Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

TECH NEWS

Is this the mysterious new Decathlon race bike? Plus DT Swiss’ new alloy wheels set to bring aero to the masses, Moots’ carbon gravel e-bike, Elves’ hill climb wheels and loads more tech news

We've spotted the new Van Rysel RCR bikes + news about new Sidi shoes, DT Swiss wheels, Hutchinson tyres and more

On this week’s rummage through the latest tech updates in the cycling world, we’ve got some exciting news about Van Rysel’s eagerly anticipated – and rather mysterious – RCR (that’s ‘racer’ in case you haven’t figured it out) road bike range, which promises to “redefine performance” by placing aerodynamics at its core. We also have a look at DT Swiss’ game-changing aero-optimised aluminium wheels, Moots’ surprising carbon gravel e-bike, and Elves Bikes’ UCI-approved Vanyar Pro Disc 2024 for hill climbers – just in time for that season of fear, loathing, and burning lungs to kick off.

Is this the new Van Rysel race bike? 

2023 Van Rysel RCR Road bike2

Earlier this year, we shared the news that Van Rysel – Decathlon’s premium cycling brand – was planning to launch not just one, but seven new bikes, including high-end race models.

And this week we’ve spotted a sneaky promotional video of the new RCR range (Only Connect fans will quickly spot that Missing Vowels answer), which implies that said bikes are now on the market. To confirm this, we’ve found one model listed on the Decathlon UK site, while its French counterpart has four different models listed.

The bikes come with Deda and Fizik finishing kit, and a rather respectable overall spec, especially when you take into consideration that the pricing is lower than the nose bleed-inducing numbers most top-end road bikes sell for nowadays.

> The rising price of entry-level road bikes — how much does it cost to get into road cycling now vs 10 years ago?

2023 Van Rysel RCR Road bike3

The shaping of the RCR models implies a strong aero focus, and Decathlon says that it worked with none other than the French National Office for Aerospace Studies (ONERA) and Research when developing the bike.

"We carried out CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) optimisation, for which ONERA is the world leader, to design the most aerodynamic curves. By combining all these elements, we obtain a shape, a frame, an ultra high-performance machine, cut to split the air," Van Rysel says. 

Of course, no modern bike can forget the importance of being light and stiff, so Van Rysel has considered those not-so-trivial concerns as well. The new RCR frame comes in two carbon layups, the RCR Pro and RCR. The RCR frame has a claimed weight of 830g and the Pro should tip the scales at 790g. The maximum tyre clearance is 32mm.

Spec and Pricing

2023 Van Rysel RCR Road bike6

RCR Pro Red AXS Power - €8,500

Frame: RCR Pro
Groupset: SRAM Red
Wheels: Zipp 454 NSW
Tyres: Michelin Power Cup
Handlebar: Deda Superzero RS
Stem: Deda Superbox EVO
Saddle: Fizik Argo

RCR Pro Ultegra Di2 - €5,500

Frame: RCR Pro
Groupset: Shimano Ultegra Di2
Wheels: Shimano Ultegra C36
Tyres: Michelin Power Cup
Handlebar: Deda Superzero RS
Stem: Deda Superbox EVO
Saddle: Fizik Antares
Weight: 7.2kg in M

RCR Force AXS Power - €4,800 (£4,300 on UK site)

Frame: RCR
Groupset: SRAM Force AXS
Wheels: Zipp 404 Firecrest
Tyres: Michelin Power Cup
Handlebar: Deda Superzero RS
Stem: Deda Superbox EVO
Saddle: Fizik Antares
Weight: 7.6 kg in size M

2023 Van Rysel RCR Road bike1

RCR Rival AXS Power - €4,200

Frame: RCR
Groupset: SRAM Rival AXS
Wheels: Zipp 303s
Tyres: Michelin Power Cup
Handlebar: Deda Superzero RS
Stem: Deda Superbox EVO
Saddle: Fizik Antares
Weight: 8.1kg in M

It seems that Decathlon is really serious about dipping more than a few toes into the road racing scene, and perhaps these bikes suggest that the French company is on the verge of sponsoring a pro team in 2024? Let us know what you think, and whether you'd be keen to test one of these RCR bikes. We certainly are nabbing one for a review as soon as we can. 

Read more

DT Swiss wants "Aero for All" by introducing new aero aluminium hoops

DTSwiss_AeroForAll_Alu_Road_Action_9893_1920px

DT Swiss has introduced a new line of aero-optimized aluminium wheels designed to offer superior performance to riders of all levels, and at a more accessible price point to boot. 

The two new aerodynamic aluminium wheels are the A510 and E550. These share the 30mm deep and VU-shaped, hooked rim that is found on the brand's latest carbon aero wheels.

>  Are expensive carbon road bike wheels worth the money?

There is a road-focused A510 rim with a 20mm internal width, whereas the endurance-orientated E550 is 22mm wide internally.

The new wheels come in two configurations, with the "A" models aimed at road riding and the "E" ones for endurance or all-road. The weight limit for the A wheels is 110kg, whereas the endurance hoops can take 130kg.

The A series features specially designed rims built with hidden nipples and 24 DT aero comp II Straightpull aero spokes, and borrow the AERO+ concept from the brand's high-end aero carbon wheels. 

PHO_AR_1600_wheelset_WEB_SHO_001

The E series has a little more home-builder-friendly, exposed nipples. The endurance wheels are heavier, with the ER 1600 SPLINE 30s tipping the scales at 865g/972g (front/rear) while the A 1600 SPLINE 30s are 808g/895g respectively. 

> Best road bike wheels 2023 — transform your road bike with some shiny new hoops

The wheels come with upgraded 350 and 370 hubs, and the 1600 line utilises the 36T Ratchet SL System and the 1800 line 18T Ratchet LN system.

The 1600 SPLINE 30, in either the A or E series, costs £569 and the 1800 SPLINE 30 clocks in at £409. Rims are available with 24, 28, or 32 holes and cost £49.99 a pop.

Read more

Moots releases an "adventure-ready" carbon gravel e-bike

2023 Moots Express e-bike gravel4.JPG

Moots, a brand best known for its premium titanium bikes, has done something quite unexpected by releasing the Express – a carbon gravel bike. And not only is the bike made of carbon, but it's also an e-bike, too. You can read all the details about the new bike on our sister site off.road.cc. 

Read more

Zwift Hub trainer now costs £100 more?

Zwift Hub Trainer-4.jpg

Last week we told you about the updates that Zwift has introduced to its virtual cycling world Watopia, and in that story, also mentioned that the Zwift Hub turbo trainer now comes with a one-year Zwift subscription included. This means, though, that the trainer basically has gone up in price by £100 since we reviewed it last year

Zwift's own trainer now sets you back £549, whereas a year ago it was £449. Of course, you now get the annual subscription (worth  £129.99)  included, but what if you don't need it? There is no Zwift Hub without the subscription attached available… 

Read more

Elves Bikes releases UCI-approved Vanyar Pro Disc 2024

VANYAR 2.JPG

UK-based Elves Bikes has published the UCI-approved Vanyar Pro Disc 2024, a 
hill-climbing machine with a lightweight design, "race sprinting stiffness", and aerodynamic elegance to tackle diverse terrains. 

Building upon the previous Vanyar model, the new model features a revamped, fully integrated cockpit for improved aerodynamics and a lighter, stiffer frame. The geometry of this frame has also been changed.

VANYAR 3.JPG

"A new steeper seat tube moves the rider’s weight directly above the crank, to aid power transfer, whilst also opening the hip angle to allow for lower frontal profiles to reduce wind resistance. The race-ready, hill-climbing geometry places the seat tube angle between 73.5 and 75 degrees (depending on size). The head tube angle sits between 72 and 73.5 degrees, allowing for an attacking climbing and descending position," Elves says. 

> Lightest road bikes 2023 — fantastically featherweight rides that barely tip the road.cc scales of truth

The bike can take up to 30mm wide tyres and is available in sizes ranging from 47cm to 62cm. Frame-only prices start at £858.

Read more

Sidi refreshes the Shot 2S shoes

ROAD_SHOT2S_NEGR_3OVER

Sidi's Shot 2S road shoes' revamped design boasts clean lines and a matte finish.

> Best road cycling shoes 2023 — get some light, stiff kicks to help you go faster on the bike

Sidi says these shoes feature an "innovative high-intensity resin rotor" strategically positioned (on top of the shoe) for optimal handling in group situations. The shoes also have a C-Boost SRS sole, with a stiffness rating of 10, and a "Double Tecno-3 Push Flex is strategically placed on the instep to be protected in the event of a crash or fall and out of the way of other riders". 

Sizing ranges from EU38 to 48, though the price has not been confirmed. 

Read more

Hutchinson unveils new Challenger Tubeless tyres for all-season cycling

hutchinson challenger tyre

Hutchinson has introduced the Challenger Tubeless, an "all-season, ultra-endurance, and training tyre". The Challenger Tubeless promises exceptional puncture resistance, an extended lifespan of 10,000km, and superior comfort. And it's been tested at the Transcontinental Race to demonstrate its durability and effectiveness!

> Best road bike tyres 2023 — ride faster and further with fewer punctures

The tyres are constructed with a triple-layer 127 TPI carcass and a new Hutchinson Endurance Bi-Compound and feature both the Hardshield technology which consists of two protective layers, and an Airshield layer that should eliminate loss issues that plague tubeless tyres. 

Hutchinson Challenger tyre airshield2

The Challenger Tubeless is available in 25, 28, and 32mm versions (weighing 385g, 400g and 450g respectively) at €59.99/£59.95.

Read more

Europe's pre-owned bike marketplace 'buycycle' expands to US market

buycycle homepage screenshot

buycycle, a pre-owned bike marketplace operating across Europe is expanding its operations to the US market.

With over 15,000 pre-owned and refurbished bikes available, buycycle aims to connect buyers and sellers on a global scale, offering guaranteed buyer protection, top-notch services, and insurance. The platform's prices, which are up to 70 percent off full retail prices, aim to make cycling accessible to a wider audience. 

Read more

Check out these Meti titanium thru-axles

IMG_3203.JPG

Some of our avid readers might recall Aaron’s Cannondale SuperSix Evo 4 Lab71 Staff Bike feature – well, he’s got some extra bits added and the latest addition comes from the metal-shaping wizards from Meti di Dante Codeluppi in Reggio Emilia, Italy. 

The two beautifully crafted titanium thru-axles pictured here fit the standard SuperSix Evo 4 dropouts and measure 12x100mm (front) and 12x142 mm (rear). While they weigh the same as the standard axles (28g front/40g rear), the benefit comes from the fact that titanium doesn’t corrode, is very resistant to fatigue, and represents a stiffer connection point between the dropout and the hub. It also provides better communication and ride feel than regular thru-axles.

The Meti thru-axles are exquisite. They’re made using CNC-machined Grade 5 titanium (6AI-4V) and feature a highly polished finish replete with Meti logo, Newton meter specifications and bike model details. Another cool touch is the Cannondale ‘C’ logo printed on the head of the axle; this can be customised according to your needs.

Meti can manufacture axles/skewers for most rim-brake bikes (M5), mountain bike forks (M14/M15 boost/non Boost) and new disc-brake bikes (M12). The company also makes titanium hardware for pedals and has a compendium of Ti bolts options (M5 and M6). A pair of Meti titanium thru-axles will set you back €26​​0/£230.

Read more


And in case you missed the rest of the tech stories, some of which were so exciting they nearly broke our site, we've listed them all here for you to read: 

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. 

Add new comment

20 comments

Avatar
morgoth985 | 9 months ago
1 like

I'm not buying an "Elves" bike, especially not one named after those pansy "Vanyar"!  Now if there was a "Balrog" bike or something I might be interested.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to morgoth985 | 9 months ago
0 likes

Morgoth985 wrote:

I'm not buying an "Elves" bike, especially not one named after those pansy "Vanyar"!  Now if there was a "Balrog" bike or something I might be interested.

Wouldn't an "Elves" bike last for hundreds of years, be light weight, have darkvision (in case your lights go out) and not ever need to sleep?

Avatar
morgoth985 replied to hawkinspeter | 9 months ago
1 like

So basically the same as a balrog without the cool evilness.  No.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to morgoth985 | 9 months ago
1 like

Morgoth985 wrote:

So basically the same as a balrog without the cool evilness.  No.

I reckon a balrog is a lot heavier than an elf though

Avatar
brooksby replied to hawkinspeter | 9 months ago
2 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

Morgoth985 wrote:

So basically the same as a balrog without the cool evilness.  No.

I reckon a balrog is a lot heavier than an elf though

Balrogs are creatures of the shadow unseen realm, not the physical realm, so probably weigh less...

BTW: Are we discussing a fully laden balrog?

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to brooksby | 9 months ago
1 like

Balrogs being an ancient evil, presumably they'll be competing in the senior category? Maybe they'd want an eBalrog bike?

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to brooksby | 9 months ago
0 likes

brooksby wrote:

Balrogs are creatures of the shadow unseen realm, not the physical realm, so probably weigh less...

BTW: Are we discussing a fully laden balrog?

They were originally Maiar and they wore armour and helms made of iron, so just the weight of that is going to be heavier than an elf. I'm not convinced that they're made of shadow as they're described as being surrounded by shadow (which can take the form of wings), but either way that's not going to count as hi-viz and where can you get Balrog sized tabards from?

From https://www.esportstales.com/street-fighter/characters-official-heights-and-weights we can clearly see that a Balrog is 6'6" tall and 102kg

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 9 months ago
1 like
Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to chrisonabike | 9 months ago
2 likes

chrisonatrike wrote:

Although they become lighter and faster in Japan!

Well, there's some confusion over the different characters there - although they renamed "Vega" to "Balrog", they changed "Balrog" to "M. Bison" (presumably the 'M' stood for Mike).

I think we need to differentiate between a European Balrog and a Japanese Balrog.

Avatar
morgoth985 replied to hawkinspeter | 9 months ago
3 likes

It's a Norwegian Blue balrog.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to morgoth985 | 9 months ago
0 likes
Avatar
brooksby replied to hawkinspeter | 9 months ago
0 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

brooksby wrote:

Balrogs are creatures of the shadow unseen realm, not the physical realm, so probably weigh less...

BTW: Are we discussing a fully laden balrog?

They were originally Maiar and they wore armour and helms made of iron, so just the weight of that is going to be heavier than an elf.

It's a while since I've read the Silmarillion...

Avatar
morgoth985 replied to hawkinspeter | 9 months ago
2 likes

They'd burn up any tabards anyway.  But it doesn't matter as nobody's going to argue with them.  Except for Cycling Mikey at Gandalf corner.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to morgoth985 | 9 months ago
2 likes

Morgoth985 wrote:

They'd burn up any tabards anyway.  But it doesn't matter as nobody's going to argue with them.  Except for Cycling Mikey at Gandalf corner.

Are they allowed to pass by there?

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 9 months ago
1 like

hawkinspeter wrote:

Morgoth985 wrote:

They'd burn up any tabards anyway.  But it doesn't matter as nobody's going to argue with them.  Except for Cycling Mikey at Gandalf corner.

Are they allowed to pass by there?

Scene of an attempt to drop one, where it fought back IIRC.  But that's all under the bridge now.

Avatar
morgoth985 replied to hawkinspeter | 9 months ago
4 likes

Of course not, he's blocking the way.  They'd have to Fly, you fools!

Avatar
Daddy Feebs | 9 months ago
6 likes

So glad to be able to communicate more with my axles, though I'm worried it will come at the expense of all those lovely long chats I'd been having with my hubs. I'll miss those guys. 

Avatar
Drinfinity | 9 months ago
3 likes

Some new nonsense!

"It also provides better communication and ride feel than regular thru-axles."

Avatar
Sriracha replied to Drinfinity | 9 months ago
3 likes

Double-blind trial? I thought not!

Avatar
Brauchsel replied to Sriracha | 9 months ago
3 likes

Well, if your stem's the right length you shouldn't be able to see either axle...

Latest Comments