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TECH NEWS

Is there really still an appetite for NFTs in cycling? Plus the rest of the week's tech from Zwift, Rapha, Castelli, Muc-Off + more

Zwift goes to Scotland, Met releases a limited-edition Tadej Pogacar helmet, the millionth Brompton rolls off the production line, and you won't believe how little Engo's latest head-up display glasses weigh

This edition of Tech of the Week is jam-packed – especially considering that we're in deepest, darkest December – with news from some of the biggest brands in cycling, including head-up display glasses weighing just 36g and the millionth Brompton to roll off the production line, but we're starting with the latest NFT to hit the biking world. 

Is there really still an appetite for NFTs in cycling? 

The 2023 Giro d’Italia’s Maglia Rosa, the race leader’s red jersey, is being auctioned as an NFT (non-fungible token) – a unique piece of 3D digital art – but does anyone want to buy it?

2023 Maglia Rosa NFT - 1

There have been various NFTs introduced into the cycling world over the past few years. Colnago sold its C64 road bike as an NFT – essentially a digital picture of the bike – for almost $8,600 at auction in May 2021, for example, while the Bike Club NFT, which claimed to be 'the world’s first blockchain-based cycling club', was met with a pretty scathing reaction from some corners of the cycling community earlier this year.

The NFT market grew by over 21,000% from 2020 to 2021 but it has dropped massively during 2022.

ItaliaNFT, an Italian marketplace for digital collectables, says, “The launch of the new Maglia Rosa 2023 in digital format allows ItaliaNFT to stress the key role of its blockchain-based platform as a channel to buy rare objects and experiences related to Made in Italy brands.”

Okay.

“In 2022, the company brought the Giro d’Italia and its symbols – from the Maglia Rosa to the Trofeo Senza Fine – in the revolutionary format of the digital collectables.”

We hope it didn’t pay too much because at the time of writing $500 (about £407) would make you the top bidder for the Maglia Rosa NFT. We're not entirely sure whether anyone has placed a bid or if that's just the starting price.

That price includes four physical Giro d’Italia competition leader's jerseys, a day pass for the last stage of the 2023 race, a ride in a car following the action, access to hospitality and so on.

Bearing in mind that just one of those real-life jerseys, Castelli’s 2023 Giro d’Italia Maglia Rosa, retails at £160, we can’t help feeling that ItaliaNFT isn’t going to make a whole lot of money here. But what do we know? The auction is open for another month. 

Find out more here 

Met releases limited edition Trenta helmet - Pogačar's hair not included

The Trenta 3K Carbon is Met's top-of-the-range lid and was worn by Team UAE Emirates at this year's Tour de France. Met has now released the Trenta 3K Carbon Tadej Pogačar Limited Edition.

2022 MET Trenta Pogačar Limited Edition helmet

With an interesting marketing strategy, Met claims, "Tadej’s iconic tufts are created by the helmet’s performance design, sweeping air in and upwards, and drawing stems of dancing hair out through the vents." 

The Trenta 3K Carbon balances aerodynamics and ventilation, with the addition of MIPS, making it one of the best aero helmets

2022 MET Trenta Pogačar Limited Edition helmet irridescence

This limited edition helmet features iridescent detailing and Pogačar's personal logo giving it "unique character." 

> Read our review of the Met Trenta 3K Carbon MIPS here

It costs £290 and is said to weigh 225g (size M). 

Find out more here

Zwift to launch Scotland virtual world in February

Online training platform Zwift will launch a new Scotland world in February ahead of the 2023 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships.

2022 Zwift Scotland - 1

The all-new map is being built specifically for the Esports World Championships and is said to take inspiration from the Scottish landscape and the city of Glasgow.

> Check out our review of the Zwift Hub smart trainer

Alongside other venues across Scotland, Glasgow will host the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships in August next year – we’re talking about the real world rather than the virtual world this time. Events will cover road (including time trials), track, mountain biking and BMX, and lesser-known areas like artistic cycling and cycle-ball (think football on fixed-gear bikes). Tickets aren’t on sale yet but you can register online for alerts.

> Zwift racer banned for six months and sacked by team for hacking data during world championships qualifier 

The Zwift map – we’re back in the virtual world again – will be made available to ride by Zwift users on stage eight of the Tour de Zwift.

The Scottish world will feature three distinct courses designed to animate the new multi-format UCI Cycling Esports World Championships that will take place on 18th February 2023. The event will feature three short and explosive events – The Punch, The Climb and The Podium. Obviously, there will be castles, mountains and lochs. We're guessing lazy Glaswegian stereotypes will be avoided.

Are there any other features you expect to see included?

Find out more here 

One-millionth Brompton hits the streets!

47 years after it was first invented in London, the millionth Brompton bike has been created, inspired by one of the brand's original models, the ‘Mark One’.

2022 Brompton 1M Master 3 bike

The one-millionth Brompton features a red frame, silver parts, and a one-of-a-kind million decal, ID plate, and aluminium touchpoints. The bike has also been signed by the founder and inventor Andrew Ritchie and current CEO Will Butler-Adams. 

2022 Brompton Millionth bike brazing

Brompton says their bikes have always been built to be ridden, "and the millionth is no different." This one-of-a-kind bike isn't currently for sale but instead will go on a Global tour from London, heading to 16 cities. The aim is to get the Brompton community to ride the bike over the course of a year. 

Find out more here 

Insta360 launches new GPS Action Remote

Insta360 has announced an all-new GPS Action Remote for "easier camera control". The new remote features the ability to overlay live GPS data onto Insta360 action cam footage, with unified data from three networks. 

2022 Insta360 GPS Action Remote

The upgrades from the previous GPS Smart Remote include Bluetooth 5.0 connection, waterproofing to 5 metres for all-weather performance, and the ability to control multiple cameras simultaneously. It comes with two mounting bands for use on handlebars or the wrist. 

> Is the Insta360 GO 2 a good camera for cycling?

Insta360 says the upgrades mean the remote can now communicate with an Insta360 camera up to 65ft (20m) away.

2022 Insta360 GPS Action Remote screenshot

Using the remote, you can overlay stats such as speed and elevation onto your video. 

> Check out the best cycling cameras 2022 

It is suited to many sports including mountain biking, surfing and motorcycling and is priced at £80.99.

Find out more here

Apidura reveals Modular Cargo Cage alongside Cargo Cage 

Apidura launches Innovation Lab Cargo Cage with two and three-bolt mounts for small or large loads, and an Expedition Cargo Cage Pack, "optimised for limited clearances", providing 1.3L of secure storage.

Apidura says, "The Innovation Lab Cargo Cage removes the complexity, offering a single cage for every mount and application." Its optional foot allows the cage to be run on two bolts with or without the foot or three bolts with the foot, "creating compatibility for all bikes and applications."

> Check out the best bikepacking bags 2022 

It is compatible with all common straps and attachment systems and the Apidura Innovation Lab Cargo Cage costs £38. 

2022 Apidura cargo cage full bike

The Expedition Cargo Cage Pack offers a storage option for areas with tight clearance, such as under down tubes, providing 1.3L of storage. 

Apidura say it weighs in at 70g, is waterproof and highly resistant to abrasion and tears.

The Apidura Expedition Cargo Cage Pack costs £35. 

Find out more here

Engo shows new eyewear with head-up display - weighing just 36g

Founded in France, Engo says they are advancing the evolution of sports eyewear, the Engo 2 being their "lightest and most technologically advanced" sports eyewear yet. 

2022 ENGO 2 sunglasses

They have been created to give endurance athletes real-time access to performance data, directly in their field of view, using advanced ActiveLookTM 2.0 technology. Athletes can see data such as power, heart rate, pace and cadence. 

> Check out the best cycling sunglasses 2022

Engo claims the Engo 2 is the same weight as standard sports eyewear making it "the lightest head-up display (HUD) ever created for sports," at 36g. 

2022 ENGO 2 sunglasses

Engo 2 is said to provide a clear and stable display in ambient daylight conditions with the "best-in-class" battery life - up to 12 hours of continuous use. 

They cost $329 (around £270). We've asked for a pair to review here on road.cc

Find out more here

Muc-off promises non-fling formula in new all-weather lube

Muc-off have extended their lubrication range with the release of a new All Weather Chain Lube with a new formula.

2022 Muc Off all-weather lube

This brand-new formula is derived from a blend of renewable and readily biodegradable ingredients which Muc-Off says, "produces a highly versatile high-performance lube."

Muc-Off promises the All Weather Lube "will stand up to the toughest of rides, providing lubrication for long-distance on and off-road."

> Check out the best bike chain lubes 2022 

2022 Muc-off all-weather chain lube

Unpredictable weather conditions and the decision to opt for either a Dry or a Wet Weather lubricant can be a gamble so Muc-Off says the All Weather Lube is a great option as a reliable and long-lasting product that will work irrespective of the weather conditions. 

All Weather Lube is priced at £5.49 for a 50ml bottle, and £10.99 for 120ml.

Find out more here

Restrap's Solstice Century and Rapha's Festive 500 return 

For those winter miles over the festive period, there are some challenges to join. The Restrap Solstice Century challenges you to ride 100 miles over the weekend of the 17th and 18th December

You can use StravaKomootRideWithGPS, or any other ride-tracking platform to
record your ride.

2022 Solstice challenge prizes

All entrants who have submitted a ride will be entered into a prize draw and one rider will receive a  kit bundle worth over £800. Find out more and sign-up here 

Rapha's Festive 500 is also back, encouraging you to ride 500km in eight days from 24th December 24 until 31st December.

2022 Rapha 500

Sign-up for the challenge on Strava to receive a special digital badge, and be entered into a prize draw with the chance to win a new OPEN U.P. 

The Festive 500 can be completed indoors or out and there will be Festive 500 rides starting every two hours during the challenge on Zwift

> How to get started with Zwift 

Find out more and sign-up here

Santini pays tribute to Tour de France finish with limited-edition kit

Santini says they are celebrating all the triumphs of cycling with their limited edition kit named after the Italian word for triumph - Trionfo. 

2023 Santini Trionfo jersey

The design is influenced by the starburst shape of the Place de l'Étoile where cyclists in the Tour de France lap the Arc de Triomphe en route to the finish line on the Champs-Élysées. It features the colours of the French flag as well as yellow details.

The kit comprises a jersey (£100), baselayer (£29), bibshorts (£140), gloves (£30), cap (£19) and socks (£16).

Find out more here

In case you missed it earlier in the week...

Emily is our track and road racing specialist, having represented Great Britain at the World and European Track Championships. With a National Title up her sleeve, Emily has just completed her Master’s in Sports Psychology at Loughborough University where she raced for Elite Development Team, Loughborough Lightning.

Emily is our go-to for all things training and when not riding or racing bikes, you can find her online shopping or booking flights…the rest of the office is now considering painting their nails to see if that’s the secret to going fast…

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19 comments

Avatar
Spangly Shiny | 1 year ago
4 likes

Pet gripe time:

"The NFT market grew by over 21,000% from 2020 to 2021 but it has dropped massively during 2022."
There is not such a thing as 2,1000%, in fact nothing above 100% should be expressed at all since 100% means everything, all of it, you can't get any more. Expressing it as 2,1000% is just a lazy way of over-exaggerating a number in order to senationalise it.
210 fold or 210 times is the correct way of expressing what she is trying to convey. At least that's how I was taught, both at school and in college (Kirkton High in Dundee and Army Apprentices College, Arborfield). Rant over!

Avatar
IanGlasgow | 1 year ago
4 likes

" said to take inspiration from ... the city of Glasgow"

Bike and bus lanes full of parked cars, and a police force with no online reporting portal who respond "on this occasion no harm was done so no further action will be taken" if you do manage to report a close pass. Sounds great.

Avatar
Dnnnnnn replied to IanGlasgow | 1 year ago
2 likes
IanGlasgow wrote:

" said to take inspiration from ... the city of Glasgow"

Bike and bus lanes full of parked cars

And potholes and broken glass.

Avatar
TheBillder replied to IanGlasgow | 1 year ago
0 likes

Hopefully none of these lazy tropes: https://www.davesjokes.com/?joke=glasgow-olympics make it into the finished Scotopia.

Avatar
Car Delenda Est | 1 year ago
1 like

There will always be a need for NFTs, NFT art's time is probably over, but the underlying system of decentralised non-fungible tokens is very useful.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Car Delenda Est | 1 year ago
3 likes
Car Delenda Est wrote:

There will always be a need for NFTs, NFT art's time is probably over, but the underlying system of decentralised non-fungible tokens is very useful.

Okay I'll bite. What are they useful for?

It's a fancy way to introduce artificial scarcity onto something that can be copied at will - that sounds to me like the opposite of useful.

Avatar
Car Delenda Est replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
0 likes

NFTs are just a decentralised way of creating serial identifiers. There's nothing limiting it to artwork.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Car Delenda Est | 1 year ago
1 like
Car Delenda Est wrote:

NFTs are just a decentralised way of creating serial identifiers. There's nothing limiting it to artwork.

So, what would you use it for?

In my line of work (computing), we often have need of serial identifiers for database records, but we settle for numbers (not necessarily consecutive ones due to database clustering and transactions not always being committed). I'm not seeing useful applications as NFTs take considerable resources to mint, so I'm curious what they could be used for apart from artificial scarcity. I think they (or at least blockchain tech) are interesting from a technical perspective, but the proof-of-work concept was a huge mistake.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
8 likes

Someone on this site explained to me that they're great if you'd like something like a fungible token but didn't want it to be funged.  3

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RoubaixCube replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
4 likes

Its basically a scam.

People trying to sell you digital art with unique identifiers that is pretty much worthless to the average joe unless they are trading it to someone who is in on the whole NFT business thing and wants to buy it off you or someone would accept the art as payment or partial payment in lieu of cold hard cash.

The artwork can be anything the artist or the company owns the rights to but there has been lots shady merchants on a lot of sites selling digital NFT art they dont have the rights to and people are buying the the art because they probably missed the bit-coin boom and want to get in on it before the market crashes like it did with bit-coin.

If you spend a million on an NFT and want to use it to buy my mansion - I can laugh in your face because to me that digital image is worth nothing - and thats what will eventually happen with NFTs, youre left with an image 99% of people can download off the internet for free while you paid a few thousand for the right to download it and sell it on like its some sort of valuable commodity - which its obviously not.

NFT is a get rich quick scheme for the rich and big corp/tech who own rights to interlectual properties to rake in even more money.

-----

I can garantee you. Nobody in the NFT world - even the big corporations who are promoting NFTs will be able to explain to you clearly and directly what the benefits of NFTs are because they honestly dont know other than the fact that they've pretty much scammed a some people out of a few thousand grand each.

Avatar
ROADEAGL replied to RoubaixCube | 1 year ago
1 like

You covered it pretty well. NFTs only provide bragging rights for someone in need of ego stroking. Self-stroking. 

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andystow replied to Car Delenda Est | 1 year ago
2 likes

I find fungible tokens to be even more useful.

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Mungecrundle | 1 year ago
5 likes

An unregulated market controlled by murky operators adept in the understanding of human greed and practiced in the art of ramping worthless product coated in snake oil using tried and trusted techniques handed down since the time of tulip fever.

Sure, a few are allowed to succeed, at least initially, ground baiting if you will, but I'll bet a £ to a penny that the vast majority of the gullible will lose their money.

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hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
10 likes

It's like a pyramid scheme, but without the pretense that you'll get anything from it

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Blackthorne replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
3 likes

Because companies shilling NFTs have nothing to lose. Literally.

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mark1a | 1 year ago
8 likes

Is there really still Was there ever an appetite for NFTs in cycling anywhere? 

FTFY

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Wingguy replied to mark1a | 1 year ago
7 likes

There was an appetite for pushing them. Truly they are a product designed to try and create a market.

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Off the back replied to Wingguy | 1 year ago
1 like

There is an appetite to push heroin onto people. Not sure that makes it a good idea. 

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andystow replied to mark1a | 1 year ago
0 likes

Cyclists are likely no smarter nor dumber than any other randomly chosen subset of the population. If there are cyclists dumb enough to fall for the PMP L-shaped crank, there are cyclists dumb enough to "invest" in NFTs.

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