We round up what we think are the five most innovative cycling products from 2016
As ever, the train of innovation continues to trundle onwards. In its wake are left new standards, new materials and new ways of making products in an attempt to boost the boundaries of cycling.
So what’s the aim of all this change? As ever, the aim is to squeeze every performance enhancing drop from products.
With that in mind, are these the five most revolutionary products from this year?
Innovative tech of 2016: Graphene bike frames
Revolutions don’t come around all that often, but there’s something about the Dassi graphene bike frame that whiffs of change.
Revealed during the summer, Dassi claims that the frame itself weigh as little as 750g, although Dassi are keen to stress that this could be halved again to a mind boggling 350g.
Don’t expect the bikes to be made completely from Graphene, though. In fact, graphene frames contain a minimum of one per cent Graphene layered behind carbon fibre.
Just because it’s a small amount of the material doesn’t mean the benefits won’t be felt. According to Dassi, both the material’s strength and comfort can be clearly felt despite its minimal presence.
Innovative tech of 2016: Team GB’s custom moulded carbon shoes
Marginal gains has been a term associated with British Cycling ever since the 2008 Beijing Olympics. However, the shoes that the GB team wore to glory in Rio this summer take that to a whole new level.
Created solely from carbon, these shoes are no pair of slippers. They’re stiff, designed to maximise the power transferred from the rider to the bike’s cranks.
What’s more, they’re custom moulded to all the GB riders feet, which minimised the opportunity for the feet to move around inside the footwear.
Created by a small American company called Simmon’s, these shoes are available to the public to buy at the eye-watering cost of $2000.
Watch: Cycling Weekly’s top five bizarre cycling products
Innovative tech of 2016: Oakley Radar Pace
These sunnies have been on the radar for a while now (since January in fact), but they represent Oakley’s first foray into the world of smart glasses.
The Oakley Radar Pace act as your coach, guiding you through training sessions and giving instructions for efforts. They also link to your phone so you can get real time information on metrics such as speed and distance.
Functionality is controlled by a touchpad on the side of the glasses. Plus, you can talk to them and ask questions about your ride and your training.
Here’s the controversial part – all the information is delivered by headphones, including music. Whether you like them or not, there’s no denying that ‘smart kit’ is here to stay.
Innovative tech of 2016: The Argon 18 smart bike
There are bike computers and then there are bikes that are literally computers. The Argon 18 smart bike is the latter.
It uses over 30 sensors to measure how aerodynamic you are, including a front facing wind sensor. It’s also able to calculate your heart rate variability, lactic acid levels, as well as muscle oxygenation.
In terms of tech, it’s ANT+ compatible and Bluetooth equipped so it can link to your Garmin Edge. It can even monitor how much pressure you’re putting through various parts of the saddle.
It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for the fact crunchers out there it’ll be a dream come to.
Innovative tech of 2016: MIPS and its explosive growth
MIPS has certainly had a bumper 2016, with over 90 helmets at Eurobike featuring the head protecting technology.
MIPS, short for multi-directional impact protection system, is a helmet technology designed to minimise rotational forces on your head in the result of a crash.
Basically, MIPS is a layer of material attached to the inside of the helmet. The idea being that this allows the helmet to rotate independently of your head in the event of a crash, thus dissipating some forces.