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Could these “intelligent beads” really revolutionise bike design? Plus more tech news from Michelin, Wahoo, Cannondale, Cafe du Cycliste and loads more

We have loads of new products to tell you about, including tyres, helmets and clothing, and the shiniest cycling shoes you’ll ever see

The bike world is super busy now we’ve hit summer and we have news to tell you about from Michelin, Wahoo and Cannondale, along with a really neat tool that’s flying on Kickstarter, but we’re starting with a drive system that ditches the conventional chain in favour of intelligent beads. Yep, that’s right, intelligent beads…

Could this revolutionary drive system really transform the cycle industry?

A British inventor plans to revolutionise the cycle industry with a system that uses “intelligent beads” housed in a cassette to provide two-wheel drive rather than a conventional chain – that’s “cassette” in the sense of an enclosed container rather than a cluster of sprockets. David Jephcott’s Injenius bike also uses internal braking and smart gears.

2023 Injenius bike - 1 (2)

The University of Sheffield’s Advanced Product Development Centre has described the design as “the most exciting development in cycling history since the turn of the last century, incorporating a revolutionary drive system that could transform the industry” although a prototype has yet to be built so we can’t show you pictures of it in action.

Gerry Wilkinson, who is working with David Jephcott to deliver the project, says, “The Injenius bike works with an intelligent compression drive which distributes the energy to both the front and rear wheel equally purely by a more efficient use of human effort via the pedals.

“The design brings all the advantages without the potential of electronics being compromised in the middle of nowhere and leaving the bike unrideable.

“We can add a motor to the pedal mounting should it be needed but this will only be an aid as and when required and without affecting the main principle of the design.”

David Jephcott says, “Having proven the concept via a physical drive cassette and CAD (computer aided design) simulation, we are now adding the front wheel drive and powered steering to provide greater stability on greasy surfaces and increased safety via improved handling.

“Our first fully equipped prototype will be a road bike version. This process will determine the parameters within which the drive will work most efficiently.”

“We aim to achieve 1% of the global market within three years by initially licensing the technology to manufacturers who already have market share plus manufacturing and distribution channels in place.”

The Injenius bike has no chain to slip, break, or get dirty, and David promises it’ll be low maintenance along offer improved traction.

2023 Injenius bike - 1 (1)

David Jephcott has a long history of working on related ideas and patented a method for transferring drive using “a line of contiguous bead-like drive-transferring members” way back in 2002. You can check out the design here

There are already chainless bike designs out there but they’ve never hit the mainstream. CeramicSpeed demonstrated its shaft drive concept, called Driven, back in 2018 and a year later demonstrated that it could change gears thanks to some electronic trickery.

The design uses a shaft tipped with CeramicSpeed’s ceramic ball bearings to drive the rear wheel instead of a chain, with the brand claiming this is part of its effort to create a 99% efficient drivetrain. Clever engineering, but it has never come to market.

> CeramicSpeed’s chainless drivetrain concept is seeking investors 

Various people have tried to create two-wheel drive bikes – Japan’s Double showed off its 2 WD system back in 2017, for example, and Christini offers a range of two-wheel drive models.  Again, though, the concept hasn’t seen widespread adoption.

As mentioned, the team behind Injenius says that the two-wheel drive nature of the design improves traction but it also plans to offer a single-wheel drive version that can be retrofitted to an existing bike.

What do you think: is Injenius the next big thing or an answer in search of a problem? Let us know in the comments.

Find out more here 

Michelin introduces new Power Adventure tyre

Michelin power adventure gravel tyre 2023

Michelin has introduced a Power Adventure off-road tyre that features a hybrid tread design to roll well on and off tarmac. Michelin says it's aimed at cyclists who ride about a fifth of their time on rougher gravel or dirt roads – which seems quite specific, but we get the idea.

> Best road bike tyres 2023 — ride faster and further with fewer punctures

There are two colours available: black or classic, which Michelin says can “match and enhance” your bike. 

Michelin power adventure gravel tyre 2023

The tyre uses a new rubber compound, Michelin Gum-X Technology, that is said to be optimised for grip on both dry and wet surfaces. It comes with a lightweight 3x100 TPI construction with a bead to bead technology – an additional protective layer surrounding the entire carcass for better puncture resistance. 

The Michelin Power Adventure is available now in 30, 36, 42 and 48mm widths and each tyre costs £54.99. 

Find out more here

Wahoo Kickr Rollr launches new virtual riding functionality

Wahoo has launched virtual riding functionality for its Kickr Rollr, allowing you to connect to virtual platforms Wahoo RGT and Zwift, without the need for a power meter.

> Read our review of the Wahoo Kickr Rollr Smart Bike Roller

2023 Wahoo Kickr Rollr - 1

There’s no need to remove your rear wheel when using the Wahoo Kickr Rollr, you simply secure your bike in place and ride. It provides controlled resistance without the use of an external power meter.

“Kickr Rollr comes with a free trial to Wahoo X, giving you immediate access to two completely unique indoor cycling apps, Wahoo SYSTM and RGT, through one subscription,” says Wahoo.

2022 Wahoo Kickr Rollr front wheel.jpg

Wahoo System offers “a sport science-based personalised training plan to help you achieve your goals” while Wahoo RGT is described as “a realistic virtual world where you can ride some of the most famous routes in global cycling”. 

Find out more here 

MetMo Pocket Driver multitool destroys Kickstarter funding target

The MetMo Pocket Driver multi-tool isn’t bike-specific but it’s certainly bike-relevant and it has currently received pledges totalling £900,000 more than its Kickstarter funding target with over a fortnight remaining.

2023 MetMo Pocket Driver - 1 (2)

The Pocket Driver is a smaller version of the original MetMo Driver that raised well over £1 million via crowdfunding.

It’s designed to be “a compact hybrid between a T-handle and ratchet drive”.

“With its impressive torque, this tool serves as a versatile screwdriver, a compact T driver, and a substitute for Allen keys, while remaining agile enough to be used as a micro driver,” says MetMo.

It’s a full-metal construction and takes standard 1/4in (6.3mm) hex heads. You can store two inside.

2023 MetMo Pocket Driver - 2

You need to pledge at least £89 to be in line for a MetMo Pocket Driver with delivery expected in February 2024. Pledging money on crowdfunding sites is not the same as buying through a retailer

Find out more here 

Cannondale introduces new helmets with Mips safety tech

Bike brand Cannondale isn't especially well known for its helmets but it has a bunch of new models this season, two of them suitable for the tarmac.

2023 Cannondale Dynam helmet - 1

The Dynam (£150) is designed to be “light, protective, and incredibly well-ventilated”, coming with a Mips Air Node safety system and a Fidlock magnetic faster on the chinstrap. 

> Find out all you need to know about Mips 

2023 Cannondale Sidestreet helmet - 1

The Sidestreet (£70) is a city/urban helmet. It offers an integrated brow visor and is equipped with the Mips Evolve system. 

Find out more here 

Ooh, that's neat! Cannondale CAAD13 gets a classic Saeco finish

Sticking with Cannondale, this aluminium CAAD13 road bike from the brand’s current range has been given a paint job that harks back to the CAAD3 Saeco team-edition bike, as ridden by the likes of Mario Cipollini in the 1990s.

What do you reckon? We think the world needs more bikes like this.

Cafe du Cycliste launches new Atelier clothing 

Cafe du cycliste Atelier summer collection 2023 women's

French premium cycling brand Cafe du Cycliste has introduced a new summer cycling collection called Atelier.

> Do you really need a cycling jersey? Everything you need to know about fabrics, fit, features and more

“Inspired by classic bandanas, hydraulics (whatever that means in fashion), hip-hop, Route 66 and the open road; signature designs have been customised with the rebellious spirit of the American West,” the brand said about the range that consists of tops and accessories. 

Cafe du cycliste Atelier summer collection 2023

The collection is available in both women’s and men’s fits. Prices start at £118 for gilets and £157 for jerseys.

Find out more here

Check out Groenewegen’s shiny Bont shoes

Team Jayco Alula sprinter Dylan Groenewegen is getting about in these custom Bont Zero+ disco slippers.

2023 Dylan Groenewegen Bont shoes - 1

Reckon you could pull off the look on the Sunday morning chaingang?

Find out more here 

How do pro teams keep track of their tubeless sealant?

If you use sealant inside tubeless tyres you’ll know that you need to add some extra from time to time because it gradually dries out. It’s easy enough to remember when you last topped up if you only have one or two bikes, but what if you look after wheels for a whole pro team?

2023 Vingegaard tyre - 1

This is a wheel/tyre from the bike of Tour de France champ Jonas Vingegaard that we saw at the Criterium du Dauphine last weekend. One of the mechanics has written 24.05 – 24th May – on there with a Sharpie. It's a simple method that's used by most of the pro teams.

Teravail launches Telegraph, its first-ever road tyre

Teravail Telegraph road tyre

Teravail, a brand well known for its gravel tyres, has launched its first-ever road tyre called the Telegraph. The new tyre is said to combine “high-speed grip and comfortable compliance to provide riders with a modern road experience”. 

The Telegraph is built with 120 TPI tubeless-ready casing with a single-compound rubber chosen for its compliance and grip. It also features a textured tread cap that should further increase grip on the tarmac. 

Teravail Telegraph road tyre

For puncture protection and better tubeless performance, Teravail has added an internal liner, and the tyre is available in Teravail’s Light and Supple casing or a new road-specific Durable casing.  

The Telegraph tyre is available in single 700c x 30mm size but in three casing and sidewall combos: 

Black Sidewall with Light and Supple casing £45
Black Sidewall with Durable casing £48
Tan Sidewall with Light and Supple casing £45

We've requested some for review on

Find out more here 

A cup of Joe on the go: Restrap introduces portable coffee dripper

We all know that coffee and cycling go together like bacon and eggs, strawberries and cream or Thelma and Louise, so it’s no surprise that British bikepacking specialist Restrap has introduced a portable coffee dripper.

2023 Restrap Coffee Dripper - 1

Restrap initially introduced the product for a limited time last Christmas and it was so popular that it has been brought back as a permanent addition to the range.

“Three shaped pieces lock together to allow a V60 filter to sit above your mug, using a specially designed shape that always sits centrally and securely while your favourite brew drips through,” says Restrap.

2023 Restrap Coffee Dripper - 1 (1)

When you’re done, it packs into its own textured nylon pouch. The Restrap coffee dripper is yours for £9.99.

Find out more here 

Unit 1 Aura helmet with integrated lights smashes crowdfunding target

UNIT1 Aura system helmet light dark

Unit 1’s Aura bike helmet – which features integrated lights, turn indicators, brake lights, Mips and a crash detection system – has achieved over 1,400% of its funding target with 43 days remaining.

Unit 1 says, “Aura is an all-in-one solution for riders seeking to become more visible and safe on increasingly dangerous roads. It features our brand new Hybrid Smart Helmet, Smart Lights, Navigation Remote, and App, working together to deliver a total of +800 lumens in a completely new riding experience.”

A remote control allows you to indicate without taking your hand of the bar.

You need to pledge at least $169 (about £135) to be in line for a Unit 1 Aura with delivery expected in November.

Read more

In case you haven't yet checked our other hottest cycling tech news and features of the week, go have a read: 

Add new comment


Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
1 like

I know the Cannondale Sidestreet is offered as an "urban" helmet but providing it pre-grubbed up seems to take the concept a bit literally.

Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago

Magic beads - me arse!  No prizes for guessing what that guys favourite kink is.

Miller | 1 year ago

Those Injenius beads, I reckon the power loss could be 50% especially when you consider the utterly pointless front wheel drive.

What is it about bikes that keeps attracting people who seem to know nothing about cycling?

hawkinspeter replied to Miller | 1 year ago
Miller wrote:

Those Injenius beads, I reckon the power loss could be 50% especially when you consider the utterly pointless front wheel drive.

What is it about bikes that keeps attracting people who seem to know nothing about cycling?

That's an interesting question and I've heard anecdotally that there's as many bike patents as all other patents put together (not sure that I believe that though).

I think it's because it's a simple machine that can be easily understood by just looking at the various parts and that encourages inventors to come up with all sorts of ideas. However, bikes are constrained by competing optimisations such as for strength and lightness, so many new ideas improve one aspect and make another worse.

It's especially difficult to improve upon the basic chain drive as it's lightweight, reliable and performant.

Rendel Harris replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
hawkinspeter wrote:

That's an interesting question and I've heard anecdotally that there's as many bike patents as all other patents put together (not sure that I believe that though).

I know there are over 50,000 bicycle patents in the UK alone, but there must surely be tens if not hundreds of millions of patents overall, one would imagine.

Off the back replied to Miller | 1 year ago

It will probably end up going the same way as CeramicSpeeds chainless drive. Its been promised for years but I've seen no further breakthrough in its development. It works in the concept of a fixed gear design but with multiple gears it falls over. I can't ever see it being reliable with someone putting 1000w+ through such small components and expecting it not to shatter into a thousand pieces. 

Welsh boy | 1 year ago

Nice helmets from Cannondale. I'm glad they dont make you look like a dickhead because as we all know the look of a helmet is almost as important as function to most people.

hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
1 like

I'm sceptical of the Injenius drive being more efficient than a chain. It's got a lot of surface that's in contact with the moving beads and so looks like it would introduce a lot of friction.

chrisonabike | 1 year ago

Injenius - I think I've seen something like this magic bean intelligent bead system somewhere before. Although I think the efficient beads were connected physically.

Calc replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
1 like

Scaling that up, it gives me an idea where passenger vehicles could be made more efficient by joining them together and using steel wheels.

HoldingOn | 1 year ago

I'm going to be keeping my eye on the Injenius drive system. Looks very interesting. I'll be really keen to see how it operates against the friction of all those beads. Really want it to work as well as they hope!

Xenophon2 replied to HoldingOn | 1 year ago
1 like

I'm guessing it'll sink together with the first prototype.  Can't imagine how they will keep friction losses within tolerance.  Never mind the weight.

As usual, the marketing department is weel ahead of engineering....

Blackthorne replied to HoldingOn | 1 year ago

Two big red flags: talking about 1% market share with no proof of concept in existence, and, plans for a  2-wheel drive system that no-one asked for before even coming up with a minimum viable product.

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