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TECH NEWS

A bike light that promises to get you seen "5.5 times sooner", plus a hologram-powered smart bike, propeller-powered Seabike + loads more tech news from 3T, Oakley, Continental + more

We've also got an updated aero bike from 3T, another 3D-printed saddle that weighs just 100g and new lids from Rudy Project to tell you about this week

This week's Tech of the Week features some cool innovations, including the Seabike pedal-powered propeller, a Bike Radar Sensor with Lane Change Assist, and bike light that claims you'll be seen "5.5 times sooner" than with a standard light. But first, we're starting with a stationary bike promising to be the "future of fitness". 

The "future of fitness" is... indoors, and involves holograms according to this ambitious crowdfunder

2024 Saga HoloBike exercise bike

We spotted the HoloBike on Kickstarter from Saga (no connection to the over 50s holiday and insurance company of the same name as far as we can tell) that not only promises to "enhance indoor training, but also give us a glimpse of the "future of fitness"... bold claims, but do they stack up? 

It turns out this future looks a lot like a stationary bike featuring a 27-inch, 4K display mounted in front of the handlebars and - here's where it gets exciting - hologram technology! According to the brand, this is the first time this tech has been used in the indoor cycling world. 

"The stereoscopic viewport simulates the perception of moving through 3D space to break the monotony of stationary training", says Saga. This basically means that there's a library of detailed virtual rides, reconstructed in 3D from digital scans of real-life trails. 

"We leverage the latest advancements in AI and procedural generation to deliver vivid digital twins of real-life trails from volumetric scans", Saga boasts. 

This isn't the first time we've seen this sort of VR experience with indoor cycling, although it does typically involve using a VR headset which, let's be honest, isn't exactly ideal for a sweaty training session. Saga says that this is the "future of fitness free from headsets or eyewear for the first time."

Saga’s founder Samuel Matson has also been hard at work to design the bike itself. "Our electromagnetic resistance dynamically adapts to the virtual world for life-like hill climbs and gear shifting. And our polymer drivetrain belt enables nearly silent pedalling", he says. 

2024 Saga HoloBike exercise bike 2

We're told the HoloBike's adjustable steel frame can accommodate a height range of 4'11" (150cm) up to 6'4" (193cm).

With Saga originally looking for $25,000, pledges stood at over $37,000 last time we checked, so the funding target has been easily surpassed with seven weeks remaining. If you want to be in line to get one, you need to pledge $2,599 (about £2,080) with expected delivery in the winter of 2024-2025. 

As we always point out, pledging money via Kickstarter isn't the same as buying a product through a reputable retailer, so do your research and weigh up the risk before backing anything on the platform. 

> Where are they now? The best, worst and wackiest cycling crowdfunders

Find out more here

Dive into a new kind of cycling with the Seabike pedal-powered propeller

What. Is. This?

2024 Seabike - 1

Okay, it looks like some kind of weapon, but the Seabike is essentially a pedal-powered propellor designed to make you cut through the water like a shark. A cycling shark. Kind of. You get the idea, anyway. You pedal, the propeller turns, you move forward – that’s the top and bottom of it.

The idea is that the Seabike allows you to swim longer distances without getting exhausted – if that could come in handy in your life. We’ve not used the Seabike so we can’t tell you how it performs; we’re just here to tell you that you’re living in a world where this thing exists.

How does the Seabike stay in position? If that has been troubling you, it attaches to your body with a belt. Phew! It means you can swim with your arms too.

You can even fit your own clipless pedals if you like, but don’t blame us if the bearings don’t like being submerged in water... and we'd say there's a very good chance that'll be the case.

How much? The Seabike 2.0 is €290 (around £250) with various other versions available at higher prices.

Find out more here 

Oakley unveils Giro d’Italia collection

It's the time of year when the cycling world turns pink to reflect the Giro d'Italia's maglia rosa leader's jersey. On that theme, Oakley has introduced a Giro d’Italia collection comprising the ARO5 Race Helmet (£187) and Encoder Strike Eyewear (£248) “in a hot-pink and black colourway, featuring a distinctive pattern inspired by the challenging ascents riders face on the Italian Grand Tour”. 

> Read our review of the Oakley ARO5 Helmet

2024 Oakley ARO5 Race Helmet Giro d'Italia

When we reviewed the ARO5, we described it as “a deep-fitting Mips-equipped lid geared towards roadies with a need for speed”.

2024 Oakley Giro d'Italia range - 2

The Encoder Strike glasses feature a large, vented lens and Oakley’s ‘Unobtainium’ non-slip earsocks and nosepads.

2024 Oakley Giro d'Italia range - 1 (1)

The face of the collection is Mark Cavendish, who has 17 individual stage victories to his name at the Giro, although he’s not there this year. Cav is currently racing the Tour de Hongrie in his preparations for the Tour de France.

Find out more here

Continental's new TPU inner tubes weigh just 35g

Germany’s Continental has just introduced TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) inner tubes that are designed for road, gravel, and mountain biking.

2024 Continental ContiTPU inner tube - 1

Continental says that it has “deployed the highest grade of micrometer-thick TPU across seven sealed layers to maximise airtightness and durability” for its ContiTPU inner tubes.

“The tubes are uncoloured to further ensure the highest material quality and prevent air retention issues caused by dye-related surface imperfections,” says Continental. “Every ContiTPU tube is quality-checked post-production.

“The base of the valve shaft is slightly conical in shape to improve fit to the wheel rim and reduce unwanted movement, while the valve is internally threaded to allow for the use of valve extensions or a replacement valve core.”

> Butyl v latex v TPU inner tubes: which should you choose? 

A repair patch is supplied with every pack.

Conti claims a weight of just 35g for the 700C x 25-35mm version. It cautions that TPU tubes should never be used with rim brakes because excessive heat exposure can lead to a sudden loss of air pressure.

Price? We’re working on it.

Find out more here

Are these the most Star Wars-esque helmets yet?

Rudy Project's new Wingdream time trial helmet made its official debut yesterday in the time trial on stage 7 of the Giro d’Italia. Spotted for the first time in a ‘wrapped’ version at Tirreno-Adriatico, the final version of the helmet was used by Team Bahrain Victorious.

2024 Rudy Project Wing Dream helmet - 2

“The result of two years of development and numerous indoor and outdoor tests, the Wingdream takes the studies of aerodynamics applied to cycling helmets to a new level compared to previous catalogue models, improving the management of turbulence at the athlete's back, as well as its air penetration coefficient,” says Rudy Project. “The helmet's special shape directs the airflow towards the athlete’s shoulders, enhancing aerodynamics.

> Is Jonas Vingegaard’s latest time trial helmet one step too far? 

2024 Rudy Project Wing Dream helmet - 1

“From internal tests conducted in a wind tunnel, the new helmet allows an energy saving of almost 10 watts compared to Wing [the previous time trial model]. This translates to about four seconds saved every 10km, equivalent to more than a minute, for example, over an Ironman distance [180km/112 miles].”

Rudy Project does its testing at 45 km/h over a yaw sweep of -20° to 20°.

“When compared to a traditional road model, the new Wingdream allows a gain of 306 seconds over an Ironman distance (180 km), assuming a constant power of 200W.”

The Wingdream will be available to the public from October 2024 in two sizes and two colours, but we don’t yet have a price.

2024 Limar Alien helmet - 1

If you think the Wingdream looks sci-fi, check out the new Limar Alien used by Astana-Qazaqstan riders. We’ve yet to hear Lamar’s claims on this one but we’re getting Darth Vader vibes.

Find out more here

Check out the bike light that gets you “seen up to 5.5 times sooner” than normal

The Flock Light, which aims to highlight your legs as you cycle to improve your visibility, is now available to buy online.

2024 Flock Light - 1 (1)

We first covered Flock Light back in 2022 when it was looking for Kickstarter funding. It smashed its target.

> Can this bike light really get you seen by a driver 5 times faster?  

The team behind the product says, “The Flock Light sets itself apart by lighting up your legs at night while you ride, making you more visible. This innovation allows cyclists to be seen up to 5.5 times sooner than with standard lights, making cyclists recognisable as humans, not just flashing points.”

Inventor Tim Ottaway says, “Research has shown that enhancing the visibility of a cyclist’s biomotion significantly increases their conspicuity. By highlighting human movement, we engage the brain’s innate ability to recognise and react to human activity, fundamentally changing how cyclists are perceived in traffic.”

2024 Flock Light - 2

The Flock Light offers four lighting modes and the USB-C rechargeable battery has runtimes ranging from four to 100 hours.

The Flock Light is available for AUD $129.99 (around £68.50) on the Project Flock website.

Find out more here

Do you want Lane Change Assist on a bike?

Taiwan’s Terasilic has unveiled a new Bike Radar Sensor that offers features such as Lane Change Assist and Rear Collision Warning, automatically switching between modes based on the situation it detects for safety.

2024 TeraSilic - 1 (1)

As the name suggests, Rear Collision Warning alerts you when vehicles get within a set distance, the idea being to help you avoid being hit from behind. Brands like Garmin and Trek already use radar technology to let you know what’s going on behind.

> Read our review of the Garmin Varia RCT715 

Lane Change Assist is intended to warn of approaching vehicles when you’re moving across the road. This technology is found increasingly in cars,

Terasilic makes parts for other brands to include in consumer products, rather than selling directly to the end user.

“It's important to note that while we provide the radar module, the ultimate design and integration of our sensor into the final product, whether it includes LED warning lights or camera functionality for dashcam purposes, is at the discretion of our customers,” Andy Chen, director of business development, told BikeEurope. “Both of the products are now market-ready.” 

Do you reckon this technology is useful for cyclists?

Find out more here 

3T brings more production back to Italy with Strada Italia road bike

3T has added a new model to its made-in-Italy portfolio: the Strada Italia road bike that, it says, offers “a perfect balance between comfort and aerodynamics”.

2024 3T Strada Italia - 1 (1)

The Strada has been in the 3T range since 2017, but this version is made in the same Bergamo factory as the existing Racemax Italia and Extrema Italia.

“It shares the same filament winding and Resin-Transfer-Moulding (RTM) technology which has allowed us bring much of our production back to Italy,” says 3T.

2024 3T Strada Italia - 2

“The Strada Italia sports a design optimised around tyres with a 30-35mm WAM (Width As Measured), a fitting studied to enable strong riders to maximise their performance, and aerodynamic tube shapes designed to optimise the speed in real-world conditions.

“The layup in the lower seat tube area has been refined, most significantly in the curved aero cut-out: this section gives the Strada Italia significant engineered vertical compliance without compromising energy transfer.”

Ah, our good old friend vertical compliance.

2024 3T Strada Italia - 3

The Strada Italia comes with a new frame geometry, with a higher stack height than the existing Strada in most frame sizes. As you can see, the head tube is among the deepest known to man. The bike is designed exclusively for electronic groupsets.

A 3T Strada Italia frameset is priced at £5,487. Complete bikes start at £7,226.

Our man Aaron Borrill has been riding one over recent weeks and we'll have a review here on road.cc soon.

Find out more here 

Prologo gets on board with Ineos Britannia for the America's Cup

Prologo – you know, the Italian saddles (and other stuff) brand – supports loads of top teams but the latest on the roster is surely the most unusual: the Ineos Britannia sailing team that’s hoping to challenge for the America’s Cup.

2024 Ineos Britannia Prologo - 2

Cards on the table, we're not massively knowledgeable about sailing here at road.cc, but we do know that for the 37th America’s Cup, the rules have been changed to allow “grinders” to use not only their arms but also their legs to power the hydraulics that control the movement of sails and foils. Hence, there’s a new role: cyclors, who are cyclist-sailors. Every day’s a school day, huh?

This is where Prologo comes in, providing its CPC saddles and Onetouch 3D handlebar tape to the cyclors. This will enable “Ineos Britannia's four cyclors to maintain maximum saddle and handlebar grip during all phases of regattas, even when modern yachts fly over the sea at over 50 knots,” according to Prologo.

2024 Ineos Britannia Prologo - 1

Prologo will also provide the saddles for the team’s road and gym training.

Ineos Britannia will race four other teams later in the summer to determine which will challenge for the America's Cup in October.

Find out more here 

Check out the £400 3D-printed saddle that weighs just 100g

off.road.cc's Matthew Page spotted the Ginger brand of saddles when he was at the Traka gravel event in Spain recently and they certainly look interesting.

2024 Ginger PRNT saddle - 1

Even by 3D-printed saddles standards, the Ginger PRNT’s £405 price is right up there. Why would you want to consider it?

“We have achieved an extremely lightweight design by reducing the area of the pad, interlacing it with the core structure, using high-tensile carbon fibres and the best layup for the shell and rails,” says Ginger.

The narrowest PRNT – it’s available in 137mm, 142mm, and 151mm widths – is a claimed 100g.

If that’s too hefty for you, the full-carbon FLLC (£330) – without a seat pad – is a claimed 72g.

Find out more here 

Add new comment

4 comments

Avatar
IanGlasgow | 1 month ago
1 like

I guess the FLock Light works best if you have paler legs for it to light up. Mine are actually blue (like any true Scotsman's legs they only turn white after 2 weeks in Spain) and therefore don't reflect the red end of the spectrum.

Avatar
marmotte27 | 1 month ago
0 likes

What a load of poppycock, is it me or is this getting worse all the time?

Avatar
Sriracha | 1 month ago
4 likes

Only 5.5 times sooner? Amateurs! I'd expect to read "550% conspicuity".
Anyway, there is a more serious flaw, the analysis that says recognising "biomotion" will result in motorists reacting as if to a fellow human life - a parent, a child, a sibling. I submit that, just as in full daylight, many will still see only a cyclist.

Avatar
john_smith replied to Sriracha | 1 month ago
4 likes

Converting soonness to conspicuity is far from trivial when you are using imperial units.

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