TPE16: New wheels from Novatec & Factor plus Control Tech’s new bars, stems and beautiful TiMania

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With a carbon wheel around ever corner in Taipei, there were still plenty of familiar brands like Novatec and their Factor branded wheels to check out.  They came to Taipei with a few things to show as well as some more in the works.

We also found some new road & mountain bike bars and stems at Control Tech as well as a couple of new pieces in their TiMania collection. Though not super new, they had their TiMania goods mounted up and they are definitely worth a look…

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Novatec had a prototype of an alloy 27.5+ wheel (it was labeled “Pontoon”, but has yet to be named), that will have a 38mm internal width. It will be available in both boost and non-boost and should come in at just over 2000g.

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Under Novatec’s Factor brand, they had a few projects unfolding. Up top is the new 27.5 Carbon 727 DH wheelset that uses a hookless bead with a 27mm internal width. The 727 DH wheels tip the scales at 2077 g and there is an Enduro version in the works that should come in sub 1800g.

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Their 27.5+ offering has a 48mm internal width and comes in at only 2125 grams. They will be bringing even more new stuff to Sea Otter including a 35mm internal width “big enduro” as well as a 21mm gravel wheel and more. The new carbon offerings from Factor will run $1,800 across the board.

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Control Tech had a few new items at the show this year including the alloy LynX mountain bars above. They will come in both 31.8 and 35mm diameters and both flat and riser versions. Their new forged mountain stem will hold the new 35mm bars as well as the 31.8 via the included shim.

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Though nothing like many of the uber-carbon goodies they’ve shown us in the past, the Falcon bars and aero stem look to be good looking replacements for someone wanting to dial in their fit without breaking the bank.

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We saw Control Tech’s TiMania items hanging on the wall a couple of years ago, but when I saw how it came together when mounted up, I thought it was worth another look.

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Though we’ve seen the stem, headset spacers and bars, this headset was something new that ties everything together nicely.

Control Tech Ti 1

Also something we had’t seen were these titanium stamped bottle cages. They, like the rest of their goods would look great on any Ti rig.

Comments

11 thoughts on “TPE16: New wheels from Novatec & Factor plus Control Tech’s new bars, stems and beautiful TiMania

  1. $1800 for Novatec anything is slightly insulting. I’m sure they will sell closer to $1400’ish. Also the Control Tech name was destroyed a long time ago in my opinion. its hard to put any value on CT parts for the mid 2000’s on.

    1. I love my CT road bars. I’ll keep buying them. But yes, they do some weird stuff like their wonky aerobars

    2. You’re wrong – it’s VERY insulting. Those wheelsets are not worth $1800. Jebus, NOBL Wheels [with Hope Pro 4 hubs] come in at $1500CAD, which is ~$1150USD. Light-bicycle [oh yeah, I went there] are something like $650USD. Do these companies think we don’t shop around or something?

      1. To an extent that is exactly what they think. However, I think the Light Bicycle comparison needs some qualifiers. Buying from LB the cheapest complete wheels will be $900-ish including shipping, but you can also be on the hook for import taxes (unless you’re lucky) which will take you up past $1100 most places. Plus you handle any warranty shipping yourself. They’re a great company but require a higher degree of organisation on the buyer’s part than most.
        .
        I agree Novatec have overpriced these wheels by a couple of hundred dollars, but it’s not apocalyptic and once they hit retail they’ll probably have that couple hundred bucks shaved off.

        1. Just to be pedantic, today you can order a wheelset with Novatec hubs, shipped to US or Canada – $668.61USD all fees in. Can’t speak to import/customs charges for anyone else, but the shipments are typically valued by L-B in the $200 range, so those charges are usually low or $0.

          Full disclosure, I’ve purchased 4 wheelsets and 4 rims from L-B, warrantied 1 rim. For the warranty, I took a picture of the rim I cracked, emailed it to them and they shipped me a new rim after I paid shipping charges of $59USD. Never charged duty/brokerage on any of the shipments. They were always sitting on my front step when I got home, which made me nervous, but never lost a shipment. I’ve been happy with the quality of the customer service, wheels and rims, but it has been a year since I bought anything from them, and things may have changed.

          YMMV…

          1. Curious which part of the hub it is that kept failing on you for years, b0bg.
            For the record, Factor wheels come with fancier hubs (541/542), which are a step or two above the other, ubiquitious models that can be had for $100 or less a set on ebay.
            Basically, they’re not all the same and one look at their catalog would tell you that.

        2. I’ve had a very mixed experience with Novatec quality but the whole package suffers from the failure of their weakest link, which in my experience is the hub machining. Repeated, identical failures of the exact same part of multiple years does not inspire a $1800 purchase decision.

  2. Whoa whoa wait…can we talk about that Ti cockpit for a moment?? I have about zero inclination toward Ti anything, but all put together that looks amazing! That would be the perfect compliment on a Ti bike that isn’t completely raw and has some paint, like some of the Salsa stuff. Super cool.

    1. ya. it looks odd to me personal. price probably won’t be that far off Moots etc who will have a higher resale value and better support. the Moots stuff looks way more put together! CT graphics look tragic!

  3. I have that stem on my stainless touring bike. Due to the clamp design, I wouldn’t consider mounting it without a (CT titanium) spacer above it.
    Surprised they displayed it like that without cutting the steerer to the exact length.

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