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Say hello to ‘HelloFresh for bikes’… plus, Hunt revamps carbon wheel range, new Canyon, gravel kicks from Quoc and Specialized, Hope offers FREE files to 3D print tools, and that’s just a taster of this week’s top tech news

We’ve also got “air conditioning for your head” from Specialized (yes, it’s a helmet), “the perfect rain cover” for inclement commutes (claim creators), cool watches from Bravur, limited edition Kask/MAAP collab lid + more

We have stacks of tech news to cram in this week, including launches from Specialized, Canyon, Hunt, and Quoc, a subscription service for all your cycling essentials, and some very cool watches inspired by classic pro teams, but we're starting with a weather protection system that aims to "redefine urban cycling"... 

Check out the bike shield that “keeps you dry and comfortable even in the worst weather”

If you’re fed up with cycling in bad weather, have you considered investing in a bike shield to keep you from getting wet and cold? Thought not… but imagine you were in the market for such a thing: the Wip weather protection system is looking for funding on Indiegogo right now.

Wip is essentially a plastic shield that fits to the front of your bike – other vaguely similar designs already exist, such as the Velotop Urban QR1 – and its inventors make some big claims.

“Wip offers functional weather protection for cyclists, ensuring comfort in all weather conditions throughout the year,” says the team behind it. “Whether you're commuting, shopping, or enjoying a weekend ride – if you've wanted to avoid wet clothes, rain in your face and cold winds while cycling, Wip is your solution. It is the perfect raincover.”

2024 Wip weather shield - 2

The Wip team reckons that “you stay over 90% dry even in heavy rain” and that “its aerodynamic and robust design performs well even at high speeds, without increasing wind resistance”.

Ah, the wind thing: we’re glad they brought it up. The team behind Wip says that speeds of 45km/h (28mph) aren’t a problem. We’ve not used it so we can’t say whether that’s true or not, but having something that’s somewhat sail-shaped attached to the ends of your handlebar (and fixed with an additional clip at the level of the head tube) when you’re riding at high speed just makes us twitchy.

2024 Wip weather shield - 1

Wip is designed to be set up and folded down in seconds, a bit like a pop-up tent, and “fits nearly all common touring, trekking, and city bike handlebars between 55-75cm”. The bars must be flat, or flattish.

You need to pledge at least £85 to get in on the ‘super early bird special’, compared with a standard price of £153 (pledging money through crowdfunding sites isn’t the same as buying through a retailer; rewards aren’t guaranteed). Last time we checked, Wip was over 20% of the way to achieving its funding goal. Are you in, or will you give this one a miss?

Find out more here

Like HelloFresh for bikes: get your cycling essentials in a monthly box

A new subscription service called Souplesse Cycling has launched, which aims to provide everything you need for cycling without selecting it all for yourself.

2024 Souplesse Cycling - 3

“The premise is quite simple – it’s a subscription box that delivers all your monthly cycling needs to your door, plus a few luxuries,” says Souplesse Cycling’s James Harrison. “You get nutrition, hydration, tools, maintenance, cool socks, accessories, gadgets, route guides, training tips and more. 

“In a nutshell, we offer great value, high-quality cycling subscription boxes containing all the fuel, hydration and accessories you need, customised to you. 

What’s the benefit of subscribing rather than just normal shopping for whatever you need?

“We are a team of passionate cyclists who for too long suffered with trying to ride like a pro around a full-time job and busy life,” says James. “It is so easy for the little things to get missed in these circumstances. To make everyone’s rides that bit more effortless, we set up Souplesse Cycling to take care of the little things that matter.

“First and foremost, we stand for convenience, making sure you have everything you need to elevate your cycling delivered to your door with minimal fuss.

“We have used Maurten, Hutchinson, Lezyne, Proviz, IceToolz and Morgan Blue in our first box. We also have agreements with Precision Fuel and Hydration, Styrkr, Veloforte, Le Col, Gobik, Castelli, MucOff, Fizik, Lizard Skins, Pelotan and a few more. Look out for lots of great variety in upcoming boxes! We are in discussions with other suppliers too, so this will only grow.” 

Hang on, though. Aren’t you likely to end up with some stuff that’s unsuitable or just not to your taste?

“Every box can be tweaked and adjusted to suit,” says James. “There’s no point getting a tool you already have, or gels when you only eat bars. You get a series of options to help you make your box your way.”

2024 Souplesse Cycling - 1

The other benefit, Souplesse says, is that it can offer plenty of value.

“We work hard to offer reductions on RRP in parallel with our quality items,” says James.

Its ‘Amateur’ subscription box, for example, is priced at £59.99 and is said to offer a saving of 10-20% off RRP. The £99.99 ‘Semi-Pro’ box is a claimed £20-£30 below the combined price of the contents, while the £139.99 ‘Pro’ box saves you £45, according to Souplesse.

The obvious comparison is with meal-kit providers like HelloFresh and Gousto, but what do you think of the concept in cycling? Would you be tempted or is carefully choosing your next purchase all part of the fun? We’re interested in knowing what you think.

Find out more here 

Specialized’s new Search helmet is “an air conditioner for your head”

Specialized describes the new Search as a gravel helmet designed ‘for riders who seek adventure on two wheels’, and says that it benefits from technological breakthroughs from both the S-Works Prevail 3 and Evade 3 models, although it is focused more on cooling than outright aerodynamics. The big talking point around the Search helmet is ventilation, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find any other gravel lid on the market with bigger ports. 

> Check out our review of the S-Works Prevail 3 helmet here 

2024 Specialized Search helmet - 1

Cooling aside, the Search is packed with all the safety mod cons and storage features you’d expect from a gravel lid, including a Mips Evolve Core-Solution rotational impact protection liner, Specialized’s FS3 Fit System for a more bespoke fit, thin straps and storage provision for sunglasses. It’s also been awarded a five-star VirginiaTech helmet safety rating – the highest level.

> Find out all you need to know about Mips

The Specialized Search comes in three sizes and four colourways: white, black, taupe/gunmetal, dune white/vivid pink. A medium weighs 290g but will differ slightly between regions, with US-spec helmets coming in 10-30g heavier than EU equivalents. The Search helmet retails for £125.

Find out more here 

Specialized updates Recon gravel shoe range

Sticking with gravelly stuff from Specialized, the updated Recon shoes may borrow some racy-inspired elements from the S-Works department, but the outcome couldn’t be any different. The new gravel shoes eschew the brand’s race-focused rhetoric for improved comfort and walkability, thanks to what Specialized calls its Stride technology that comprises a flexible outsole and upper. There are three models designed to meet specific price points.

The £100 Recon 1.0 is the most affordable shoe in the range. Despite that, at 291g per shoe (size 42), it’s the lightest too. Using a single Boa L6 dial and nylon-injected sole plate, it’s been designed for commuting and mixed gravel adventures.

One model up is the £165 Recon 2.0. The mid-range shoe gets a Boa Li2 retention system and Velcro strap, which tip the scales at 307g per shoe. 

2024 Specialized Recon shoe - 1

Closely related to the S-Works variant is the Recon 3.0, which gets a slew of racy touches that include twin Boa Li2 dials, a carbon plate sole, laser-cut perforations for improved ventilation and a seamless upper. These garnishes have come at the cost of added mass (they weigh 345g per shoe) but the upshot is a shoe that can double up as both an everyday and racing option.

Find out more here  

Bravur’s Team Heritage watches make time for classic pro teams

Swedish luxury watch brand Bravur has unveiled a Team Heritage collection that is said to be “inspired by the style of the iconic teams of Eddy Merckx, Tom Simpson, Bernard Hinault and others”. Okay, your smartwatch might have a zillion functions, but these are a whole lot more stylish.

2024 Bravur Team Heritage watches - 1

“The Team Heritage series combines sleek and modern design with a classic touch, with the REN [Renault], PEU [Peugeot] and MER [Mercier] models each representing an iconic cycling team from the 1950s to 1980s,” says Bravur.

“Each watch offers a domed sapphire crystal to ensure increased scratch protection and an integrated sculpted crown guard. The solid metal casing, available in either natural stainless steel or black ceramic coating (excluding the MER) brings a sleek and elegant construction, whilst varying strap options in perforated leather or an FKM rubber, provide maximum comfort.”

2024 Bravur Team Heritage watches MER - 1

The MER, for example, features a purple and yellow dial – the same colours as the Mercier jersey worn by the likes of Raymond Poulidor – while the PEU is more subtle, with a small section of Peugeot’s checker pattern at the 12 o’clock position and an embossed checker pattern at the centre of the dial. The watches are automatic and come in a leather case that you can use as a bar bag.

2024 Bravur Team Heritage watches PEU - 1

Prices start at £1,095 GBP (including VAT and shipping). Well, they were never going to be cheap, were they?

Find out more here 

Quoc debuts Gran Tourer XC Lace shoes

British cycling shoe brand Quoc has been busy: after introducing the new M3 Air last week (as worn by Geraint Thomas), it has now released the Gran Tourer XC Lace for off-road riding. It wasn’t so long ago that lace-up shoes were a rarity in cycling. Now they’re everywhere again.

> Read our review of the Quoc Gran Tourer XC

2024 Quoc Gran Tourer XC Lace shoes - 2

When reviewing the existing Gran Tourer XC with a dial closure, our sister site said it was a shoe that would appeal to those whose riding straddles the line between gravel and cross-country.

Quoc says, “As with the dial version, the combination of the shoe’s featherlight, carbon composite outsole with an integrated TPU [thermoplastic polyurethane] tread delivers superb stiffness and efficiency, while the toe cap and rubber border offers additional durability for the die-hard, all-terrain rider.

“Carrying over the range’s optimised, padded heel cushioning and foot-moulding insoles and a choice of three arch inserts, the new shoe continues to provide the highest possible level of comfort and support.”

2024 Quoc Gran Tourer XC Lace shoes - 1

As you’d expect, the GTXC Lace takes two-bolt (SPD-style) cleats that are recessed into the sole. Quoc claims a weight of 320g per shoe (size 42). Price? You’re looking at £220.

Find out more here 

MAAP and Kask release limited edition Protone Icon helmet

Kask's latest lid is a limited edition collaboration with MAAP: the MAAP x Kask Protone Icon CE which, it says "merges aesthetics and performance". The existing Kask Protone Icon helmet is worn by Ineos Grenadiers in the pro peloton. 

2024 MAAP X Kask Protone Icon CE helmet

The new limited-edition helmet maintains the same shape as the standard Protone Icon which is designed to be aerodynamic and incorporates the Octofit+ adjustment system. You can find out about that here.

Read our review of the Kask Protone Icon helmet here

2024 MAAP x Kask Proton Ico CE helmet orange padding

However, it distinguishes itself with silver MAAP graphics, purple webbing straps, and a bright orange lining.

It's available in two colours: Nightshade and Fog. This special edition is priced at £295, so you're paying a £50 premium over the standard Protone Icon for the fancy finish.

Find out more here

Hunt upgrades Carbon Disc wheelset range

West Sussex-based Hunt Wheels has updated its Carbon Aero Disc, which is now known as the Carbon Disc range.

2024 Hunt 50 carbon disc wheelset

> Review: Hunt 30 Carbon Aero Disc Road Wheelset

The range features wheelsets of 30, 40, and 50mm depths, with weights starting at a claimed 1,408g (30mm) and rims designed to "improve acceleration and aerodynamics".

All three depths now have wider hooked rim profiles and a new single-sided, 36-tooth ratchet hub.

2024 Hunt 40 carbon disc wheelset

The internal rim width is 22mm across all three depths, which is said to be compatible with tyre widths 25mm to 50mm tyres, meaning the wheelsets can be used on and off-road.

The wheels are tubeless-ready although they can accommodate inner tubes.

The Hunt 30, 40, and 50 Carbon Disc wheelsets are available to purchase now and are priced at £779, £789, and £799, respectively.

Find out more here

Canyon launches Speedmax CF time trial bike in two new builds

2024 Canyon Speedmax CF Sram Rival AXS

The Canyon Speedmax is a popular bike in the world of triathlon and it has now been updated to feature cable integration across all models thanks to the brand's new CP0041 cockpit.

“The benefits of integrated cockpit designs are significant and well established – they’re more aesthetic, they’re cleaner, and they save vital watts compared to a traditional design with externally routed cables and lines,” explains Moritz Hief, Junior Product Manager Road at Canyon.

2024 Canyon Speedmax CF 7 cockpit

If you don't need your bike to be UCI-legal, the CP0041 cockpit is also compatible with a new hydration system which carries up to 750ml of liquid.

The Speedmax CF is available in two builds, both with DT Swiss ARC 1600 Spline wheels.

  • Speedmax CF 7 £3,849 - Shimano 105 mechanical and 4iiii power meter
  • Speedmax CF 7 AXS (pictured above) £5,249 - SRAM Rival AXS and spindle-integrated power meter

Find out more here

Hope offers free downloadable 3D printing files for tools

The popularity of 3D printing is on the rise, and it seems there is very little that can't be created using additive manufacturing. That trend has extended to bikes too, of course, with everything from individual components and contact points to whole bike frames now being produced using 3D printing technology.

2024 Hope 3D printing tools

> 3D printed cycling tech — what's coming in the future?

British brand Hope now offers access to files that allow you to print your own simple tools and fixtures – as long as you have access to a 3D printer and the necessary materials, of course. The files are free to download on Hope's website and range from travel pad spaces to bleeding fixtures. 

Hope isn't the only manufacturer to provide this. Canyon, for example, is also offering 3D-printed files for bike-mounted tool holders. 

Find out more here

In case you missed them, here are the rest of the week’s top bike tech stories…

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Wales56 | 1 month ago
1 like

in reverse.....  for STRAVA baggers....

Boopop | 1 month ago

Part of the reason I cycle (besides being fun) is the low environmental impact. Now don't get me wrong, I buy plenty cycling related bits and pieces every month, but I buy what I need. Just being sent a random box of stuff every month which I may or may not need doesn't seem to go very well trying to be as low impact as possible.

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