Tech Roundup: An Anime Ostro, El Sonder's first ever gravel bike, and tech that could end car door crashes

Christmas is looming - could these bikes be a present to yourself?

three bikes and a van grid
(Image credit: Factor, El Camino, Basso, Ford)

The time between Black Friday and Christmas can often be a quiet one when it comes to new product releases, but that doesn't mean it has been a dull week in the cycling tech world.

Sonder has entered the e-bike market for the first time, and Ford has shown off some new tech that could help prevent dreaded car door crashes. Meanwhile, both Factor and Basso have been busy bringing an extra bit of design flare to existing models ahead of the holidays. Let's take a look.

Factor Hatsune Miku Colaboration

Factor is rocking the bike scene with a growing collection of special edition bikes. Back at Rouleur Live, we took a look at its collaboration with Paul Smith, but now the Factor Ostro VAM and Factor Hanzo have both received an Anime-inspired makeover.

Factor

(Image credit: Factor)

As the sponsor of JCL Team UKYO, Factor Bikes is celebrating the team's two Japanese national champions (Masaki Yamamoto, the Japanese National Road Race Champion and Yuma Koishi, the Japanese Time Trial Champion) with bikes featuring unique colorways inspired by the imagery of the renowned Japanese virtual singer Hatsune Miku.

Factor

(Image credit: Factor)

For a limited time Factor is making the frames available for purchase, though it will set you back $6,599.00 for the Hanzo, and $5,799.00 for the Ostro VAM. They're certainly a statement, but could you see yourself owning a bike like this?

El Camino's first e-bike

Alpkit's in-house bike brand, Sonder, has released the El Camino gravel bike, marking its first foray into the world of e-bikes. The bike is a product of two years of research and development to electrify the Camino gravel bike, which won our editor's choice award back in 2020.

Sonder El Camino

(Image credit: Sonder)

Similar to its non-electric counterpart, the El Camino features confidence inspiring geometry aimed at long distance exploration riding. In terms of power, the El Camino uses the latest Kynamic BC250 system. The 250 watt rear hub drive motor can provide up to 45nm of force, and has a real-life range of 70km when riding is 100% assisted.

Sonder El Camino

(Image credit: Sonder)

Build options range from a flat bar Sram Apex system at £2,699, all the way up to a Sram Force 1 build which comes in at £3,399. For more information, check out the Alpkit website.

Ford's car door tech

Ford's popular Transit Custom and Tourneo Custom van lines can now be fitted with 'exit warning' technology, which has been designed to reduce the amount of 'dooring' incidents in urban areas.

These incidents can occur when drivers open the doors of their vehicles without noticing that bicycles, scooters, or motorcycles are approaching, oftentimes resulting in nasty impacts.

bike swerving to avoid opening van door

(Image credit: Ford)

The system uses radar and external sensors to identify when an opening door may cause a collision, and activate both an alert on the dashboard, as well as indicator lights to alert both driver and rider.

General manager of Ford Pro Europe, Hans Schep, commented:

 “Vans are the lifeblood of our cities. We know that dropping off hundreds of parcels a day can be difficult and demanding for delivery drivers – especially at this time of year. By offering Exit Warning on the all-new Transit Custom, we are aiming to make journeys safer for Ford Pro drivers and other road users as well.”

We think this is a real step forward - our roads are busier than ever, and anything that helps make sharing them safer, is a win!

Basso's Signature Series

Italian bike brand Basso has announced a limited time only Signature series ahead of Christmas. Partnering with Shimano, Fulcrum, and CeramicSpeed, the brand is offering exclusive build options on both its Diamante and Diamante SV road bikes.

Basso Signature series

(Image credit: Basso)

The Capsule collection, Basso says, features frames built with a "uniquely intricate painting production process, making each piece a rare embodiment of craftsmanship."

Basso Signature series

(Image credit: Basso)

Basso is calling this first run of bikes 'Act 1' so we expect that more colourways will be available, potentially in the new year. That said - why wait, the tan and silver frame colourway, mixed with tan walls and black finishing kit is a real winner!

For more information, visit the Basso website.

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