Tech Roundup: iCranks power measurement, GripGrab stuff to keep you toasty, Polar Xmas gift guide, Fibre Flare & more
Plus: Craft hooded jackets, tool for your Tern, handy folding bike stands
iCranks new generation power measurement system
PowerCranks have been around for a while. They have a clutch between the two crank arms so they can move independently, the idea being that you can train the power strokes on each leg independently. What happened is that if you didn't pedal smoothly, the cranks ended up out of line.
It's fair to say that most coaches are sceptical of the idea, but this version with a built-in power meter can be used for training with power, which is the gold standard of training measurement these days.
The adjustable crank length can go from 145mm to 180mm, and the power output is measured on the actual length of crank you choose to ride.
Information about your riding can be viewed on a Garmin or iPhone, among other devices.
If you're a triathlete, the promise is that your running speed could increase by "a minute per mile faster in 3 months", and it claims "VO2max 15-20% improvements have been shown".
The whole system costs 3100 Australian dollars, which at time of writing is a shade under £2000.
For more information, go to iCranks
New CRAFT hooded jackets
Perfect for pre and post-race cosiness, CRAFT have just announced their 'active full zip hood' - that's essentially a hoody made of technical materials to you and me.
It has a full-length zip and features a softly brushed interior to snuggle right into. Its technical thermal material (aka fleece) keeps you cool when you heat up during training, but it's marketed as being just as useful on the sofa, which we like the sound of.
Ok, it's not just a fleece. It has a smooth outer coating that offers a bit of wind resistance and has handwarmer pockets.
They're selling at about £51.99 online.
For more information see CRAFT
New to the UK: GripGrab gloves, overshoes and headwear
Wiggle is now the exclusive UK stockist for the Danish brand of gloves and other cycling accessories GripGrab. It's all designed with cold, wet and windy in mind (that's Denmark for you).
There's every type of skullcap under the sun to keep you warm under your helmet, including snuggly, windproof and even a balaclava-style, for when it gets really horrible out there.
There's also a complete range of overshoes and gloves to keep your fingers and toes toasty - both inner and outer gloves - and there's a decent kid's and women's range too.
Prices start at £11.66 for a skullcap and rise to £53 for the toastiest gloves.
For more info, see Wiggle
Fibre Flare lights get a new look
Miss the 80s? Get a little disco flavour for your bike with the new range of Fibre Flare lights.
We reviewed these little glo-stick -style lights back in 2009, but they've come out with a new range of colours and styles for use on bikes.
If you want the technical explanation, they have "a flexible solid core side emitting fibre optic element interposed between two electronic housing ends; inside each of the housing ends is a high intensity LED".
What that means in practice is a light that can be seen from all angles, and is visible up to 300m away. And it looks like a glo-stick.
The lights come in red, green, amber and blue, so light your bike up like a Christmas tree to stay safe now the nights are drawing in.
The tail lights only come in red, but there's a side light you could use anywhere and also an MVP - a long wraparound light that's designed to wraparound the back of your helmet for extra visibility.
Prices start at around £16.
For more info visit Fibre Flare
Tern Tool Multi-tool
Does the world need another multi-tool? No? Not even one with a high-leverage 15 mm wrench for axle nuts and pedals? Oh ok then.
This little model from Tern comes with 20 tools for all the parts found on a Tern bicycle - perhaps the perfect present for the folder fanatic in your life.
“We designed the Tern Tool to be the only tool you need when you set off for a ride on your Tern,” said Joshua Hon, Tern vice president.
“But it’ll also work well for those fixie riders who’ve searched high and low for a mini-tool with a 15 mm wrench. As far as we know, it’s the only bicycle mini-tool with a 15 mm wrench. A lot of our bikes come with internal hub gears so you need a long leverage 15 mm to get those beefy axle nuts off.”
Patented StuckNut™ technology securely locks the wrenches to the tool body, so the body becomes an extended handle and gives a total of 15 cm of leverage.
The included neoprene cover can be slipped onto the body handle for a more comfortable grip. The tool folds into a compact package weighing 175 g.
The RRP is around 40 Euros.
For more information see Tern
Folding Andystand bike stand
Andystand, the one-man Yorkshire bike stand operation, churns out clamp-free maintenance stands that work by sliding into the crankset axle, keeping your carbon bits out of harm's way. Andy and his stands have a shiny new website, as well as new campag-compatible models in both fixed and folding bike stands.
The folding stand, which is a bit different, comes in 10 funky colours, made using high quality powdercoated and zinc plated steel tubing, and folds into a bag for neat safekeeping.
It's portable enough to stick in the back of the car for pre-race tweaking, and everything's made in Yorkshire, which is nice.
Folding stands start at £44.99, and fixed at £39.99.
Check out the Andystand site.
Polar launch Christmas gift guide
Fitness gifts for Christmas? You'd need to know your audience, to be sure of avoiding tears and 'are you saying I'm fat?' - especially post-turkey - but if you're sure it's what your beloved is after, the Polar gift guide is here and it's tempting enough to do some 'self-gifting'.
If it's a lady friend you're choosing for, you could do a lot worse than the RCX3 in white, designed to look less like a calculator strapped to your arm.
Smart training features provide easy guidance during a workout, and immediate feedback after exercise gives extra motivation. It’s adaptable to virtually any sport, counts your calories and lets you quickly analyze results on the spot or online.
It's available for £259.50 with a GPS sensor.
For more info visit Polar