Tech round up: fizik shoes, new Chapter 2 aero road bike, Strava updates – plus a heavy helping of new kit and on-the-bike bags
This week we have the new fizik Terra Atlas shoes; Chapter 2's Koko bike; new MAAP, Alé, and CHPT3 kit; plus new bags from Chrome and Restrap
It's been a busy week of releases with fizik bringing out its new Terra Atlas two-bolt mixed-terrain shoe, along with scores of new kit releases and a clutch of new on-the-bike bags. To top it all, New Zealand based brand Chapter 2 has just released its brand new Koko road bike. There's a lot to get through, so let's jump straight in...
fizik Terra Atlas mixed terrain shoe
Replacing fizik’s well regarded Terra X5, the new Terra Atlas is designed as a versatile all-rounder that can be taken onto singletrack, gravel and even endurance road rides.
To provide better traction in soft conditions, the Terra Atlas have been given more generous lugs, while a tackier rubber should provide better grip on hard and unyielding surfaces, such as wet rocks.
Of course, most fundamental to any cycling shoe intended to go the distance is their performance on the bike, rather than off: to balance pedalling efficiency with comfort, a Nylon footplate is used in favour of a stiffer carbon one.
Just a single Boa dial is employed, which keeps the costs down and could make adjustments a little quicker to execute. However, with the model fitted being the L6, this dial can only tighten in millimetre increments. To back off the tension, it does need to be fully released, then retightened.
We’ll whisper it, but with the benefits of speedier clipping in and easier to movement off the bike – not to mention more durable cleats – off-road / gravel / two-bolt shoes can be really quite nice for endurance road riding that doesn't leave the tarmac.
The Terra Atlas is available in four colours: Grey/Black, Pink/Grape, Black/Black & Army and can be bought from all fizik stockists for $159/ £159/ €159. More information can be found over on fizik’s website here.
Chapter 2 Koko bike
Koko means “to soar, fly” in Maori and so is an apt name for New Zealand based Chapter 2’s new aero bike. It bears all the hallmarks of a frame designed to go fast, with an arcing seat tube shielding the rear tyre; a beefy downtube that swoops inwards towards the head tube to better accommodate the front tyre; and a fully integrated cockpit tucking the cables out of sight.
It’s also seen a more novel approach to increase the comfort. Dropped seatpost clamps to allow more flex are nothing new, but Chapter 2 has designed theirs to be set in two distinct positions, allowing you to tune the level of compliance to your needs – a little like some of Trek’s IsoSpeed designs.
The frame only uses Japanese-made Toray carbon fibre and is available in six sizes, all the way from XXS up to XL. In a size medium the claimed weight is 1,139g while the uncut fork and seatpost are claimed to weigh 420g and 135g, respectively.
Able to accommodate up to 32mm wide tyre and with a threaded T47 bottom bracket, the Koko offers a certain degree of versatility. However, with a plain black frameset costing $3,549 / £3,199, it’s not exactly the kind of bike you’d want to plough through a winter's riding.
More information on the Koko – and the rest of range – can be found on Chapter 2's website here.
Strava 3D map layer (new to mobile)
Strava has provided 3D mapping on its website for a little while, but now it's extending that functionality to mobile for both iOS and Android operating systems.
The update, which dropped last night, should help athletes better visualise the terrain to make informed routing decisions on the go. Whether that’s seeking out the toughest climbs for a hard workout, or winding a steadier way home.
It combines with Strava’s recent Points of Interest feature addition, to making it easier to find local viewpoint and weave them in to your routes. 3D maps can be found by going into the Routes or Record tab, or by clicking into any activity map. It’s not free for all athletes, as Strava wishes to provide greater "added value" to their subscribers.
You can find out more on Strava's 'what's new' page here.
MAAP + The Arrivals
Australian apparel brand, MAAP, has this week released its new collaboration with New York based outwear brand, The Arrivals.
The range includes packable jackets, cargo bib shorts, Polartec Ride Tees and abrasion resistant socks, with colour palettes “reminiscent of the earthy rolling plains of the desert”.
Jeffrey Johnson, Co-Founder of The Arrivals. “From the onset, the ambition of The Arrivals + MAAP Alt_Road collaboration has been to push that evolution forward, blurring the lines between sport and culture to create truly innovative products for all conditions OutThere.”
More information can be found on MAAP’s website, along with the kit itself. But if you’re interested then be quick: there’s only a limited quantity available.
Alé's 2022 Spring-Summer kit collection
Alé has unveiled its 2022 Spring-Summer kit collection, which sees a focus on “technicality, aerodynamics, sustainability and, of course, colours.”
The range is split into five distinct product lines:
R-EV1: The most innovative and highest-tech kit
PR-S: Alé’s second-tier performance line, designed for speed
PR-R: Low environmental impact and featuring original designs
SOLID: Focus on practicality, comfort and versatility
GRAVEL: Specifically tailored designs for the rigours of off-road riding
Pictured above, starting top left and going clockwise, we have the Scottish Jersey and Stones Carbo bib shorts from the gravel line, with the former blending “the comfort of a t-shirt with the technicality of a true bike jersey”, while the latter is constructed from a durable Sapphire fabric and, naturally, comes with side pockets
Next, from the R-EV1 line, there is the Velocity Jersey, which uses “cutting-edge graphene technology” and the Velocity HD2 Shorts, made with wind tunnel tested side panels to “ensure minimal air friction”.
Part of the environmentally focused PR-R collection, the Green Speed jersey and shorts use 90% GRS (Global Recycle Standard) approved fabric. And finally, from the Solid line, the Mexico Jersey is designed for “any type of riding” and to handle “very high temperatures”.
More details and the rest of the range can be found on Alé’s website here.
CHPT3’s new indoor clothing range
This week CHPT3, the cycling lifestyle brand founded by ex-pro David Millar, has launched its new Studio Collection of indoor training kit designed by women, for women.
With Ella Tomkins, CHPT3’s Head of Design, leading the development, the focus was to produce a range that performs equally well in on- and off-the-bike training sessions – as well as being subtle enough to wear to and from the gym and as “athleisure" wear.
To that end, the shorts and crop top with an integrated bra both feature quick wicking materials, while the padding of the shorts is designed to provide cushioning but without being so bulky as to be noticeable. Its low profile should help in more dynamic off-the-bike sessions, such as yoga.
For day-to-day use, the shorts include a small pocket for a gym card or locker key, while the SL Training Top provides a flowing extra layer. More information can be found on CHPT3’s website over here.
Technogym Ride: all-in-one smart bike
Technogym, a home and commercial gym equipment manufacturer of nearly 40 years, launched this week its own all-in-one smart bike. It puts itself in competition with both dedicated cycling smart bikes, from the likes of Wahoo, Tacx and Stages, and machines aimed at would-be gym goers who have now taken to training at home.
The bike comes with a built-in 22-inch screen, offering direct access to apps including Zwift, Strava ROUVY, TrainingPeak, Kinomap and Bkool – as well as entertainment apps such as Netflix and Eurosport.
It also offers many of the features we now expect from turbo trainers and smart bikes, such as gradient simulation up to 15%, simulated gear changes and displaying right-left power balance. It’s said to be able to offer resistance from 0 to 1,000 watts in 0.5 seconds.
In terms of the fit, you can vary the crank length between 170, 172.5 and 175mm, which is a little on the long side, but still equal with that of the Tacx Neo 2T Smart Bike and better than the WattBike Atom which only offers the single 170mm length. Heights can be accommodated between 155cm and 205cm (5”1’ – (6”9’).
The Q factor is notably wide at 170mm. A typical road bike has a Q factor of around 146mm, while the Tacx Neo 2T Smart Bike is 147mm, Wahoo’s Kickr Bike is 150mm and the Stages Bike is 157mm. For context with a gravel bike, the Q factor is 151mm, but standard Shimano SPD pedals tend to be 3mm wider than their road pedals, so that’s effectively the same as a 157mm Q factor with road pedals.
Pricing stands at £3,990, which does make quite expensive for a smart bike, however there is the option to pay it off in £99.75 monthly payments. Currently, there’s no information on US availability. For more information, check out Technogym’s website here.
New Restrap Rear Top Tube Bag
Yorkshire-based bikepacking bag brand, Restrap, has just released a new rear top tube bag for maximising storage capacity. Designed to fit where the seat tube meets the top tube, it provides 0.8L of additional storage and uses a simple zip closure for one-handed access.
The Rear Top Tube Bag uses 100% waterproof textured nylon, with a bright orange lining to make it easier to find smaller items, and is finished with vegan-friendly PU leather Restrap label.
It’s available now and pricing stands at £34.99 / $52.99. For more information, you can visit Restrap’s website here.
Chrome Industries expands Tensile collection
Urban appeal and city bag brand, Chrome Industries has expanded its Tensile collection of rucksacks and hip packs. Pictured above and starting from the left, we have the Tensile Trail Hydro Pack, priced at £140. It offers a 16 litre capacity with a durable roll top construction. Inside, there are two zipped pockets for organisation, while the two exterior side pockets are designed for water bottles. Should you need further hydration, it’s also compatible with most hydration bladders up to 2 litres
Next, is Chrome’s Tensile Ruckpack, priced at £160 / $175. This boast a capacity of 25 litres and utilises a drawcord and hooded flap for its closure system. There’s a wide variety of organisation pockets, as well as a padded laptop sleeve designed for 15” laptops.
Finally, there is the Tensile Hip Pack, coming in at (£90 / $100), which can always be worn cross body, sling style, like a mini messenger bag. It’s got waterproof YKK zippers to keep out the range and internal divider pockets for keeping your kit organised.
For more details on the range, check out Chrome Industries' website over here.
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After winning the 2019 National Single-Speed Cross-Country Mountain Biking Championships and claiming the plushie unicorn (true story), Stefan swapped the flat-bars for drop-bars and has never looked back.
Since then, he’s earnt his 2ⁿᵈ cat racing licence in his first season racing as a third, completed the South Downs Double in under 20 hours and Everested in under 12.
But his favourite rides are multiday bikepacking trips, with all the huge amount of cycling tech and long days spent exploring new roads and trails - as well as histories and cultures. Most recently, he’s spent two weeks riding from Budapest into the mountains of Slovakia.
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