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PressCamp merges performance with urban

Published June 25, 2012

CamelBak revamps MTB line • Lazer fills out helmet line • Assos offers luggage, compression socks

PARK CITY, UT (BRAIN) Monday June 25 2012 2:36 PM MT—PressCamp — an annual meeting of the cycling media and select brands — wrapped up last week at the Deer Valley ski resort, just in time for Mitt Romney to meet with VIPs there.

This year organizers merged their urban bike camp, held previously in Washington, D.C., with its performance bike camp. By moving the camp to the base of the mountain (in prior years it was based at a mid-mountain restaurant), journalists could tool around on cruisers, city bikes and travel bikes on pavement, while taking mountain bikes up and down the mountain for testing.

The camp hosted 28 journalists and 23 companies, who showed a total of 29 brands (see previous reports). The mix was just about right, said Lance Camisasca, the founder and president of PressCamp organizer Lifeboat Events.

"I think we had a really good mix of road, fat tire, and parts and accessory [exhibitors]," Camisasca said Monday. We like the mix of about 25 to 30 editors and the same number of companies. That's a good number for a three- or four-day event."

Camisasca said the show decided to bring the urban part of the mix to Utah because the Washington camp was not growing.

"We could have matched 2011 [in Washington], but we were not on track to hit our goals there," he said.

While there is some overlap, internal gear hub maker NuVinci and folding bike maker Dahon were two prime urban brands to join the performance-oriented crowd in Park City. Knog also exhibited lights and locks and Schwinn, Cannondale and GT all showed urban bikes. Urban-oriented journalists came from Bicycle Times, Momentum and publisher Rodale. Bicycle Retailer, of course, was interested in all types of products.

Lifeboat is close to reserving the same venue for the 2013 show, Camisasca said. Meanwhile, company employees are working full steam to set up for DealerCamp, July 24-26 at Deer Valley.

Here's a look at some product highlights from the final day of the camp.

CamelBak revamps MTB line for 2013

PARK CITY, UT (BRAIN)-CamelBak designers rethought much of the company's off-road biking line for the 2013 season, adding a new 100-ounce lumbar hydration pack and some new features throughout the line.

Some riders find that storing water lower on their backs is better for technical mountain biking. It takes weight off the shoulders and lowers the center of gravity.

CamelBak has the 70-ounce Charge LR lumbar pack in its 2012 line. Going to 100 ounces required a redesign of the bladder. "Making the 70-ounce bladder bigger [with the same shape] wasn't enough," said marketing manager Seth Beiden. "It turns out a hundred ounces is very different than 70. We really had to rethink how we were going to do it."

The bladder in the Volt pack is roughly triangular in shape, with a baffle down its middle to keep it from moving around inside the pack, especially as the bladder empties. The rider can tighten a webbing strap around the bladder to keep it snug.



CamelBak also added low-profile integrated helmet carrier buckles to all its mountain bike packs. It redesigned the straps on its women's packs to be closer together and more curved to accommodate a woman's shape. And its NV models all have a new "integrated ventilation" back that holds the pack well off the rider's back with four horizontal foam pads.

The new packs will be available in January.


Lazer fills out helmet line

PARK CITY, UT (BRAIN)-Lazer Sport has been steadily expanding its bike helmet offerings since first entering the U.S. market 10 years ago. The Belgian company started at the high end, but now offers a full line for children and adults, for road, off-road and urban use. The company also added eyewear this year.

Lazer continues to be available from QBP, allowing retailers to turn their helmet inventory by reordering throughout the season instead of committing to a preseason order.

One of its more interesting new products is the Oasiz, a mountain bike helmet with an integrated GoPro helmet camera mount. The Oasiz will be available in July in a high-vis yellow color scheme, retailing for $129.

Lazer's popular high-end model, the Helium, is getting some changes for the 2013 season. Its adjusting wire will be coated and its magnetic buckle will be replaced with a standard buckle. The front pad will contain gel to eliminate hot spots, and forms something of a seal on the forehead, channeling sweat to the sides, instead of allowing it to drip into the rider's eyes.

Lazer also has added an LED taillight to the inside of its Rollsys barrel adjuster. The little light will come stock on Helium and Neon models, and be available as an aftermarket upgrade for other helmets with RollSys.

Lazer also announced that its Descent snow helmet is going to be certified for bicycle use this year, for snow bikers or winter commuters.


Assos offers luggage, slippers, compression socks

PARK CITY, UT (BRAIN) Swiss clothing company Assos fine-tuned many of its products with new, proprietary fabrics for next season. Its Mangusta summer jerseys, for example, feature a new porous material and a slightly looser fit than the rest of the line.

The company also has revamped its base layer line, adding some seamless under-jerseys that are knit like a sock for optimum fit and moisture transfer.

For the real Assos fan, the company is offering a three-piece set of hardshell luggage that will retail for $850, and a set of luxurious slippers for $19.

Perhaps the biggest surprise, in terms of pricing, was Assos' compression stockings, which will retail for just $29 when available in March.

Previous reports from PressCamp.

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