Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

TECH NEWS

This springy suspension saddle provides "unparalleled comfort for your rear end", claims its inventor... plus tech news from Zwift, Colnago, Factor, Mavic, Basso + more

Check out the most unusual cycling shoes you’ve ever seen, the CBD supplement designed to make you faster, Mavic’s old-school clothing, and the world’s funkiest Brompton…

Is Air Seat the answer to lightweight comfort on your bike?

The bike industry spends a whole lot of time and money engineering ways to make its products more comfortable, but is this Air Seat design the simple answer to a smooth ride? It allows you to use your favourite saddle with a little added movement.

2023 Air Seat - 1

Air Seat calls its design “the most comfortable full-floating suspension system available on the market”. It sits between your seatpost and your saddle and here’s how it works:

Paul from Air Seat told us, in possibly our favourite quote of the week, “Our primary goal is to provide unparalleled comfort for all cyclists and their sensitive rear ends.”

Air Seat says, “[Our design] solves most people’s butt pain, and does not affect pedalling efficiency.

“Air Seat weighs only 250g and brings you an unimaginable riding experience. [In a] traditional suspension system, only a single axial shock absorption can be used. Air Seat can also make the saddle cushion up and down, back and forth, for all-round shock absorption.”

Made from stainless steel and aluminium, the Air Seat is available in three versions. You pick the one that best suits your body weight and riding position.

Of course, there are already loads of products out there that are designed to cushion your ride. There’s no shortage of sprung saddles on offer from many different brands. Brooks, for example, has just brought its B72 back into production, aimed at tourers and old-school mountain bikers. 

Air Seat argues, though, that its design allows you to stick with your preferred saddle shape rather than being restricted in choice (it works with round saddle rails of 7mm diameter, not oval-shaped rails).

2023 Air Seat - 2

Suspension seatposts have had a bit of a resurgence in recent years, too. Our man Stu Kerton got on well with the Redshift ShockStop Suspension Seatpost, for instance, saying that it did a good job of taking the sting out of a rough ride, although that post was heavy at 545g.

> Check out all our seatpost reviews here 

The Cane Creek eeSilk+ seatpost was a lot lighter at 388g, and we found it to be a “smooth and subtle solution to taming bumps in the roads or trails”. 

Both of the above suspension seat posts are well north of £200, though, and Canyon's two-part flexy S15 VCLS 2.0 CF Seatpost is £180, while the Air Seat is priced at about £70.

What do you think, a great idea or a solution to a problem that has already been solved? Let us know in the comments.

Find out more here

Zwift refreshes avatars… along with loads more changes

After a bunch of updates last week, virtual cycling app Zwift has been at it again with more new announcements.

2023 Zwift Avatar new look - 1

Zwift avatars’ faces will be getting a new appearance in February. With Avatar Choice, you’ll also be able to choose between all of Zwift’s avatar types rather than just those that correspond with the gender selected in your profile. Event categories will still match the gender of your profile for social events and racing, no matter which avatar you select – so if you have a male profile, you can’t enter female events even if your avatar is female.

2023 Zwift Apple Watch - 1

In other Zwift news, Apple Watch heart rate compatibility will be added this winter. If you own an Apple Watch, you’ll be able to pair it with the Zwift Companion app, like any other heart rate monitor, and track your heart rate on-screen. 

2023 Zwift Tour de Zwift - 1

We’ve already told you about the Zwift Games which the company believes will “transform cycling esports” in February and March 2024. Before that, the Tour de Zwift returns in January, allowing you to ride routes that are inaccessible most of the year, and earn route badges while you do it. You’ll also unlock a new in-game kit when you complete stages or the whole tour, and will be able to buy a matching real-world kit from Le Col.

If you’re planning to ride L’Etape du Tour de France next year – or even if you’re not – Zwift is introducing monthly two-stage Fondos over weekends in February, March, April, and July. Zwift will also offer an eight-week training programme for the L’Etape du Tour and add famous climbs from the route to Zwift’s Climb Portal. 

Find out more here

You’ve never seen shoes like these before

What do you think of these shoes from custom creator Ales Arnez?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ales Arnez (@ales_arnez)

They’re carbon – obviously – and weigh 274.4g for the pair.

Find out more here 

Increase your VO2 with CBD!

US company Twisted Spoke has released a new CBD (cannabidiol) drink mix that it reckons will improve your performance on the bike, reducing inflammation and performance anxiety and boosting your VO2 (your maximum rate of oxygen consumption).

2023 Twisted Spoke CBD drink mix - 1

A recent study monitored the effects of 300mg CBD on the performance of nine endurance athletes,” Twisted Spoke says. “In a double-blind trial, athletes performed for an hour at 70% VO2, followed by an intense effort to exhaustion, with and without CBD. The athletes that used CBD showed improved VO2, pleasure ratings, reduced blood lactate during the 60-minute efforts, and enhanced VO2 and breathing [respiratory exchange ratio/RER] in the effort to exhaustion.”

That study concluded that “CBD appears to alter some key physiological and psychological responses to aerobic exercise without impairing performance” but said that larger studies were needed “to confirm and better understand these preliminary findings”.

Twisted Spoke’s CBD HydroMix is a CBD isolate that’s designed to boost your sports drink. Of course, there’s no THC in here – the psychoactive constituent of cannabis – so you won’t get high or have an attack of the munchies.

“Mix this supplement with any hydration, carbohydrate, protein powder, mushroom blend, soup, smoothie, you name it,” says Twisted Spoke. “The nanotechnology enables CBD absorption by the body far faster and more completely than other products on the market – making it a perfect addition to your preferred performance fuel.”

Twisted Spoke already offers loads of other CBD products, including chamois cream.

You get 50 servings of Twisted Spoke CBD HydroMix for $49.99 (around £39).

Find out more here

Basso unveils super-cool Signature Series road bikes

Italy’s Basso has introduced what it’s calling Act I of its Signature Series bikes “where exclusive paint techniques meet component options not in the current lineup”. They’re special editions, basically, available for a limited time and in limited numbers, and they look pretty damn sweet from here.

2023 Basso Diamante Signature Series - 1

Two existing road bikes are included here: the lightweight Diamante (above) and the aero Diamante SV (below). Yes, they look pretty similar from a distance. The top sections of the frame and fork are a taupe colour with a reflective chrome-effect finish down below. The Basso logo sits on the underside of the down tube.

> Read our review of the Basso Diamante Disc Ultegra Di2 

The bikes feature components from Shimano and Fulcrum, and CeramicSpeed OSPW pulley wheels are included as standard.

2023 Basso Diamante SV Signature Series - 1

The range runs from the Diamante SV with a Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset and Microtech RE38 wheels for €8,000 (about £6,900) to the Diamante with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset and Fulcrum Speed 57 wheels for €11,100 (about £9,570).

Find out more here

“The bike helmet you've been waiting for” hits Kickstarter funding target

The Overade Life urban bike helmet – which features indicators, a brake light, and another light on the peak – has beaten its Kickstarter funding target almost immediately.

> Read our review of the Overade Plixi Folding Helmet

Bike brake lights often rely on accelerometers that detect when you’re slowing down, but this one is triggered when you pull the brake lever. You get another remote control for the indicators.

This isn’t the first bike helmet to feature indicators. Giro includes them on the Ethos Mips that we reviewed earlier in the year, for example. 

You have to pledge at least €89 (about £77) to be in line to receive an Overade helmet and remote control, or €149 (about £129) for a helmet, remote, brake sensor, and visor. Delivery is pencilled in for May 2024. Pledging money isn’t the same as buying through a retailer. Rewards aren’t guaranteed.

Find out more here 

Check out these stunning Factor finishes

Factor has revealed limited editions of its Ostro VAM road bike and Hanzo time trial bike to mark the success of the Japanese team which it sponsors: JCL Team UKYO. Members of the team won the Japanese national championships in both the road race and time trial this year.

2023 Factor Ostro VAM Hatsune Miku Edition - 1

The graphics feature Hatsune Miku who – and I’m sure you’re one step ahead of me here – is “a renowned Japanese virtual singer”. Of course she is. We just think the frames look pretty cool.

2023 Factor Hanzo Hatsure Miku Edition - 1

The Factor Ostro VAM Miku Edition frameset (including cockpit and seatpost) is $5,799 (around £4,550) with complete bikes starting at $8,599 (around £6,750).

2023 Factor Hanzo Hatsune Miku Edition - 1

The Factor Hanzo Miku Edition frameset is $6,599 (around £5,170) with complete bikes from $9,699 (around £7,600).

Find out more here 

Mavic introduces casual clothing collection

French wheel (and other stuff) brand Mavic has released a whole load of off-the-bike clothing that has an old-school look to it.

2023 Mavic V T-shirt - 1

This Heritage V T-shirt, for example, is €35 (around £30).

2023 Mavic Heritage Logo Sweat - 1 (1)

And this Heritage Logo Sweat is €59 (around £51).

There are plenty more styles available.

Find out more here 

Is this the world’s funkiest Brompton?

What’s with all the paint jobs this week?

This has to be the most far-out finish we’ve ever seen on a Brompton, painted by Curtis Bullock, who also goes by the name of savethepostalservice on Insta.

MAAP/Unimatic collaboration watch goes on sale

Remember that Unimatic x MAAP Modello Quattro UT4-T-M we told you about last week? It’s now on sale.

2023 Unimatic x MAAP watch - 1

We didn't have a price for you before. Now we do. Yours for £995.

Only 100 are available, so you might need to step on it. Not literally.

Find out more here

Ineos Grenadiers officially unveils 2024 kit from Gobik

After being leaked here, there, and everywhere last week, Ineos Grenadiers has now officially unveiled its 2024 kit from Spanish sportswear brand Gobik, and here is Geraint Thomas to model it...

2024 Ineos Gobik kit Geraint Thomas - 1

And a quick promo video...

What happened to the two-year partnership between Ineos Grenadiers and Bioracer?

Bioracer says, “In light of the post-COVID challenges facing the cycling industry, [we have] made the strategic decision to prioritise product innovation.”

Find out more here

Colnago reveals new V4Rs livery for UAE Team Emirates

Tadej Pogacar and the rest of UAE Team Emirates will be riding the Colnago V4RS in new livery in 2024.

2024 Colnago V4Rs UAE Team Emirates Tadej Pogacar - 1

What’s that? You don’t think it looks very different from before? True, it’s still black with white and red accents, it’s just that everything has been given a bit of a rejig. Still, nice looking bike.

Find out more here

SoundPeats debuts open-ear GoFree2 headphones that let you hear ambient noise

If you’re looking for open-ear headphones that allow you to play tunes while also hearing what’s going on around you, SoundPeats has just released the GoFree2.

2024 SoundPeats Gofree2 Open ear headphones - 1 (2)

SoundPeats says that with a 16.2mm bio-membrane speaker, the GoFree 2 offers “an almost lossless audio quality experience for users” and “not only delivers deeper bass tones but also creates a more immersive music experience”.

> Check out our review of the Oladance Open Ear Headphones 

We’ve not used them yet so we can’t comment on those claims, but we should have a pair for review soon.

The IPX5 rating means the GoFree2 can withstand sweat and unexpected rain – although some rivals have higher ratings than that.

SoundPeats claims up to 35 hours of playtime, nine hours in a single session. They’re priced at £75.99.

Find out more here 

In case you missed it earlier in the week…

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.

Add new comment

13 comments

Avatar
froze | 2 months ago
1 like

I have some experience with suspension seat posts, my current one is the Redshift ShockStop Suspension Seatpost I put on my touring bike, which is by far the best one I had.  The one thing I learned about suspension seat posts is that they need to be adjustable so you can fine-tune them to your liking.  From the videos I watched of that Air Seat, it bounces far too much, and there is no adjustability to it.  

I have my Shockstop adjusted firmer than how it came from the factory customed tune to my weight, but thankfully it is adjustable, either by tightening or loosening the spring tension with a simple turn knob, or I can make it a lot firmer by adding a second spring, which was included in the box, by placing it inside the main spring then adjust it with the knob as needed.  I have not had to add the second spring.

For me, too much bouncing is uncomfortable, and regardless of what Air Seat says, that much bouncing does take away from performance and can tire you out faster.  Even with my Shockstop adjusted to the less firm position they have it still bounces far less than the Air Seat does, and I can feel that some of my watts needed to propel the bike forward are being absorbed by the seat, so I kept tightening the adjustment till I had the best of both worlds, good enough shock absorption and good enough forward energy.

All suspension products take some watts to use, front shocks, rear shocks, and seat suspensions, all require more effort, you have to find the happy medium, and with the Air Seat you can't find that happy medium.

I guess if you are a short-distance rider and you have back problems and you want to take the banging out of riding, then that Air Seat might be the ticket, but it won't work well for long distances.  This is the same situation too as those thick gel seats, yeah they're very cushy for short distances but will hurt your butt once you try to go over 10 miles, and that's how it will be with the Air Seat.

Avatar
cyclisto | 2 months ago
0 likes

This springy base, is an ugly, heavy and expensive alternative to 20 quid suspension seatpost in my eyes. I have never tried since my rides are short, but I would consider them. I believe this with a clone of Specialized saddles is a good and very economical start for the perpetual search for comfort.

Avatar
Sredlums replied to cyclisto | 2 months ago
0 likes

So you never tried either, but you still have an opion on them?
I have tried those cheap suspension seatposts, and I cab tell you they are rubbish. The main problem is that the upward impact that these things should help absorb, are coming from the direction of the rear wheel, and that doesn't align with the direction the seat goes whit that kind of suspension.
That's why better suspension solutions have a parralelogram linkage or a compliance that makes the seat move towards the rear axle.
No I haven't tried this thing, but IF it works, it is in fact way cheaper than most of the other options, and not much heavier either.

Avatar
capedcrusader | 2 months ago
1 like

The CBD oil looks interesting, though the side effect of the 'munchies' may limit it's appeal to cyclists.

Avatar
Oldfatgit | 2 months ago
2 likes

Indicators on a cycle helmet (again...).
Where's my chocolate teapot?

If a driver doesn't see an arm thrust out at shoulder height ... they ain't going to see piddly little lights.

In my not so humble opinion, indicators on helmets is a dangerous folly.

Avatar
GSte | 2 months ago
0 likes

£100 inc shipping from Taiwan....

Avatar
Scarey | 2 months ago
4 likes

Assuming your a experienced cyclist and not saddle sore, I don't see, or more relevantly, feel the advantage of suspension saddles; our glueous maximuses are very good shock absorbers. Now effective shock absorbing hand grips would be far more relevant, with the potholes in my local roads, I sometimes have trouble keeping my eyes in their sockets.

Avatar
Sredlums replied to Scarey | 2 months ago
0 likes

I am not a fan of suspension (in fact, I think it took away the simple fun of mountin biking, making everything needlessly complicated), but tbh your logic makes no sense. Wouldn't you rather have those glueous maximuses propelling you forward - or getting a bit of rest, for that matter - than being busy suspending the shocks?

Avatar
Geoff Ingram | 2 months ago
1 like

I'd wait for reviews before considering buying, 'cos it looks very bouncy but at least it has the advantage that it can be changed easily from 1 bike to another, so if it doesn't convince on a gravel, or a touring bike, maybe it works on a hardtail.

Avatar
Capt Sisko | 2 months ago
7 likes

Erm, haven't Brooks been doing that for over a century.

 

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to Capt Sisko | 2 months ago
2 likes

To be fair (AFAIK) they've never offered the opportunity to add the spring suspension system to any saddle you like, so not really.

Avatar
andystow replied to Capt Sisko | 2 months ago
0 likes

I have one sprung Brooks Flyer, and I'm not convinced I get much shock absorption at all. If the springs can handle a 150 kg rider without being constantly bottomed out, they're basically rigid with my 73 kg on them.

Latest Comments