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Tech Roundup: Featuring Rapha, Tacx, Brooks, Muc-Off, Xpedo

Plus new products from Carradice, Hiplok, Tour de Force, Velo-Trainer, plus beer and more

We've got loads and loads of new products to tell you about in this week's Tech Roundup  bags, beer, bobble hats, all sorts – so let's get amongst it. First up, though, some very cool looking shoes from Rapha.


Rapha’s Climber shoes now available

We told you way back in January that Rapha were going to launch Climber shoes and we saw them at Eurobike, but we’ve never actually shown them to you before.

Well, behold! These are they, and they’ve just become available.

Like Rapha’s existing GT (Grand Tour) shoes, the Climber shoes are made in collaboration with Giro. The sole is EC90 SLXII carbon fibre. It’s 6.5mm thick and the heel defenders are replaceable.

The Climber shoes’ uppers are made from perforated, mesh-backed synthetic leather and those holes are much, much larger than those of the GT shoes, the idea being to keep the weight down and improve breathability. Obviously, these are designed for working hard in hot weather, not for off-season use.

Rapha claim a weight of 430g for a pair of size 43s (UK size 9), and that’s very, very light.

With the perforations and the contrast strap, they actually look vaguely similar to Giro’s own ProLight SLX II shoes (if you squint, like).

Whereas those Giros are priced at £299.99, the Rapha Climber shoes are cheaper at £280. That shocked you, didn’t it? Although ‘cheaper’ is a relative term.

They’re available in sizes 39-48, including half sizes, via Rapha’s website


New K-Edge Combo Mount

K-Edge have a new Combo Mount that takes a Garmin computer and an action video camera at the same time. It’s an aluminium mount and it positions both the computer and the camera centrally. The mount fits Garmin Edge 200, 500 and 510 computers and GoPro interface cameras. It weighs a claimed 43g and it’s safe to fit to carbon handlebars. The price is £44.99. Get more info at


Carradice collaborate with Harris Tweed

Carradice are launching a limited edition of their bags with genuine Harris Tweed.

Carradice are using nine different Harris Tweed fabrics, from traditional herringbone and houndstooth patterns to checks and tartans, in a wide range of colours.

The three bag styles – Originals Barley (£90), Originals Zip Roll (£60) and City Classics Bingley (£50) – are all made from cotton duck material with leather straps and metal fixings.

The tweed is used on the lid of each bag and carries the Harris Tweed Orb trademark. Harris Tweed is hand-woven by islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides and made from pure virgin wool that's dyed and spun locally.

Carradice made a small number of Harris Tweed bags earlier this year and they sold within days.

See the range at


Tacx Cycling app available for Android tablets

The Tacx Cycling app is now available for Android tablets. Previously, Tacx launched versions for iPads, iPhones and Android smartphones.

The app allows you to combine your Tacx trainer with an Android tablet for indoor training.

It allows you to train on the slope, power or heart rate you prefer, create your own training session, use professional training programmes and fitness tests, and save and review your performance data

While cycling, the resistance is adjusted automatically by the resistance unit on your trainer.

The app is compatible with all Tacx’s Smart trainers (Bushido Smart, Vortex Smart and Satori Smart).

From December, the app for Android tablets will also allow you to use Tacx films, allowing you to cycle parts of famous cycling and triathlon races at home. Films will become available as in-App purchases.

Tablets must run on Android version or higher. You can download the Android app free from the Google Play Store

Brooks launch new Utility bags

Brooks England, best known for their leather saddles, are now offering their Ultility bags in new colours: olive, rust and stone.


The Utility bags are waterproof models designed for everyday urban. The Dalston Knapsack, the Hackney Backpack, and the Euston Shoulder Bag are all constructed in Italy from waterproof textile and vegetable-tanned leather.

They’re available from €135 to €190 euros at Brooks dealers and online at


Muc-Off release new products

Muc-Off have just released two new products.

First up, there’s Muc-Off Bio Grease that is said to provide maximum protection with low friction, specifically for bikes. It is fully biodegradable and free from any petroleum-based oils. A 150g tube is priced £10.

The other new product is Muc-Off Carbon Gripper. It is a carbon-fibre assembly compound that creates a secure ‘mating friction’ between carbon surfaces, eliminating the need to over-tighten clamps, and so reducing the possibility of carbon fatigue. A 75g tube is £15.

Visit Muc-Off’s website for more details.


Hackney GT Alpine Bobble hat

It’s like a ski hat... but with bikes on it. Hackney GT’s bobble hat is made from cotton and costs £22.50.


Xpedo Thrust E power meter to ship by Christmas


You might remember that we told you about Xpedo’s power meter from Taipei Cycle way back in March. The system is contained entirely within the pedal, a strain gauge being located in the pedal contact area and Xpedo's own custom chip within the pedal body doing all the calculations.

The latest news is that the pedals should be ready to ship before Christmas at a price of US$1,100 (no UK price has yet been set.


Saris Hottie stand

Saris's The Hottie is a bike stand that's designed to keep things tidy and look cool whether you set it up in your garage or inside your flat/house (hmm…or maybe your office - ed). It holds one or two bikes, it's freestanding, and there's a little shelf for cycling essentials.

It'll accommodate a range of bike frames and is priced £195. We've already got one in for test.


Purity re-launch cycling-inspired beer

Midlands craft brewer Purity Brewing Company has re-launched its seasonal black beer, Saddle Black, a nod to the world of the bicycle.

“The full flavoured, gnarly black beer uses chinook and cascade hops to give a full smoky and citrus aroma, combining a mix of black pepper, deep fruits, orange and spices,” says Purity. “Roasted malts provide a taste of chocolate and espresso, while smoked malts ensure a well-rounded finish for a full-bodied taste experience.”

Saddle Black comes in cask at 5.1% and is now bottled at a full bodied 7%.

The Warwickshire brewery has also developed a range of cycling jerseys to celebrate its commitment to the biking community.

Saddle Black is priced from £1.90 per bottle or £20.20 per pack of 12. Jerseys are priced at £40 each.

For more information visit


Tour de Force to launch new Morvelo kit

Tour de Force, an event that follows the route of each year’s Tour de France and raises money for the William Wates Memorial Trust to help disadvantaged young people fulfil their potential, has teamed up with Morvélo for 2015’s kit.

It will be on sale just before Christmas from Morvélo’s website. We don’t yet have prices.


Hiplok DC lock available now

The new wearable DC lock from British brand Hiplok is now available through Evans Cycles and it will be available via stores worldwide in the new year.

The Hiplok DC is an integrated D-lock and cable lock – hence the DC – that sits at the top of the Hiplok range.

It comprises a Sold Secure rated Hiplok D-lock, with a 5mm steel cable clipped into the D, designed to prevent the removal of components and accessories by the opportunist thief.

The DC fits easily on to bags and belt straps with integrated clips. It is priced at £59.99.

For more info go to Hiplok's website


Velo-Trainer app allows indoor racing via iPad

A new app has been launched to allow cyclists to train together while stuck indoors.

Velo-Trainer has been designed by cyclist Tony Holt, initially for iPads. It allows friends in different places to train together indoors and create events for competition, fun, or organising training. It also records and synchronises data to popular training logs like Strava and Training Peaks.

Once paired with Bluetooth or ANT+ sensors, exercise data is displayed as you cycle around the on-screen velodrome. Heart-rate data is also displayed as well as your personal training zones.

The app allows cyclists to schedule and train together in live events, or create “anytime” events that allow friends to compete against one another at any time within seven days.

Velo-Trainer for iPad is available from the App Store. An In-App one month subscription is £3.99 while a 12 month subscription is £29.99. For more information visit


Cycling prints from Laurie King

If you’re still looking for Christmas gifts, cyclist and illustrator Laurie King has added a new Weekend Warrior design to a range of cycle-themed prints. Each one is printed by hand by the artist. Weekend Warrior is priced at £80 unframed, and £150 framed. Buy during November and you’ll get a set of greetings cards and a water bottle free of charge.


Other bike-related prints are available too. For more details go to Larie King’s website

SiS offer Rego in new flavour

Science in Sport are offering their Rego protein bar in a new mint chocolate flavour. You can currently get a 20-pack of the 55g bars for £35.99 (the usual price is £39.99). That works out at about £1.80 per bar. You get 20g of protein per bar in the form of whey, casein and soy, and the idea is that you eat it within 30mins of completing your exercise.

New base layer from Showers Pass

Showers Pass have a new Body-Mapped base layer with a fabric mix comprising modal, nylon, merino wool and Spandex. The base layer is designed to work with the ventilation system in the company’s jacket line.
Multiple knit patterns are used to achieve the body-mapping without adding additional seams; the torso is seamless to minimise chafing. The torso is long and the sleeves have thumb loops.
The base layer is available in both men’s and women’s versions at US$69.

Urbanshell bag covers on Kickstarter

Urbanshell have launched a project on Kickstarter offering their bag covers in new colours. You need to pledge £20 to be inline to get an electric pink cover or lightning blue cover, assuming Urbanshell hit their £6,000 target.
Urbanshell launched their original orange bag cover earlier in the year. The covers are waterproof and reflective. Urbanshell say they’re suitable for any rucksack with a capacity between 20 and 40 litres.
Check out Urbanshell’s Kickstarter page for more details. adds route profile tool, a free online route planner designed to make it easy to map, measure and share routes, now has a route profile tool.

This new tool gives you a detailed analysis of the elevation profile of your route, with options to download, print and share both the route profile chart and the underlying data.

Buttons and sliders give you control over the way the route profile is calculated and plotted, with options to filter out short bumps and to smooth the profile by changing the sampling frequency. It’s also possible to zoom in to parts of the route for closer analysis of shorter sections and to annotate the route profile with automatic and custom labels.

For more info go to

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 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.

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