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Week in Tech: Blackburn rangers, Kask sunglasses, and more

Here’s the Week in Tech — all the gear news, tips, and announcements you need and none of the marketing gibberish you don’t.

Kask sunglasses to debut at Tour Down Under

Watch for Drapac riders to show off Kask’s all new sunglasses next week at the Santos Tour Down Under in Adelaide, Australia. Designed to work best with Kask helmets, the two sunglass designs will be available later this summer. While additional details on the new sunglasses will be revealed this spring, Drapac rider and two-time Olympic gold medalist Graeme Brown said, “The glasses are comfortable, lenses are clear, and the glasses sit well when training and racing.”


Blackburn now accepting 2016 ranger program applications

Blackburn announced its fourth installation in the Out There ranger program, opening up applications to all cyclists. The program will be recruiting six new brand ambassadors for 2016. Nicknamed “Rangers,” the ambassadors will test Blackburn products as they pedal two iconic cycling routes, documenting the people who ride them and the uncommon adventures they have along the way. The Pacific Coast Highway and the Great Divide Route will continue to serve as the backdrop Blackburn ambassadors will write about. Check out the Blackburn website for more information on how to apply for the program. Deadline for submission is February 14.


2016 Tour of Sufferlandria to support Davis Phinney Foundation

The Sufferfest, creators of a series of indoor cycling videos for individual and group training, announced its fourth annual Tour of Sufferlandria will be held February 6-14. The tour is an indoor cycling event during which riders complete nine consecutive days of Sufferfest workouts. Over the past four years, the tour has raised more than $105,000 for the Davis Phinney Foundation. Committed to supporting programs and research for Parkinson’s disease, the foundation was founded in 2004 by Olympic medalist and cycling legend Davis Phinney, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2000. With a $10 donation, Sufferlandrians are eligible for the tour’s list of prizes that include a BMC road bike and signed items from professional cyclists.


Brooks adds carbon option to its Cambium line of saddles

Brooks England has released the latest addition to its Cambium range of saddles, the Carbon C13. Brooks’s Cambium saddles have a vulcanized natural rubber and organic cotton top that flexes with the movements of the rider. But with a one-piece braided carbon frame, the C13 weighs a claimed 150g less than Brooks’ previous C15 model. The continuous carbon rail is riveted to a Cambium top for strength and flexibility.


Wolf Tooth keeps rolling out elliptical chainrings

Wolf Tooth’s elliptical chainring offerings continue to grow with the addition of Shimano’s XT M8000, Shimano’s 110 BCD 4-bolt road/cx, and Race Face’s Cinch Fat Bike Cranks. The latter need a special Reverse Dish chainring for the correct chainline. The Race Face Reversed Dished (dished out or away from the bike) elliptical chainrings are designed with the optimal chainline, 75mm, for fat bikes that have 190mm rear hub spacing but use cranksets designed around 170mm rear hub spacing. This configuration allows for a narrower fat bike q-factor when running the fattest of tires.


Rapha develops Shadow three-season material for Sky

Rapha’s new racewear line of cycling clothing takes on foul weather road cycling. Sky requested garments to wear across various and changing race conditions, and the Shadow line was born. Rapha’s Shadow material is a protective, single layer, stretch-woven fabric that contours to fit the position of a racing cyclist. They’re water-resistant, thanks in part to a DWR finish. The Pro Team Shadow jersey and bib shorts are available online at rapha.cc and in all Rapha Cycle Club stores.


PowerTap drops hub prices and increases connectivity

PowerTap, the Madison, Wisconsin-based cycling power meter manufacturer, has lowered prices and enhanced connectivity on the G3 hub platform. Prices now start at $599 for the G3 and GS hubs. Powertap also improved connectivity with a dual band PowerCap, giving riders the choice of connecting to either ANT+ cycling computers or Bluetooth Smart devices. The dual band PowerCap will come standard on most of the hub lineup, and will be offered as an upgrade option for existing G3 or GS hub owners.


Suunto launches new multisport GPS watch for tracking elevation

Suunto unveiled a new member of the Ambit3 Connected family, the Suunto Ambit3 Vertical. The new variant has a built-in barometer for accurate elevation measurements while also providing a route altitude profile, vibration alerts, multisport functions for running, cycling and swimming, and a claimed 100 hours of battery life.


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