Tech of the Week: USA’s weird Olympic bike, unreleased Rapha kit, and more

Our pick of the biggest tech stories from the last seven days

Team USA’s strange new track bike

felt ta frd track bike

One of the most interesting things we saw last week was Felt’s new track bike for the USA Olympic squad. No wait, come back, it’s actually a really interesting bike, with some pretty wacky design features specifically for the velodrome.

The most obvious change is that the drivetrain has been moved to the left-hand side of the bike, which is apparently more aerodynamic when riding anti-clockwise around a velodrome, but Felt has also changed the tube shapes for the same environment, and HED has produced custom wheels with narrower hubs specifically for this bike.

Mystery Rapha skinsuit

Mikel Landa on stage nine of the 2016 Giro d'Italia

The worker bees at Rapha have had their hands full over the winter, and the fruits of their labours were evident at the Giro d’Italia. The most interesting new product we spotted was the company’s first skinsuit (Team Sky had previously used Bioracer skinsuits), although there were also some new shorts that a few riders were using in the wet.

However all that new kit hasn’t given the team much luck with team leader Mikel Landa abandoning the race in the second week and the remaining riders now hunting for stage wins.

Sleek new Bolide

Pinarello Bolide time trial bike

The other piece of new kit that Team Sky unveiled at the Giro d’Italia was the new Pinarello Bolide time trial bike, although this did have more success with Landa riding an unexpectedly impressive time trial last weekend.

As you would expect from any new time trial bike, Pinarello is saying that the Bolide is more aerodynamic than the old model, with a new covering for the rear brake and redesigned down tube, but the Italian company has also dropped the weight of the frame by a massive 350g, not usually a priority for a time trial bike.

First pictures of the SuperSix Disc

Ted King Cannondale Superix Evo Disc twitter

The other new bike this week came from Cannondale, although it’s not a new bike that we’re really meant to know about just yet. That’s because the new Cannondale SuperSix Evo Disc hasn’t actually been launched, but was accidentally revealed to the public last week when former Cannondale rider Ted King posted a photo of the bike equipped with SRAM Red eTap.

Now we can’t tell too much from one photo, but the tube shapes certainly look very similar to those on the standard SuperSix Evo. However, we assume that Cannondale has given the bike new front and rear ends to cope with the asymmetric torque of disc brakes.

Mechanical vs electronic gears

vincenzo nibali specialized s-works tarmac campagnolo super record rear derailleur

However, despite all that new kit, the article that got you guys talking the most was our love letter to mechanical groupsets, with discussion below the line straying into the various benefits of pneumatic tyres and penny farthings.

But in the interests of balance and fairness (and to prove I’m not a complete luddite) there’s also good reason to consider the benefits of electronic groupsets too.

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