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TECH NEWS

Is this the most prostate-friendly saddle? Plus Silca's degreaser-killing chain wax, Garmin launches Forerunner 165, new Cadex wheels + loads more tech news

Saddles are a personal thing, but how does this look for you? If you're happy with your current seat though, maybe Silca's StripChip that removes the need to degrease your chain will appeal

We've just about recovered from the busy COREbike show earlier this week, and since then it seems the trickle of new products, bikes and everything in between has been non-stop. As always we've rounded up the top cycling tech stories here for you, featuring a whole bunch of new things from Silca, Cadex, Muc-Off, Cycplus and more. But would it even be a tech of the week roundup without something a little bit extraordinary... like an unusual 'prostate-friendly' saddle? 

Is this the most prostate-friendly saddle out there? 

Aerolastic AE saddle side

Right, it's been a while since we wrote about 'that' Saddlespur saddle that became one of the most divisive and comment-inducing bike components we've ever featured on road.cc. Turns out that uniquely designed saddles are a category that just keeps on giving, as we've now come across the rather unusual Aeroelastic AE. It might not be quite as shocking in its shape, but it certainly is something that can only be described as controversial in the looks department. 

> Best road bike saddles 2024 — here are the top bike seat picks for every budget

This saddle, with quite pronounced, high-rebound polyurethane foam padding in the bottom cheek area combined with a low profile throughout the rest of the saddle, promises "painless riding" and "higher riding performance", and is mainly targeted at those with a prostate to protect. If you're not convinced this is the best saddle for you, the brand goes further in explaining the design: 

"If you choose a saddle with a soft seat supporting ischial bone, your buttocks will sink and your crotch will be pressed against the nose of the saddle. On the other hand, if you choose a stiff seat, the pressure on the crotch will weaken, but this time the ischial bones (your sit bones) come to hurt. The pressure on the crotch, which has not been resolved until now, has zero friction by placing the nose as low as possible." 

Aerolastic AE saddle back

So really, you should throw your traditional road bike saddle in the bin if you want to avoid problems... at least according to Aeroelastic. What happens if you don't

Aeroelastic claims: "The human crotch is not meant to support body weight. If you are riding for hours at a time, urethritis and nerve damage may occur.

"The prostate’s location at the centre of the groin places this sensitive gland on the peak of a narrow conventional bicycle saddle. Prolonged pressure on the gland can cause inflammation which shows unusually high levels of Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) in the blood. High PSA levels sometimes signal prostate cancer."

Aerolastic AE saddle
This seat got booty

Though the research connecting cycling and prostate cancer largely concludes there is no connection between the two, Aeroelastic certainly seems to claim its saddle design will aid your prostate health, and at least lower the risk of urethral obstruction and erectile dysfunction. It's not a totally unusual approach either, as saddles such as the ISM PR 10 have similar designs aimed at supporting each of your buttocks individually. 

In terms of critical measurements, the Aeroelastic AE is 198mm wide, 265.8mm long and 108.3mm tall. The claimed weight is 398g.

Based on the Amazon reviews (yes, hardly the most reliable source) quite a few people have found relief in this… 'prostate friendly' design. If you already have one or are thinking of purchasing one, let us know how you get along! 

The saddle is available on its own website and on Amazon UK, retailing for £153.36. 

Find out more here

Has Silca revolutionised chain waxing with the StripChip?

Silca StripChip chain wax system 2

One of the biggest faffs with waxing a bike chain gripe is the fact that before you get to drip it into the wax, it needs to be fully stripped of its existing lubricants. By some magic, Silca's latest chain waxing product, the StripChip, promises to revolutionise the waxing process and remove the degreasing part from your to-do list. How is that possible, you might ask?! 

Well, the whole thing revolves around something called olegelation – and before you expect a great explanation of what that is, I disclaim that I failed more than one chemistry class in school. But in short, olegelation is something used in the food industry, and in the case of the StripChip, it converts lubrication oils into solids, i.e. the chain oil blends into the wax. 

Silca StripChip chain wax system

Silca is hardly new to the chain waxing game. It already has a range of products for re-applying, stripping off and waxing your chain, but the StripChip does stand out with its multi-tasking nature. You simply drop one square of the StripChip into your hot melt wax, let it melt, then drop in your new factory chain and let it work its oleogelation magic. You can keep doing this for multiple chains with the same pot of wax, as long as you use a new StripChip cube for each. 

> Do you need a new chain? Find out the easy way to tell

There is a catch to this, though. For StripChip to be most effective, it needs to be carefully controlled at a hotter temperature than typical waxing (125ºC compared to 75ºC). For this, Silca has created the Ultimate Chain Wax System, featuring a 600ml pot, chain hanging coupler, and a drip stand. You can also use the pot for normal chain waxing, and similarly, you could use a regular crockpot for the process. But that would require a little more attention to the temperature range as it can never go over 130°C. Go over and you'll risk damaging the wax. 

A little confusingly, now retired pro rider Alex Dowsett said in Silca's press release: "I first used a StripChip waxed chain in a four-hour gravel ride last year and noticed no performance change in the chain." So are there gains to be had from waxing your chain in the first place? Well, that's a topic for you to discuss in the comments. 

And the cost, you might wonder? The Silca StripChips come in a package of six and retail for £24. The Ultimate Wax System is priced at £99, and you'll also need a bag of wax which retails for £40. 

Find out more here

Sherpa Cycling Route Planner now has a surface overlay

Sherpa route planner road overlay

The fully free Sherpa Cycling Route Planner has told us it now offers its users a comprehensive view of surfaces, which is said to be especially useful for off-road route planning. The surface overlay distinguishes between paved, gravel, dirt and unpaved roads, and covers Europe, North America and Australia for now. 

The platform already includes forecasted weather details and 28 routing options, and is quite similar to the likes of RideWithGPS and Komoot, but fully free of charge to use. 

Find out more here

Garmin launches Forerunner 165 and 165 Music with 11-day battery life

Garmin Forerunner 165 watch

Garmin has brought out two new entry-level fitness watches, the Forerunner 165 and 165 Music. They are more geared towards running as the name suggests, but with 25 activity profiles, they are capable of recording your bike rides too (and we know a lot of you run as well as cycle). 

The new models come with an AMOLED display, touchscreen and a whole host of fitness metrics and tracking, including Nap Detection (which allows you to optimise little snoozes in the best possible way - what a dream). They also boast up to 11 days of battery life in smartwatch mode and up to 19 hours in GPS mode.

The Forerunner 165 is priced at £249.99, while the Forerunner 165 Music is £289.99.

Find out more here

Cadex introduces "best all-rounder road wheel", new integrated handlebars and tyre

CBaird_2_6_24_Cadex_40_108

Cadex, the high-end components arm of Giant, has unveiled a whole bunch of new products, including two handlebars, a new wheelset and a road racing tyre. 

Starting with the wheels, the new Max 40 WheelSystem is touted as the brand's lightest and best-performing all-around wheelset to date. Weighing in at under 1,250 grams, they promise a blend of lightweight efficiency and aerodynamic prowess – well, as does any other decent road racing wheelset out there if we're honest.

> Best road bike wheels 2024 — transform your road bike with some shiny new hoops

The hoops are built on a hookless rim with a 22.4mm inner rim combined with 40mm depth, and they are laced with ultra-stiff CADEX Super Aero carbon spokes into a thin aero hub flange. The result is a stiffer wheel than for example, the Lightweight Obermayer EVO and Syncros Capital SL, according to Cadex. A set of these will set you back £3,499. 

CBaird_2_6_24_Cadex_40_893-1

Accompanying the Max 40 WheelSystem the brand had launched the tubeless tyre Race GC, engineered to complement the wheelset seamlessly. The new tyre boasts a 240 TPI Supple Race Casing for enhanced rolling efficiency and puncture protection and a premium compound for superior grip. There's only one 28mm width available and the claimed weight stands at 279g. The Race GC retails for £64.99 a tyre. 

CADEX_Aero_Integrated_Handlebar_AltStudio_OnBike_WebRes_08

In addition to the hoops and tyres, Cadex has also introduced two integrated road bike handlebar options which (you'd never guess) are aimed at optimising aerodynamics and control over the bike. The Aero Integrated and Race Integrated handlebars feature sleek one-piece carbon construction and internal cable routing, catering to the needs of elite cyclists striving for those much-talked-about marginal gains.

The race model has a 72mm reach, 125mm drop and 11-degree flare and is supposed to weigh 256 grams for a 420mm x 100mm bar. The Aero version has an 80mm reach and a three-degree flare instead. There's a range of widths and stem lengths to choose from, ranging from 38/36cm to 42cm. 

They are already the touchpoint of choice for the likes of Michael Matthews, so we're guessing the marginal gains have paid off... as well as the relentless training hours the pros put in. In any case, if you want to get one, the Aero version is yours for £649.99, and the Race model sets you back £624.99. 

Find out more here

Tailfin launches new 16L Mini Pannier bags

TAILFIN_16L PANNIER_PRESS IMAGES (7)

Tailfin has released a new 16L Mini Pannier, dubbed the "Goldilocks Pack," offering -supposedly the perfect capacity for city and adventure cycling. The pack's 16-litre volume claims to bridge the gap between full-size city panniers and compact off-road versions, and is crafted with X-Clamp mounting hardware and 100% waterproof materials.

> Best bike pannier bags and pannier racks 2024 — our mega guide to all your cycling luggage possibilities

The bag is also compatible with up to 14" laptops, making it more suitable for your work commutes, too. The Mini Pannier costs £100 and there's an optional Laptop Holster available for an extra £20. 

Find out more here

Basso Palta Vicenza Dream x Campagnolo Ekar GT 

Basso X Campagnolo_Vicenza Dream_7

Basso has unveiled a new special edition Palta Vicenza Dream gravel bike in collaboration with Campagnolo, showcasing the latest Campag gravel groupset, Ekar GT, plus the new Campagnolo Zonda GT wheels launched earlier this week. We already got to adore this bike in the flesh at the COREbike show, and can confirm it is a very nice-looking steed indeed. 

The Palta Vicenza Dream features a captivating navy-blue hue, accented by a white finish using a special painting technique. You also get iridescent decals, adorned with Basso's branding and Ekar GT's slogan, "Don't Hold Back," alongside Campagnolo's Winged Wheel emblem, all finished with a glossy sheen.

Basso Palta x Campag ekar

As you might have guessed, the Palta Vicenza Dream is equipped with the new Ekar GT groupset, which is a slightly more affordable version of the Italian brand's existing 1x13 single-chainring gravel groupset. The collaboration also introduces additional Palta colourways for the Campagnolo Ekar and Ekar GT groupsets, including Poseidon, Candy Red, Off White, Gold Burn, and Enough (which seems to be a glossy white with blue accents).

The prices for the Palta Vicenza Dream start at 4,769€ (about £4k). 

Find out more here

Muc-Off launches new backpack, carbon pump and gloves

Muc-Off Ride Pack

Muc-Off has been busy this week, and told us about a whole host of new products. First off is the Muc-Off Ride Pack (£145), a cycling backpack boasting a 20L capacity, reflective rain cover, and an airflow system strategically placed for optimal comfort during rides. The design is modular, meaning you can bung in a drinks reservoir or even a back protector. It is perhaps a little more geared towards mountain bikers, but better be safe than sorry even in an urban environment. 

Muc-off AirMach Carbon Pump

In addition to the backpack, Muc-Off has also launched a new AirMach Carbon Pump (£50) that has been made with ultra-lightweight carbon fibre and CNC-machined aero-grade aluminium. It has a greater volume per stoke (55.78 CC) capability, which should help you pump up tyres up to a max pressure of 130PSI in no time. There's also a footstool for pumping stability. 

In addition to those two, the brand has also added a new chain cleaning brush (£13) and riding gloves to its lineup. 

Find out more here

Cycplus upgrades its electric bike pump lineup with AS2 Pro

Cycplus AS2 Pro electronic minipump

Cycplus has unveiled its latest electric minipump, the AS2 Pro, promising a little more oomph inside a small 120g package - compared to the 90g of the preceding AS2 model. The pump continues to feature Cycplus' patented design, including an upgraded brushless motor, which should result in increased speed and higher pressure limits. 

So how speedy is it? Cycplus says you can inflate a tyre up to 80PSI in just 50 seconds, which is pretty rapid. I can barely get my minipump out of the saddle bag in that time…

> Could this pocket-sized electric pump consign mini pumps and CO2 cartridges to history?

There's also an LED screen display providing you with real-time air pressure readings, and you can set a desired pressure and let the pump do the work – again, something that most traditional minipumps don't do. 

The pump charges with a USB-C cable. Cycplus says it can get fully juiced up in only 30 minutes, meaning you can pretty much charge it while you have breakfast. That full charge should then allow you to pump two 25x700c tyres up to 110PSI (which sounds a little too solid, in all honesty) or four tyres up to 80PSI – again this is more than the capability of the AS2 model that can only do two tyres to 80PSI. 

On the flip side, the AS2 Pro is a little heavier (120g versus 97g) and a touch bigger, but it still measures just 70 x 49 x 28mm, so it won’t take up much space in a jersey pocket.

And the cost? The AS2 Pro will set you back £86.43. 

Find out more here

In case you missed our other tech news stories from this week, you can have a read through them all here: 

Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops. 

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7 comments

Avatar
Andski808 | 1 month ago
2 likes

Hmmm - new! improved! electric pump. Judging by an experience observed yesterday: (a) time saved  on the actual pumping is totally insignificant against the overall time to fix a puncture; and (b) they're only any good if the owner remembers to charge them! If, not they end up bashfully asking to borrow my manual pump. 

Avatar
Secret_squirrel | 1 month ago
5 likes

Jon-boy just phoned that saddle company. He wants his spaceship back..

 

Avatar
mctrials23 replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 month ago
2 likes

I just couldn't. I would have to take the piss out of myself mercelessly. I would have to give myself a swirly. 

Avatar
Oldfatgit replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 month ago
0 likes

What's the name of the film that ship is from?
I saw it as a kid/teen and I'm buggered if I can remember it.

Avatar
brooksby replied to Oldfatgit | 1 month ago
3 likes

"Battle Beyond The Stars"

Avatar
Oldfatgit replied to brooksby | 1 month ago
3 likes

Magic ... thank you.
Just got the Jon-Boy reference... he could have done with the A Team too...

Avatar
ktache replied to Oldfatgit | 1 month ago
3 likes

And the man from U.N.C.L.E

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