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Tech round-up: Sticky rubber, FSA vids, value lids, Comtat opens showroom, Pragmasis locks up & more

Vittoria gets sticky, Boardman adds lids


Vittoria Corsa SR: new tyres with ISOGrip super-grippy rubber

Tyre maker Vittoria is claiming a breakthrough in grip with its new Corsa SR clincher and tubular tyres that feature the company’s new rubber compound, ISOGrip.

Through 2011 and 2012 Vittoria has been investing in research and development, devoting an entire factory in Thailand to producing the new tread rubber.

Vittoria claims: “In wet or dry conditions, ISOGrip lets you go over the limit: a level of adherence to the ground never felt before, no increase in rolling resistance and a maximum grip and speed on race tyres.”

What’s the catch? Well, in its chart of tread compound characteristics, Vittoria rates ISOGrip worst for durability, so these ae probably tyres you want to keep for race day and not use for fixie skid-stops.

The new compound will feature on all Vittoria tyres that have a cotton carcass, such as the Corsa CX and Pave CG, plus a new tyre, the Crsa SR.

There will be clincher and tubular versions of the Corsa SR with a 320tpi cotton casing and 24mm cross-section (probably - the announcement is written in lovely ‘Campagnolo Spoken Here’ Italglish.)

Vittoria says: “The Corsa SR meets the needs of the most sensitive cyclists. All parameters of this rubber are designed to ensure the maximum performance: the grip and smoothness of Corsa SR will always excel. In wet or dry conditions, on uneven or smooth grounds, uphill or downhill, Corsa SR always brings you over the limit.”

For more information see


FSA launches video channel

Component make Full Speed Ahead (best known by the TLA FSA) has always been keen on using video to tell the world about its cranks, wheels, aerobars and more.

A new channel, FSA TV, gathers it all into a one-stop-shop to satisfy all your FSA moving pictures needs.

FSA’s Gloria Radaelli said: “On FSA TV you can find video ranging from sponsored teams behind the scenes at major races, to technical instructions on different bike components, to events we visit around the world... and more! We will add new content regularly.”

Want a taste? Course you do. Here’s Vaconsoleil’s Gustav Larsen taking delivery of a monster 58-tooth chainring and explaining why he wants it. (We'd show you it here, but FSA's embed codes don't seem to work...)



Comtat Cycling opens London showroom

Up-and-coming high-end bike company Comtat Cycling has opened a new appointment-only showroom within EnergyLab, in Scrutton St, Shoreditch.

Founded in 2009, Comtat produces handmade, Italian, carbon road-bikes with, it says here, a focus on performance and style.

Comtat owner and founder, Adam Roberts says: “We’ve had an internet presence for some three year now and whilst that was doing well in terms of components, when it comes to our bikes, you really need to be able to see them in the flesh and pick them up to really appreciate them.”

The new showroom offers a lot more than just a chance to fondle some lovingly-assembled composites, though. You can discuss your bike requirements, get a professional bike-fit, have a VO2 max test, view the other bikes on offer, such as the Formigli range or just have a coffee (Italian-style, natch) and a chat.

For your more personal needs EnergyLab offers a triathlon coach and personal trainer, an osteopath and sports massage expert. There’s even a spinning studio, BOOM! Cycle downstairs. We’re getting tired just thinking about it all.

Roberts says: “We wanted to create a complete cycling destination. Somewhere cyclists could come and receive the VIP treatment in stylish and comfortable surroundings.

“In a lot of bike shops it can be noisy, busy and distracting. We wanted to create something more peaceful and minimalist where we can take the time to really listen to our customers and offer them bespoke solutions to their needs, the cycling equivalent to a Savile Row Tailor. With the Comtat Showroom I think we’ve achieved this.”

Comtat also offers a bike box hie service, so if you’re taking a your bike overseas but don’t have your own bike box, you can choose from Polaris Eva Pod, Polaris Pro Pod and Bike Box Alan boxes.

To make an appointment, email or call 0845 299 6103.

The Comtat showroom is housed in EnergyLab, 2-8 Scrutton St London, Greater London EC2A 4RT.


New lids from Halfords

High Street bike shop chain Halfords has announced a bunch of new helmets (a crash? a crunch? a cushion? what’s the collective noun here anyway?) under the Boardman and HardnutZ labels.

The Boardman Team lid features a single-handed RC5 fit system with a soft matt finish and a yellow and reflective rear panel. The universal fit makes it suitable for most riders with adjustment from 56 to 61.5cm. Available in stores from August it will cost £49.99.

The ProC features an extra strong, lightweight carbon fibre internal structure and 22 vents to help to increase air flow and ventilation. A detachable visor makes this helmet suitable for both road and mountain use. It’s available now for £69.99.

For riders on a tighter budget, the new HardnutZ range includes the movie-influenced design called The Dogz (“Let’s go work”) and quirky farmyard animal themed Old Macdonald at £29.99 each. And if a shiny ‘pot’ style helmet is your style (or, let’s be honest about the demographic, your kids’), there’s the Chrome Finish Street Bike Helmet at £39.99.

HardnutZ also includes regular helmets, with and without peaks for off-road and road riding, though confusingly Halfords calls them all road bike helmets. Patterns include the Tuitty Fruity design or the Rock Hard black and white pattern, both £49.99.

For Autumn winter an extended HardnutZ range of high visibility reflective helmets will be launched, including, pink, silver and even matt and gloss blacks. The yellow high viz landing in selected stores ready for the clocks going back.

For more information, check out


Pragmasis launches Shed Shackle for metal sheds & new website

The bike security gurus at Pragmasis have just revamped their website and launched, among other things, a new reinforcement kit aimed at owners of metal bike sheds and a fitting kit for mounting their Torc ground anchor to a block wall.

We have to admit a huge geek-crush on Pragmasis. Making great security products sounds mundane, but the Pragmasis site is full of straight-talking sound advice, and the locks, chains and ground anchors on offer flat-out work without costing the earth.

Our favourite lock-busting experts, whom we’ll call Fingers and Smash because they work for Another Publishing Company, always come away defeated from Pragmasis gear till they break out the angle-grinding big guns. Even then it takes them longer to get through a Pragmasis chain than just about anything else.

So without further ado, we recommend you get over to and take a look.

Still here? All right then, we’ll tell you more.

As we said earlier, new gear on offer from Pragmasis includes an internal reinforcement system for steel bike sheds. It turns out some of these can be breached quite easily even if you use good locks, so Pragmasis has developed a version of the Shed Shackle (originally intended to boost security of wooden sheds) specifically for them.

There’s also a new new Block Wall fitting kit for the Pragmasis Torc ground anchor. Stephen Briggs of Pragmasis says this is “the only 8-bolt-fixing ground anchor on the market and means you can get a much higher level of security if you have no choice but to use a blockwork wall in your garage.”

If you’re able to dig a hole and pour some fresh concrete, Pragmasis has also come up with a base for the Torc anchor that extends into it.

Finally, Pragmasis 11mm and 13mm chains are now available in a ‘noose chain’ option with a larger, round link at one end. This allows you to make a short loop of chain to secure an object and then attach it to something a distance away without using a heavy, expensive huge single loop of chain.


Cyclefit partners with Enfield’s Stephen James Cycles

Bike fit specialist CycleFit has expanded its network of partner stores with the addition of Stephen James Cycles in Enfield.

The shop’s fitter, James Hewitt is a former elite rider who used to ride for a continental development team in France and held an elite amateur license.

Cyclefit director Phil Cavell says: “James uniquely combines his elite-racing history and sports-science degree with his recent high-level training at Cyclefit to provide his customers exceptional levels of service and insight.

“James' combination of skills and experience, as well as his passion has driven him to the very top echelons of the fitting community in relatively short time. He is a real talent in our industry.”

Moa the green balm treats cuts and scrapes with yarrow

Human beings have been using the herb yaoow for literally tens of thousands of years. It was one of the plants identified at Shanidar IV, a Neanderthal flower burial in northern Iraq, dated circa 60,000 ago.

More recently it had a reputation as an aid to healing wounds, an was supposedly carried by the Greek hero Achilles who is said to have used it to treat his wounded soldiers on the battlegrounds of Troy. That’s where it gets its Latin name, achillea millefolium.

The manufacturers of Moa the green balm reckon that putting it in a soothing ointment is an easier way to use yarrow than keeping a bunch of the leaves to hand. It comes in a pocket sized pot and it contains other natural ingredients such as tea tree, coconut oil, sweet almond oil and beeswax. It can be used to soothe, nourish and renew dry skin, bumps, bites, grazes and minor burns.

Could be just the thing if you’re one of those riders who always seems to pick up mysterious scrapes and bumps, Moa the green balm could be just the thing.

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arrieredupeleton | 11 years ago

Gustav Larsen video works now. He needs a 58T chainring for his TT bike and no inner chainring! Sounds ideal for those downhill TT courses....

Raleigh | 11 years ago

Where's Gustav's vid?

Gkam84 | 11 years ago

Thanks for the info on the shed shackle. I've just been lining up a new shed as my stable of bikes expands, I'm being force out of the house. But the only wooden shed isn't up to much  4

1961BikiE | 11 years ago

He didn't put any on his heel though did he? Silly Greek.

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