Author: Dan Cavallari

Week in Tech: Stages power for Campy, I9 Micro Spline, Scott kids, new kicks galore


Stages power now available for Campy 12-speed

We’ll spare you the “Ours goes to twelve” “Spinal Tap” jokes and get straight to the point: Stages now offers its crankarm-based power meters for Campagnolo 12-speed drivetrains. While it may seem unimpressive at first — just slap a regular old Stages strain gauge on a Campy crank arm, right? — Stages collaborated with Campagnolo to address the crank arm’s unique shape. In fact, the strain gauge is in a different location entirely to accommodate the crank arm’s design. The power meters are in stock now, and you can complement your new Campy 12-speed drivetrain with it for $950.

Micro Spline for Industry Nine wheels now shipping

Photo: Industry Nine

Ugh, another opportunity to make a 12-speed “Spinal Tap” joke that we’re going to have to pass up? Now that Shimano also goes to twelve (speed), its new Micro Spline freehub body is available on Industry Nine Torch-generation wheels. That means you can run Shimano 12-Speed on Industry Nine wheels. I9 was the first American company to get the license from Shimano, so now you can get some sweet anodized hubs and spokes to match your 12-speed bling machine. Quick-release compatibility is not an option yet but should be soon. For now, the Micro Spline freehub is compatible with 12×142, 12×148, 12×157, 12×177, and 12×197 axles.

Does your kid go up to 11 (years old)? Check out Scott’s kids’ line

Photo: Scott Bikes

Apologies to Spinal Tap. The temptation was too much. Scott Bikes has revamped its 2019 lineup of bikes for kids with two key collections: Kids, which is aimed at riders up to 11 years old, and Future Pro, which targets older kids who fit the 26-inch platform. Some of the latter bikes feature carbon frames and high-end components too. Both lines include bikes and accessories, clothing, and helmets. The bikes feature kid-specific designs and help transition riders from basic, inexpensive bicycles into more high-end options in both 26 and 27.5-inch wheel options. Notable among the youth products is the Spunto JR Plus helmet, which features MIPS and a rear flashing light.

Pearl Izumi adds lace-up road shoes to its arsenal

Photo: Pearl Izumi

The Tour Road (men’s) and Sugar Road (women’s) shoes both look a lot different than Pearl Izumi’s past shoes. The new lace-up kicks hearken back to the vintage style of yesteryear, ditching the Boas and sticking to conservative colors. The sole features a carbon plate under the forefoot for efficient power transfer, and it’s well-vented too. The shoes cost $130 and accept 2-bolt SPD-style cleats as well as 3-bolt SPD-SL style cleats. An extra set of laces is included with purchase too, so you can change the look of your shoes simply by swapping out laces.

Quoc shoes walk on water

Photo: Quoc

The Weekend shoes from Quoc are clipless-compatible casual shoes that look great on and off the bike, but that’s hardly what makes them interesting. Quoc teamed up with Bloom, a Mississippi-based company that converts green water to clean water, to make EVA foam. Quoc says that for every pair of Weekend shoes the company makes, 395 half-liter bottles of water are returned to the environment. That’s a fancy way of saying these Quoc shoes are manufactured responsibly with the environment in mind. The shoes themselves cost $185 and are available in three colors.

Buy Pactimo, help with California wildfire relief

Photo: Pactimo

From now until Christmas, Pactimo will donate $25 of each jersey sold on its website to United Way of Northern California to help aid in recovery and relief from the wildfires that decimated the area recently. The program runs through Christmas Eve and includes all Pactimo’s Ascent and Summit jerseys, as well as mountain bike jerseys. Custom-made apparel is excluded from the program. The efforts stem from one of the Colorado-based company’s employees, who is based in California and suggested the United Way as a conduit for helping victims of the fire. Donations will help families cover basic needs, find housing and transportation, and cover bills associated with displacement and destruction that resulted from the fire.

Land Run 100 teams up with Rapha

The Land Run 100 gravel race may be sold out, but you can still get the jersey! Appropriately colored black for this often-muddy 100-miler in Stillwater, Oklahoma, the custom Rapha jersey is now available for a limited time only. The sale ends Sunday, December 16 at midnight Pacific, so don’t wait! And, stay tuned for VeloNews’s coverage of Land Run 100 as we are the official media partner of the 2019 event.

Read the full article at Week in Tech: Stages power for Campy, I9 Micro Spline, Scott kids, new kicks galore on VeloNews.com.

Week in Tech: New Enve road hubs, Wounded Warrior raffle, Donnelly gravel tires


Enve road hubs get overhaul, lower price tag … at $1,000

“She’s a beaut, Clark.” — Randy Quaid, talking about Enve’s road hubs, probably.

If you haven’t hopped on the disc brake train and you’re still in love with your rim brake wheels, you’ll find a kindred spirit in Enve’s newly overhauled carbon hubs. There’s a lot going on here, but suffice to say that the new generation of carbon road hubs are stronger, encourage wheel stiffness, enhance bearing life, and improve drivetrain engagement. The hubs feature steel ball bearings rather than ceramic bearings, which Enve says will enhance bearing life when coupled with its improved bearing seal. A 40-tooth ratchet system replaces the previous generation’s 18-tooth ratchet for improved freehub engagement. And the flanges have been redesigned to reduce spoke fatigue. The front and rear pair will cost you $1,000, and they come with a five-year warranty.

Help out Wounded Warrior Project, win a Mosaic

Photo: Mosaic Cycles

Mosaic Cycles is raffling off a one-of-a-kind titanium bike to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. Pony up $10 per ticket for your chance to win a replica of elite racer Mitch Hoke’s XT-1 race bike, with its signature color scheme. (You can also get a stock color scheme if you prefer.) That’s a $10,500 bike for a mere $10 if you’re the winner. Hoke is a pilot for the Air National Guard, and he has used his success on the race course to help veterans’ groups throughout the season. Mosaic hopes to add to Hoke’s efforts by donating this custom bike, which will be built to the winner’s specifications.  The raffle ends December 14 at 11:59 pm MST. Enter the raffle here.

Donnelly’s EMP tires are a love letter to Kansas

Photo: Donnelly

Emporia, Kansas has essentially become the capital of gravel in the United States. Donnelly Tires honors the new mecca with its EMP tire, which of course stands for Emporia, the home of Dirty Kanza. The EMP tire is Donnelly’s most aggressive gravel tire, with big side knobs akin to Donnelly’s BOS cyclocross tire. An integrate protection belt helps stave off punctures, and the center tread resembles that of Donnelly’s MSO gravel tire. You can choose from a 700×38 tubeless ready version for $72, and a 60 TPI foldable bead tire for $47. A 700x45mm tubeless-ready version will be available in the spring of 2019 for $72, and a 700x45mm 60 TPI version for $47.

Why Cycles R+ V3 is a bit of a hoarder

Photo: Why Cycles

Sometimes you just gotta take it all with you. Why Cycles feels your pain. The R+ V3 has mounts galore for water bottles, accessories, and just about anything else you want to bolt or strap to your bike. That’s not all, though: The V3 also gets updated to a 160mm flat mount rear brake, which eliminates the need for an adapter. The seat tube is also ovalized, like Why’s mountain bikes, to increase pedaling stiffness while allowing for rearward compliance. The R+ V3 also gets dressed in some new graphics. Grab a banana and strap away.

Lezyne and K-Edge finally team up on a mount

Photo: Lezyne

Lezyne’s GPS head units have been available for a couple of seasons, but until now you were limited to the plastic mounts included with the computer. Now K-Edge offers its CNC machined mounts for Lezyne GPS head units. That means you can bling out your bike with these durable, lightweight aluminum mounts if you’re rolling a Lezyne computer. There are six different mounts available to accommodate different mounting positions and accessory inclusion, and they will range in price accordingly. The new mounts will be available December 21, just in time for stuffing those Christmas stockings.

Fezzari’s new e-bike puts handling first

Fezzari Wire Peak
Photo: Fezzari

Like many mountain bike companies, Fezzari is diving into the growing trend of electric-assist mountain bikes. However, the Utah-based company says its approach makes its new Wire Peak model handle more like an “acoustic” mountain bike. Fezzari’s engineers focused on making the chainstays as short as possible, 435mm. Despite the Shimano E8000 drive system, Fezzari says this bike doesn’t sacrifice handling. The bike is available in three models, the $3,599 Comp model with 140mm travel front and rear, the $4,599 Elite model with 140mm/150mm travel, and the Pro model, $5,599 that has a 160mm fork. As is the case with all Fezzari bikes, the Wire Peak is sold direct to consumer making this one of the more affordable e-bike options around.

Burn off some Christmas cookies with Rapha

Photo: Rapha

If you’re the motivated type who would rather push the pedals than snag a few of Santa’s cookies, Rapha will be holding its ninth annual Festive 500 challenge between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Sign up for the challenge and you’ll be tasked with riding 500 kilometers between December 24 and December 31. Commemorate your experience in photos, words, or other creative means and become eligible to win a slew of prizes, including a Canyon bicycle, Wahoo head unit, and more.

Read the full article at Week in Tech: New Enve road hubs, Wounded Warrior raffle, Donnelly gravel tires on VeloNews.com.

Week in Tech: New/old Cannondales, Ceramicspeed bling, Strava’s year


Cannondale throws it back to the glory days with new paint jobs

Remember Tinker Juarez’s Headshok-equipped XC bikes from the halcyon days of cross-country racing? Cannondale dug into the archives to decorate its F-Si Hi-Mod framesets with the paint schemes of yore. The aethetics are the only throwback touch on the F-Si Hi-Mod framesets, however. These carbon frames are mated to Cannondale’s new Lefty Ocho fork, and the combo is designed to dominate modern day XC race courses. The paint jobs are reminiscent of the old CAAD aluminum hardtails with oversize tubes and solid colors with the Cannondale logo wrapped around the tubing. Order yours quick if you want one, because they’re only available in limited quantities.

Ceramicspeed blings out its bling to celebrate 20 years

“Your luck has changed, Goldfinger!” —Sean Connery, “Goldfinger”

So has yours, if you’ve been in pursuit of the blingiest gold components you can get your hands on. Ceramicspeed is celebrating its 20th anniversary with some limited edition gold pulleys on its OSPW oversize pulley set. The new color doesn’t change the price of the OSPW, which runs between $500 and $600. The oversize pulleys reduce drivetrain friction by 40-60 percent over other high-end pulley wheels, according to Ceramicspeed. The OSPW system is compatible with Shimano, SRAM, and Campagnolo systems. The gold color follows hot on the heels of the Victory edition, which celebrated the Tour de France on Romain Bardet’s bike in 2018.

Trek makes big updates to electric hybrid bikes

These e-bike things sure do seem to be catching on. Okay, they’re here, let’s just face the facts. Trek is on its second generation of Dual Sport+ electric hybrid bikes, in fact, and the new lineup gets a lot of swanky updates. A new integrated battery and lighting systems complement a sleeker, more stylish look. The Removable Integrated Battery (RIB) blends into the down tube as a one-piece battery and cover. It requires no tools for removal and has a handle so you can take the battery with you. The bikes also feature a Bosch Active Line Plus drive system, disc brakes, and wide tires so you can mosey onto gravel paths. The Dual Sport+ is priced at $3,600.

Strava sums up its big year

Strava has released its annual Year In Sport Report, and it’s chock full of neat nuggets of information about how people rode their bikes in 2018. Among the notable stats: Cycling commutes in the United States reached an all-time high in 2018; athletes who work out together tend to ride longer; the Central Park Loop in New York City was the most popular ride in the United States; and July 14 was the most popular day to ride a bicycle in the United States. For the Zwift fanatics, the report says that Thursday is the most popular day to ride indoors.

Fizik wanders off-road with the Vento Overcurve X3

The burgeoning gravel scene affects everything the light touches — including your feet. Fizik now offers the Vento Overcurve X3 shoes to sate all those multi-surface riders who have cropped up in recent years. Like most of Fizik’s road offerings, the new multi-surface shoes focus on a precise fit and exceptional power transfer but add a focus on protection from the weather and trail. With minimal stitching on the upper, the shoes are easy to clean (which should come in handy if you opt for the white color). That upper is made from Microtex and is welded rather than stitched to eliminate spots where dirt and moisture do the most damage. The pair will cost you $250.

Read the full article at Week in Tech: New/old Cannondales, Ceramicspeed bling, Strava’s year on VeloNews.com.

3T’s Italian factory robbed

3T’s facility in Bergamo, Italy was robbed on Monday morning, the bike brand confirmed on social media.

According to the post, between six and eight masked thieves penetrated a 1-meter-thick wall to reach the warehouse and proceeded to take more than 20 bikes before police arrived 10 minutes later.

Thieves drilled through a meter-thick wall to enter the 3T factory. Photo: 3T

Among the bikes that were stolen was an Exploro painted by the late Dario Pegoretti. The famous Italian framebuilder died August 23. The bike was a gift from Pegoretti to 3T in celebration of the launch of the Exploro.

3T has asked anyone with information on the robbery to contact the company and to keep an eye on the regular sale channels for any of the stolen bikes. The Pegoretti Exploro is notable for its distinctive downtube painting.

Read the full article at 3T’s Italian factory robbed on VeloNews.com.

Week in Tech: Cavendish’s bike up for auction, Pivot fat bike, and a bit of kit

Dimension Data auctions off pro bikes for charity

Cervelo’s S5 has had some pretty big moments in the last few years. Now you can get your hands on some of those legendary bikes, including Mark Cavendish’s 2018 race bike. Bernie Eisel, Serge Pauwels, and Edvald Boasson Hagen have also put their bikes on the block to help the Qhubeka charity reach its target of 100,000 bicycles distributed to those in need by 2020. Qhubeka distributes bikes to rural African communities where access to basic needs like healthcare and schooling is nearly impossible without a reliable mode of transportation. The auctions are live until November 23.

Place your bids here>>

Pivot’s Les keeps the fat bike spirit alive

The snow is flying and Pivot is ready with the Les fat bike. It features 27.5-inch wheels and comes spec’d with 3.8-inch tires. But it’s got a trick up its sleeve: you can set the Les to fit just about any wheel and tire combo you can come up with, from 29+ to 27.5+, or the biggest 5-inch tires you can get your hands on. You’ll have the option of a rigid fork or Manitou’s Mastadon suspension fork, but you won’t have a choice in color: It only comes in Ice Blue. You can get your hands on the frameset for $2,500, or a complete build ranging from $4,000 to $4,250.

100% teams up with Cadence on new apparel collection

Style begets style. That’s the thinking behind the new collaboration between 100% and Cadence Collection, two brands focused on looking cool. The lineup includes jerseys, bibs, and gloves, all with styles unique to this collaboration. 100% has also lent its Peter-Sagan-approved S2 sunglasses to the lineup, now with a bold leopard print aesthetic (Ruby Tortoise, if you want to be official about it). Aside from appearances, the features of the S2 remain the same as the ones in 100%’s regular lineup.

Bikepacking in black and white? Rapha’s got bags for you

Exploring by bike is so hot right now. Rapha enters the bikepacking game with its Brevet line of frame bags. In true Rapha style, there’s an element of cool aesthetics, but these bags are made to perform, too. They’re waterproof and spacious enough for long days or multi-day trips. The lineup includes a handlebar bag, frame bags, and saddle bags, in addition to Rapha’s Brevet clothing line.

Read the full article at Week in Tech: Cavendish’s bike up for auction, Pivot fat bike, and a bit of kit on VeloNews.com.

Week in Tech: Continental goes tubeless, Silca gives back, new Bkool trainer

Continental finally offers a tubeless road tire

Continental launched two new tires earlier this week. The new GP5000s has a whole host of advantages over its predecessor, the GP4000sII, according to Continental. Those include 12 percent better rolling resistance, 20 percent more puncture protection, 10 grams of weight savings, and more vibration absorption. That’s all well and good, but the really exciting news is the addition of the GP5000TL to the lineup. It’s got even better rolling resistance numbers (5 percent better than the GP5000s, in fact) and more puncture protection. The best part? It’s tubeless. The non-tubeless GP5000s costs $79 and the tubeless version runs $94. The GP5000s is available immediately in 23mm and 25mm widths. In six weeks, the non-tubeless tire will also be available in 28mm and 32mm widths. The 25mm tubeless tire will also be available in six weeks.

Buy Silca, give Silca on Giving Tuesday

Photo: Silca

Forget Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Silca’s #Pumps4Programs initiative is all about Giving Tuesday. On November 28, Silca will donate 10 percent of purchases from its website between $0-$100 and 20 percent of purchases from $100-$200 to a bike community organization of your choice. Purchases over $200 means a Pista Floor Pump can be headed to a bike community organization of your choice. So while you get fancy goodies from Silca on your doorstep, an organization in need of dollars and pumps gets a treat too. Win-win.

Bkool ups its virtual game with Smart Air trainer

Photo: Bkool

With the explosion of indoor riding’s popularity, it’s no surprise Bkool is back at it with a new smart trainer to pair with its virtual environment. The Smart Air direct-drive trainer offers a realistic ride, according to Bkool. It’s got 6 degrees of side to side movement for a more natural feel when you’re pedaling out of the saddle. It also uses infrared sensors to gauge power and maintain a 2 percent accuracy. It also simulates up to a 25 percent grade, and it offers 3,000 watts of power. Also neato: It sorta looks like a real bike. Hey, appearances matter too.

Want to be a Scicon Ambassador?

Photo: Scicon

You know what’s a silly word? “Influencer.” But if you happen to be one, Scicon wants to make you a brand ambassador. You can apply up until November 25, at which point Scicon will choose its final ambassadors. As an ambassador, you will receive cycling products, exclusive offers, and priority access to new products before they hit the market. You’ll be responsible for representing the brand while you’re cycling and traveling, so if you’re good at living that ‘gram life, you might be a good fit.

Magura’s Vyron wireless seatpost gets a makeover

Photo: Magura

Magura made waves with its Vyron wireless seatpost, with the promise that you’d never have to worry about cable routing ever again. The updated version integrates a new remote cap that has a larger selection area for ease of use. The Vyron comes in 150mm, 125mm, and 100mm travel options and weighs 595 grams. The earliest versions of the Vyron faced speed challenges — the post changed height very slowly when compared to cable actuated posts — and there’s no word yet if that has improved with the updated version.

Read the full article at Week in Tech: Continental goes tubeless, Silca gives back, new Bkool trainer on VeloNews.com.

Van Aert rides new SRAM eTap at Euro Championships


Is it electrical tape season already? Wout Van Aert seems to have been riding some new goods from SRAM, if his brake levers are any indication. The SRAM-style levers were blacked out with electrical tape, presumably to hide a prototype design, as Van Aert got his world champion’s jersey dirty at the European Cyclocross Championships.

It’s almost impossible to discern anything meaningful from the photos, but the lever ergonomics do appear to be changed slightly from the previous generation. The hoods themselves appear to be unchanged or only slightly slimmed.

If you look closely, you can see that Wout Van Aert’s levers don’t have any SRAM branding and are a slightly different shape. Photo: Getty Images

CyclingTips got some spy shots of the new group at the Saitama Criterium in Japan. Based on those photos, it appears SRAM has gone 12-speed. But that’s only the beginning: The new group may have an integrated Quarq power meter, one-piece chainrings, and possibly even a clutch rear derailleur.

Since Van Aert is rolling the new group on the cyclocross course, it seems all but certain the clutch-style rear derailleur is in the mix. That’s good news for cyclocrossers who want to eliminate cables from their ‘cross bikes but have, up until now, chosen other groups for the chain retention afforded by a clutch.

That begs the question: Is a 1x eTap group in the works?

Clutch-style rear derailleurs certainly provide some benefits to 2x setups, but they’re particularly useful for 1x setups that require extra chain tension to prevent dropped chains. If the rear derailleur now has a clutch, it is perhaps likely that SRAM updated the servo motor within the rear derailleur to compensate for the extra force the clutch creates.

It appears that Van Aert was riding the new SRAM components at the World Cup in Switzerland. The crank seems to have a Quarq powermeter in a new configuration. Photo: Luc Claessen/Getty Images

VeloNews reached out to SRAM to get more details on the group. Michael Zellmann, SRAM’s senior public relations manager, said, “We can neither confirm nor deny” the group’s existence and details.

VeloNews is headed to California in January to spend some time with SRAM and get the skinny on the new goods, so we’ll hopefully have more details then.

Read the full article at Van Aert rides new SRAM eTap at Euro Championships on VeloNews.com.

Week in Tech: Tacx quiets down, Zwifters go to France

Just be quiet, Tacx!

Just in time for the winter doldrums, Tacx has pulled the lid off its updated Neo smart trainer. Meet the Neo Smart 2, the indoor training unit Tacx said is even “more silent” than the previous version. (Insert your Spinal Tap joke here.) The Neo Smart 2 is now compatible with both 142×12 and 148×12 thru-axles, but more importantly, it includes a host of new features. Pedal stroke analysis and left and right power measurement now come standard. A capacitive cadence sensor is also included in the new setup, and Tacx says it has improved the electronics for smoother, more responsive resistance control. It’s available now for $1,400.

Ride L’Etape du Tour from your own personal pain cave

Zwift is now the official training partner of L’Etape du Tour, which means you can take advantage of training plans, in-game events, special jerseys, and more so you don’t have to go all the way to France to get a taste of the ride. The L’Etape du Tour Training Club is open to the first 30,000 Zwift members who enroll. As a member of the club, you’ll be able to participate in workout plans and group workouts, and you’ll get a chance to win a starting bib for the real L’Etape event in July. Zwift memberships start at $15 a month, and you’ll need one to get in on the action.

World Bicycle Relief makes year-end push with Give Go campaign

How awesome would it be to give a bike to someone who desperately needs it? That’s exactly what World Bicycle Relief does every time it raises $147. That’s what it takes to get a Buffalo Bicycle, specifically designed for African terrain, into the hands of a student, healthcare worker, or entrepreneur who needs it. That means you’re helping a kid get to school or a mother get to work. Now through November 10, donations will be matched dollar for dollar to help get more bikes into the hands of those in need. The Give Go campaign highlights the stories of people who face distance barriers between them and education, healthcare, and economic opportunities.

Lezyne expands its tool lineup with T-Drive

The T-Drive from Lezyne features a magnetic end that holds replaceable bits in place. That means this tool is inherently versatile: make it an Allen wrench, a screwdriver, or a Torx driver simply by swapping out the bit. It comes in a soft shell carrying case with cutouts for bits, and the handle is removable for easy storage in your backpack or seat pack. It only weighs 153 grams and costs $35.

Read the full article at Week in Tech: Tacx quiets down, Zwifters go to France on VeloNews.com.

Smart trainers: The best units for your sweat session


Welcome to the pain cave. The sweat station. The Sisyphus ride. We’re riding indoors more and more on these shorter, colder days when the sun sets before we leave the office.

Which means we’re trying to get at the heart of what makes a good smart trainer. The good ones make those indoor sessions more bearable and — gasp! — even fun. The best ones are stable, quiet, and packed with everything you need to integrate with virtual riding environments like Zwift.

Those top trainers have it all dialed, from power accuracy and output to physical stability and portability. Smart trainers are most often paired to virtual riding environments like Zwift, so realism is key: The idea is to make it feel as though you’re riding real roads, with real grades, and real resistance.

Here are some of the keys to finding the right smart trainer.

Accuracy

This is generally expressed as +/- X%. This number matters most if you don’t have a power meter but you do know your FTP (Functional Threshold Power) and common wattage numbers out on the road. You’ll want these numbers to match, or come close to it if you’re relying on the trainer’s built-in power meter to structure your workouts.

Power output

This is expressed as a maximum wattage output. This is basically the big number of how much resistance you’ll get in various scenarios. Most smart trainers today already offer more resistance than you’ll be able to push, but if you’re a big-time sprinter, you’ll want to pay attention to this number.

Climbing grade

This is expressed as a grade percentage. It’s essentially representative of the steepest climb the trainer can simulate. Keep in mind that this won’t change the position of the trainer itself; it simply changes the resistance. (Wahoo’s Kickr Climb is an accessory you can add to your training setup to simulate grades by raising or lowering the front end of your bike.)

Stability

This will depend largely on the physical construction and the way the trainer legs are positioned. The trainer shouldn’t rock side to side, unless it’s an actual function of the trainer (like Kurt Kinetic’s Rock and Roll, which aims to simulate real-world bike movement). Top-of-the-line smart trainers generally include foldable legs that swing outward. Adjustable feet are integrated into those legs to level off the trainer and keep it from rocking. Consider the ease of use here, because if you move your trainer frequently, you may also need to readjust the feet frequently.

Portability

If you’re moving your trainer station frequently, or taking it over to a buddy’s house to do a group workout, you’ll want to consider how heavy it is, how easy it is to handle and move, and how much space it takes up both when it’s in use and when it’s folded away and stowed behind the couch.

Other considerations

What else does the trainer offer? Compatibility with peripheral accessories (like Wahoo’s Kickr Climb and Headwind), ANT+ FE-C (Fitness Equipment Control) capabilities that allow you to pair with just about any virtual platform, included apps and training programs, included accessories like wheel blocks, durable construction; these add-ons won’t make or break your training experience, but they certainly can enhance it.

We tested four of the newest and hottest trainers on the market to discover each one’s true personality. Here’s what we found out.

(IMPORTANT NOTE: While we used non-Wahoo trainers with the Wahoo Kickr Climb, Wahoo warns against doing so because your bicycle’s dropouts can get damaged from the movement. We did not notice any damage to our bike, even after repeated sessions on non-Wahoo trainers, but you may not want to risk it with your expensive bike.)

Wahoo Kickr

$1,200
47 pounds (advertised)

It’s the easiest to set up, the easiest to handle, the easiest to connect, and the most fun to ride. The Kickr is undisputedly the best smart trainer on the market.

The newest version of the Kickr got even better from the last. It’s definitely the quietest smart trainer we’ve used, for starters. That’s ideal for those of us with kiddos at home who go to bed early. And it’s the most compact smart trainer we’ve tried, so tucking it behind the couch when you’re not using it is actually a feasible option. The well-positioned handle makes it easy to carry this 47-pound unit, too. It’s built like a tank, and while it’s not exactly a sleek looker, it’s unobtrusive enough to tuck in the corner when you’re not using it. The updated version features a rotating axle system so you can use the unit with the Kickr Climb. There’s also improved clearance for disc brakes.

Read the full review>>

Wahoo Kickr Core

$900
40 pounds (advertised)

It may not be as eye-catching as its more expensive sibling, but the Kickr Core still offers many of the features that make the Kickr the best on the market. You’ll have to add your own cassette (which is included on the Kickr); the cadence sensor isn’t included either; and the adjustable arms are gone in favor of a more traditional sandwich board design.

It’s not quite as powerful as the Kickr. Instead of a 16-pound flywheel, the Kickr Core has a 12-pound flywheel. The Core can simulate a grade up to 16% (the Kickr can simulate up to 20%), and the maximum power output is 1,800 watts (The Kickr’s max power output is 2,200 watts). While those numbers seem a bit watered down, they’re still well within the range of what many cyclists will max out at anyway, and it actually meets or exceeds the specs of trainers that cost several hundred dollars more. And you’ll still get the same +/-2% accuracy as the Kickr. It’s thru-axle compatible to accommodate the most modern bikes.

Read the full review>>

CycleOps H2

$1,200
$1,400 with Zwift membership included
47 pounds (advertised)

When you’re going up against Jordan, you better be able to dunk. That’s basically what CycleOps was facing when designing the new H2 smart trainer: Deliver a ride that’s as good, if not better, than the Wahoo Kickr. The two trainers are similar in size, though the H2 is definitely bulkier. Both trainers weigh about the same. On paper, they’re very similar. In practice, the H2 positions itself as a serious contender to dethrone the Kickr as the best on the market.

It’s not quite there, but it’s darn close.

Spec for spec, the H2 is fairly similar to the Kickr: It simulates up to a 20% grade, which matches the Kickr; it offers 2,000 watts of resistance at 20mph, while the Kickr offers 2,200 watts; and it is accurate to +/-2%, the same as the Kickr. The H2 has a heavier flywheel (20 pounds) than the Kickr’s 16-pound unit.

Read the full review>>

Elite Drivo II

$1,200
40 pounds (advertised)

Meet the Italian Beast. The Drivo II packs a punch with its features, including a claimed accuracy of +/-0.5%. A 13-pound flywheel does the heavy lifting, and wide, swing-out legs with adjustable feet are on stability duty. Want to climb all the way up to 24%? The Drivo is one of the only trainers with that capability. And you can push it all the way to its 2,300-watt maximum power output — or at least you can try. It’s thru-axle compatible, and ANT+ FE-C capable, so it works with just about all of your favorite programs. This is a heavy hitter.

Let’s start with power. Does that +/-0.5% accuracy matter? That depends on your indoor training setup. If you’re using a power meter on your bike, it’s best to simply pair your power meter to your virtual training program like Zwift, since that’s what you use outside anyway. That way your power numbers should be consistent and you should know what numbers to expect on-screen.

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Read the full article at Smart trainers: The best units for your sweat session on VeloNews.com.

Week in Tech: Fat bike fork, gravel fork… What the heck is that fork?

Trust sends a Message with crazy fork design

Photo: Trust

Okay, what the heck is that? It’s pretty likely you haven’t heard of Trust Performance, or its new fork called The Message. But perhaps you’ve heard of one of its designers, Dave Weagle, the man behind DW Link, among other suspension advancements. Weagle has spent significant time and energy developing rear suspension systems, so he wondered why front suspension didn’t feel as good as rear suspension.

Enter The Message, a trailing multi-link suspension fork that allows the wheel to move up and away from obstacles. It’s full carbon to make it feather-light, and it features 130 millimeters of travel. The twin-tube thru-shaft aims to make the fork climb like an XC fork and descend like an enduro front end. Sounds like a pretty ambitious mission, but it’s the first time Weagle has taken a crack at it. The Message costs $2,700 and is available now, but you should order quickly if you want one: There are only 2,500 units available, sold on a first come, first served basis.

Enve expands gravel range with new fork and handlebars

Photo: Enve

It’s quite a time to be a fork. Enve’s G-series Gravel Fork features a one-piece molded design that helps increase strength. It also has clearance for 50mm tires, truly accommodating all types of gravel riders. It’s fender-compatible, weighs 520 grams, has internal hose routing, and costs $550. The G-Series Handlebar is similarly tailored for gravel riding; it’s wide everywhere, from the tops to the drops. The flare means the bars are 12cm wider at the drops than they are at the hoods. It has plenty of space for clamping clip-ons, but otherwise, round shapes are minimized or eliminated altogether. The G-Series bars cost $350.

All forked out? Too bad: Enve has a fat bike fork (and wheels) too!

Photo: Enve

Forks as far as the eye can see! This time, Enve’s got a new fat bike fork, simply called the Fat Fork. It features one-piece carbon construction and clearance for up to 5-inch tires. Perhaps more importantly, it features a flippable chip at the dropouts to optimize the rake for either 26-inch or 27.5-inch tires. It can be yours for $625. And you can pair it with Enve’s new M685 fat bike wheelset, which is available as both a 26-inch version and a 27.5-inch version. Both iterations feature an 85mm internal rim width. Like other wheels in the M6 series, the M685 features a hookless system and anti-pinch-flat technology. Each rim weighs 600 grams. The M685 is available as a rim-only option for $999, or as a complete wheelset with Industry Nine hubs for $2,800.

Industry Nine has a new stem (but no fork.)

Photo: Industry Nine

Even if you aren’t a mountain biker, you might want I9’s new A35 stem because its anodized colors look pretty amazing. This all-mountain stem is designed to work with 35mm handlebar diameters. It’s made from aluminum billet and anodized on site in Asheville, North Carolina; you can mix and match colors for $140, or just get a single color for $125. The A35 is available in four lengths: 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, and 60mm.

Koo grows its line of sunglasses with the Orion and California

Photo: Koo

Koo makes a departure from its racing roots with the California, a pair of performance sunglasses you won’t be embarrassed to wear off the bike. In fact, they look like casual glasses, but they hide some performance features like vented lenses, a durable and light polycarbonate frame, and Zeiss lenses. It’s available in 15 colors, weighs 33 grams, and costs from $149 to $219 depending on lens choice. If that style is too tame for you, the Orion glasses feature a more performance look, anti-fog lenses, and adjustable arms to help fit any face. The Orions will run you $200.

Read the full article at Week in Tech: Fat bike fork, gravel fork… What the heck is that fork? on VeloNews.com.