Tech of the Month November: Tarmac SL7 recall, wavy rims and best winter kit

Bike of the Month is the Pearson Hammer and Tongs - sporting some curious looking wheels

Tech of the Month November
(Image credit: Future)

This month we discuss Specialized recall and stop ride notice of its flagship SL7, Continental’s belated move to hookless for the GP5000 tyres and the stubby Abus Gamechanger TT helmet. 

Bike of the month is Pearson’s Hammerandtongs endurance bike, which has come sporting a curious set of wheels...


But before we get to all of that, we just wanted to let you know that we’ve partnered with Garmin to give away a set of Varia lights. These do work independently, but when paired with a Garmin edge bike computer, they save battery life by automatically adjusting their brightness levels according to your speed and the light conditions – dimming when riding slow and increasing contrast in brighter light conditions.

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.

Specialized SL7 recall

Specialized SL7 recall

(Image credit: Future)

The SL7 is Specialized’s flagship bike, combining a low weight and aerodynamic performance into one do-it-all package. However, the brand has had to issue a recall after it transpired that the current proprietary system could crack under impact as the compression ring puts undue stress on the steerer.

The stop ride notice applies to all Tarmac SL7 bikes and owners are asked not the ride the bikes until they have taken them to a local dealer.

For more information on the matter, you can read the full article over here.

Abus GameChanger TT helmet

Abus Gamechanger TT helmet

(Image credit: Abus)

Part of the new breed of stubby TT helmets, this design is intended to afford better aerodynamics in real scenarios. Although longer tail helmet can be measurably more aero, they require you to rock solidly hold a precise position – if you end up deviating from that position, the longer tail can do more harm than good, hence the rise of the stubbies.

We’ve found the helmet to be really quite comfortable – it stays in place really well and doesn’t move about, but at £399 it is a significant investment. Stay tuned for our review.

Hookless Continental GP5000

Continental GP5000 hookless tyres

(Image credit: Continental )

With hookless rims offering the potential for weight and monetary savings, it speaks to the popularity of Continental’s GP5000 tyres that one of the most compelling arguments against the new technology has been the incompatibility of the German brand’s flagship tyre.

But with Continental having now released a hookless compatible version of the GP5000, that drawback has now been resolved. However, in our early testing of the tyres, we have found that it’s incredibly important to keep within the maximum pressure of 73 PSI.

If you’d like to read more about how our test tyres blew off their rims when topped up to 100 PSI to get the tubeless bead to seat, you can find our full report here.

Pearson Hammerandtongs

Pearson Hammer and Tong endurance bike

(Image credit: Pearson)

Although technically an open frame, as Pearson’s supplier had nothing that quite fitted the bill, the Hammerandtongs was created to the British brand’s exact specification. So while – as with other open mould frames – you might be able to buy this frame from a third party, Pearson does still claim responsibility for the design.

Another interesting point is the Hoop Driver Tooth & Nail wheels. If the undulating design strikes as familiar – that’s because it is. A similar pattern can be found in both Princeton and Zipp’s wheels, with those two brands currently embroiled in a legal battle over the design. 

The idea is not to increase aerodynamic performance per se, but to make the wheel more stable in crosswinds and therefore enable you to run a deeper section more of the time.

Watch this space for the upcoming review.

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Stefan Abram
Tech features editor

After winning the 2019 National Single-Speed Cross-Country Mountain Biking Championships and claiming the plushie unicorn (true story), Stefan swapped the flat-bars for drop-bars and has never looked back. 

Since then, he’s earnt his 2ⁿᵈ cat racing licence in his first season racing as a third, completed the South Downs Double in under 20 hours and Everested in under 12.

But his favourite rides are multiday bikepacking trips, with all the huge amount of cycling tech and long days spent exploring new roads and trails - as well as histories and cultures. Most recently, he’s spent two weeks riding from Budapest into the mountains of Slovakia

Height: 177cm

Weight: 67–69kg