As Rebecca Black once put it, “It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday. Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend.”
As usual, that means it’s time for another edition of First Look Friday, a weekly round-up of the latest tech to arrive at BikeRadar’s office.
This week, we’ve got plenty of exciting and innovative new products to show you, but before we get on to that, let’s have a quick round-up of the news and reviews from the week just gone.
Though official details are scant, we spotted a new track bike from Canyon on social media. Freezing the video at just the right moment reveals this is the Canyon Speedmax Track, the German brand’s first official track bike since 2014.
We’re hoping to see a little more of it at this week’s 2022 Track World Championships, among a host of other cutting-edge (expensive) bikes. As always, our eyes are peeled for any new or exciting bits of tech.
If you’re looking for a new bike computer, but aren’t sure which to plump for in an increasingly crowded market, then our guide to Wahoo vs Garmin bike computers is essential reading.
Once you’ve digested that, head over to our round-up of the best bike computers, for our list of the top-rated models.
One bike computer that unfortunately won’t be making that list, though, is the Beeline Velo 2. Our technical writer, Oscar Huckle, brought us his review of it this week, but hit-and-miss navigation and some unfortunate limitations appear to prevent it from delivering on its promising concept.
Limits BIA power meter
Priced at £229, the Limits BIA is one of the cheapest power meters you can buy.
That aside, the Limits BIA is also promised to be easy to install on any bike, because it sandwiches between a set of standard pedals and your left crank.
This does mean a significant increase your stance width, though. An 18.5mm spacer is included for the right pedal, meaning there’s a total increase in stance width of 37mm.
The Limits BIA power meter has a claimed accuracy rating of +/- 2 per cent, although given its low price, it’s no surprise to see the Limits BIA is a left-only power meter.
As with all one-sided power meters, this means it measures the power output of one leg and doubles it to estimate your total power output.
Claimed battery life sits at 80+ hours from two replaceable SR44 coin cell batteries, and the Limits BIA power meter can transmit data via ANT+ or Bluetooth.
On our scales, the Limits BIA power meter weighs a paltry 47g. Including the right-side pedal spacer adds an additional 45g, for a total of 92g.
HED Vanquish RC6 Performance wheelset
In the rim-brake era, HED stuck doggedly to alloy rims with carbon fairings for its clincher and tubeless-ready wheels.
Today’s disc brake hegemony has seen full-carbon clincher rims rolled out as part of the Vanquish range, though.
The Vanquish RC6 Performance is part of HED’s more-value focused series of aerodynamic disc-brake wheels.
It uses the same rim shapes as wheelsets in HED’s flagship Vanquish RC Pro range, but employs heavier and cheaper materials, hubs and spokes to bring the price down to a more affordable level.
HED says the rims are handmade at its headquarters in Minnesota, USA, using a “patented, wind tunnel-sculpted, 61mm-deep rim profile”.
This wheelset, HED says, is best suited to “the marauding solo break specialist or triathlon courses with a good dose of climbing”.
The rims are hooked and tubeless-ready, and have an external width of 30.6mm combined with an internal width of 21mm.
HED specs its own GP Performance hubs, while Sapim supplies 24 J-bend CX-Sprint spokes front and rear, laced in a two-cross pattern.
Claimed weight for the wheelset is 1,720g, but on our scales it comes in slightly lighter at 1,705g (795g front, 910g rear, with tubeless rim tape).
The HED Vanquish RC6 Performance wheelset costs £1,199.99 / $1,750.
Challenge Criterium RS tyres
First spotted at Eurobike 2022, it has a 350 TPI (Threads Per Inch) Corespun Cotton casing, for low weight and exceptional suppleness.
The Criterium RS uses Challenge’s new SmartPrime rubber compound, which Challenge claims makes it “one of the lowest rolling-resistance tyres on the market”.
Similar to other open tubular-type tyres, the Challenge Criterium RS is handmade and is not vulcanised. Challenge says this brings performance advantages in the form of lower rolling resistance and better comfort.
The Challenge Criterium RS uses a tubeless-ready construction, with a Zylon bead that is said to be compatible with hookless rims, in line with the latest ETRTO standards.
Designed for road racing and time trials, the Criterium RS is available in 700 x 25c or 700 x 27c sizes, with either white or black side walls.
Claimed weight for a 700 x 25c tyre is 225g, but our size 700 x 27c sample (with white sidewalls) tips the scales at just over 263.5g (average of two tyres).
The Challenge Criterium RS costs €69.59 per tyre, but can also be purchased as part of a kit that includes two 27c tyres and two 65ml bottles of Challenge Smart tubeless sealant, for €122.95.
Rudy Project Egos helmet
The Egos is Rudy Project’s latest high-end road helmet.
The Egos uses a dual-density EPS foam construction, which Rudy Project claims enables greater ventilation, comfort and shock absorption compared to standard EPS foam.
The Egos doesn’t contain a MIPS liner, but Rudy Project nevertheless says it performs its own internal rotational impact tests to ensure safety and protection in this critical area.
A Fidlock magnetic buckle system, which is claimed to be faster to use and safer than standard buckles, is there to secure the helmet, while at the rear, Rudy Project’s own adjustable RSR11 retention system enables precise fit adjustments.
Claimed weight for a size medium Egos helmet is 250g, and our sample (in ‘matte blue’) weighs 255g.
The Rudy Project Egos helmet is available in ‘matte blue’, black or white. It costs €209.90.