I don’t know about the rest of the world, but here in the South West of England the weather just hasn’t played ball this week.
My usual midweek time trial was blighted by a hail storm just as everyone was warming up, and that made for a fairly cold and miserable race. Still, it was fantastic to see a total of 31 riders on the start sheet.
It’s a great relief to see some sunshine today though, as we barrel towards another weekend (although the forecast for Saturday and Sunday is looking pretty abysmal too – it could be a good weekend for a Zwift group ride, if you don’t like riding in the rain).
But, before we down tools for a break, let’s take a look back at another week on BikeRadar.
On the subject of time trials, Canyon announced its latest UCI-legal time trial bike, the Speedmax CFR Disc TT. It’s a great looking bike and no doubt super-fast, but with only one £10,799 / €9,999 build available, I doubt I’ll be seeing too many popping up at local time trials any time soon. This one’s more for the WorldTour pros.
With the Giro d’Italia starting tomorrow, EF Education-Nippo unveiled its latest limited-edition team kit. Dubbed ‘Euphoria’ and made by the team’s clothing sponsor Rapha, it’s designed to “celebrate people from different nations and backgrounds coming together in pursuit of a common goal”.
Colnago also announced that it is auctioning off an NFT artwork of its C64 road bike and other iconic Colnago bikes. The starting price for this digital artwork – which, it’s worth remembering, can be viewed by anyone for free – is €5,515. What are you actually buying then? I’m not entirely sure. Apparently, it’s ownership rights to the digital artwork… I’m happy to admit I don’t have a clue what’s going on here or why anyone would want to spend real money on something like this.
If you haven’t yet spent all your money on digital artwork of a bike, you could instead buy the Lapierre Aircode DRS 8.0. Our senior technical editor for road, Warren Rossiter, published his review of it this week and awarded it a close to perfect score of 4.5. Its RRP is almost a thousand Euros more than the starting price for a Colnago NFT, but then you can actually ride this bike, so arguably it represents slightly better value.
And, with that out of the way, let’s jump into some of the latest tech to land with us this week.
Vittoria Air-Liner tubeless tyre kit
The reality is that there is no ‘best’ solution for every bike and every rider – it depends on your personal choice, riding style and goals – but it’s undoubtedly tubeless tyre tech that’s seeing the majority of the development money thrown at it.
This latest innovation from Vittoria is a foam insert kit that offers a run-flat solution for tubeless road tyres. Tubular tyre proponents have long touted the ability of a tubular to stay attached to the rim in the event of a puncture – both critical for safety and helping to avoid time losses in races – which tubeless tyres couldn’t do, until now, perhaps.
Essentially a smaller version of its MTB Air-Liner tyre insert, the road version is available in sizes to fit 700 x 25mm, 700 x 28mm and 700 x 30mm tubeless tyres. The 700 x 25mm inserts I have for testing weigh 21g each and, according to Vittoria, don’t contribute to any extra rolling resistance.
I will admit to being slightly sceptical of that claim, though – adding any extra material to a tyre system is typically going to add a small amount of rolling resistance (even if the penalty is likely to be tiny in this case).
The kit includes a set of burly tyre pliers, indicating the inserts are going to make installing the tubeless tyres much harder. It’s for this reason I see these as a run-flat protection option for racing rather than day-to-day use. Unless you’re willing to carry the pliers with you on a normal ride, you might not have much luck trying to fix a big puncture by the side of the road.
- RRP £64.99 / $82.99 / €77.49
Start at the End: How Reverse-Engineering Can Lead to Success by Dan Bigham
Dan Bigham of Wattshop and the Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling team has made quite a splash in cycling in recent years.
Starting as an outsider on the British track cycling scene, he and a group of friends took on the Great Britain squad and overcame the enormous funding gap to win a national team pursuit title.
From there, he’s gone from strength to strength, racing track World Cups and working with some of the top professional teams and riders in the sport.
Bigham’s new book, Start at the End: How Reverse-Engineering Can Lead to Success, charts both Bigham’s rise to fame/notoriety and sets out his philosophy for achieving success against the odds.
This isn’t a how-to guide for aerodynamic positioning, training or bike shopping. Instead, it’s more of a look at how to go about achieving your goals by breaking them down and working out exactly what you need to do to bridge the gap.
- RRP £14.99
Santini 365 logo headband
A simple piece of kit, but one that has proved its worth many times over this season already.
Made from elastic cotton, this particular headband fulfils that purpose so well because it’s relatively thin and lightweight, meaning it doesn’t take up excess room in my helmet.
There’s not much else to say about it; it just does its job very well. I would wholeheartedly recommend anyone else who has a similar issue with time trial helmets to try it too.
It’s currently out of stock on Santini but other headband designs are available elsewhere.
- RRP £10