As we near the start of spring in the northern hemisphere, the product launch Jack-in-the-box has been winding up with a sumptuous serving of content on BikeRadar.
Before we unveil a quintet of tasty tech trinkets, let’s take a look at this week’s site highlights.
Digital writer Jack Evans brought us an exciting look at Rane Roatta’s unique gravel race rig. The fruit seller uses a Cannondale Topstone Lefty with a conversation-starting 200mm stem and scantily narrow 26cm handlebars.
Editor-in-chief George Scott prowled the Strade Bianche start-pen and brought us a delicious round-up of the tech the pros were riding at this year’s race.
We also took a first look at the Shimano Cues U8000 11-speed groupset.
Our Bike of the Week was the Colnago V4Rs. Tom Boonen says the “old-school bike” is 2km/h slower than those Tadej Pogaçar’s rivals ride. The UAE Team Emirates star won Wednesday’s Paris-Nice on the V4Rs and Colnago invited Boonen to test ride it. Let us know in the comments who you think is right.
On the mountain bike front, Focus unveiled its Raven hardtail with a 120mm suspension fork and Thok released its new Gram carbon electric mountain bike. Audi also TT’d into the cycling world with a new electric mountain bike.
Now, let’s take a look at this week’s swag grab.
CeramicSpeed bearing kit for Campagnolo ProTech
When Campagnolo announced its Ekar gravel groupset, the Italian brand introduced the ProTech bottom bracket system.
ProTech sees additional sealing and a sleeve connecting the cups to further protect against the dirt that’s more likely to work its way in with gravel riding.
Campagnolo says it plans to adopt this standard for all new products, moving away from Ultra-Torque.
You can’t officially run an Ultra-Torque bearing on a ProTech crank because Campagnolo says it won’t have sufficient sealing.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe CeramicSpeed is the first brand to bring out an aftermarket option.
This bearing kit is designed to be used with the original Campagnolo bottom bracket cups and features CeramicSpeed’s coated bearings.
CeramicSpeed says this is a metallic layer that covers the bearing races, making them 75 per cent harder than steel. The brand claims this provides even lower friction, as well as being highly resistant to corrosion, to the point where CeramicSpeed offers a lifetime warranty on them.
This represents my first time venturing into the world of ceramic bearings and I’ll be interested to see how they fare on my Niner RLT 9 RDO.
- $449 / €379
Troy Lee Designs Flowline SE MIPS helmet
The Flowline SE MIPS helmet is Troy Lee Designs’ new trail mountain bike helmet.
It takes design cues from the brand’s premium A3 helmet, with its use of dual-density EPS to handle high- and low-speed impacts, as well as the magnetic FidLock closure.
The Flowline SE MIPS uses a MIPS B32 system and a soft antimicrobial liner is sandwiched between the liner and your head.
There’s an adjustable, three-position screwless visor, as well as 14 ventilation ports to keep your head suitably cool.
The Flowline SE MIPS helmet has earned a 5-star rating in independent tests conducted by Virginia Tech’s Helmet Lab.
The helmet is available in three sizes – XS/S, M/L and XL/2XL.
It’s also available in 10 colours, so you can match it to your bike and kit. I’ve opted for the unassuming Stealth-Black colourway.
- £140 / $159.99
Garmin Index S2 Smart Scales
If a simple set of bathroom scales doesn’t do it for you, Garmin’s Index S2 Smart Scales may prove just the ticket.
Not only do the S2 scales measure your weight, they can tell you your body fat percentage, skeletal muscle mass, bone mass and body water percentage.
However, if all this data would send you into information overload, you can disable the function and just use the Index 2 as a rather extravagant set of scales.
The scales feature built-in WiFi, so weigh-ins are synced instantly to the Garmin Connect app. If you also use a Garmin Edge bike computer or smartwatch, you’ll have all your data in one place.
The batteries are said to last up to nine months and you can add up to 16 other users.
If you weigh yourself regularly, the Index S2 scales will give you a weight trend over the past 30 days.
The scales are available in black or white.
- £129.99 / $149.99 / €149.99 / AU$259
Wizard Works Wiz Viz Lil Presto Barrel Bag
A number of the BikeRadar team and members of my gravel club like to run bar bags on rides, so it’s high time I join the bandwagon to see what all the fuss is about.
Part of Wizard Works’ winter collection, this unassuming-looking bag is a reflective version of its Lil Presto Barrel Bag.
Made in London, the bag is produced from a combination of two German-made black Cordura fabrics. Wizard Works says the hardshell construction offers improved stability and one-handed access. The YKK Aquaguard zip is said to protect you from the elements.
The bag houses a 2.15-litre volume main compartment, with two side pockets for things such as used bar or gel wrappers.
There’s even a daisy chain on the front of the bag, which WizardWorks says you can clip a front light to or dangle a mug from.
The included Voile Nano attachment straps are claimed to not mark carbon handlebars.
Optional foam spacers and a shoulder strap can be purchased separately.
The Wiz Viz Lil Presto Barrel Bag can also function as a saddlebag when using the Simple Shoulder Strap and two Voile Nano straps together.
I’ve used the bag on two gravel rides so far, one of which was a 100km all-day epic. My first impressions of the bag are it’s excellent – it performs as claimed and the Voile Nano straps are simple to use with no rattling.
- Wizard Works Wiz Viz Lil Presto Barrel Bag – £70
- Foam Spacers – £6.50
- Simple Shoulder Strap – £7.50
Tubolito S-Tubo inner tubes
Tubolito offers an extensive range of inner tubes made of TPU, as opposed to the butyl rubber used in conventional tubes.
This week, the brand launched an updated range of tubes with black valves, as opposed to the orange ones available before.
The S-Tubo is an even lighter offering than tubes found in Tubolito’s standard range. It has a reduced wall thickness and Tubolito says the tubes have a comparable rolling resistance to latex tubes.
Tubolito only recommends the S-Road tubes be used with disc-brake bikes, because they are more prone to harm from heat during prolonged braking.
The S-Road tube is designed to fit 700c tyres between 18 and 32mm, and has a 60mm valve height. On our Scales of Truth, it weighs in at a feathery 22g.
- £29.99 / $37.90 / €34.95