This week our round-up of five cool things is reporting back from road.cc's annual Eurobike road trip, looking at some cool and interesting stuff that we'll be lining up for a road.cc review rather than previewing things we already have. Here's our selection, what do you reckon?
Famed for their solid tyres, dare we say that these new inserts from Tannus may be the brand suggesting that perhaps solids aren't quite there yet when it comes to matching the rolling resistance and ride feel of clinchers or tubs (as detailed in our review of their solid Aither 1.1 road tyre). The Armour inserts instead slot in between the tube and the tyre, which also means they're much easier to install than Tannus solids, and provide an extra 15mm of puncture protection on the top and another 2mm on the sidewalls. They're best recommended for off-road, gravel and city commuters, and Tannus also say the soft foam-like construction also makes for a smoother and enjoyable ride.
295 euros (not including attachments)
We've heard of 3-in1's, but Leg & Go's wooden kids bike can transform into eight different set-ups, from a 'rocking elephant', to a mini downhill balance bike with a back brake, all the way up to a pedal bike. The benefits of this are so your child has the familiarity of using the same frame as they learn to cycle, Leg & Go told us, and the wooden frame pivots in numerous ways to transform it from one bike type to another.
The original purchase is for a 3-in-1, with the rocking elephant, downhill bike and pedal bike attachments all coming as extra purchases. That means your eventual outlay will be pretty big to make the most out of it, but if you want to continually spoil your little cherub as they learn to ride it might be worth looking into...
Short for 'Magic Carpet Ride', the MCR arguably sees the amalgamation of road and mountain bikes reach new heights with both front and rear suspension included. Niner insist it's totally logical that those who ride gnarly gravel tracks would want superior comfort while still being able to take advantage of narrower rubber and more aggressive geometry as opposed to more relaxed full-sus trail bikes. You get 50mm of rear CVA suspension, clearance for up to 700 x 50mm/650b x 2.0 tyres, and it's also plenty practical for big bikepacking adventures with 11 fixed mounting points; of course, the suspension can be locked out if you have to temporarily take the road.
The MCR 9 RDO will go on sale in November 2019, most likely in the US only to start with.
Xcadey Xpower crankset
Chinese brand Xcadey's original crank arm power meters have received some questionable reviews in some corners of the cycling media in recent years; but could their latest line-up of products have finally ironed out the issues? They're claiming their 6061 alloy XPower crankset weighs in at just 400g, and is accurate to +/-2%. It's suitable for Shimano/SRAM 11 speed systems, and has a BB386EVO aluminium spindle. If the accuracy is passable, the prices of their first lineup of power meters were remarkably low, so we'll be interested to see if the Xpower is the real deal.
Winning a Eurobike start-up award, the Asfalt LR is a sleek-looking and clever e-bike with an alloy frame and plenty of nifty features. The chunky seat tube actually houses an extra battery to double your range, and the power comes from a mid-drive motor.
As well as an integrated rear light, Asfalt also told us theirs the only bike in existence that has a functioning light built into the head tube; in this case, the logo acts as the front light. There's no display with Asfalt going as minimal as possible, and the battery charge status appears on the top tube with five dashes lit up when it's full. It costs 2890 Swiss Francs, or around £2,350 according to today's conversions. Asfalt are currently looking for European and UK distributors, so we may yet see on sale in the UK soon...
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.