The Bicycle Planet in NYC

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Learn More About Northwave


Innovation and creativity

Norhwave's Iguana sports Microtech closures linked to
internal frames to pull evenly around your feet.

When Gianni Piva, the founder of Northwave, flashes his wide, gaptooth smile, it is impossible not to be infected by his enthusiasm and passion - for life, and for the company he has run for 32 years.

Piva has always had an abundance of ideas, starting with Northwave's humble origins making trekking boots and ski-boot liners. With his emphasis on creativity, technology and fashion, he has made Northwave a world leader in snowboard boots and cycling shoes.

Now, as the footprint of the company expands into a huge new central headquarters in Montebelluna, Italy, Northwave is poised once again to shake up the cycling world with its creativity.

The innovative road and mountain shoes from Northwave push cycling shoe technology far ahead, as does Northwave's cutting-edge cycling clothing. The fact that its president has such a broad range of interests, including
ownership of a materials-testing company, gives Northwave clear advantages when creating new products.

Piva is never satisfied with simply great products. "Anything, no matter how good, can always be improved," he grins. For instance, the Evolution road-racing shoe made famous by Mario Cipollini, with an interchangeable carbon sole available in different drillings for different pedal systems, was an amazing technological advance in its time.

The shoe offered customers the rigidity of a carbon sole with the flexibility of choosing any pedal system without needing heavy adapters that raised their feet from the pedals. That technology is still cutting-edge, but now Northwave has surpassed it.

Cipollini's new zebra-striped Genetix is also available in more conventional styles for the less flamboyant.
The Skywalker freeride shoe has a revolutionary sole that flexes upward yet is stiff for pedaling..
Part Two
Enter the Genetix road shoe, with GMX technology. The "G" in GMX refers to the "Global" frame that surrounds the entire shoe. The Microtech closure system (the "M") is linked to the entire "X" frame, so the closure pulls evenly around the entire foot, rather than simply tightening down a narrow section of the upper.

The super-strong rotating Microtech instep closure outdoes any buckle system and provides infinite adjustability. It incorporates an innovative rotating disc; turning it adjusts the pull over the top of the foot, while unscrewing it a bit and pulling it back releases it altogether.

The Genetix also works with any pedal system without adapters, and it has the thinnest sole on the market. A thinner sole requires less energy to keep the foot over the pedal. Imagine trying to pedal in your daughter's platform shoes; to get it back over the pedal after the upstroke would be tough. Every bit of additional sole thickness saps energy and robs efficiency.

The Genetix's 6.8-mm-thick sole is well over a millimeter thinner than any competitor's sole, and it is achieved by means of a super-strong titanium sole stiffener plate coupled with an adjustable titanium plate that acts as the cleat carrier. The material surrounding the plates is Du Pont Zytel nylon reinforced with carbon and
fiberglass. "You can't get a strong sole this thin and stiff with just carbon," says marketing manager Francesco Boninsegna.

The Genetix's sole has a standard three-hole mounting system as well as the slots and threaded holes for SPD and SPD-R pedals (separate Time and Speedplay mounts have been discontinued now that the new Time cleats will fit the three-hole system, as will Speedplay's new adapter).

The materials in the shoe are, in typical Northwave fashion, superb. The upper is made of soft Lorica with the softest, most breathable mesh found in any cycling shoe. The insole is cork for comfort, coolness and vibration absorption. Cipollini has already scored a win this season on a pair of zebrastripe Genetixes to match his new Acqua e Sapone jersey. "He always wants something special," chuckles Boninsegna.

Northwave's clothing is just as advanced, with fabric containing ceramic fibers for protection against UV rays while remaining remarkably cool in summer.
Mario Cipollini started the season in style, winning Milan-San Remo. Northwave-shod Freddy Rodriguez finished a close second.
Part Three
The new Iguana mountain-bike racing shoe also features a titanium-reinforced sole and GMX frame technology with Microtech closure. The superlight synthetic-rubber tread wraps up around the shoe for durability and grip and makes it impossible for the tread to separate.

The Husky and Grizzly are winter road and mountain-bike shoes with an innovative three-layer construction, making them the best insulated cycling shoes in the industry. The external surface is a thermal, waterproof felt with a zipper closure and internal windproof protection. Inside, there's a layer of reinforced nylon mesh, and next to your foot there's a thermal liner with an Airdry membrane.

Northwave's new freeride shoes (the Skywalker, Adventure and Terrae) feature a revolutionary sole that flexes easily upward for walking suppleness but is very stiff in the reverse direction for pedaling efficiency and comfort! Furthermore, the sole is a permanent part of the shoe and cannot come unglued. It works equally well with flat pedals or cleats. "Innovation is one of our fundamental characteristics," remarks Boninsegna.

Montebelluna is the world center of the ski-boot industry, and it is also the research center for the world's leaders in athletic shoes, inline skates and snowboard boots. One of Piva's other companies performs high frequency, strength and durability tests on materials used
in these industries. He consequently runs across useful new materials for cycling shoes, like the one-way flex sole for the freeride shoe and the mesh for the Genetix upper.

It is only natural, then, that when Northwave began making cycling clothing and accessories, it would develop a line of technically advanced and fashionable items. Northwave is the first company to make a jersey of ceramic fibers developed by NASA that protect against UV rays while being cooler than any comparable fabric.

Gianni Piva is an innovator and so, under his tutelage, is Northwave. Says Boninsegna, "We have lots of respect for other shoe companies who also work hard every day and produce great products. But when it comes to innovation, the only new shoe news this season is from Northwave." And every season, you can count on Northwave to break new ground.


The Bicycle Planet Syossett NY

340 Robbins Lane
Syosset, NY 11791

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