Tech of the Week: disc brake furore, Garmin updates, new Oakley shades and more

The biggest tech stories from the last seven days

The disc brake saga

Can anyone actually remember who won Paris-Roubaix last Sunday (well done if you said Mathew Hayman) as it seems that the only thing that anyone’s been talking about since then is the injury that Fran Ventoso sustained which he said was caused by a disc brake.

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It took a few days for the story to gather momentum, with Lampre-Merida manager Brent Copeland questioning Ventoso’s claim that the injury was caused by discs, and Ventoso himself writing an open letter about why disc brakes should never have been allowed in the pro peloton. However by Friday we got the announcement that the UCI had taken the decision to suspend the disc brake trial with immediate effect.

How you responded to that news basically depended on whether you were riding disc brakes or selling them. Professional riders spoke out almost unanimously in support of the suspension of the trial, with Alex Dowsett, Ryder Hesjedal, and Luke Rowe being just a few of the names who were glad to see the (possibly temporary) end of disc brakes.

However, voices from within the industry were less positive, and although they generally spoke of the need for more development of technology, all were certain that disc brakes had a future of road racing, with SRAM saying that it had yet to see any evidence that Ventoso’s injury was in fact caused by a disc brake.

Latest updates for Garmin Edge computers


If you’re the lucky owner of a Garmin Edge 1000, then you may notice a few extra features next time you’re out for a ride as Garmin has just released its latest software update to give its top-end computer even more bells and whistles.

>>> Garmin Edge: complete buyer’s guide

The biggest change will be noticed by riders with SRAM Red eTap or Campagnolo EPS (the lucky devils) who will now be able to view their gear selections on screen. But there’s plenty for the data junkie to get excited about too, with the Edge 1000 now being able to calculate your functional threshold power (FTP), VO2 Max, and maximum heart rate, as well as being able to put you through the torture of a FTP test.

The world’s lightest power meter

4iiii precision 2.0 power meter 2

If you’re going to use all those new functions properly then you’re going to need a power meter. So how about getting the world’s lightest power meter, the 4iiii Precision 2.0, which hits the scales at a barely believeable 9g.

>>> Power meters: everything you need to know

Aside from being light, 4iiii is also claiming that its left side only power meter is accurate to within 1% and has a battery life of 100 hours, which all sounds rather good to us. The product will go on sale in July, and although UK pricing is yet to be confirmed, the US pricing is $399, so it should be at the lower end of what you’d expect to pay for a power meter.

Oakley’s featherweight sunnies


Speaking of very light things, Oakley has just released its lightest ever pair of cycling sunglasses, the EVZeros, which you should barely be able to feel on your face with their 22g weight. This has been achieved by getting rid of the frame around the lenses, giving them a pretty distinctive look.

>>> Icons of cycling: Oakley M Frame sunglasses

The lenses (and you can choose from either the Path or Range lenses depending on whether you want smaller or larger lenses) are treated Oakley’s Prizm technology that apparently gives greater contrast between bright light and shadows to help riders spot changes in road surface.

Aero on a budget

And finally, if you’re looking to go aero, but don’t want to be wasting money on expensive products that only offer tiny aerodynamic gains, then we’ve been spending time in a wind tunnel with Planet X to find out which aero kit gives you the biggest bang for your buck.

>>> How to be more aero on your road bike (video)

As it turned out, we were quite surprised by the results, and you it’s not the piece of clothing that you’d expect that gives you the biggest aero gain for the amount your spend. Watch the video above to see what we’re talking about.