The Week in Tech: Niner gravel, Cycliq connect, Canyon gets Rapha’d, Sagan in Sonoma

Here’s your Week in Tech — all of the gear news you need with none of the marketing gibberish you don’t want.

Niner updates gravel line-up

Niner bikes has updated the gearing ratio, component groups, and tire width compatibility on its RLT 9 gravel range. The main updates are for the RLT 9 RDO, RLT 9 Steel, and RLT 9. These models already came with disc brakes, but now they’re available with Centerlock rotors. The front chainring configuration goes from 46/36 to  50/34. The two-star bikes will receive Shimano Tiagra with hydraulic brakes, three-star bikes have SRAM Rival 22, and all four- and five-star bikes have Shimano Ultegra R8000. All levels will have 38c Schwalbe G-One tires. Both alloy and carbon Niner wheels are taped and valved, but alloy wheelsets will not come with “tubeless ready” tires.


Cycliq shrinks and gets connected

Cycliq’s Fly 12CE and Fly6 CE (CE stands for connected edition) are ANT+ and Bluetooth compatible. The Bluetooth feature allows users to connect to the Cycliq app. Each device gets a wide-angle camera lens, strong lumen strength for the light and a light, trimmed-down package compared to the original Cycliq cameras. Both models feature 1080p HD video at 60 frames per second and a new six-axis stabilization-recording feature for greater footage stability. Cycliq has also developed a new mode called “HomeSafe,” which is activated if the battery dips below 5 percent during operation. The video recording will turn off to save battery power, but the light will continue to function for up to 1.5 hours. The new devices will be available November 30. The Fly12 CE costs $279 and the Fly6 CE costs $179.

Consumers can register their interest for the new devices here.

Louis Garneau’s jacket craves weather apocalypse

The 4 Seasons rain jacket from Louis Garneau has an inner rear pocket to help your essential gear stay dry when stowed. The “Kangaroo stow pocket” is accessible through zippers on both the left and right sides of the jacket. The zippers also double as ventilation. There is also a pocket in the front of the jacket for your phone or wallet. The full-length waterproof front zipper has an inner flap to block moisture. Wrist zippers help secure the jacket over your gloves, and reflective accents are peppered throughout. The jacket is made with a 2-way stretch, 3-ply, waterproof, windproof, and breathable fabric with sealed seams. The 4 Seasons costs $260.


Canyon: Does that come in Rapha?

Canyon and Rapha have collaborated to produce the Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 Aero with a paint scheme and graphics for the Rapha Cycling Club (RCC). Only 50 Canyon bikes will be produced with the RCC paint job. The bike comes with a SRAM Red eTap groupset and a Zipp 404NSW carbon wheelset. (And rim brakes.) The bike costs $9,200 and will be available to only RCC members beginning November 17.

Learn more about Rapha’s RCC program here.

Sagan to ride in Sonoma for fire relief

Three-time world road champion Peter Sagan will be in Sonoma County on November 28 for the Ride for #SonomaPride. The ride will benefit Sonoma Pride, a fundraiser for multiple local relief organizations that are administered by the Kind Ridge Foundation. Two ride distances are available: a 38-mile loop with 1,650 feet of climbing, and a 31-mile loop with 1,100 feet of gain. California Highway Patrol, police, on-bike marshals, moto officials, and sag vehicles will provide basic rider support. There will also be a post-ride party.


Shimano to provide neutral support for RCS races

Shimano and RCS Sport have agreed to a three-year neutral support partnership at several UCI WorldTour races, including the Giro d’Italia. Other events include Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milano-Sanremo, GranPiemonte, Milano-Torino, and Il Lombardia. Vittoria had previously provided neutral support at RCS Sport events.

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The Week in Tech: Fizik winter shoes, Rapha shades, Park Tool grants

Here’s your Week in Tech — all the gear news you need and none of the marketing gibberish you don’t.

Fizik gears up for winter

Fizik’s Artica R5 and X5 shoes feature a Microtex-reinforced outer shell that’s fully waterproof to keep bad weather at bay. Fizik’s internal lacing system cinches down the outer shell around the foot and helps keep moisture out. The outer membrane is breathable as well, and a fleece insole provides warmth. The X5 mountain bike shoe has a carbon-reinforced nylon outsole with rubber treads for grip. The R5 road shoe has a carbon composite outsole for more stiffness. Each pair of shoes costs $200. The R5 weighs 380 grams and the X5 weighs 463 grams (size 42.5 for both). The Artica is only available in men’s fit and sizing. Read more >>

Park Tool accepting applications for community grants

Park Tool’s Community Tool Grant Program helps local non-profit, community-oriented cycling organizations get the bicycle repair products they need. For 2017, Park Tool’s grant program will provide the recipients with over $1,400 in Park Tool products. Some of the products include a professional mechanic tool kit, repair stands, and shop aprons. Applications for next year’s grant are now being accepted and the deadline to submit an application is December 31, 2017. The 10 grant recipients will be announced in mid-January. Read more >>

Do you see what Rapha sees?

Photo: Rapha

Rapha’s Arenberg sunglasses maintain the same shape as the Pro Team Flyweight glasses but add a full frame and lens vents. As you would expect with a high-zoot pair of sunglasses, Rapha opts for Zeiss lenses; a neutral gray/bronze mirror lens is included, while other options are available for additional purchase. And of course, there’s no shortage of frame colors either. The full frame sits flush with the lens to help improve peripheral vision. The glasses will be available for $220; additional lenses can be purchased for $120. Read more >>

Showers Pass wind jacket embraces bad weather

Portland-based Showers Pass’s Ultralight Wind Jacket embraces the winter commute. A PFC-free durable water repellent finish (DWR) sheds light rain while letting excess heat escape. Stretchy and seamless underarm side panels provide a trim fit, and 3M Scotchlite Reflective details are a nod to safety. An asymmetrical zipper ensures the collar won’t be bothersome. The jacket weighs a scant 5.8oz and packs down to smaller than a water bottle. The Ultralight Wind Jacket costs $79 and is available in blue and orange. Read more >>

Turkey time

Gobble gobble. Sock Guy has your Thanksgiving style on lockdown with its turkey-themed socks. Choose from a running turkey, “I ‘heart’ pie,” and a sock covered in gobblers (pictured). The pie and gobblers socks come with a one-inch cuff height, while the turkey design has a two-inch cuff height. The gobbler design costs $11, while the other two designs cost $12 each. Read more >>

Litespeed lightens the load

Litespeed’s new T1sl titanium frame weighs a scant 995 grams for the rim-brake version, with the disc-brake version tipping the scales at 1,175 grams. The company claims it is the lightest handmade production titanium frame on the market. The T1sl is 15 percent lighter than the 2015 T1. A single sheet of 6Al/4V titanium is used to make the top-tube, thus reducing weight and increasing stiffness. Oversized, triple-butted, asymmetric chainstays help to maximize power transfer, according to Litespeed. The PF30 bottom bracket is compatible with virtually every crank on the market. However, the T1sl accepts caliper brakes only. The frame is compatible with internal Di2 and hydraulic brake cable routing. Read more >>

Youth travel award applications due soon

Adventure Cycling Association is now accepting applications through the end of the year for its Greg Siple Award for Youth Bike Travel. The award is open to  18- to 30-year-olds and aims to inspire youth to travel by bike. There are two types of awards: one for those just entering the bike touring world and another for those looking to take the next step. Both awards will go to two recipients. The beginner level Intro to Bike Travel award winners will get outfitted with a touring bicycle from REI and will attend a touring training course. Outdoor Leadership award winners will attend a leadership bike touring training course, get lots of cool equipment, and have the opportunity to take an additional Adventure Cycling self-contained tour. Applications are due by December 31 at midnight EST. Read more >>

Canyon continues U.S. push with Belgian Waffle Ride sponsorship

The seventh edition of the Belgian Waffle Ride is a 235-kilometer all-terrain road ride that corresponds with one of the most grueling races in all of cycling — Paris-Roubaix. The long day is the saddle is filled with Belgian waffles, Moules-frites, and of course, plenty of beer. Canyon has joined the ride as the title sponsor for 2018. The ride takes place in San Marcos, California and registration will open December 1, 2017. Make sure to be on your computer then because registration fills quickly. The entry fee is $160 for the full Canyon Belgian Waffle Ride and $125 for the 68-mile Belgian Wafer Ride. Proceeds from registration fees will help support the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Read more >>

World Bicycle Relief launches year-end campaign

World Bicycle Relief’s (WBR) 2017 year-end fundraising campaign highlights Umoja Secondary School in Eldoret, Kenya, where children of multiple faiths study together. WBR aims to help women, particularly young girls, break down barriers in developing countries in order to get an education. WBR provides bicycles to help students get to and from school in places where there are few other transportation options. Donations are being accepted through December 31, 2017 and will be matched up to $1.7 million.


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The Week in Tech: Canyon and Velofix, Rapha Flyweight, Strava heat map

Here’s the Week in Tech — all the gear news, tips, and announcements you need and none of the marketing gibberish you don’t.

Canyon teams up with Velofix

Canyon’s direct-to-consumer delivery model now includes an option for Velofix delivery and assembly in the U.S. A customer’s new Canyon will be shipped to one of Velofix’s mobile bike shops, assembled, and delivered to the customer’s door. Customers can also have the Velofix mechanic assemble the bike upon arriving at the delivery destination. However, the Velofix delivery option is only available in certain regions.


Rapha jacket leaves room in your pocket

Rapha’s Flyweight Wind Jacket is the newest addition to the company’s Brevet line. The Flyweight is windproof, compact, and super lightweight (2.61 ounces). The jacket folds into itself and packs small enough to be tucked into saddle rails. However, the jacket is not waterproof due to laser-cut perforations under the arms. The jacket is made of ultralight ripstop nylon fabric and costs $175.


100% Speedtraps are Sagan-cool

100% finally released details on the Speedtrap full-frame sunglasses Peter Sagan has been rocking of late. The lens contacts the base of the frame at six points to ensure it is secure. Three-way adjustable temple arms help you get a snug fit. The lens blocks 100 percent of all UVA, UVB, and UVC rays. Slits between the lens and the top of the frame help provide cooling and prevent the lens from fogging. A “Hydroilo” treatment helps repel oil and water and the lens is scratch-resistant. Speedtraps cost between $185-$230 depending on the type of lens and color.


Strava Maps are so hot right now

Strava updated its heat map, which tracks over a billion activities from Strava users. It contains 31 different activities, not just cycling and running. The map allows users to see where the most popular activity spots are throughout the world. Strava first introduced the heat map in 2015, but the recent map has six times more data and shows a wider variety of activities.


Rudy Project tailors to MTB crowd

Rudy Project’s Sintryx glasses are the company’s first mountain bike-specific model. The two-lens frame ensures wraparound coverage, and while there is no direct ventilation between the lens and the frame, the Sintryx frame has ventilation ports on the upper left and right sides. Rudy Project uses a similar ventilation system on its Tralyx sunglasses.  The logo over the nose is actually spring-loaded and releases the bottom of the frame for quick and easy lens swapping. The Sintryx frame comes with a 3-year warranty and costs between $225-$300 depending on lens choice.


Train alongside Team Dimension Data

Pro training camps are right around the corner. In preparation, Team Dimension Data has partnered with Zwift to allow riders to join the team on a variety of group rides and group workouts. Group workouts, a new feature on Zwift, allow riders to do structured training sessions, but the group stays together on the screen regardless of power output. Zwift members can also unlock a Qhubeka bike and Team Dimension Data kit via a charitable donation to Qhubeka. The event will take place November 13-19.

Find the ride on Zwift’s events page >>

Like Orbea, dream big

In celebration of its 100,000th Instagram follower, Orbea is giving away a dream bike. To enter the Orbea Instagram Challenge, use Orbea’s MyO customization platform to design your dream bike. Then enter the bike into the competition via the Orbea promotional page.  (And of course, follow Orbea on Instagram.) The entry deadline is December 26. On January 9, the top 16 vote-getters will enter a single-elimination tournament to determine who gets the bike of their dreams. The grand prize winner will be announced on January 31.


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The Week in Tech: Argonaut disc, ENVE M Series 2.0, Chain drama

Here’s your Week in Tech — all the gear news you need and none of the marketing gibberish you don’t.

Argonaut tailors to discs and wide tires

Oregon-based Argonaut Cycles has updated its road disc frame to better accommodate 30mm and 32mm tires. Each custom-built road disc frame features molded carbon dropouts designed to work with Mavic’s Speed Release thru-axle. They’ve also redesigned the carbon lay-up throughout the frame to strengthen stress points specific to disc-equipped bikes. A “test flight” program in the San Francisco area allows potential customers to test the bike in any size before ordering one to their specifications.


Enve fights flats with M Series wheels

The first generation of Enve’s M Series hit the scene in 2014. Off-road riding has changed since then, so Enve changed too. The updated M Series encompasses four main categories: cross-country, trail, enduro, and downhill. Each category gets an expanded rim width in order to accommodate high-volume tires. The trail and enduro wheels have three different rim width options (25, 30, and 35 millimeters internal). Furthermore, Enve claims its hookless bead system (and incorporated rim strip on enduro and downhill wheels) virtually eliminate pinch-flats. The new hookless bead rims Should allow riders to run lower air pressure while protecting against impacts that normally cause pinch flats. The cross-country wheelset (M525) and enduro wheelsets (M630, 635, 640) start at $2,800. The enduro wheelsets (M730, 735, 735E) and downhill wheelset (M930) start at $2,900.


Low-friction battle: CeramicSpeed responds to Muc-Off

When Muc-Off released its new NanoTube chain, the company claimed the NanoTube was 10 watts more efficient than CeramicSpeed’s UFO chain. But  CeramicSpeed is fighting back with its own statement that says Muc-Off’s testing does not account for the “slacking effect,” which occurs when the chain “slacks” or slightly unloads as it snakes through the rear derailleur. Thus, CeramicSpeed contends Muc-Off’s claims are misleading. Which chain is faster? We have yet to see any independent testing on either chain, but more competition is always a good thing.

Bike shop compressor in your pocket?

MilKit inflates tubeless tires in seconds while out on the trail. The company’s first foray into the tubeless arena was a valve system that made refilling sealant quick and easy while allowing the tire to stay seated on the rim. The addition of the booster to MilKit’s arsenal means you’ll be able to reseal and reseat your tubeless tires anywhere. The mini-compressor can be charged with a normal tire pump. The booster recently met its crowdfunding goal and is ready to move forward with production.


Scott’s new kicks have sights set on the racecourse

Scott’s top-of-the-line carbon mountain and road shoes have gotten a makeover and Scott claims they have the best stiffness-to-weight ratio on the market. The new line includes two road models and two mountain bike models. For road, the lightweight RC SL has an eye on the racecourse, while the  RC Ultimate focuses more on all-day comfort and affordability. Scott partnered with Carbitex to create an upper that takes advantage of carbon’s high-tensile strength and low elongation properties into a flexible form. This allows the upper to be both lightweight and stiff, while still conforming to the foot. A Boa closure system helps limit foot movement within the shoe. The RC SL road version weighs 245 grams, while the RC Ultimate is 10 grams heavier.


Say hi to the Mayans on Zwift

Zwift’s Mayan Expansion adds new terrain to its platform. The Mayan course runs about eight miles, but it is only open to riders that have reached level 10 or higher. It is the first-time Zwift has released an expansion with an unlocking requirement. Fret not: Riders who haven’t reached level 10 can access the Mayan Expansion by participating in an official Zwift event that utilizes the expansion.


Little Bellas has a grin for you

Little Bellas offers mentoring and empowerment to young girls through cycling. That puts a grin on our faces, so it’s fitting that the organization is selling a limited-edition Smile for a Mile poster. You can pre-order the 18×24 print now; Little Bellas expects delivery to begin December 1. Only 100 prints will be sold for $20 each, so jump on this one quick.


Free stuff alert: Backcountry Lifeline

Backcountry Lifeline and the 139 Fund have teamed up to offer over $9,000 in giveaways, including the chance to win a Specialized Levo Comp 6Fattie e-bike. Backcountry Lifeline offers first-aid training for mountain bikers and race organizers. The nonprofit 139 Fund was founded in honor of Will Olson, who died in 2015 at the Big Mountain Enduro/Enduro World Series in Crested Butte, Colorado. A ticket for the giveaway is a $10 donation to the 139 Fund.


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Week in Tech: Breadwinner G-Road, raining cats and dogs, Skratch bars

Here’s your Week in Tech — all the gear news you need, and none of the marketing gibberish you don’t.

It’s raining cats and dogs

French apparel company Café du Cycliste’s cats and dogs design now appears on a pair of its rain pieces. The Charlotte soft shell rain jacket and Josette short-sleeve rain jersey are the only pieces on the company’s line that have the unique design. The jacket’s waterproof breathable membrane is layered with two lightweight fabrics, resulting in a piece that Café du Cycliste says fits more like a long sleeve jersey. It also comes in a women’s cut and costs $276. The jersey, just available in men’s cut, has a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatment and a performance cut. A breathable interior membrane provides insulation from the rain but helps prevent overheating. The special dogs and cats jersey costs $204.


Breadwinner groads so hard

BreadWinner Cycles gets in the gravel game with the limited edition G-Road. The rig comes with 650b wheels and an IGLE steel fork. It was designed with off-roading in mind, with a sloping top tube and a 36mm head tube. Of course, it is disc-brake and thru-axle-equipped. As with all BreadWinner Cycles, each bike is made to order and the sizing is custom to the buyer. The bike comes stock with a SRAM Force drivetrain, but updates to Red and eTap are available for a little extra dough. The G-Road costs $6,395.


Hunt introduces mixed-depth wheelset

Hunt’s 3650 Carbon Wide Aero clincher wheelset takes advantage of a 36-millimeter front wheel depth, while the rear is 50mm deep. Mixed-depth wheelsets have become a trend, capitalizing on different strength and aerodynamic capabilities specific to front and rear wheels. The wheels are not disc-equipped but do come tubeless-ready. The 19-millimeter-wide rims work with a 23mm tire, but Hunt recommends a 25-millimeter tire or larger. You can preorder the wheelset now; deliveries will begin November 2. The pair weighs 1477 grams and costs $1,292.


A bar for any time

Skratch Labs now offers an Anytime energy bar made with fruits, nuts, and quinoa.  Skratch claims they have 50 percent less sugar than leading national energy bar brands. They are also non-GMO, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and kosher. Three flavors are available — chocolate chips and almonds, cherries and pistachios, and ginger and miso. A single bar is $2.65 or you can order a 12-pack for $30.


A shoe for indoor adventures

As winter approaches, the call of the trainer gets louder and louder. So Garneau and Reebok have collaborated on a shoe designed for indoor riding. The Actifly focuses on breathability because, without the breeze of the outdoors and increased humidity, sweat tends to build up. The top of the shoe mainly uses a mesh fabric to allow more air onto the foot. The mesh includes anti-bacterial and anti-odor treatments that also help with quick drying. The nylon/fiberglass outsole helps maintain power through the pedal stroke. The shoe is available in both men’s and women’s fits and is compatible with SPD cleats and most road cleats. The pair costs $110.


Silca lightens up

Silca has reintroduced its ratchet and torque kit and made it even lighter. Perhaps those small torque wrenches were just too heavy for our skinny cyclist arms. The torque beam allows you to measure 2-8Nm in three separate scales, so it is easier to find the right torque setting. The kit comes with a multitude of interchangeable hex bits (2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm), three Torx bits (T10, T20, T25) and a 2-millimeter Phillips screw bit. It also includes an extendable rachet. The kit costs $99.


Bike box vs. bike bag

Scicon has introduced a neat new feature that helps you decide how to pack your bike for your next adventure. The infographic walks you through five main components to help you decide the best way to travel with your bike: cardboard bike box, soft shell bike case, or a hard shell bike case. You’ll end up with a final result based on the level of protection, portability, packability, durability, and price.


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