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TECH NEWS

Who needs bike lights* when your whole bike glows in the dark? Plus the Strava updates you've been waiting for and loads more tech news from MAAP, Quoc, POC + more

In this edition of Tech of the Week, we're also bringing you news of Eddy Merckx Bikes' steel resurgence, limited edition helmets from POC and MET and some speedy 80mm wheels combining aerodynamics and stability from Reynolds

* First things first, and to answer the question in our title, bike lights are a legal requirement after dusk where we're from whether your bike glows in the dark or not... but that hasn't stopped some plucky entrepreneurs trying to crowdfund said glow-in-the-dark bike, which you can read all about further down this page!

If that's really not for you, we've plenty more less luminous tech news including some state-of-the-art helmets, cycling souvenirs and a Giro-themed gilet from Rapha. Without further ado... 

Eddy Merckx Bikes introduces updated steel bike range

At the beginning of this year, Eddy Merckx Bikes were reintroduced to the market after Belgian Cycling Factory, which also manufactures Ridley, took over the brand in 2017. 

2024 Eddy Merckx Bikes Corsa steel range

Eddy Merckx Bikes has now launched its revamped steel bike range - the Corsa - which is available as a road bike (Corsa Mendrisio), an all-road bike (Corsa Pévèle), and a gravel bike (Corsa Strasbourg). 

Previously, the Corsa was a custom bike and only available in limited quantities, but the brand says that they are now being made on a much bigger scale to meet the increasing demand for steel bikes. 

All three models are available in five sizes from XS to XL and their geometry is comparable to that of their carbon counterparts. 

2024 Eddy Merckx Bikes Corsa steel range front end

The Corsa bikes can be ordered directly through the Eddy Merckx website and delivered to a bike shop of your choosing from the Eddy Merckx dealer network (there seems to be plenty of them in the UK). 

You can also use Eddy Merckx's online configurator to customise the design, colours and assembly of your Corsa. Prices start from £3,089.74 for the Corsa Strasbourg, £3,647.77 for the Corsa Mendrisio, and £4,597.27 for the Corsa Pévèle. There are also more entry-level models outside of the Corsa range at lower price points, such as the standard Pévèle and Strasbourg steel models each priced from £1,999. 

Find out more here

Check out this "one-of-a-kind" glow in the dark e-bike 

Have you ever considered upgrading from just front and rear bike lights to a complete bike that glows in the dark? Well, if you're in the market for such a thing, Superhuman Bikes are looking for funding on Indiegogo right now for their Photon and Photon Pro glow in the dark eBikes. 

2024 Superhuman bikes Photo ebike

The Photon features a glow in the dark frame and rims, which we are told solar charges during the day to help you be seen at night. 

There are two e-bike options available. The Photon Pro is the top-tier option, equipped with a 480wH battery promising a range of up to a 50 miles, hydraulic disc brakes and 350W Hub Drive. Meanwhile, the Photon is the cheaper of the two, featuring a 280wH battery claiming a range of up to 30 miles, mechanical disc brakes and a 250W Hub Drive. Both models use Shimano Altus 9-speed shifting. 

The Photon has two sizes: 18" for riders between 5'3" and 5'9" and 21" for riders between 5'10" and 6'5". It comes in both 'glowing' and 'non-glowing' options. 

To access the 'super early bird special', you'll need to pledge a minimum of £591 for the Photon or £749 for the Photon Pro, compared with standard prices of £1,183 and £1,578, respectively. However, pledging money through crowdfunding sites isn’t the same as buying through a retailer as rewards aren’t guaranteed. 

Last time we checked, pledges stood at over £18,719, so the funding target has been easily surpassed with three weeks remaining.

Find out more here

Quoc x Restrap sandals are back in stock 

Although not exactly mainstream, cycling sandals have been a thing for years, and a year ago, the shoe brand Quoc collaborated with bikepacking expert Restrap to create a new sandal design. Rather than being for riding, they were made to be the "ultimate post-ride slip-on", according to Quoc. 

2023 Quoc Restap sandals - 1

Designed for backpacking, the sandals feature an anatomically designed footbed and an anti-slip tread, and we were told that they were one of Quoc's best-selling products in 2023.

"Handmade in the UK, it exists to bridge comfort and style with functionality and adventure", says Quoc. 

2024 Quoc Restrap sandals on bike

Priced at £89.99, the Quoc x Restrap sandals are now back in stock and available to order in black or sand colours. 

Find out more here

Strava announces three highly requested features

As training platforms continue to evolve, Strava has announced a host of new features for its users coming this year. Amongst the developments are three highly requested updates: the long-awaited Dark Mode, AI-enabled Leaderboard Integrity, and a Family Plan Subscription. 

2024 Strava darkmode

Dark Mode does what it says on the tin and is designed to reduce eyestrain, particularly useful for scrolling through segments late at night. Strava anticipates that this feature will rollout later this summer. 

We all hate it when someone steals our KOM/QOM, particularly when they've left their bike computer running on the roof of their car. Well, thanks to AI-enabled Leaderboard Integrity, questionable activities will automically be flagged on Strava.

2024 Strava AI Beta feature update

Strava's Family Plan will allow you to share an annual subscription with up to three other people. Price details and savings are currently unknown and will vary by country. This feature will be globally available by the end of the year.

Further updates that are available to subscribers are Night Heatmaps, Athlete Intelligence Beta and Generative Routes. 

Find out more here

MET unveils new UAE team edition helmets

MET has released its latest offerings, the top-of-the-range Trenta 3K Carbon and Manta Mips helmets in limited edition UAE Team Emirates and UAE Team ADQ colourways. 

2024 Met Manta Mips UAE Team Emirates Limited Edition

The Trenta 3K Carbon helmet balances aerodynamics and ventilation, whilst the Manta Mips helmet is the brands aero offering. 

The UAE Team Emirates edition features a metallic white that fades into iridescent green, with flashes of red and the UAE Team ADQ edition features multicolours said to resemble a sunset over the dessert. 

2024 Met Trenta 3K Carbon Mips UAE Team Emirates Limited Edition

The limited edition Trenta 3K Carbon Mips and Manta Mips helmets are available now in both UAE Team Emirates and UAE Team ADQ colours, retailing at €330 (around £280) and €260 (around £220), respectively. 

Find out more here

Cycling Souvenirs releases Tour de France inspired mugs

Cycling Souvenirs, known for their cycling memorabilia, has announced new additions to their product lineup. 

2024 Cycling Souvenirs Tour de France mug

Featuring artwork from UK artist Gareth Llewhellin, the company has expanded its collection of cycling inspired mugs with designs celebrating the Tour de France and Spring Classics. 

The mugs are 11oz and are both dishwasher and microwave safe, priced at £11.99. 

Find out more here

MAAP adds mountain biking range to Alt_Road collection

MAAP's Alt_Road collection which debutted in 2021 is the brand's "premium technical apparel thoughtfully designed to chase alternative paths". Now, the Melbourne-based company has expanded this range with a new line of cross-country mountain biking apparel. 

2024 Maap Alt Road overshort

The range is designed for those pursuing off-road adventures and central to the expansion is a cargo bib liner and overshort which are designed to work in combination. The rear of the bib liner features three pockets which the brand says removes the need to wear a jersey with pockets or allows you to double up the storage. 

Additional offerings include the Pertex equilibrium wind jacket and vest, along with the Alt_Road tech tee, now available in three options: long and short sleeve tech tee and a short sleeve zip tee. 

2024 Maap Alt Road jacket and tee

Items are available to order now, and existing pieces within the Alt_Road collection are now available in updated colourways. 

Find out more here

POC launches EF Education-EasyPost team edition helmet

Another pro replica helmet is POC's Ventral Air Mips in EF Education-EastPost team edition colours. 

2024 Poc Ventral Air Mips EF Education edition

The Ventral Air Mips is designed to be aerodynamic but it incorporates much better ventilation than a straight aero road lid, as well as incorporating Mips technology. 

This limited-edition 2024 Team Edition helmet retails at £270 which is £40 more than the standard edition Ventral Air Mips. It's available to buy now while stocks last.

Find out more here

Rapha pays homage to the pink pages of Italy's sports paper 

Rapha has launched its 20 Editions series to celebrate their 20th anniversary and the next item in the series is the Gazzetta Gilet. 

2024 Rapha Gazzetta Gilet

It is a reworking of the design from 2008, again honouring the pink sports newspaper that founded the Giro d'Italia - La Gazzetta dello Sport. 

In addition to reporting results and stories of the week, the newspaper was put to alternative use by riders, using it to insulate themselves on descents by stuffing it up their jerseys. This inspired Rapha to create a special edition gilet in 2008, featuring a pattern paying tribute to the pink pages of La Gazzetta. 

The 2024 version has been updated to the same specification as Rapha's Pro Team Lightweight Gilet, and features a redesigned Gazzetta print. 

2024 Rapha Gazzetta gilet front

The Gazzetta Gilet is available for both men and womens and is priced at £120. 

Find out more here

Reynolds releases 80mm wheel range that "marks a new era in speed and efficiency"

Reynolds has introduced two new 80mm wheelsets as part of their Blacklabel 80 lineup, "prioritising aerodynamics, stiffness, and lightweight construction for optimal performance". 

These Blacklabel 80 wheelsets are now the deepest offerings in the Blacklabel range, joining the existing 60mm, 46mm and 25mm wheelsets. 

2024 Reynolds black label 80mm wheel

Both models feature a new rim profile aimed at combining stability and aerodynamics. The brand says that the Dispersive Effect Termination (DET 2) profile “delivers performance akin to deeper rims, coupled with exceptional stability that broadens their usability.”

The hooked rims are 80mm in depth and 21mm wide, designed to accomodate 28-30mm tyres. 

The Blacklabel 80 Pro are the lightest with a claimed weight of 1,625g, priced at $2,299.99 (around £1,800) while the Blacklabel 80 Expert have a claimed weight of 1,655g, priced at $1899.99 (around £1,500). 

Find out more here

Emily is our track and road racing specialist, having represented Great Britain at the World and European Track Championships. With a National Title up her sleeve, Emily has just completed her Master’s in Sports Psychology at Loughborough University where she raced for Elite Development Team, Loughborough Lightning.

Emily is our go-to for all things training and when not riding or racing bikes, you can find her online shopping or booking flights…the rest of the office is now considering painting their nails to see if that’s the secret to going fast…

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6 comments

Avatar
LookAhead | 3 weeks ago
5 likes

How many times now has Strava announced that they're finally going to do something about the integrity of the leaderboards, but then actually done nothing at all?

The only new thing now is the hand-waving invocation of AI. Really, Strava, you expect us to believe that AI has been the thing that's been missing? I'm pretty sure you don't need AI to implement an algorithm that says if speed > 1,000kph then effort invalid🙄

Avatar
Mo1959 replied to LookAhead | 3 weeks ago
2 likes

Exactly!  There's two guys around here in their late 60s with e-bikes who I have flagged multiple times as they insist on recording their rides as being on manual bikes.  Out of curiosity, had a look again yesterday and they both did a hilly ride and were in the top ten on most uphill segments beating much younger, fitter guys. Not sour grapes on my part as I am female, but it just annoys me so much.  If we are paying Strava a subscription and like to see how our performances compare to others in our age groups it's just ludicrous that there isn't some sort of algorithm that can pick up when someone nearly 70 is going up a steep hill much faster than someone in their 20s.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to Mo1959 | 3 weeks ago
1 like

Mo1959 wrote:

Exactly!  There's two guys around here in their late 60s with e-bikes who I have flagged multiple times as they insist on recording their rides as being on manual bikes.  Out of curiosity, had a look again yesterday and they both did a hilly ride and were in the top ten on most uphill segments beating much younger, fitter guys. Not sour grapes on my part as I am female, but it just annoys me so much.  If we are paying Strava a subscription and like to see how our performances compare to others in our age groups it's just ludicrous that there isn't some sort of algorithm that can pick up when someone nearly 70 is going up a steep hill much faster than someone in their 20s.

AFAIK, their (Strava's) algorithm is to rely on other users flagging suspicious rides. What could be a useful feature is to enable users to disregard certain riders.

I think the take-home message is to not put too much reliance on Strava's times for cyclists that you don't know.

Avatar
HLaB replied to LookAhead | 3 weeks ago
0 likes

My stupid joint KOM down through one of the bends on the Alpe du Huez has dissappeared.  Looking at 1,900 kph not autoflagged, I'm guessing it was a user who flagged the Alp du Huez segment.  It had something like me sharing the KOM with 30 other people at something like 300mph.  Goodness knows how, I'm a cr@p descender  4

Avatar
RM replied to HLaB | 3 weeks ago
0 likes

HLaB wrote:

My stupid joint KOM down through one of the bends on the Alpe du Huez has dissappeared.  Looking at 1,900 kph not autoflagged, I'm guessing it was a user who flagged the Alp du Huez segment.  It had something like me sharing the KOM with 30 other people at something like 300mph.  Goodness knows how, I'm a cr@p descender  4

I thought downhill segments were disallowed a couple of years or so ago after someone had a bad (fatal?) crash on one?

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to RM | 3 weeks ago
0 likes

RM wrote:

I thought downhill segments were disallowed a couple of years or so ago after someone had a bad (fatal?) crash on one?

They don't show them on live segments, so you can't see how you are doing against the KoM as you're riding (pretty sensible, not really desirable to have people looking at their phone on the handlebars to see how well they're doing as they descend), and they won't allow any segments that include descents of over 25%, but otherwise downhill segments are still allowed.

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