Tech round up: Cannondale SuperSix EVO Leichtbau LTD frameset, CADEsport virtual cycling game, MAAP's autumn road collection and the PLYO 3-D printed helmet
A lighter frame, a more inclusive virtual training game, an evolved clothing collection and a safer helmet...
A lightweight carbon bike, a bike helmet, a clothing range and indoor training software might not sound like we're walking on uncharted ground this week but all of these products are far from ordinary.
Cannondale's newest road frame, a limited-edition featherweight iteration of an existing model, looks good enough to hang in a gallery, while MAAP's latest road collection wouldn't appear out of place on the catwalk. German tech company nFrontier have turned to the automotive industry for cues as they seek to develop a bike helmet that's smarter and safer than the rest and the CADEsport virtual cycling game looks to make indoor training 'fairer and more inclusive'.
Like we said, far from ordinary...
Did Cannondale's 'pursuit of the perfect ride' just get closer?
In recent times there’s been a trend for race bike advancements to focus predominantly on improving aerodynamics and saving watts. So there’s something reassuring about Cannondale returning to an age-old obsession in what it describes as its ‘pursuit of the perfect ride’. Weight.
The SuperSix EVO Leichtbau is the SuperSix but lighter. Thanks to what Cannondale is calling its “most sophisticated carbon construction to date”, the frameset now has a claimed weight of just 750 grams. This means it shaved off around 90 grams from the Hi-MOD carbon version ridden by the EF Education - EasyPost WorldTour team among others.
As for the frame design, it retains the elements that have made the existing SuperSix EVO such a popular bike. That means truncated airfoil tube shapes for reduced drag alongside the SAVE rear stays, a 27 SL KNOT seatpost and clearance for 30mm tyres for added comfort. It also still means a press fit bottom bracket, a standard that other brands have been deserting like a sinking, or perhaps creaking, ship of late.
But the Leichtbau is about more than just a reduction in weight and an improvement in performance. Decked out in black and chrome, with CNC-machined alloy details, this is a bike to turn heads. This is further enhanced by its exclusivity; the frame is individually numbered and there’s only 200 available worldwide.
For more information visit cannondale.com
CADEsport aims to create the 'fairest and most inclusive virtual cycling experience' yet
Golf isn’t usually painted as the most equitable of sports; its elitist image forged in part by men-only country clubs, exorbitant green fees and now a Saudi-funded rebel pro tour reportedly paying players $100 million and more to ‘compete’. But at heart it's a game for everyone with a handicapping system that allows people of different ages, genders and ability to play alongside each other central to its popularity.
The CADEsport Cycling Fitness Game aims to bring a little of this unifying parity to the world of virtual cycling. Created by Cycligent, CADEsport features a proprietary Pro Power mode that adjusts everyone’s power “to that of a pro cyclist”, which it says “allows people of all abilities to ride, race, and work out together without separating them into categories, entering their weight, or worrying about trainer or power meter accuracy".
However, if you want your training to be a little more realistic, there’s also a Raw Power mode that takes into account your height and weight to replicate the power you would be producing out on the road. The third mode, Couch Power, enables you to eschew the turbo trainer altogether and play from the sofa, which it says is ideal for scouting out routes before you ride them.
CADEsport, which also includes tailored training programmes and detailed performance stats alongside “real-world physics” that mean users can gain or lose time based on their bike handling and drafting skills, has been several years in development and is using the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform to aid its launch.
For more information visit kickstarter.com
MAAP's ready for autumn
For a cyclist, the dog days of summer can be both a blessing and a curse. While riding in short sleeves with the sun on your back is a joy, the mercury only needs to head north a degree of two more and suddenly you’re running low on water, your jersey is a salt-encrusted mess and you’re dreaming longingly of a cool October breeze.
MAAP’s new autumn road collection should be a pleasant antidote to the heat. It features a refreshed colour palette that wouldn’t look out of place in an LL Bean catalogue; browns, greens and reds evoke the changing of the seasons and the turning of the leaves.
The products themselves are predominantly colder-weather staples of the Aussie brand’s line-up. Among them there’s the Evade Pro Base long sleeve jersey, the Draft Team jacket and vest and the Evade Thermal jersey, offered in both men’s and women’s fits. There’s also accessories from socks to base layers to neck gaiters, which MAAP says allows the rider to “evolve their cold-weather layering system", and even a few off-the-bike items too, including a hooded sweatshirt.
For more information visit maap.cc
Airbags and audio systems, did the bicycle helmet just get smarter?
While the primary function of a bicycle helmet remains steadfast, the pursuit of increased safety has seen plenty of evolution in bike lids of late. When it comes to ‘tech’, nFrontier’s prototype PYLO helmet might just be the most advanced yet.
“Our vision was to develop an exciting next generation helmet that will advance bicycle rider safety technology into the 21st century,” said nFrontier CEO Daniel Buening. “We wanted to create a previously unseen experience, converging different technologies, features and materials into one helmet.”
The German company has created the prototype using a 3D printed nylon structure with a 3D knitted liner. The former is said to be breathable, and able to withstand greater impacts than a traditional polystyrene helmet, while the latter is two-sided allowing the user to make the contact surface of the helmet cooler or warmer according to their needs.
The PYLO helmet features a 360 degree approach to safety, which includes an audio system that uses 3D immersive sound to alert the cyclist to approaching vehicles' blind spot as well as LED lights and indicators, which the rider can activate by tapping the appropriate side of the helmet.
However, the helmet’s most distinctive feature is its face shield, which works in a similar fashion to car air bags, and is designed to protect the eyes and lower face in the event of an accident. “To enhance bike rider safety, we see the urgent need for a technology transfer from the automotive, electronic and computer industries,” said Buening. The result is a helmet that appears to be aimed primarily at commuters, although nFrontier say that it's also been designed with the ‘athlete in mind’.
For more information visit nfrontier.de
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Luke Friend has worked as a writer, editor and copywriter for twenty five 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 has been a cycling enthusiast from an early age, partly due to watching the Tour de France on TV. He's a keen follower of bike racing to this day as well as a regular road and gravel rider.
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