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Bontrager Kovee Wheelset Announced

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 11:05

The Bontrager Kovee wheelset weighs in under 1300g and offers more speed and stability to cross country mountain bikers. The Kovee is an all-new wheel set and an upgrade for those who want to go faster with more stability.

Bontrager Kovee Wheelset Announced

Like any gear in the bike business, if you haven’t upgraded in the past 5 years, it’s worth considering. These carbon hoops weigh only 1290g, and they feature a wide, 29mm inner rim width that delivers improved tire support so you can run lower pressure for better traction, cornering, and a smoother, faster ride.

We started with the team in mind, to give them every advantage with a light, fast wheel

said Bontrager’s Wheel Product Director Graham Wilhelm.

Tubeless and crazy light haven’t always gone together, but they do now. On my hardtail, I’m running ENVEs, which are light, but not that light. Trek Factory Racing XC riders Emily Batty and Jolanda Neff are racing the Kovee on the World Cup XC circuit now.

Emily Batty and Jolanda Neff are racing the Kovee’s Bontrager Kovee Wheelset Specs

The wheels can be setup tubeless using either rim tape or Bontrager’s proprietary rim strip system, both of which are included. Rim tape saves a little weight, while the Bontrager rim strips provide a solid bead lock with the tire for easy setup and improved performance, especially at lower pressures.

Available in 29 with center lock disc compatibility, DT Swiss 240s hub internals, and Boost 110/148 spacing the Kovee retail for $2399. They deliver the performance of a wider rim without the weight penalty.

  • Lightweight and durable OCLV construction
  • 29mm inner rim width better supports wider tires
  • Ultra-light 1290g / wheelset
  • DT Swiss 240s internals, 24 hole front/rear
  • Center Lock Disc
  • DT Aerolite bladed spokes
  • Carbon Care Loyalty Program
  • Tubeless Ready for easy TLR setup
  • Approved for rim tape or rim strip use

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DJI Osmo Action Camera Launches

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 10:39

It makes sense that DJI would compete with GoPro. They can build a much better action camera and on paper the DJI Osmo action camera looks great.   However, it doesn’t have a UNC thread for a tri-or monopod. That means it’s unusable for me. I have zero interest in all the cube camera accessories, however great the image stabilization is.

Sony doesn’t position the RXO as an action camera because it has UNC threads. They have a line video cameras for action too, the FDR-X3000 ($348 on Amazon) and HDR-AS300 ($298 on Amazon). As I’ve shared in posts about the RXO, it’s a small-form camera for cinematic and creative filmmaking. I attached 4 to my bike a couple winters ago.

View this post on Instagram

Remember the post about the Modal being a rolling test jig? Well, here it is with 4 Sony #rxo cameras attached. The 5th is in my pocket. The views are forward, rearward, low and high of my favorite Maui roads. #bikesofinstagram

A post shared by Byron (@bikehugger) on Dec 25, 2017 at 5:24pm PST

The 2nd version, the RXO 11 is even better and ships from Amazon for $698.

I’m sure people will love the DJI Osmo action camera. I prefer super-compact cameras instead. There are so many excellent options for UNC threads, like the Manfrotto Pixi. I have no use for plastic housings and adhesive tape for mounts. What I do like about DJI and flying their drones is how they’ve embraced creatives.

DJI Osmo Action Camera DJI Osmo Action Camera PR

Below is the press release from DJI. Osmo Action retails for $349 USD and will start shipping immediately after the announcement on May 15 at dji.com and from authorized dealers on May 22.

DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and creative camera technology, building on its heritage of advanced image stabilization, takes a bold new direction with the Osmo Action camera. Using DJI’s unparalleled experience with capturing smooth and stable videos in the most demanding environments, Osmo Action is as rugged as it is sophisticated, opening worlds of creative potential for professionals and adventure seekers alike.

“DJI has always pushed the limits of technology, and the content creators who love our products made clear they wanted us to push the limits of their creative potential too. Osmo Action is our cutting-edge answer to what the creative community demands: Exceptional image quality and stabilization in a unique and durable new form factor, with dual color screens and seamless software integration. For all types of creators who push their gear to the limits, Osmo Action sets the new standard,” said Roger Luo, DJI President. “Whether you are capturing aerial content with Mavic 2, incredibly smooth content with Osmo Pocket, or heart-racing footage with Osmo Action, DJI offers a full suite of products for your creative needs.”

Rugged construction and intuitive design

A compact yet durable design makes Osmo Action the ideal camera for life’s adventures. Constructed to handle extreme conditions with ease, Osmo Action is dustproof, shockproof [1], waterproof [2] and has the ability to operate in sub-freezing temperatures [3]. Osmo Action uses color screens on both the front and back, a unique design feature that allows for more convenient scene composition while on the move. The 2.25-inch rear touchscreen employs a water and fingerprint-repelling coating, and the 1.4-inch front screen makes vlogging and selfies easier than ever before. With a brightness of 750 nits, Osmo Action can be used in harsh lighting conditions, including direct sunlight.

Osmo Action’s interactive user interface, Action OS, combines a streamlined and functional physical design with flexible operation. Power on, initiate recording, and rotate through the video and photo capture modes in the blink of an eye with three dedicated buttons. Never miss a moment with the help of SnapShot, which allows Osmo Action to turn on and begin recording in under two seconds by pressing the shutter button once.

Advanced technology with exceptional image quality

A 1/2.3-inch sensor records 12-megapixel photos and 4K video up to 60fps at 100Mbps in stunning detail, assuring high-quality footage. A three-glass aspherical lens design records low-distortion content and aids in reducing warping effects for improved scenes. The lens cap is finished with two layers of anti-fingerprint coating to keep the shot clean during use, as well as an anti-reflective coating to reduce the unwanted effects of lens glare, giving users more flexibility to shoot in bright conditions.

Incorporating over a decade of experience creating three-axis mechanical gimbals, Osmo Action is the first DJIhandheld camera to include RockSteady, DJI’s Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) technology. High-performance stabilization algorithms work in conjunction with EIS to record every movement in smooth, stable, high-quality video, even when recording 4K/60fps. Additionally, Osmo Action is capable of High Dynamic Range (HDR) video in 4K/30fps, delivering an additional three stops of dynamic range to the scene, natural transitions between light and dark areas, and rich details that are often lost in complex lighting conditions. Osmo Action has a removable battery with a run time of 93 minutes recording at 4K/30fps with RockSteady enabled, and 135 minutes recording at 1080p/30fps without RockSteady. Dual microphones let users take advantage of Osmo Action’s Voice Control, and a speaker ensures outstanding playback quality.

Creative, intelligent features A staple in DJI’s product lineup, Osmo Action offers a wide variety of highly creative features built into the camera which users can access with a few simple taps. While recording, choose between:
  • Slo-mo: 8x slow motion in 1080p 240fps or 4x slow motion in 1080p 120fps creates a visually appealing effect when documenting action-packed scenes.
  • Timelapse: To turn minutes into seconds, Timelapse is perfect for capturing unique content with the effect of the world moving faster.
  • Custom Exposure settings: Shoot for the stars with manual and semi-automatic settings that allow up to 120 seconds of exposure, perfect for capturing the night sky.
Unlocking Osmo Action’s full potential

Using the recently released DJIMimo app, connect Osmo Action to your mobile device with WiFi or Bluetooth for added functionality, including a live feed of the camera, multiple story templates, in-app quick editing, and more. An ecosystem of accessories helps unleash all the possibilities of Osmo Action including :

  • Camera Frame Kit: Included with Osmo Action,the Camera Frame Kit offers a universal mount for additional accessories and a window for the LED indicator to show camera status in real time while protecting the device.
  • Adhesive Mounts: Attach Osmo Action to flat or curved surfaces including skateboards, bikes, helmets, and more to capture fast-paced moments. Both the curved and flat adhesive mounts are included with Osmo Action.
  • Waterproof Case: The waterproof case protects the device at depths down to 60 meters while providing a clear image using high-strength glass.
  • 3.5mm Adapter: The 3.5mm adapter offers users the ability to connect an external mic for professional sound recording.
  • Extension Rod: Capture unique angles using the Extension Rod, whichfeatures a rotatable phone holder and a ¼-inch screw adapter.
  • Floating Handle: The Floating Handle offers a comfortable grip for Osmo Action and keeps it floating when shooting in water.
  • Filters: Osmo Action comes with Neutral Density (ND), Polarizer, and underwater filters. ND filters (ND4, ND8, ND16, and ND32) reduce light exposure in various environments, while Polarizer filters reduce reflections and increase color saturation for a more appealing image. Orange Seawater and Purple Freshwater filters restore the natural color of underwater scenes.
  • Charging Hub:Charge up to three batteries simultaneously in less than 130 minutes.
Price and Availability

Osmo Action retails for $349 USD and will start shipping immediately after the announcement on May 15 and from authorized dealers on May 22.

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Power of Two Wheels & Building Community

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 18:49

When not so much new is going on with bike design, besides motors, it leaves more room for stories about community like this one from Osprey about the Power of Two Wheels & Building Community.

It’s

A beautiful story about the power of two wheels and a community built through bicycling. After a devastating breakup, Rafael finds solitude and restoration on the open road, pedaling his way to emotional health from Mexico City to northern Colorado. With just $500 to his name, he spearheads a revolution to help the underprivileged members of his new neighborhood the best way he knows how—repairing their bicycles.

Here’s a quote from Osprey’s behind the scenes

The idea began in Fort Collins, CO in the fall of 2005.  It was my last semester at Colorado State University. I  had a few hundred bucks in my bank account and my truck broke down as I rolled into town for my first day of class.  With no money to fix my truck I needed a way to get around town and finish my already very delayed college education.  A friend of mine told me about an underground bike shop located in a garage a few blocks away. Rumor had it the “shop” was started by a guy named Rafael, living in a small closet attached to the garage.  He was teaching people how to work on bikes and helping them fix up old bikes for free.  I had an old 10 speed bike I inherited from my step father that hadn’t been ridden in a few decades. I figured I might as well give it a shot.

You can find more of Jesse’s current work on his Instagram @reelmotion

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Shimano GRX Gravel Adventure Launches

Tue, 05/07/2019 - 18:49

Shimano GRX Gravel Adventure components can be mixed and matched at three tiers in 1x or 2x configurations. The best part: now I can have top-mount auxiliary brake levers with hydraulic disc brakes.

It’s been SIX LONG YEARS since I had Runkels on my bike. Up until disc brakes, CX, gravel, and now adventure categories of bikes, I had Runkels.

What are Runkels? Here’s a post I wrote from 6 years ago.

Hydraulic Disc Brakes: Runkels No More

With a hydraulic disc-brake bike in the stable this year, I realized a setup I’ve ran forever would change. No more auxiliary brakes because you can’t interrupt the hydraulic lines. The brake levers on CX bars, in addition to the ones on the hoods, have many names. They include cheater, interrupter, top mount, auxiliary, and Runkel.

They are the best way to avoid hand fatigue on long rides over rough and dirt roads. That’s because I move my hands around changing positions; especially, on a long climb.

Shimano GRX Gravel Adventure

Updated ergonomics are what you need to know most about Shimano GRX Gravel Adventure groups and the crankset and levers are the most interesting aspects. In some ways they represent a continuation of trends started 35 years ago: bigger jumps between the chainrings and the levers evolve even more to make the hoods the default hand position. 

Kristen Legan and Parker Bloom Gravel Road biking in Kamloops, British Columbia Kristen Legan and Parker Bloom Gravel Road biking in Kamloops, British Columbia

The groups for gravel and adventure set can be broken down like this now:

  • SRAM: “We’ve simplified our top road groups. It’s the same levers and rear derailleur for 1x or 2x, it’s all eTap, and you can tune it with a free app on your smartphone.”
  • Shimano: “People like choices, so we created 4-5 dozen additional sku#s, most of them functionally redundant to existing product. But we finally introduced subcompact cranks, and you’ll be happy to hear that they use yet another new BCD pattern.”

When it comes to bikes and components, I’m brand agnostic. I get what work works for me and super excited about the return of more flexibility in how Mark builds up my bikes.

Shimano GRX Gravel Adventure Launches and brings with it the return of Runkels!

As per the usual, my personal bikes are always hacked together from various parts. The Modal, is just that a rolling testbed for whatever we’re into and testing. It’s running a combo SRAM/Shimano drivetrain.

Once we get a GRX group in, expect another post about it. For now, Shimano explains what they launched very well at their site.

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Café du Cycliste’s Toile de Jouy Collection

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 13:54

Café du Cycliste’s Toile de Jouy collection is some great looking, unique kit. The collection is available for men and women tomorrow. The limited prints are just in time for the Tour de France, of course, and look lovely evoking French imagery in the design.

Sporty too.

The collection is as French as France as iconic as Eiffel. Wear it across a range of performance road apparel for riding high climbs in high style. Lowlanders like me, probably should chose other more roomy kit.

It’s lovely Café du Cycliste’s Toile de Jouy Collection PR

Inspired by those icons of French cycling history that roused young cyclists on to their saddles and out on to the road, the narrative unfolds on the fabric. The riders: Robic the Goat, Hinault the Badger, Fignon the Professor. The places: – the Giant of Provence, and a nod to the cobbles of the Grammont across the border. The roadside icon: El Diablo. And finally, maybe the greatest scene of them all: Anquetil and Poulidor going shoulder to shoulder on the Puy de Dôme.

The collection brings a touch of à la Francaise to the roads ridden, wherever they may be. Available from the 3rd of May on www.cafeducycliste.com and in Nice, London, and Mallorca stores. They’ll ship to the states too.

If this style interests you, also see what their designers offers in T-shirts for warm weather and merino jerseys for whatever the weather. They have layers up for the outdoors with inner, mid or outerwear. It’s all designed for a cycling lifestyle; including, socks. I like the signature modern French style, premium fabrics and a raft of details makes each piece ideal for back country exploration. They’re sorta like if Rapha were French instead of English.

The graphic on this t is an example.

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Reggie Ramble Gravel Grinder in Canada

Wed, 05/01/2019 - 18:47

Cheers and a blog post from me for people I know in the bike industry just trying to have fun with it and put on a good event like the Reggie Ramble Gravel Grinder in Canada. That seems rare these days. I hope we get back to it after ebikes and indoor cycling wanes.

After all these years, not matter the marketing cycle, I’m into the bike for the long haul. What interests me now is endurance events and of all the gravel grinders I see, this one looks fantastic. Mostly because it’s in Canada, which makes it seem radder than Idaho.

Note: this isn’t what I know some wealthy fondos are like. Expect a more rustic experience.

Reggie Ramble Gravel Grinder PR

REGGIE is teaming up with Superfly Racing to put on a new Gravel Grinder event the REGGIE Ramble in Canada, just outside of Toronto in Warkworth, so mark your calendars for Sept 28th. Jeff Wills told us “REGGIE is all about having fun riding bikes, so we simply have to host a ride. We wanted to have an event that mimics the rides I love to do with my buddies, and that’s where the name comes from: When the weekend ride starts at my house, we call them REGGIE Rambles, and my friends know they’re in for something they’ve never done before.”

This is going to be a unique formula offering three unique loops and three distance options: 60km/ 37miles, 130km/80miles, and the big one 200km/124miles. All riders will ride the first loop, then the longer riders will continue onto the separate second loop, and then the beasts will finish up with the third loop. Each loop starts and finishes with a ride through of the Old Barn at the Warksworth Fair Grounds, and each will feature special “ambush” sections that will contain tough or different terrain or gradients.

The courses also separate the Ramble from the major US races: 70-80% of each loop is dirt or gravel, with only a few road “transition” sections, and the scenery in the Trent Hills region is amazing and unlike any in the other events.

Little-known fact, that I grew up as a kid in Toronto, Ontario and this could make a fun trip.

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Outdoors: Think Tank Backlight Elite 45L

Tue, 04/30/2019 - 19:30

The release of the Think Tank Backlight Elite 45L is well timed. I just got back from a shoot with Tony Gale at Mount Rainer National Park. While there shooting, both of us talked about the right bag for national park landscapes and I know I don’t have one.

Think Tank Backlight Elite 45L, consider all that gear plus a helmet, food, and water.

I do have the best-ever bag for what I shoot (it’s a messenger bag I’ll review in a bit) and for travel the Mission Workshop Rhake + Capsule is my go to.

Mount Rainer capped a three-day weekend that started with the tulip fields. In farm country, I could’ve used a bag designed for the outdoors. Not to also carry a set of axes with bodies and lenses, but a heavy-duty tripod.

The most useful feature would’ve been the stability. A backpack designed for trekking would’ve helped. We walked down a still-snowed in valley to a waterfall. Just like this MindShift’s pro in their product photo. The Think Tank Backlight Elite 45L has an internal frame to keep it steady.

Think Tank Backlight Elite 45L don’t slip on wet rocks either.

That frame and hydration-pack capabilities is why I’m cross-posting the Think Tank Backlight Elite 45L from my camera site. I think this pack from Mindshift would work just as well for a cyclist on a long ride who needs likes to stay organized.

Consider the Think Tank Backlight Elite 45L for Cycling

From Mindshift’s PR:

Get deeper into the backcountry with the MindShift BackLight Elite 45L backpack from Think Tank Photo. 45 liters of internal volume provides ample room. Combine photo/personal gear and a dedicated laptop/tablet. External attachment points accommodate adventure equipment.

Sounds good. The BackLight Elite 45L features YKK AquaGuard zippers. Waterproof/tearproof sailcloth, robust lumbar padding, and a quick-dry back panel for increased ventilation too. And, like MindShift’s other BackLight backpacks, rear-panel access adds security when traveling since your camera gear is protected behind your back.

Think Tank Backlight Elite 45L setup for Hydration. Think Tank Backlight Elite 45L Key Features
  • Storm-resistant construction with YKK® AquaGuard® zippers and waterproof/tearproof Sailcloth
  • Superior Fit: Robust lumbar padding, hip-hugging waist belt, quick-dry back panel, and foam ridges for increased ventilation
  • Back and top panel access to all of your camera gear, allowing you to work out of your bag without getting your harness dirty or wet
  • Aluminum internal frame supports the load and keeps it in place
  • Dedicated compartments fit up to a 17” laptop and a 10” tablet
  • Meets most international and U.S. carry-on requirements*
  • Advanced Airflow: Dual-density, honeycomb mesh shoulder straps
  • Includes tripod/monopod mounting system on front or side
  • Trekking capacity! Front pockets totaling 17L carry personal gear for a day’s outing: extra layers, a jacket, food, etc.
  • Hydration reservoir ready (reservoir not included)
  • 2 large water bottle pockets with cinch cord fit 32 oz. water bottles
  • Snowboard or ski carry with tuck-away, protected edge lash straps
  • Top-lid converts into a belt pack with the removable waist belt
  • Waterproof, heavy-duty Tarpaulin base
  • Seam-sealed, brown colored rain cover blends in with the environment
  • Removable camera compartment with emergency shoulder straps to avoid gate check
  • Removable waist belt for ease when traveling
  • Expandable capacity on all five sides with daisy chain, ice axe loops and additional lash points
  • Compatible with the MindShift Tripod Suspension Kit, Filter Nest/Hive & Switch Case
What Fits

Sony A7R II attached to 24–70mm f/2.8 GM, GoPro Hero 5, DJI Mavic Pro, Mavic Controller, Filter Nest Mini, A7R II attached to 16–35mm f/4. The Think Tank Backlight Elite 45L retails for $399.

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Amsterdam As You’ve Never Seen It Before

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 13:50

If you haven’t flown into Schiphol and then taken the train to rent a bike and ride around, I recommend you do. And, a new book is out that shows Amsterdam as you’ve never seen it before.

The photobook that offers a unique look at Amsterdam, it’s Amsterdam Resized! Taking pictures from rooftops or helicopters, photographer Jasper Léonard points his lens at buildings, canals and street life throughout Amsterdam.  Jasper Leonard uses Tilt-Shift technique to create a bird’s-eye perspective for these amazing photos.

Amsterdam As You’ve Never Seen It Before

Tilt-Shift isn’t a technique I use, but these photos are fantastic and reminds me of our rides there.

“The book is an intimate and magical token of admiration,” said The Sydney Morning Herald and I agree. The famous canals of Amsterdam have been reduced to mere trickles with mini-sized bridges; the joggers in the Vondelpark now resemble Playmobile puppets, and the Stedelijk Museum now looks more like a bath tub.

From the Foreword

The grandiose Amsterdam reduced to the smallest proportions. The pictures of photographer Jasper Léonard zoom out to zoom in on what makes us so unique as a city. The inimitable creativeness. The rich past and the promising future. The defiance and the diversity. The freedom too, to be who you really are. Free- dom celebrated, from the floats of King’s Day to the pubs on the Spui. And that is what you can see in the following pages.

This small, grandiose booklet makes me proud and with me probably many Amsterdammers. From the architectural class of the ring of canals to the moving playfulness of a little rocking horse on a roof terrace: they are all Amsterdam. This is who we are, portrayed in a unique manner.

Amsterdam Resized! is available from Amazon in hardcover for $12.97. A few pages in, you’ll see the enormous bike parking structure look tiny.

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Spring Break and Wrap Up: Sea Otter Classic

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 20:29

In such a rush to get out of town for Spring Break I forgot to set an out of office for the site or schedule any posts…once back next week I’ll have plenty to share. For now, please watch this video Wrap Up: Sea Otter Classic from Troy Lee.

2019 recap of Sea Otter Classic featuring Steve Peat, Cam Zink, Luca Shaw, Mitch Ropelato, Kialani Hines, Leigh Donovan, Kyle Strait, Rachel Strait, Caroline Washam, Lucas Cruz, the TLD groms and of course Troy Lee!

Sea Otter is great event and this video demonstrates that. Be back soon.

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Notre-Dame in Paris Photos by Bike

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 17:59

It’s sad, shocking, and surreal to start my work day watching an 800-year-old landmark burn in realtime. I was in Paris last year street shooting with the a9 and by bike. From the BREAKING NEWS Wire

A fire broke out at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris. The cause was unknown, and firefighters were on the scene after an evacuation.
Monday, April 15, 2019 1:29 PM EST

André Finot, a spokesman for the cathedral, said in a telephone interview that the spire of the cathedral had caught fire.

Video filmed by onlookers and shared on social media showed smoke and flames billowing from the top of the cathedral, engulfing scaffolding and the spire.

I didn’t publish any photos of Notre-Dame when I took them because the scene there is mostly tourists taking photos. Here they are now and shared with a sadness for a landmark everyone should see and photograph. I’m sure they’ll rebuild it.

Notre-Dame in Paris Photos by Bike: this is the west side. The cathedral on the other side burned today.

Notre Dame is a symbol of France. Imagine the scene as thousands stood on the banks of the Seine river watching in shock when the fire tore through the cathedral’s wooden roof and brought down part of the spire.

Notre-Dame in Paris Photos, as seen from the street. Part of Paris Burned

Video shared on Twitter showed smoke and flames billowing from the top of the cathedral and the iconic cathedral collapsing.

#Breaking: Just in – Close up Video of The concrete spire of the iconic cathédrale Notre-Dame de #Paris collapsing inside the church.#NotreDame #France pic.twitter.com/DL5FTJJeHy

— Sotiri Dimpinoudis ❁‏ (@sotiridi) April 15, 2019

Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, the cathedral is currently undergoing extensive renovation work. That’s what I saw around the back of the building. There were gargoyles stacked in scaffolding.

Notre-Dame in Paris Photos, tourists taking photos with phones. Notre-Dame in Paris Photos, tourists taking photos with phones.

About Notre-Dame, Mr. Macron said on Twitter

Like all of our fellow citizens, I am sad tonight to see this part of us burn.

Feature photo: FRANCOIS GUILLOT / AFP

It was lovely and we saw plenty of Parisians cycling. More about cycling Paris

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Zipp 3ZERO MOTO Inspired Wheels Launched

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 12:57

Zipp’s new 3ZERO MOTO inspired wheels launched. Zipp said the new wheelsets provide riders with the control and durability required for pure speed on enduro courses or trail riding. 3ZERO MOTO carbon is available as a 27.5 or 29.

Moto remains a powerful source of inspiration for good reason, Zipp is based in the racing hotbed of Indianapolis. For more than three decades the components company has used motorsports as an inspiration to develop pioneering carbon cycling innovations.

Zipps single-wall approach, what they call Moto Technology, allows the rims to “pivot” from either side of the spoke bed while traversing rough terrain. The approach to comfort is similar to how Stan’s carbon rims flex.

What happens is, when the wheel encounters obstacles, the rim edges flex instead of bounce.  That means there’s a feel of extra suspension and control. If the rider and bike are in control, that means they’re going faster. While an entirely different wheel, what’s why tubular Zipps in cross have been so popular.

Zipp 3ZERO MOTO Inspired Wheels Zipp 3ZERO MOTO Features
  • Higher impact resistance
  • Reduced chance of pinch flatting
  • More traction in rough corners
  • Smoother ride in rocky terrain
  • Ability to run lower tire pressure
  • Reduced rider fatigue

Learn more about Zipp’s latest on their website. I’ve spent hundreds of hours on Zipps and most recently, 650b 303s. In a first for Zipp, they’re offering the rims alone so you can build them up with the hub of your choice. The rims ship in 8 colors too.

I’d consider for my gravel bike building these with a dynamo hub for not only speed an control, but a powered light.

Zipp 3ZERO MOTO Works

From Zipp’s PR, this is how their new wheelset works

  • Lateral stiffness — In a sharp turn, the rim remains stiff, providing confidence that the wheel is firmly planted.  Zipp’s wide hub flanges provide better spoke-bracing angles which help to increase the lateral stiffness.
  • Torsional windup — When torque is applied to the rear hub when pedaling, you don’t want the spokes to create a spring-like flex sapping your wattage. Having 32 spokes at the right tensions keep the wheel constrained during windup, meaning the energy in your legs is efficiently transferred to your rear wheel.
  • Radial compliance — When you hit a rock, the system is designed to act as a shock absorber. Zipp’s MOTO Technology allows the rim to flex, which absorbs the impact energy and spreads it away from the impact zone for increased durability. In essence, more of the rim carries the load from the impact.
  • “Ankle” compliance — Imagine a runner rounding a sharp turn, the ankle naturally flexing to maintain grip as the runner leans. The rim can locally flex to stay parallel to the ground during cornering, which increases traction much like a human ankle. This ability to twist locally allows it to deflect during single bead impacts without the rider getting bounced off line.
  • Durability and ride quality — 3ZERO MOTO rim strength exceeded our expectations for impact resistance due to MOTO Technology compliance. As for ride quality, the wheel also deflected three times more than top rival box-section carbon wheels. That extra compliance behaves like extra suspension, but it also spreads the impact energy over a larger area. This also benefits the rider in the form of pinch flat prevention.
  • The benefits of all that are simple. More control. Fewer line deviations. Greater durability. Fewer pinch flats. The net gain? Pure speed.

I’d consider a set for my gravel bike and building them with a dynamo hub for not only speed and control, but a powered light.

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Mark V & Rivnuts: Repairing water bottle bosses on carbon bikes

Mon, 04/08/2019 - 05:29

Virtually all carbon and aluminium bike manufacturers use something called a “rivnut” as a water bottle boss. A rivnut is like a combination of rivet and a nut, forming a threaded anchor in a thin-walled material. Over time, a rivnut threads can corrode or strip out. Or a bolt could seize within the rivnut and/or the rivnut’s grip in the tube wall could weaken, leaving the rivnut spinning in the frame. Sometimes the rivnut can be retightened, but often times replacement is the only cure.

The basic tactic is to grind out the rivnut without damaging the surrounding tube wall and then replace it with a fresh, maybe stronger rivnut.

 

First Dremel out the outer flange of the stripped rivnut. You might want to protect the surrounding area with a layer of electrical tape in case the tool slips. The goal is to remove the flange without touching the surrounding carbon. Once the flange is thin enough, you might be able to tear it off with pliers. Once the outer flange is removed, you should be able to lightly tap the rivnut so that it falls into the frame interior. With luck, you should be able to shake the rivnut’s remains out of the frame through with the bottom bracket shell or the headtube.

 

The broken rivnut You can rig up a tool with a long 5mm bolt and a 6mm nut, but here’s the proper tool for the job. Most manufacturers use an aluminium nut, which is a relatively soft metal and vulnerable to galvanic corrosion (particularly in carbon frames). For repairs, I use a steel replacement.

 

On the left, a rivnut in its original state. On the right, a rivnut that has been compressed. The corrugated wall crushes to form an interior flange.

 

For extra security and to make up for any damage that might have occurred due to rivnut failure, I coat the replacement rivnut in epoxy before I install. Promptly use a shop rag dampened with denatured alcohol to remove the excess epoxy. The bottle boss is probably good to go immediately, but best results would come after the epoxy finishes curing in 24hrs. Use a well-greased stainless steel bolt to ward off future reoccurrences.

One potential problem is if the you can’t shake the rivnut out of the frame interior. Most current monocoque frames (especially those with tapered fork steerers) have large openings at either the head tube and sometimes the bottom bracket shell. In a worse case scenario, you’ll have to find a way to make it so that the rivnut doesn’t rattle around like the last bean in the coffee can. You’ll need something super sticky.

I suggest spray insulation foam, the kind  you find at a hardware store to fill in spaces in old walls. You will only use a tiny fraction of the canister though. Conveniently the canister comes with a thin straw applicator. So you can snake the little tube into the hole in the frame that the rivnut once occupied, squirt a small dollop of foam inside near the bottom bracket, and then tilt the frame about until the rivnut hits the sticky goo. You will want to wait until the foam cures before riding, but it won’t be rattling loose ever.

If the offending rivnut has a seized bolt in it (probably still loosely but unyieldingly shackling a bottle cage in place), you’ll have to deal with that as well. In that case, it helps to have a Dremel with a small cut-off wheel, but really anything goes…so long as you don’t put any undue stress on the carbon tube or have any stray tool strikes.

I work for titanium framebuilders, whose frames use welded-in bosses and don’t suffer from this issue (though some Ti builders do use rivnuts). Whenever I am fixing this issue, I am rescuing some other brand’s bike. I have executed this fix on everything from Colnagos to Cannondales, Cervelos to Pinarellos….and more than a couple Litespeed titanium frames. So yes, I can and have done this many times. But I have to make it cost enough to justify the time I am not assembling our own custom bikes, and the fee has to be worth the risk responsibility I have to accept when working on your bling carbon bike. And NO, you cannot hang around and watch me as I work.

 

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SRAM Force eTap AXS Pt2: $1000 cheaper and 300gr heavier than Red

Sun, 04/07/2019 - 13:12

 

Why tease the readers by holding back the bottom line? Hot on the heels of the flagship SRAM Red eTap AXS debut in February debut, Force eTap AXS essentially does everything for fewer ducats but at a 300gr penalty. But if you want a good grip on the differences between these two wireless electronic gruppos still fresh from the oven, read on.

 

The Force eTap AXS cassette. 12sp XDR-type in 10-26, 10-28, and 10-33 options

 

These SRAM eTap groupsets are functionally the same, more or less. They are both wireless, electronic 12-speed drivetrains with choices of disc or rim brake and 1x or 2x cranksets.  The derailleurs and levers differ in the construction methods and materials. While having the same electronics, Red AXS units has cold-forged aluminium and UD carbon,  and Force uses aluminium castings and CFR moulding. The XDR-type cassettes offer the same three range choices, but the Force Mini-cluster rivets each cog into a stack. SRAM elegantly carves Red’s costly X-Dome cassette out of single block of steel and caps it with an aluminium 12th cog. The biggest differences come within the brakes and cranksets.

Force AXS flatmount hydraulic caliper. Force eTap AXS rim brake caliper. Short-reach but a little more generous clearances for wider rims and tires in the 28mm range.

The Red eTap AXS hydraulic calipers are almost identical to the previous 11sp eTap’s, featuring the Monobloc design in either post or flatmount. Force AXS caliper uses a new design, entirely different from any of the road groups. In fact, it superficially bares closest resemblance to a flatmount version of SRAM’s budget mtb caliper, the Level LT. Both groups use the same disc rotor though. The Force AXS rim brake takes a parallel path by essentially gussying up the same brake arm forgings used in the existing Rival/Apex groupsets, rather than making a cheaper version of the Red’s AeroLink caliper. This move saves Force almost $100 on Red.

Force eTap AXS crankset with 48/35 replaceable chainrings

When it comes to the cranksets, I strongly suspect that the arms featured in both lines are themselves directly derived from the previous 11sp groups. The moulded carbon-fibre crankarms accept modular chainring spiders or DM chainrings, but different from the previous incarnations, the AXS interface uses the same 8-bolt pattern first seen on powermeter cranksets from SRAM’s sub-brand Quarq. It should come as no surprise that all the Force and Red AXS cranksets can be upgraded with powermeters. There are presumably material differences in the Red and Force crankarm construction that partially explain the $270 difference in cost in the outwardly identical shapes, but the biggest difference comes in the chainrings.

SRAM AXS powermeter spider, $599 upgrade.

SRAM designed Red AXS with the marginal gains philosophy, so the Red chainring options put lightweight and performance before economy. That means the double chainring sets are formed one-piece. Not only that, but the rings are integrated into the powermeter versions. Wear out the rings, and you’ll need to replace it all as a unit. On the other hand, Force AXS cranks allow you to replace the rings individually, including on the $599 powermeter 2x spider available as an upgrade.

One other difference: Force AXS cranksets offer a GXP spindle option. Why? Because it turns out that SRAM has not provided for a press-fit DUB bottom bracket that can fit Trek’s BB90 standard, nor have they developed an external bearing BB to fit Italian-thread (either for dimensional limitations and/or cost reasons).

In the next couple days, I will continue with a Part 3 to the eTap AXS narrative so I can talk about its possibilities and limitations. And I will probably point out how much I disapprove of the DUB standard.

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SRAM Force eTap AXS : Part 1 (all the acronyms in the world)

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 02:05

Not quite two months ago, SRAM debuted their flagship Red eTap AXS. It’s the definitive expression of the wireless electronic shifting system. This week SRAM is building momentum with the announcement of a 2nd-tier road gruppo. Force eTap AXS has put all that tech within reach of the masses. That’s if they can get through the confusion that is SRAM’s marketing.

According to SRAM, the term “eTap” is strictly an electronic road gruppo reference, itself an allusion to the “DoubleTap” ergonomics of their original mechanical dropbar shifters. But the new “AXS” is a blanket term for any of the updated electronic shift systems, road or mtn, that feature enhanced integration and customization. This means that the original 11sp Red eTap is not AXS, nor are any of its shifters or derailleur compatible with the 12sp-only AXS components. Conversely, all of SRAM’s 12sp mtn gruppos are branded “Eagle” in general, and the new electronic mtn gruppos are labeled specifically “XX1 Eagle AXS” and “XO1 Eagle AXS”.

eTap is Road, Eagle is Mountain, AXS is Both

So eTap is road only, Eagle means 12sp mtn, and AXS is only the newest electronic road and mtn groups (which happen to be 12sp).

Except that the batteries powering all the derailleurs (as well as the new Rockshox Reverb AXS dropper post) are the same eTap battery. SRAM of course has now dropped the eTap moniker from all recent references to the “SRAM battery“, just to destroy any sense of logic or perception of continuity in their branding.

Tomorrow I’ll have more a chance to discuss the Force AXS. How it relates to the rest of the AXS systems too. For now you just need to accept that the bike industry’s love for insufferable acronym word salads barely exceeds their penchant for creating new bottom brackets standards. And I will not be talking about SRAM’s unforgivable “DUB” bottom bracket standard.

Also see this post about Stradas with AXS.

 

 

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Strada Force eTAP AXS: 3T’s 1X Road Bikes Go Electronic

Wed, 04/03/2019 - 19:24

Previously, eTap electronic wireless shifting was only available at the Red level. This meant the technology was out of reach for a lot of people or cyclists with more discerning tastes. In the second generation, announced today, SRAM is offering eTap at the Force level. Mark V is writing about Force eTap AXS in another post. This one is about Strada & Strada Due Force eTAP AXS.

3T offers two models with Force eTap AXS. The first is the Strada, 3T’s breakthrough aero frame with unparalleled comfort. It’s still the only aero frame optimized around the comfort of larger tires (depending on the tire and rim combo even 32mm effective width tires can fit, realistically it’s a 28), we always knew the Strada would come into its own with a 12-speed drivetrain.

The difference between the Red and Force is the finishes. The internals are the same. Force weighs more because the finish are of a less quality.

The two groups feel the same.

Strada Force eTAP AXS

The Force eTap drivetrain comes with a 10-33 cassette and a 44t chainring, given you the top-end gear of around a 48×11 (or 53×12) and the climbing gear of a 36×27, so very close to a standard drivetrain for all terrains. The 12 cogs in the back have nice small steps through the whole range with 1-tooth jumps for the first 6 cogs. That feels more like a road bike. 3T builds the Stradas up with revamped Discus C35 wheels, carbon SuperErgo cockpit with Pirelli tires & Fizik tape. It’s a good build and at a reasonable price. 3T added a new red livery for the Force  eTap AXS groupset.

For those prefer a front derailleur, 3T offers the Strada DUE Force eTap AXS. The Strada Due gets a similar finishing kit to the Strada, but of course with a front derailleur and 2×12 gears.

Strada Force eTAP AXS Pricing and Availability

For pricing, spec, and more details about Strada Force eTAP AXS click through to 3Ts site. I’d share the differences between the groups, but SRAM hadn’t published them at the time of the story.

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Green Guru Waistpack Available at REI

Mon, 04/01/2019 - 17:31

Colorado-based eco-friendly outdoor brand collaborates with industry leaders to bring the sustainably-made Tripster to market.  A Green Guru Waistpack Available at REI is great news for cyclists. Also, shoppers who prefer upcycled materials and working with co-ops.

A Green Guru pouch travels with me wherever I go on the bike. In it are my keys, credit card, and a bit of paper money.

At its roots, Mountainsmith is a fanny pack expert that cares deeply about our environment,” says Torie Palffy, marketing manager at Mountainsmith. “Green Guru, a fellow Colorado-based brand, is arguably the best in the industry at turning upcycled goods into cool, functional gear, while REI provides consumers with locations across the country to recycle various materials. Mountainsmith handled the design aspect of this project, and together we created a truly unique, sustainably sourced product that we are incredibly proud of.

Each Tripster pack involves all three companies. REI Co-op members drop off old bike tubes and climbing rope at REI, Green Guru takes those recyclables, as well as other excess materials from around the industry, and turns them into pack material. Green Guru then employs Mountainsmith’s expertise in waist pack design to build each pack at its manufacturing facility in Colorado. Each pack is constructed with different upcycled materials, so each piece is unique in its own way and features different colors, patterns and prints.

Find the Tripster at REI for $44.95.

Green Guru Waistpack Available at REI Features
  • Green Guru sourced tent and canopy fabric, REI provided tubes. Climbing rope and Mountainsmith designed a pack you’ll love to wear
  • Fabric colors and patterns will vary.
  • Base is made from durable, waterproof upcycled bike tube rubber from members.
  • Lash tab made from upcycled bike tube material hints at rugged origins
    Double zipper on main compartment.
  • Stylish design from Colorado.

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His Name is Dnyan and He’s Riding a Bike

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 19:31

Daily doodles and the links Google shares in search aren’t a news story for me to share. Until, I noticed this one about the bike and Google translate. His Name is Dnyan and he’s riding a bike.

His Name is Dnyan and He’s Riding a Bike

With only a tent, a bicycle, and Google Translate, he’s riding a four-year journey. And, doing so to learn from a world of people.

Every morning, Dnyan Yewaktar does what millions of people do: He gets ready for a bike ride. The difference? His destination is never the same. It might be a Buddhist temple in South Korea, a hostel in Tokyo, or a baseball stadium on the outskirts of Havana.

For the past two years, Dnyan has been traveling from country to country, riding his bike through small towns and big cities, with a singular focus. His goal is to ride in Gandhi’s footsteps, spreading peace, love, and compassion. To do so, he hopes to meet as many people as he can, learn from them, and share what he knows about the world.

The connection to Google is Dynan is using Translate. Most inspiring,  is he measures the success of his mourning in the people who have left an imprint on his soul.

It’s a great story and should appeal to anyone that’s thought about giving it all up and riding around the world. The last time I remember Google publishing stories about the bike is when they launched Bike Maps and their bikes.

 

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Koroyd Responds to Wavecel with a Nope!

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 19:01

Finally Koroyd responds to Wavecel with a “Nope!” I’m sure incredulous about the visual similarities too between the two anti-slip helmet materials

In case you missed it, Bontrager released Wavecel after weeks of hype and many, including me, noticed the similarities between the materials. MIPS, the original anti-slip technology, also responded with an equally dismissive tone.

My take is, isn’t it great that we have bike brands arguing over safety v. speed. It’s the cyclists that wins and I welcome more helmet tech. And, a culture from Trek that puts safety first.

If your helmet doesn’t have an anti-slip liner in it, throw it out, and buy one that does. All of the tech better protects your brain in the event of a crash because it keeps the helmet on your head instead of rotated off.

I’ve included the press release from Koroyd below. Normally, I would read their PR, parse out the marketing, and tell you what they said. Because Koroyd, are scientists and engineers, I’m just sharing it.

Circular Tube Structures Are Scientifically Proven To Be The Most Efficient Energy Absorbers

Koroyd has established itself as the pioneers in head protection following lessons learned from a very high profile air disaster in the UK. A research project, initiated by the CAA, established that a circular tube is the most efficient structure to absorb energy for a given distance. On the back of these findings, we developed Koroyd as an arrangement of thousands of miniature tubes welded together into a single structure. Through the tubular geometry, the Koroyd structure exhibits significantly higher energy absorption capabilities than other materials. Koroyd was the first open-cell material which was commercially integrated inside helmets to absorb energy through plastic deformation of the geometry, rather than the traditional compression of a foam.

Rotational Acceleration Remains Outside Of International Standards

In recent years more and more emphasis has been placed on the risks of rotational acceleration to your brain, however it should be noted that this subject still remains unaddressed by the international standards surrounding head protection. Instead, there is a scientific community and various private companies, who are researching and delivering solutions which potentially reduce the risk of rotational acceleration to your brain during an accident. Whilst not currently a legal requirement of any helmet, rotational impacts are known to represent a risk – and one which is actually substantially reduced as a by-product of reducing LINEAR ACCELERATION.

The Importance Of Reducing Linear Acceleration

Consider that your brain is suspended within a bath of cervical-spinal fluid, surrounded by a protective membrane called the dura. When your head hits something hard, your skull decelerates and stops but your brain continues to move, colliding with the inside of the skull. In this collision, your brain can sustain any number of injuries, from bleeding in the brain, to shearing of the tissue, or bleeding between the brain and the dura, or between the dura and the skull. The type and severity of injury is determined by all acceleration to the brain.

Now consider that linear acceleration IS a parameter which features prominently within ALL current international standards, and is an area within which Koroyd equipped helmets DRAMATICALLY outperform the legal limits. This is as a result of Koroyd’s self-imposed ‘Helmet Safety Initiative’ under which Koroyd equipped helmets have to voluntarily meet much lower limits compared to those mandated in the standards.

Regardless of the impact direction, ultimately linear acceleration is always going to be important. And reducing linear acceleration will also reduce angular acceleration which is a result of oblique impacts.

Koroyd’s Holistic Approach To Helmet Design

It is widely accepted that to efficiently absorb LINEAR ENERGY a helmet must make maximum use of the 20-30mm of thickness available within the liner to optimally decelerate your head in an impact – which Koroyd does.

To effectively manage linear and rotational forces the helmet must be designed as a complete system. The former requires compression of materials (and in Koroyd’s case a unique ‘crumple zone’ approach), whereas the latter requires a system capable of fluid movement to redirect the energy.

This is why established systems which claim to reduce rotational forces typically operate independently of the core liner.

Our belief is that any system designed to reduce rotational energy should compliment the helmet’s ability to absorb linear energy, not compromise it by design – especially as it’s actually the latter that is the only component of the global certification requirements.

Whilst we welcome any advancement in helmet technology which has the potential to lower the risk of injuries, Koroyd remains wary of a technology that potentially shift’s the pendulum of the debate way too far in the opposite direction from established industry standards, favouring a focus on reducing rotational acceleration, at the potential detriment of linear impact performance.

Helmets have to offer holistic protection against linear and rotational acceleration. We are currently evaluating the Bontrager helmets under the same published test protocols that the rest of the market are working to. Despite the fact that we strongly believe the existing helmet standards allow helmets to be certified to a level which represents too high a risk of injury (which is why we established the Koroyd Helmet Safety Initiative), we also believe that it is important to offer consumers accurate information based around industry-wide, standardised test protocols.

From The Pioneers In Head Protection The Original Green Material

Koroyd equipped helmets are currently exceeding global industry standards in cycling, snow, motorcycling, industrial safety and military markets. Over the last 10 years our company has developed a profound knowledge of materials, construction, accident dynamics and human injury tolerances, we apply it daily through all our activities. We are looking forward to seeing more scientific led research and solutions as well as acceptance across the board as to what better performinghelmets are and then to ultimately see that implemented in future standards. There is currently too much marketing led communication which is not built on accepted knowledge – we all have a duty to present factually to those enjoying our products, whatever their activity.

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The Man of Steel Video Series

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 11:34

In the first episode of the upcoming The Man of Steel video series, Giovanni Battaglin takes you inside his workshop. That’s where he builds eponymous steel frames.

I can’t get enough handbuilt bike content and sharing the start of this eries for Battaglin’s emphasis on Columbus tubing. Over the course of the next 8 videos, Battaglin unveils the “secret formula” he has been using to make some of the most successful and iconic steel bikes in the late 80s and 90s, like Stephen Roche’s Triple Crown bike.

We wanted our customers to see how their steel frames are made. We’re proud of the final result, and we can’t wait to launch the complete series

That’s a big effort for a small company and while own production bikes, my custom is the go to. It was built right here in Seattle by Bill Davidson. Looking at Giovanni Battaglin’s site, the Power+ Disc model appeals to me the most for the fillet-brazing, front and rear axles with a carbon fork.

Stop Steel Features
  • Fillet –brazed steel frame
  • Columbus Spirit HSS tubeset
  • Carbon tapered fork
  • Tapered head tube 1”1/8 1”1/2
  • English BB
  • Front and rear thru-axle 142×12 mm
  • Head parts and seat collar included

While I prefer Ti, not going to argue with a high-quality steel bike. The last one I rode was a Wilier, another Italian brand and wrote about it in this post.

If you are into the bike, as a hobby or lifestyle, I strongly recommend you add a steel whip to your quiver. It’s like vinyl for an audiophile, shooting b/w for a photographer, or eating street-vending noodles for a foodie. Columbs tubing has stood the test of time too. And, will give you that steel is real ride quality you’ll never get with a carbon bike. It won’t be as fast, but that’s not what riding a classic like a a bike from Battaglin is about.

 

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MIPS Responds to WaveCel

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 10:35

There’s nothing brands in the bike biz like more than out standardizing each other with propriety products. That’s for sure and today MIPS responds to Wavecel with a resounding, “prove it.”

I noticed this in the study Trek cites too about their anti-slip helmet liner. The difference between their WaveCel and MIPS-equipped helmets are negligible. And, only slightly better than Koroyd that’s in Smith helmets. Here’s a quote from MIPS

Preliminary test results of WaveCel helmets by MIPS cannot substantiate these claims. While further testing is warranted, MIPS cannot see that the helmets perform in a way that the claims Bontrager/WaveCel makes in the comparison between WaveCel and other helmets/technologies.

Both have 5-star-ratings screenshot from Virgina Tech.

While Trek, MIPS, and Koroyd hash this out. What you need to know is if your current helmet doesn’t include an anti-slip system to keep it on your head in a crash then it’s a good time to replace it.

MIPs, Wavecel, Koroyd, and Composite Fusion from Kali work significantly better than helmets without a retention system. With all of them performing better, find one that’s comfortable and fits your head.

MIPS Responds to WaveCel

Also, pay attention to how well the helmet moves air. The first iteration of Smith’s helmet negated the Venturi effect and was too steamy for me. Later, Smith reduced the amount of Koroyd in the helmets. MIPS can fatigue your scalp during a ride because of  padding and straps touching your head. The MIPS inside a Lazer helmet, for example, I just can’t wear. The POC won’t even go on my head.

Any of those brand may fit you perfectly. I haven’t worn a WaveCel, but of the other three styles, Kali is the most comfortable and what I wear daily. In calling out Trek, what we can hope happens is more testing.

 

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