Here's our roundup of all the most interesting technical news from the world of road cycling, starting with some very distinctive looking wheels...
As if Lightweight Meilenstein wheels weren’t exclusive enough already, now you can get a version with graphics added by rie:sel.
And this is the Cobblestone version.
They’re not exactly cheap, mind. A set of tubular wheels is priced at €4,050 while clinchers are €4,400. Go to www.riesel-design.com.
Like cycling? Hell, yeah! Like Heinz Tomato Ketchup? Uh-huh! Well, you’re in luck because now you can combine your interests with a Heinz Tomato Ketchup cycling jersey from Foska.
Foska are the people who brought you Marmite, Fullers London Pride and Pukka Pies jerseys, among others.
The jersey is made from Coolmax, has a three-quarter length zip and comes in a ‘sport’ cut which is said to be snug but not too tight.
The Heinz Tomato Ketchup jersey is available in both men’s and women’s versions at £48.95. You can buy direct from Foska at www.foska.com.
Tern have announced the Tern Perch wall mount which they say is a simple but robust system for storing bikes inside a house or flat.
The Perch is made from thick 5052 aluminum plate with a matt, sandblast finish. Tern say that it can support bikes (not just Tern bikes) up to 18kg (40lb) with handlebars up to 640mm (25.2in) wide.
Rubberized grips hold the seat tube or seatpost while gravity keeps the bike firmly in place. Slots in the Perch allow you to attach a lock, helmet and clothing. It comes with full mounting hardware for wood and concrete walls.
The Tern Perch is now available at US$70 (about £41.50) from Tern dealers or at www.premiumbikegear.com.
Prendas are stocking Cinelli/Columbus team kit made by Santini. The jersey is £55, the bib shorts are £59.95, the Coolmax socks are £9.95 and the cotton cap is £9.95. Go to www.prendas.co.uk
Clearspace Buildings have unveiled the UK’s first moveable, standalone external shower and changing facilities, which enable cyclists and runners to change and wash at work.
Clearspace Buildings say that the standard Shower Hub, comprising two separate shower and change facilities, is clad in sustainable cedar wood, takes up two car parking spaces and can be installed and connected to power and water in less than a day. Shower Hubs can be installed in tight spaces, including underground or multi-storey car parks.
The first unit was recently unveiled at Watford Hospital where it forms part of the Cycle Pit Stop, comprising bike stands, secure storage and a repair station.
In many cases, the Shower Hub may attract a Local Sustainable Transport Fund grant.
This Is Cambridge come from, yes, you guessed, Cambridge, and they say that they don’t just make cycling caps, they tailor them. Each of their range of classic, urban and road caps is completely handmade in the cycling city. Cut, sewn and crafted by hand on sewing machines, each cap comes in five sizes, designed to fit beautifully on your head and fit comfortably under a helmet as well.
Their Panache road cap is an unlined contemporary twist on the classic cycling cap. Made from high wicking brushed cotton, each cap has a traditional millinery headband and detailing. The four-panel construction is cut to hug the contours of the head without being too snug. The hard, flippable peak has been designed with function and flair in mind with a slightly wider shape than normal providing additional protection from the elements. The underside is printed in a variety of graphic options. All of this hand-craftedness and rakishness will cost you £23.
The inspiration for the This is Cambridge Blood, Sweat & Gears cap came to them while thumbing through some old cycling photo archives. The final product is a contemporary interpretation of the team rider look of the 1940s and 50s. This unlined cycling cap is made from brushed cotton. Costing £20, the Blood, Sweat & Gears cap has a five-panel construction and, like the Panache, a hard, flippable peak. Each casquette has a traditional millinery petersham headband and cap detailing.
Visit the This Is Cambridge website for more info.
The Caffè Italiano coffee bags feature the logo of La Squadra-Nonnas cycling club and team. The club is passionate not only about road cycling heritage and culture but also about Italian coffee – a diversity reflected in the club’s motto, ‘non riguarda sempre e solo la bici’. That means ‘it’s not always about the bike.’
The coffee is created for La Squadra by expert Italian coffee producers Caffè Vero of Vicenza. Using the same blend served in Nonnas' restaurant, Caffè Italiano combines the flavours of Arabica and Robusta to give a creamy coffee with a soft, chocolatey after-taste.
Available as beans or ground, Maglia Rosa is suitable for coffee machines, stove-tops, percolators and cafetières, It costs £4.25 per 150g pack and can be bought at www.lasquadra.co.uk/shop.
Freitag have launched a couple of new bags aimed at urban riders.
The F151 Victor is described as a ‘padded, variable, fit-it-all-in messenger backpack with a water-repelling roll-down flap.’
The pack is made from used truck tarps and has a water-repelling roll-down flap. It measures 350mm x 140mm x 430mm, and will go up to 550mm when extended. The volume is 16 to 23 litres and it is priced at £230.
The F153 Jamie is ‘the messenger hipbag that never bends out of shape thanks to its double-belt anti-torsion system.’
It has a zipped outside pocket and an adjustable U-lock holder. It measures 185mm x 55mm x 125mm and is priced at £90.
See the full range at www.freitag.ch.
It’s a T-shirt with pictures of bike bits on it, and it’ll set you back £20 from the Angela Chick website.
The same image is available as an A3 print for £22.
Merckx 69, a new photographic book on Eddy Merckx by Jan Maes & Tonny Strouken, will be published next month.
The book documents the Belgian rider in 1969, a year in which he won the Tour de France (including the points, mountains, combativity and combination classifications), Paris-Nice, Milan San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Liège–Bastogne–Liège, Super Prestige Pernod. International
It features previously unpublished photographs by Tonny Strouken, who spent most of 1969 following Merckx, and is written by Jan Maes, a friend of Merckx. The prologue is written by Eddy Merckx himself.
Merckx 69 will be published in hardback by Bloomsbury Sport on 5 June. The price is £35. www.bloomsbury.com/uk/merckx-69-9781472910646
Swiss Side have been in the wind tunnel with the production specification of their Hadron wheels and they claim that the wheels outperform the best aero wheels from major brands.
“Not only did the production wheels improve performance on the wind tunnel prototypes but with further tyre testing we’ve been able to demonstrate that the Hadron performance is better than any competitor wheel we have tested to date,” said Swiss Side Technical Director Jean-Paul Ballard.
Swiss Side say that only one competitor came close to the Hadron in aero performance. They don’t name it but with a 60mm deep and 27mm wide rim, a custom aero tyre fitted and a blending strip to smooth the gap between the braking surface and the tyre, it’s presumably the Mavic Cosmic CXR 60 T.
Of course, these are Swiss Side’s own figures and other brands would probably dispute them. Read the results for yourself at www.swissside.com/1429.
Interestingly, Swiss Side say that they will host a wind tunnel test during 2014 Eurobike week (late August) and will be inviting media editors to bring any wheelset along to put up against the Hadron.
You can now pre-order Hadron wheels for €799 (in EU, including VAT and shipping) or €665.83 (outside EU, excluding VAT and shipping) and despatch will begin on 30 June.
For more info go to www.swissside.com.
More ILE (Inside Line Equipment) bags, handmade in California, will now be available in the UK.
We reviewed the Default rucksack here on road.cc a few months ago and were impressed by its sturdiness and well thought-outness.
The ILE Rack Bag (£125) is available with either a Cordura or waxed canvas exterior, it uses ABS plastic and an EVA foam base for structure, and it comes with a vinyl interior to keep your stuff safe inside. It has two straps and a detachable shoulder strap, and its volume is 42 litres.
The Flaptop bag (£185) is designed ‘to blend the best features of a messenger bag with the all day comfort of a backpack.’
It is made from 1000d Cordura and offers 32 litres of stowage through a large main compartment, twin external pockets and a weatherproof laptop sleeve. A twin set of buckles allows regular cargo to be easily carried, and also lets you take much more bulky items.
The bags include lifetime warranty on materials and craftsmanship. For more info go to www.vamperformance.com/en-GB/ILE-Bags
TheBikeFit app is designed to capture video of you cycling on your bike on a trainer, and then allows you to analyse still images of your position.
It’s not designed to replace a professional fit. Instead, the idea is that you get a proper dynamic fit, then use the app to record that fit and monitor the effect of minor adjustments to your position. It’ll allow you to measure the angles of various joints at different stages of your pedal stroke.
TheBikeFit app is available for iPhone only at the moment although an android version is being considered.
The Road Cyclist’s Companion is a new book by Peter Drinkell that is designed to provide a guide to the form and etiquette of cycling.
“From how to choose the right bike frame to the rules of cycling in a paceline, there are things that any serious cyclist should know,” says the blurb. “Broken into chapters covering kit, bike, group riding, cycle technique and training, The Road Cyclist’s Companion is an essential book for anyone looking to step up their cycling ambitions.”
We happen to know Peter Drinkell and his photography is always superb.
The book goes on sale next month in hardback priced £14.95. www.cicadabooks.co.uk/the-road-cyclists-companion
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 road.cc 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.