Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

TECH NEWS

Will Shimano soon offer wireless tyre pressure and suspension adjustment? Plus a SRAM battery-charging light patent, 132g rim brake callipers, a robotic workstand plus tech news from Cannondale, Prologo + more

We're also bringing you news of some new budget-friendly £30 road tyres from Michelin, POC's Team Amani collection and Pas Normal Studios' Midsummer Challenge in our weekly tech news compilation

We have a true innovation-heavy Tech of the Week edition for you, because what else would you want to do when the days are longer than read through patent document jargon? Well, luckily you won't have to, because we've plucked, filleted and removed the giblets from two very intriguing patents (intriguing when you've waded through the hardcore engineer speak, anyway). We've also found some interesting new products and gathered news from POC, Michelin, Pas Normal Studios, Cannondale and included a few more bonus bits  for good measure... 

Is Shimano introducing a pressure-detecting valve soon? 

Shimano valve pressure detector

In our weekly patent haul, we've come across a few interesting (and deadly jargon-filled) documents, with the first one of them being this "Bicycle Control Device" that Shimano has filed. 

It seems to comprise a pressure sensor valve, as well as a device for analysing and adjusting front suspension and dropper posts. 

> How do you choose the right tubeless tyre pressure?

The tyre pressure device, in the jargon-words, is as follows: "The bicycle control device comprises an electronic controller, a gas pressure detection device, a wireless communication device, and a battery, positioned relative to a rotational axis of the bicycle tyre."

It seems that it'd function similarly to what we've seen pros use at some of the cobbled races, such as the Gravaa KAPS technology. How would you benefit from knowing your tyre pressure and adjusting it, then? To quote the patent: "The bicycle control device enhances safety and efficiency of the electric bicycle by maintaining optimal tyre pressure, thereby extending tyre lifespan and improving riding comfort."

2023 Gravaa KAPS - 1

Though it is quite tricky to get the full picture of what the finished product will be like, what we have gathered from the patent is that Shimano's device includes a sensor attached directly to the tyre valve, and it then wirelessly transmits the data from there to an "electronic controller".

The pressure data can then be used to adjust and optimise electric motor assist modes – making this more of an e-bike application – as is perhaps evident from the following as well:

"The electronic controller adjusts operation of the electric components based on a predefined pressure-assist ratio map stored in memory, wherein the pressure-assist ratio map correlates different tyre pressures with corresponding levels of electric motor assist."

Interestingly, this same "control device" is detailed for the use of controlling and adjusting the pressure for front suspension and dropper posts as well. This, again, isn't necessarily groundbreakingly new, as in the mountain bike sphere there are products such as Fox Live Valve, which adjusts suspension settings in real-time based on terrain and rider input, and this is also utilised by Bosch in its eSuspension system. 

Sick of dead SRAM batteries mid-ride? This light could make your life easier…

SRAM AXS battery charger & light combo patent doc

Another interesting patent we've come across is "a bike derailleur battery case with bi-directional charging/discharging USB C power delivery (PD) converter" – in essence what seems to be a front light with an integrated SRAM AXS battery charger.

Filed by Phihong Technology, a Taiwanese company specialising in charger bases and power supplies, the invention is certainly unique and doesn't seem like something that would be too hard to bring into production. 

Of course, the light/charger combo doesn't exactly eradicate the issue of running out of battery mid-ride, but assuming you have the front light on your bike, at least then you have a chance for a charge on the go – and perhaps the light can also double up as a charging platform for your AXS batteries when you're on a big bikepacking adventure. 

The device detailed in the patent seems to be quite a basic-looking front light with a strap for attaching it to the handlebar. On top, it has a battery charging bit with "a waterproof and dustproof cover pivotally connected to the charging box body". 

> Review: SRAM Force AXS groupset

The patent seems to suggest the device holds two 18650 lithium batteries – their mAh capacity isn't specified – which are rechargeable with a USB-C cable. If we assume the batteries are 3,000 mAh each, there's plenty of juice for charging the AXS batteries which are 300 mAh each. There is no specification of the light's power, though, and obviously having that on will also drain the battery. In any case, this would make for an interesting two-in-one product if it ever makes it into production. 

Michelin introduces new Lithion 4 road tyres for budget-conscious roadies

bi-151_tire_michelin_lithion-4-classic_master_product-in-context-1_nosignature_16-slash-9

Michelin has brought out a new selection of Lithion 4 road bike tyres, designed for year-round cyclists seeking maximum durability at an affordable price.

Available in sizes ranging from 25c to 32c and in both black and classic (tan) sidewall versions, the Lithion 4 takes a well-renowned tyre and improved some key aspects of it. 

Review: Michelin Lithion 3 road tyre

The claims from Michelin include a 6% improvement in rolling resistance over the Lithion 3, a new tread pattern and 4x60 TPI ply casing for increased mileage and reliability, and a 9% improvement in grip and wet weather performance due to the MICHELIN Magi-X compound.

The tyres are available now and priced at £29.99 each. We've asked for a pair to review, and will see if they score the same four stars (or better) as the previous Lithions have… 

Find out more here

Lightest rim brake calliper out there - Ciamillo Design's L8 Ultra weighs just 132 grams

Ciamillo L8 ultra rim brake copy

Ciamillo Design has been making ultra-light components since 2002, starting with Zero Gravity Road Brakes. The founder, Ted Ciamillo, recently decided to expand the offerings and now also makes components such as cranksets for serious weight weenies. 

> The lightest road bike frames and components in the world

He also claims that his components are better than the German lightweight component makers THM and AX Lightness, and "far less expensive".

Ciamillo gravitas lightweight crankset

The Gravitas Gen 13.10 Crankset, for example, retails for £963, and including the spider and spindle weighs a claimed 278 grams. The L8 Ultra, Ciamillo claims, is currently the world's lightest rim brake, weighs 132 grams for the set, and costs £321. Bargains! But then super lightweight bike tech never comes cheap... 

Find out more here

BIKONIC gas-assisted bike workstand launches on Indiegogo

bikonic gas workstand

A new workstand designed specifically for heavy e-bikes has launched on Indiegogo, aiming to raise £25,000 to commence production.

The brainchild of a two-and-a-half-year development program, this workstand uses a gas-spring mechanism – similar to those in office chairs and car tailgates - to provide an easy lifting solution for e-bikes that often are too heavy to be lifted manually. And well, it can also save your back if you work as a mechanic and need to lift many bikes onto the stand on daily basis.

> Best bike repair stands

The weight of e-bikes needing to be lifted onto work stands is a known issue and leading tool brands such as Parktool and Unior have their models out there, but for example, the Unior one retails for £2,999. The Bikonic stand, on the other hand, retails for £600 on Indiegogo. 

Bikonic's campaign which is running for the next 39 days (from when this article is published) also offers perks for early investors, including discounts and a special 'Founder's Edition' run of 100 units. Each of these units will have a unique serial plate, with the first 35 contributors receiving an additional matching plate for display, too...

Find out more here

Pas Normal Studios launches Midsummer Challenge with a chance to win PNS kit and a patch

PNS midsummer challenge

Danish brand Pas Normal Studios has announced its Midsummer Challenge on Strava. And what's the challenge? It's to do a 200 km ride in one go. You have 10 days to complete the distance and you can choose whatever route you want - though there are also some organised group rides to take part in (only one in the UK)!

Once you've ticked off that 200km ride, you get a digital badge (gone are the days of having patches to sew on your top tube/frame bag) on Strava and the opportunity to enter a prize draw to win one of 10 full kits from the Pas Normal Studios mainline collections. 

The challenge starts on Friday 21 June, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and runs till Sunday, 30 June 2024.

Find out more here

Fancy a replica of EF-Education First - Easypost and Cannondale team bike? 

C24_LAB71_SuperSix_EVO_ERP_Beauty_0009

If you do, then you're in luck because you can now get the EF Pro Cycling Team Edition LAB71 SuperSix EVO for £12,500 – or if you have the components ready then you'll only need £4,750 for the frameset. 

> Is Aaron's new Cannondale Supersix Evo LAB71 the nicest bike in the office?

C24_LAB71_SuperSix_EVO_ERP_Beauty_0010

The bikes are exactly as the pros have them, built on Cannondale's light Series 0 carbon frame, with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, an FSA PowerBox power meter, SystemBar R-One one-piece carbon cockpit, and Vision Metron 60 SL wheels, and finished off with a Cannondale C1 Aero 40 Carbon aero seatpost and Prologo Dimension NACK NDR carbon rail saddle. 

Find out more here

POC and Team AMANI launch Migration Edition helmet and eyewear

POC_TeamAmani_MigrationEd24-A7408807

POC and Team AMANI have unveiled the 'Migration edition collection', featuring the Ventral Air helmet and Devour Ultra sunglasses, in a kind of gold colourway. Each piece includes a handmade lanyard from the Kenyan Maji Moto Maasai Women's Project, which supports local Maasai women.

The collection celebrates the Migration Gravel Race – which by the time you read this has just finished – a key event bringing global attention to East Africa and offering Team AMANI riders a chance to compete on home soil. 

The Migration edition is available online and in select stores now. The Ventral Air helmet costs £250, while the Devour Ultra sunglasses are priced at £260.

Find out more here

Prologo celebrates TdF with Maillot Jaune Tour de France collection

Prologo x Maillot Jaune - @mattiaragni - 12

Prologo has launched the Maillot Jaune Tour de France Collection, celebrating the cycling calendar's biggest race that's fast approaching with a few selected items. The collection includes a special edition Nago R4 PAS saddle and matching Plaintouch handlebar tape, both in an exclusive iridescent blue colour scheme.

Prologo x Maillot Jaune - @mattiaragni - 23

The Nago R4 PAS Maillot Jaune saddle, available with Nack (£195) or Tirox rails (£118), features yellow details and the Maillot Jaune logo, paying homage to the Tour de France. The Plaintouch Maillot Jaune handlebar tape (£13) comes with dedicated handlebar caps.

The collection is available online at prologo.it

What sound does your freehub make? 

As a little cherry on top of this week's tech news, we all love a little freehub sound compilation and this hilarious video from 'bicyclepubes' is just... well, freehub sound gold!

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

10 comments

Avatar
Terence the Tractor | 4 weeks ago
0 likes

Please make sure you read into the experience of people trying to buy Ciamillo products as part of your review - my brakes took 11 months of chasing to be delivered. In that time there was no voluntary communication from the company and I had to chase for every update.

Avatar
leedorney | 1 month ago
0 likes

The L8 brakes are brilliant 👍 some guy called Ali sold me them 😁 used them for a fair while and they're ½ the weight of my Sram Force brake calipers... a definite upgrade for a rimmy bike lol

Avatar
Twowheelsaregreat | 1 month ago
0 likes

The AXS batteries can already be directly charged off of human power. Get a dynamo hub then add something like the Igaro C1 dynamo powered light/usb-c charger combined unit, and then just plug your AXS battery charger into that. Can't do that with Shimano batteries as their chargers aren't usb standard as far as I know*.

*I'm an AXS man

Avatar
ritxis replied to Twowheelsaregreat | 4 weeks ago
0 likes
Twowheelsaregreat wrote:

The AXS batteries can already be directly charged off of human power. Get a dynamo hub then add something like the Igaro C1 dynamo powered light/usb-c charger combined unit, and then just plug your AXS battery charger into that. Can't do that with Shimano batteries as their chargers aren't usb standard as far as I know*.

*I'm an AXS man

Shimano has had a patent for years with a dynamo in the derailleur cage... and the same thing you say about charging Sram batteries could be done with the Shimano

Avatar
Aluminium can | 1 month ago
4 likes

There are shifters on the market that don't even require batteries. They cleverly transfer the movement of your finger to the derailleur with only a simple bit of cable.

Avatar
Smoggysteve | 1 month ago
0 likes

With regards to Sram battery charging, I wonder why they can't design a motion based charger. I used to have lights that used magnets on the wheel to power the light. Sure they would die quickly when you stopped but if you're able to charge a light you can put power into a battery. Both of them are in close enough proximity to the rear wheel to use motion. The rear could use the derailleur cage somehow. 

Avatar
adamrice replied to Smoggysteve | 1 month ago
0 likes

I believe Shimano has a patent for a rear derailleur with a dynamo built into one of the pulleys, to keep the electronic shifting charged up.

Avatar
ritxis replied to adamrice | 4 weeks ago
0 likes
adamrice wrote:

I believe Shimano has a patent for a rear derailleur with a dynamo built into one of the pulleys, to keep the electronic shifting charged up.

 

that's how it is

Avatar
Surreyrider | 1 month ago
0 likes

The answer to your (clickbait) headline is no.

Avatar
ktache | 1 month ago
1 like

The freehub video was unexpected and made me smile, thank you.

Latest Comments