As we continue to slip slowly into spring, the kit launches keep on coming. We’ve got new colours from Rapha and Alé’s recently unveiled SS22 kit, now here in a women’s fit.
With four veterans of the pro pelotons now having spoken with their wallets regarding their belief in the Classified two-speed hub system, is it now only a matter of time until we again see single ring setups at the World Tour? Time will tell…
Anna van der Breggen, André Greipel and Marcel Kittel join Classified
Tom Boonen, four-time winner at Paris-Roubaix along with many, many other victories besides, has been a longtime supporter of Belgian brand Classified’s (opens in new tab) drive to replace the front derailleur with a two-speed hub.
But now it seems things are shifting up a gear, with Anna Van Der Breggen, André Greipel and Marcel Kittel – each with more wins than can be reasonably listed here – were sufficiently impressed by the technology to come on board as investors.
“The first time I tried Powershift I just thought to myself: how is it possible?! It’s so fast, it’s unreal … You can shift in any scenario, sitting down or standing up. It’s game-changing and I’m sure it will help professional cyclists in races but also amateurs,” said Anna van der Breggen
“After just five pedal strokes with the Powershift hub I decided I wanted to invest in Classified,” said André Greipel. “For me one of the key benefits is the improved aerodynamics and the possibility of instantaneously change from the small to the big chainring without ever losing power on the pedals. This can be crucial in many situations, especially on a hilly time trial and classics where you have to shift constantly between the big and small chainrings."
“Classified’s Powershift technology is, in my eyes, revolutionary because it’s very fast, very efficient and improves the aerodynamics of the bike. You keep the advantages of having a two gearing system on your bike but you shift even better because you can shift under full load,” said Marcel Kittel.
We were very impressed by the system when we had it in to test. The speed, smoothness and ability to shift under power is on a complete other level compared to a traditional front derailleur.
The system does have a limitation in that currently you don’t have the full choice over the wheels and rims you use, unlike with a front derailleur setup. Our full experience of Classified's two-speed hub (opens in new tab) can be read over here. Alternatively, you can head over to Classified’s website (opens in new tab) here.
Map My Tracks launches app for cycling clubs
Map My Tracks has launched a ‘Clubs’ service, which rolls route-sharing, membership managing and messaging all into one unified space – the aim being to offer a dedicated and centralised source for everything related to your cycling club.
Once set up, the result is a web app that can be added to your phone’s home screen, just like a native app downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. It was developed in concert with their local cycling club, Canterbury Bicycle Club and brings together the features that have proved invaluable to them.
In addition to the route-sharing and messaging functions, the app includes a live map, allowing club members to see where everyone else might be when out on club rides. Helpful for making sure everyone stays safe and doesn't get lost.
"It made sense to bring together all the experience we've gained from the work done with one of our local club and make it available to all clubs," said Nick Tatt of Map My Tracks. "For us, this initial release is just the start. We have grand plans to provide every club in the country with an app of its own, putting behind us all the days of having to check three or four different platforms just to find out what is happening on the weekend club ride."
Map My Tracks Clubs (opens in new tab) is free to use for clubs up to 30 members. For clubs with more than 30 members there is a £12 monthly subscription. Club apps can be branded to suit your club colours and includes permission control over how the app is used by club members.
Rapha's new season colours
Rapha has released new colour options for a wide range of kit – along with typically gorgeous images.
Just above, on the far left, we have the Brevet Long Sleeve Jersey (£140.00 (opens in new tab) / $190.00 (opens in new tab)) and Insulated Gilet (£130.00 (opens in new tab) / $180.00 (opens in new tab)). In the centre, Rapha’s Pro Team Full Frame Glasses (£120.00 (opens in new tab) / $165.00 (opens in new tab)), while on the right there’s the Classic Shoes (£180.00 (opens in new tab) / $250.00 (opens in new tab)) and Classic Bib shorts (£170.00 (opens in new tab) / $235.00 (opens in new tab)), top and bottom, respectively.
There’s also women’s Cargo Bib Shorts (£195.00 (opens in new tab) / $270.00 (opens in new tab)), elegantly combined with the Pro Team Frameless Glasses (£110.00 (opens in new tab) / $150.00 (opens in new tab)) over on the far left. In the centre, Rapha’s cycling caps (£25.00 (opens in new tab) / $35.00 (opens in new tab)) and finally, over on the right, Rapha’s Bar Bag (£45.00 (opens in new tab) / $60.00 (opens in new tab)).
Vitus drop-bar refresh
Vitus has given its drop bar range a bit of a refresh – it’s mainly colour and spec changes, but a few models have really stood out.
We were highly impressed by both the ZX-1 EVO (opens in new tab) aero bike (pictured above) and the Vitesse EVO (opens in new tab) climbing bike when we had them on test last year, but previously both were only available as fully built bikes.
Now, each can be bought in a frameset only option, with the ZX-1 EVO weighing a claimed 1,100 grams and costing £1,999.99 (opens in new tab) / $2,699.99 (opens in new tab) and the Vitesse EVO coming in at a claimed 1,000 grams and costing £1,799.99 (opens in new tab) / $2,399.99 (opens in new tab).
Over on the gravel side the Vitus Substance VRS-1 HT Adventure Road Bike Apex looks a striking addition to the range at £1,999.99 (opens in new tab) / $2,799.99 (opens in new tab). Most obviously, it's sporting 30mm of travel from a RockShox Rudy XPLR suspension fork and chunky 47mm x 650b tyres.
You'll notice the 1x11 SRAM groupset is sporting a DoubleTap lever on the left-hand shifter – actuating the Brand-X dropper seatpost rather than any front derailleur.
At the other end of the scale, the £899.99 (opens in new tab) / $1,299.99 (opens in new tab). Substance V-2 Adventure Road Bike Sora looks a promising entry-level option, with a 2x9 Sora groupset offering the same gearing range as Shimano's 2x11 GRX setups, although with larger jumps.
Alé presents its Spring-Summer 2022 women’s collection
Having recently launched its men’s Spring-Summer kit, Alé is now following that up with the release of its SS22 women’s cycling kit. The same five product lines are all still present, which, to recap, are:
R-EV 1: Alé's most innovative and hi-tech products
PR-S: Which Alé describes as "the choice of many female professionals and athletes in the Alé cycling teams, dedicated to pure performance."
PR-R: Featuring garments with low environmental impact materials and unique designs
SOLID: Alé's range geared towards practicality, comfort and versatility.
GRAVEL: Doing pretty much exactly what it says on the tin.
From the R-EV1 range, there’s the Velocity jersey (opens in new tab) and shorts (opens in new tab), the former employing the “latest graphene technology” and the latter including side panels constructed from the wind-tunnel tested, AERO 3D fabric.
From the PR-S, there’s the Gradient Lady (opens in new tab), which features “Micro Aero” fabric on the front and a carbon yarn with anit-bactrial and anti-static properties on the back.
In the Kenya Lady, Amazonia and Butterfly jerseys (opens in new tab) of the PR-R range, with graphics and colour that “blend bold and delicate design patterns.”
That's all for now, we hope you have a great weekend of riding!
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