Tech of the Month July: What do we think of road tubeless? + Classified Powershift Hub and Pinarello Dogma F

We air our thoughts on road tubeless, go into detail on the Powershift Hub and 1x22 gearing, take a look at the new Pinarello Dogma F and bring you the highlights of the month’s news

Tech of the Month July
(Image credit: Future)

Two interesting bikes to get stuck into with July’s Tech of the Month, with Classified’s innovative hub shifting system and the new Pinarello Dogma F. You can view the full video right here, or read on for a roundup of the main stories.

But before all of that, we just wanted to let you know about this month’s giveaway. We’ve partnered with Garmin to provide a lucky viewer with an Edge 830 headunit, worth £350. It’s one of the German brand’s flagship models, featuring turn by turn navigation, a market leading touchscreen and performance metrics to make you fitter and faster.

It’s a genuinely great bit of kit which impressed when we had it on review, earning an impressive 4.5 star rating.

To be entered into the random prize draw, simply click this link or fill in the form below. We’ll get in contact with the lucky winner by the end of this month. If you don’t end up being the lucky one – don’t worry, we’ll be running it again next month.

News Shorts

Glucose tracker banned from use in UCI racing

Supersapiens

(Image credit: Ineos Grenadiers)

The UCI has banned sensors that monitor ‘physiological data, including any metabolic values such as but not limited to glucose or lactate’ from use in its races, with UCI innovations manager Mick Rogers listing potential financial inequality and formulaic ‘Formula One’ style racing among the reasons behind the decision.

We ask whether those worries are akin to the ones that surrounded the first introduction of power meters to the pro peloton – it’s clear from the opening stages of this year’s Tour de France that the barrage of information and data hasn’t made the races any less exciting or explosive.

For more information on the ban, our original news story can be found here.

Shimano shuts Malaysia component factory

Shimano

(Image credit: Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Due to the worsening situation in Malaysia regarding COVID-19, the government announced a tighter nationwide lockdown, forcing Shimano to close its component factory there on Thursday, June 10.

This is unlikely to affect the production of Shimano’s higher end groupsets, such as Dura-Ace, which are manufactured in Japan. However, the more affordable components – which also happen to be the ones that are generally specced on the bikes which have soared in popularity throughout the pandemic – do stand to be hit by this closure.

We ask what affect this is likely to have on already strained supply lines. Our news story covering this can be found here.

Classified Powershift Hub – 1x22 gearing

Classified

(Image credit: Future)

Classified’s Powershift Hub has an integrated two-speed internal planetary gear, allowing you to dispense with your chainrings while retaining the same gearing range. Changing gear at the hub essentially mimics the gear change you would get from shifting chainrings.

You might question why this is needed – after all, chainrings do already exist to provide extra range without needing a wider spaced cassette. But what the Powershift Hub has over a set of chainrings is that it shifts much, much faster, can shift under a massive pedalling load, and can allow you to run a straighter chainline, which increases both drivetrain efficiency as well as service life.

From our time spent using the system, we can say that it does genuinely feel like an improvement over a double chainring setup. The speed of the shift and the fact that it can be done under load makes it just a far more functional system than that of a double chainring set up. 

Really the only two limitations to the system are that it is quite expensive – by no means is it competing with Shimano 105 – and the fact that you can only use specially drilled rims, effectively limiting you to just using Classified’s own wheelset. 

Tubeless tyres: An open discussion

Tubeless

(Image credit: Mike Prior)

Our discussion point for this week centres on tubeless tyres for road use, digging into the pros and the cons. Off-road, whether that’s mountain bike, gravel or cyclocross, the system works incredibly well, with the sealant almost always plugging any holes poked into the tyres by errant thorns, flints or glass.

But on the road, and with those significantly higher pressures, the system simply isn’t quite so effective. Particularly with 25c tyres, we’ve found that the sealant can struggle to, well, seal. With the result that you’re just as likely to suffer a flat as when riding with inner tubes, and also that it’s much more messy when you do have to pop a tube in. 

For much greater depth on the pros and cons of tubeless, you can check out our most recent Tech Question on the matter, or here’s a more personal account of the travails of tubeless.

Bike of the Month: Pinarello Dogma F

Pinarello Dogma F

(Image credit: Simon Smythe)

This month we have the Pinarello Dogma F – in its disc brake guise, although a rim brake version is still being produced, so no worries about Ineos Grenadiers having to swap systems too soon. 

There have been a few aero improvements, with the inside of the downtube now stepping back up after making the step down for the bottle cage. However, with the level of optimisation the previous version, the F12, was bestowed with, there are increasingly fewer improvements that can be made. 

Nevertheless, some watts have still been saved with this one – although it’s the disc brake version which is actually the most aerodynamic, according to Pinarello. That, along with the slight weight saving that has been made with the Pinarello Dogma F, perhaps might be enough to tempt Ineos Grenadiers away from the rim brakes.

…But then again, it might not – we’ll have to see. Click through here for the full launch story.