Tech of the week: New UCI geometry rules, FSA electronic groupset and more from Eurobike
Our pick of the best tech stories from the last seven days
With Eurobike, the world s leading trade fair for the cycling industry, happening last week, it was not easy to round up the best news from the world of tech. Many new and great products have been launched, so picking the best has not been an easy call.
UCI set to scrap rule limiting aero race bike design
Commissaires inspect a time trial bike (Photo: Watson)
According to a Cycling Weekly source1, the UCI, cycling s government body, is set to scrap the 3:1 rule that limits the tube profiles and aerodynamics of bikes used in races under its rules. The UCI code states that the proportion between length and width of equipment (including frames, handlebars and other components) cannot exceed 3:1. This rule has affected bike manufacture and design for years, but it now seems highly possible that the UCI will allow different ratios. Consequently, this will possibly bring a revolution in bike production and will have a great impact on the market.
FSA launches new WE electronic groupset
After five years of development and prototyping, FSA has shown its brand-new electronic groupset2. This product features semi-wireless control: the shifters are connected wirelessly through ANT+ to the wired derailleurs (these two connected by a closed circuit and internal battery with a claimed life of 4,000 to 6,000 km). FSA called its groupset WE (Wireless Electron) and has opted for an 11-speed option. It will be available in both rim and disc brake options and the weight of the latter is claimed to be slightly over 2 kg. FSA WE will be available on the market from May 2017.
Garmin launches a voice-controlled action cam
With the new Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 action cam3, you will not need to take your helmet off or touch any buttons to start recording. You just need to say Ok, Garmin: start recording and the camera will do it for you. The new VIRB also features a touch screen, an integrated GPS, will shoot HD movies with a 4K Ultra/30fps feature, slow motion, pictures up to 12 Mp and (among others) a night mode with long exposure. If you have an iOS device you can also broadcast your activity live on YouTube and other social networks.
The revolutionary new bike that can tell you how aerodynamic you are
The Argon 18 smart bike4 (which is still a prototype) will give you real time feedback on your aerodynamic position thanks to a computer integrated in the handlebar and connected to more than 30 sensors placed almost everywhere in its frame. Not only that: this smart bike will also be able to indicate your heart rate, its variability, body temperature, lactic acid, muscle oxygenation and other data that will help athletes and coaches to analyse and improve performance.
It will also be able to connect via Bluetooth, ANT+ and WiFi to other cycle units and computers. Argon said this bike has been worked on for more than two years and when released the measurement software and hardware can also be added to other manufacturers models as an after-market product.
This device can make your bike 12 Watts more efficient
Flaer, a new company from Scotland, has developed a lubrication device5 that oils your chain while you ride. Flaer claims that this system can have a great impact on drive train efficiency and could make your bike 12 watts more efficient. The device, called Revo Via system, uses a reservoir that dispenses a special lubricant onto your chain through a modified rear derailleur cage. The advantage is that the chain can be lubricated and kept in tip-top condition throughout long rides, and also in wet and dirty conditions.
The company, which developed the system with an unnamed World Tour Team said that: Revo Via would offer a huge advantage in races such as Paris Roubaix.
Flaer will be available for 250 in the UK, with additional bottles of lubricant available for 6.
- ^ According to a Cycling Weekly source (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
- ^ FSA has shown its brand-new electronic groupset (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
- ^ new Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 action cam (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
- ^ The Argon 18 smart bike (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
- ^ a lubrication device (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)