This edition of Tech of the Week is rammed with new wheels from Campagnolo, saddles from San Marco and Selle Italia, and clothing from Ekoi, plus there’s a new upgrade kit that allows you to use Shimano’s 12-speed road cassettes with SRAM 10-speed or 11-speed shifters, and an extraordinary cargo bike/ track bike mashup – deep breath – but before all that, Invisiframe says its new coating will make contaminants like mud and grime roll right off your bike frame…
Invisiframe reckons its new water-based coating will protect your bike frame and components from things like energy drinks or gels – and even mud and grime – for up to six months, and make any dirt just fall away when you rinse off or gently hose it down after a ride. The hydrophobic properties of the Protective Coating are said to make contaminants roll right off. Anything that makes bike cleaning less of a chore has to be a good thing, right?
There are plenty of ceramic coatings already out there, of course, and they’re big in the car world. We were impressed by the Wax Is Dead Bike Ceramic Coating last year, for instance, finding that it repels dirt, prevents fine scratches and swirls, and makes it easier to clean your bike by making it hard for mud to stick. What’s different here?
Invisiframe says, “Where other ceramic coating products require lengthy application processes, long curing times and include toxic ingredients, Invisiframe Protective Coating is designed to be used safely at home by the most novice of bike riders and without having to dismantle the bike.
Whereas the Wax Is Dead Bike Ceramic Coating we reviewed (£45 for 15ml) has a curing time of 24 hours, Invisiframe says that its Protective Coating cures in minutes – although you'll get the best results if you leave it overnight.
Invisiframe says that the product has been developed with Fenwick’s “without the use of corrosive or irritant petrochemicals – a hugely positive step in a category steeped with warning and toxicity labels”.
The other potential win here is the price. Invisiframe Protective Coating is much cheaper than most ceramic coatings out there, a 100ml bottle priced at £15. That’s enough for 15 applications, according to Invisframe – so a quid a go.
The Invisiframe Protective Coating can be applied to gloss, matt, and carbon finishes, but not to brakes or braking surfaces. You can use it alongside an Invisiframe frame protection kit – where a film is applied to your bike’s surface to minimise scuff and chips – or alone.
Are you tempted? Naturally, we’ve requested a sample for review here on road.cc.
Italy’s Campagnolo has introduced new Hyperon wheels that sit below the high-end and most excellent Hyperon Ultras (£3,200) that we reviewed earlier in the year. They're cheaper but this is Campag – we're not talking bargain basement here. The Hyperon wheelset is £2,299.99.
Our man Aaron Borrill described the Hyperon Ultras as “a work of art – superbly designed and well built", and he said that they put in a wonder performance, so we have high hopes for the Hyperons.
“Hyperon is directly inspired by the top-of-the-range Hyperon Ultra, capturing the best of Campagnolo technology and know-how to design and blend together a renewed mix of cutting-edge features and technologies,” says Campagnolo.
The trickle-down tech includes what Campag calls its HULC (Handmade Ultra Light Carbon) rim moulding process that’s said to offer “the ideal ratio of carbon fibre to resin”, and a smooth C-Lux finish that avoids the need for lacquer, saving weight.
Like the Hyperon Ultra, the Hyperon’s rims have an inner width of 21mm and a 37mm depth. The wheelset’s claimed weight is 1,340g, just 100g heavier than the Hyperon Ultra.
If you have SRAM 10-speed or 11-speed mechanical shifters and want to move to 12-speed, Ratio Technology has introduced a new upgrade kit that allows you to use Shimano’s 12-speed road cassettes.
Ratio says it has been receiving requests from SRAM users interested in moving to 12-speed without the hassle and expense of switching to SRAM’s XDR freehub. XDR is required for using SRAM’s 12-speed cassettes.
The idea is that when your 11-speed chain and cassette need replacing, you swap them for Shimano's 12-speed components with the help of the 2x12SH Upgrade Kit. This means you can stick with the same Shimano HG freehub you were using before.
The kit includes a Ratio ratchet with shift spacing designed for Shimano 12-speed road cassettes, and 11-tooth jockey wheels (with stainless Enduro bearings) designed for Shimano 12-speed chains and 2x-specific SRAM road rear derailleurs. The upper jockey features a slight offset to help 11-speed derailleurs cope with the width of Shimano’s new cassettes.
Ratio Technology says you can use the system with cassettes with a maximum sprocket size of 32T – so Shimano’s widest-ranging road cassettes aren’t an option. A YouTube video walks you through the spannering involved.
The kit, which is made in the UK, is priced at £99.50, so much cheaper than going down a more conventional route to 12-speed.
The Selle San Marco Regal saddle has been around for 40 years and become a bit of a classic (we ran our first review of one on road.cc back in 2009) and now, keeping up with the times, the Italian brand has introduced a short version.
“The new Regal Short has been designed for those who love gravel routes and days spent bikepacking, ensuring excellent support thanks to its Bow Rail System,” says Selle San Marco.
You can check out the Bow Rail System here.
“This special rail construction makes the body more flexible, thus making the saddle particularly suited to off-road terrain,” says Selle San Marco.
“Thanks to its shock absorbers, the ground vibrations are greatly reduced, while the Open-Fit body alleviates pressure in the perineal area.”
If you don’t want an Open-Fit body, you can get the Regal Short without a hole in the upper. You can also choose between narrow and wide fits.
Models with carbon rails are priced at £184.40 while versions with manganese rails are £119.40.
Ekoï has unveiled new winter cycle clothing collections for both men and women that are worth checking out.
“The Plastotex fibre that we have incorporated into our thermal jackets is the perfect ally for cyclists when the mercury drops,” says Ekoï. “Its three-layer technical membrane offers waterproof protection against rain and splashing, plus windproof protection against the wind and cold, while being highly breathable.”
Ekoi says that its Fluo Orange Thermal Jacket for men (£215.12) is suitable for temperatures from -5°C to 10°C.
The women’s Ekoï Aura Green Thermal Jacket (£181.16 but currently 50% off) has a microfleece lining and comes in a “contoured cut”.
Selle Italia has added to its 3D-printed options by introducing the Watt 3D saddle specifically aimed at triathlon. The Italian brand first showed this saddle at Eurobike in June and it has now been officially launched.
“The new Watt 3D retains the same successful shape as the previous version but features a 3D cover developed with Carbon DLS [Digital Light Synthesis] technology,” says Selle Italia.
That’s the tech Selle Italia and several other brands use on existing 3D-printed saddles, although the pattern used for Watt 3D is designed specifically for a typical triathlon ride position.
The 3D Watt features Selle Italia’s Superflow central hole that’s designed to reduce pressure in that area. You get two rail options but neither is cheap. 3D-printed saddles never are. The Watt 3D Ti 316 Gel Superflow with titanium rails is £294.99 while the Watt 3D Kit Carbonio Superflow with carbon fibre rails is £364.99.
Chrome Industries has debuted its latest Artist Series partnership, this time with designer Alexander Lee Chang of Japanese brand ALC.
Chrome says, “This limited edition collection features a mix of Chrome’s most iconic gear as well as new designs (such as the Ruckas Messenger, £69) remixed with an Alexander Lee Chang custom print offered in an electric green and classic black and white.”
Restrap's latest bikepacking film 'Tesekkür Turkey' - which translates to 'Thank you Turkey' - documents a group of cyclists riding along the picturesque Aegean coastline from Dalaman in the south, through the mountain ranges surrounding Izmir, and finally to the historic city of Istanbul.
Of course, the nearly 1,000km (620-mile) long route worked as a demonstration for the brand's bikepacking bag range.
You might have read the end of the headline above twice, as cargo bikes aren't something commonly linked to the iconic Italian bike maker Cinelli. That's now been changed as the brand has partnered with Larry vs Harry to create a special edition 'Bullitt Vigorelli', blending track bike with a cargo rig.
The new bike is a fusion of two beloved bike designs, catering to the needs of bike messengers. It marries the Larry vs Harry Bullitt, a robust aluminium cargo bike, with the Cinelli Vigorelli, a track bike from the 2000s. These bikes have been the trusted companions of couriers worldwide for nearly two decades and now they've been merged into one.
The Bullitt Vigorelli features a 7005 T6 aluminium frame - a nod to both brands' love for the material - and comes with a Gates CarbonDrive opening and a modular dropout system. The frame kit's weight is 11.7 kg, with a retail price is €1,799 (around £1,565) plus shipping costs.
The complete cargo bike features a similar frame equipped with Shimano GRX Limited drivetrain components. It weighs 23.9 kg and retails for €4,100 (around £3,570) plus shipping. The Vigorelli is available exclusively on the Bullitt website below.
Hong Kong-based Colligo.cc is on a mission to offer lots of sleek protection to your bike in the form of differently coloured and shaped "gloves" that go over your bike parts. The company is currently gathering money on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter for a whole range of "Coastal Bike Gloves".
The concept of a bike protection sleeve or cover is not new – the likes of Velosock are already offering similar products – but Colligo claims its gloves are not only protective but "accessories to your bike that turn them into art pieces... The Coastal Bike Gloves are designed with the full intent to open everyone's eyes to the spaces they already have – and the life that’s yet to be lived in them".
Think of that what you wish, but the gloves come in all sorts of shapes and sizes for your wheels, shifters and even pedals and do seem handy for protecting your bike in transport or storage. At the time of writing, there are still 24 days left to back the project, and if successful, the products are expected to ship in January 2024.
In case you missed it earlier in the week…