It's time to catch up on all the latest product news, starting with a new jersey, cap and arm screens from Rapha.
Rapha have launched a new To The Sun bundle that features a Pro Team Jersey, cap and arm screens for £150. The name hints at Paris-Nice although there are no overt references to the race on the clothing.
The Pro Team Jersey (main pic) is a lightweight, close fitting design that’s intended to be high wicking. The chest-panel graphic that Rapha call ‘refraction’ is repeated on the underside of the cotton cap’s peak.
The arm screens are intended to block the sun on clear days although Rapha say they can also be used as lightweight arm warmers.
For more info go to www.rapha.cc.
Zipp have redesigned their line of Service Course and Service Course SL aluminium stems and seatposts, offering more fit options and new graphics.
There’s an all new +/-6° Zipp Service Course SL-OS stem that fits a 1 1/4in steerer. If you have a 1 1/8in steerer (that’s most bikes these days), you can use this stem with shims to adjust the stem to ±4°, ± 6°, and ±8° angles. It’ll be available from March at £96 in 70-130mm lengths. Zipp claim a weight of 140g for the 100mm model.
The Zipp Service Course SL stem has a redesigned shape and it’ll be available next month at £88 in ±6° and ±17° angles and 70, 80, 90, 100, 110, 120, 130 and (for ±6° stem only) 140mm lengths. Zipp claim a weight of 125g for the 100mm version.
The Zipp Service Course SL seatpost, available next month, is designed for easy tool access in order to facilitate fast and easy setup. It will be available in 27.2mm and 31.6mm diameters from next month at £83.
In the Service Course range (as opposed to the Service Course SL range, above), the Service Course stem has a new shape that Zipp say improves the stiffness-to-weight ratio. There’s a new 60mm length to add to the existing 70-130mm options of the ±6° stem, and a new ±25° stem available in 75, 90, 105 and 120mm versions.
The claimed weight is 150g for the 100mm version and the price is £44.
The final product is the Service Course seatpost that, like the Service Course SL version, is available in 27.2 and 31.6mm diameters. The price is £40.
Go to www.zipp.com for more details.
If you want to try out Q-Rings but aren’t sure if they’re right for you, Rotor are offering a TryQ programme that allows you to buy a set and then get your money back (or a store credit) after 30 days if you are not satisfied.
Rotor say, “Q-Rings orientate the chainring around a rider's unique pedalling characteristics relative to both the ring's ovalization and form factors.
“Their design features include subtle but efficient ovality and adjustability to ensure minimum diameter related to the start of pedal stroke and maximum diameter related to peak power.”
Q-Rings are available for road, triathlon, mountain bike, and cyclocross.
The 30 Day Guarantee is valid for all Q-Ring models apart from special edition Q-Rings. It’s available through bricks-and-mortar shops, not online.
You have 30 days from the time you buy the Q-Rings to try them out and determine the best chainring position for you.
If you’re not satisfied at the end of that period, you can return the chainrings to the retailer.
When you buy the Q-Rings, you need to find out from the retailer whether you’ll be given a refunded in cash or a store credit should you ultimately decide to return them. It’s down to the discretion of individual retailers.
For more info go to www.rotorbike.com/tryQ/home/en.
After our recent Buyer’s Guide to Bike Bags and Boxes, Buxum Box contacted us to tell us about their aluminium options.
“I started Buxum a couple of years ago after I needed a bike box for a trip to the Pyrenees with a bunch of Hong Kong riders,” says Ed Morris of Buxum. “We couldn't find anything available on the market in Asia with a specification or quality commensurate with the bikes we were riding. The good soft cases were just too soft whilst the hard-shelled boxes were either too bulky, too heavy or just a bit flimsy on the hardware side.”
Ed used business trips to test prototypes and there are now three boxes in the range starting at £353 (excluding delivery and tax).
Production is currently undertaken in Asia but the plan for 2015 is to move assembly to the UK.
Look out for a review on road.cc soon. In the meantime, go to www.buxumbox.com for more information.
A new app called Velo-Trainer has been launched to help motivate you to train indoors. It has been designed initially for iPads, and is currently the only iPad app to connect cyclists together while training indoors.
The app has been developed by cyclist Tony Holt and allows friends in different locations 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 on the screen as you cycle around the arcade-style velodrome track. Heart-rate data is also displayed as well as your personal training zones.
The app allows you 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 on the App Store. For more information visit http://www.velo-trainer.com.
PEdAL Ed has announced the release of an updated version of its hiking-style Mido riding boot, now available in water resistant leather and new colour combinations.
Produced in Italy by Diemme, it is a classic hiking boot with a high quality Vibram sole with a thin profile to reduce bulk. It comes with a lowcut ankle and reflective heel element, and is available in four leather colours: black, brown, green and Bordeaux.
Each model comes with three pairs of laces, one is contrasting colour, one tone on tone colour, and a black reflective lace. Mido boots retail for €260. For more info go to www.pedaled.com/product/view/MidoRidingBoots.
If you’re a photographer as well as a cyclist you might be interested in these water bottles finished with camera film designs from San Francisco shop Mash SF.
They’re 625ml Specialized Purist Mo-Flo bottles and they’re US$10 each.
If you’re annoyed by valves rattling in your wheels and don’t want to use electrical tape to silence them, ValveGuards could be what you’re after. They’re ovals of rubber that you slide over Presta valves to hold them in place against the wheel rims.
The makers say that the ValveGuard will remain in place even when you change the tube. Each £3.99 pack comes with six ValveGuards and four frame savers designed to reduce the noise of the cables rattling or rubbing against your frame.
Get more info from www.extrauk.co.uk.
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.