TECH NEWS

Shiny new products from Princeton, Hope, Campagnolo, Fizik, Spank, Fabric and more

Fancy carbon wheels, stubby saddles, vibration-damping handlebars and much more in our latest roundup from Core Bike Show

Here's another roundup of brand new cycling products and accessories from the recent Core Bike Show, a trade-only show where we got to see some fancy new carbon wheels from the US, vibration-damping gravel handlebars, a 3D printed saddle that points to the future of bike tech and much more. Enjoy!

- Tyres made of dandelion + loads more new stuff for spring from the Corebike Show

- 12 new 2020 bikes from Cinelli, Tifosi, Cannondale, Rondo, Ragley, Bombtrack, Colnago and more - the gravel is strong with these bikes

- The future of gravel bikes or a step too far? It’s the new Niner MCR 9 RDO full-suspension gravel

Princeton CarbonWorks​

Princeton CarbonWorks is a new US wheel brand that has now arrived in the UK. These are its Grit carbon wheels designed for, yes you guessed it, gravel riding and feature a 40-45mm alternating depth rim with a 21mm internal width, are tubeless-ready and sold in rim and disc brake versions. They cost from £2,800.

What sets them apart is the unusual rim profile. It has a similarity to Zipp’s Zipp’s NSW 454, which use a ‘sawtooth’ rim profile apparently inspired by Humpback whales, but Princeton has developed an alternating wave rim depth that gives the benefits of a deeper section rim but the better stability of a shallower rim.

We’ll have a much closer look at the tech behind these wheels in another article very soon. The company also makes a road wheelset. Called the WAKE 6560, it has similarities to Zipp’s NSW 454 wheels but are claimed to provide less drag, 119g of the stuff compare to 132g.

Fabric Line S saddle

Short saddles are fashionable at the moment, and Fabric has added the Line S to its 2020 range.

It’s available with chromoly, titanium or carbon rails and costs £59.99, £79.99 and £149.99 respectively.

Are you patriotic? Fabric is also rolling out its country flag Scoop saddles so you can show how proud you are of your roots, for just £75.

Also new from Fabric is the neat LumaDot, a simple and affordable LED light for getting you across town safely, or as an emergency backup to brighter main lights. They cost £17.99 a pair or £9.99 for a single.

Spank ​Vibrocore drop handlebar

Designed to reduce buzz and vibrations, these new Spank drop handlebars use the company’s Vibrocore technology from its mountain bike range.

Inside the aluminium handlebar is a foam core which is designed to reduce the high-speed frequencies that nearly pass through a handlebar to your hands and can lead to fatigue. They sound ideal for long-distance gravel events like Dirty Reiver where hand and arm fatigue can be a problem after hours of pounding along rough gravel roads.

How do you like your flare?  You’ve got a choice of a 25-degree flared drop handlebar or a 12-degree flare drop. There are different widths from 42 to 46cm available and weight, with the foam adding around 25g to the bar, range from 350 to 360g. The extra weight sounds like a small price to pay for the extra comfort they should offer.

You’re looking at £94.99 if you want one of these bars.

Fizik’s 3D printed saddle future tech + top-end race shoes

3D printing is going to play a big part in the future of the bicycle and Fizik has been using this cutting-edge technology in its saddle range.

The Adaptive saddle is manufactured by US company Carbon and features a polymer lattice where the foam would usually be on a saddle.

This was my first chance to fondle the new saddle and what struck me is how they’ve managed to introduce areas of squish into the sit bone area, whilst keeping it firm in other areas of the saddle.  It’s this ability to precisely tune how much ‘give’ the saddle has in different areas that is an exciting benefit of the 3D printing technology.

Going all Tomorrows World, imagine if the saddle could be customised specifically for you, using sit bone analysis and fit data, to create a saddle that perfectly meets your requirements? That’s probably a few years away yet and needs 3D printing costs to come down considerably, but it’s not an impossible vision.

Back to the here and now, and Fizik claims benefits of this technology include improved power transfer, shock absorption, stability and comfort. 

Such state-of-the-art tech doesn’t come cheap, and you’re looking at a three-figure sum probably starting with a three… Regardless, they've gone straight on my wish list. 

Enervit Sport energy products endorsed by the pros

There’s no shortage of energy products on the market, but Italian-based Enervit Sport is an old name in the industry that is hoping to increase its visibility this year, partly due to sponsoring both men and women’s Trek-Segafredo teams and UAE Team Emirates.

The Italian company was founded in 1954 and famously worked with Francesco Moser when he set a new Hour Record in 1984. It moved away from cycling for a while but is planning its return with the sponsorship of the two aforementioned pro teams and new distribution into the UK market.

The company offers a huge range of products, from all the usual bars, gels and energy drinks, to breakfast cereals, biscuits and snacks. We can’t wait to try some of them out!

Marketing man Ernesto Garcia Domingo tells me that this recovery shake has been used by Vincenzo Nibali since he was 16 years old.

Hope Technology eyes gravel and e-bike market

Hope Technology caused a stir late last year with the unveiling of the radical HB.T track bike that will be used by the British Cycling team in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, but there are a lot of new products coming out of the Barnoldswick company this year.

E-bikes are becoming big business so Hope has developed a new crank designed to suit the demands of e-biking, made by CNC machining 7150 aluminium and available in six colours. They are compatible with Specialized, Brose, Yamaha, Bosch and Shimano STEPS motors.

It has also developed a crank for the gravel bike market. The new RX crank is made by CNC machining the two halves of the crank arm and then bonding the two sides together.

The resulting hollow crank produces a lightweight crankset with good durability - claimed weight for a 5 bolt spider is 510g. It uses a 30mm spindle and is compatible with direct mount rings or a five-arm spider with a 110BCS is available. It’s compatible with almost every bottom bracket standard in play at the moment, because of course Hope also makes bottom brackets.

Choose from a raft of colours and part with £300 to own one.

Campagnolo ​Bora WTO 33 wheels

Touchy feely with Campagnolo’s brand new Bora WTO 33 carbon wheels launched earlier this month. It’s a 33mm deep rim, hence the name, designed to be a good all-rounder suitable for road racing, training and mountain riding.

They are tubeless-ready and can be had with disc or rim brakes and use the company’s distinctive G3 spoke lacing pattern with elliptical straight spokes, while the hubs spin on ceramic bearings.

Topeak Ninja series

With gravel and adventure bikes challenging conventional wisdom regards carrying stuff on the bike or person, Topeak Ninja Series looks idea if you want a neat way to carry essential tools and accessories without filling your jersey pockets or using an annoying saddle pack.

Incorporated into the base of the bottle case is a modular attachment system that can be used to carry CO2 canisters, multitools or spare tools.

Assos jersey

Finally, a quick glimpse at what is coming from Assos this spring/summer. I love this direction and I'd happily wear this jersey on a bright sunny day. 

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.

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