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Tech Roundup: Shimano, FSA, Charge, Endura, Ridley, Starley, Quechua

The latest and hottest tech of the week including a Christmas saddle from Charge

Charge offer Santa’s Spoon saddle

Charge have launched a limited edition Christmas version of their Spoon saddle with the tagline ‘From “Ho Ho Ho” to “Go Go Go!’. Silly turkeys.

It’s handmade from faux fur and red suede and it comes embroidered with ‘Seasons greetings’ on the rear panel. The rails on this version are cromo steel. The saddle is sold with fabric bag and packaged in a custom Charge saddle builder box, so we’re saying that it would make a good gift... possibly for yourself.

The price is £29.99 and each saddle will be delivered by 18 December, so in plenty of time for Christmas. Order at Charge’s website


Shimano XC90 shoe vid

Shimano have produced a video to show off their XC90 shoe that’s used by a lot of cyclocross pros. It has a price tag to match its status: £319.99. Here’s that vid...


Quechua launch ‘mountainproof’ phone

Quechua have just launched what they’re calling ‘the first mountainproof smartphone’, the Quechua Phone 5”, which boast features that should be useful to cyclists.

The phone has a shock-absorbent rubber surround, the internal assembly is reinforced and the screen is made from a toughened glass. It is said to have excellent protection from the weather with the ability to withstand water splattering and mud, according to the manufacturer.

It comes with a GPS and barometric altimeter and is fitted with a Qualcomm 8225Q, Quadcore 1.2GHz processor for fast navigation. It has a 5-inch screen (you might have guessed that from the name!) and is compatible with every phone operator.

The Quechua Phone 5” is priced at £199.99 and is on sale at Decathlon’s website and via their Surrey Quays store


FSA extend carbon warranty to four years in UK

FSA, or Full Speed Ahead if you want to be all formal about it, have introduced a new programme that extends their warranty on carbon products from two years up to four years. At the moment, this is just for us lot in the UK although it will soon be available in Italy, France, Spain, Germany and Benelux too. You can benefit from this if you buy a Plasma or K-Wing handlebar or any product in the K-Force or SL-K Series.

When opening the packaging of these products you'll see a card with the product's unique registration number. Rather than putting it to one side and eventually losing it or chucking it in the bin like you usually do, follow the instructions on the card and you will receive a confirmation e-mail shortly afterwards.


Sugru magnet sets available for pre-order

Sugru are releasing new magnet sets priced at £10 to attach things like bike lights to your handlebars.

The Sugru material feels a lot like Play-Doh when you remove it from the pack but once moulded and left overnight it turns into flexible silicone rubber. Clever, huh? It’s waterproof, heatproof to 180°C and coldproof to -50°C.


The magnet set comprises a tin contains three packs of Sugru and four strong neodymium magnets. You bond each magnet in place with the Sugru, leave it overnight and you’re good to go.

Sugru was developed as a hack for fixing a bike light to the handlebars when the mount broke, and the brand think this is still a great use for the finished product.

It looks like the sort of stuff you’ll find a million uses for around the home too. You can pre-order now with the kits shipping in January.


Starley’s cardboard pop-up mall

Starley Bikes, in collaboration with the Starley Primal Pro Cycling team, have a new pop-up mall made entirely from cardboard. Everything is cardboard from the sofas, chairs and changing rooms to the walls, desks and tables. Outside The Box has been made using bike, frame and wheel boxes.

The pop-up mall will appear in different locations around the country for a limited time, bringing the team sponsors' products together in one location. Those sponsors include (name check alert!) Starley Bikes, Primal Cycling clothing, Meccanica Casual clothing, Bullitt Cargo Bikes, Purple Harry cleaning products, Crank photos and Salice helmets and eyewear. Oh, and Pact supply the coffee.

The pop-up mall has already popped up for the first time. It’s open from 10am to 6pm, Tuesdays until Sundays, at 74-84 George Street, Altrincham, Cheshire.

Swing by and take a look... but no naked flames.


Vangard’s retro collection

Vangard have a new retro range that looks pretty cool to us. The Danish company has been making technical base layers since 1946 and only recently started to apply their techniques to other sorts of clothing. The Retro Jacket pictured here is the most expensive item in the range at £129.99. There are long and short-sleeve jerseys and a hat too.

For more details head to the Todays Cyclist website


Whackjob’s bamboo socks

Devon based Whackjob have launched their new bamboo socks – that’s socks containing bamboo rather than socks made entirely from bamboo. Obviously.

Whackjob have been shouting about the benefits of bamboo in ride clothing since their launch in 2011. Bamboo is naturally anti-bacterial so it’s highly resistant to nasty smells, and it is said to have excellent moisture wicking properties to help get sweat away from your feet.

Whackjob reckon that their bamboo socks are incredibly soft and comfortable. They’re reinforced in the key wear areas and are priced at £12 a pair. For more information on the Whackjob range – which also includes T-shirts, base layers an hoodies – visit


Give the gift of cycle maintenance this year

If you’re looking for an unusual Christmas present for a fellow cyclist, gift vouchers are now available for Cycle Systems’ one-day basic bike maintenance course.

Courses takes place in London and they provide an introduction to cycle maintenance for complete beginners with absolutely no prior knowledge required.

The courses take place mainly at weekends with the syllabus including tyres, tubes and punctures, brakes, gearing system and bearings. Students are encouraged to bring and work on their own bike for the course.

The price of the course is £120 and includes all instruction and spares. For more info go to the Cycle Systems website.


Christmas gift packs from Endura

If you’re after a more conventional present, clothing brand Endura have put together some gift packs for discerning cyclists.

The Baabaa Gift Pack (£34.99) contains black versions of the Baabaa Merino Tech Multitube, Baabaa Merino Skullcap and Baabaa Merino Winter Sock, all made from finest merino wool.

The Retro Gift Pack (£22.99) includes the Retro Cap and a twin pack of Retro Socks. Both giftpacks are available in size S/M and L/XL.



Cannondale Pro Cycling's new Sidis

What's that you say? "I wouldn't mind a gander at Cannondale Pro Cycling's 2014 team shoes from Sidi."

This is your lucky day...

They're Sidi Wire Carbons and, as you can see, they're very green. 


Win a Ridley Noah FAST

It's not really tech news but you can be in with a chance of winning a Noah Ridley Fast over on the Ridley website at the moment simply by filling in a form. If your name gets pulled out of the hat you'll get the opportunity to choose the colours of the frameset too.

It has to be worth a go so head over to Ridley's site now. Good luck.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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