Tech of the week: Adidas 2.0 road shoes, Koo Strade Bianche sunnies, Pirelli's fastest tyres yet and a POC helmet with pockets
With spring and the Classics just round the corner, there's loads of new kit to get excited about
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This week has seen an insane number of new product launches, from Pinarello, Giant, Enve, MAAP, Hutchinson and AeroCoach, not to mention an unidentified time trialling object on the heads of the Uno-X pro riders (opens in new tab).
Can't all the bike brands just set up a shared Google calendar and spread them out a bit so that we cycling journalists can organise our workloads a bit better?
So, for one day only we've brought back the Famous Friday Tech Roundup so that we can bring you all the things that in any other week would get their own separate story.
New Adidas spring/summer 2023 road cycling collection
OK, we don’t need to remind you yet again that Eddy Merckx once had his own Adidas signature model cycling shoe because Adidas has now been back in cycling for three years after a 15-year absence. That’s long enough to completely overhaul its cycling range, which is what it’s just done for spring/summer 2023.
The highlight is the Adidas Road Cycling Shoe 2.0, which arguably looks even more like a football boot than the 2020 original road shoe (opens in new tab). We’re guessing Adidas’s target audience would rather be compared to Messi than Merckx and now even claims that the 2020 version is “iconic”.
Here’s what Adidas says: “The Road Cycling Shoe 2.0 builds on the performance of its iconic sibling for a supportive yet comfortable fit that keeps feet fresh and rides powerful. Among the updates are a ripstop knitted upper and supportive tongue construction that support air circulation, and a new, punched-hole lacing system for a clean look. Reflective 3-stripe detailing is retained from the original.”
The spring/summer range also includes major updates to all apparel. This includes the Short Sleeve Cycling Jersey made with AEROREADY fabric that adapts to movement, while the, packable WIND.RDY Cycling Gilet is an additional layer for breezy days.
Meanwhile the Padded Cycling Bib Shorts “make light work of endurance rides with supportive, dual-density pads absorbing vibrations.”
The Cycling Cap is "made with soft, sweat wicking AEROREADY fabric and mesh inserts and tops off a collection of road essentials made for cyclists at every stage of their journey."
Great, but why can’t Adidas come up with better names? It has football boots called Predator and Speedportal so why all the ‘Ronseal’ names for the cycling kit?
According to product manager Lavinia Shuster: “This new road collection isn’t just about boosting performance, but also providing products that are more accessible, from inclusive sizing for women and extra comfort on the bike, to price points that work for more cyclists. We want everyone to have the gear they need to get out on the road.”
That must be why. A cycling shoe with an extravagantly silly name might scare nervous people away, whereas in football the more ‘pro’ it sounds, the more the kids want it. Right.
Koo Strade Bianche Supernova glasses
Now that's more like it. Some glasses called Supernova. Fortunately they're not inspired by Oasis. Now that would be extravagantly silly.
To mark the seventh anniversary of its partnership with the Strade Bianche - now widely regarded as the ‘sixth Monument (opens in new tab)’, eyewear brand Koo is launching two limited edition versions of the Supernova model.
They’re designed to match the official men’s and women’s jerseys (opens in new tab) for the 2023 edition of the Gran Fondo Strade Bianche (opens in new tab), the event for amateurs that hits the Tuscan white roads on Sunday March 5, the day after the pro race.
The men’s version of the jersey, designed by Sportful, boasts “earthy nuances blended with bright colours of the sun-kissed hills” while the women’s version “flaunts the warmer earthy tones typical of a Tuscan sunset”.
So the Supernova Pine Green and Siena Red versions of Koo’s Supernova Strade Bianche could be seen as matchy-matchy companion pieces - though other jersey designs are available - and come with a new photochromic lens. Koo says the Supernova Pine Green lenses assume a red mirror tint following their photochromic transition, while the Supernova Siena Red lenses switch to a gold mirror.
Both models feature the Strade Bianche logo on the inside of the left arm, providing an “everlasting memory of those glorious moments spent in the hills of Siena.”
Adidas, are you listening? How about some descriptive hyperbole from you next time?
The glasses are priced at £190/$220 and are available to buy at Koo's website (opens in new tab).
Pirelli P Zero Race TT tyres
Pirelli has completed (for now, at least) the reimagining of its P Zero range with the addition of the time trial-specific P Zero Race TT, which it says is “the top-performing clincher tyre for professional riders and the sportiest amateurs.”
The new tyre is produced at the Italian brand’s renovated plant of Bollate, just outside Milan, and takes over from the P Zero Velo TT, launched in 2017 but discontinued in 2021 when Pirelli replaced the original P Zero Velo range with the P Zero Race and P Zero Road (opens in new tab). Are you still following?
It features the latest SmartEvo compound and Lite casing and is, according to Pirelli, the smoothest and lightest clincher tyre of the entire P Zero Race range, designed to meet the requirements of the WorldTour teams backed by Pirelli and has already been used by Trek-Segafredo and Ag2r-Citroën in Grand Tours last year.
Unlike its predecessor, the tread is not ‘slick - its pattern is the same as that of the P Zero Race, designed to enhance “driveability and cornering control.”
However, Pirelli says compared to the P Zero Race, the new tyre is 5% lighter and has 15% lower rolling resistance (Pirelli’s internal testing conducted on the 28mm size).
The 120 TPI nylon Lite casing doesn’t have additional puncture protection, which explains the lower rolling resistance - but probably means it should be a raceday-only tyre.
It comes in just 26mm and 28mm widths - a far cry from the super-narrow TT tubulars of old.
Prices are £67.99 (26mm) and £68.99 (28mm) with US prices TBC.
All the details at Pirelli's website (opens in new tab).
POC Omne Lite and Omne Ultra
POC has launched two brand new helmets; the Omne Lite, a “new lightweight, performance driven helmet where low weight and comfort are a rider’s main focus”, and the Omne Ultra, a helmet designed for “adventure and exploration, a versatile and creative companion developed to protect a rider’s escape beyond paved roads.”
The Omne Lite is based on the existing Omne Air platform but is lighter with more ventilation, achieved by “optimizing the area covered by the PC shell area to save weight, and the addition of ventilation exhausts to the rear improve airflow through the helmet, supporting enhanced comfort, particularly in hotter conditions,” according to POC.
The Omne Lite is priced at £170 GBP/$190 USD
The Omne Ultra, however, is something quite different.
Like the Omne Lite, it’s based on the Omne Air but is, in POC’s words, “designed to provide enhanced personalization and inspiration for those extended adventures on your bike.” Further, “the Omne Ultra embodies the spirit of cycling, to make your own decisions, finding your own path and creating an individual perspective.”
Suspicious yet? Well, you’ve heard of cargo bib shorts with mesh side pockets… now helmets have so-called storage solutions too.
POC calls them “versatile attachment points, straps and Velcro so riders could add a rain cover, an ID patch or even store small items before or after a ride. Created as an integral tool for the ride as well as enhanced protection, there are no limits to how you could improvise with it.”
The Omne Ultra is priced at £180 GBP/$200
Both join POC’s Omne family, which is the Omne Air; Omne Resistance; POCito Omne; and the Omne Eternal and are available in store and at POC's website (opens in new tab) from March 2023.
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Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor following an MA in online journalism. In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends most of his time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
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