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AusBike: Snippets on display Down Under

Ausbike Australia saw some 1400 trade members and thousands more general public visit Melbourne’s show grounds for the three-day event. While not on the magnitude of Eurobike or Interbike and slightly too early for major 2011 product announcements, the show still featured a couple of sneak peeks at 2011 models and distributors were generally upbeat about what they’d seen from the event’s second year.

New and updated models from Colnago and Argon 18

Colnago's new carbon M10 (which perhaps aptly shares its name with a tank destroyer) looks to again made a step forward in the 'lighter and stiffer' march of progress. Claimed frame weight is just 850g and yet tube proportions are generally larger all around relative to the company’s CX-1, especially around the bottom bracket area. The bike features a new carbon M10 fork and comes with a recommended retail price of $10,499 AUD.

The more traditional looking C59 Italia offering features new internal ribs inside the lugged top and down tubes, which the company says has increased stiffness as compared to its 3PRS tube reinforcement methods. The Di2-equipped machine viewed by Cyclingnews featured internally routed cabling and a tidy battery mount on the bottom bracket, which made it look neat to say the least – but you wouldn’t expect anything less from the company’s top offering. The C59 complete with Di2 comes with a price tag of $14,990 AUD.

Argon 18 had on show its 2011 Gallium Pro – which was considerably beefier than previous models. The company says the bulkier head tube and bottom bracket areas are the first fruits to result from feedback provided by Spidertech team, which has been riding the Canadian company’s bikes this season. The attention paid to those two key areas of the bike has made the Gallium Pro 15 percent stiffer, according to the company. A Shimano Dura Ace-equipped 2011 Gallium Pro is expected to set you back $8,499 AUD.

The revised Gallium Pro has undergone a big beef-up in the head tube area.

Colour me custom

There were two bikes with custom paint of particular note at this year’s show, with the most striking coming from Passoni. While not a new model, its carbon and titanium Nero XL was on display with Campagnolo’s Super Record groupset and a particularly special set of wheels.

The Nero XL had been painted up in a spectacular red, which the company managed to obtain matching wheels for. That might not sound like a great feat, but when the wheels are a limited run of 499 full-carbon rims produced by OZ Wheels (of Formula One fame) and it’s just the second set they’ve ever produced in the colour things start to fall further into perspective. The wheels retail for around €6000, which gets you an equally impressive pair of hand-stitched leather wheel bags.

The other impressive paintwork adorned a Colnago, which was sprayed to order for 2010 UCI Road World Championships sponsor Mapei. The company is celebrating its history in the sport by displaying a handful of bikes featuring this modernization of the old Mapei team bikes' distinctive metallic blue and embossed coloured squares motif. Two Colnago CX-1 and two EPS models, including a Di2 bike, will be displayed at the worlds – however it’s not certain whether they’ll then be sold off after the event or retained by Mapei.

Mapei wanted these frames produced to celebrate its history in the sport, as it's also the title sponsor of this year's world championships.

Koga offered another unique bike at this year’s show: the 2011 Kimera Road as built for Skil-Shimano to use had it been invited to the Tour de France. The Dutch company had produced some 50 framesets for the Professional Continental squad to ride at the French Grand Tour, but as it wasn’t invited a handful of the framesets have landed in Australia. While some have already been sold, there’s still a few available and a would-be professional frameset will set you back $3,990 AUD.

Odds and ends

Being an Australian show it was of little surprise to see a few local players displaying new products at the show. One new product was Bont’s new Vaypor and revised a-two shoes, which were previously covered by Cyclingnews.

Other bits and pieces included a small flip wallet from a company called Dosh. The product, which is surprisingly manufactured in Australia, is made from thermoplastic polyurethane making it tear resistant and weather proof.

While it comes in a range of colours the company has produced one particularly aimed at cyclists, with the UCI’s world champion rainbow stripes a feature of the design. It can hold six cards and has a note clip, and according to distributor GKA Sports will set you back between $69.99 and $79.99 AUD, depending on which colour scheme you choose.

Another interesting snippet to arise at the show was that Orbea’s new range of helmets is designed in Australia, while still manufactured in Asia. With the Asia Pacific nation having an increasing presence through both professionals and product in the sport, the show is bound to continue growing over coming years.

Click here to see the full gallery from AusBike Australia.

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