Tech Roundup: Carrera Virago video, Ritchey, Vulpine, Creux, Ravito, pocpac, Your Sports Fuel, Craft plus more…

This weekend's mashup of the magnificent and the mind-blowing not forgetting 'Kickstarter Project of the Week'

by nick_rearden   March 17, 2012  

Halfords have made a nice video promoting their £999 Carrera Virago road bike we reviewed last month.

The Virago goes on sale for the first time next week; the question we wonder about is whether they'll have enough in stock because according to our reviewer Stuart Kerton, "Taking everything into consideration the Carrera is a performance bargain and as thousand pound carbon bikes go it can hold its head high against the budget carbon offering from the likes of Ribble and Planet X."

Details: halfords.com

 

 

 

New all-in-one Ritchey Monocurve handlebar and stem

 

Monocoque carbon-fibre handlebar and stem combinations are all the rage for high performance applications as long as you can cope with the idea of them not being particularly adjustable or changeable. Once you've opted for your stem and width dimensions you're locked in and the stem angle of this new Ritchey Monocurve at 86° - or more commonly expressed as -4° - is aggressive although not overly so. The shallow 128mm drop bar shape is available in three widths with five stem lengths with the big story, apart from being rather beautiful, is that the overall weight at 353 grams could save you 100 grams or so over equivalent premium carbon components. Considerably more if you're upgrading from alloy. Price is £425. 

Details: paligap.cc

 

 

British designed and made infiniti3D security bolts

We've seen this week ingenious titanium and stainless steel bolts for securing more or less every component on your bike using a key that is individually machined and unique to each customer. Take a careful squint at the pictures of the infiniti3D security bolts in the gallery and you'll see the centre of each cylinder has a shape that according the new company Atomic22 from Horsham in Sussex is more or less infinitely variable. Once you've registered and bought your first bolt, you'll be able to reorder additional bolts to use the same key for stems, gear mechs, seat clamps and even the bolts that hold on a replaceable rear derailleur hanger. The fasteners appear to be pricey at £40+ each but with components from the likes of Hope and Brooks costing hundreds of pounds each, it might be worth it for cyclists who regularly leave their bikes locked somewhere vulnerable.

Details: atomic22.com

Unique shape of each infiniti3D security bolt can be replicated for all the components on your bike.

 

 

Australian Creux casual cycling clothing through iL Soigneur

Apart from a shiny new website Bristol mussette makers iL Soigneur announced this week they'll be showing the Australian Creux brand of clothing at Bespoked Bristol starting 5pm next Friday evening. There will be casual tees in the initial wave of stock from Creux, then cotton Detour shorts for £79.99 in May, finally cycling-specific denim jeans later in the summer.

Details: creuxcycling.com

 

 

French Ravito site sells cycling ceramics

 

First our News Editor Simon MacMichael recently spotted Ravito selling high-quality tableware in a beautiful cycling design; this week we saw ceramic jewellery from them like this cog-shaped pendant. Price is €49 and there are chain link earrings, too.

Details: ravito.fr

 

 

pOcpacs in various sizes keep your valuables dry

 

There are other mobile phone waterproof pockets on the market but pOcpacs think theirs offer a couple of significant advantages. Firstly, they have what they call the Round-Edge-Seal (RES) system which makes for an easier to work and more efficient seal. Then the material itself - recycled incidentally - feels soft and gets softer still with use making it easier to pack in phones, cash, race licenses or whatever you want to keep dry. Finally, there are three sizes called iPac for £6.99 which is just big enough to keep your phone and credit cards dry. Then there's the Road Pac for £9.99 which holds inner tube, tyre levers and air canister with the Off-road Pac also £9.99 and large enough to hold larger inner tubes. pOcpac also print in larger volumes for custom branding; a good idea maybe for clubs, sportive organisers and charities.

Details: thepocpac.co.uk

 

 

YourSportsFuel.com now coming to shops, too

 

A company that started out selling competitively-priced sports nutrition products direct to athletes via the internet is now widening its distribution model to include bike shops. YourSportsFuel.com which sells a wide range of energy, recovery and supplement products all with the naming prefix 'YSF' is now working with Veroli Ltd, distributors of Edco wheels, Ceradure lightweight components and Kyklos carbon racing frames to ship through traditional retail stockists. A good place to start for anyone would their YSF2:2 powder which is a carbohydrate fuel with glucose polymers for use in events up to two hours. Everything is natural, they say, the orange or tropical flavours palatable and the price reasonable at £12.99 for a 1.2Kg bag.

Details: yoursportsfuel.com

 

 

Gotham Bicycle Defense light on Kickstarter

 

There's not a week goes by where a new cycling product doesn't pop up on the website Kickstarter and we've been following them avidly here. The trouble is, most of the ideas look great with the resurgence of interest in cycling and a new-found interest in homespun engineering coinciding in an ideal marriage among the entrepreneurs in crowd-sourced funding. The front light proposed by Gotham Bicycle Defense from New York isn't that revolutionary in itself - more Cree LEDs in a machined aluminium housing, which is no bad thing - the difference is that they're focussing on the issue of theft-proofing which up to now has been a bit of a unspoken issue amongst light-makers. Well, it's on the agenda now, thanks to these two nice graduates from MIT. Sign up!  

Details: kickstarter.com

 

 

Great Craft designs going nowhere. In the UK, anyway

 

Craft, the Swedish base layer makers sent us a press release featuring what we thought looked like great new stripey cycling jerseys for the summer. A bit different. A certain something. As is our habit, we thought we'd better check with the locals when they'd be arriving and how much? "Oh," was the reply. "We're not getting them here in the UK." Something to do with differing European tastes, it seems. Is it us? Or are these really nice and we're missing out?

Details: craft.se

 

And finally...Jon Snow one of Vulpine's first customers

 

We posted in the week about the launch of the new clothing brand Vulpine which is specialising in garments made from natural fabrics with a casual and definitely non-Lycra look. According to their Nick Hussey, one of the first calls he received was from Channel 4 news journalist and CTC President Jon Snow who wanted to know all about Vulpine before inviting Hussey to Channel 4 to deliver a new jacket, have a look around the news office and watch the news being broadcast. "As he left wearing his new Vulpine jacket he said he was 'proud as punch'" said Hussey, obviously pretty pleased himself. "He was absolutely lovely."

Details: vulpine.cc

 

 

 

13 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

those security bolts are a good idea..although after looking at the website they are unbelievably ridiculously expensive!

you want to secure your Di2 mech to your frame set....£50! for one single bolt....ONE!

I'm sorry Atomic22, that is mental! the easiest way to never have your mech stolen is to not leave the bike in a place that its possible. If a thief wanted the mech, he would take the bike, and a pro would get those bolts out no problem at all as the torque holding them on isn't great in the first place. A small drill and an easy out and BAM..stolen and sold.

Better off spending the money on a Kryptonite new york lock or two...that would hold the thieves off longer.

posted by quango2008 [36 posts]
17th March 2012 - 15:01

7 Likes

quango2008 wrote:
Better off spending the money on a Kryptonite new york lock or two...that would hold the thieves off longer.

I don't think anyone was suggesting NOT locking the main frame with a decent lock. These bolts are for the ancillary bits that get stolen, most commonly wheels, saddles and seatposts. I can't imagine leaving *that* valuable a bike either which is why I'm sure the bolts for gear mechs, cranks, brakes etc will be rarely purchased but those for both solid and q/r hubs and saddle bolts should be sellers even if they are pricey. As I said, with some Brooks saddles costing nearly £200 new or a decent pair of commuting wheels with tyres the same, you wouldn't want to be losing them to opportunists and the only option are supplementary cables which themselves cost a minimum £10 each.

posted by nick_rearden [859 posts]
17th March 2012 - 15:17

6 Likes

Those bolts are a great deterrent to bike thieves I reckon. The latest police haul found more value in parts stripped from bikes than bikes or frames. This is where they make their money so making their life difficult is a great deterrent.

Also like the simple idea of those pocpacs. I hate the square edges sticking in me and the hardish material is part of that so if these are a big more plush then great.

posted by Farky [180 posts]
17th March 2012 - 20:43

4 Likes

nick_rearden wrote:
...the only option are supplementary cables which themselves cost a minimum £10 each.

Do these not fit the bill for the majority of road or commuters' bikes (ie those with QR wheels/seatpost):
http://road.cc/content/review/1978-pinhead-security-four-pack

And at that price this set costs the same as 1 (one) of these wheel locks...

Surely I'm missing something - I've only ever had a whole bike nicked, never come back to find my rear mech taken or my front brake...or my saddle...

posted by dlp [51 posts]
19th March 2012 - 11:40

4 Likes

I like all of those Craft tops. Might have to go overseas to get one if they insist on not bringing them in to this country.

posted by swoosh [7 posts]
19th March 2012 - 12:44

7 Likes

I like the Carrera. Although while having a sort out recently I found a winter 2008 halfords catalogue which had the same model in it but different colour. I have seen this model shown in the recent cycling press as completely new which doesn't add up to me.

posted by Super Domestique [1627 posts]
19th March 2012 - 13:19

9 Likes

dlp wrote:
nick_rearden wrote:
Surely I'm missing something - I've only ever had a whole bike nicked, never come back to find my rear mech taken or my front brake...or my saddle...

Lucky old you. I read somewhere recently that the value of stolen bike parts is extraordinary but that hardly anyone ever reports it happening because of the unlikelihood of recovery. I mean, it's bad enough for whole bikes. Sure enough, there is less incentive to steal parts that require a degree of dexterity and cable cutting but saddles and seatposts are very easy and well worth it in the eyes of a thief where a nice saddle can easily cost £100.

posted by nick_rearden [859 posts]
19th March 2012 - 13:20

9 Likes

Super Domestique wrote:
I like the Carrera. Although while having a sort out recently I found a winter 2008 halfords catalogue which had the same model in it but different colour. I have seen this model shown in the recent cycling press as completely new which doesn't add up to me.

The name 'Virago' has been in the Carrera line for some time as our review says and it certainly would have been on a bike of a different colour but that doesn't mean the frame and components are the same. Carbon frames have come on quite a bit in four years and Shimano's 105 transmission is unrecognizable in improved performance.

posted by nick_rearden [859 posts]
19th March 2012 - 13:57

7 Likes

dlp wrote:
nick_rearden wrote:
...the only option are supplementary cables which themselves cost a minimum £10 each.

Surely I'm missing something - I've only ever had a whole bike nicked, never come back to find my rear mech taken or my front brake...or my saddle...

Yip - your missing something...the biggest reason bikes get stolen to start with...

The majority of cycles and motorcycles stolen in the UK are not sold or moved on as full bikes, they are broken up into parts which are sold via the likes of ebay etc.

This is where the money is in bike theft as its easier to convert and shift parts than bikes and harder to trace.

Prevent theives from selling parts and you will grately reduce the theft...in theory.

Very few will buy a complete bike without asking questions on ownership (if they have any morals) where as parts we buy as consumables.

If this kind of system was in place on all new bikes it would significantly reduce the theft of bikes to begin with.

Great start to the process and one I will adopt early.

posted by Farky [180 posts]
19th March 2012 - 14:00

9 Likes

@ Nick

I wasn't digging at the review here, more the way halfords are acting plus other cycling press (printed).

It does look excellent vfm as you say.

posted by Super Domestique [1627 posts]
19th March 2012 - 14:22

6 Likes

True enough I guess (apart from me being "lucky" at only having whole bikes nicked Crying ) - apologies if you felt I was digging at the review or specifically the concept, this is not the case.

However, the pinhead skewer system would probably cater for the majority of commuters/city rides, whereas the obviously more elegant and polished (and extensible) solution from atomic22 would sit better on best bikes, with the corresponding premium.

Where did you read about the value of stolen parts? Thankfully this isn't something I've had to give a whole load of thought to but I'd be interested in some more info especially considering the amount of stuff traded on theBay/Gumtree

posted by dlp [51 posts]
19th March 2012 - 20:39

5 Likes

dlp wrote:
...the pinhead skewer system would probably cater for the majority of commuters/city rides, whereas the obviously more elegant and polished (and extensible) solution from atomic22 would sit better on best bikes, with the corresponding premium.

Where did you read about the value of stolen parts?

Interestingly, we've heard rumours which we're delving into about a German cycling forum that's been collectively working on the integrity of some of the existing security bolts where a 'one-key-fits-all' solution can be over-ridden fairly simply, although we suspect that even if they are, the majority of ad hoc thefts by opportunists will still be prevented.

Annoyingly, on the second question I can't find where I read this about component thefts; I was hoping someone would help me out here but it had the ring of truth about it.

posted by nick_rearden [859 posts]
19th March 2012 - 21:16

4 Likes

It'd be interesting to see the outcome of that collaborative effort in Germany. It's all a bit moot tho': IMO unless the tea-leaf can see a QR skewer they'll probably leave it anyway. The brand or *actual* efficacy of the solution is irrelevant.

But I can see that for those who perhaps depend on their wheels for income/transport or routinely need to leave their best bike in a risky place these may provide an extra level of security.

The value of the stolen parts market would be interesting to explore. Specifically I'm referencing my love of a bargain on certain auction sites. I know some places like GGB have made a thing about the bikes for sale on their site being legit - nothing on individual parts though (not sure they even sell them tbh).

posted by dlp [51 posts]
19th March 2012 - 22:06

6 Likes