We have masses of tech news to cram in this week, including the crazy paint jobs that you’ll see on EF Education-EasyPost’s Cannondales in the Giro d’Italia, new eyewear from Oakley, SunGod and Tifosi, just-released clothing from MAAP and Pas Normal Studios, and even a lightweight and aero road bike from De Rosa, but we’re starting with an interesting handlebar design that has shown up on Kickstarter...
There’s a whole lot of integration on modern bikes but brake levers that are integrated into the handlebar? Italian brand Aintro is currently looking for crowdfunding for its designs in carbon and wood.
What’s the benefit? Aintro talks about sleek looks and lighter weight. On the flip side, you can’t alter the levers' position relative to the handlebar.
The bars are flat, the levers work with cables rather than hydraulic systems, and there are no gear shifters.
However, Aintro says that a handlebar with integrated levers for hydraulic brakes is on the way, along with a handlebar with wireless thumb shifting. There’s also a handlebar with integrated lights and a horn in the works.
You need to pledge at least €167 (around £146) to be in line for an Aintro handlebar if the project achieves its funding target.
Okay, the current options only cover a small section of the bike market but what do you think of the concept?
Cannondale has a long tradition of eye-catching World Tour liveries but the finishes on EF Education-EasyPost’s Giro d’Italia bikes could be the most unconventional ever, all in the name of sustainability.
Now we should start by saying that although cycling might generally be a green activity, pro cycling... not so much. All that international travel, a huge amount of bike and equipment production, even the water bottles that they use once and then ditch, it all adds up.
We told you a couple of days ago that the EF Education-EasyPost men’s team and EF Education-TIBCO-SVB women’s team will ride this year’s Giro d’Italia in switch-out kits made from 72% excess material. Rapha has taken surplus fabric that would otherwise have gone to waste and turned it into race clothing. Of course, it probably doesn't hurt Rapha's profit margins that this fabric has already been paid for, but let's not get cynical.
The bikes used by the EF Education teams follow the same theme.
“The bike frames and parts are ones pulled from our team-issued materials – not made explicitly for the tour, as some in the peloton are – and their paintwork is entirely recycled or excess paint from our custom paint shop,” says Cannondale. “Being hand-painted of assorted colours, no two will be alike.
“But the kits and bikes will only be the most visible elements of a broader initiative. An onboard water filtration system on team buses will spare the production of around 20,000 litres’ worth of plastic bottles that otherwise goes towards hydrating athletes. Team mechanics will utilise low-impact lubricants and chemicals, and reusable work gloves instead of the far more common one-time-use ones.”
The bike finishes are the work of Cannondale’s in-house custom paint guru Doktor Bobby.
“[The] entire project design and direction was based around the idea of only using frames from already existing team stock, and materials and paint left over from previous special projects,” Doktor Bobby wrote on Instagram. “Half of the frame and the entire fork remain completely stock in factory team issue paint.”
What do you think of the EF Education bike finishes? And do you think pro cycling does enough in terms of sustainability?
De Rosa has just unveiled a brand new road bike called the Settanta, with a claimed frame weight of just 730g (size 54), to mark the brand’s 70th anniversary (Settanta is the Italian word for seventy). Released just a few weeks after the death of company founder Ugo De Rosa, the Settanta is billed as “the most advanced De Rosa bike of all time”.
De Rosa says that the Settanta, designed in collaboration with Pininfarina, is intended to offer “optimal aerodynamics” although it doesn’t provide any wind tunnel data to back that assertion.
A complete bike built up with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset, Fulcrum Speed 40 DB wheels and a Metron 5D ACR cockpit is £12,999.99. A SRAM Force eTap build is £9,999.99 and the frame is £5,399.99.
SunGod has introduced a new Ineos Grenadiers Team Edition collection to coincide with the start of the Giro d’Italia. The range includes the SunGod Vulcans, Velans, and Airas glasses in the team’s red, orange and blue colours.
Sorry SunGod, but it still looks weird seeing Geraint Thomas (left) in anything other than white Oakley Racing Jackets.
“Each pair of glasses will feature SunGod’s signature 8KO lens technology – a 2mm nylon-based lens material in Chrome, delivering weight-saving and optical advantages to the team,” says SunGod. “Every pair will be finished with an Ineos Grenadiers lens engraving.”
Prices start at £130.
Speaking of Oakley Racing Jackets, as we were, Oakley has brought them back – 25 years after they were first introduced – this time in a limited-edition Red Tiger finish
This is the latest addition to Oakley’s MUZM series which takes designs from the brand’s back catalogue and reworks them.
“Prizm Lens Technology brings insane visual clarity to trails, tracks, and roads, while extreme ventilation translates to better airflow management,” says Oakley.
If you fancy a bit of tiger in your life, you'd better hurry because only 375 limited edition MUZM Racing Jackets are available.
Scott says that the new Plasma time trial bike is 33 seconds faster than its predecessor at the same power output on a typical 40km (25-mile) course – that’s with the new bike at 50km/h (31mph) – and 12% lighter with no sacrifice in stiffness.
Working with aero experts Drag2Zero, Scott says that it used a modular bike in the wind tunnel so that it could test different tube and junction designs.
It created a new slotted headset that allows cables to pass directly through in order to achieve a narrower head tube than previously, increased the trail by 5.2mm for more stability, and designed a new Syncros Creston iC TT cockpit.
“The new cockpit features interchangeable and adjustable parts which provide a very high degree of adjustability across multiple axes, allowing riders to find the position on the bike which is not only the most aerodynamic but also the most ergonomic,” says Scott.
The Plasma RC TT is available as a frameset, including the seatpost and cockpit, for €7,999 (around £6,979).
MAAP has announced the second drop of its new-look Training Collection for both men and women which includes a Training Jersey made using 70% recycled yarns.
The Training Jersey (£130) is described as “a durable everyday performance training partner, available in short and long-sleeved thermal variants and cut to our signature team fit” - which is slightly more relaxed than some.
The jersey uses Bluesign-certified methods, and offers SPF50+ sun protection.
The range also includes MAAP Training Bib 3.0 shorts (£195).
MAAP says, “An ergonomically engineered dual-density chamois is matched with a four-way stretch fabric for optimal shape retention, moisture wicking and breathability, while seam-free bib straps and silicone grippers ensure a secure fit.”
What is this, the Eyewear Edition of Tech of the Week? Tifosi Optics has now released two new styles in its cycling lineup.
First up, we have the Rivet (£69.99) which is a half-frame design with lens vents designed to increase airflow to help prevent fogging. It’s available with five different lenses including this Clarion Blue Fototec option.
Then there’s the rimless Rail Race (£89.99) which, as well as being a tongue twister, is an option that was launched in October as a limited edition but is now a full-time member of the team.
“These 2-lens interchange sports glasses offer a lightweight package that maximises protection, airflow, and all-day comfort,” says Tifosi.
Right, let's talk about some stuff that isn't glasses... Pirelli has unveiled the P Zero Race 4S TLR, a tubeless version of the excellent four-season tyre that we reviewed here on road.cc last year. We described the standard (non-tubeless) version as a “four-season tyre that values performance over out-and-out resilience – yet is still plenty robust”.
The P Zero Race 4S TLR has a tread made with Pirelli’s SmartNET Silica compound, as used in the Cinturato Velo tyre.
“A Pirelli patented mix of materials, SmartNET is a silica-based molecule whose configuration differs from traditional silica molecules: its elongated stick form has a natural self-aligning tendency, providing numerous advantages in terms of performance,” says Pirelli. “Among these, the most prized for use in the all-season tyre is certainly its natural chemical affinity for water, and more generally, with low temperatures, which characterise a product with outstanding qualities on wet and/or typical cold-weather surfaces.”
The tyre also features what Pirelli calls its Speedcore technology, which uses a layer of a compound containing Aramid particulate.
“Speedcore technology favours the hold of air, has low resistance to rolling and offers increased protection against punctures,” says Pirelli.
The Pirelli P Zero Race 4S TLR tyre is available in 700C diameter and 28mm (£78.99), 30mm (£79.99) and 32mm (£80.99) widths. The 28mm version has a claimed weight of 330g.
Selle Italia has introduced a version of its Novus Boost Evo saddle that’s decorated with a Giro d’Italia logo and pink details. And look, here’s the proof before your very eyes…
It costs £94.99 and comes with free handlebar tape.
Add the code ‘GIRO23’ at the checkout and you’ll get 15% off. According to the road.cc calculator – we share one – that takes the price down to £80.74.
Although not exactly mainstream, cycling sandals have been a thing for years. Shimano offers its SD5 and we reviewed the discontinued Lake I/O sandals here on road.cc back in the day, and now shoes brand Quoc has teamed up with bikepacking expert Restrap on a new design. Rather than being for riding, though, these are “designed as the ultimate post-ride slip-on”, according to Quoc.
The sandal features an anatomically designed footbed and an anti-slip tread.
“Handmade in the UK, the sandal exists to bridge comfort and style with functionality and adventure,” says Quoc.
“The extra-thick webbing straps work with Quoc’s signature microfibre to fasten over your saddle bag with a locking buckle, allowing for quick and convenient carrying while on a long tour, saving packing space in your bikepacking bags. With Restrap's innovative shaping and bonding, these straps are strong, durable and provide maximum comfort while allowing full adjustability for the perfect fit.”
The Quoc x Restrap Sandal is available in black and sand colours priced at £84.99.
Sweden’s POC has introduced a time trial helmet called the Procen with the aim of maintaining the aerodynamic performance of its Tempor and Cerebel helmets while improving cooling; lots of TT lids can be hot and sweaty.
The new design has already been used by EF Education-TIBCO-SVB in the team time trial at La Vuelta Femenina and you’ll see it worn by the EF Education-EasyPost riders in the Giro d’Italia.
“The Procen has been designed to drain the high-pressure zone at the front of the helmet, which leads to stagnant air and additional air resistance riders need to push through, and instead guides it through the helmet,” says POC.
“In addition, by creating the Venturi effect inside the helmet, as used in POC’s Ventral helmet, the airflow creates superior ventilation and cooling, which enhances the overall performance of the helmet and rider.”
The POC Procen will be available from September 2023 at a price of £350.
Danish cycle clothing brand Pas Normal Studios has introduced a new Mechanism Pro collection that includes a lightweight Zipless Jersey (£175) that’s designed for hot days.
If you want a slightly more traditional approach, the zipped Mechanism Pro Jersey is available in men’s and women’s cuts and various colours, each priced at £195.
“By using stretch-woven fabric with varying levels of support informed by structural mapping as well as multiple levels of 4D stretch, we have been able to create a kit optimised for speed,” says Pas Normal Studios’ Karl Oskar Olsen.
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.