Tech Week: new bikes galore and the world's most expensive chain

Here’s our weekly round-up of the best cycling tech stories from the last week.

New Specialissima frame uses countervail technology to improve handling and reduce road chatter

Wiggins’s Hour Record bike

Bradley Wiggins - UCI Hour Record

A chain that costs as much as your bike (Photo: Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

Tech news this week was dominated by the Hour Record with lots of information on the bike which Wiggins used and his clothing, which we covered on Monday. With his handlebars being 3-D printed from titanium there were questions on the legality of his bike, which were subsequently dismissed.

Later in the week we revealed that even his chain was specially treated to reduce friction, at a cost of £6000.

Lots of new bikes

It’s getting to that time of year when bike manufacturers launch their new range. Last week we spotted the radical makeover of the Trek Madone and, on the same corner on stage one of the Criterium du Dauphiné the slightly less obvious changes to the Giant TCR Advanced SL.

A new 780g frame from Bianchi

A new 780g frame from Bianchi

There’s also a new, lighter frame from Bianchi with its countervail vibration cancelling technology, a sneak peek of a new Cannondale gravel bike and a new disc-equipped Izalco Max from Focus.

SRAM’s momentum continues

It’s been a good week too for stories about SRAM products. On Thursday we reported that the company was launching a new range of disc brake calipers using the flat mount standard. This simplifies brake installation hardware and has potential aero benefits.


SRAM moves in line with Shimano (Photo: Gruber Images)

The long-awaited SRAM wireless groupset is… still long-awaited, but it’s racking up race victories nevertheless with Romain Bardet’s stage win on stage five of the Criterium du Dauphiné being the latest.

And a bit of science

Finally we’ve been asking how much faster an aero bike is than a non-aero lightweight bike. It appeared that an aero bike can give a significant benefit even when travelling a modest wattages. Putting out a constant 200 watts Dr Hutch travelled 1.7kph faster on the aero bike.

We plan to do future videos looking at aero bikes on hills and also the effect of aero wheels.

Altitude Tents


Altitude tents - not for all

With many pros looking to altitude training to give them the edge, we also slept in an altitude tent for a month to see if it could improve our performance. To find out how we got on, you can read about our experiences here.

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Paul Norman

Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.

He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.