Tech of the week: Rapha’s new shoes and Bontrager’s new helmets

New shoes from Rapha and new helmets from Bontrager made the headlines

New helmets and new shoes were the talk of the town last week, here are all the details.

Rapha launches cycling shoes

Read more: Rapha releases new gravel and road footwear range

Last week Rapha launched its long awaited Classic and Explore shoe models. It marks a step change for the brand who used to use Giro as the shoe provider, but are now bringing the technology in house.

The Classic road shoe uses a one-piece, micro-fibre upper that’s closed by a lace system for a more even spread of tension. The sole is a carbon plate, rather a full carbon sole, and it’s wrapped in a firm plastic for extra protection, although this does add weight – ours came in at 314g a shoe.

Our first impressions are of a roomy shoe, that was immediately comfortable and stylish, too. The laces did a good job of tightening the shoe evenly, but the upper is more firm than some laced equivalents such as the Giro Empire SLX. We’ll have a full review coming soon, so watch this space.

Alongside the Classic shoe, Rapha also launched an Explore shoe, expanding its gravel and adventure range further. It’s a similar design to the Classic road shoe with the same lace system, and carbon plated sole albeit shorter, to allow the forefoot to bend when walking off of the bike.

The Rapha Classic shoe will retail at £180 while the gravel option will cost £220.

Bontrager launches WavecCell equpped helmets, and MIPs’ response

Bontrager’s viral chatter came to a head last week when it launched its new WaveCell equipped helmet range.

WaveCel is a honeycomb like structure

Read more: Trek and Bontrager launch new helmet with WaveCell technology

What’s WaveCel? Well it’s Trek and Bontrager’s new safety technology that should, according to the brand, be 48 times more effective at preventing concussions than standard EPS foam.

WaveCel itself is a collapsible cellular material that’s visually similar to Koroyd crumble zone sections found on both Smith and Endura helmets. It boosts rider safety by flexing, crumpling and gliding to absorb the energy of a crash, according to the brand.

However, following the launch MIPs – the company behind the Multi-Directional Impact Protection System featured in many cycling helmets – released a statement saying that “MIPS subjected the new WaveCel helmet technology to their battery of tests, with results far below WaveCel’s substantial claims of injury prevention.”

Whilst MIPs stated that further testing is warranted, it cannot substantiate these claims. The Swedish company also said that it would share an additional data from further testing with the public.

Trek and Bontrager of course support two male and female world tour teams

Bontrager replied, “we believe that slip liners are a good technology that provide a real benefit to riders. Having partnered with MIPS for a number of years, we have brought many products featuring MIPS technology to market. We also believe that there is room for innovation in rider safety.

“Trek offers helmets with WaveCel, MIPS and standard technology. Consumers can decide for themselves which products fit their particular needs based on the data and information available to them.”

The new WaveCell technology will be equipped on a number of new helmet models, including two for the road: the Bontrager XXX WaveCel costing £199 and the WaveCell Charge. A commuter helmet will also be made available as will two mountain bike lids.

Balance bikes

We’ve updated our best balance bikes page. It’s a guide to helping you find the right model for your small one, and features useful information on the benefits of balance bikes, why they might be better than stabilisers and much, more.

Reviews

This week Cycling Weekly published:

Be sure to keep an eye on the website for more tech news and reviews throughout the week!