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TECH NEWS

Here’s how to build a 3.6kg road bike + Santini’s non-denim Denim jacket, the freakiest shifter position ever and new stuff from Cadex, Festka, Rouvy + more

Check out the week’s hottest tech news, including how to get discount on a “game-changer” bike case, new bags from Restrap and Chrome, and tons more cool kit…

This edition of Tech of the Week is choc-a-bloc with new products from the likes of Santini, Restrap, Chrome Industries and Cadex, Festka has a Rouvy virtual bike that you can also buy in the real world, and ShokBox is set to launch a “game-changer” case, but we’re starting with a bike from TriRig that weighs about half the UCI’s minimum limit for racing…

Fancy a 3.6kg bike? Here’s how to do it... 

Everyone loves a lightweight bike and US company TriRig has taken things further than most in creating this 3.554kg (7lb 13oz) build that’s fully rideable. The project showcases a new range of super-light components from TriRig, including the most minimalist pedals you’ve ever seen.

“I wanted to know what it feels like to ride a 7lb bike,” says TriRig’s Nick Salazar. “The problem is all the ultralight bikes I've seen in that range aren't really rideable. They're just show bikes that disintegrate the minute you put a rider on them. So I set to work building a light bike.”

At the heart of things is a 2009 Cannondale SuperSix EVO frame. The SuperSix EVO was made exclusively for rim brakes back then. Nick sanded the paint off to save about 100g.

The cranks are THM Torno fitted with a custom chainring from Fibre-Lyte

The wheelset, which is said to weigh less than 700g, uses AX-Lightness rims and Extralite hubs, built up with titanium spokes from Pillar

The saddle and seatpost were specially made by Dash Cycles while the seatpost clamp is a Darimo Sub4, so-called because it weighs less than 4g.

TriRig uses Jagwire Link cables and a SRAM Red rear derailleur that has been customised to get the weight down to about 100g.

Beyond that, TriRig uses its own recently developed products: Omega SL brakes ($212.50/£168)Control SL brake levers and shifter ($212.50/£168)Mercury SL pedals ($267.75/£211)Styx SL skewers $127.50/£101), and a Pursuit SL aerobar ($382.50/£302). 

2023 TriRig Mercury SL pedals - 1

The Mercury SL pedals, for example, feature what TriRig describes as “the lightest pedal body ever made”. There’s no platform as such, it’s more of a shroud around the axle that spins on two large stainless steel bearings. TriRig claims a weight of just 71g for the pair.

Each Omega SL brake has a claimed weight of just 81g, including the hardware and pads.

2023 TriRig Omega SL brakes - 1

How does the bike ride? “Well, it's wonderful,” says Nick Salazar. “Those first few pedal strokes from zero to 10mph are just incredible. It just moves like nothing else, and because it's so light, the handling is a bit different. The bike just wants to race around.

“Crucially, this doesn't sacrifice function or durability. This is a totally rideable bike that you can take on any paved road. Whether you're climbing, descending, cornering, sprinting, this bike can do pretty much anything.”

Let us know what you think of this TriRig bike in the comments below.

Find out more here 

Check out Santini’s not-denim Denim jacket

Santini visited road.cc HQ this week to show us the clothing that’s coming up for autumn and winter – and there’s some mega-interesting kit on the way, including bio-based waterproofing from Polartec. Honestly, it’s way more fascinating than it sounds.

2023 Santini Denim - 1 (1)

The item that surprised us most, though, was this Denim buttoned jacket (£125). It’s not actually made of denim – it’s a stretch fleece fabric with a water-repellent treatment – but it does a good impression, doesn’t it? You have to look pretty closely to tell the difference.

2023 Santini Denim jacket - 2

Ask anyone of a certain age about denim-look cycling kit and they’ll instantly think of the Carrera team and its questionable kit (younger readers: ask your dad). AG2R Citroën rode Strade Bianche in denim bib shorts earlier this year too.

> AG2R Citroën to race Strade Bianche in denim bib shorts 

2023 Santini Denim jacket - 3

What do you think of Santini’s effort? Although included in the Terranova gravel collection, we can imagine it getting some use for urban riding.

Find out more here 

Coming to a screen near you: Bike Helmet Harry

The latest bike-related project looking for crowdfunding on Indiegogo isn’t a super-bright light or a clever new multitool, it’s a film. You know, a movie-type film.

The team behind it says, “Bike Helmet Harry is a live-action comedy feature film about a guy who never takes off his bike helmet (and it's set in an underground disco dance world)!

“It's like Saturday Night Fever meets There's Something About Mary.”

Well, that sounds... interesting. Okay, it’s not necessarily Citizen Kane but we kind of hope it gets made. Enough to back it with actual money? No, not that much… but you can if you like.

Find out more here 

There’s angling in your shifters… And then there’s this

Loads of riders slope their shifters inwards these days in search of aero gains but Burgos BH rider Eric Fagundez, currently racing La Vuelta a España, takes things to a whole other level. His FSA shifters are almost fitted sideways.

> Tech trends: Narrow bars with shifters angled inwards – should you be copying the pros to ride faster? 

Are Schrader valves best for tubeless tyres?

We’ve got to be honest, when we got an email saying that Jones Bikes of Oregon, USA, had switched from Presta to Schrader valve stems on all bikes, it was perilously close to going in the bin. No one got into cycling because of valve stems.

But wait! Jones Bikes has produced a video to explain its reasoning, and it’s pretty interesting… in a geeky kind of way.

2023 Jones Bikes Schrader valve stems - 1

Essentially, its argument is that you want high airflow through a valve stem to get a tubeless tyre seated, and a Schrader (car-type) valve stem delivers that better than anything else – especially if you go for a new Jones Spec Schrader Valve Stem. Should we all be making the switch? 

Watch the video and let us know what you think.

Find out more here 

ShokBox set to launch “game-changer” Pro bike box

ShokBox – which autocorrect wants to call ‘Shoebox’ – says that its Pro bike case will “set a new gold standard” when it is released soon.

2023 ShokBox Pro - 2

“It's a synthesis of cutting-edge technology, meticulous design, and an acute understanding of a cyclist's travel needs,” says ShokBox.

> Check out our review of the ShokBox Orange Premium bike box 

The ShokBox Pro builds on the features of the existing Classic and Premium cases with a TSA (Transportation Security Administration) latch to provide protection while allowing airport checks, and multi-directional castors to offer “an unparalleled level of manoeuvrability”.

You also get integrated carry handles, padded foam inserts, protective wheel bags, and an additional padded frame cover.

2023 ShokBox Pro - 1

“Where the Pro truly shines is in its advancements that prioritise your bike's safety,” says ShokBox. “An integrated dual anti-crush system, paired with dedicated crush protection zones, makes the Pro more than just a case; it's a fortress for your bicycle.”

Although not yet available to buy, you can check out the Pro on Shokbox’s website. It’ll be priced at £699.

Register your interest here to receive updates and pre-launch offers with some attractive discounts.

Find out more here 

Restrap adds new bags to range

Yorkshire’s Restrap has unveiled new bags: a Rolltop Backpack in two different sizes and a Utility Hip Pack.

2023 Restrap Rolltop 22 - 1 (1)

“Made from hard-wearing TPU outer material and featuring an orange nylon lining and airmesh back and straps, [the Rolltop Backpack] is both durable and comfortable to wear,” says Restrap.

The 40L version (£209.99) features a zipped compartment that’ll take a 15in laptop while the 22L model (£184.99) has a similar compartment for a 14in computer.

The bags come with adjustable side retention strapping, and the cushioned straps and chest retention have D rings for mounting accessories.

2023 Restrap Utiity Hip Pack - 1

The 6L Utility Hip Pack (£94.99) is designed to mount to your bike as well as around your waist.

“With an ergonomic fitting that accommodates a wide range of body types, the Utility Hip Pack ensures a comfortable and secure fit during long rides,” says Restrap. “Its adjustable retention system allows for a personalised fit, keeping the bag snugly positioned against your lower back, minimising movement and maximising stability.”

If you prefer, you can fold the waist straps into the back panel and treat it as a bar bag.

The Utility Hip Pack has a roll-top closure and features a waterproof and tape-sealed internal compartment.

We’ve requested all of these products for review on road.cc.

Find out more here

Chrome Industries debuts new artist series bags

It has been a big week for stuff you can use to carry other stuff. Alongside the news from ShokBox and Restrap, Chrome Industries has launched a new bag collection with artist Lucas Beaufort

2023 Chrome Kadet Sling Bag Lucas Beaufort

These are the latest offerings in the Chrome Artist Series where the brand “seeks out new artists each year to create unique limited-edition design concepts”.

2023 Chrome Industries Doubletrack Handlebar Bag Lucas Beaufort

The collection includes a limited-edition Kadet Sling Bag (£105), Doubletrack Handlebar Bag (£74)Ziptop Waistpack Bag (£55), and Cheapskate Card Wallet (£27)

Find out more here 

Ride a Festka Spectre in Rouvy’s augmented reality – and in the real world too

You can now ride a Festka Spectre road bike virtually on Rouvy’s indoor cycling app and also, if you have the cash, buy it in the real world too.

2023 Festka Rouvy - 2

Rouvy allows you to choose bikes and kits for your avatar and Festka has supplied its Spectre road bike for the virtual fleet for this year's La Vuelta a España.

You’re free to pick up the bike from Rouvy’s virtual bike shed and ride as much of this year’s Vuelta virtual route as you like. After the Vuelta, you’ll be able to ride it on all Rouvy’s routes in exchange for virtual coins.

2023 Festka Rouvy - 1

Festka is also making the limited-edition Spectre Vuelta available to buy in real life. You’ll need to dig deep, though, because the frameset alone is €8,410 (around £7,200).

Find out more here 

Cadex introduces high-end Race stem

You might not get too excited about stems but Cadex’s new high-end Race design looks pretty cool. It's an aero design with a hidden top cap and a two-bolt faceplate. The bolts in question are titanium to minimise weight.

2023 Cadex Race stem - 1

“The Race stem is constructed with T800 and T1100 carbon material for superior stiffness at an ultralight weight,” says Cade. “ It’s available in eight lengths, from 70mm to 140mm in 10mm increments, with the 100mm model weighing just 120g. Designed with a -10° angle, the stem is compatible with 1 1/4in or 1 1/8in steerer tubes for maximum versatility.”

The price? £299.99. Well, we did say that it’s high-end.

Find out more here 

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.

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14 comments

Avatar
peted76 | 5 months ago
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I found that valve video surprisingly enjoyable to watch. My takeaway is that I'm fine with presta valves though.. so I'm not sure how effective it will be. 

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adamrice | 5 months ago
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Those Tririg pedals are very similar to Aerolite pedals, which I had the dubious pleasure of riding on in the 1980s and which still seem to be in production.

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Cugel replied to adamrice | 5 months ago
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adamrice wrote:

Those Tririg pedals are very similar to Aerolite pedals, which I had the dubious pleasure of riding on in the 1980s and which still seem to be in production.

Somewhere in the most ancient box of bike bits (or maybe in the woodworking shed) I still have a pair of those - the pedals, that is, not the shoe plates. I bought them with 90% off (or something like that) at Settle Cycles in the late 80s. No one else was daft enough to buy them so they'd been in there for years.

The pedals are well made of good stuff but the shoe plates were huge red plastic things with a slot only just wide enough to push the shoe plate on to the pedal axle. Pulling them off again could be an alarming experience, often completed only just in time to prevent a topple; and perhaps resulting in a pulled muscle (in the leg; or in the face, from the alarm-gurn that provided observers with a fine entertainment). 

The shoe plates were also lethal if one attempted a walk from bike to cafe door. They were immensely tall - one's shoes became like those daft lady high heels things only in reverse - highsoles. Teeter-totter.

I used them twice, in a foolish effort to reduce the weight of a bike used on a bumpy time trial course. After lots of near-topples and many teeters with even those brief uses, they went in a box to gather dust for the next 35 years.

The shoe plates got tossed but I hung on to the pedals in the vain hope I could find another use for them. So far, nothing - although they would probably make a good crank rotator for use when the bike's in the workstand and you're twirling the cranks to set up gears and the like ..... .

 

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rookybiker replied to adamrice | 5 months ago
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Unlike others, I have managed to ride Aerolites for close to 15 years. They are very satisfying if you are persistent or obsessive enough to sort them out. All the frustration is due to the clips (yes, clips), that require you to drill your shoe  soles like in the olden times. The SPD plate adapters are clunky and really only tolerable while you find your foot position. Then there is the little matter of clipping in and out: the clipping action is based on the inherent flexibility of the clip but is also affected by the exact degree of tightness of the screws (at least with rigid carbon soles - this probably wasn't as issue with the flexy cycling shoes of the eighties).
The amazing thing is that this rubegoldbergian contraption works amazingly well when set up right, lasting forever, requiring little to no maintenance, spinning freely, holding the foot securely and releasing quickly. They are, of course, ridiculously light: about 95g for the pedals, clips and screws.

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NOtotheEU | 5 months ago
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Road cyclists have finally discovered what the rest of humanity already knew, Schrader valves are better than presta. 😉

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Cugel replied to NOtotheEU | 5 months ago
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NOtotheEU wrote:

Road cyclists have finally discovered what the rest of humanity already knew, Schrader valves are better than presta. 😉

How many obsessives will now be drilling out the valve hole of their presta rims so they can follow this latest mini-fad? How many will find unforseen consequences of trying to change their valves, from Schrader tubes with valves too short, to cracked rims from inept hole enlargements; and more SNAFUs?

"Better" is a word found all over the cycling gubbins adverts and articles. It always begs two questions:

* Better by what criteria; and tested for betterment how: against every criterion that matters or just one criterion obsessed over by someone?

* Why must all things be put into hierarchies-of-worth rather than just seen as just items with various aspects appealing to different aesthetic tastes or preferences?

One answer is that manufacturers like to use hierarchies of worth, and the movement of various gubbins up and down them, as a handy way to differentiate prices (with plenty of otherwise unjustifiable high prices for the top dogs) and to persuade we dafties to buy new! improved! at last! things we don't need and perhaps shouldn't want.

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NOtotheEU replied to Cugel | 5 months ago
1 like

I've had two rims fail due to rim brake wear long before they reached the wear limit (being 17 stone probably didn't help) but never had a problem with the rims I've drilled to take Schrader and you can buy tubes with long Schrader valves.

Schrader are better in every way unless the 2mm difference in size matters. There must be a reason every other product in the world that needs air to be inserted uses Schrader valves.

I copied this because i'm too lazy to type that much;

https://www.bikeradar.com/features/this-is-why-its-time-to-stop-using-pr...

1. Presta valves are fragile

This is my biggest annoyance. Once a Presta valve stem is unscrewed it’s a whispy, delicate aluminum rod. Bending it, or snapping it clean off happens, and that can ruin a ride. That sucks.

Maxxis’ marketing guy Bobby Brown acknowledged this, saying: “Presta valves are great since the valve cores can easily be replaced without a proprietary tool, but the valves are more frequently replaced due to damage.” 

2. Presta valves need an adaptor or a special pump

I know the bike industry loves standards, and speciality tools, and ways of doing things, but does it have to extend to what should be the most simple task of all — adding air to tires? 

You probably know what’s on nearly every corner in every town. I’m going to clue you in, it’s not a bike shop. It’s a gas station, where more often than not they have an air hose. But if your bike tire is low and you have Presta valves that air hose is practically worthless without the little adaptor. 

Look at virtually every other pneumatic thing that requires air inflation: cars, airplanes, plumbing, even Dakar rally suspension, they all use Schrader valves. If Presta was the superior valve to be used, other industries would use them.

3. Presta valves involve more steps

It comes down to ease of use and Presta valves have the extra steps of unscrewing the valve to add air, then remembering to tighten the valve down. Both valves have little plastic tops, which aren’t necessary, but do offer a bit of protection and keep dirt out.

4. Air retention is the same

As far as air retention, it comes down to the tube or the tubeless set up more so than the valve. “Both (valves) test similarly on air retention assessments,” according to Maxxis’ Brown.

5. Presta is just another confusing bike thing

Like left hand threads, 15 bottom brackets standards, ridiculous wheel size naming (700c?, 650B?, 27.5in?), clipless pedals to clip into; the industry should help us cyclists on the valve thing.

Weirdly enough the bike industry, and unfortunately some bikers, can have an elitist air about them. But does that elitism have to extend to our air valves. Really?

6. Presta removable cores come unthreaded at the worst of times

Pump heads that screw onto the valve can unscrew the Presta core. This does happen and it’s a huge pain in the @*$

Thanks to tubeless tires, more and more Presta valves have removable cores for adding sealant. Because the core can be unthreaded, I’ve had a Presta valve core come unscrewed more than a few times when I was miles away from help. 

It happens with pump heads that screw on (like Lezyne), and it’s a severe let down to think you’re almost finished up fixing a flat only to have all the air you just pumped in come rushing out as you pull off the pump. 

7. Schrader drilled rims can use either valve

Backwards compatibility! Moving to Schrader valves can be done to most rims. I say most because I’m in no way recommending drilling carbon rims.

Plus, if your rims are drilled for larger Schrader valves, you’re in luck with either valve. If your rims are only Presta, not so much. And you don’t have to have a Presta valve for tubeless, tubeless Schrader valves do exist!

8. Schraders allow more air for tubeless set up

Avatar
Hirsute replied to NOtotheEU | 5 months ago
1 like

I'm happy with my fillmores.

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Geoff Ingram replied to Hirsute | 5 months ago
1 like

East and West, some great bands on there.

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Cugel replied to NOtotheEU | 5 months ago
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That list of schrader valve advanatages you provide makes a persuasive case for them. There's only one significant drawback (the usual drawback in a million other such choices): the inertia of the extant.  There are so many wheels and tubes that are designed and made for Presta valves; and millions of them already out there working well enough. 

So, whilst its not impossible to change, the inertia of the extant would be a big drag-anchor on the launch of any such effort to change to schrader. And how significant would be the improvements of a valve change for most presta valve users? Very little, in my own case, as I find no difficulty with presta so wouldn't spend the time, money and effort to change to Schrader, even though the time, money and effort would be relatively small.

I suspect this will be the case for most Presta valve users, especially those with lots of them on different bikes and wheelsets.

Avatar
NOtotheEU replied to Cugel | 5 months ago
0 likes

Unfortunately I have to agree With you. I've hated presta since I got my first 10 speed and done everything I can to avoid them ever since. As long as I can buy my preferred tubes and have a sharp 8mm drill bit I'm happy.

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hawkinspeter replied to Cugel | 5 months ago
1 like
Cugel wrote:

That list of schrader valve advanatages you provide makes a persuasive case for them. There's only one significant drawback (the usual drawback in a million other such choices): the inertia of the extant.  There are so many wheels and tubes that are designed and made for Presta valves; and millions of them already out there working well enough. 

So, whilst its not impossible to change, the inertia of the extant would be a big drag-anchor on the launch of any such effort to change to schrader. And how significant would be the improvements of a valve change for most presta valve users? Very little, in my own case, as I find no difficulty with presta so wouldn't spend the time, money and effort to change to Schrader, even though the time, money and effort would be relatively small.

I suspect this will be the case for most Presta valve users, especially those with lots of them on different bikes and wheelsets.

Presta valves are lighter though. I'll never get that 3-4g back, you know.

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chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 5 months ago
0 likes

Well, if you're running a Jones Mountain Goat-ee (tm) you could try a good trim?

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ktache | 5 months ago
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I received the Jones Schrader email just after I ordered my Fillmore valves (with extra oilslick caps and nuts). He makes quality stuff. I suppose I should watch the video, but aren't most tubeless rims drilled just for presta? Not like my 26 inch rims which were drilled for Schrader, and sort of required an adaptor for presta.

And even more relevant and important, to me at least, he sells zipper cleaner and lubricant, which I will be getting a bottle of, when he finally gets some of the weirdly sized clear and soft h bar grips I need.

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