Tech round up: Brompton celebrates World Car Free Day, Brooks limited-edition Swift Eroica saddle, POC Team AMANI collection and Pirelli Cinturato S tyres... plus new Pearl Izumi Pro shoes

Limited leather saddles, helmets and glasses doing good, a gripper gravel tyre and some encouragement to ditch the car for a day

New products released include the POC Team UMANI collection and a limited edition Brooks Swift Eroica saddle
(Image credit: POC / Finley Newmark / Brooks / Pirelli / Brompton)

While most cyclists don’t need an excuse to choose two wheels over four, statistics still show that, in the UK and the USA at least, we still have a long way to go when it comes to regularly choosing sustainable transport options for those short, daily journeys that we all need to take. 

Given that we still take the car in overwhelming numbers, World Car Free Day (opens in new tab) celebrates and encourages alternative modes of getting from A to B, including the bicycle. Brompton, which more than does it bit for promoting commuting by bike, is marking today’s festivities by turning a London petrol station into a bike mecca, with free coffee and demos of its latest models.

POC too is focused on encouragement and support, this time in the shape of its Team AMANI helmet and glasses collection. Sales of the products all help the team, which seeks to bring greater racing opportunities to African cyclists and to level the international cycling field. 

Elsewhere we have a limited edition Brooks saddle that doffs its cap to the cycle event that made retro bikes cool again; some Italian gravel tyres that should be right at home in the UK and a trifecta of shoes with a distinct PRO leaning…

Brompton celebrates World Car Free Day 2022

Brompton is promoting World Car Free Day by a converting a petrol station into a haven for bicycles

(Image credit: Brompton)

Current figures show that 71% of UK car journeys are under five miles in duration; World Car Free Day encourages motorists to park their car for the day, using sustainable transport instead for short journeys such as the school run or the commute to work.

Is there a more practical solution to this problem than the humble bicycle? We’d argue not, especially when you throw in the health benefits of cycling. Brompton, the folding bike gurus, agree, and to help celebrate World Car Free Day, Brompton is taking over an old petrol station (opens in new tab) between Borough Road and Newington Causeway near Elephant & Castle in London and turning it into what it describes as a “cycling haven”. 

With fuel prices continuing to spiral, the irony of repurposing a petrol station to promote cycling as a way to reduce carbon emissions will be lost on no one. Brompton will open the site from 8am-8pm today, offering free coffee, test rides of its latest models through the Brompton Hire dock and ride outs.

For more information visit (opens in new tab)

Brooks marks 25 years of L'Eroica with some limited leather

Brooks Swift Eroica Saddle is limited to 100 pieces

(Image credit: Brooks)

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the original L’Eroica (opens in new tab), a celebration of cycling’s Golden Age, that saw enthusiasts don wool jerseys and ride period-perfect steel road bikes over the white gravel roads of Tuscany. The event helped birth similar events (opens in new tab) all over the world as well as the annual Strade Bianche WorldTour one-day race. 

Brooks Swift Eroica Saddles celebrates 25 years of L'Eroica

(Image credit: Brooks)

Naturally, Brooks, whose saddles were the perch of choice during this storied era of cycling, has been involved in the event for many years. To help celebrate a quarter century of Eroica rides Brooks has created a Swift Eroica saddle, limited to just 100 pieces and costing £175/$210. The Swift was the obvious choice as the brand’s iconic racing saddle complete with signature copper rivets. This limited edition model features all of the traditional styling alongside a laser etched ‘XXV’ pattern in the leather top to denote the milestone reached.

For more information visit (opens in new tab)

Pirelli goes soft in search of better gravel grip

Pirelli's latest gravel tyre the Cinturato S

(Image credit: Pirelli)

Gravel biking aficionados have as many ways to describe their preferred terrain as the Inuits do snow. This expansive range of conditions has been a boon for tyre manufacturers, with Pirelli expanding its range of gravel tyres, under the Cinturato name, to include the S.

S stands for Soft Terrain and the tyres are designed for what the Italian brand describes as “the softest and most challenging terrain”. The tubeless-ready offering borrows its tread pattern from the Scorpion S, a mountain bike tyre, but redesigned the tread blocks for technical and rough gravel trails, where grip and safety are a priority.

Pirelli's new Cinurato S gravel tyre is for wet and muddy conditions

(Image credit: Pirelli / damianifed)

As with the tyres in the Cinturato line-up, the S uses Pirelli’s SpeedGrip compound, which it says lowers rolling resistance without compromising grip across wet and dry conditions. The 60tpi nylon casing features a TechWall gravel ‘belt’, which in essence gives the tyre bead-to-bead protection.

Seemingly equipped for wet and muddy conditions, the Cinturato Gravel S could receive a lot of in the UK, which is no stranger to gravel that sits on the claggy side of the spectrum. It is available now in 700x40mm and 700x45mm sizes, with black and classic sidewall options. Later in the year, the S will expand to include a 50mm version offered in both 700c and 650b sizes.

Prices start from £57.99/$82.90 

For more information visit (opens in new tab)

POC's team Amani collection is about 'more than performance or protection'

POC's Team AMANI collection includes a helmet and sunglasses

(Image credit: POC / Finely Newmark)

Team AMANI, which supports East African cyclists at both the amateur and professional level, bringing together initiatives aimed at enhancing inclusivity and creating opportunities, is still coming to terms with the loss of team captain Sule Kangangi. The Kenyan tragically died while competing in The Overland gravel race in Vermont.

Already in the works at the time of his death, and with Kangangi instrumental in the design process, POC and team AMANI have continued with the release of a new collection of helmet and sunglasses out of respect for the fallen leader.

POC's new Team Amani edition helmet and sunglasses are already being used by the team

(Image credit: POC / Finley Newmark)

The POC Ventral AIR MIPS AMANI Edition comes in six colours - Sulphite Yellow, Moldanite Green, Prismane Red, Natrium Blue, Uranium Black and Hydrogen White - each with fluorescent orange rear vents, alongside decals of the flags of Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda as well US and Australian flags to highlight the positive contributions of both Mikel Delagrange, the AMANI team manager and EF Education - EasyPost pro Lachlan Morton, a longtime supporter of the project. The Aspire Amani Edition sunglasses are available in all but the white colourway.

POC's Team Amani collection includes helmet and sunglasses

(Image credit: POC Sports)

"Our AMANI team helmets and eyewear are very special and represent much more than performance or protection,” says Delagrange. “Along with the team, Sule was at the heart of the design which was created to give the team a consistency and still offer each rider a uniqueness and ability to fly their national flag. We have been racing in them for some time and take great pride in what they stand for. And now, on top of that, they are a connection to Sule that we want to share with everyone as we know he would be overjoyed seeing our team supported and our helmets and eyewear ridden all around the globe.”

Now released to the public in limited numbers, all proceeds from the collection will go towards the continued support of the AMANI project and team.

For more information visit (opens in new tab) and (opens in new tab)

Pearl Izumi introduces a trio of new shoes to its PRO collection

Pearl Izumi's new PRO shoes includes the Expedition PRO gravel model

(Image credit: Pearl Izumi)

Pearl Izumi's PRO series of products represent what it calls “the highest degree of cutting-edge design, comfort and performance.” And it’s now added three new pairs of shoes into the mix.

Developed alongside professional cyclists and brand ambassadors the trio comprises the PRO Air, the Women’s PRO Road and the Expedition PRO. The PRO Air is an updated model, featuring an enhanced BOA system with Li2 dual dials that is said to deliver “bi-directional adjustability”, a breathable mesh laminate upper and a PRO Air Plate carbon sole. It all adds up to a svelte 237g per shoe in a size 42.

The Women’s PRO Road shoe is, as you might guess, a women’s specific version of the PRO road model. Like the PRO Air it features the Air Plate carbon sole alongside a perforated synthetic leather upper and an updated BOA Fit system.

These days no footwear line up is complete without a gravel shoe and the Expedition PRO blends the light weight of a road shoe with protective elements borrowed from the mountain bike world. Again, there’s a BOA Fit system, this time with dual L6C dials and soft lace guides. The carbon sole features TPU toe and heel bumpers as well as a ‘stomp plate.’ The wide tread is designed to both shed mud while providing plenty of grip.

For more information and pricing visit (opens in new tab)

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Freelance writer

Luke Friend has worked as a writer, editor and copywriter for over twenty years. Across books, magazines and websites, he's covered a broad range of topics for a range of clients including Major League Baseball, the National Trust and the NHS. He has an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University and is a qualified bicycle mechanic. He fell in love with cycling at an early age, partly due to watching the Tour de France on TV. He's a passionate follower of bike racing to this day as well an avid road and gravel rider.