Posts in the category Gadgets

Friday Roundup – Bicycle Bits & Pieces

  •  The Tour of Estonia and Tartu Rattaralli will be in televised live on the web starting May 30th.
  • Stephen Baptist is doing a summer internship project and needs your help completing a questionnaire about a proposed Cycle Expo in India.
  • Pro MTB Racer Payson McElveen is racing to benefit World Bicycle Relief.
  • The third and final regional winner of the 2014 Bell Built is Richmond Regional Ride Center in Richmond, VA. Congrats to all the winners of the grant program!
  • Planning a multi-day bike adventure this summer? Check out the Scrubba – a pocket-size “washing machine” (and it weighs only 5 oz!)
  • Après Vélo has a 5 video series out called Pizza & Peronis with Henk Vogels: tales from the Giro d’Italia.
  • The Campagnolo Experience bike tour was such a success last year that it will be offered again this year with even more cycling - a nine day trip with 5 days of riding across Italy: 600km and 13,500 km of climbing, entry in the Gran Fondo Campagnolo in Rome, and tours of the Campagnolo factory and official winery.
  • Pactimo Cycling Apparel has announced their jersey trade-up program – donate your old jersey and receive a 50% refund on a new one.
  • Want to finish out Bike Month on a roll? Become a member of The League of American Bicyclists and help support an organization that works for cyclists.

The Robert Axle Solves 142×12 MTB Trailer Woes

Robert Axle Ibis 142x12For adventures or those with kids, having the ability to tow a trailer behind their bicycle is essential. Unfortunately for those riders, they’ve been cornered out of the new bike market, because the current 142×12 standard is incompatible with virtually all of the trailers on the market.

Luckily, the aftermarket has come up with a solution in the form of the Robert Axle Project. A company which offers four different axles, with different thread pitches, that fits over 30 of the most popular bike brands.

The axles are easy to install and require no special tools. To find out if there is a solution for your bike and trailer, head over to their website here, and choose your bike and application. Most axles retail for between $52-57 and the company offers flat rate shipping of $7.0 to the US, $24 USD to Canada, and $27 Internationally.

Robert Axle Project

Rotor Updates Power Meter Firmware, Software to Improve Accuracy & Battery Life

Rotor has just issued an update for its Power Meter cranks to resolve issues related to zero calibration and battery life. The units use a dual power meter to individually measure left and right leg power. They were introduced at Eurobike 2012 but didn’t start shipping until Spring 2013. Check out the tech details in this post.

Their sponsored riders found that batteries were getting drained very quickly. The culprit? Transportation. Having the bikes jostle and vibrate while in the team can or on a rack we’re keeping the system awake and trying to transmit, which killed the battery. (BTW, this problem isn’t limited to Rotor. If your own power meter battery seems to be running low frequently, this could be the cause) Now, an initial 1.5kg load must be applied to the crank to wake up the transmitter.

They also found that calibration set up wasn’t always accurate. This one sounds like mostly user error, like trying to calibrate on the move, so it now requires a zero RPM state to be zero’d out.

Lastly, they’ve made software updates easier with an update to the PC software.

Full PR and links below…


New Sigma Butler Out Front Mount Serves ROX Cycling Computers in Plain Sight


We teased this out of them when we posted the free ROX 10.0 mount upgrade, but now the Sigma Butler is official.

The Butler comes in two versions, one for the high end ROX 10.0 GPS (above), and the Butler 2450 STS (below) serves the rest of the ROX lineup. It’ll also fit their BC1909/2909 and Targa computers.The visual difference between the two mimics the upgraded standard mount they’re providing to owners of the 10.0. MSRP is $29.95 for the GPS version and $24.95 for the STS.


SRAM Electronic Drivetrain Patents Show Wireless, Road & Mountain Bike Designs

SRAM electronic drivetrain patent application drawings for road and mountain bike groups with wireless options

First spotted in the wintry cold of midwestern cyclocross races, SRAM’s electronic drivetrain has resurfaced on the road race scene. And we uncovered this patent application that provides a solid idea of what they’re working on. As with any patent, the scope is likely intentionally broad to cover all options, so not everything you see here will necessarily make it into production. But, it’s pretty interesting, and shows what could be the first modern wireless production drivetrain.

Actually, there are two patents at play. The first was filed in 2011 and published in March 2013 with mention only of an electronic system where “each hand is only required to operate one switch to shift the bicycle”. The second throws wireless into the air – here’s the abstract:

The invention provides a wireless control system for a bicycle, including at least one shift actuator generating an input signal when actuated and a master control unit transmitting a shift signal responsive to the input signal. At least one electromechanical gear changer is provided and includes a gear changer control unit. The gear changer control unit receives the shift signal from the master control unit and controls the at least one electromechanical gear changer corresponding to the received shift signal. The gear changer control unit listens for the shift signal during a part of an awake mode cycle time, the master control unit transmitting the shift signal for a message duration time which is greater than the awake mode cycle time.

Now, let’s look at the details…


VeloViewer Takes Your Strava Results to the Next Level


Most enthusiasts and racers alike have, for the most part, become comfortable with Strava.  And like it or hate it, it dominates the way cyclists track their efforts.  It has set the standard on how we track our performance as well as our mortal enemy’s.  Velo Viewer takes your existing Strava data straight from the source, then charts it with a much wider view of your efforts as well as those of others.

As overwhelming as it may seem at first, it ends up making your training and ride data so much simpler to understand.  For instance, it shows you your previous efforts on a segment so you can monitor how much you have improved, (or how much more work you need to do coming off that Winter break), a 3D Route viewer that really puts your ride into perspective. They even have their own “Veloviewer Score” that rates your performance based on your best results within individual and combined segments.  And that’s only the beginning…


Magellan Brings Full Color, Full Feature Cyclo Series GPS Cycling Computers to North America

Magellan Cyclo Series 315 and 505 GPS cycling computersBack in 2012, Magellan introduced GPS sports watches for the multisport crowd. Then, last year, they launched the Cyclo Series 315 and 505 GPS cycling computers for the Australian and Europe under sister brand Mio. Now, finally, they’re hitting the states in late May under the Magellan brand.

At first glance, what sets them apart from competing high end GPS computers is the bright, full color touchscreens on both models. And they’re packing all the latest tech, including chit chatting with Shimano’s D-Fly Di2 wireless transmitter, as well as a killer Shake-N-Share feature that lets you wirelessly share a route with your riding buddies before you roll out.

Other shared features include ANT+ support for virtually any accessory already out there, preloaded U.S. street base map and OpenStreetMap, bar/stem and out front mounts included, Back Track to get you home and lots more. Find your way past the break for all the details…


SOC14 Final Roundup & Randoms

kenda trials show

If you’ve never been, the Sea Otter Classic is a great show. No other event seems to be able to seamlessly combine such great racing with a massive expo area which seems to have become the launch pad for many 2015 products. In addition to checking out all of the latest gear, spectators are also treated to performances like Trials demos with Mike Steidley and his announcer/ride partner Dave Campbell. The two put on a great show and attracted an audience every time.

They might have been there to provide entertainment, but even they had some interesting parts to show…


Richie Schley’s New Gravatron App Captures Air Time, Cornering Speed & More

richie schley gravatron app recordd mountain bike ride air time and speed

Sure, you could Strava your next mountain bike ride, but that’d only tell you how fast you went. The new Gravatron app captures your air time, speed, ride time and more to help you prove you’re bad ass. Er, we mean, improve your ride.

Inspired by a trail near Whistler, it’s the brainchild of Richie Schley and Martin Schüller, a German pro rider. They came together on the Rotwild team, and as fate would have it, Schüller was headed to Canada to get a masters degree in digital PR. So, as part of a student project, Gravatron became a reality. Not quickly, mind you. We first saw Richie playing with it at the Crank Brothers product launch last year and kept bugging him to let us tell you about it. But, they kept it in beta and refined, tweaked and tested. And, from these screen shots, we’re glad they did…it’s much more refined and feature rich now. After three years in the making, it’s finally available for iOS and Android download now…