Tech Roundup: Polar GPS, Tacx lights (yes, lights), 3T, Prendas, Le Coq Sportif, Freshtripe, Madison and more…
Getting in an early Christmas gifts suggestions list; the lights are already up here in Bath
Polar the Heart Rate Monitor specialists now encroaching into GPS launch a red version of their RCX5 range topper.
We mentioned the new Polar RCX5 GPS a few months ago but the Finns famous for their heart rate monitors have just now released a signature red version as they've done with previous models. The wrist mounted device (that's a watch - ed) displays the usual clever HRM training functions but by means of a separate wireless GPS module will also record your cycling, running and even swimming routes for all you wild water swimmers for future download and analysis. The most likely option for cyclists includes watch, HRM strap, GPS module and a bracket to mount the watch on your handlebars for £359.50.
Tacx Lumos barend lights and indicators: in shops next week
No sooner had we mentioned the neat LED 'bar end lights a couple of weeks ago and along come these from Tacx that combine front and rear lights and indicators into nifty enclosures for £19.99 a pair. No-one is pretending these are all you need and we certainly wouldn't trust the amber turn indicators but we love the idea of lighting which marks out to drivers the true width of a cyclist on the road. Retailer J E James has already posted this video:
Retrovelo German-made leather frame bag
This is only going to work on a gentleman's bike with a level top tube, and a big one at that, but we're taken with this well made frame-hanging attaché case with a clever clip and strap to prevent it swinging. All mod cons for laptops and phones are provided and the construction is hefty natural leather in black or brown. £251.
Ergoterra carbon bar completes new 3T cyclo-cross 'front end'
Look in the gallery above for a pic of the much-trailed 3T Luteus all-carbon-fibre fork specifically for the rigours of cyclo-cross. The new fork has been 'in development' with the pro guinea-pigs for well over a year but there is now stock and UK pricing. For £449.99 you get disc brake mounts for 160mm rotors, an asymmetric design to cope with the unequal stresses of braking on one side and a clever groove to safely tuck away the brake line. Steerer size is tapered from 1⅛ to 1½" only.
To complete what 3T is billing as a complete cyclo-cross front end is a new carbon bar called Ergoterra Team. Two features differentiate it from their existing Ergosum compact road bar; the first being that the drops slope outwards by 6〫to allow extra wrist clearance while clattering over the rough stuff with a clever compound bend meaning that the brake levers are still perfectly vertical. There are two sizes; the 45cm model measures 42cm at the hoods with the 47cm correspondly 44cm at the hoods. Got that? And the other difference? The 31.8mm centre section where the stem clamps is extended and reinforced so that 'cross top brake levers can be mounted. Price is a premium £199.99. We're just checking with 3T to confirm whether or not there will be a cheaper aluminium 'Pro' version, as they do with their other 'bar shapes.
New website for Madison clothing direct
Since they started out as a bike shop in West Hampstead 25 years ago, Madison have run their own clothing brand focussing on the basics; their black Lycra shorts have been a value staple in bike shops for years. Simple functional garments at good prices have played well with the recent cycling newcomers as well as experienced hands like our reviewer Iwein alike; a new website that focusses everything in one place should help and for people who can't get to a local stockist they can order direct and post free.
Freshtripe Harris Tweed bag by iL Soigneur
The stitchers in Bristol who make iL Soigneur musettes must be driven crazy by the variety of recycled materials in short runs that they use; this one is genuine heavy duty Harris Tweed labels and all, and it's been made for fixie mail-order specialists Freshtripe based in Bath. There's a reflective tab, signature embroidered bear logo and orange lining, webbing strap and press studs. £35.
It's Hallowe'en: Milltag spooky Glowing Skull Tee
Scary-themed cycling events seem to be all the rage. It must be that cycling lights are so much better - see our road.cc lighting feature
tomorrow here - but anyway don't forget that there's Herne Hill's Muddy Hell tomorrow Saturday 22nd October evening. You may not get this Milltag tee in time for that but there's still a week until the 31st.
Le Coq is back!
Le Coq Sportif, the véritable flag carriers for France's proud cockerel have been out of cycling for some time but the midweek launch of Le Tour 2012 confirmed what we'd heard; that Le Coq are back as official suppliers of the fabled Maillot Jaune. Their recent sponsorship of the Tuscan vintage ride L'Eroica has been marked with a range of kit that evokes 50s and 60s continental cycling; we can expect more of this En France next summer. Bring. It. On.
Team Z retro jersey from Prendas Ciclismo
Of course, down on Blighty's South Coast with a view on a good day of La Belle France, mail-order clothing specialist Prendas Ciclismo never forgot what the whole Euro cycling thing was about. We spotted them selling this £45 classic 80s 'Z' jersey this week. Maybe not France's finest hour but then again Robert Millar wore it so much can be forgiven.
And finally, the V&A Museum gift shop...
We popped along to the Victoria & Albert Museum's 'Power of Making' exhibition last weekend which is highly recommended and not just for some really nice handmade British bikes. The V&A shop has always been a great place for original gifts but they're surpassing themselves at the moment for cyclists. Apart from the hefty book Bespoke: The Handbuilt Bicycle by Julie Lasky (Lars Müller Publishers) for £20, there is a good selection of quality wallets, bags, phone cases and the like in a cycling design from £5 to £60.
Clever from the V&A shop: large printed fabric square for wrapping gifts can be used again and again.