We might be in mid-November but the bike world has been buzzing with new products this week. We've seen everything from updated bikes from Trek and Brompton, new eyewear from 100%, and, um, 3D printed titanium cleats. No one saw that coming. We start, though, in Germany...
Lightweight has announced a new Obermayer Evo tubeless clincher which it describes as “the ultimate disc performance wheel… suitable for (mountainous) roads, training and competition”. The standard edition comfortably gets into the ‘reassuringly expensive’ category at, um, £6,599. If you want the super-posh Schwarz Edition – with all black logos and Ceramic Speed bearings – that’ll set you back £7,058, so you’d better get saving.
“Because of the unique stiffness to weight ratio of Obermayer Evo, every step is translated into maximum propulsion without any loss of energy. And weighing in at only 1,230 grams [the Schwarz Edition, 568g front, 662g rear], it is one of the lightest carbon disc wheelsets on the market.”
The rims are 48mm deep and 24mm wide – and tyres from 23mm to 32mm are recommended.
The wheels are made from what Lightweight calls LCC-Carbon, LCC standing for Lightweight Custom Composite, which it also says it uses “for our industrial projects in the aerospace industry”.
“On the inside of the rim is our high-performance foam core, called Active Foam Core,” says Lightweight. "Through a patented process, we can build our wheels not only lighter, but also gain significantly more stiffness. Compared to conventional designs, the Active Foam Core has a damping effect and consequently ensures a smooth ride.”
The carbon spokes – there are 20 in each wheel – are made to Lightweight’s Rim-to-Rim design, running from one side of the rim and over the hub to the other side of the rim. The company says this achieves torsional and lateral stiffness that can’t be achieved with conventional spokes.
The new Pentagon SL Hub is designed to be 60g lighter than Lightweight’s existing Pentagon hub and more aerodynamically efficient too.
“The hub shell ensures an extremely secure connection between our wheel and the brake disc,” says Lightweight. "This reliably dissipates the high heat that flows from the brake disc to the hub.”
The rear hub uses a DT Swiss 180 S EXP ratchet system.
This week there has been more than a little reaction to our story on Shimano denying a design problem with its Hollowtech cranks... you lot had your say in many, many replies, and with photographic evidence too.
What’s all the fuss been about? Shimano says that there isn't a design issue despite reports of a pattern of failures stretching back a loooong way – although its engineers are continuing to investigate other factors or causes.
The issue came to the fore again recently when hawkinspeter described his recent experience on the road.cc forum.
Matthew Schieferstein commented that "there's a whole Instagram page dedicated to the failures of your components....yeah, there's a design flaw."
We even had a principal lecturer in mechanical engineering at the University of Greenwich, Grahame Baker, chip in: "I would argue that is a design issue — either the product hasn't been designed for the process available, or the process has been designed to be incapable of manufacturing the product. Splitting hairs, I know. But important in my world as a manufacturing engineer.
Grahame says, “Single failure could be a freak occurrence. Several showing same (or related) failure modes would more likely be indicator of a systemic problem.”
This is a water bike from Red Shark Bikes. We'd certainly be up for a ride, but maybe we'll wait for the summer.
We have a clear winner for the biggest marketing claim of the week.
Not only is Trek's updated Speed Concept the fastest triathlon bike it has ever tested, but the brand also claims this new version is a staggering 40% more comfortable than the previous iteration largely thanks to its IsoSpeed decoupling system.
IsoSpeed systems already appear on the brand’s Domane and Madone road bikes but Trek says that the pivot has been moved forward on the Speed Concept "in order to match the forward weight bias of triathletes."
There is also a TT frameset only option designed for UCI TTs, with a slightly tweaked geometry for fast and nimble time trials, and without all the integrated triathlon features for lightweight gains.
Zwift has doubled the size of its Japanese-themed Makuri Islands world with eight new routes in its neon-lit Neokyo map. Fast flat roads with vibrant billboards fill this nighttime city; it’s far from the tranquil Yumezi map which landed back in May of this year.
You will be able to ride between these two contrasting maps, which will be connected by a road through the rice fields.
The shortest route in Neokyo is the 3.7km Rooftop Rendezvous, while the longest is the 32.5km long Temples and Towers which packs in 318m of elevation gain.
This definitely falls into the category of ‘things you didn’t know you need’...
Designed to be the “ultimate wear-reducing lubricant for e-bikes”, Synerg-E uses Silca’s patent-pending Tungsten Tribofilm technology and blends it into a higher viscosity lube. This has been optimised for the higher torque experienced in e-bike drivetrains which, Silca says, results in components wearing out at twice the rate of traditional bikes.
“By increasing viscosity and adding calcium sulphonate to the mix, Synerg-E gives up roughly one watt of pure efficiency to [our] Synergetic [lube], while nearly doubling the oil film strength to ensure the lowest rates of chain and drivetrain wear of any lubricant currently available,” claims Silca
Are you now convinced this is something you need or nah?
3D printed titanium cleats? Wow! No one saw that coming. I mean, cleats are usually, you know, just cleats. Anyway, these are now a thing thanks to Silca which is promising a wear life three or four times that of standard cleats.
3D printing allows Silica to make its new cleats with an internal lattice structure that’s said to retain stiffness and strength while dropping the weight by about half. Granted, cleats are lightweight to start with, but if every gram matters to you…
They come with CNC machined washer plates and 6/4 titanium mounting screws with T25 tool interfaces. They're available in Shimano SPD, Crankbrothers, and Time ATAC versions.
As for price, you’re looking at $85 (around £63) for a pair.
Brompton has given its Superlight folding bike a new titanium rear frame and a 4-speed gearing system, and says that the updated model is faster to ride, lighter to carry, and easier to move around the city… oh, and it’s now called the P Line.
The London brand says that the P Line weighs just 9.65kg, nearly 2kg less than the Brompton C Line model, which is a benefit both on the road and when you’re carrying the bike.
The 4-speed gear system includes a 60g derailleur that sits inside the fold.
Eyewear brand 100% has launched two new designs, the Eastcraft and the Westcraft
The angular Eastcraft gives you the option to use a single ‘shield’ lens or a dual-lens setup and the design incorporates a locking hinge mechanism that sits at the bridge of your nose for easier lens removal.
You can even install side shields that are designed to offer protection from sideways rain.
The Westcraft offers the same lens colours, locking hinge and removable side shields as the sunnies above. Here, though, you have a rounded design that gives us all sorts of 70s vibes.
Both models start at £169.99.
Although we’re heading into winter in the Northern Hemisphere, Aussie brand MAAP has just unveiled its new Pro Bib Shorts 2.0 – which it describes as its most technologically advanced bib shorts to date
MAAP says that the shorts offer “supportive compression that will aid with blood flow and recovery”.
You also get got a lightweight 3D finish and an ergonomically engineered thermo moulded chamois with an antimicrobial microfibre top liner and laser-cut perforations for breathability.
How to hunt down available Orbea bikes
Bike shortages caused mostly by the Covid-19 pandemic are unfortunately still an issue, but Spanish company Orbea reckons it has a workable solution with its new tool that allows customers to check current and future availability, as well as making it easy for riders to reserve and buy the model they want at their nearest dealer.
Okay, we can all agree Google is a pretty powerful search engine, but as not all bike shops have a massive online presence, you might not find every bike that you're chasing by searching online.
Orbea also allows you to filter results by delivery date and distance from home, which sounds useful.
We've covered wooden bicycle frames loads of times on road.cc but this guy takes things to a whole new level.
Belgian e-bike brand Cowboy has announced a subscription-based on-demand maintenance service for owners of its bikes. Priced at £20 a month, Cowboy Care allows members in selected cities to call out technicians to an address of their choice for everything from major repairs to flat tyres and even cleaning.
Initially available in London and 13 other European cities, Cowboy Care is billed as all-inclusive, with “no hidden costs or exceptions.”
We're not sure about that name, though.
Belgium-based sports apparel brand Bioracer, recently announced as the performance apparel provider for Ineos Grenadiers, has announced the launch of Bioracer UK to provide custom apparel direct to consumers in this country.
Koo Eyewear is now offering spare variable tint Photochromic lenses (£79.99) and an Optical Clip attachment (£49.99) – to attach prescription lenses – for use with its Demos and Spectro sunnies.