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Tech Roundup: Featuring Charge, Muc-Off, Swiss Side...

Plus a bag that can be worn in over 1,000 different ways and a water bottle designed especially for your jersey pocket

It's an eclectic mix in this week's Tech Roundup covering a brand new lube developed with Team Sky, a water bottle designed especially for a jersey pocket, and an aluminium tricycle for carrying your kids. We start, though, with a sneak peek at a new bike from Charge. 

New aluminium Plug coming from Charge

Charge have a new aluminium (6061 alloy) Plug in the offing, judging by this pic they stuck up on Instagram earlier in the week. The current Plugs in the lineup are made from various types of steel.

This bike appears to be a singlespeed.

Then Charge stuck up this pic. That looks like a Plug decal on the down tube, poking out from behind the chainset, but the frame has wishbone seatstays and fatter tubes than any existing Plug. Could that be the same aluminium frame as the one above, just in a different colour?

This Plug also appears to have a carbon fork, whereas existing Plugs have steel forks.

We’ll see if we can get any more info out of Charge.


Muc-Off launch Hydrodynamic Chain Lube

Muc-Off has launched its Hydrodynamic Chain Lube that is said to have been designed in collaboration with Team Sky to lubricate chains over long distances and during harsh weather conditions.

“Hand blended in the UK, we used the finest ingredients to create a sophisticated, synergistic blend of esters coupled with aerospace quality based oil lubrication, before packing it with ground-breaking extreme pressure additives,” say Muc-Off. “All this means it’s possible to create a high strength film forming lubricant, which prevents metal-to-metal contact to ensure peak performance, even under the most extreme workloads that a pro peloton can throw at it.”

Muc-Off say that they built a Chain Lube Optimisation Dyno to develop the product – a machine that has the ability to test any lubricant and provide quantitative data on its performance. They say that this machine helped them arrive at a ‘groundbreaking formula [that] strikes the perfect balance between chain lube efficiency and resistance to environmental conditions... the ultimate protection with an incredibly low friction coefficient’.

Hydrodynamic Chain Lube isn't cheap, though. It's £16 for 50ml.

Swiss Side 485 and 800+ Hadron aero wheels available for pre-order

Swiss Side have released the final specs of their new 485 and 800+ aero wheels and announced that the wheels are available to pre-order at a special low price until 12 May.

The Hadron 485s are built with 48.5mm-deep hybrid alu/carbon rims with a maximum profile width of 24mm and a brake track width of 23mm. The claimed weights are 732g (f) and 907g (r). The front wheel is priced at €450, the rear at €529, although if you buy the pair they’re €979 (within the EU).

The Hadron 800+ has an 80mm-deep alu/carbon front rim and an 85mm-deep rear rim. The brake track diameter is again 23mm while the maximum profile width is 28mm. The claimed weights are 816g (f) and 999g (r). The front wheel is €506, the rear is 593, and if you buy them as a pair they’re €1,099 (within EU).

The prices will increase after 12 May.

For more info, including wind tunnel reports, go to

New Finn smartphone mount

We really liked the original BikeCityGuide Finn smartphone mount (pictured) when we reviewed it here on Now they’ve updated the mount for larger sized smartphones like the iPhone 6 and the Galaxy S.

The new Finn will be available at from 9 April. It will be priced €15.

New Restrap Unite bag

Yorkshire pedal straps, bags and accessories.brand Restrap is launching a new Unite bag that it says can be worn in over 1,000 different ways.

“Unite is a durable roll-top backpack,” says Restrap. “It can be rolled flat when empty, or expand to 30L when full. To accompany it are a set of modules: two pouches, a bottle holster, and a waistband. Powerful magnets allow each module to be securely attached in a range of positions and in any combination.”

The waistband can be removed and worn separately with the pouches, or adapted as a smaller bag.

The Unite is priced at £139. All Restrap products are handmade in Yorkshire.

For more info go to


New range of trikes from Boxer Cycles

Dorset-based Boxer Cycles have a new range of tricycles headed up by the child-carrying Boxer Rocket, which you might have spotted at The London Bike Show earlier in the year.

Its designer, Jeremy Davies, says he was inspired by 1930s airliners, Flash Gordon and Jules Verne.

The Boxer Rocket is made of lightweight aluminium and is designed and built in the company’s Dorset factory.

The Rocket comes in two models – an electric version with a 36V 11.4Ah battery and 250W motor and a non-electric version with 24 speed gears and a 'crawler gear' for steep hills.

The cargo box is designed to carry up to four children. The electric version’s battery is contained in a storage locker under the back seat.

The Rocket is equipped with a complete motorcycle lighting package including turn signal indicators, high and low beam headlight, a horn and a rear stop/tail light.

The Rocket uses Magura 'Big Twin' disc brakes with 180mm front rotors.

It is priced from £4,800 to £5,500.

There are several other cargo trikes in the range with prices starting at £750.

BackBottle pocket-friendly water bottle seeks funding

A pocket-friendly water bottle called BackBottle has achieved its funding target on Kickstarter with a few days left of the campaign to run.

Rather than fitting to your bike via a bottle cage, the BackBottle is shaped to fit easily in a jersey pocket and not come out unexpectedly.

The BackBottle holds 532ml and measures 22cm long with a 7.5cm diameter.

You need to pledge US$10 to receive a bottle. 

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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