Tech of the Week: Fresh Tarmac, Merida's new Reacto and more

What's new in the world of cycling tech over the last seven days

This weeks has been another bumper week for the release of some pretty high profile bikes and cycling tech. Talk of the week has to be the launch of one of the worst kept secrets in cycling, a bike that has kept us speculating and second guessing since leaked pictures early in the year, yes it's the new Specialized Tarmac.

Specialized's Tarmac SL7 - the Venge is dead

specialized tarmac sl7

The onslaught of the mighty Tarmac continues with the new SL7, a bike that looks to have taken on the role of both aero and GC race bike and slimmed down Specialized's range to make your choice even easier. The 'Varmac' as many of us are calling it looks to have been creating by smashing Tarmac SL6 and Venge particles together and growing the results in a lab to create the 'one bike to rule them all'.

You need to read all about it here.

Merida Reacto goes comfy

(Image credit: Dan Gould)

Faster, faster, faster...that's how you normally translate any bike brand's information when it releases a new aero race bike. But Merida has turned the tables and has dared to utter the 'c' word - that's 'c' for comfort of course - with regards the fourth Reacto to make the cut. It's still obviously faster than the previous version but this time it won't leave you with hefty chiropractor bills after every ride.

Intrigued? It's all here in this feature.

Orbea's new Orca and Avant ranges released

Orbea tried to one-up everyone this week by launching two new bike ranges, the endurance Orca carbon and the aluminium Avant all-rounder. The Orca joins the Orca Aero and the higher grade Orca (OMX) to complete the family, offering a tweak in geometry to make it a bit kinder for riders wanting performance without the nose-down race position.

Here's the lowdown on the new Orca range.

Find out what's changed with the Avant here.

ENVE Builder Round Up

Probably my favourite feature this week, Enve's Builder Round Up is a virtual bike show featuring 23 stunning bikes built to showcase smaller artisan frame builders from around the globe. Feast your eyes on the most exquisite builds and finishes and do it completely without leaving your house.

Oggle the beauties here.

Elite Direto XR trainer

(Image credit: Elite)

During lockdown indoor trainers almost became more valuable than gold and were a sought after commodity. If you somehow didn't manage to pick yourself up a trainer during that time the good news is Elite has just released an updated Direto XR trainer with a wider power scope and the ability to simulate even steeper slopes to release even more pain and anguish during training sessions - yay!

Find out the new trainers capabilities here.

Pirelli's new 'fastest ever' tubeless tyre

The 'WorldTour ready' PZero Race TLR tyre is now ready and released to the public and marks Pirelli's first race tubeless tyre. The tyres use Pirelli’s SmartEVO advanced compound, which promises to offer better grip on both dry and wet surfaces thanks to the blend of polymers. With Pirelli’s track record in Formula 1 racing, the brand’s pedigree is pretty difficult to argue with.

Get all the information on the new tyres in this feature.

Lazer's 'fastest ever' TT helmet

Image: LauraFletcher
(Image credit: LauraFletcher)

It's a strap line that's becoming a familiar sight, 'fastest ever'. For Lazer, the Belgian helmet experts this came as a result of meticulous testing and refining, resulting in the new Volante. More than two years in the making, the Volante has been developed with feedback from pro riders such as Primož Roglič and Tom Dumoulin.

Interested? Find out all the facts in this news story.

That's all for now, check back next week for another tech round-up.

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James Bracey

James Bracey's career has seen him move from geography teacher, to MBR writer, to Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and video presenter. He possesses an in-depth knowledge of bicycle mechanics, as well as bike fit and coaching qualifications. Bracey enjoys all manner of cycling, from road to gravel and mountain biking.