This edition of Tech of the Week is jam-packed – especially considering that we're in deepest, darkest December – with news from some of the biggest brands in cycling, including head-up display glasses weighing just 36g and the millionth Brompton to roll off the production line, but we're starting with the latest NFT to hit the biking world.
The 2023 Giro d’Italia’s Maglia Rosa, the race leader’s red jersey, is being auctioned as an NFT (non-fungible token) – a unique piece of 3D digital art – but does anyone want to buy it?
There have been various NFTs introduced into the cycling world over the past few years. Colnago sold its C64 road bike as an NFT – essentially a digital picture of the bike – for almost $8,600 at auction in May 2021, for example, while the Bike Club NFT, which claimed to be 'the world’s first blockchain-based cycling club', was met with a pretty scathing reaction from some corners of the cycling community earlier this year.
The NFT market grew by over 21,000% from 2020 to 2021 but it has dropped massively during 2022.
ItaliaNFT, an Italian marketplace for digital collectables, says, “The launch of the new Maglia Rosa 2023 in digital format allows ItaliaNFT to stress the key role of its blockchain-based platform as a channel to buy rare objects and experiences related to Made in Italy brands.”
“In 2022, the company brought the Giro d’Italia and its symbols – from the Maglia Rosa to the Trofeo Senza Fine – in the revolutionary format of the digital collectables.”
We hope it didn’t pay too much because at the time of writing $500 (about £407) would make you the top bidder for the Maglia Rosa NFT. We're not entirely sure whether anyone has placed a bid or if that's just the starting price.
That price includes four physical Giro d’Italia competition leader's jerseys, a day pass for the last stage of the 2023 race, a ride in a car following the action, access to hospitality and so on.
Bearing in mind that just one of those real-life jerseys, Castelli’s 2023 Giro d’Italia Maglia Rosa, retails at £160, we can’t help feeling that ItaliaNFT isn’t going to make a whole lot of money here. But what do we know? The auction is open for another month.
The Trenta 3K Carbon is Met's top-of-the-range lid and was worn by Team UAE Emirates at this year's Tour de France. Met has now released the Trenta 3K Carbon Tadej Pogačar Limited Edition.
With an interesting marketing strategy, Met claims, "Tadej’s iconic tufts are created by the helmet’s performance design, sweeping air in and upwards, and drawing stems of dancing hair out through the vents."
The Trenta 3K Carbon balances aerodynamics and ventilation, with the addition of MIPS, making it one of the best aero helmets.
This limited edition helmet features iridescent detailing and Pogačar's personal logo giving it "unique character."
It costs £290 and is said to weigh 225g (size M).
Online training platform Zwift will launch a new Scotland world in February ahead of the 2023 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships.
The all-new map is being built specifically for the Esports World Championships and is said to take inspiration from the Scottish landscape and the city of Glasgow.
Alongside other venues across Scotland, Glasgow will host the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships in August next year – we’re talking about the real world rather than the virtual world this time. Events will cover road (including time trials), track, mountain biking and BMX, and lesser-known areas like artistic cycling and cycle-ball (think football on fixed-gear bikes). Tickets aren’t on sale yet but you can register online for alerts.
The Zwift map – we’re back in the virtual world again – will be made available to ride by Zwift users on stage eight of the Tour de Zwift.
The Scottish world will feature three distinct courses designed to animate the new multi-format UCI Cycling Esports World Championships that will take place on 18th February 2023. The event will feature three short and explosive events – The Punch, The Climb and The Podium. Obviously, there will be castles, mountains and lochs. We're guessing lazy Glaswegian stereotypes will be avoided.
Are there any other features you expect to see included?
47 years after it was first invented in London, the millionth Brompton bike has been created, inspired by one of the brand's original models, the ‘Mark One’.
The one-millionth Brompton features a red frame, silver parts, and a one-of-a-kind million decal, ID plate, and aluminium touchpoints. The bike has also been signed by the founder and inventor Andrew Ritchie and current CEO Will Butler-Adams.
Brompton says their bikes have always been built to be ridden, "and the millionth is no different." This one-of-a-kind bike isn't currently for sale but instead will go on a Global tour from London, heading to 16 cities. The aim is to get the Brompton community to ride the bike over the course of a year.
Insta360 has announced an all-new GPS Action Remote for "easier camera control". The new remote features the ability to overlay live GPS data onto Insta360 action cam footage, with unified data from three networks.
The upgrades from the previous GPS Smart Remote include Bluetooth 5.0 connection, waterproofing to 5 metres for all-weather performance, and the ability to control multiple cameras simultaneously. It comes with two mounting bands for use on handlebars or the wrist.
Insta360 says the upgrades mean the remote can now communicate with an Insta360 camera up to 65ft (20m) away.
Using the remote, you can overlay stats such as speed and elevation onto your video.
It is suited to many sports including mountain biking, surfing and motorcycling and is priced at £80.99.
Apidura launches Innovation Lab Cargo Cage with two and three-bolt mounts for small or large loads, and an Expedition Cargo Cage Pack, "optimised for limited clearances", providing 1.3L of secure storage.
Apidura says, "The Innovation Lab Cargo Cage removes the complexity, offering a single cage for every mount and application." Its optional foot allows the cage to be run on two bolts with or without the foot or three bolts with the foot, "creating compatibility for all bikes and applications."
It is compatible with all common straps and attachment systems and the Apidura Innovation Lab Cargo Cage costs £38.
The Expedition Cargo Cage Pack offers a storage option for areas with tight clearance, such as under down tubes, providing 1.3L of storage.
Apidura say it weighs in at 70g, is waterproof and highly resistant to abrasion and tears.
The Apidura Expedition Cargo Cage Pack costs £35.
Founded in France, Engo says they are advancing the evolution of sports eyewear, the Engo 2 being their "lightest and most technologically advanced" sports eyewear yet.
They have been created to give endurance athletes real-time access to performance data, directly in their field of view, using advanced ActiveLookTM 2.0 technology. Athletes can see data such as power, heart rate, pace and cadence.
Engo claims the Engo 2 is the same weight as standard sports eyewear making it "the lightest head-up display (HUD) ever created for sports," at 36g.
Engo 2 is said to provide a clear and stable display in ambient daylight conditions with the "best-in-class" battery life - up to 12 hours of continuous use.
They cost $329 (around £270). We've asked for a pair to review here on road.cc
Muc-off have extended their lubrication range with the release of a new All Weather Chain Lube with a new formula.
This brand-new formula is derived from a blend of renewable and readily biodegradable ingredients which Muc-Off says, "produces a highly versatile high-performance lube."
Muc-Off promises the All Weather Lube "will stand up to the toughest of rides, providing lubrication for long-distance on and off-road."
Unpredictable weather conditions and the decision to opt for either a Dry or a Wet Weather lubricant can be a gamble so Muc-Off says the All Weather Lube is a great option as a reliable and long-lasting product that will work irrespective of the weather conditions.
All Weather Lube is priced at £5.49 for a 50ml bottle, and £10.99 for 120ml.
For those winter miles over the festive period, there are some challenges to join. The Restrap Solstice Century challenges you to ride 100 miles over the weekend of the 17th and 18th December
All entrants who have submitted a ride will be entered into a prize draw and one rider will receive a kit bundle worth over £800. Find out more and sign-up here
Rapha's Festive 500 is also back, encouraging you to ride 500km in eight days from 24th December 24 until 31st December.
Sign-up for the challenge on Strava to receive a special digital badge, and be entered into a prize draw with the chance to win a new OPEN U.P.
The Festive 500 can be completed indoors or out and there will be Festive 500 rides starting every two hours during the challenge on Zwift.
Santini says they are celebrating all the triumphs of cycling with their limited edition kit named after the Italian word for triumph - Trionfo.
The design is influenced by the starburst shape of the Place de l'Étoile where cyclists in the Tour de France lap the Arc de Triomphe en route to the finish line on the Champs-Élysées. It features the colours of the French flag as well as yellow details.
The kit comprises a jersey (£100), baselayer (£29), bibshorts (£140), gloves (£30), cap (£19) and socks (£16).
In case you missed it earlier in the week...
Emily is our track and road racing specialist, having represented Great Britain at the World and European Track Championships. With a National Title up her sleeve, Emily has just completed her Master’s in Sports Psychology at Loughborough University where she raced for Elite Development Team, Loughborough Lightning.
Emily is our go-to for all things training and when not riding or racing bikes, you can find her online shopping or booking flights…the rest of the office is now considering painting their nails to see if that’s the secret to going fast…