Here’s your Week in Tech — all the gear news, tips and announcements you need and none of the marketing gibberish you don’t.
Enve Wheel Backpack
It’s always best to ride to the weeknight criterium, rather than drive, but packing up your backpack the morning of the race requires some compromises. Do you have to ride to work, and then to the race? What wheels are you going to run? You don’t want to commute on your tubulars, after all.
Too many riders cruise to their “Tuesday night world championships” with wheels dangling from their backpacks. Not the prettiest looking thing, and it isn’t that secure either.
Enve’s new Wheel Backpack is making it easier to ride to the races with your food, clothes from work, and primo wheels and tires nicely strapped onto your back.
The Wheel Backpack comes with a large, padded add-on for carrying wheels. Mechanics, especially pro mountain bike mechanics, will appreciate the new pack’s ability to transport gear and wheels to the start and the pits.
As a straightforward pack, the Enve Wheel Backpack looks to be well-made, with water resistant zippers and loads of pockets. The Wheel Backpack has 27 liters of storage with a laptop sleeve and hydration bladder compatibility. It’s available now on Enve’s website for $195 — a niche product, with a niche price.
Yeti SB5C Trail Bike with Switch Infinity
There’s a new super-bike in town. The Yeti SB (short for super-bike, really) series is getting a revamp, and the 27.5 version has been freshened up first. The new 5-inch travel trail bike, dubbed the SB5C, uses a patented linkage system called Switch Infinity.
The new pivot design, which was co-developed with Fox Racing Shox, moves upward for increased pedaling efficiency and then toward the bottom bracket when the shock pushes into its travel, allowing for full travel usage. The system is a bit of a mechanical engineer’s dream, with plenty of moving parts, but is simple enough to understand. The video from Yeti, shows how the shock and Switch Infinity pivot interact.
Unlike its forefather, the SB75, the SB5C has a carbon frame, but shares similar geometry. Thankfully, the seat tube is notably shorter, making it easier to run a dropper post. When we rode the SB75 for the July issue of Velo’s trail bike test, we wished it was easier for short-legged riders to fit a dropper.
The SB5C is available now in SRAM XO1 and XX1 builds. An XO1 build starts at $6,600, and an XO1 build with Enve M60 wheels retails for $9,000. The XX1 SB5C retails for $10,600 with Enve M60 wheels.
Enduro bearings increase bottom bracket compatibility
There are loads of bottom bracket bearings that make BB30 frames work with 24mm spindles, but it’s trickier to go the other way and make a BB86 or BB92 press fit system work with a BB30 crank. Enduro has had a model that did just that, the BK-7015, and now that its durability has been improved. Enduro is introducing a ceramic version of the bearing, the BKC-0715.
The new BKC-0715 bottom bracket will retail for $118 and sports two rows of bearings with stainless steel races. The bottom bracket is expected to be available in the coming weeks, and we hope to test it soon.
Trek Factory Racing Partners with Samsung
Teams often unveil new clothing designs at the Tour de France, sporting new logos and giving us a preview of next year’s partnerships. This July, Trek Factory Racing announced a partnership with Samsung electronics.
Earlier in January, Samsung announced a partnership with Trek Bicycles, collaborating on compatibility between the Samsung Gear smart watch and two Trek “concept bicycles,” one of which we now know to be the new Emonda.
While we don’t expect Trek Factory riders to race every day in the Samsung Gear watches, a few have. Frank Schleck has been riding in one of the watches, and has loaded pictures of his family onto it to inspire him during tough moments of the Tour. We are expecting more cycling-specific products from Samsung coming down the line.