Stabbing Your Tyre Is Good For It – And Other Fun Things We Learned At The iceBike Show

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singletrack icebike madison 2019

Madison’s house show, iceBike* is the traditional early-season chance to see what products are appearing this spring and for Madison – importers of a bajillion different brands – to sneak out a few new brands and product lines. 2019’s iceBike* (the * is compulsory apparently – it’s a snowflake, see?) was no different, with a few new brands and some new bits and pieces to please most people. So, let’s dive in and see what caught our attention:

Dynaplug

This US brand has been around for a while and its tubeless repair products are loved by racers, guides and trail riders alike. The only issue has been availability and cost, given that the brand had no major importer until now. That’s changed though, with Madison getting behind Dynaplug in a big way, meaning better availability and lower prices (and no customs fee surprises…). The team from Dynaplug had come over and were giving demos to show how the system works.

singletrack icebike madison 2019

The Dynaplug Air is the newest product. This features a loaded tubeless plug with a quick-release cap, attached to a CO2 cartridge. The idea is that it deploys quickly and allows the hole to be plugged before too much air has been lost. The air can then be topped up with the CO2 while the plug and tool are still in the tyre. Inflate to taste, then remove the tool, leaving behind the rubbery plug and brass tip to seal the hole. We’ve been impressed with this so far – and it’s good to see a ‘cross/gravel/road tubeless version released for smaller tyres (far left).

singletrack icebike madison 2019

Here’s the range. From the guide-special Megapill, to the more practical Micro Pro and the always-ready Racer. Finally, there’s the Air. Look for them to appear in the shops about… now.

Pearl Izumi

Pearl Izumi released the X-Alp Launch shoe a couple of years ago, but it has since refined the style to be a little lower profile and a little more like a skate shoe than a clomping great BMX trainer. There’s still an EVA midsole and a nice, gummy rubber sole with some chevron grip on heel and toe for those times when you’re heading back up the hill on foot.

singletrack icebike madison 2019
Lower profile X-Alp Launch
From what we’ve seen from a couple of brands, 2019’s hot colour is going to be navy blue.
Smooth sole for pin grip. Chunky extremes for grip on dirt.
Pearl Izumi points out that isn’t all about form-fitting triathlon Spandex. Here’s just some of its urban range of tech wear.
The new WXB waterproof jacket and shorts show some good features for a Colorado company with 320 days of sun a year.

Pro components

It’s easy to forget that Pro is Shimano’s component arm, and with the might of the Japanese giant behind it, its been coming out with some good stuff recently. That includes products like the Koryak dropper post, with drops from 70mm for ‘cross bikes up to a jumbo 170mm for tall riders with short frames and steep trails to negotiate. Not to mention a newly redesigned lever that’s really rather good.

Koryak – the people of Easternmost Siberia… Now you know.
A short travel, external 27.2mm post designed for ruggedy ‘cross riding we reckon.

Internal tool: This was an interesting tool on the Pro stand – it’s an internal cable-routing tool. It uses a selection of steel thread-in inserts, guided by a magnet to help you with that fiddly job of getting your cables to go where you want them. We’re not quite sure why Pro has made it in a portable, multi-tool format, but it certainly is neat, if just for keeping the workshop tidy.

Probably not something you’ll need to carry out and about with you.
Pro also showed this ‘Highly accurate’ tyre gauge. It didn’t say how accurate, though…
Some people still have bolts on their bikes. This is a neat, slide together multi-tool from Pro, with all sorts of tools at hand.

Pro Flared Drop Bars – whether you’re doing a multi-day epic on the monster cross bike, or just after a comfy bar for cyclocross riding, Pro has two new Discover bars, one with a flarey 30° angle and the other with a comfy 12° flare. The bars come in regular road measurements of 40-44cm, but those are measured at the brake clamp area, so the 30deg bar gives a very wide stance, while the 12deg is merely a little comfy.

A wide 30° flare bar, with wide clamp area for bag attachment.
A more conventional medium flare bar. Both have a short drop, as being aero isn’t as important here.
Pro also has a range of bikepacking bags.
The camo logo is a new bit of pizazz for the mostly grey and black brand. It’s still grey though…
And that bungee on top is for your lunchtime cheese baguette. Probably.

Saracen Levarg

proSaracen debuted its Levarg bike a year or so ago. Levarg is ‘gravel’ backwards, geddit? The top model, the Levarg OR shows some pretty pioneering looks, with wide, skinwall knobbies, a Fox gravel suspension fork and a short travel dropper post too. It’s a hooligan of the gravel world.

Levarg OR. The OR obviously stands for ‘Oh, really (punk)?’ (though it’s probably ‘Off Road’)
And here’s the more ‘conventional’ model. Still with lots of attitude though…
Genesis, too, had some BNG (bold new graphics) on its popular models like the Croix de Fer.

Chipps

Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

Comments (1)

    I’ve being using the Dynaplug Air for 15 months, a quality piece of kit, 10 seconds and you’re on your way again.

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