Here’s some Tuesday morning Shimano shiny to keep you going for the week.
We start wit the brand new top-end (so top-end that most of Shimano’s sponsored riders won’t get them before you…) carbon race shoes. The new XC 90 (pictured here in Bling Blue, but probably Sensible Black when they hit the UK) use all of Shimano’s experience at making great cycling shoes – and top-end race shoes at that. There’s a heat-mouldable sole (that can be re-set a few times in case you change sock size – or you move them on) and the unique one-way ‘velvet’ gripper to keep them gripping your heel. The’s also an opposing strap pair on the forefoot with a micro-adjust buckle too. They’re super, super stiff and for racing only. Which is good because they’re £319.99 a pair. However, there are similar shoes for less cash…
The XC70 is £219.99 and features many of the XC90 shoe – only the soles go up to 10 and not 11 out of 10 like the 90s do.
The nearly-reasonable-for-mortals XC61 is £149.99 a pair and still features the transverse strap pair and pro fit. The XC50 model is still current too and a mere £109.99
The best bit about Shimano’s high-end race shoes is that they can be set and re-set in a Shimano heat-moulding station. This appears to be a small pizza oven and we can’t wait to hear how many bike shop employees have used them to head up pasties…
Now on to more carbon goodness from Shimano. As we’ve seen in the past, it won’t use carbon unless it really thinks it’s worth the hassle. So, here’s it’s racing-special XTR wheels. They only come in 15mm/QR rear and only for tubulars. The pair is 1329g, so are probably World Cup racer only, however, we’re sure that a few trail riders might be tempted. And with Giant, and others trying 15mm forks for CX bikes, we might see them on cyclocross machines too.
Keeping with the racing-only theme of XTR (XT Race, remember?) is the new XTR race brakes. with a super light – carbon – levers and magnesium caliper bodies.
And finally, some controversy. Not that Shimano is making full hydraulic (Di2 electric shifting) road brake levers, but that they’re allowed in UCI cyclocross racing, but not in road racing, so for once, consumers can get to buy something that the pros aren’t allowed to race with. (As seen by the Shimano poster showing several sad-looking road pros looking through a window at the latest Shimano brakes they’re not permitted…)
Shimano’s Ultegra Di2 disc groups won’t be coming out until well into the 2013 ‘cross season. Don’t expect any before November… But then, go crazy!