With famous events, racing personalities and bike gear to call upon, the cycling world offers fertile ground for April Fools' day tomfoolery.
We've already had some crackers through this year, so here's a round up of nonsense from brands trying to pull the wool over our eyes. We'll be adding to it as we go.
Hope Infinite Adjustment hub
Hope's latest hub claimed to be a solution to the ever-growing number of hub axle 'standards' on the market. Inspired by original Reebok 'pump' shoes, these new Infinite Adjustment hubs feature an expanding air cylinder inside the hub.
According to Hope, the 'Barometric Uni-Laterally Level Structured Horizontal Internal Tube' (what acronym does that create?) forms the basis for the patented design. Users are advised to simply inflate their hubs to the desired width, anywhere from 130 to 200mm.
Of course, Hope are well-aware that the wheel will need to be rebuilt with different spokes pending on your hub pressure and so according to the release are currently working on an elastic spoke too. Either way, we applaud Hope for having a dig at what is becoming a ridiculous problem in the industry.
Wahoo Fitness Plugg'r - Bluetooth body tracker
Claiming to the world's first Bluetooth 4.0 enabled suppository motion sensor, Wahoo Fitness may be onto something here. According to the release, the PLUGGR can measure and track your heart rate, motion, body temperature, and digestive regularity.
Hilarious features include digestive health tracking; vibration alerts from calls, texts and emails; and a mystery "race mode".
Silca launches personal support drone program
We kinda wish this one was true. Who knows, it probably will be in a few short years. Why bother with a saddle bag when you can have your own drone buzzing about?
"The idea came to us after somebody showed up on the group ride with an EPS/Dogma and what had to be a 3 Liter seat pack, it looked like he was going camping' said SILCA sales director David Hallander. 'Everybody has that story about the time they had six flats and ran out of CO2, yet modern frames and the 'Pro' aesthetic keep us packing as minimally as possible.
Short of an autonomous follow car that you could also climb into when you were shelled, the drone seemed like the most logical solution, not to mention those Google people have patents..lots of them! Anyway, you can have a flat and be back on the road in about five minutes using the practical frame pump, plus everybody can throw their tools into it at the beginning of the ride so you can support an entire group,' said Hallander.
Fabian Cancellara's Monument by Spartacus fragrance
The best April Fools' japes are ones that are almost believable and the idea of a Fabian Cancellara fragrance is just that. According to the Trek press office, Monument by Spartacus is a “bold new fragrance [that] brings the essence of a world champion, for the first time, to bedrooms, nightclubs, and locker rooms around the world”.
Apparently years in development, the fragrance embodies (or would if it were real) “passion, courage, and the roar of the Lion of Flanders with deep, full-bodied base notes of Spartacus' native Alpine Androsace, nutmeg, freshly turned earth, and oak moss. The top notes of Arenberg cobblestone, podium flowers, frites, and clementine enrich not just the aroma but also the spirit of anyone who wears it.”
Cancellara himself said: “It is not difficult for me to look ridiculously good, even when I’m in a hospital bed. But style is about details, and smelling good on the podium is just as important as getting there.”
Trek even went as far as to create a video advert for all this nonsense.
Vittoria Fat Bike Road Tyres
Tyre brand Vittoria did its bit for April Fools with the announcement of a new range of fat bike road tyres, which the brand says is “ the biggest, fattest technological advancement in the history of the sport, ever”.
Apparently, the tyres have a lower rolling resistance, lower weight, and increased aerodynamics as well as a supposed ability to “help with floatation through large puddles.” Preposterous!
Vittoria North America vice-president of marketing and product, Ken Avery, said: “All the pro team riders are going wider on both tires and rims, due to the reduction in rolling resistance. Fat bike tires take this concept to the next level.
“What better way to get into this market than to use our proven tubular technology, and further increase the performance benefits of fat bike tires?”
What better way indeed.
Pearl Izumi Fat Bike Bandolier
Pearl Izumi also went down the fat route, launching a new fat bike bandolier, which holds all the CO2 needed to get you rolling again after a puncture – that's 50 cartridges, enough to fill two 4.8-inch fat bike tyres.
The idea apparently came about during an Arctic fat bike lunch ride from the Pearl Izumi headquarters. Did this ride even take place? Who knows – we don't know what to believe any more.
“I was riding with another guy from the office who is totally cheap, and he’d put one of those cheesy glue-less patches on his tube to fix a previous puncture and of course it flatted,” said Pearl Izumi product designer, Keegan Rehfeldt. “He scammed a tube off me and we set about pumping up his tire. 785 strokes later, like 20 minutes, we had it to about 10 psi. We knew there had to be a better way.”
“When we were pumping up my flat tire, we had a lot of time to think,” said global brand manager, Andrew Hammond. “Either we were going to strap a floor pump to the top tube or figure out a way to use CO2. CO2 was the clear choice because of the speed and simplicity it brings to fixing flats, but one 16g cartridge doesn’t even put a dent in a fat bike tire. We needed a way to carry more. That’s when Keegan came up with the idea for the Fat Bike Bandolier.”
The Fat Bike Bandolier will come in two colour ways, Attack Black and Enduro Urban Camo (it won't), and retails for US$39.99 (it doesn't).
Specialized S-Works Selfie Stem
The big red S doesn't disappoint when it comes to April Fools' Day and this is a perfect dig at the civilization-ending selfie stick. According to Specialized, it's the “latest innovation in integrated auto-photographic technology for the bike” and is made from the brand's highest modulus FACT 13M carbon weave.
As a “performance-focused selfie solution” it features Z.I.S Zertz Image Stabilization technology to avoid image blur from on-the-road antics.
“Utilizing computer-aided, computational fluid dynamic design, the S4 boasts a zero-drag coefficient as well as a Bluetooth synced, Body Geometry Fit optimized 'sprinter-selfie' button for easy operation while in the drops. At a scant 149 grams, the S4 is the perfect way to take your selfie game to the next level while still maintaining a performance edge.”
The really sad part is that there are some people who would probably quite like to own one of these.
Online retailer Wiggle's stealth packaging
Wiggle's contribution to this year's day of farce is the announcement that the retailer is ditching is usual orange-adorned, logo-heavy white packaging in favour of plain cardboard in order to “disguise the sender of these bike/run/swim related packages from recipients’ other-halves; hopefully avoiding the probing questions that often follow!”
A recent customer survey conducted by Wiggle allegedly found the phrase “Is that ANOTHER Wiggle package?!” was apparently a common response from ‘better halves’, upon the arrival of the distinctive white and orange boxes” and that the “complementary bags of Haribo could only go so far in extinguishing the ensuing questions”.
Wiggle also tells the harrowing tale of one Mr Colin Nago, who had resorted to hiding parcels in the loft and the shed, and getting up at 6am to meet the postman down the street; all to avoid his wife seeing the Wiggle packages.
If you want to take up the offer (don't, it's not real), you'll need to order by 12pm UK time today.
Team FLAB to ride Tour de France
Every cyclist dreams of riding the Tour de France and according to Fat Lad At The Back, that very desire is coming true for its team of riders, who “after adhering to a strict nutrition plan and rigorous training” have qualified for the Tour in 2015.
The men's team apparently “smashed their 7.2km time trial record hitting 54km/h and are expected to lead the race against the ProTeams throughout the world’s most famous road race”.
The team will be led by Fat Lad founder, Richard Bye and are expected to design a yellow jersey in celebration of their victory. The team are pictured here wearing the Lads Rum’n Short Sleeve Jersey (new for 2015).
Team Fat Lass At The Back are also getting in on the action, and have already started their own supporting training programme including substantial quantities of energy-giving chocolate and wine. The Fat Lasses are seen here showing off the Lasses Peachy Short Sleeved Jersey, and led by Lynn Bye.
Scicon's cardboard bike box
Scicon's new AeroCardboard Evolution is reputed to be “the lightest bike box ever” at 1.2kg and is a cardboard version of the brand's stellar AeroTech Evolution TSA bike box.
The box uses ultra strong corrugated cardboard material with 275 Mullen BC triple-wall board technology (or would if it weren't a figment of Scicon's imagination).
Scicon CEO, Massimo Fantin, said: “Every component of the new AeroCardboard Evolution reveals a new dimensions of efficiency in manufacturing and usability. From use of lightweight materials and reduction of complexity to the removal of unnecessary features, the AeroCardboard Evolution is the future of bike boxes.”
Every AeroCardboard Evolution comes with a roll of 48mmx54.8m duct tape “with improved technical specifications and an integrated heavy-duty snap off utility knife with cushioned grip for safer handling”.
Meanwhile, the usual Denier Nylon accessory bag of the AeroTech Evolution TSA has been replaced with a paper bag. “If travelling to the USA, the bag can double-up as a disguise for hard liquor if one should fancy a sly swig in public,” reads the press release.
We'll have more updates when we get them. If you've spotted a cycling April Fools' Day story, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.