Good news, Tech Roundup is back! Yes I know, you've all missed it terribly. This week we've got new jackets and long stripey socks, new bike shops opening and new bike fit services, plus the world's lightest (claimed) saddlebags and a bit more besides.
We were really impressed with the Dyfi Active Shell windproof jacket from howies when we reviewed it last year, and it’s back, the Welsh company tells us. We hadn’t realised it had gone away, but turns out howies sold out completely a few months ago, so decided to make a few tweaks and improvements.
Those changes amounts to thinner and more flexible reflective bands on the arms, a longer dropped tail, and the chest pocket now has a double-sided zip pocket so the jacket can be stuffed inside it, handy when you don’t need to wear it. There’s a new interior slip pocket to stash a mobile phone. They’re sticking with the colours, but Alex from howies tells us the “the black is blacker, the blue bluer and the orange that sold out fast is the same.
At £39 it’s a bit of a snip, we reckon it’ll probably fly off the shelves again.
Ritchey have brought back their road tyre, this is the Race Slick. Available in 23 and 25mm options, it’s made with a 120tpi reinforced nylon casing with a 60A durometer rubber tread. Weight for a 23mm version is a claimed 189g, which is seriously light. It’s available as a tubular as well.
It costs €39 and is available through www.paligap.cc
Velocio Apparel have this week launched a range of women’s cycling clothing - they do offer men’s clothing, but 90% of the range is designed specifically for women. The range extends to 18 women’s pieces, available now through their online store, and a men’s jersey and bib shorts.
Velocio has been launched by ex-professional cyclist and current owner of the Specialized-Lululemon women’s professional cycling team, Kristy Scrymgeour. She has brought her experience to a new range of women’s clothing, all made in Italy.
Key to the clothing says Velocio is fit. Every panel, seam, stitch and detail has been carefully considered. Says Velocio:
“When we set out to create Velocio, we knew it had to be different, to set itself apart. The fit, feel and performance of our clothing relies on very deliberate choices in fabric technology.
“Moreover, we developed Velocio Fit, a proprietary design pattern to support a rider while cycling. Performance matters, whether it is at the highest levels of sport or in the enjoyment and longevity of a great casual ride. Velocio Fit takes a rider’s shape and movement and maximizes the places where compression helps support muscles to reduce fatigue, where chamois and trim choices minimize the contact points to reduce discomfort and where little details like leg grippers and zipper pulls optimize every touch point for better connection and a nicer feeling piece of clothing.”
It looks like some really nice clothing, nicely designed with a great style and collection of colours. You can see the full range at http://velocio.cc/shop/
Camelbak are branching out with the launch of the Relay, a home water filter system. A common problem, at least in my experience, is that the filtration mechanism can be very slow to filter water. That is something Camelbak have focused on, claiming their new design is significantly faster. So less time waiting for it to fill up, which is good. They claim it’s 10x faster in fact in their comparison tests, which you can read in detail here.
The Relay filters water twice, first as you fill it from the tap, and secondly as you pour into a bottle or glass. The company claims the plant-based filter removes 97% of chlorine, taste and odour. The lid locks into place so avoiding the potential for spillage, and it doesn’t spill when you pour either. No word on whether it’s going to be available in the UK or how much it might cost, but we’ll endeavour to find out for you.
More at http://relay.camelbak.com/
Bespoke Cycling, first opened in 2007 and specialising in high-end premium bike brands and bike fitting, are expanding with a new store set to open in the Canary Wharf Crossrail retail and leisure development which is due to open in May 2015.
“Personal service and expert product knowledge is at the heart of everything we do,” said Bespoke’s founder, Barry Scott. “We opened our first London store in 2007 and have been proud to bring bike fitting expertise into the mainstream. Our new store will be full of beautiful bikes and components from the world’s leading brands, and we can’t wait to be part of the exciting new Crossrail development at Canary Wharf”.
Camille Waxer, Chief Administrative Officer for Canary Wharf Group plc, said: “Cycling is a big part of the community here at Canary Wharf and we’re glad to have Bespoke Cycling onboard as it will really appeal to our keen cyclists when it opens at the new Crossrail development in 2015.”
In addition to a showroom and bike fitting studios the 5000 squarefoot store will have a fully equipped service centre. Advice on bikes, training and nutrition will be available instore from Bespoke’s team of specialists.
Spring is nearly here, time to get the posh socks out of hibernation. But how long is the perfect cycling sock? That’s a debate, er, argument that can run and run. Café du Cycliste have been pondering that, and have just launched the new tube sock, inspired by tube socks fashionable with skateboarders during the 1970’s.
The design has been brought up to date with modern fabrics so they’re comfortable and breathable and wick sweat away from your skin. Just need spring to arrive so we can get out of full winter clothing and show off in socks like these.
More over at http://blog.cafeducycliste.com/tube-sock-style/
If you’re frequently swapping cassettes between different wheels (as the road.cc tech team seems to be doing a lot lately) then you’ll know too well that it can be a bit of a faff.
Enter the Unior chain whip, which replaces the traditional chain whip design with a short length of chain attached to a metal handle, with this design. It simply plugs into the cassette, locking into the smallest sprocket. The demonstration made it look very easy, we’re going to get one into the office and throw our old chainwhip away.It costs £38.99.
Also new from Unior is this singlespeed sprocket removal tool. Getting a singlespeed sprocket off a BMX or singlespeed bike can be a hard job, but this new tool aims to make it a doddle. It’s more of a workshop tool really, hence it lots built to last a lifetime, and costs £74.99.
If you want to go touring in the UK this summer then you’ll need some way of carrying your sandwiches, and keeping them from getting soggy. These new Arkel Dry-Lite panniers weight just 420g and are claimed to be fully waterproof.
They have plenty of space for your sandwiches, and much more besides, with 32 litre capacity across the two bags. They have a roll-top waterproof design and lightweight horizontal stays keep the bags clear of the wheel. They have reflectors and a built-in shoulder strap for lugging off the bike.
CSG UK (importers of Cannondale and Charge) is bringing the Guru Bike Fit Experience to three bike shops in the UK, Leisure Lakes (Daventry), Tri UK (Yeovil) and Hoops Velo (Farnham), with more to follow in the future.
Bike fitting is big business these days with more brands and retailers seeking to offer new and existing customers professional bike fits. The Guru Bike Fit Experience uses an automated fitting machine paired with computer analysis software that takes measurements while the rider is pedalling.
The system has a huge database of bicycle models and sizes from most significant brands in the industry so it can recommend the correct frame model and size for each rider. The process includes a 3D body scan of the rider using technology developed by Microsoft for the medical industry based on facial recognition software.
There’s a fresh new paint finish for the Madison Genesis Volare 953 team bike ahead of the race season, revealed on the company’s Facebook page today.
The team enters their second year and are still racing the range-topper Volare 953 (that we’re currently testing as it happens). While the frame is essentially unchanged, the new look is a big improvement over the previous finish, with a black over silver colourway and more subtle Madison branding. Nice stripe details stretching from the carbon fork across the down tube, seat tube and seatstays too. More details on the new bike soon...
More from Tech Roundup next weekend.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.