This week's round up features rims with a 25mm internal width, sealant for tubeless road tyres, 'baggy' shorts and frame bags - products that only a few years would have seemed unlikely for most drop-bar enthusiasts if not downright sacrilegious to the traditionalist.
But times are a changing. Expanding horizons and an opening of minds has seen cycling make some important (baggy) strides of late. And while product development pales into insignificance when compared to the likes of the Tour de France Femmes and its subsequent impact, gear that might just get more people riding bikes can only be a good thing too. OK, off the soap box and onto the products...
Ritchey's new gravel hoops are 'built to last'
Examine any Ritchey product and you’ll quickly see its founder’s thumb print. Tom Ritchey imbues all he designs with a few tried-and-tested principles, such as reliability, durability and plain old common sense. The new hand-built WCS Zeta GX gravel wheels appear to be no different.
Available in both 700c and 650b sizes, these alloy hoops come tubeless ready and feature a generous 25mm inner rim diameter. This makes them perfectly suited for today’s high-volume gravel tyres, with Ritchey suggesting compatibility with rubber between 30 mm and 50mm, which pretty much covers the gamut regardless of the terrain you ride.
This practicality is a recurring theme. The centerlock hubs feature sealed bearings and use a simple ratchet system; they require no tools to service them. They’re laced with 28 j-bend DT Competition spokes front and rear for an ideal blend of strength and weight. Naturally they use brass nipples for their anti-corrosive properties. Freehub options cover Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo.
The WCS Zeta GXs tip the scales at 1,840g (700c) and 1740g (650b) per pair. There are lighter gravel wheelsets of course, but as Ritchey states “strong and dependable” is the end game here.
For more information visit ritcheylogic.com (opens in new tab)
Pirelli's creates sealant for high-pressure situations
One of the knocks on running tubeless on your road bike is that the sealant doesn’t perform so well with the high inflation pressures associated with narrower tyres. Pirelli seeks to make this a thing of the past with the release of its P Zero sealant.
The sealant, which shares the same name as the Italian brand’s line of road tyres, uses a formula specifically created for thin-walled tubeless and TLR tyres as well as tubulars run at higher pressures. Its properties also means the P Zero sealant won’t coagulate if CO2 is used to inflate the tyre - a bonus for riders who favour cartridges over a traditional pump.
Pirelli’s range of sealants doesn’t stop here though. The Cinturato sealant joins the brand’s gravel product range and is designed to work with a much wider range of inflation pressures, from 15 psi to 100 psi according to Pirelli. This appears sensible given the often varied terrain of a ‘gravel’ ride, which can go from road to light grit to rocky singletrack.
While the P Zero formula contains both ammonia and latex, presumably to aid its high-pressure claims, the Cinturato’s ingredients, which are free from both, are far more friendly to both bicycle rim and to those with allergies. As for the longevity of both sealants, Pirelli suggests three and six months before a refill is required, “depending on quantity and weather conditions”.
The P Zero sealant comes in a 60ml, or 2oz, bottle, which Pirelli says is good for at least one 700c tyre up to a 32mm width, while the Cinturato is offered in a larger 125ml / 4.5oz size, which Pirelli states is for “saving space when packing up spares on long adventures”.
For more information visit velo.pirelli.com (opens in new tab)
TICCC's Roam shorts look to blend the technical with the practical
While a good pair of bib shorts are indispensable for most rides longer than a few miles, they can leave you feeling a little exposed if that ride also involves stopping at a café, making camp or generally spending a significant amount of time off the bike. Hence the creation of the cycling overshort.
TICCC’s Roam shorts are a new addition to this expanding category and are for what it describes as “everyday on and off bike adventures.” The unisex fit is “engineered” for the ‘on bike’ activities, but the shorts also feature pockets and belt loops to allow them to look and function like a regular pair - in fact TICCC promote them as shorts that can worn on their own or over bibs, with ergonomic panelling allowing for the latter.
Made from Italian performance fabrics with recycled fibres, the material is designed to allow for freedom of movement as well as being quick drying, with ‘anti-crease’ properties. There’s also a reflective logo on the leg for a spot of low light visibility. All these elements make for what looks like a pair of shorts well-suited to gravel rides, multi-day tours and a two-wheel jaunt to the pub.
The TICCC Roam shorts are available in four colours, storm black, lava grey, space blue and pine green, and sizes from XS to XXL.
For more information visit tic-cc.com (opens in new tab)
Apidura helps you to measure twice so you can buy only once
Choosing the right frame bag for your bike isn’t always as straightforward as it perhaps should be. While most bag brands offer a range of sizes and will advise on which will best fit your bike frame, it’s not an exact science. Internal frame dimensions vary greatly, and then there’s the case of number of bottle cages and placement. To combat these issues, Apidura has launched its own interactive sizing tool.
The online tool, found on Apidura’s website, is simple to use. Simply add a photo of your bike - you’ll need to make sure it's a side-on shot, with the rear wheel at the left - align it as per the instructions and then begin to select various bag’s from the Apidura range, allowing you to create a virtual set-up. From here you can examine the fit of each bag closely.
While it’s not quite the same as getting a custom frame bag made to your specific dimensions, given Apidura’s extensive range it seems likely that you’ll find a bag that not just fits, but fits well. The tool should also reduce the number of bags that need to be exchanged due to a poor fit, which from an environmental standpoint is surely a positive.
Should you prefer to do things the ‘old fashioned’ way, the Apidura website also offers a drop down menu where you can select your bike to reveal a chart that shows all the compatible bags as well as printable templates for you to download.
For more information visit apidura.com (opens in new tab)
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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.
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