Each week we bring you a round-up of the tech news and newest and most interesting products or tech related stories that have caught our eye in the last seven days.
Many riders use smart phones. Not only are they useful for fitness apps such as Strava and Mapmyride but also as navigational devices and cameras. However, battery life on smart phones can be a worry. Enter Cydekick, which is a magnetic hub generator, coupled to a headlamp and a handlebar-mounted USB charger that can charge your smart phone, lights or other USB devices on the move.
The system mounts on the front or rear wheel hub, and uses spinning magnets to generate power through electromagnetic induction. This is arguably a superior solution to older dynamo designs that rubbed against the tyre or wheel. You can read more about it here.
A new FSA groupset was spotted
A new prototype FSA groupset has been given to Etixx, Cofidis, Bora and Tinkoff-Saxo for testing during the Tour de France and was spotted at the second rest day, ahead of the Alps. For the last 10 years, the road bike groupset market has been dominated by three brands, Shimano, Campagnolo and SRAM, but now it appears there is a fourth contender.
Although no official details have been released, we can report that the system is electronic, 11-speed and probably wireless. The rear derailleur had a smooth, metallic appearence, different from those offered by the big three brands. The cables leaving the handle bars appeared to be only for the brakes, suggesting that the system may be wireless, with regards to the levers communicating to the derailleurs. To read more, click here.
Fabric launches innovative new products
For those who don’t know, Fabric is actually the sister company of Charge and is based in Frome, Somerset. Fabric is making a name for itself as a brand that thinks outside the box, demonstrated earlier in the year by their innovative alternative to a bottle cage.
In total Fabric has three new saddles in the pipeline to join its established Scoop and ALM. The new saddles are the Cell, which is built for comfort and aimed at more leisurely riders, the Line that is for riders with a more aggressive position and those who could benefit from a central cut-away, and lastly the pre-production Tri saddle which as the name would suggest is aimed at triathletes and time triallists.
Fabric also had some rather cool new multitools including the Chamber 13 function tool, which looked really sleek with its shiny finish. Available with a fixed head or ratchet head (£29.99 or £34.99 respectively) this multitool could be a good option for your longer winter rides when you need to be prepared for the worst. For more information and to see the full range of new products, click here.
New bikes from Raleigh and BMC
It wouldn’t be tech of the week, without some new bikes. Raleigh has launched nine new adventure road bikes – the carbon framed Roker and aluminium framed Mustang bikes designed for use on the road and trails. We can’t wait to put some through their paces. To read more about the new bikes and their specifications you can click here.
Swiss manufacturer BMC also launched new bikes, with its 2016 range featuring a wider range of aluminium bikes as well as some new colour schemes for its carbon models. The big news here is that BMC has launched a new aluminium version of its much loved BMC TeamMachine TMR01, called the TeamMachine ALR01. This is in direct competition with the Cannondale Caad12 and Trek Emonda ALR. There is a new cyclocross bike too. To see the new range in more detail, click here.
In other news… I cheated on Strava and got a really amazing KOM
No-one enjoys getting an email through from Strava informing you that someone has taken one of your KOMs. You hastily check the segment to see what they did, and you instantly try to rationalise it. There must have been a big tail wind today, maybe they were sat behind a big group of riders, or even a car, perhaps they were on a time trial bike?
Either way, they certainly didn’t take the segment because they were fitter than you.
In order to test if Strava users could potentially cheat convincingly using e-bikes I decided to put it to the test on one of the most fearsome climbs in the world: the 9.7km long, 13% average gradient Kitzbuheler Horn in Austria. To read more about how I got on and what it is like to be passed by someone going the speed of Chris Froome on a town bike looking like they are going to the shops, click here.
Finally, we also posted a review of the entry level Specialized Allez, a bike ideal for those just getting into cycling or triathlons. To read about the bike, you can click here.
Video: Review of the £600 Specialized Allez