Tech roundup: Sarto, Tune, Panache, Muc-Off, PDW, Stemlock and more

An anti-theft locking stem, Richard Mitchelson portraits, wooden mudguards, DIY e-Bike book, carbon mug and lots more

by David Arthur   May 31, 2014  

The Ultimate Do-It-Yourself Ebike Guide book seeks Kickstarter funding

Micah Toll claims to know a thing or two about building e-bikes, from claiming to have built hundreds of e-bikes over the years to spending the last two years teaching people to build their own. He’s now gathered up all his experience into a new book, The Ultimate Do-It-Yourself Ebike Guide, and it’s currently on Kickstarter.

In fact, he’s already surpassed his $800 goal and with 21 days remaining currently has amassed $1,741 of backing. That doesn’t mean you can still fund the book and stand to get your hands on a copy. In over 100 pages the book deals with everything a beginner needs to know from the planning and part-sourcing stages to the parts buying, installing and testing of an e-bike. How hard could it be?

More at www.kickstarter.com/projects/1354698863/learn-how-to-build-your-own-elec...

Muc-Off Uber Wax protects and shine product

Like a shiny bike? Who doesn't. Muc-Off’s Uber Wax is used by Team Sky and is formulated from Brazilian Carnauba which apparently creates a hydrophobic coating to protect your pride and joy from road grime, salts, grit and dirt. It’s claimed to be safe on all colours, paint types, metal and carbon fibre. So your bike will be gleaming and should stay cleaner for longer.

The company also touts aero advantages, but you’re really into the realms of exceedingly marginal gains if that claim is to be believed. Muc-Off tell us they have utilised their 12 years of experience developing car care products to develop this product, first time they’ve offered a finishing wax in their bicycle range.

A 70g tub costs £45, so it’s not cheap, but if you’ve spent £7,000 on a top-end carbon road bike, it could be deemed a small cost for keeping your bike looking pristine. Here’s a video detailing how to apply the wax to your frame.

More at http://muc-off.com/protect-shine/166-uber-wax.html

Tune’s carbon fibre coffee mug

Fancy sipping your morning cappuccino from a carbon fibre mug? We can't say we've ever felt that urge, but if you do then German company Tune, well known for producing some of the lightest and well engineered cycling products, sell a carbon fibre cup and saucer. 

The cup and saucer are handmade in Tune’s factory from 3k carbon fibre and trimmed with aluminium edges. That means it’s light, just 270g, which is important with carbon fibre products, but coffee cups? well not so much. It has a 420ml capacity. It’s not cheap, but you probably guessed that already, it’ll set you back in the region of $240.

Grab yours now at www.tune.de/portfolio/ruhrpot/

Panache RaceDots

If you do any road racing or time trialing, you’ll be well versed in the art of safety pinning a number to the back of your jersey. And it is an art: getting it perfectly placed takes time, practice and experience, ensuring it is sufficiently pinned down to avoid it flapping and acting as a parachute, or worse still half becoming unattached during the race.

US clothing company Panache have developed RaceDot, a set of rare-earth magnets that take the place of a safety pin and simply hold the race number in place. The immediate benefit is you’re not making holes in your jersey, and fitting should be a great deal quicker than the delicate and slow operation of using safety pins. And certainly no risk of stabbing yourself with the pointy end of the safety pin. Needless to say we're going to get some in to test.

A pack of five costs $24.99 available from http://shop.panachecyclewear.com/shop/panache-race-dots/

Richard Mitchelson portrait commissions

Richard Mitchelson needs little introduction to regular road.cc readers, he’s the top illustrator behind the vinyl Eddy and Mark Cavendish figures and a collection of postcards featuring otehr iconic cyclists like Wiggo and Felice. You can discover more about the Rich in his blog here.

He’s now offering portrait commissions, allowing personalised postcards illustrated by Richard and printed in Brighton. Richard describes the commission as a “collaborative process between me, you and them to get something that looks really wonderful and a true one off. They giclee print on 310gram watercolour paper which makes the colours I use really pop and once framed really stand out on any wall.”

A commission costs £250 for an A4 sized portrait and he can arrange frame as well if you wanted to hang it on your wall, which we think you would. He’ll also provide a digital version so you can use it online and on any social media network. You can see some examples of portraits he has already been commissioned to do on his website at www.richmitch.co.uk/2011/09/portraits-for-mark-lindsey-and-slim.html

If you’re interested had to richmitch.co.uk or contact Richard at rich@richmitch.co.uk

Impact Cycle Trading to distribute Sarto Italian handbuilt frames

Impact Cycle Trading have announced they’ve taken on the UK and Ireland distribution of Sarto, the Italian manufacturer of high-end handbuilt frames.

Sarto have been in business since 1959, founded by Antonio Sarto. The company have a history of making frames for professional riders and other companies,they’re one of the big hidden names in the frame building business building products that are rebadged by other brands. Now though they’re coming forth with a range of frames under their own name.

They’re one of a small handful of brands actually making all the frames, every step of the construction, in their own facility in Italy. They have a team of 15 specialists producing in the region of 2,500 frames a year, and they do everything in-house, mitering the tubes, bonding and wrapping and finally painting them too. As well as carbon they also offer stainless steel, regular steel and titanium.

They’ll be available at selected bike shops and you’ll also be able to see them in the flesh at the Orbital Cycling Festival at Goodwood Motor Circuit on 26-27 July 2014.

More about Sarto at www.sartocycles.com and www.impactct.co.uk

Ruphus Bowie wooden mudguards

From Portland-based Rupha comes these beautiful mudguards crafted from wood in a choice of maple, walnut or bamboo finishes. Not only will their sleek design stop water spraying up off the wheel, but they also have a flat rack top surface which can be used to attached a bag or other luggage.

They cost $95 and this price includes all mounting hardware. They fix to the frame at the brake bridge and dropouts. They’re also working on a leather topped version.

More at www.ruphus.net/goods/bike-rack

PDW Bar-ista Coffee Cup Holder

Okay, so it’s not exactly a new product, but when a friend asked if it was possible to get a cup holder for their bicycle the other, we had to have a rummage around the internet for one. And this is what we found.

The Portland-based company have made the cup holder out of aluminum with a simple handlebar clamp and it’s sized to a regular sized takeaway coffee cup. We can imagine hipsters the length of Shoreditch high street utilising  these on the dash to the office in the mornings.

It costs £13 from www.ridepdw.com/goods/cargo/bar-ista

IXOW Stemlock

The Stemlock from French company IXOW  looks like any normal stem, but concealed within is a locking mechanism that prevents the handlebars from being turned. That disables the steering and could help prevent a thief from riding away, they're not going to get very far at least without being able to steer the bike - unless perhaps it’s a very straight street and they don’t need to make any turns.

An additional feature could be useful for storing the bike in cramped storage areas. Pressing two buttons swivels the stem around so the handlebars are aligned with the bike, so the bike can be slotted into narrower gaps than would be possible with the bars in the usual position.

It’s available in Aheadset and quill versions with a range of angles and lengths, and even colours. It costs €74.90.

More at http://ixow.com/product/stemlock-classic/

6 user comments

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I'd have thought that locking stem is just as likely to bring the owner down, when he or she forgets they've turned the key.

nowasps's picture

posted by nowasps [245 posts]
31st May 2014 - 16:30

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nowasps wrote:
I'd have thought that locking stem is just as likely to bring the owner down, when he or she forgets they've turned the key.

I'd also be a little suspicious of the stem lock, without knowing a bit more about how it works. First, that it might weaken the design of the stem, and any problem with the stem whilst riding will be a really bad day. Second, that as with many older car steering locks, all you need is a little extra leverage.

posted by bikebot [463 posts]
31st May 2014 - 16:45

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My granddad's old roadster had a stem lock. You notice it really fast trying to mount the bike so I'd not be worried about failure to spot it. It really is difficult (impossible when I tried, but lets be generous to ingenuity) to ride while engaged.

posted by johndonnelly [20 posts]
2nd June 2014 - 0:40

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$240 for a coffee cup? You'd have to be a mug to pay that....
Some of the Sarto bikes look lovely, not sure about the two steel ones being downtube shifters but I guess their heritage side is kind of a big point.

Former Fat Lad on a Bike

posted by RobD [97 posts]
2nd June 2014 - 10:47

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That wooden rear mudguard looks more like a device to channel the spray into a jet in the face of whoever is riding behind you. This is not something for sociable riding!

I well remember cycling with my young daughter (as does she, many years later) on her trailer bike. I had full length mudguards but the mudflap had come off the back. It was a bit wet underfoot, and after riding for a while I looked back to see her soaking wet and shivering, just from the spray from the back wheel. She needed a change of clothes and a hot bath when we got in.

So this wooden thing, not really a mudguard then. They won't stop spray on the back of your legs and bottom either. On the other hand, a lot more effective than a 'cyclists keep back' sign Wink

posted by arowland [80 posts]
6th June 2014 - 15:29

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Actually, my comment only makes sense if the cycle is travelling backwards Rolling Eyes
Still, it is true about spray on the person behind you: these mudguards are anti-social.

posted by arowland [80 posts]
11th June 2014 - 12:08

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