We have a whole bunch of cool cycle clothing to tell you about from Rapha, MAAP and Jack Wolfskin, and news of a very pretty Colnago, but we're starting this week with a specialist part from Muc-Off that's been used at the highest level by the likes of Ineos Grenadiers...
Muc-Off’s Lightweight Oversized Precision Shifting 2.0 system (LOPS 2.0, to its friends), previously available only to sponsored pro teams and athletes, is now available for general sale – although the price is well into the “you could buy a whole bike for that” category. The idea is that it’ll improve your drivetrain efficiency and Muc-Off says it outperforms other key players in this respect.
Muc-Off LOPS 2.0 was designed, developed, tested, and hand built in the UK for Shimano Dura-Ace RD 9100 and Shimano Dura-Ace RD9150 11-speed rear derailleurs.
Yes, 11-speed rather than the newer 12-speed. Interestingly, Muc-Off’s in-house testing found 11-speed chains to be on average 36.6% faster than 12-speed (we need to ask them about that; it's a helluva claim).
“LOPS 2.0 works by placing the chain at an optimised angle to reduce both articulation and friction, when compared to a stock set up – less friction, more speed, greater efficiency,” says Muc-Off.
Muc-Off says that in its internal testing LOPS 2.0 proved to be more efficient overall than the CeramicSpeed OSPW, AbsoluteBLACK Hollowcage, Kogel Colossus, and stock Shimano cages (Shimano Dura-Ace RD 9100/9150) – although you’d expect it to say that, wouldn’t you?
Muc-Off says, “The bearing choice inside systems like LOPS 2.0 has a big impact on the overall efficiency. MucOff’s was designed in the UK and has been treated with a special coating which reduces friction.
“Stiffness is also a critical ingredient to efficient shifting, but adding stiffness usually means adding weight. LOPS 2.0 features a ground-breaking lightweight design to minimise this impact, thanks to its construction through additive manufacturing using a combination of 6Al/4V titanium and military-grade carbon fibre.
“The 13-tooth upper pulley wheel and 19-tooth lower are made from aerospace-grade aluminium that features a friction reducing coating meaning it has 88% less friction than aluminium alloy, and 71% less than hard anodised metal.”
The original Muc-Off LOPS 1.0 was developed with Team Bahrain-McLaren in 2019, designed specifically to provide Mikel Landa with enhanced drivetrain efficiency for a time trial in the 2020 Tour de France. Muc-Off’s systems have since been adopted by EF Education EasyPost.
The LOPS 2.0 has a claimed weight of 79.4g and is priced at a whopping £999.99. An equivalent CeramicSpeed OSPW with coated bearings is about half the price.
Rapha has unveiled a new L39ION of Los Angeles limited edition kit with the first $43,000 (£35,400) in sales to be donated to CYCLE Kids, an organisation that helps grassroots cycling programmes in schools.
Aussie racer Nathan Haas will ride a Colnago G3-X in a special “Purple Rain” finish at the SBT GRVL gravel event in Colorado, USA, this weekend.
We must say, though, that this one is the coolest of the lot.
Yes, it’s blazing sunshine in most of the UK right now but if past experience is anything to go by autumn will be along sooner or later. Those clever folk at MAAP know this and have announced a new clothing collection for the cooler weather.
The new clothing is on MAAP’s website now.
Reynolds Technology, the UK-based metal bicycle tubing manufacturer, has published the findings of its first Environmental Impact Study which “aims to quantify the belief that steel is an excellent and sustainable choice for bicycle manufacturers.”
Reynolds says, “Not all steel frames are created equal. Ferrous steel frames produce the lowest carbon emissions during manufacture, followed by titanium, followed by stainless steel. A conventional ‘double diamond’ ferrous steel frame produces 17.2kg of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent), titanium 53.92kg and stainless 59.44kg.
“Airfreighting goods to and from Reynolds is the manufacturer’s biggest environmental impact, which has been worsened by logistical challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Reynolds will be working with suppliers and customers to improve planning and avoid airfreight.”
We'll be publishing a feature on the environmental impact of bike frames soon.
Wahoo – you know, bike computers, smart trainers, fitness tech generally – has launched its own sports science centre in Boulder, Colorado, that will cover “research, expertise, and testing through physiology, biomechanics of movement, nutrition and sports psychology to consistently deliver leading hardware innovations and training solutions across Wahoo’s physical and digital products.”
In other words, the idea of the facility is that it’ll help Wahoo offer new tech and, ultimately, improve the athletic performance of its users.
Wahoo says, “This new facility will be at the forefront of driving and informing future innovations – leveraging expert insights and analytics focusing on personalised training, data insights, knowledge and sports science protocol to inform the world of connected fitness.”
Outdoor specialist Jack Wolfskin has a “premium series of apparel” called the Bikepacking Collection that’s designed for… well, you can probably work it out, to be honest.
The Tourer 2.5L jacket (RRP £160, but priced from £96 at the time of writing, again available in men’s and women’s versions) is intended to be both windproof and waterproof and comes with a stowable hood.
The clothing collection sits alongside Jack Wolfskin’s range of cycling packs and bags.
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.