We start this week’s Tech Roundup with the news that British brand Forme are giving away a £7,000 carbon road bike in a competition currently running on their website. They’ve joined up with Action Medical Research to give one lucky cyclist the chance to get his/her hands on a handbuilt top-of-the-range Forme.
What do you have to do to be in with a chance of winning, you ask? Just buy a £10 raffle ticket, and a winner will be drawn at the Champions of CycleSport dinner at the Hurlington Club, London, 28 November 2013. Funds raised will go to the charity, and one happy person will walk off with a brand new bike.
The bike they’re putting up as a prize is a Forme Flash, a carbon-fibre frame with details including a BB86 bottom bracket and tapered head tube, including a carbon fork. The frame will be built with the rare and exclusive Campagnolo 80th Anniversary groupset, so you’ll be the envy of all your mates. The bike is completed with Campagnolo Bora One carbon tubular wheels and a 4ZA Cirrus Pro handlebar, stem, seatpost and saddle.
Find out here more about this competition over at their website.
FSA launched their first hydraulic disc brake for the mountain bike market this week, and while that might not be especially relevant to roadies (unless you’re building a disc-equipped flat bar road bike) it does perhaps signal that there could be a potential road-specific hydraulic disc brake on the way.
FSA are big in the road market, and with the likes of Shimano, SRAM and TRP releasing hydraulic road disc brakes this year, and the growth of road bikes with disc brakes, FSA surely won’t want to miss out. So, having developed these disc brakes, it shouldn’t be too tricky to develop a road version. That would, of course, require them to develop their own brake lever/gear shifter too...
The £169.99 Mixino is the newest helmet from Spanish manufacturer Catlike, their lightest and best ventilated helmet to date. While most of their helmets are manufactured in the Far East, this one is actually made at their own facility in Spain. It’s the helmet of choice for Alex Dowsett and his Movistar team.
At 225g, it’s up there (or down there) with the lightest helmets currently available. That’s 35g lighter than their previously top-end Whisper helmet. Its unique looks are a consequence of the designers quest to make it as ventilated as possible, and with a staggering 39 vents, it’s distinct from every other helmet on the market.
There are three channels inside that work with the vents to force air to flow over the head, keeping you cool. A very slim and lightweight retention system with thin arms and two lozenge shaped rear pads spread pressure evenly across the skull, making it a very comfortable helmet to pull on. A micro-dial allows for easy fine adjustment.
road.cc visited distributor i-ride.co.uk recently (suppliers of Merckx, De Rosa, Argon, 3T, Thomson and many other brands) to take a look at the 2014 Northwave range. We've given you a sneak peek previously, but we've now had a closer look at the full shoe range. The Italian shoe company has clearly worked hard on revamping their shoes, not only at the expensive end of the range but across all price points. Here are a few shoe highlights that grabbed my attention.
The Extreme Tech Plus (£299.99) is their updated top-of-the-range shoe. It uses a pair of their reworked Speed Lace Winch (SLW2) micro-dials, which allow really easy adjustment of the tightness of the stainless cord with single click turns in each direction. There's a small quick release lever. To use it is effortlessly simple and the fine level of adjustment it allows on the move is very appealing.
The 235g (claimed weight) shoe has a smooth one-piece upper that reduces the need for stitched panels, lowering weight and improving comfort. A carbon sole, available in a Speedplay-specific version, ensures it provides the very stiff pedalling platform racers and demanding performance cyclists desire. It’s available in three colours: white, black and fluoro orange.
The Galaxy (£209.99) combines a solitary SLW2 micro-dial with two Velcro straps, and it comes with a three-layer carbon fibre sole and a really smart integrated tongue.
It shares a one-piece upper with the Extreme Tech Plus model and a claimed 295g weight makes it a competitive offering.
The Torpedo is available in two versions, the 3S (£139.99) with a three Velcro strap closure system, with the central strap carefully placed to reduce pressure on the top of the foot, and the Torpedo Plus (£164.99, pictured above) with a single Velcro strap and a SLW2 dial. Both shoes share the same carbon fibre and nylon sole with a thermowelded unibody construction - allowing lighter and thinner materials to be used - and heel retention system to prevent heel lift when pedalling.
The Sonic shoe is available in two versions: the Sonic SRS with a ratchet and twin Velcro strap arrangement for £99.99, and the Sonic 3S with three Velcro straps costing a tenner less.
With winter fast approaching (sorry, but we can't deny it) the new Hammer CX (£139.99) looks just the ticket for a complete winter boot solution, if you’re put off by overshoes. It has a one-piece upper with a water resistant neoprene sock, with an aggressive mountain bike sole.
There’s no plans yet for a road-specific version, so you’ll have to use mountain bike cleats and pedals to take advantage of this shoe. Despite its CX moniker, we can’t see many cyclo-cross racers going for this shoe unless the conditions are really dire, as it's not as light as a regular racing shoe, but for training and general larking about in the woods and along bridleways, it looks the business.
You can see the full range on i-ride’s website.
Spirit Clothing is a new British-based cycle clothing company with a range of short and long sleeve jerseys in race or club fit for men, women and youth riders. As well as a number of smart designs, they are also appealing to club and team riders wanting custom designed cycle clothing.
Of the stock designs, the £59 Hebden is a short sleeve jersey made from a fast drying fabric, with three rear pockets, full-length zip and silicone gripper tape around the waist. The red, white and blue colour scheme is a clear nod to their British roots. It’s available in a race fit or more relaxed club fit.
Useful for clubs, once a bulk order has been delivered, they will hold the designs so that kit can be purchased from them at any time, or whatever quantity is needed. That’s a lot more flexible than trying to decide how much club kit is needed at the beginning of the year. Their lead times vary from 10 days to three weeks depending on the size of the order.
They also offer a free design service to assist in the getting the colours and logo placement just right. Prices start from £95 for a short sleeve jersey for a single order, dropping to £37 if more than 11 jerseys are order. They also offer long sleeve jerseys and Roubaix long sleeve jerseys.
If you like the sound of them, check out the full range at their website http://spiritcycling.com/
We first mentioned Birzman’s latest Velocity minipump back in March and we now have our hands on a pump for review.
It’s a smart looking pump, all machined aluminium with a slender size that easily fits in a jersey pocket, or attaches to the frame with the included frame mount. To use, you pop the top cap off and the integrated hose extends, and easily connects to the valve with the new Snap-It head.
It’s effortlessly simple to use and once in place lets you get on with the job of inflating the tyre. They claim 160psi is achievable, but we haven’t tested it yet. Here’s a video of it in action:
Wahoo are on Kickstarter at the moment seeking $100,000 of support for their new Fitness RFLKT+ Smart bike computer with ANT+ Bridge. Essentially, it’s a bike computer that connects wirelessly to an iPhone (no word on an Android version).
With the RFLKT+, it takes ANT+ data from a Powertap, cadence or speed sensor, and converts it to Bluetooth Smart so it can be displayed on the iPhone. Bike computers are becoming increasingly integrated with smartphones, and smartphones are much more commonly being used as outright bike computers.
This video offers a good explanation of the product in action:
Elivar is a new nutrition company that is focused on the needs of older cyclists, specifically those over the age of 35.
Elivar have developed nutrition products with a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals that they claim has been tailored specifically for older athletes. The use no high GI sugars like fructose or sucrose, instead using the low GI sugar isomaltulose. This is, they say, to avoid the ‘peaks and crashes associated with simple sugars for a more sustained energy release.’
The products are also packed with vitamins and minerals, and the use a 1:1 high GI carb rather than the more popular 3:1 ratio that many energy products use. Their recovery drinks use a blend of proteins that supposedly create a longer recovery window to better repair muscles after exercise.
Can an energy product really be tailored for the older cyclist? We’ll be getting some in soon for test so we (not me, I'm far too young) can find out. Over 35 and intrigued? FInd out more at http://elivar.com/
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.