Is this CHPT3 collaboration the coolest Brompton yet? Plus tech news from Cube, Ritchey, Silca, Chapter2, Mission Workshop & more
Check out all of the week’s top tech news, including a brand new gravel bike, a limited edition frameset from Ritchey, anodising where you never expected it, and the accessory that’s like ‘sitting on a cloud’... allegedly
“The latest bike features selected proven performance modifications such as titanium forks and rear triangle, assembled for speed without loss of comfort,” says Brompton.
You get a titanium rear frame and fork on a regular Brompton P Line too.
“The bike’s stripped-back look without mudguards or front luggage is finished off with lightweight inner tubes, a low profile handlebar, ride anywhere 4-speed gearing, Black Edition finishing kit, and a limited-edition Frame Pouch Bag as standard,” says Brompton.
That Frame Pouch Bag looks about the size of a small saddle bag, handy for squirrelling away a multi-tool, spare tube, and so on.
The Brompton x CHPT3 4th Edition wins more cool points with a short-nosed Fizik Terra Argo X5 gravel-specific, designed to absorb vibration, and tan-walled Schwalbe One tyres.
The complete bike is said to come in at 9.5kg, about 500g lighter than a Brompton P Line Urban.
It has a fight on its hands to take the title of coolest Brompton ever, though. The titanium T Line bikes weigh as little as 7.45kg and look very, very neat, although they’ll set you back north of £4,000. A Brompton x CHPT3 4th Edition is £2,595 and is available now.
It's going to be a right old Brompton-fest on road.cc over the next few days. Stay tuned for reviews of the Brompton Electric P Line tomorrow (19th February 2023) and the Brompton C Line Explore next week.
Ritchey introduces 50th Anniversary Outback gravel bike
Ritchey has released its Outback gravel frameset in a 50th-Anniversary limited edition Half Moon Blue finish. The brand announced its Logic and Swiss Cross framesets in similar limited editions earlier in the year. The Outback is TIG-welded with proprietary triple-butted Ritchey Logic steel tubing.
“The frameset retains everything the bike is known for,” says Ritchey. “It sports several practical and adaptable features that offer riders the ability to chase epic ride experiences beyond the end of the road and the end of the day.
“Rack and fender [mudguard] mounts help to keep things dry and expand the load-carrying capacity for longer bikepacking adventures, while clearance for 700c x 48mm or 650b x 2.0in tyres opens up a whole new world of possibilities. The frame accepts flat-mount disc callipers, and the all-carbon fibre Ritchey Adventure fork with multi-purpose mounts on the legs gives you more places to stow the supplies you gathered at the last cafe.”
As well as the light blue to dark blue fade paint job, the 50th Anniversary limited edition features logos that reference the Ritchey’s history.
The Ritchey Outback 50th Anniversary frameset is priced at £1,435.90.
Chapter2 – not to be confused with CHPT3 (above) – has introduced a new gravel racing frameset called the Kaha to sit alongside its existing Ao adventure option.
“The Kaha has been designed with performance in mind, working seamlessly with the Mana Grvl bar to create a gravel racer with all the cables and hydraulic hoses concealed within the frame and handlebar,” says Chapter2.
The Mana Grvl bar is a one-piece handlebar and stem that features a 12º flare.
The Toray carbon frameset offers down tube storage, bento box mounts on the top tube, and multi other bottle and accessory mounts. It features a T47 threaded bottom bracket and dropped chainstays and has clearance for tyres up to 47mm wide.
The Chapter2 Kaha frameset is available in glossy black (Tuauriuri) and grey and blue (Kapua) colour schemes and in five sizes. It is priced at £3,449 (including the Mana Grvl bar).
The Slice is designed to fit in the front triangle of road and gravel frames and to work alongside two water bottle cages.
“Made from Dimension Polyant X-Pac fabrics and Hypalon, it is lightweight, highly water resistant and features YKK Aquaguard zippers on both the main compartment and external pocket,” says Mission Workshop.
The Mission Workshop Slice frame bag has a capacity of 1.56L and is priced at £120.
Cube unveils CMPT bike trailer that doubles as a kids’ buggy
German bike brand Cube has launched a bike trailer called the CMPT that doubles as a kids’ buggy when you get to your destination.
“This bike trailer is the perfect companion for taking children comfortably and safely on bike rides or on a stroll,” says Cube.
“Designed with children's comfort and safety as a top priority, it features adjustable seats, belts, and a safety frame to ensure children always sit comfortably and securely. Additionally, the suspension and air-filled tyres provide a smooth ride, even on bumpy roads.”
The CMPT comes with an insect net, sun shade and splash protection. It’s also compatible with Cube’s Jogger Kit (€99.95) which allows you to swap the small front wheel for a larger wheel one for off-the-bike use.
The Cube Kids Trailer CMPT has a recommended retail price of £699.95.
Does this inflatable seat cushion provide “the ultimate comfort”?
We’ll answer our own question right away: probably not.
There are loads of bike saddle covers out there designed to improve comfort, usually aimed at beginners, but they tend to be squishy and unstable. We’ve not known many people who have stuck with one for long.
A new design has just hit Kickstarter that uses an airbag to make it feel like you’re ‘sitting on a cloud’. Allegedly.
“BC-351 adopts [an] ergonomic 3D airbag design, which cannot only maintain full elasticity and comfort when sitting – creating an ‘anti-gravity’ effect of even compression, cushioning about 80% of the body's vertical pressure – but also perfectly bear the hip and waist pressure during riding, protect the rider’s hip and waist health and reduce unnecessary consumption [of] exercise while riding comfortably, and ensure longer riding time.”
The air cushion is said to be “self-inflating” but the video shows that you pump it up with your thumb.
You have to pledge at least HK$149 (about £16) to be in line for one. The project has already well-exceeded its funding goal but we’re going to give it a wide berth.
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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 road.cc 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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