Bend in the Road: Riding by numbers

Power meters, speedometers, sleep trackers, heart-rate monitors, muscle-oxygenation meters, altimeters… there is no shortage of digital measurement tools available for cyclists to quantify ourselves and the minutiae of our lives. But what is valuable and what is just noise? I have played with all of these things and more, and come to an equilibrium of sorts with gadgets and digital technology. Here’s what works for me.

Let the cloud mind your data

Isn’t part of the joy of riding a bike to escape from it all? To unplug our minds from the electronic mayhem of our daily lives and engage our bodies with the natural world? Yes, absolutely.

Yet, there is something to be said for measurement. One thing I appreciate about modern computers and various training software is their ability to track a slew of metrics — and then store all that data online for you to dig into when you please. Just press start and enjoy your ride. Look at the world around you as you ride (or maybe just your friend’s hub as he tries he darnedest to drop you), then look at the numbers later.

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There are two core benefits to any of these tools, be they state-of-the-art power meters or your bathroom scale. One, they provide objective measurement. And two, when used regularly, they allow for analysis that can lead to improvement.

This basic feedback loop applies whether you’re interested in something geeky — like raising your FTP and W/kg while lowering your CdA (AKA ‘drag area’) and heart rate — or something simple — like getting yourself ready to do a big weekend ride with your buddies.

Tools I use

Tools I can’t bring myself to care about

The key component – human judgment

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Litelok: To create an innovative product was always the aim

The basic D/U-lock design hasn’t changed in years, and with good reason – it’s solid, secure and reliable as far as it goes. But it’s also darn heavy, which is where the Litelok steps in. Its UK maker has developed a proprietary material called Boaflexicore that is light, strong and flexible.

With Litelok smashing its crowdfunding target on Kickstarter last year, and set to show off its latest offerings at the London Bike Show’s Innovation Zone later this week, we wanted to know what makes it unique, and what the future holds for the brand.

We’ve got a 10% discount off advanced adult tickets to the London Bike Show – just enter the code ‘BR1620’ when registering at www.thelondonbikeshow.co.uk.

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Please describe your product in two or three sentences

Litelok is the world’s first light, flexible and secure bike lock. After years of research and development, Litelok launched on the crowdfunding site, Kickstarter, in March 2015 with the aim of raising £20,000 to help bring the project to production. We surpassed all original expectations and 2,000 backers from 57 countries helped us raise a final total of £232,078. 

What makes it innovative or unique?

Litelok harnesses the unique security properties of multiple innovative lightweight materials to create a composite strap called Boaflexicore. Each layer provides additional security, meaning it can withstand sustained attack from tools like cable cutters, bolt croppers and hacksaws.

What was the hardest thing about developing it?

Where is it developed and made?

How much does it cost and where can people buy it?

Do you have new designs or iterations in the works?

More info on the London Bike Show

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Tacx Satori Smart T2400

The Satori Smart does everything you need to hook up with the latest training software, or just tech up your sessions and it does it all very simply and intuitively.

The Smart sits right on the edge of what we’d call a true smart trainer, but that actually makes it more versatile in many ways. For a start, the electromagnetic brake is self propelled and the 10 different resistance curves (which rise to a 600-900W max) are controlled from the bar with a quick fit thumb lever. That means you don’t need to hook it up to the mains to get your work done which opens up a much wider field of use including pre/post event warm up/down. 

Portable potential

The fact it’s light, and flat-packs down easily, also makes it easy to bring along for a much more accurate warm up than a couple of sprints and a check of heart rate before you line up behind the tape. The two wide-splayed legs lock into place with the weight of you and the bike to make it pretty tolerant of uneven surfaces, and and it even comes with a front wheel levelling block so hand position and saddle angle aren’t affected.

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The wide-splayed legs are decently solid on uneven surfaces

Once you’ve adjusted the metal-skinned roller tension to stop it skipping and slipping, the broad foot pedal makes it easy to engage and release, even in cycling shoes with wobbly post-session legs. The driveside adjustable axle clamp is cranked up in under half a turn with the big flat cam paddle on the offside too, so it’s no hassle to set up even if you’ve no spare space to leave it in situ between sessions.

Intuitive smart capabilities

  • Wattage deviation: -10
  • Roll down from 200W: 13 secs
  • Noise level (200W): 90dB

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Kingdom Switch

Kingdom’s stunning titanium Switch frame builds on the success of the Danish brand’s shorter-travel Hex – and is designed to be ridden even harder.

Tidy Ti frame and handbuilt shock

Although it shares its twin-link suspension design with the Hex, the Switch gets an additional direct-mount shock linkage. Kingdom claims this makes it less progressive in the last part of its 160mm (6.3in) of travel.

Related: Kingdom Hex

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There’s a good choice of shocks, including the fancy handbuilt PUSH Elevensix damper we tested. The welds are neat, as is the internal cable/hose routing (though we found the latter a little rattly). Other details include a threaded BB shell, replaceable dropouts and Ti pivot and shock bolts. The Switch has been designed around a single chainring, with no provision for a front derailleur.

The handbuilt PUSH Elevensix shock is a fettler’s dream, with twin compression circuits

One for the fettlers

  • Frame: Ti-3Al-2.5V titanium alloy, 160mm (6.3in) travel
  • Fork: RockShox Pike RCT3 Solo Air, 160mm (6.3in) travel
  • Shock: PUSH Elevensix
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 (1×11)
  • Rims: ENVE M70
  • Hubs: Chris King
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Magic Mary TrailStar 27.5×2.35in (F) and Maxxis High Roller II EXO 27.5×2.4in (R)
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide RSC
  • Bar: ENVE DH, 800mm
  • Stem: Burgtec Enduro MK2, 35mm
  • Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth
  • Saddle: Fabric Scoop
  • Weight: 14.38kg (31.7lb), medium size without pedals

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Enduro Bearings' factory turns out premium US-made smoothness

Cartridge bearings are truly ubiquitous in cycling equipment these days, being used in wheels, bottom brackets, suspension pivots, and even shifters and brake levers. Basically, if it rotates, there’s a good chance you’ll find one there. 

As you’d guess, most cartridge bearings are made in Asia but Enduro Bearings is bucking that trend, manufacturing its premium XD-15 cartridges from start to finish right in its home state of California. We recently visited the factory to take a look at how it’s done.

First off, why bother with US domestic production at all? After all, Enduro already produces the bulk of its bearings overseas and Asian factories have proven themselves time and again of not only being able to produce very high quality but often at a significant cost savings, too.

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Enduro says it’s after the ultimate in dimensional tolerances with its premium XD-15 hybrid ceramic range, however, and there’s a little more wiggle room in terms of manufacturing costs given the high-end retail pricing.

Enduro says it produces its XD-15 hybrid ceramic bearing range in small batches in the US because it’s the only way to ensure the desired quality

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar