Tech of the week: cobbles, clothing and giant gold jockey wheels

With Roubaix last weekend and Flanders the weekend before, we’ve had a cobbled techfest. But we’ve also had new kit news and a longer ride on the new Dura-Ace R9100.

Cobble bike tech – and yet more pro disc brake news

Last week, we looked at Peter Sagan’s custom S-Works Roubaix, ahead of the big race and showed you Team Sky’s new electronic suspension system on its K8S bikes. It uses accelerometers and gyroscopes to work out how bumpy the ride is and adapts the degree of damping to suit.

The pro disc brake controversy rumbles on. Both Peter Sagan and Tom Boonen used a rim braked Specialized Roubaix at the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, despite Spesh saying at its launch that the new Roubaix would be disc brake only. We asked why. And disc brake rotor covers being evaluated by the UCI’s Equipment Commission broke cover last week too.

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Tom Boonen got rim brakes on his S-Works Roubaix (Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media |

While if you’re suffering from cobble withdrawal symptoms, we’ve told you what it’s like to ride the Tour of Flanders route and given you 13 ideas for how to make your ride to work more like Paris-Roubaix, including taping bricks to your wheels.

Some bargain clothing – and some more expensive options

If you’re looking for kit to take you through the coming summer’s riding, check out Boardman’s new clothing range. Featuring jerseys from £30 and bibshorts for £40, it caters for both men and women. And new UK brand Kalf has some fresh designs for its summer kit. We’ve also given you a guide to cycling baselayers and found some great deals on Castelli spring/summer kit.

If you’ve got deeper pockets, you could always treat yourself to Rocket7’s £1150 custom fit cycling shoes, built around a plaster cast of your feet. They make Mavic’s recently launched £900 Comete Ultimate shoes look like a bit of a bargain. You could buy yourself a set of Hunt Bike Wheels’ new sub-1500g deep section Team Carbon Aero tubular wheels with change to spare. They’re Hunt’s first tubs, designed around the needs of the Bike Channel-Canyon pro team.

We’ve also given you the run-down on our eight best women’s cycling shoes, all a bit cheaper than Rocket7’s or Mavic’s and we’ve told you how to ride clipless pedals too.

Hunt’s new tubular wheelset is designed for the Bike Channel-Canyon pro team

And Orbea has launched its new Terra adventure/cyclocross bike, with clearance for tyres up to 40mm width. Its five models include two SRAM 1 options as well as two with FSA’s new subcompact groupsets with 48/32 and 46/30 options for those pesky climbs.

To check out the hills on your planned routes, Ordnance Survey has just released an aerial fly-by tool, which lets you visualise your ride in 3D. A subscription will cost £19.99 per annum.

Goodness gracious, great wheels of gold!

And don’t forget our April Tech of the Month video with some huge gold jockey wheels, Mark Cavendish’s Met Manta helmet, a retro saddle and a rather nice Parlee Altum bike we’ve been testing, decked out with the new Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 mechanical groupset.