Cycling is a trendy sport (we think so anyway), and this week's tech news round-up confirms that even brands that aren't usually known for any affiliation with it want to get involved.
Yep, to kick things off we're delving into Zara's updated cycling collection, which sees the return of the peculiarly named "Strappy Cycling Culottes". We're also looking at the 'ultimate' bike cover that is rapidly heading towards its Kickstarter funding goal, interesting Beatles-inspired clothing from State Bicycle Co, as well as news from Komoot, Sungod and more.
Read on to get on track with the trendiest cycling tech news...
Spanish retail giant Zara is offering a new range of cycling kit – would you be tempted to buy from a general High Street chain rather than going to a bike specialist, especially one that describes its bib shorts as “Strappy Cycling Culottes”? We're no experts on culottes but we're pretty sure they aren't these.
We’ve told you about Zara’s cycling clothing before. The brand launched its first-ever women’s cycle clothing range last year, for example, and it introduced a line of men’s mountain bike apparel in December. The Spiuk MTB Athletics Helmet (£109) is still available.
Zara’s women’s cycling kit is now limited to padless leggings – so they’re more cycling in name than in function – but men can get those Strappy Cycling Culottes for £99.99.
They come with “flatlock anti-abrasion seams” and an “ergonomic bikepad made of quick-drying bacteriostatic fabric, suitable for training for any type of distance”.
Zara says, “The central foam is 80.6mm thick and perforated for better ventilation, while the inserts are 4mm thick and allow for a wide position range on the bike.”
We’re guessing it means the pad is 80.6mm wide. We’re all for deep padding, but over 8cm thick would wreak havoc on your bike fit!
Zara also offers Eassun Cycling Sunglasses for £59.99. You don't get a spare lens but the price still looks good.
Plenty of other High Street retailers have dabbled in the cycling market. We’ve reviewed Aldi’s bib shorts and jerseys in the past, for instance, and the outdoor-focused Jack Wolfskin offers bib shorts for men and women, a bike packing collection, and the Bike Commute Mono Jacket that we featured recently.
Have you had a good experience with bike clothing from a brand not usually associated with cycling? Or do you buy only from specialists? We’re interested to know what you think.
A British brand is offering what it describes as “the ultimate bike storage covers” on Kickstarter, and they’re well on the way to hitting their funding target.
Product design consultancy Therefore Ltd says, “Whilst traditional bike covers are often awkward to put on and take off and deteriorate rapidly when exposed to the elements, Envelope bike covers have been designed to be easier and faster to use – popping up instantly or folding down in seconds, to be stowed. They’re also made from high-quality 100% recycled ripstop fabric making them not only sustainable, but also durable.”
Two models are available. The Envelope Midi “specifically protects the bike and the surrounding interiors from scuffs, scrapes and damage when stored indoors or in transit – perfect for apartments or in the car”, according to its designers. It folds down small enough to carry in a rucksack.
The Envelope Maxi, on the other hand, is designed to protect up to two bikes either indoors or outdoors.
The polyester fabric clearly isn’t going to shield your bike from big knocks but it has a 1,500mm waterproof rating and a 30-40 UPF UV coating to keep the elements out.
You need to pledge at least £35 to be in line for an Envelope Midi and at least £60 for an Envelope Maxi with delivery expected in December. Pledging money through a crowdfunding site isn’t the same as buying through a retailer.
State Bicycle Co has unveiled a new collection featuring jerseys, a tech t-shirt and two limited-edition bikes inspired by The Beatles. You might have heard of them.
A tech tee is $59.99 (around £48), a standard jersey is $69.99 (around £57), and a wool jersey is $79.99 (around £65).
State Bicycle Co’s single-speed Klunker has also been given a Yellow Submarine theme.
As well as the limited edition frame finish, which includes portholes on the top tube with a Beatle behind each of them, it comes with a Yellow Submarine saddle from Brooks and is priced at $450 (around £363).
The 4130 Road Bike has a far more subtle Beatles finish. Stripes on the top tube and seat tube reference the famous zebra crossing Abbey Road cover photo...
...while the chain guard features the album title.
The frame is double-butted 4130 grade chromoly steel and you get 8-speed down tube shifting. This one is priced at $649 (around £525).
It's been a good week for retro, with the Beatles launch above and also that properly authentic-looking Raleigh Chopper remake with a modern take on the old 'suicide' shifter. With those taking care on the 60s, 70s and 80s, Cannondale have your 90s cycling nostalgia covered with this exquisite reimagining of the CAAD3 Saeco from 1997... well, it's actually a modern CAAD13 with Hunt wheels and a 12-speed Campagnolo Record groupset, but the paintjob is impressively authentic.
The comments are full of praise for rim brakes, and Cannondale fans asking if bikes with this special edition paintjob can be put into full production. road.cc stalwart Stu Kerton says of his first CAAD: "My first road bike was a Giant OCR, but when I decided to take things seriously I treated myself to a CAAD 5, in glossy dark red with the Saeco logos in gold, and Cannondale in white. Probably one of the best looking bikes I've ever owned."
Navigation and route planning platform komoot has launched new Discover features, that allow you to find routes that start at a specific location on a new map.
komoot says, “Thanks to the ever-growing 5.5 million Tours recommendations available globally, komoot users can now browse for cycling, hiking and running adventures that start at their favourite locations. Additionally, users can further customise their search with in-depth filters for elevation, duration, distance — and much more.”
Thanks to the new map-based interface, komoot users can now receive Tour recommendations in a specific area and compare them on a map that offers detailed route information at a glance.
“Whether it’s their current location, a specific address (like public transport hubs, car parks and holiday accommodations) or a dropped pin placed on the map, users can now view the most popular routes that begin from their favourite locations,” says komoot.
“Additionally, the new map interface includes animated direction markers that indicate route direction, coloured Tour lines that help distinguish between suggested routes and labelled start points that facilitate compare options.”
Wahoo says that it has applied sports science knowledge and effective training to create Four-Dimensional Power (4DP) workouts on Wahoo RGT.
These workouts use four power metrics – neuromuscular power, anaerobic capacity, maximal aerobic power, and functional threshold power – to give a personalised profile of your cycling strengths and weaknesses.
The 4DP workouts are then aimed at helping you optimise your training sessions and work towards specific goals.
"The Wahoo Sports Science team has spent years developing and expanding the use of 4DP testing and training at our world-class Sports Science Centre in Boulder [Colorado] and we're excited to see it be available across all Wahoo platforms," says Neal Henderson, Head of Wahoo Sports Science.
Superb athlete? Definitely. All-round good bloke? Seems like it. But a style icon and top sunglasses salesman? Apparently so! Fresh from securing the runner-up spot in the Giro d’Italia, Geraint Thomas this week released his SunGod GTs Signature Series eyewear, and the first 300 pairs sold out almost straight away.
Thomas famously wore white Oakley Racing Jackets for about a million years before his Ineos Grenadiers team switched to the British SunGod brand for 2023. He’s stuck with white, though. G is clearly a man who knows what he likes.
The SunGod GTs Signature Series eyewear has apparently been “designed with extensive input and testing from Geraint Thomas himself”, although we’re never too sure how much of that to believe. You can decide for yourself by checking out the story of the process here. It’s a new frame rather than an existing model that’s been given a spruce-up.
“Nodding to Geraint’s heritage, a Welsh dragon is engraved and inset in red on the nose bridge while the lenses are engraved with G’s own signature,” says SunGod.
As mentioned, the first 300 pairs have already gone but you can submit your email address to get the latest news on the next drop.
We’ve mentioned Santini’s Tour de France-focused Maillot Jaune collections a few times over recent weeks, and we’re doing so again because the kit that celebrates Louison Bobet and Mont Ventoux – the mountain upon which he built his 1955 Tour victory – is now available. This was his third and final Tour win.
The jersey (£100) is a classy little number in cream while the blue, white and red accents on the various articles in the range are a nod to the fact that Bobet was racing for the French national team.
The base layer (£30) is pretty cool, hopefully in more ways than one. It features the front page of L'Équipe sports newspaper from the day after the finish in Paris.
The exclusive Speedstar Silver Dogma F will be available in limited quantities from early June, complete with Campagnolo's 12-speed Super Record Wireless groupset.
Seven of the last 11 Tour de France editions have been won on Dogmas – although the last was 2019 – and Pinarello says, "the latest generation is now ready to continue that legacy of success".
The Dogma F is said to offer advancements in handling, comfort, and aerodynamics, in a package that can climb, descend, and sprint with equal flair.
Key features of the Dogma F include Carbon T1100 1K, flatback profile compliant with 3:1 UCI rule, TiCR internal cable routing and Onda fork which is a distinctive Pinarello technology.
After the recent launch of the new Corsa Pro tyre, which Vittoria describes as “the most advanced cotton road tyre ever made”, the Italian brand has released a limited edition version, featuring pink sidewalls to celebrate the Giro.
The Corsa Pro Pink is available in size 700x28c, tubeless-ready, priced at £89.99. Only 1000 have been made.
Free-to-use virtual cycling platform MyWhoosh has announced a bunch of updates, including four new routes for you to ride in its recently launched Arabia World.
“Al Wathba is one of the most scenic destinations in the UAE, where riders can explore mesmerising desert sculptures which have been naturally formed from wind-swept sand,” says MyWhoosh. “Fans of Star Wars may recognise the landscape from the franchise’s 2015 instalment, The Force Awakens.”
Other routes include the Yas Marina Circuit, best known as the home of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
MyWhoosh has added two new bikes, the Ventum NS1 and Ventum GS1, that you can ride virtually, and “users can now upload, track, and share rides and experiences with friends in the Strava community using in-game screenshots of their MyWhoosh rides”. Results are correlated automatically to produce a real-time segment leaderboard so you can battle it out for the top place.
Daysaver has launched a new multitool that's aid to adapt to you and your bike with customisable parts.
Daysaver says it has found that cyclists have different preferences when it comes to what they want their multitool to do and how they like to transport it, so the Swiss startup came up with this fully customisable concept, said to offer the same advantages as an Allen key but in a form that fits in different cavities of the bike.
The 'Incredible Multitool" can be customised with up to eight tools and is made of hardened stainless steel. It has a claimed weight of 60g and measures 14.5 x 96.5mm when folded.
The Kickstarter has raised £13,636 out of its £17,173 target with 24 days to go.
Swedish watch and eyewear label CHPO has introduced affordable cycling glasses made from recycled plastic.
The glasses are GRS-certified – GRS standing for Global Recycle Standard – with either polarised or clear lenses.
CHPO – how are they pronouncing that? Not 'cheapo', surely – is a newcomer to the cycling sector, having just launched a new model called CHPO x Prima Due in collaboration with the Swedish cycling apparel brand Prima.
These are made with oversized frames and offer UV400 protection. They’re priced at just €39 (around £34) with €8 (about £7) for shipping.
We've not tried them but at that price they've got to be worth a punt.
In case you missed it earlier in the week...