Raptor smart glasses feel the need… the need for speed

With the Raptor smartglasses, Israeli firm Everysight is bringing 30 years’ experience of developing fighter jet display technology to the world of cycling wearables – and it really shows.

Everysight, a spin-off of defence tech company Elbit Systems, is using augmented reality technology that overlays information such as speed, bearing, altitude, position and more directly into your line of sight.

Related: Recon Jet smartglasses review

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Could this display layout be better for cyclists than screens in the peripheral vision?

It’s called Everysight Beam, and the makers say this approach – rather than the peripheral screens used by rivals such as Recon Jet and Kopin Solos – cuts distractions, reduces eyestrain and eliminates opaque display elements that can obscure the field of view.

Another big potential plus is that the glasses are claimed to be much lighter and more comfortable than existing alternatives, with superior optics. We’re interested to see how those claims stand up, and plan to put some test units through the BikeRadar wringer as soon as they’re available.

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Wiggle rolls out own-brand wheels

Online super-retailer Wiggle sets its sights on the wheel market with Cosine, its own range of six road cycling wheels. 

Having already entered the parts and components market with LifeLine, its in-house tyre brand, Wiggle is setting up to go head-to-head against some of the big wheel manufacturers such as Shimano and Mavic. The range, which includes three carbon clincher wheels and three alloy wheels, covers various disciplines of road cycling and ranges from £70 to £600 per set. 

At the top of the range, the £600 carbon clincher wheels come with wider rims and a rounded profile, and are supplied with carbon-specific brake pads. The wheels are completed with alloy hubs, sealed cartridge bearings and Sapim CX Delta spokes with CN-14G nipples, 20 front and 24 rear. 

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The alloy wheelset comes with a selection of rim depths and widths, including a six-bolt disc brake compatible wheelset at £180 with a 23mm deep profile aimed at cyclocross and all-weather commuters, and a 32mm wheelset which comes tubeless ready. 

If you’re in the market for a new wheelset, our buyer’s guide to road bike wheels will help you decide what you need. 

Cosine carbon clincher wheels

Cosine alloy wheels

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Home Wrench: Things you want for Christmas

With the holiday season fast approaching, I thought it appropriate to skip the handy tips and tricks for one column and do a (hopefully) non-cliché Christmas gift list.

Rather than focusing solely on the obvious things you’ll find in your local bike store, I reasoned, why not mix it up and include items you may not have considered?

Below are some fine examples of items I’d happily receive myself (hint, hint, Home Wrench fans!).

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Hex keys like no other

While you may already own a nice set of hex keys, you can probably do with another – even if it just means you end up with a ‘car set’. I haven’t shied away from admitting my unhealthy buying obsession of quality hex keys, and with this, I can strongly recommend the following.

Made in the USA, Bondhus is a safe choice

Knipex Pliers Wrench

JIS screwdriver

Park Tool adjustable torque driver

Finish Line Mechanics Gloves

Quality workshop apron

Abbey Bike Tools Crombie tool

RockShox (or Fox) digital shock pump

A quality compressor, or tubeless tyre pump

Bike mechanic course

Super duper workstand

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

MTB Batteries Lumenator front light

The price (including postage) is new but the Lumenator has been around and impressing our testers for a couple of years. The simple ribbed twin LED head unit still knocks out 1800 lumens with a decent enough spread for bar use and enough reach to spot trail trouble far enough ahead at speed.

MTB Batteries started out offering upgrade batteries for other people’s lights before starting to design its own, meaning the battery is much better quality than most cheap lights with an impressive initial run-time that holds its capacity well even if you’re using it intensively.

Related: the best mountain bike lights

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Practical detail is outstanding for the price too. The bag battery comes with a stabiliser strap to stop it sliding backwards and forwards on frame tubes. The luminous green O-rings for the light mount are also easy to see if you drop them in a dark car park.

Rather than putting a strobe setting into the mode merry-go-round like some cheap lights do, there’s a separate button for the flashing sequence and they’re even colour coded so you don’t hit the wrong one just as you drop into a descent. Reliability has been excellent on every MTB Batteries light we’ve used too but check you’re actually buying from the company direct – as even at this bargain price there are some lower quality copycat lights about.

  • Weight: 523g
  • Run time: 3:50hr

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Here's what it's like to ditch the clips for flat pedals

There’s no doubt that clipping in has many benefits for mountain bikers. After all, it works well for Rachel Atherton and Danny Hart, right?

But it’s all too easy to rely on being clipped in to give you a lift over obstacles, rather than employing good technique. As I’ve recently found out, switching to flat pedals can help, but it can also take some getting used to – and some expert tips from a coach won’t go amiss either. 

Feeling flat

I’ve spent the last 10 years mountain biking clipped in to my pedals. I love the sound of that heavy ‘clunk’ when I set off, and the security of knowing my feet won’t slip when I’m out the back of the saddle on a steep descent. But if I’m honest, I know I use my feet to leverage the bike up and over obstacles when there’s a better way. I know my skills have been limited by my laziness in ditching the SPDs and learning how to manual a bike properly. I know the theory.

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Related: Flat out or clipped in?

Riding a 140mm / 5.5in travel enduro bike all summer expands the range of gnar I’m prepared to tackle. I’ve become a passenger on trails I never thought I’d even contemplate, but mostly it’s about hanging on and surviving.

The shoes

The clipped-in test run

Going flat out (or not)

Ally Campbell’s top transition tips

  1. Get the right kit. Make sure you have a good set of shoes and pedals. Don’t use trainers! The shoe must be comfortable and allow you to drive in to the pedal. Your pedal should be nice and thin, lowering your centre of gravity on the bike, which is especially important for 27.5 bikes with lower bottom brackets. The pedal should cover much most of your shoe. (Certainly the 2FOs are comfortable, grippy and solid. A good start!)
  2. Get your foot position right. Always try to place your dominant lead foot on the pedal first. You want to have the axle just behind the ball of your foot giving good movement to drop the heels and also allowing the foot to adopt a more natural position for the important power stroke.  
  3. Pump rather than lift. This is the big one but isn’t about flats or clips: you should be pumping in any footwear! Don’t lift the bike with your feet. It leaves you far too vulnerable (you create an over-rotation that is not a good thing). Rather, ‘push’ the bike with your hands and ‘pump’ rather than lift. This way you under-rotate the bike. You really can get lots of energy from the trail rather than trying to pedal all the time too! (This is where I’m particularly lazy, which losing the cleats has put in the spotlight).
  4. Drop your wrists and heels. As you roll into descents or are coasting along the trail, drop your heels and wrists a touch to move your centre of gravity back and down. This really helps in more technical situations or when things are starting to get a bit out of control! 
  5. Relax! I see lots of riders looking quite tense while they are riding, almost fighting the trail. Relax, breath and enjoy your riding.  

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Eurostar scraps bike boxing rules

After weeks of vocal opposition, Eurostar has backed down on its plans to force cyclists to box up their bikes before boarding the cross-channel trains.

In a statement emailed to cycling charity CTC, Eurostar said: “You will be pleased to know that we are not intending to go ahead with the requirement for all bikes to be carried in boxes and will accept fully-mounted bikes.”

Related: Delays reported on Eurostar cycle carriage policy

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The plan was going to be implemented from 1 November, according to Eurostar so that more luggage could be carried. However, reports suggested that cyclists could still travel with their bike unboxed as recently as 3 November.

Customer concern

BikeRadar asked Eurostar this morning, why the change of heart? A spokesperson said: “We understand that the new policy caused concern, we listened to feedback carefully. Because of the concerns that some customers raised we decided to revert back to the original policy.”

This means passengers can continue to bring their bikes with them for the princely sum of £30, without the hassle of dismantling them. It represents something of a victory for the charity CTC, which managed to galvanise support on both sides of the Channel for its ‘Zero stars for Eurostar’ campaign, attracting more than 9,700 signatures.

Success

Green credentials

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar