Fisher Expo 2011: Sram, Troy Lee Designs and Blue Grass

February 21st, 2011

By Factory Jackson in Tech

Fisher Outdoor Leisure are one of the UK’s leading distributors of bicycles and equipment representing some of the industries most exciting brands. Factory Jackson went down to St.Albans, near London to check out what exciting new products and other goodies they had to offer at the 2011 Fisher Expo. Below is a pick of the best from the show.

SRAM

The Descendant Crankset is derived form their top secret Black Box program and designed with feedback from the likes of Steve Peat and Sam Hill. Available to the market in 2011, the Descendants are available in this sexy mirror black finish, lighter than Saints and available in a 165mm option; they are surly going to be high on many peoples wish list this year and beyond.

The X7 range may not be as exciting and have as many bells and whistles as the X9, X0 and XX equipment, but what this range represents is a benchmark in excellent quality components that can get you on the 10 speed platform at a great price with the flexibility to choose different configurations from cage lengths, cassette ratios and even purchasing shifters independently for those looking to run a 1×10 set up on their bikes. The rear derailleur is also available in the short cage option for extra clearance while still being perfectly capable of accessing all those extra teeth on a ten speed block. This a great solution for those keen to loose their front mech and refine their bike into a purpose built aggressive trail machine.

The shifter alone looks fantastic and having had a play on the full groupset, the action is as slick as you’d ever need it be.

The heart of the beast – the 10 speed block now being available in X7 is a great leap for everyone looking to make the step to 10 speed. This was a great move by Sram who have really hit the nail on the head with this groupset. More on the X7 groupset in the near future.

The DH community is already loving the Rock Shox Vivid and I’m seeing more and more on the trails as after market hop ups. Rock Shox now offer a shock for very rider and discipline and what other way can you complement your Rock Shox forks than with a matching rear shock. Like all Sram product, form meets function and these are some of the sweetest looking shockers on the market!

The Vivid Air is something to be behold. We all know that many of Sram’s top athletes choose to run the Vivid coil at the world cups, but if they were competing on tracks that 90% of us ride, this would be their tool of choice, hands down. The Vivid Air is all about weight, adjustability and performance and with a significant weight saving over the coil it could prove the logical direction for those aiming to improve their rides. It is also worth noting that the Vivid Air looks the business too!

The Pike is dead, long live the Pargyle, I mean Argyle with aluminium upper tubes. This is the fork for all those looking for a strong, yet light weight fork to throw around at the jumps. Designed with Slopestyle in mind, but this fork will be perfectly at home on any bike destined for aggressive riding.

The Sektor is a fork I can personally vouch for impressing me with it’s performance on a variety of trails over the last 5 months. Like the Argyle above, this is stepping into the void left by the popular Pike, but rather than a dirt jump and slopestyle bias, the Sektor is there for the budget minded trail rider out there looking for the right tool for the job.

Troy Lee Designs.

It’s not a shock to anyone who knows me that I’m a big TLD fan and have been since way before Mr Hill arrived and schooled the field in speed and style. Fishers are TLD’s premier international dealer, that’s their biggest non US distribution partner right there. Fishers displayed TLD in what can only be described as the coolest show stand in the UK this year. They really went to town and I must apologise for the poor shots under the funny lighting. I also got a  few bits of info on next years D3’s too, but all I can say is, watch this space and be prepared to WANT!

Troy Lee have entered the casual market and done so in a big way. Their clothing range caters for all tastes, from the classic vintage style all the way to the wild and crazy. Troy Lee have it all and what a great way to tell those around you your a biker than in some TLD casual gear.

The Steve McQueen range was pretty sweet too, not to mention the helmet which was absolutely stunning. Peaty has even got one these himself!

This is an autumn/ winter item and obviously pretty MX orientated with TLD’s SX team sponsor, Lucas Oils on there, but I thought this was awesome and had a great vintage MX style to it that I’m sure will go down well with the MTB crowd too.

This vintage mesh jersey with raglan sleeves will be equally at home on the trail and down the pub. This will be in my wardrobe as soon I can get my grubby hands on one!

How rad is this Tee? The Daytona helmet has been a seminal piece of gear for many riders over the years and one which has a design legacy in almost every helmet we see today. TLD set the ball rolling back in the 90’s and this T-shirt pays homage to this awesome piece of gear. Reckon this will be very popular when it’s available in a few months!

Bluegrass.

Blugrass is a new brand from Italian helmet and bicycle protection company Met, who over the year have always had a strong following in the road and XC market and quite wisely decided that a unique brand that catered for the DH, Freeride and BMX market was the way to go. The Bluegrass product range was designed and refined over the 2010 season under the capable hands of Sam Blenkinsop and Shaun O’Connor. With prices that are sure to surprise everyone and a style which is there own, I can see Bluegrass making an impact out there on the trails.

This is the ‘Explicit’ model and like the rest of the range offers excellent features and value for money. The graphics were cool too and unlike other manufacturers were not trying to copy TLD and doing a bad job of it too. I like that they’ve got there own style rather than chasing someone else’s and it’s great that there is another Euro brand producing some quality gear.

This is the ‘Brave’ model and in the flesh looks pretty sweet and at £125 GBP is a bargain too. The green swirl graphics are pretty rad in the flesh and definitely look great against the gloss white shell. Think this is going to be a popular helmet this year.

These are the ‘Bobcat’ knee pads and feature d30 technology which is soft to touch and unrestrictive when riding, but upon the force of an impact they becomes rigid allowing for the same impact resistance as a standard hard shell. The manufacturing looked top notch on these and the overall appearance and feel was extremely impressive. Although many out there, especially fans of actual Blugrass music (google it if you don’t know) might find the name baffling, but be that as it may, the logo is pretty sweet and there’s no denying that.

All together I came away impressed by the professionalism of the staff at Fisher and their passion and knowledge of the brands they represent. Sram now have a purpose built service centre in the UK and with Fishers latest TLD accolade they will no doubt go from strength to strength in  2011 and beyond.

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