Tech of the week: pros’ new bikes, SRAM Force eTap and more

Former pros on new wheels, an update on all this year’s WorldTour bikes and UK e-bike law explained

UK ex-pros swapping their wheels

He wore the yellow jersey in his pro days, but Sean Yates has taken to Ribble’s SLe electric road bike, to help him keep riding. That’s after heart problems that mean that his maximum heart rate is now 90 beats per minute.

Power at the touch of a button for Sean Yates

The Ribble SLe comes with the Spanish ebikemotion 250 watt rear hub motor and its battery hidden in the down tube. It’s a drivetrain we’ve tested on the Wilier Cento1Hy and which pulls powerfully up the hills, out of stops and once your speed drops below 25kph. And you can programme it to kick in once your heart rate goes above a pre-set level, which sounds like a useful feature for Yates.

We’ve also looked at the UK laws governing electric bikes, their power output and how much assist they can give.

Another yellow jersey holder swapping his wheels is David Millar. He’s a fan of Bromptons and his Chpt3 design studio has just launched a limited edition in collaboration with the British folding bike brand. It comes with go-faster tyres and suspension, red accents and, of course, without mudguards.

Millar says that his Chpt3 Brompton is the most admired bike in his stable.

And meanwhile, 2012 Milan-San Remo winner Simon Gerrans is now cycling around Richmond Park. So if you’re passed by someone who looks familiar on an e-bike, a Brompton or just a flashy red BMC, you’ll know who it is.

We’ve also got an update on our guide to all the WorldTour bikes, their groupsets, wheels and finishing kit, so you’ll know what the current pros are riding too.

Force eTap and lugged steel

What will Force eTap inherit from Red eTap AXS?

Along with the launch of its new 12-speed Red eTap AXS groupset last week, SRAM sneaked in that it would be providing further news of a Force-level electronic groupset this April. We’ve speculated what this might bring to SRAM’s second tier groupset, to keep up with Shimano Ultegra Di2.

And we’ve also had a look at the rather desirable lugged steel Portofino from Officina Battaglin.

Plus, we’ve had deals on Rapha, Mavic wheels, energy bars and the usual Sunday Trading round-up.