Madison's Clothing Range
Coming into 2018 the changes to Madison's clothing range are largely updated colourways and designs. The Flux range has seen a bib liner short with storage capacity added, while the Alpine series sees the biggest overhaul thanks to Danny Hart joining the Madison Saracen fold, this has seen new lighter weight fabrics chosen. The shorts have added stretch ribs while still retaining the same fastenings, the jersey gets a new collar design which is flatter with Hart's neck brace in mind.
Lazer had their full range of cycling helmets on display, including an update to the screws on their Revolution full face enduro helmet with its removable chin guard. These are now a lot more user friendly.
Pearl Izumi's Apparel
Pearl Izumi had their recently released X-Alp Launch shoe on show which is their first flat pedal shoe, it features a Vibram sole and is also available for clips. Their MTB clothing range has seen plenty of new colours and styles added across both the men's and women's ranges, a new lightweight mesh 'Launch' jersey is a newcomer to the lineup as well as their lightweight and waterproof WXP short, which according to Pearl Izumi features a 'textured 2 and a half layer fabric' which will keep the material off your skin and prevent you from overheating.
Saracen has had a busy off-season that included signing one of the biggest names in downhill, Danny Hart, and they have also recently added a new bike to their portfolio. The Traverse is a small travel 29er, featuring 100mm rear and 120mm travel on the front. It has an alloy front triangle and carbon rear end which features 'Flex Stay' Technology to reduce weight, it is available in one spec and retails just shy of £3k.
Another UK brand fielding their bikes at the show was locally-based Genesis. They had their Mantle and Tarn on display, the first their 'out of the box race bike' and the latter their trail hardtail available in steel and in a titanium frame only version. Both looked like well thought out frames with good features and wide compatibility for a broad range of riders and uses.
Shimano & PRO
Shimano wasn't fielding anything new but it did give us a chance to get another look and sniff around the GR7, the GR9, and the fresh pedal offerings they brought to the table over the past year. Although there were a few rumours swirling about a new / updated group set in the pipeline...
Drool Over Park Tool
As ever at the Park Tool stand all you can do is stare in envy. We all dream of having our garage walls covered in their blue. As well as plenty of tweaks to their existing products, Park Tool have also come up with some fresh offerings like their new THS-1 Trailhead Workstation.
DT Swiss Widening Rims & Hub Cutaway
DT Swiss have widened their rims across the board, growing to a 30mm internal width on both their enduro and carbon XMC wheelsets. This was an important step for them with demand in their enduro products booming. Their XCR1200 wheels also grew and are now a 25mm internal width.
Continental Freshen Mountain King, Other Compounds and Carcass Get Updated
Conti had their new Mountain King tread design on the stand which was developed with the Focus Team in Germany. They have updated carcass designs as well as a new Black Chili compound and the rubber across the range now fits better on wider rims.
The loud banging noise that could be heard throughout the hall was actually the Bliss guys trying to hit their hand with a hammer while wrapped in their protective material, showing how it hardens on impact. They had their new enduro knee pad on display. It's longer, lighter, and more breathable, and it has already taken an EWS win in the hands of Greg Callaghan.
Dragon Alliance Goggles
The Madison Saracen Team have been running the NFX2 goggles for a good few seasons now. These goggles have an injected polycarbonate lenses and a quick 'Swiftlock' system which makes swapping lenses super efficient. Dragon have also just launched a new MXV range to suit a variety of price points, these share the same accessories such as lenses and tear-offs, a roll off system is available. The goggles range in price from £34.99 (MXV) up to £134.99 (NFX2).