To safely tighten carbon bicycle components, you need to get the torque right. Enter Prestacycle’s 7 pre-set T-handle torque wrenches. You can buy the ones you need and then simply pick up the appropriate wrench for your component’s recommended torque and always get it tight enough. With these keys, there’s no need to set the torque or reset your torque wrench after every use.
And, at $15.95 each, or $49.95 for a set of 3 and $99.95 for all 7 (4 Nm through 12 Nm), you can save money compared to expensive torque wrenches. They also come with allen bits so that they fit different components, not just one size allen bolts, as some torque keys do.
Available in XXL (64cm) and XXXL (66cm) -- to fit riders up to 6-feet 8-inches (2.03m) tall, KHS’s Flite 747 was designed by bike guru Lennard Zinn, who has specialized in building custom bicycle for tall riders forever. Now you can get his design in a production Reynolds steel road bike at an affordable price point with Shimano 105 components (including extra-long crankarms), Weinmann wheels and oversized components suited to taller riders.
Available in a couple of different models, Topeak’s Transformer pumps have a removable built-in bicycle stand, so your pump doubles as a nifty place to park your bike at home or at bike events. Plus you get the excellent features and inflation power Topeak pumps are famous for. The photo is of the Transformer XX ($134.95).
Lower in sugar, calories and fat than muffins and some energy bars, Rip van Wafels are round waffle-textured all-natural tasty treats that supply riding calories without preservatives or trans fats. Because these Amsterdam Wafels are not high in sugar, they won’t spike your metabolism only for it to drop off a little later. You can also heat them over a cup of coffee for a nice pre- or post-ride pick-me-up. $1.50 each and $24.99 for a box of 16, in Caramel- or Cocoa-filled. Individually packaged for easy carrying/eating.
At the Cantitoe Road booth, the USA source for Wipperman Connex chains, I got to see their new 11-speed chains. Made in Switzerland, Wipperman chains have long been a popular upgrade for the stock chains on Shimano and Campagnolo drivetrains due to their shifting performance, longevity and especially their quick-connect link that makes it easy to install and remove the chains.
11-speed chains are new for Wipperman, and they’ve enhanced shifting performance with more chamfering of the sideplates and increased durability with a new process for finishing the chain pins. The 11-speed chains come in standard and stainless-steel models, too.
Ritchey’s Break-Away is their full-size road bicycle that quickly comes apart and fits in a standard suitcase for affordable travel with your bike. It’s become a favorite with traveling roadies. And now, Ritchey has a full-carbon version, the Carbon Breakaway. The one in their booth weighed 15.7 pounds! You get the frame, fork, headset, case, couplers and bits for $2,999.95. Just add your favorite components and you’re ready to go. And, if you travel with family, you’ll be happy to hear that Ritchey now offers a Tandem Breakaway, too!
If Park Tool’s IR-1 -- which they affectionately call the “fish kit” -- had been around a little sooner, it sure would have saved me a lot of trouble fishing electronic shifting wires through my frames. Ingeniously, it uses magnets that let the two ends find each other and connect on their own inside the frame. You can then press the shift cable head into another clever part of the kit, a rubber holder that grips it. This lets you pull Park’s IR-1 back out of the frame to pull the shift cable straight through with no muss, no fuss. At $60, and being the only tool of its kind, every bike shop and home mechanic who needs to run cables/wires internally will be lining up to get this cool tool.
At $450, you can think of Silca’s SuperPista Ultimate as the Ferrari of floor pumps. To appreciate what went into this magnificent keepsake (it comes with a 25-year guarantee), you need to know that Silca is one of the most famous Italian bicycle brands, going back to 1917. When the company was seemingly about to go out of business, it was purchased by former Zipp product manager Josh Poertner.
Josh took it upon himself to update the classic Silca Pista floor pump, a standard around the world for decades. He spent a year creating the SuperPista Ultimate, and every component is exceptional. It earned him the Best of Show award at Interbike, in fact. I can’t do justice to it here. So, for all the details, visit their webpages on the pump at
Flashing taillights, or “blinkies” as they’re sometimes called, have become the standard of choice for many roadies. Well, light makers Light & Motion have a new idea. Concerned that flashing lights actually attract drunk drivers and can cause accidents rather than help avoid them, they are making taillights that don’t flash/blink but rather “pulse.” I checked out their 180 and 180 Micros models ($99.99/70 lumens and $44.99/25 lumens respectively), which both feature built-in rechargeable batteries and quick-release seatpost and stay mounts for easy on/off.
The Travoy is part cart, part trailer, so it’s a handy thing for attaching to your road bike for carrying more than you could put in bags or panniers. And it lets you cart your gear with you when you get where you’re going. I see it as a great way to carry sports equipment if you bike to soccer or football practice, etc. And it’s great for shopping, since you can bring it into the store with you like a shopping cart.
It’s also ingeniously designed to fold into a small package that fits (wheels, too) inside the nice nylon bag that holds your gear when the bag is attached to the Travoy. The Travoy ($249) quickly connects to your seatpost and rides close to your rear wheel so that it’s more maneuverable and has a smaller footprint than traditional trailers.
Designed for those who like to ride dirt/gravel roads, Speedplay’s Zero Pavé pedals have an open, self-cleaning design to shed dirt, mud and debris so you always click in and out with ease. They’ve already won many of the toughest pro races in the world, such as Paris-Roubaix. They’re also made of stainless-steel for exceptional durability. They’re available with steel and titanium axles for $339 and $499, respectively.
Finally, there’s a lube specifically designed to ease entry/exit of clipless pedals and stop creaking, too. Finish Line’s Pedal & Cleat Dry Film Lubricant is a spray lube that dries in 15 seconds. It was designed in conjunction with Speedplay and comes in a 5-ounce (148-ml) spray can for $8.99. You can even walk through sand and it won’t pick up anything, it’s that clean. Finish Line also showed their new cleaner specially formulated for electronic drivetrains.
While test riding bicycles at the Outdoor Demo, which takes place in Boulder City, Nevada, the two days preceding Interbike’s indoor show, I spotted Shimano’s new 105 11-speed drivetrain. I only got to shift it in their booth on a bike repair stand. It shifted wonderfully and it’s nice to see their 11-speed components at a lower price point and know that they are interchangeable with their higher end components, too.
The Turbine is a fresh take on those adhesive nose strips you’ve probably seen some cyclists wearing that expand the nostrils so they can get more air. Instead of sticking to your nose and pulling out, the Turbine is a plastic device that goes inside and pushes to fully open your breathing. A ratcheting mechanism even allows you to customize each side to your needs. Turbine says that trials have shown up to a 38% increase in air and as much as 6% more power for some riders. A pack of 3 costs around $30. Unlike the adhesive nose strips, Turbines are reusable.
Jim Langley has been a pro mechanic and cycling writer for 38 years. He's the author of Your Home Bicycle Workshop in the RBR eBookstore. Check his "cycling aficionado" website at http://www.jimlangley.net, his Q&A blog and updates at Twitter. Jim's streak of consecutive cycling days has reached 7,552.