There's a lot to unpack in this edition of Tech of the Week as we move towards the winter, including a light-up lid from POC, a useful app update for Wahoo computer users, a rather fetching collab between Factor and the designer Paul Smith, the warmest ever Gore bib tights and cosy new stuff from Rapha. First though, we've got something weird and something wonderful. Or both, or neither, depending on your personal cycling preferences...
An e-bike with a sliding frame design – which allows it to be ridden by people of different heights and also minimises the space it takes up when carried and stored – has almost immediately hit its crowdfunding target.
We first introduced you to the non-electric Pop-Cycle earlier in the year when it smashed its funding target on Indiegogo. Now its inventors are back with an electric version.
If you’re not familiar with the sliding frame design, this quick video will get you up to speed…
Essentially, you can slide the drivetrain, rear wheel, seatpost and saddle backwards and forwards along the central beam as a single unit, and lock it in position. Or, if you flip your thinking, you can leave all that lot in place and slide the beam and front section backwards and forwards. Either way, it takes seconds.
The idea is that the E-Pop-Cycle can be easily adjusted to fit different body heights (from 150cm to 190cm) and also be shunted together to take up less space when you’re carrying or storing it.
The extended stem and handlebar fold down courtesy of a large hinge at the top of the head tube, and the pedals fold inward.
The team behind E-Pop-Cycle reckon the size when slid together and folded down is 1070mm x 740mm x 360mm.
Unlike the original Pop-Cycle, the electric version has a carbon-fibre fork, stem and saddle to keep the weight down (it comes in at a claimed 16kg), but the biggest differences are the additions of a BLDC hub motor (36V 250W) and a Samsung SDI 21700 lithium-ion battery (36V 15Ah). These give the E-Pop-Cycle a claimed top speed of 15.5mph and a range of up to 43 miles – although, as ever, this will depend on the terrain and conditions.
To be in line to receive an E-Pop-Cycle, you need to pledge at least £1,146 (that’s a ‘Super Early Bird’ offer) – although pledging money on a crowdfunding site isn’t the same as buying through a retailer. Rewards are not guaranteed. Assuming everything goes to plan, delivery is expected in January 2024.
What do you reckon — a hit or a miss?
We first caught a glimpse of the prototype of Reilly's Reflex back in April at the Cycle Show and thought it looked pretty special, and now the bike has been officially released at Rouleur Live. The bike pictured here is the finalised version, except that there will be no top tube bag mounts. They're being removed to keep the look a little cleaner in that area.
With full internal cable routing, and plenty of bling bits and mounts, the Reflex looks like a very classy and practical piece of work. It’s made from 3Al/2.5V titanium and supports dynamo light cables and a hydraulic dropper post, and the bottom bracket shell is an on-trend T47.
The frameset is priced £3,999.
The base model complete bike, with a SRAM Rival XPLR eTap AXS groupset and DCR carbon wheels, is priced at £7,149. For other builds from SRAM, Shimano and Campagnolo, Reilly will just increase the price in line with the retail price of the components.
Reilly expects most people to go for an electronic groupset but it’ll take a mechanical setup if you prefer.
You can opt for a one-piece gravel handlebar and stem with flared drops, or go for separate components.
The largest chainring the Reflex will accept is 46T while there’s enough space for tyres up to 55mm wide.
Delivery is expected at the end of January 2024.
Zwift has announced the launch of Zwift Academy for 2023. For those with exceptional talent, Zwift Academy offers an opportunity to win a pro contract with Canyon//SRAM Generation or Alpecin-Deceuninck Development Team, but it’s designed for plenty of other users too.
“The programme is [our] ultimate training challenge providing six workouts designed to test every Zwifter and two races to help Zwifters get fitter and have fun with the community,” says Zwift.
You can choose between long and short versions of each workout.
“Zwift Academy workouts are a great introduction to structured training which will help Zwifters boost fitness and increase cycling strength,” says Zwift. “Long workouts last from an hour up to 90 minutes while all the short workouts can be completed in under an hour of concentrated effort.
Workouts cover both explosive anaerobic and endurance-focused sessions designed to improve your aerobic efficiency. The two races will focus on sprint power as well as the ability to recover from climbs.
Registration for Zwift Academy is open now with events running from 6th November to 17th December.
It's not been the best week for Rapha, but the brand has added to its Explore bike packing collection with a “new and improved” Men’s Explore Down Jacket and the introduction of insulating base layers.
“The Explore Down Jacket (£280) is the perfect companion for any adventure into the outdoors,” says Rapha. “It’s warm, compressible, and packable, making it easy to take with you on the go. The responsibly sourced goose down provides exceptional warmth with little weight, while the lightweight and durable ripstop shell with water-repellent treatment protects from light rain.”
Of course, you can wear it around town too. They can’t touch you for it.
All of these items are available in various colours.
Factor Bikes has teamed up with designer and former cyclist Paul Smith for a Paul Smith Edition Factor Ostro VAM road bike in a limited-edition finish.
That finish is made up of colour blocks that are said to be “inspired by bikes loved by Paul both past and present, both in colour and texture”.
It features shades of blue, green and Paul Smith pink, with both high-shine and matt areas.
“Iconic Paul Smith design features are integrated throughout the frameset,” says Factor. “A gold foiled Signature logo is central to the Black Inc bars, a Signature stripe runs down the seatpost, plus abstract scaled-up Signature logos are positioned across the forks and down tube.”
The Paul Smith Edition Factor Ostro VAM can be bought as a frameset (including seatpost, handlebar and stem) for £4,839, or as a frameset with Black Inc Forty Five disc brake carbon clincher wheels for £6,439. Complete bikes start at £7,479.
The Paul Smith Edition Black Inc Integrated Aero Barstem (£599) and Paul Smith Edition Black Inc Bar Tape (£28) are also available to purchase separately.
Wahoo Fitness has announced a new ‘Ready to Ride’ update for its Elemnt bike computers – a new menu screen that “provides users with fast, intuitive access to all of the frequently needed pre-ride functions including the sensor menu, route loading and battery status”.
“At its core, [Ready To Ride] is a revised menu which will be optionally shown to the user when the computer starts,” says Wahoo. “The revised user interface makes it easy to load a route or planned workout and check that the correct sensors are paired. You can also effortlessly view other key data such as GPS signal status, WiFi status, phone connection, and time of day.”
The battery status for Shimano Di2 and SRAM eTap electronic shifting systems is now a data field which can be shown on any workout screen. You’ll also receive an alert on your ride summary screen at the end of your workout if your Elemnt or any paired sensor needs to be charged.
The full Ready to Ride updates will be available on the Element Roam V2 and Elemnt Bolt V2 computers. Users of the original Elemnt Bolt and Roam will get a restructured menu using the existing theme.
POC has unveiled a new helmet called the Omne Beacon and here it is in all its glory – rear view first, because that's where all the action is.
The Swedish brand has offered the Omne in various forms over the past few years; what’s new here is the integration of a rechargeable LED rear light and additional reflective details.
You can choose from various different light modes; the runtime is said to be 32 hours in blinking mode on a single charge.
The Omne Beacon is equipped with Mips Integra safety technology.
Price? You’re looking at £220.
MET has introduced a version of its Trenta 3K Carbon helmet in a Tadej Pogačar limited edition finish.
“Thanks to a pioneering production process devised in-house, each helmet is different from the next,” says MET. “A similar shimmering ‘living liquid’ pattern varies from one helmet to another, making your helmet truly individual.”
The helmet also features the Slovenian cycling superstar’s personal logo.
The MET Trenta 3K Carbon Tadej Pogačar costs the same as a standard model: £290.
While we're on the topic of helmets, to bring the new releases to three, we also have new Kask lids to tell you about. The brand has brought out four new matte colours, inspired by 'natural vistas', for its Protone Icon helmet. The helmet now comes in Lavender, Tangerine, Forest Green, and Sahara options. The Protone Icon is a helmet that Kask says is "equally at home on the gravel, cyclo-cross tracks and cross-country mountain bike trails as it is on the road" - making it a bit of a do-it-all.
It's got some aero features, Octofit+ adjustment system and it's passed the Kask Rotational Impact WG11 Test. The Protone Icon is available in three sizes to suit heads between 50 and 62cm in circumference, and with the new four matte tones added, you can choose from 13 colour variants at a price of £245.
Lake says that its new CX333 and MX333 cycling shoes – which take over from the 332 models – come with a host of technical innovations, including a Carbitex carbon fibre textile panel in the upper to give “more structure and support and even more stability to the rider's foot, increasing that all-important power transfer”. Lake already uses Carbitex elsewhere in its range.
Lake now wraps the shoe closure system over the top of the foot and has moved the lower Boa dial towards the toe box, the idea being to provide more adjustability and give more comfort to the forefoot and toes.
The kangaroo leather and the mouldable heel counter remain from previous models.
The CX333 comes with a road sole while the MX333 has an off-road sole. Each is priced at £395 and will be available from 1st December.
Gorewear says that its new Distance Winter Bib Tights+, inspired by the Distance Bib Shorts+ 2.0 that we reviewed here on road.cc back in the summer, are the warmest it offers.
“The goal was to achieve the optimal balance between protection against the cold and freedom of movement,” says Gorewear.
They use a thermo-woven fabric that’s designed to keep you warm and a water-repellent material for the seat area and the lower legs to protect against road spray.
You get multi-density, multi-layered foam padding and wide mesh bib straps.
The Gorewear Distance Winter Bib Tights+ are available in both men’s and women’s cuts priced at £199.99
Ribble has showcased a bunch of stunning-looking, bespoke bike builds at this years Rouleur Live in London. "The Edit" as they call it – consists of five bikes – and showcases premium paint schemes and hand-built artistry, and among the highlights are a bespoke "hand-inked" Ultimate Urban e-bike created in collaboration with London artist Vic Lee, a marbled Gravel SL, a titanium Allroad prototype, an Ultra SL R Forces Edition paying tribute to the Royal British Legion, and a superlight Endurance SL R.
We've taken a closer look at the titanium Allroad prototype as our Bike at Bedtime (this will be live on Sunday evening) and the Vic Lee urban e-bike here on ebiketips. Let us know which one is your favourite.
MAAP has unveiled a new Atmos range, featuring ultra-lightweight and highly waterproof jackets and gilets. The garments are made with Pertex Shield fabric which offers a 20,000mm hydrostatic head waterproof rating while maintaining breathability. The minimalist design and lightweight fabric make Atmos MAAP's packable, and there are reflective features to increase visibility.
The collection includes an Atmos Jacket (£270) and an Atmos Vest (£245) both coming in women's and men's fit and multiple colour options.
In case you missed it earlier in the week…