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TECH NEWS

Mad bum-massaging saddles special: Is THIS the craziest bike seat ever? Plus the "lightest and fastest" tubeless-plugging tool, a new Zwift climb and tech news from DT Swiss, Xpedo, Zwift + more

If you thought we were done with weird saddles in 2024, we have not one, but two more eccentric seats to show you! We also take a look at some ENVE wheels, Xpedo's new SPD-SL-compatible pedals, a super compact tubeless tyre plugger and loads more

Some things just keep on giving in the world of bike tech, and one of those things in the last few months has been strange saddles. This week we've spotted not one, but two rather 'different' bike seats, and as always we have boat loads of more tech news to tell you about. Let's dive straight in and see what this derrière-massaging saddle is all about, then... 

Massage your way to rear comfort on the bike with the crazy Awnyor bike seat

Awnyor saddle from aliexpress

Following on hot on the heels (or bottoms?) of the curious-looking Saddlespur with a backrest, the cheese-inspired Mornera and the "prostate-friendly" Aeroelastic AE comes the very unconventional Awnyor saddle/thing that you sit on that we spotted on AliExpress of all places.

It's described as an "escape bicycle saddle long-distance seat widened and enlarged balance noseless saddle comfortable and healthy seat"... maybe that bit of bike word salad was written purely for SEO purposes, so let's try to decode it as best we can. 

Awnyor saddle from aliexpress

Awnyor seems to believe that the static nature of a traditional saddle will squeeze the sciatic bone in a fixed position for a long time. The brand's solution is a saddle that has a slight rotation and "at the same time can produce a massage effect on the hip muscles". 

In essence, this saddle consists of rails that have adjustments for the angle, and these hold the foam-like two pads that can be individually tilted. The design is quite similar to another saddle called 'Spongy Wonder' – which similarly to the Awnyor one is noseless and thus aims to eliminate pressure on the perineal and prostate areas. But what the Spongy Wonder lacks is the adjustment options of the Awnyor. 

Awnyor says it dried a variety of materials for the saddle and seemingly then settled with polymer thermoplastic elastomer (TPE). Based on my research, this is a plastic that is used in products all around us -- like toothbrushes, dog chew toys and the handles on garden tools. It is easily moldable and that has allowed for the pads to be shaped in different ways - there are three shapes to choose from. And with that, Awnyor goes as far as saying this "saddle has completely solved the drawbacks of traditional saddles". 

The price? A shade over £60 with 50% off at the time of writing according to AliExpress. We're so intrigued we might have to add to basket and give it a go, so will hopefully be reporting back soon... 

See the saddle here

Weird saddles pt.2: How about "the world's first virtual axis bicycle seat"? 

Ataraxy vabsrider split saddle

The other saddle that we found with some interesting tilting functionality is from Ataraxy – an Australian brand that claims its 'vabsRider' saddle is "the world's first virtual axis bicycle seat". It shares some similarities with the above Aliexpress special with its two-part construction but features a more traditional, long nose. Well two noses, technically.

That's because the whole USP of this saddle is the split seat design, which "allows for individual movement of the legs, rotating around the hip joints on an axis that is virtual to the seat". So in essence, each side of the saddle moves and tilts with your legs as you pedal. The below video is perhaps best at showcasing the motion in action. 

This product isn't quite on the market yet, but Ataraxy says that'd happen "in the next few months" - and the brand is present at the Eurobike trade show in about a month... so we'll give the saddle a test there! 

Find out more abbout the Ataraxy here

Xpedo launches new Sonik SPD-SL compatible pedals 

xpedo sonik spd-sl pedals

Having previously only carried Look-compatible pedals in its range before this year, Xpedo has just released the Sonik that uses the Shimano SPD-SL platform. This is after unveiling the Sonik Omni road pedal at Sea Otter earlier in the year. 

With a carbon-injection mould body and three sealed bearings, presumably the new pedals will cater to those who prefer the Shimano SPD-SL system, but want a more budget-friendly performance pedal than Shimano itself currently offers. We say presumably because we don't have pricing yet, but media samples are shipping soon so we'll hopefully find out and have a pair in for review in the coming weeks. 

The pedals come with a choice of either titanium or cromoly spindles, and each pair will ship with two sets of cleats when they go on general sale later in summer. 

Specialized introduces the Foundation Collection clothing line

Specialized foundation clothing

Specialized has introduced the Foundation Collection to its apparel line, designed for road and gravel cyclists seeking high performance and comfort. The collection features a semi-form fit, and according to the brand accommodates relaxed riding positions and unrestricted movement regardless of body type.

The collection uses over 90% recycled fabrics, and other key features include breathable, mid-weight jersey fabric, supportive bibs, and detailed finishes like elastic hems and reflective stripes. The range sits below the more performance-oriented Prime road/gravel range and is also priced at a more wallet-friendly level; the jerseys retail for £60 and bib shorts for £85, with options for both men and women in various colours.

Find out more here

Zwift unveils the Grade – a new indoor climbing challenge and FTP test combined

540247-watopia-expansion_ride_06-2024-PR-6-9a802e-original-1716994755

Eager Zwifters who've still got their memberships after last month's divisive price hikes can soon tackle a brand new climb called 'the Grade' in Watopia. The relentless-sounding, 2.2 miles long climb will be introduced to the virtual cycling platform between 11 and 13 June. 

The Grade isn't just another climb, though, but it also doubles up as an FTP (Functional Threshold Power) test, displaying your new FTP at the summit. Zwift believes the climb provides a less daunting alternative to traditional FTP tests (which, if you've ever done one, are brutal), with average watts visible on screen and the climb divided into 10 segments, similar to Alpe du Zwift.

In addition to the Grade, Zwifts latest expansion also includes eight free-ride routes and two ZRacing Routes. 

Find out more here

DT Swiss brings out new carbon gravel wheels and sticks with hooked rims

DTSwiss_GRC_1100_50_Action_Wind_Tunnel_5667_1920px

DT Swiss has unveiled its latest GRC DICUT wheels, featuring lightweight 30mm and 50mm carbon rims designed for gravel riding whether you adventure or race. The wheels are both hooked as you might expect from the brand that has a long history of saying it doesn't necessarily buy the claimed advantages of hookless designs…

Hooked vs hookless rims: which one is best for you?

Our pals at off.road.cc have covered these wheels in detail so click here to read all the spec deets

Italian superbike brand Ducati launches the Futa All Road electric gravel bike

2024 ducati futa ar hero

Ducati, the Italian superbike and adventure motorcycle brand, says its new Futa All Road is for gravel bikers who value the assistance motor. Retailing for more than £6,500, this bike does have all the bells and whistles you might want from an e-gravel bike. off.road.cc has taken a close look at all the details of this too, and you can read here.

You can now buy ENVE SES 4.5 LTD wheels with special Giro d'Italia / Pocagar decals

ENVE_SES45_POGGiro_Set_side

ENVE has dropped some special decals for its SES 4.5 wheels, in honour of the "achievements of Tadej Pogacar's Maglia Rosa and the challenges of the Giro d'Italia".

Pog rode the SES 4.5 to all his road stage victories, and you can now buy yourself a set from ENVE for about £2,230.

Find out more here

Dynaplug introduces 15g Micro Racer for plugging tubeless tyres

dynaplug micro racer

Dynaplug has brought out the Micro Racer, saying it's the lightest and fastest tool for plugging tubeless tyres.

Weighing only 15 grams and nearly half the size of the brand's Racer Pro, it's crafted from aluminium and features Twin Tube technology – meaning you get two plugs ready to go in the tubes.

The retail price is $49.99 (about £39) and that includes the two plugs, while replacement ones set you back £12.99 for a set of five. 

Find out more here

Tour de France 2024 and Pro Cycling Manager 2024 games are out now

tour de france 2024 game from steam

If you like your cycling games, French game studio Nacon has brought out two new ones: Tour de France 2024 and Pro Cycling Manager 2024.

Tour de France 2024 is the official game of the iconic race, allowing players to race against rivals and aim for the prestigious yellow jersey. It has an online multiplayer mode, where you can race against global opponents. Players can form teams from over 900 professional cyclists to compete in various races.

Pro Cycling Manager 2024, on the other hand, is a management simulator that challenges players to lead their team to victory in top cycling events. Responsibilities include managing sponsorships, building a team, and overseeing budgets, akin to a Football Manager for cycling.

Both games are available via the Steam Store. And of course, you'll also want to be checking your road.cc Fantasy Cycling scores in between games!

Find out more here

Catch up with the rest of the week's tech news: 

Like Colnago’s new Tour de France bike? It’ll cost you £20,000
- Roval says new Rapide CLX II Team is “the fastest race wheelset in the world”
- Lore Cycle introduces the "world’s most advanced road cycling shoe"
Ineos Grenadiers race new Pinarello Dogma at Dauphiné
- Trek’s new road bike: what is it and what do we know so far?
- SRAM sweeps the board and Hammerhead does it again: road.cc Recommends updated with 14 products

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. 

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2 comments

Avatar
peted76 | 1 week ago
1 like

I quite like the idea of getting a bum massage when I'm riding.. 

 

..just me then.

Avatar
wtjs | 1 week ago
1 like

Purely on a thought-experiment only basis, I prefer the Australian Ataraxy out of the crop of out-there saddles

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