsor of WorldTour team Lotto-Soudal, has come on board, as has the US titanium frame wizard Moots, which is important because UK consumers are now likely to find the brands far more accessible than before.

Cyclist toured the showrooms at Saddleback’s HQ and picked out a few highlights. Read on to discover the exciting new products in the pipeline for winter 2019 and beyond.

Highlights from Saddleback

More 3T bikes

3T continues to expand its range of forward-thinking frames with multiple levels of its versatile Exploro now available. The frame will be offered in various builds at three price points - Pro, Team and LTD.

LTD uses the lightest and most premium materials, with the carbon fibre stepping down at each level. All that really equates to is a 100g weight difference per tier.

Paint options are now becoming more numerous as well, and the available finishes now include this rather eye-catching bronze colourway.

The Exploro was scoffed at by some upon its release (aero for gravel? Pah!) but has since proved proved to be a popular and capable design. Given its aero pretensions (and now its flashy paintjobs) but also its wide tyre clearance, the Exploro is among the most versatile frame designs on the market.

With 700c wheels and slick 28mm tyres in it doesn’t look out of place in a road chaingang, but use 650B wheels with 45mm knobblies and it becomes a real go-anywhere adventure bike.

HJC Helmets

The Korean brand is a well-recognised name in motorcycle protection but is only just emerging into the cycling market. Its already well-balanced range suggests it has hit the ground running though, and the brand says it has been able to transfer significant amounts of experience from motorsport in order to be competitive from the get-go.

At the top level, the Adwatt is its TT design, the Furion 2.0 its aero-road offering while the Ibex 2.0 prioritises ventilation. Light weight is the name of the game for HJC: even its Furion 2.0 aero-road design isn’t bulky, coming in at around 215g for a size medium.

Stages training bike

Stages is an established name in the power meter field, notably outfitting Team Ineos with power measurement for several years now. Its range has steadily expanded: Stages started with single sided meters but has since added dual sided designs, Dash head units and Link training software.

Its latest release is the ‘StagesBike’ which unsurprisingly is a whole exercise bike. Stages has been making complete bikes for a long while for commercial partners, outfitting David Lloyd clubs amongst others.

The StagesBike is more performance focused though. While geometry is easily adjustable via a series of handles, more aggressive positions can be attained than Stages’s commercial design and personal touches like regular road saddles and bars can be added, in an attempt to recreate the feel of the user’s real bike.

Power measurement comes courtesy of a dual-sided meter and the crank arms have a number of pedal positions, so the user is able to adjust crankarm length from 165 to 175mm.

The hoods have buttons to change gear and the brake levers are fully functional, adding resistance to the flywheel and/or slowing your avatar on Zwift - obviously the bike is compatible with all third-party training software.

Moots

Moots specialises in custom titanium frames, so the new acquisition sits nicely at Saddleback as it pairs nicely with several other existing brands the distributor manages. As this build displays, Chris King, Enve and Wolftooth all provide products that suit a Moots frame.

Titanium frames also lend themselves naturally to gravel riding, which is undergoing a surge of popularity in the UK currently. This Routt 45 is one of Moots’s gravel/all-road designs and offers huge tyre clearance in a more relaxed geometry than something like the brand’s road-going Vamoots bikes. It also makes appropriate use of Shimano’s new gravel-focused GRX groupset.

Wolftooth

If you are after a finicky component or esoteric tool, chances are US company Wolftooth offers it. Not only that, it probably machines it from high-grade aluminium and then anodises it a cool colour.

Due to the nature of its products Wolftooth’s range is constantly expanding, but Saddleback had a small selection of some of its latest creations.

According to Dan Duguid, Wolftooth’s brand manager, the bearing seals in Wolftooth’s new headsets are second to none for durability, and it offers more 1x chainring options than Shimano or Sram, which all use a tooth profile unique to the Wolftooth that it claims boosts chain retention.

Castelli

Ever since the release of its famous Gabba jersey (which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year!) Castelli’s production of wet-weather performance gear has consistently been at the cutting edge of the market.

Autumn/Winter 2019 sees the brand refine its established products, adding external seam taping to garments like the Gabba and Perfetto jerseys to mitigate water ingress around the shoulders.

Warm weather race-clothing hasn’t been overlooked either. Castelli’s San Remo speedsuit gets tasteful visual updates and now includes Castelli’s new Progetto X2 Air Seamless chamois design.

Finally its luggage range continues to expand, such that there is now quite the collection of bags and suitcases in which to pack all that Castelli cycling kit.

According to the brand, the remit of the luggage is to blend durability and efficient storage solutions with style.

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