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TECH NEWS

Is this £14,500 3D-printed titanium superbike a glimpse of the future? Plus more tech news from Oakley, Rapha, POC, Ere Research & loads more

Check out new clothes, wheels, glasses, shoes, and saddles with a button for adjusting flexibility on the fly

We’re in the heart of cycling season and the big Eurobike show has been happening over the past few days so we have a jam-packed Tech of the Week for you, including new stuff from Oakley, Rapha, POC, Howies, and load more, but we’re starting off with a 3D-printed titanium road bike from Dutch brand Pilot Cycles…

Is this £14,500 3D-printed titanium superbike a glimpse of the future?

One of the standout products from Eurobike show is the brand-new Pilot Seiren, a road bike with a frame that’s entirely 3D-printed from titanium. Priced at €17,000 (which converts to about £14,540, although that is built up with a top-level Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset) it’s very expensive, but could it provide a glimpse of the future?

2024 Pilot Seiren 3D-printed bike - 1.jpeg

There are plenty of 3D-printed titanium components around these days – such as Silca’s Mensola computer mount and Verve’s InfoCrank 3D Ti power meter – and Charge was making 3D-printed titanium dropouts way back in 2013, but complete frames? 

“As far as we know, there are no complete titanium frames being printed,” said Pilot’s Tim Blankers. “Some of them have 3D parts welded with tubes, but full 3D ti we have not seen before.”

> 3D printed cycling tech — what 3D printed bike products have taken off, and what's coming in the future? 

2023 Eurobike Pilot Seiren 3D-printed bike - 2.jpeg

Filippo Ganna destroyed the UCI Hour Record last year on a 3D-printed Pinarello Bolide F HR 3D but that was made from Scalmalloy, an alloy made from scandium, aluminium, and magnesium.

> Check out the Pinarello Bolide F HR 3D that Filippo Ganna rode to smash the UCI Hour Record

Why has Pilot decided to go down the 3D printing route?  

“The printing process facilitates thinner wall thicknesses, leading to a lighter and stronger frame without stress points,” says Tim Blankers. “The frame weight is just above a kilogram. Pilot can also add material in places where stiffness is desired to optimise power transmission. 

“Pilot uses 3D printing to create shapes that previously seemed impossible. These complex geometries and shapes help us in creating the ideal road bike that combines the traditional perks of titanium with the characteristics of a Tour de France-winning bike.

The seating area of the frame provides maximum comfort and is a necessity for the bonding process.

“It's because the bike is printed in three pieces due to printer sizes. You have to align the seatstay in the exact same way as the down tube in order to fit the rear triangle of the frame to the other two pieces.

2023 Eurobike Pilot Seiren 3D-printed bike - 1.jpeg

The Seiren looks vaguely like the Trek Madone SLR in that area when viewed from the side, although there's no IsoFlow hole in the frame. 

3D printing also allows for relatively simple customisation.

“The product is produced to order according to a customer’s specific requirements. This opens doors to customised mass production, enabling rapid adjustments to personalise the customer journey,” says Tim Blankers.

2023 Eurobike Pilot Seiren 3D-printed bike - 3.jpeg

Aside from practical and performance advantages for the consumer, Pilot believes there are less obvious benefits too.

“By producing locally, transport is avoided, and we can better monitor working conditions,” says Tim Blankers. “At the same time, this supports local economies. The frame is also 100% recyclable with minimal waste during the production process.”

The Pilot Seiren frame is made in three sections which are then bonded together, although the long-term aim is to produce it as a single item.

2023 Eurobike Pilot Seiren 3D-printed bike - 4.jpeg

The bike pictured here is a prototype with the official launch expected in October. Pilot says that the production Seiren will be available from the start of 2024. As mentioned up top, a full bike built up with a Shimano Dura Ace Di2 groupset will be around €17,000 (around £14,540).

Fingers crossed we’ll get one for review here on road.cc

Find out more here 

Oakley unveils Tour de France eyewear range

Oakley has launched its 2023 Tour de France Collection – yellow to match the race leader’s jersey.

2023 Oakley Tour de France Collection - 1 (1)

The range features the Encoder Strike (£239), Sutro Lite Sweep (£181), Radar EV Path (£203), and Sylas (£141), all in a “speed splatter” finish.

2023 Oakley Tour de France Collection - 1

Our man Stu was using the Oakley 2023 Tour de France Sutro Lite Sweep for a few weeks ahead of the launch. He’s been very furtive about it, ducking behind lampposts, that kind of thing. You can read his review here

Find out more here 

Rapha collaborates with streetwear brand Patta

If you’re looking for cycle kit that stands out from the crowd at the coffee stop, Rapha has collaborated with Amsterdam-based streetwear brand Patta on a new Patta Cycling Team collection.

2023 Rapha Patta collection - 3

The launch follows the announcement of the Patta Cycling Team, an amateur cycling squad “determined to increase representation and diversity in the sport”.

2023 Rapha Patta collection - 2

You can buy bib shorts (£190), training jerseys (£115), technical T-shirts (£75) – all in men’s and women’s cuts – along with socks (£20) and a cap (£25).

Find out more here 

Rapha brings Speed Lace closure to Pro Team Shoe

Sticking with Rapha, the London brand has introduced a Pro Team Shoe with a Speed Lace system to sit alongside the existing Boa-equipped model. The new version shares the same Powerweave upper and carbon sole.

> Check out our review of Rapha’s Pro Team Shoes Rapha Pro Team Shoes

2023 Rapha Pro Team Speed Lace shoe - 1

Rapha says it's the first cycling apparel brand to offer a Speed Lace system for road shoes.

2023 Rapha Pro Team Speed Lace shoe - 2

“The lacing system locks the foot down, evenly distributing pressure to eliminate pinch-points while the Powerweave upper delivers sock-like comfort,” says Rapha.

Price? They're £245.

Find out more here 

POC releases EF Education-EasyPost limited edition helmet

Sweden’s POC has released its Ventral Air Mips helmet in an EF Education-EasyPost limited edition.

2023 POC Ventral Air Mips EF Education helmet - 1

When we reviewed this helmet (in a standard finish) on road.cc recently, we said that it offered great ventilation while being light and comfortable. Ben Woodhouse awarded it a mighty nine out of 10.

> Take a look at our review of the POC Ventral Air Mips helmet 

2023 POC Ventral Air Mips EF Education helmet - 2

The EF Education-EasyPost POC Ventral Air Mips helmet is priced at £270.

Find out more here 

Howies launches retro Tour T-shirt collection

Howies is marking its 28th anniversary with the introduction of a limited collection of organic T-shirts featuring retro Tour de France illustrations. 

2023 Howies Tour de France T-shirts - 1

The designs were hand-drawn by Steve Millington, also known as Dry British, who passed away in 2021.

2023 Howies Tour de France T-shirts - 2

“Known for his meticulous attention to detail, clever wit, and quintessentially British charm, Millington's illustrations capture the essence of the golden era of the Tour de France,” says Howies. “This collection brings together six of his timeless designs, previously created for Howies over the years, for the first time.”

2023 Howies Tour de France T-shirts - 3

The T-shirts are priced £29 apiece with £5 from each sale going to brain injury charity Headway. 

Find out more here 

Café du Cycliste expands luggage collection

Café du Cycliste has just launched an expanded luggage collection that includes a 10-litre Saddle Pack (£167)4-litre Frame Bag (£98)Top Tube Bag (£74), Small Tool Pouch (£44), and new compact Handlebar Bag (£59).

2023 Cafe de Cycliste luggage collection - 2

“The ergonomic construction and weatherproof fabrics are bolstered with heat-sealed seams, AquaGuard zips by YKK, durable nylon webbing and innovative features such as expandable compartments and robust anti-vibration fixings,” says Café du Cyclist

Find out more here 

Selle Italia introduces first 3D-printed triathlon saddle

Selle Italia has announced the Watt 3D which it describes as “the first triathlon saddle with a 3D printed cover”. We certainly can’t think of another so we’ll give ’em that.

2024 Selle Italia Watt 3D saddle - 1

“The Watt 3D features the same shape as the existing Watt but with a cover developed using Carbon DLS technology. This technology has allowed the creation of differentiated cushioning zones based on the position held on a triathlon bike, as well as a double-padded construction with a softer top layer and a more rigid underlying layer.”

> Best road bike saddles 2023 — here are the top bike seat picks for every budget

The Selle Italia Watt 3D is available with carbon or TI316 titanium rails which are 10mm longer than usual, the idea being to allow for a precise adjustment of ride position. Both versions have a central Superflow cut-out. We don't yet have prices.

Find out more here 

Brooks announces limited edition C17 Special Migration Gravel Race saddle

Brooks has unveiled a new limited edition C17 saddle for the four-day Migration Gravel Race across the Maasai Mara in Kenya, and this is it…

2023 Brooks C17 Special Migration Gravel Race saddle - 1

The C17 Special Migration Gravel Race saddle comes with a musette and is available through the Brooks England website at a price of £180.

> Read our review of the Brooks C17 saddle 

2023 Brooks C17 Special Migration Gravel Race saddle - 2

Find out more here 

Abus makes GameChanger helmet cooler and more aero

Abus has unveiled a new version of its GameChanger aero helmet and claims that the updated model is both more aerodynamically efficient than previously and better vented.

2023 Abus GameChanger 2.0 helmet - 1

“The GameChanger 2.0 has a wider Kammtail [than the original],” says Abus. “The virtual aero profile created by the helmet, is 11% longer. Extensive wind tunnel testing shows the new GameChanger 2.0 provides the rider with a decisive aero advantage. The GameChanger 2.0 Kammtail was also tilted by a further 8° to optimise aerodynamics when riding in the race position.”

Fans of statistics will be pleased to hear that “the new Airboost front inlet draws up to 32% more air over the forehead” than on the previous model.

> Check out our review of the original Abus GameChanger helmet 

2023 Abus GameChanger 2.0 helmet - 2

The standard Abus GameChanger 2.0 is priced at £239.99 while the model with a Mips Air Node safety system is £279.99. We have one with us at road.cc already and will run a review soon.

Find out more here 

Corima’s new MCC Evo and WS Evo wheels offer tubeless hookless compatibility

Corima has announced two new wheelsets, MCC Evo and WS Evo, each in 32mm and 47mm rim depths and available for either tubeless or tubular tyres. Previously, Corima’s only tubeless wheelset was the Essentia all-road/gravel option. The French brand says that the new wheels balance lightness, aerodynamics and stiffness.

2023 Corima MCC EVO wheels - 1

The MCC Evo (£3,590) sits at the top of Corima’s road range. Each wheel comes with a 3K carbon-fibre rim with a foam internal structure and 12 carbon spokes. The rear hub uses Corima's D2T tech with Y-shaped joints that are designed to distribute the forces from both pedalling and braking.

2023 Corima MCC EVO wheels - 1 (1)

Corima claims weights of 1,445g for the tubeless wheelset with 32mm rims and 1,450g for the 47mm option.

The WS Evo (£1,890) again uses a 3K carbon-fibre rim structure but with 20 carbon spokes that use internal nipples.

2023 Corima WS EVO wheels - 1

Corima claims tubeless wheelset weights of 1,505g (32mm) and 1,540g (47mm).

Both wheelsets use Corima’s new hub ratchet system which features 36 teeth for a 10° angle of engagement when you start to pedal.

Find out more here 

MAAP introduces new Offcuts clothing collection

Aussie brand MAAP has unveiled its latest Offcuts clothing collection. The idea, originally introduced in 2021, is to use up excess fabric from previous production runs in the name of sustainability. It can't hurt the bottom line either. Rapha does something similar with its Excess Collection.

2023 MAAP Prime Offcuts jacket - 1

“This season, the Prime Vest and Jacket receive the OffCuts treatment, the first time that outerwear has featured,” says MAAP.

2023 MAAP Prime Offcuts jacket - 1 (1)

“ There are six new styles in a limited collection of just 200 items, with each carrying a handwritten label indicating its unique position in the production run.”

2023 MAAP Prime Offcuts vest - 1

Made from breathable and windproof Polartec Neoshell fabric, the Prime Jacket (£255) and Vest (£195) feature a 10k waterproof rating as well as thermo-taped seams and reflective graphics, and are designed to be easily stowed.

Find out more here 

Ere Research unveils new saddles with Comfort Trigger flexibility adjustment

Ere Research has launched a new line of saddles that feature its existing “Comfort Trigger” which allows you to alter the level of flexibility as you ride.

2023 Ere Research saddles - 2

“Whether encountering different road surfaces, tackling uphill climbs, or embarking on long endurance rides, with the Comfort Trigger, you can optimise your riding experience on the go,” says Ere Research. "With three distinct adjustment positions, offering a 10Nm difference, you can easily adapt the saddle to your preferences and regain control over your comfort and performance.”

The Ere Genus CC-T ProRoad Saddle that we reviewed a couple of years ago was armed with a Comfort Trigger and we found that it made a noticeable difference to the feel.

2023 Ere Research saddles - 1

The Dutch brand has added saddles across three product families – Genus, Omnia, and Explorator – designed to cover everything from gravel to performance road bikes, with various models in each.

2023 Ere Research saddles - 3

Prices start at £79, although if you’re feeling flush you can go all the way up to the CC-models. The Genus Pro CC, for example, comes with a unidirectional carbon base and carbon rails and weighs a claimed 125g – but it’ll cost you £299.

Find out more here 

New road bike on the way from Factor

Roving reporter Rebecca has sent back this picture from the Factor stand at Eurobike

2024 Factor Landfall road bike teaser - 1

We’re taking from this that Factor will release a new road bike on 10th July. That’s the first rest day of this year’s Tour de France, traditionally a busy day for launches.

Will the bike be called Landfall, or is that some other PR reference? We just don’t know. And even if we did know, Factor would have the information embargoed and we wouldn’t be allowed to tell you.

> Read our review of the Factor Ostro VAM frameset

What we can say for sure is that the new bike has yet to appear on the UCI’s List of Approved Models of Frames and Forks and that we’ll be taking a close look at the bikes Israel-Premier Tech riders are using in the early stages of the Tour.

In case you missed it earlier in the week…

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.

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12 comments

Avatar
Robbiedondo | 7 months ago
0 likes

In regard to the MAAP clothing, it does makes sense to use all materials at hand and reduce waste and therby maximise profits, but an OFFCUTS collection for the same money as the standard range, i'd have thought it better to offer reduced prices to entice new users to the brand or for people to accept the potential trade off of potentially slightly dodgy colour combos

It's like in some cars, they remove the radio, sound damping and A/C to reduce weight and charge you more because its now quicker

 

my 2c  

Avatar
froze | 8 months ago
0 likes

In the meantime, I'm enjoying the future now with my Lynskey titanium bike, which is a dream to ride, and it cost a whole lot less than the 3D one!

Avatar
cyclisto | 8 months ago
0 likes

With 3D printing you can make almost impossible shapes, that can improve strength, weight and aesthetics (imho this example missed that train) but the biggest benefit is one: requires less human input at manufacturing.

I understand that a printed tube will never have the strength of a similarly dimensioned rolled/forged tube and printing times are still extremely slow, but eventually I believe it will be cheaper to print a frame rather than do all these welding. Unless they are being made by robotic arms and I am all wrong.

In any case, cycling is getting more and more expensive and any way to drop costs would be extremely welcome.

Avatar
Rik Mayals unde... | 8 months ago
1 like

£239 for a pair of cheaply made Oakleys? Not a chance. I used to be a huge fan of Oakley in the good days before they were bought by Luxottica. Now they are mass produced in China on a scale you cannot imagine and cost £10-£15 to produce and are absolute crap. The last pair of Oakleys I will ever buy cost me £140 three years ago and have the worst quality cheap lenses I have ever seen. Anyone with a pair of polarised or coated lens, expect the lenses to crackle and peel after the warranty runs out. The reason? Whereas most quality glasses have the tint built into the lens, Oakleys are glued to the surface, hence why they peel.

It's only about brand and profit now, save your cash and buy some others, most other brands are far superior quality.

Avatar
Secret_squirrel | 8 months ago
1 like

If I had a pound for every "super bike" that shows up from a bunch of cowboys who've clearly never designed a bike before I'd be a very rich man. 
 If their process is so good why do they need a gimmicky seat tube that gives all the adjustability of my 30 old pub bike with a seized seat post?

Avatar
Xenophon2 | 8 months ago
0 likes

The  bike shows what can be done with metal printing, that's it.  It may be interesting but getting a Ti frame that is constructed in a traditional way, is mechanically at least equivalent and costs a fraction of the price would be trivial.

I don't like the aesthetics of the frame either, but that's a different kettle of fish.  Frankly fail to see where the added value is, except to showcase the technology.  There are areas where 3D-metal printing has a distinct edge such as custom made, very specific components that are not available off the shelf but I don't see it happening with bikeframes anytime soon.

Avatar
wtjs | 8 months ago
3 likes

Pilot Seiren frame is made in three sections which are then bonded together

Can't wait: bonded like Ultegra pasta cranks and the Ocean Gate Titan

Avatar
SimoninSpalding | 8 months ago
3 likes

For me the appeal of a Ti bike is the beautiful lustre of the tubing. That printed abomination looks like it is made out of putty.

I do have a soft spot for Corima wheels though

Avatar
jaysa replied to SimoninSpalding | 8 months ago
1 like

If 3D printing the frame, they could also add dimples as the French bike company Heroin does ...

Avatar
mark1a replied to SimoninSpalding | 8 months ago
0 likes
SimoninSpalding wrote:

For me the appeal of a Ti bike is the beautiful lustre of the tubing. That printed abomination looks like it is made out of putty.

Agreed. 

Avatar
Cugel replied to mark1a | 8 months ago
0 likes
mark1a wrote:
SimoninSpalding wrote:

For me the appeal of a Ti bike is the beautiful lustre of the tubing. That printed abomination looks like it is made out of putty.

Agreed. 

BIke-as-frock or even handbag!  A poor reason for buying a-one, eh?  Well, it is if you want to ride it rather than just display it to the other frockers in an effort to increase the reading on your smug-meter.   1

Anyroadup, its all a matter of taste. Personally I like the engineering aspect of them huge pumps in Victorian water-supply buildings of the classical harchitecture ilk - lots of vast reciprocating parts with steam, oil and fairground paint schemes.

A bike in such a style would not be too good at the TTs though. Or even at going to the shop. And how much would one cost!?

Avatar
jaysa replied to Cugel | 8 months ago
0 likes

Hmm, nice idea! You'd seen the bike with two half rear wheels??

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