Tech of the Week: Sky’s new look, fake parts, Factor’s pro debut, and more

Our look back at the biggest tech stories of the week

Sky show off stripey new jersey

Team Sky jersey 2016 chris froome

The new Team Sky jersey has a bit more colour than previous versions

The offical unveiling of Sky’s new jersey, an annual event that normally consists of everyone complaining that “it’s too black”, was given a splash of colour this year, with the jersey now coming with blue and white stripes across the front beneath the Sky logo.

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>>> 2016 cycling team kits: latest strips revealed

This came a week or so after the team had also revealed a new paintjob for their Pinarello Dogma F8s, which was also given more colour with blue and white stripes on the forks and seatstays. However, it was not quite as exciting for Peter Kennaugh, whose bike and kit remained reasonably unchanged from 2015.

Dangers of fake bike parts exposed

Chinese carbon

The BBC’s Fake Britian show exposed the dangers of cheap carbon

But top of the charts was our most read tech story of the week was the report on the BBC’s exposé on the dangers of buying counterfeit carbon bike parts online. The report focused on the case of moutain biker Matt Phillips, who suffered a broken wrist after his counterfeit carbon FSA bars snapped into three parts while descending.

>>> Cheap Chinese carbon imports: are they worth the risk?

Of course our advice would be to always buy through your local bike shop or through a reputable online store, ensuring the quality of the parts that you are buying and to make sure there is a warranty option just in case the worst happens.

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Futuristic Factor Bikes make pro peloton debut

One Pro Cycling Riding

Better-known for producing futuristic bikes in conjunction with car manufacturers, Factor Bikes will be making its bow on the professional circuit, having announced a partnership with One Pro Cycling for 2016.

>>> Cervelo teases its brand new bike, but can you guess what it is? (videos)

The team will have two main bikes to choose from. First up is the Factor One, an aero bike that comes with an innovative split down tube, supposed smoothing the flow of air off the front wheel, and the lightweight Factor O2, which weighs a claimed 6.9kg even with the team’s Infocrank power meter attached.

The self-inflating inner tube that could change cycling

PumpTire self-inflating inner tube

The PumpTire inner tube could be bad news for track pump manufacturers

The prize for the most innovative product of the week is this self-inflating inner tube from PumpTire. If it works (and it’s only in the prototype stage at the moment) you will be able to set the tube to a pre-set pressure, and the valve will be able to let air into the tube whenever the tyre needs to be topped up.

>>> Meet the Invincible bike that will “end all bike theft”

In theory then, as long as you don’t get a puncture, this could spell disaster for the track pump, with tyres able to keep themselves properly inflated without the need for human intervention. But before we get too carried away, there’s the little matter of funding the project, which will go on Kickstarter at the beginning of 2016.

UCI relaxes saddle regulations

Commissaires inspect a time trial bike (Photo: Watson

Commissaires inspect a time trial bike (Photo: Watson)

And finally, time triallists across the world breathed a sigh of relief as the UCI relaxed it’s saddle regulations. You still have to have the nose of the saddle at least 5cm behind the bottom bracket, and cannot make any alterations to your perch, but are now allowed a downward tilt of up to nine degrees compared to the 2.5 degree that was previously permitted.

>>> Saddle height: how to get it right and why it’s important

Of course this isn’t the only change that the UCI has made to its rule book in recent weeks, having introduced disc brakes into all professional racing for 2016 only the other week. Changing the amount you’re allowed to tilt your saddle probably isn’t quite as big a step as changing the braking system that racers have used for other a century, but for time triallists suffering from numbness in sensitive places, the relaxing of the regulations doesn’t come one race too soon.