We’ve got a diverse Tech of the Week for you today – there’s fun for all the family with new clothing from Rapha and MAAP, some crazy gravel wheels from Syncros, and an NFT-validated carbon fibre bike which has us scratching our heads.
We’re starting, though, with an e-bike conversion kit that has smashed its crowdfunding target within days...
Would you convert your bike to an e-bike with the Livall PikaBoost?
The Livall PikaBoost, which promises to convert any bike into an e-bike in 30 seconds, has smashed its Kickstarter target, achieving 2,600% of its funding goal with over a month remaining.
The PikaBoost is an integrated design with a 234Wh battery, 250W motor and controller contained in a 3kg unit. It mounts tool-free to your bike’s seat post and provides drive via a wheel that runs on the rear tyre.
“Our team has put a lot of effort into making the PikaBoost ride-ability on all terrains better,” says Livall. “This includes integrating a self-locking mechanism to avoid loosening due to vibration, and an elastic mechanism to avoid minor laxity that could cause the product to fall off.
“With the built-in two-axis linear Hall sensor, gyroscope, accelerometer and PikaBoost’s exclusive attitude algorithm, under the control of MCU [microcontroller unit], PikaBoost can detect the speed and attitude of the bicycle in real time, judge whether it is cycling uphill, downhill or on the flat road, and whether there is a trend of acceleration or deceleration, and dynamically adjust the output power of the motor for speed matching, so as to provide a smooth transition when the speed changes or keep the bike at a constant riding speed.”
Livall says that the PikaBoost has a range of up to 18 miles in full electric assistance mode – there are three modes – although you can buy an extra battery compartment with spare batteries to double the range.
Will the design eat through rear tyres? Livall says that the wear caused by the PikaBoost’s wheel is less than that caused by the tyre’s contact with the road. Obviously, as the tyre still contacts the road it can therefore be expected to accelerate tyre wear.
And is it legal?
“We will strictly adhere to the legal regulations while we simplify everything for you,” says Livall. “You can select the region you’re in and PikaBoost will auto-adapt the maximum speed of the assistance.”
It sounds like you could override that, though. The PikaBoost app allows you to set the maximum speed yourself up to 21mph.
It’s hardly the most subtle of designs but what do you think? 1,700 people have already backed the project on Kickstarter.
Livall PikaBoost will retail at US$599 (about £510) although you can be in line for one by pledging as little as US$299 (about £255) on Kickstarter. As we always point out with anything to do with crowdfunding, rewards – including finished products – aren’t guaranteed.
Rapha releases Brevet Insulated Gore-Tex Infinium Jersey
Rapha – which must be due some sort of award for appearing in virtually every Tech of the Week – has introduced a new Brevet Insulated Long Sleeve Gore-Tex Infinium Jersey that’s designed for long-distance riders.
Rapha says that the jersey “provides proper weather protection in changing conditions [and] all-day comfort when riding from dawn to dusk”. It also says that the jersey provides “jacket-like protection without the bulk of a third layer”.
The Gore-Tex Infinium fabric is designed to be windproof and breathable, and it’s water-resistant rather than waterproof. You can get the full story from Gore over here.
You get sweat-wicking insulation in key areas, a high-stretch exterior for a close fit, and reflective details on the chest, armband and lower back. As well as the usual three rear pockets, there are two concealed front pockets for ride essentials.
The Rapha Brevet Insulated Gore-Tex Infinium Jersey is available for both men and women in various colours. It is priced at £240 and we have one out on the road being tested as we speak.
Aussie brand MAAP has added new on-bike clothing to its range, refreshed existing products, and also expanded its cross-training and lifestyle offering.
For example, one of the latest releases is the MAAP Training Winter Jacket (£230, available in men’s and women’s cuts). This uses a Drytex membrane to fend off the wind and rain and pairs that with a fleece lining for warmth. A 4-way stretch fabric is designed to offer freedom of movement.
Serial bike and component lightener Gustav Gullholm, known as Dangerholm on Instagram, has shown these Syncros Silverton SL Gravel wheels and called them “some of the craziest gravel wheels in existence”.
Silverton SL cross-country mountain bike wheels already exist in the Syncros range with the hub shell, spokes and rim moulded as one piece. Syncros says that this allows it to produce one of the lightest wheelsets on the market (the 29in version with 30mm inner width has a claimed weight of 1,280g).
It also says that the torsional and lateral stiffness and low inertia translate into faster acceleration and better handling.
The picture shows a prototype of the Silverton SL Gravel wheel. Will it ever see full production? Although we don’t know for certain, we don’t see why not and if the mountain bike versions are anything to go by then these could well be making an appearance in our best road bike and gravel bike wheels Buyer's Guide some time soon!
What’s that you say? You want more Blue Granite and Mud Brown in cycling? This is your lucky day because Selle Italia is now offering gravel saddles in its Flite, SLR, and Novus families in these two new colours.
The three gravel saddles are fitted with Selle Italia’s Shock Absorber system between the rail and shell designed to soak up micro-vibrations. The Flite Boost Gravel (above) and SLR Boost Gravel (below, both £210.92) also feature gel padding, while the Novus Boost Evo Gravel (£114.59) has what is defined as Extra Padding, intended to offer long-ride comfort.
“The large capacity will allow you to carry light and bulky items, such as your bivouac equipment or spare clothing,” says Zefal. “They are easy to install and remove thanks to the self-gripping straps. They also have reflective strips for better visibility at night.”
We don’t have UK prices yet, but as a guide, the F8 is €54.95 and the F12 is €59.95.
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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.
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