It has been a busy week in tech, Giant giving its Revolt gravel bike a major revamp, Shimano updating a whole bunch of shoes, and Muoverti unveiling an indoor bike that, it promises, gives you an experience that feels like cycling outdoors. There's some riveting rivet news from Brooks too. We start, though, with a new service from Muc-Off that promises free speed... But not free in the financial sense, admittedly.
Muc-Off has announced a ‘pro-level chain optimisation service’ with the aim of increasing your speed on the bike
Here’s the deal: you take your bike chain to a dealer and they put it into a Muc-Off Ultrasonic Tank which emits high-frequency sound waves.
“This agitates, lifts and removes any dirt out from within the chain links, which, after a blast from the High-Pressure Quick Drying Degreaser, leaves squeaky-clean surfaces for the lube to adhere to,” says Muc-Off.
Then Muc-Off’s Ludicrous AF or Hydrodynamic lube is “heated to the precise temperature required to create the optimum viscosity for the lube to penetrate deep into all contact points within the chain links”.
“The combination of formulation and application results in reduced friction, increasing the amount of watts making it through the drivetrain, and therefore the rear wheel,” says Muc-Off. “The result? More speed!”
A service ending in the application of Hydrodynamic Lube is £24.99 while a Ludicrous AF service will set you back £49.99. It’s far from free speed, then, but if every watt matters to you…
The biggest launch of the week was Giant’s Revolt gravel bike range which got a HUGE redesign for 2022, the Revolt Advanced Pro and Revolt Advanced shedding 200g and 160g respectively.
Giant has also updated the geometry for speed and efficiency and added a 'flip chip' rear dropout that allows you to adjust the wheelbase to fine-tune the bike’s handling. Fit the flip chip in its long setting and you get space for tyres up to 53mm wide.
Full bike prices start at £2,199.
Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome has apparently decided that disc brakes aren’t so bad after all.
After dissing discs at the start of the year, Froome now says, “I think it’s still a technology that is a work in progress for road bikes and there are still some issues for pro races. But it’s a technology that is evolving.”
“I’ve seen that the industry is making changes and improvements and so hopefully it’s a technology that will only get better and so only make the sport safer.”
Okay, it’s not the most ringing endorsement ever, but it looks like Froome has been won over.
Reserve claims that its new Fillmore tubeless valve will solve all of our valve clogging and tyre seating woes, and we’re way more excited about it than anyone should be about tubeless valves.
Rather than being a regular Presta valve, the Fillmore has a plunger that stretches the length of the valve and seals at the very bottom. The brand claims that this new design delivers three times the airflow of a regular valve, making tubeless set-up much easier.
road.cc reviewer Mike Stead shared this hack for getting a super-tight tyre off a rim. Okay, not everyone has a Feedback Sports Pro-Elite Workstand but you might have something similar that'll do an equally good job.
How to remove an *incredibly tight* tyre from rim:
1: buy @feedbacksports Pro Elite workstand
2: roll tyre over & clamp the bejesus out of it as close to rim as possible
3: swing bottom of wheel out
— Mike Stead (@tweetymike) October 31, 2021
If you like to – or need to – do your riding inside, UK brand Muoverti has unveiled the new Tiltbike which it calls “the first indoor bike that feels like real cycling”.
You can balance, steer, accelerate and brake to “fully engage the whole body to simulate riding outdoors, indoors” when you’re on Zwift, for example. It's also Xbox-compatible, so you can use it for games such as Descenders.
There’s a whole lot of clever tech to delve into here.
Shimano unveiled five – yes, five – new shoe models on Monday. The RC7 and RC5 entry-level to mid-level models got an update, benefiting from technology trickling down from the range-topping RC9, and there are a couple of track shoes in there too.
We’re most excited about the new colours of the RX8 gravel shoe, though, creatively described as ‘burnt bronze’ (above) and ‘desert and dusk’. Do they do it for you?
Head-up display cycling glasses have always left us a little underwhelmed before but Engo Eyewear's new design looks cool. The glasses provide up to 12 hours of use and weigh just 42g, which isn’t a lot more than a standard model.
The glasses “seamlessly integrate state-of-the-art AMOLED microdisplays with high-definition optics to project the user’s critical performance data directly into their field-of-view”, according to Engo.
They pair with bike computers and other Bluetooth-enabled devices, and you simply wave your hand in front of the lenses to toggle through different data displays. This is what the future is made of.
In the most riveting story of the week, you can now get limited edition Brooks’ Cambium C17 Carved and C15 Carved saddles with rivets in anodised blue to match the components of Chris King’s seasonal range.
Alex Dowsett went for the world hour record on Wednesday – eventually missing out by just over 500m – on a super-interesting Factor Hanzo TT bike tricked out with HED’s Volo wheels, Aerocoach’s Ascalon bars, and a £950 gold chainring. Gold coloured, not actual gold.
The Israel Start-Up Nation rider gave a fascinating tour of his bike and the reasons for his tech choices.
If you want to convince your mates that you’re rather cultured, actually, British bike clothing brand Stolen Goat has partnered with the Tate for a new Adventures with Art clothing collection.
Works by the likes of Piet Mondrian, Wassily Kandinsky, and JMW Turner are represented on men’s and women’s jerseys priced at £75. Various cycling caps, neck warmers and socks are available too.
Wow! The Tuck Bike is a full-size bike that folds down small enough to fit under your desk, and it has just appeared on – you'll never guess – Kickstarter, of course.
There are three different folding options to choose from – depending on whether saving time or saving space is more important – and each is a tool-less operation.
The one that’ll really grab your attention is the ‘Full Monty Fold’ where the wheels fold away into thirds and are then tucked inside the frame. This takes less than two minutes, according to Tuck Bike.
Norwegian brand Fara has redesigned its F/GR gravel bike, giving it dropped seatstays, a dropped drive-side chainstay that bumps tyre clearance up to 50mm, and a front end that takes the cables through the head tube. We ran it as a Bike at Bedtime on Thursday evening.
Everyone's aware of the worldwide shortage of bike components – you know, because of Covid and that – but we weren’t expecting to see Specialized Concept Store selling a 2022 Allez Elite road bike equipped with SRAM Rival 11-speed components that were launched in 2014. Someone must have found a few pallets squirrelled away at the back of a warehouse.
Demand for bikes and equipment is sky-high at the moment, and the bike industry just can’t keep up, so if you have components gathering dust on a shelf in the garage, now would be a good time to stick them on eBay.
Pro bike mechanic Michael Berry showed us how to strip off old tubular tyres and clean up the wheels before fitting new ones.
Tidying up the edges with a razor blade is strangely satisfying to watch.
TruFlo has revealed its new floor pump range – five options from a very affordable £24.99 up to £84.99.
The top-level Classictrax (pictured above) comes with a polished aluminium barrel, wooden handle and a die-cast aluminium base, and it’s definitely the most stylish of the bunch.
Naturally, we’ve requested a couple for review here on road.cc.
NeatCleats has launched the third generation of its Align+ carabiner carry system with a new cleat alignment guide for storing, transporting and aligning your cycling shoe.
There are two versions available: one for Shimano SPD-SL and Look Keo Grip cleats and the other for Wahoo’s Speedplay Zero Aero cleats.
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.