The Paris Olympics are coming soon, and while the officials are trying to rapidly clean up the Seine for the swimmers, the cyclists are instead focusing on finding out how they can be as fast as they can... From Olympic chronosuits worth a small fortune to Belgian pros using dummies to test skinsuits, we've got a whole host of tech news for you this week. Read on to get up to speed...
Most of us would not say no to free speed and are even willing to put some money down for substantial gains, but then there are just things that… are maybe not worth it for the money.
Ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics, Assos has made its Fenoq chronosuit (i.e. skinsuit) available on its website. The wind tunnel-tested and body-mapping-engineering-infused piece of wearable aero art is now available for everyone who has some £5,670 to spend on sweet gains. Though, bear in mind that at this price, you get not only the skinsuit but also a set of overshoes. Bargain!
Each suit is 100% custom-made to the rider's measurements - for both men and women - and features a skinGrip finish and Double-layer twinDeck sleeves and back panel.
Though technically this suit is now available to the public, there is not much info about it floating about. That is likely because the release has been done to comply with the Olympic rules which rule that any equipment used on the track must be commercially available by 1 January of the year of the games, so this year - but at the same time you probably don't want to give away all of your secrets.
We've already seen this suit in action too, as Marlen Reusser won the European championships wearing one and the Swiss National team won the world's team relay in these sleek costumes in Glasgow in August 2023.
If you seriously think about getting one, Assos does have a "contact us" included on the product page so, just hit that to get yours.
Continuing on the theme of aerodynamic skinsuits and the Olympics, this week the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws reported on the custom-made dummies made of the two Belgian pro cyclists in a "project costing thousands". The two cyclists are aiming to bring back gold from time trials at the Olympic Games, but for that to happen, they have to be in the fastest possible outfit.
As one can imagine, WorldTour racers have many other things to do than spend days testing different skinsuits in the wind tunnel. So, Belgian Cycling came up with a solution and created life-size dummies for the two riders, so they can figure out which skinsuit will be best for each.
Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) usually rides in a custom-made time trial suit from the Italian apparel specialists Castelli (partly fine-tuned by Specialized), while Wout Van Aert (Visma-Lease a Bike) smashes TTs in a custom-made suit from the Dutch brand AGU. But it might be that something completely different is faster, so we'll wait and see what the Belgian Cycling decides based on its tests.
You may remember that back in October last year, SRAM issued a recall notice of its aftermarket eTap AXS Red, Force, Rival, and Apex shift-brake levers produced before July this year. This was because of excess threadlock on the clamp bolt having the potential to mean the clamp isn’t tightened sufficiently despite reaching the recommended torque. The potential issue is that the shift-brake lever could move on the handlebar while riding, leading to a crash.
At the time the recall only covered the USA and Canada, but as of 1st February, it's been extended to the UK and Europe.
"There is nothing new in the details of this action except that we have filed in Europe", SRAM's Michael Zellmann told road.cc.
UCI has announced that the Cycling Esports World Champs will be held in Abu Dhabi, the home turf of the event's main sponsor, MyWhoosh. After the long domination of Zwift, the UAE-based MyWhoosh was announced as the host of the virtual championships last year, and 2024 marks the first year of the three-year-long partnership.
This fourth edition of the championships will feature not only a new platform but quite a refreshed format, too. 150 men and 150 women will compete in the semi-finals, with 80% of the slots allocated to National Federations and the remaining spots accessible through a public qualification on the MyWhoosh platform. According to the organisers, this dual qualification pathway ensures a fair selection process for all athletes.
The semi-finals, held virtually in September, will consist of two stages where riders from around the world will vie for a spot in the finals.
The finals, taking place in Abu Dhabi with the riders physically present (but still riding virtually, if you catch our drift), will feature a unique points-based format comprising three intense races, including a sprint, where the riders have 15 minutes to achieve their best time in an individual 300m sprint. The riders can attempt the sprint as many times as they want within the time period, which sounds like an awful lot of sprints.
Talking of indoor cycling, ever increasing number of cycling apparel brands are now creating indoor-specific clothing – the latest being Bioracer. The Belgian brand has introduced two innovative jerseys designed to optimise training conditions: one for those who train with a fan and one for those (hardcore) riders who train without one.
The Speedwear Concept Graphene Jersey targets those of us who love a breeze on them while trying our best to grind through yet another interval or climb, and it's made with graphene, a "groundbreaking" material known for its heat-conducting properties (brands like Ekoï also utilise it in their jerseys). In essence, the uninterrupted graphene print should get activated by your fan's airflow and thus help you maintain a more tolerable core temperature.
The second Speedwear Concept Cooling Jersey utilises the Polartec Delta fabric, which instead of airflow uses your sweat to keep the body cool. The 3D texture should prevent the jersey from sticking to the skin, making sure it stays comfy.
The Polartec jersey will cost £87.81 and the Graphene jersey £118.72 plus UK VAT.
This all sounds great, but is it cooler than just going jersey-less for indoor rides? A very hasty poll of road.cc indoor cycling enthusiasts suggested that's how most of us roll, but perhaps we're missing a trick. We'll endeavour to get one of these jerseys in for review soon...
On our usual sift through Kickstarter's finest campaigns, we've come across this rather nice-looking bike car rack that, quite literally, does the heavy lifting for you.
The Load 'n' Lift Bike Rack, developed by Utah-based Kayenta Outdoors, is said to be compatible with various bike types, including e-bikes and cargo bikes. It comes in two configurations, and the Deluxe version includes a removable power pack for effortless operation of the 'auto-lift' mechanism – the Basic needs to be operated with a power drill or a special tool (which is provided).
The rack is made of aluminium, and though the makers say it's durable, there is little said about its carrying capacity in weight.
If you're interested in supporting the project, the price for the rack starts at $1,399 (£1,100) and the funding campaign is open for another few weeks.
Shimano has released some new cycling specs, all adorned with Shimano Ridescape lens technology and frames made with some recycled materials.
The Technium model is available with three lens options: RD for road, OR for mountain biking, or GR for gravel riding, and each pair also comes with a clear lens and vents to prevent fogging.
The Technium L shaves off half of the frame and weighs a mere 26 grams. In addition to the three Ridescape and clear lens options, this pair also comes with a Photochromic Gray option. The last, most affordable Twinspark option boasts a one-piece Ridescape HC lens, with effective glare reduction, and scratch and water repellency.
The specs are available now, priced at £100 for Technium models and £60 for Twinspark.
Italian saddle maker Selle Repente's latest creation, the Nova, has been made without adhesives and solvents, which has streamlined the manufacturing process but also made the saddle greener and, according to the brand, fully recyclable.
The shell and padding are made from a single recyclable polymer, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), processed with varying densities to add rigidity and comfort where needed. This one-piece construction is fully, and easily, recyclable once the rails have been removed.
Repente says the production process involves only one step, which cuts not only the environmental footprint of the saddle but also the time and cost attached to it. This means that the two Nova versions are priced very competitively at 85 euros (with cromoly rails) and 69 euros (ST4 steel rails).
Delivgear, a small company based in the Netherlands, has been developing a 'bike rear view assistant', the Delivgear RVA Model 1, which employs AI-predictive analysis to provide cyclists with a view of traffic approaching from behind, including speed, distance, and vehicle type.
Much like other cycling rearview cameras, the device aims to make cycling safer by knowing what might be behind you, as it uses an ultrasound signal to detect any objects. It also works as a camera, so you can record your rides (up to 5 hours of HD recording) and there are automated strobe lights to warn drivers approaching too closely.
Rearview cameras have been met with mixed responses over the years on road.cc, with simpler takes on the genre such as Techalogic's CR-1 light/camera combo generally faring better, while more novel innovations such as Hindsight's smart glasses haven't impressed so much.
The Delivgear RVA Model 1 is set to cost £259, with a discount for early birds, and will be available from early May 2024.
Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops.