As the 2010 race season heats up, the pace of new tech and product introductions is ramping up as well. Look for more and more innovations as the annual springtime expo known as Sea Otter draws near. For now, here’s a look at what we’ve seen and heard about lately. We can’t include all of the photos we have in this article, but fortunately, we have a full gallery to accompany this story.
Fort celebrates anniversary of the “Velvet Revolution”
Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution began November 17, 1989, kicking off a six-week series of relatively peaceful demonstrations that marked the beginning of the end of Soviet influence in that country … and in Eastern Europe in general. Massive crowds of students, intellectuals, actors and writers took to the streets of Prague, forcing the eventual collapse of the Czechoslovak Communist Party.
In commemoration of the 20th anniversary, Czech-based Fort Bicycles is offering a limited edition Victor frame with Velvet Revolution paint, decals and accessories. Fort Bicycles frontman JJ Rudman says that just twenty of these frames will be brought into the United States. With such limited numbers, it’s certain that if you find one, you’ll be the first and probably only kid on the block.
The Victor frame is a double-butted, 7005-series aluminum triangle with carbon stays. The VR20 or Velvet Revolution edition includes custom engraved headset caps and bar end plugs, a gold anodized seat clamp from KCNC, and a personalized name decal. MSRP on the limited edition bike is $800.
Recovery Science & Technology (ReST) Launches Restwise™
Recovery Science & Technology (ReST) is a new, Massachusetts-based startup company founded by two endurance athletes. Their first and flagship product is called Restwise, and it’s available starting today (March 2). Co-founders and high school friends Jeff Hunt and Matthew Weatherly-White are both cyclists, runners, and adventure athletes, and they created Restwise after noticing a lack of training tools focused on recovery rather than training input.
Restwise is a web-based software application into which an athlete enters daily a brief series of easily measured, non-invasive physical and psychological “markers”. The proprietary, patent-pending Restwise algorithm then analyzes the markers to generate a Daily Recovery Score™. With this score, athletes can adjust training plans based on how their bodies recover from both training loads and real-life stresses such as work, travel, sleep and illness. Restwise is designed for elite athletes looking for a performance edge as well as recreational athletes whose busy lifestyles include focused training, but require efficiency and efficacy.
Restwise has been in beta testing since late 2009 with a select group of world and national champion athletes in a variety of sports. Restwise user and seven-time World Champion Rebecca Rusch commented, “If there were one piece of information that I have always wanted, it would be the state of my recovery. Honestly, it’s the one thing I worry the most about. If you aren’t recovered, you can’t train hard. And if you can’t train hard, you can’t win. It’s as simple as that.”
Restwise founders say that theirs is the first tool to quantify recovery with the same credibility that most coaches and athletes already bring to the measurement of training efforts. They worked with Dr. Vern Neville from the Director of Stanford University’s Human Performance Lab, and with a team of coaches and world-class athletes, to select a slate of physical and psychological markers relating to recovery. Each was chosen for ease of measurement and close correlation with results of lab studies using invasive testing procedures. The web-based software then analyzes each marker and weights them appropriately to calculate a subscriber’s personalized Daily Recovery Score.
“We make the process of building and executing a training plan – alone or with a coach – a lot more informed,” says Weatherley-White, ReST co-founder and Rusch’s Coach. “Understanding recovery can mean the difference between the podium and the parking lot. If you don’t focus on recovery, you will lose to somebody who does.”
Genuine Innovations releases Air Chuck Elite, new colors, and more
If you thought fixing a flat tire was just an annoying pain in the neck, Genuine Innovations is doing their best to change your attitude. Of course flats are a drag, but being prepared to fix them gets easier all the time with Genuine’s new toys.
The Air Chuck SL has been Genuine’s most popular CO2 inflator to date, and the new Air Chuck Elite kicks it up another notch with lighter weight and a cool black and silver color scheme. The new Air Chuck Elite CO2 inflator head is 25-percent lighter, at just 17 grams. Like the SL version, it’s an all-metal, push-to-inflate air chuck for thread-on CO2 cartridges. It’s compatible with both presta and Schrader valves. The 16-gram cartridges packaged with Air Chuck Elite are black (a new color for 2010), and the new fashion forward cartridges will appear only in five other products from Genuine. Current pricing has the new Elite kit available for $20.
On the topic of colors, a limited run of Big Air 40-gram Powered Inflation Kits in pink and blue color schemes is on the way to racing teams and sponsored riders. Marty Mares of Genuine said the company likes to do one-off color combinations now and then to keep sponsored riders feeling like their inflation kit can be a fun add-on, rather than an unpleasant burden.
Finally, the Torx Stack tool is brand new for 2010 and available now. With the proliferation of torx-head bolts on both mountain and road bikes, the Torx Stack is a great take-along tool for off-roading. It includes a T8, T25, T30, and Phillips P2 head. Like the Flat Stack, it folds flat to be super slim, and weighs 49 grams.