Tech Roundup: A turbo to transform winter training, KCNC Ti cables, get your Xmas shopping early, VIVA bikes deals & more
Plus turn your bike helmet into a bush hat and new full customisation from Montague full-sized folding bikes
BKOOL’s BCycling trainer systems now distributed by i-ride.co.uk
The weather's getting grottier, and there's suddenly far less incentive to get out and ride. But for success next summer it's vital to get those winter miles in, and for most people there's no more tedious way than on a turbo trainer.
It's possibly not so tedious any more though. The BKOOL BCycling system from Spain is now available to buy in the UK thanks to an exclusive new distribution partnership with i-ride.
BCycling is a trainer package with a difference. Linked to a social network, it offers the hardwear you need for indoor training, plus a smartphone app that records your outdoor rides so that you can ride your favourite training routes indoors when the weather is awful. Here's a diagram, which may or may not clear up how that works:
What's more, you've got access to more than 100 video routes, measured power output, automatic resistance changes through your laptop, online training diaries and resistance tools, the ability to race other riders, both live and recorded indoors... isn't indoor training starting to sound like fun?
Here's a little video to show you how it works.
“We didn’t realise just how far we could be drawn into turbo training, but once we started testing the BKOOL system, using our outdoor routes and competing against each other we were hooked,” said Tom Marchment of i-ride.co.uk.
“We are working closely with retailers as this is a product which excites customers when they try it out and creates a buzz on the shop floor.”
The fully built BKOOL BCycling trainer package also includes front wheel raiser block, Ant+ cadence sensor, QR Skewer and ANT+ USB dongle for around £399.99.
The package also includes 2 months Gold subscription to the BKOOL website which is normally 10 euros and allows access to the premium features such as multiplayer and using the more than 100+ streaming video routes. There are free options too, so there's no commitment to an ongoing cost.
For more information, visit i-ride.
Extra-slippy Ti cables from KCNC
These new Ti cables from KCNC are braided Ti-6Al-4V wire, which is extremely slippery, incredibly light and also pretty and gold.
They come in front and rear lengths with a small ball nipple, along with an adapter for MTB or road lever.
The slippery coating is a low-friction nano-teflon, and they come in at 7.0g and 8.6g for 1.8m and 2.1m gear cables respectively, and the brake cables 7 and 11g for 1.0m and 1.7m.
For the weight weenies among you, that's 15g lighter than some steel cables, and they'll fit regular outers. They're around £59 a pair.
For more information visit Clee Cycles.
Montague to offer fully customisable folding framesets
As you'll know from our review of the folding Montague Boston bike, a full sized 700c bike that folds up and down in seconds to fit into a car or on a train, Montague offer stiff urban bikes that simply don't ride like folders.
They've got in touch to let us know that starting in 2013 they'll be offering framesets as well as the current range of complete bikes - making them possibly the first ever fully customisable full-size folding bikes on the market.
Unlike small-wheeled folders that require unique telescoping stems, thick seat posts, and small wheel sizes, Montague’s full-size folding frames can be built up with whatever off-the-shelf components riders want.
Montague currently offer three different frame styles: two urban frames, one with horizontal dropouts and one with vertical dropouts, and one mountain bike frame.
“Montague frames are compatible with a wide variety of industry standard components, so they’re easy to customize,” said Montague Product Manager, Jonathan Vandenberg.
“Montague riders have been sending us pictures of their unique builds for years, but since frames weren’t available, they had to purchase the complete bike and strip it down. So for the 25th anniversary of Montague’s full-size bikes that fold, we decided that it was time to offer folding frames for fully-customized builds.”
It's a win for dealers as well as consumers, says Vandenburg.
"When a dealer sells a frame, he is more likely to also sell all the other high margin components to build out the bike, thus increasing his profit. We think this program will go a long way toward building strong and lasting relationships between Montague riders and their dealers" - and that could mean more Montagues in shops near you.
For more information visit Montague Bikes.
New mugs from Cycling Souvenirs
Those nice people that bought you the Classic Climb Kilometre Marker models that we briefly looked at earlier in the year have just
launched a pair of mugs to drink your pre-col coffee out of.
The Col du Tourmalet Mug replicates their KM markers with the name of the climb, road number and altitude on the one side whilst
the other has a profile of the Western approach up the infamous mountain. The second “I Love Giro” design does exactly what it
says on the mug, printed on both sides with a big pink heart and an Italian flag.
Both mugs are £7.99 each from Cycling Souvenirs.
Helmet visors for REALLY sunny days.
We're all aware that cycle helmets make most people look a bit... special. But if you want to go the extra mile, or perhaps you're touring the Mojave desert, we've spotted an accessory you just won't be able to live without.
The Da Brim range of USA-made cycle helmet brims offer a look for every occasion.
The 'Classic' transforms your everyday cycling helmet into an Australian bush hat (corks on strings are optional). It works with virtually any cycle helmet "to increase your enjoyment of a ride in the cool comfort of shade". It's actually well thought-through, with an adjustable front visor so you can really get onto the drops and still see, and adjustment in the back so it won't interfere with backpacks.
It's tested to combined windspeeds of 25mph (that's your speed AND the headwind) so not one for the speediest, perhaps. Oh no: the blurb says: "Note: This model is not designed for high speed downhill descents or performance cycling."
Ok, but don't worry. There's also the 'Sporty' model. Smaller in the visor region, but boasting a 35mph combined windspeed. And not to mention the 'Rezzo', which is a sort of baseball cap attachment for your helmet. It doesn't say what windspeed it can cope with, but it's specifically designed for 'breezy areas'.
If any of that floats your boat, they're around 35 dollars from Da Brim.
Killer deals on VIVA range at Brick Lane Bikes
If you've got your eye on a bike from the VIVA range, get on the blower to Brick Lane Bikes as fast as possible.
They've got 14 models of the stylish steeds, but what's more they are all at 50% off or more.
There's something for everyone, including Dutch style elegant rides, single speeds and roadsters.
Stock is limited, pre-orders are recommended and the full catalogue of VIVA bikes is available to be drooled over here.
For more information visit Brick Lane Bikes.