Shimano have unveiled their 2018 soft goods lineups this week at Eurobike. Taking their wholistic System Engineered approach to drivetrain design and applying it to their apparel lines, every piece of kit was developed to function as a piece of the whole ensemble. They’re calling it the Fusion Concept, and each cycling discipline has been considered for its specific needs, getting shoes, eyewear & apparel designed specifically to fit those needs.
Starting with the road shoe range, the top-tier RP9 shoes (blue) along with the RP7W (black) and RP5 shoes (white) all receive updated Boa IP1 concealed-routing closure systems and see the addition of a velcro strap to the toe box. The RP-9’s use a soft-touch microfiber synthetic leather upper bonded to a carbon sole, and weight is down to just 224g per shoe.
On the off-road side of things, the range-topping XC9 (yellow) cross-country shoes use two Boa IP1 reels instead of the Boa/velcro combo seen on the RP9.
Following the lace-up trend, the XC5 (gray) now comes with traditional shoe laces for those who prefer strings to cables.
Showing some love to their adventure-touring offerings, the MT7 (left) also gets a Boa reel and a breathable mesh upper. Shimano also released the new CT5 (right) city touring/commuting shoe. Readily usable on flat pedals or easily converted for use with SPD or Click’r pedals, the stylish, walkable shoes weigh 326g per shoe. Additionally, both road and mountain lineups see minor tweaks and color changes throughout the ranges.
New eyewear from Shimano includes 8 new pairs of glasses for both on and off the bike. The road-race Aerolite and Spark frames (left and right, respectively) were developed with the help of the LottoNL-Jumbo World Tour team. Both new road glasses use 1-piece panoramic lenses to maximize field of view while cutting down on weight, with the Sparks weighing 30.2g and the Aerolites just 28.3g.
Along with the new high tech sunglasses, Shimano also unveiled several pairs designed to be equally at home off the bike. The new Pulsar, Meteor, Square and Tokyo designs (clockwise from top left) blend form with function, ensuring you won’t draw the odd stare when wearing them not in kit.
Perhaps the biggest addition to the soft goods line up is the all new Evolve line, essentially trickling premium S-Phyre tech down to some more affordable options for enthusiast/sport riders. With cleaner, simpler aesthetics and comfort-promoting touches, the new Evolve line seeks to make cycling apparel appeal to every rider. On the bibs, sticky rubber cuff grippers have been skipped for better freedom of movement and shoulder straps are made of ultra soft “ribbon” material.
Shimano’s dual layer Dry Touch fabric is found throughout the Evolve line. It is comprised of a soft mesh inner layer designed to wick moisture away and act as a built in baselayer, and an outer UV layer to protect from the sun. Shimano claims a protection factor of UPF 50+ to prevent sunburns through jerseys, even on lightweight models. Minor reflective elements have been added to discreetly enhance low-light visibility. Integrated cooling vents and hidden pockets round out the list of features on the new lineup, which seems sure to pack a lot of value.
The Shimano backpacks also saw several updates and tweaks, with the popular Tokyo bag (right) seeing the addition of a 23l size as well as a desert camo color scheme. The all new Rokko bag (left & center), described as a “micro daypack” is available in three versions; 8l, 12l & 16l and includes tech highlights such as a helmet carrier, zippered waist belt pocket and air channeling vents to keep the wearer’s back cool.
The new 2018 pieces are just being debuted this week. The shoes will begin shipping to retailers in late 2017 with apparel and other accessories available in early 2018.