We’ve got an eclectic mix of new tech to tell you about this week, including some very sexy new shoes from Decathlon’s Van Rysel brand, “the last winter jacket you’ll ever need”, three cool lights, and clothing from Rapha and Bianchi, but we’re kicking off with the most unusual folding bike we’ve ever seen…
Just when you think you’ve seen every folding bike permutation possible, along comes the SD1 where even the wheels fold. It’s a bizarre one alright.
The Hong Kong-based Pertec Electronics Company that’s behind SD1 says it has been working on the project since 2018 and has developed a prototype. It now needs about £200,000 to begin the manufacturing process, with a launch planned for 2024.
It’s looking to fund three models on Indiegogo, each built around a carbon fibre frame. Two have foldable full-size wheels, one doesn’t.
Judging by the team’s video, the rear of the bike twists about a central axis, pushes forward, and then folds parallel to the front end. Then the two sides of the handlebar fold down. To be honest, it’s probably a whole lot easier if you watch the video. You might want to turn the sound down; it’s weird. And we have no idea what the dog on the beach is all about.
The wheels of the prototype do appear to fold but the bike doesn’t look at all light and the overall impression is that this design is a long way from going live.
Before Brompton starts quaking in its boots, we’ll point out that at the time of writing the SD1 has attracted precisely one backer and has achieved less than 1% of its funding goal. That’s after only a day, though, and there’s nearly a month to go, so you never know.
You want to know how much one of these will set you back? Really? Well, you have to pledge at least £1,688 to be in line for a Moon Series bike with three-spoke non-foldable wheels, at least £2,423 for the Sun, the cheaper of the ones with folding wheels, and £3,375 for the top-level Star model.
Oooh, they look… white!
Decathlon’s Van Rysel brand has really stepped up its game over the past few months with neat new bikes, a sponsorship deal with AG2R, and now these fine-looking RCR Road Cycling Shoes.
You get a full-carbon outsole that Van Rysel rates at 12 out of 12 on its in-house rigidity scale (why the scale goes to 12 we couldn’t tell you), and a reinforced mesh upper with an asymmetric tightening system that “eliminates pressure points by using textile straps instead of plastic lace guides”.
Van Rysel claims a weight of 290g per shoe in a size 9.
The price is £149.99. For a top-of-the-range shoe, that’s really cheap. We need to get a pair in for review. It’s that dazzling polar bear whiteness we can’t get over.
Stylish cycle clothing brand Rapha has announced a new Cottons collection of clothing that’s designed for off-the-bike use. You know, everyday life. The time between bike rides.
“The new Cottons collection features a selection of T-shirts, hoodies, sweatpants and sweat shorts cut from 100% organic cotton in a range of neutral colours, designed to keep you cool and comfortable whether you’re recuperating after a ride or simply taking it easy,” says Rapha.
“The Cottons collection marks the beginning of an exciting expansion within Rapha's Lifestyle category, with a new line of off-bike silhouettes and styles dropping in SS24.”
Many outdoorsy brands like The North Face and Jack Wolfskin have expanded into High Street fashion and we reckon that Rapha would like a bit of that market. Some of Rapha’s existing Explore range is already suited to everyday use.
The Men’s and Women’s Cotton Hoodie, for example, is £95, while the Cotton Sweatpants are £85.
What do you think of this new “intelligent expression” rear LED from Magene that allows you to draw your own design that’ll light up behind you? It’s asking for trouble, isn’t it? There are a few classic designs that we’re sure are going to shine out before long.
The Magene L308 light is made up of 96 COB LEDs and you can decide which of them turn on. The light is linked to a smartphone app where you can draw your own design – so you can have a smiley face, a heart, an arrow, or whatever else you like. It’ll store up to 15 of them.
You can even create scrolling messages or an animation by adding up to 10 frames and adjusting the speed between them. There’s so much potential for abuse that we don’t even want to think about.
You can also customise three light modes – solid, flash and pulse – deciding on the brightness and light interval.
On top of all that, Magene says, “L308 intelligent expression tail light is equipped with a high-precision acceleration sensor that can quickly detect even slight braking and enter a three-second high-intensity flashing mode.”
Magene claims a battery life of 50 hours and a weight of 23g. The price is $34.99, which converts to around £28.
Continuing the theme of unusual rear lights, what do you think of this quirky one from ECM?
It looks like it’s dripping – kind of – courtesy of multiple LEDs in the light body. You can choose from several colours and ECM reckons you get a solid five hours of use between charges in the high brightness mode. Yours for $15.99 (around £13).
Dutch clothing brand Megmeister has just introduced the 2-in-1 Pro 360 which it says is “the last winter jacket you’ll ever need” on the basis that it “does everything”.
Everything? That’s a huuuuge claim that’s got us intrigued.
“Designed for ultimate versatility and performance, the 2-in-1 Pro 360 Jacket is a fully waterproof and breathable top layer, which can transform into a gilet at a moment’s notice.
“Secured by two zips and a Velcro tag, the top sleeve layer can be quickly removed and stowed, mid-ride, whenever you need. Constructed from three-layer SympaTex fabric, the jacket combines complete windproofing with breathability, keeping you warm and dry while regulating your temperature, working more efficiently the higher the physical activity.”
Well, Megmeister is certainly giving it the big I am, isn’t it?
The 2-in-1 Pro 360 features taped seams and elasticated cuffs, and Megmeister claims a 45k waterproof rating, which is extraordinarily high. It comes with reflective details and a zipped inner pocket, and is available in both men’s and women’s versions. It’s PFAS-free, PTFE-free and Bluesign approved and is priced at £280.
Bianchi Milano, the clothing bit of the Bianchi bike brand, has released a whole load of new clobber for both gravel riding and everyday use, adding to the autumn/winter collection that we told you about a fortnight ago.
The Tech Gravel collection includes the Tech Gravel Thermo Jacket (€274.90, around £238), for example, that’s made from what’s called Terra triple-layer thermal fabric.
“This rain and windproof fabric protects the wearer from the elements, thus preventing the weather from spoiling your adventures,” says Bianchi Milano. “The jacket has three back pockets and an additional zippered pocket to carry everything you need for a gravel outing.”
The Lifestyle Gravel collection is designed to be worn off the bike. The Lifestyle Sweatshirt (€159.90, about £138), for example, is available with the Bianchi Milano Logo on the chest.
Exciting news from See.Sense – it has just launched a campaign on Indiegogo for its newest light, Agile, and it has already doubled its funding target.
“Agile is [our] most compact and affordable offering yet,” says See.Sense. “The light retains [our] patented reactivity to keep cyclists safe, meaning it automatically detects and responds to risky moments on the road.”
What’s this reactivity all about? It flashes brighter and faster at moments judged as high risk, such as when you’re filtering in traffic, navigating roundabouts or approaching junctions. Smart, huh?
If only there was a quick video to get you up to speed. Oh, there is…
Well, that was a stroke of luck, wasn’t it?
Agile offers 120 lumens at the rear and 150 lumens at the front, weighs under 30g and attaches to your bike via a quarter-turn mount.
It’s scheduled for delivery in February 2024. For early-bird backers, Agile Rear is available for £35 (£50 RRP), while an Agile Set containing both front and rear lights is available for £68 (£100 RRP). As we always point out, pledging money on crowdfunding sites isn’t the same as buying products through a retailer because rewards aren’t guaranteed.
If you're in search of the perfect Christmas present for the cyclist in your life – or maybe dropping hints for a gift for yourself – check out these newly available framed prints from Cycling Souvenirs.
There are 12 iconic locations to choose from, including Ventoux, Alpe d’Huez, Paris-Roubaix, and Stelvio.
They’re priced from £22, depending on the size you choose.
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.