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TECH NEWS

£500 for a stem!? Five cool things coming soon from Rapha, Mavic, Wolf Tooth, Bolle and Mythos

Check out the latest and coolest gear we have on test right now, with full reports on the way…

Read on to find out how Rapha's new gravel jersey differs from its road offerings and to see a stem that costs as much as some bikes. This week's highlights also include some shades spotted in the Tour de France, a nifty way of carrying tools on rides and the return of Mavic with their new Kysrium wheelset. You can expect to see these and many more products reviewed on road.cc in the coming days and weeks…

Rapha Men's Pro Team Gravel Jersey

£175.00

2022 Rapha Men's Pro Team Gravel Jersey.jpg

How does a gravel jersey differ from any other jersey I hear you ask...well, Rapha's solution is to add two additional pockets (now five), remove a quarter of the zip (it's now a three-quarter design), use some funky materials and make it more see-through. Has this worked? Steve Williams has been putting in the gravel miles to find out.

Rapha says that this is an "Elite-Level Off-Road Jersey" for pure gravel racing performance in mild to hot conditions. It has a raised collar and UV protective fabric in a highly compressive, aerodynamic fit. Steve's full verdict on whether this £175 jersey should be your next gravel race essential is dropping soon...

www.rapha.co.uk

Mythos Elix Stem

£500.00

2022 MYTHOS ELIX Stem.jpg

Nope that isn't a typo... this stem really does have an RRP of £500! Why? Because it's made using everyone's favourite new manufacturing technique, 3D printing. The stem is made from 'Scalmalloy' - a Scandium, aluminium alloy developed for MiG aircraft.

> Mythos releases quirky 3D printed Elix stem

Mythos says that the Elix is "15% stiffer in torsion than an equivalent alloy stem while maintaining the same bending stiffness, so you can put more power down when you need to and still stay comfy on the rough stuff." Stu has been putting it through its paces to see whether this is the future or a flash in the pan.

www.mythos.com

Bolle C-Shifter Sunglasses

£145.00

2022 Bolle C-Shifter Sunglasses.jpg

The Bolle C-Shifter is another pair of supersized sunnies that you might have seen in the recent Tour de France on the faces of FDJ riders. Bolle claims that the half rim shield provides excellent ventilation and the TR90 nylon frame is light, flexible and comfortable. Ian Rockey has been tasked with finding out whether that's true.

This particular pair feature Bolle's 'VOLT' high contrast lens which has 16% light transmission and a claimed "30%" increase in colour enhancement. Do you like the look of the new Bolle shades? Let us know in the comments below...

www.bolle.com

Wolf Tooth Axle Handle Multi-Tool

£32.00

2022 Wolf Tooth Axle Handle Multi-Tool -_.jpg

Wolf Tooth reckons it has got the perfect solution for thru-axle users to carry all the tools they need without clogging up pockets or saddle bags. It's available in eight different colours to suit a wide range of bikes and tools include: 2.5mm/3mm and 2mm/4mm hexes, T10/T25 Torx-compatible bit, Flat head #3.5/Phillips #2 screwdrivers bit.

An additional hex, with a 5mm hex end stepped to 6mm closer to the handle, lives permanently within the axle end of the handle. With the help of a receiver nut, this connects the Axle Handle to any Wolf Tooth axle (not included). Has the axle handle multi-tool been able to complete Mike Stead's roadside repairs? His full review is coming soon...

www.wolftoothcomponents.com

Mavic Ksyrium 30 Disc Wheelset

£350.00

Mavic Ksyrium 30 Disc wheelset

Like a phoenix, Mavic is back and how successful its return is will surely depend on this wheelset, the Ksyrium 30. The Kysrium is an absolute classic in the Mavic range, aiming to combine performance and value.

Like the name suggests these are 30mm deep, disc brake specific and made from aluminium, feature Mavic's UST tubeless tech and weighed in on our scales at a not-so-light 1,790g. They have 24 spokes front and rear and can be used off-road as long as you're not jumping off things bigger than 15cm. Steve Williams has been putting these through their paces to see whether they can compete with the stiff competition at the £350 price point.

www.mavic.com

For all the latest road.cc test reports, head over to our reviews section. If you want some more advice before splashing the cash, check out our buyer's guides.

Jamie has been riding bikes since a tender age but really caught the bug for racing and reviewing whilst studying towards a master's in Mechanical engineering at Swansea University. Having graduated, he decided he really quite liked working with bikes and is now a full-time addition to the road.cc team. When not writing about tech news or working on the Youtube channel, you can still find him racing local crits trying to cling on to his cat 2 licence...and missing every break going...

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8 comments

Avatar
cyclisto | 1 year ago
1 like

I am not that sure that sure that 3d printed parts have the same strength as CNC machined parts, so I wouldn't trust a 3d printed part, that a fail would force me to search for a good dentist. Furthermore, I think that monocoque structures have better strength to weight ratios than space frames.

But if had Elon's money and the Harley Davinson bicycle equivalent, it would be great.

Avatar
Steve K | 1 year ago
4 likes

No-one wants me cycling in a see-through jersey.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to Steve K | 1 year ago
3 likes
Steve K wrote:

No-one wants me cycling in a see-through jersey.

If I had one of those it would do a lot to solve traffic problems; people would opt to stay home rather than run the risk of going out and potentially seeing me wearing it.

Avatar
HLaB | 1 year ago
3 likes

The only two cycling items Ive had fail on me prematurely are a Scandinum frame and 3D printed TT elbow cups. At £500 I am not willing to take the gamble again.

Avatar
rct replied to HLaB | 1 year ago
0 likes

Same, I had a wonderfully light and stiff Scandium fram that failed 6 miles from the finish of a RR, around the BB.  I'm not sure I would trust any derivative of the material in something as  safety critical as a stem.

Avatar
srchar replied to rct | 1 year ago
0 likes

It's plenty strong enough. Check out the numbers in https://www.tctmagazine.com/additive-manufacturing-3d-printing-news/apwo...

Avatar
IanMSpencer replied to srchar | 1 year ago
0 likes

The trouble with alloys is that engineers need to understand all their characteristics. Alloy frames are much more prone to failure than steel and steel is more forgiving when damaged.

I suspect these lightweight components and frames that people are complaining of failing aren't being designed with an understanding of the real forces applied to a frame, whereas in the F1 world and aeronautical world they've got a far better understanding of the requirements. In F1 they are also making parts that have a limited life.

So I'd agree that there is nothing wrong with the material, but there is plenty of potential for the design to be compromised.

Looking at that stem, a normal stem is a solid tube and the forces must be well understood by engineers both theoretically and with practical experience. The lattice framework they've printed is going to create to quite different forces in the metal and I doubt rotational torque is much of an issue on a classic stem as a tube is so resistant, but could easily be a force that the designers have overlooked in their calculations when combining forces to work out peaks. Still at £500 a pop, you'd hope they'd got a really good ex-F1 materials designer doing the work for them.

Avatar
Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
8 likes

At £500 it's appropriate than the stem is made out of Scamalloy. 

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