It’s been a busy week in the world of bikes. Sea Otter must be right around the corner…
Here’s the Week in Tech — all the gear news, tips, and announcements you need and none of the marketing gibberish you don’t.
Take a peek at Roka’s new shades…
Already a well-known presence in the triathlon space, Roka’s entering the cycling world with authority. The GP-1 and GP-1X (the latter features more lens coverage) feature a lower frame rim design meant to keep the elements at bay. Ventilation was a key concern during the design process too, and Roka says these featherweight sunglasses have an eye on long rides in all conditions. The nosepiece and earpieces both feature a material that’s designed to become tackier when they get wet so the glasses stay put on your face no matter what kind of mood mother nature’s in.
…and another at 100%’s glasses, Sagan-approved
Can your sunglasses help you breathe better? 100% thinks so, and Peter Sagan agrees. The Speedcraft Air sunglasses first appeared in January on Sagan’s dreamy visage, and now they’re available for purchase — assuming you’ve got $325 lying around. The sunglasses include magnetic nose stickers that work in conjunction with a nasal dilator that essentially pulls your nostrils open during physical activity, presumably improving breathability. The dilator is controlled by a dial at the center of the lens so you can adjust the position of the magnetic arms. A refill kit that includes 20 nose stickers and 10 towelettes runs an additional $15.
Go ahead, call it a comeback: Marzocchi Bomber edition
The original Bomber fork from Marzocchi became a legend, bucking the lightweight trends of the time to introduce open-bath suspension to the mountain bike world. Now it’s back — sort of. Fox Suspension bought Marzocchi back in 2015, and while the new Marzocchi forks aren’t the first ones Fox has shown off, these are the first intended to hit the market in full force for consumers. The Bomber Z1 will be available in both a 29-inch (130 to 170mm options) and 27.5-inch (150 to 180mm options) version for trail riders. Gravity riders, the Bomber 58 is for you: 203mm of travel for 27.5-inch wheels, and 40mm stanchions. As the name implies, the forks are designed to be exceptionally durable, not to mention plush. So don’t expect them to be light. Adjustability will also be limited.
Fox has a new lineup and more Step Cast
The days have been full over at the Fox factory apparently. Not only did the company introduce its new Marzocchi lineup, it also has an entirely new Fox suspension line hitting the market. There are lots of goodies coming down the pipe, but for trail/XC riders, the 34 Step Cast 120mm fork might be the most exciting. It features Fox’s Step Cast lowers that help reduce weight by narrowing the fork’s overall stance while still allowing plenty of space for disc brake rotors. Other tasty bits include a new Grip2 damper for 36 and 40 forks, an updated Grip damper, and an update to the Float X2 Air Sleeve and Bottom Out system.
New rig alert, part I: Jamis Bicycles
It’s been a good long while since Jamis revamped its suspension mountain bike lineup. Now the company has licensed the 3VO suspension design on its brand new Portal and Hardline mountain bikes. Like just about every suspension design out there, 3VO aims to create plush movement all the way through the travel when it’s needed, and a stable pedaling platform when it’s not. It’s a complicated system to explain, but basically, 3VO keeps the instant center behind the bottom bracket in an effort to eliminate brake jack, and to respond to anti-rise and anti-squat quickly. What the heck does that mean? Distilled down, it means more of your pedaling forces should go to forward movement, and your suspension should react better to the trail rather than to braking and your body’s weight and movement.
New rig alert, part II: Yeti Cycles
The parade of new mountain bikes continues with Yeti Cycles’s SB100 and SB100 Yeti. The goal was to blend XC performance with Trail playfulness. The SB100 features a totally redesigned Switch Infinity system that’s smaller and positioned differently to reduce weight and allow water bottle placement within the front triangle — a common complaint about Yeti’s previous trail models. The Switch Infinity’s placement also allows the use of longer dropper posts. With only 100mm of travel, it’s definitely a shorter travel offering than we’re used to seeing from Yeti. The 120mm Fox 34 Step-Cast fork up front helps reduce weight while offering enough plush travel to crush some descents.
New rig alert, part III: VonHof Cycles
Remember T47? It’s another bottom bracket “standard” introduced by Chris King back in 2015 that brings threads back to bottom bracket shells. It also takes advantage of larger bearings, combining all the best things about bottom bracket technology. VonHof Cycles is embracing T47 with its ACX cyclocross bike. This small-batch builder uses Columbus steel tubing to create race-dedicated bikes with clearance for up to 40mm tires. It’ll run you $2,395 for the frame and fork, along with a two-color paint job.
Shakedry, now with stretch!
Gore’s Shakedry jackets have consistently impressed us with a wonderful combination of packability, breathability, and waterproof and windproof capabilities. The biggest complaint: The fabric doesn’t stretch, so it can feel constricting. Now Gore has a new Shakedry offering — The Gore C7 Gore-Tex Shakedry Stretch Jacket — that addresses this shortcoming head-on by incorporating a new stretch material into the jacket’s construction. These panels allow for a more snug cut that reduces flapping and increases rider mobility. It may be the last rain jacket you ever buy, which is fortunate because it will cost you $369.
Minting new socks, for a cause
More sock doping, please. Mint Socks is hitting the market with three designs introduced quarterly; designs will be archived once they sell out, so get them while you can. Another sock brand? So what? Mint Socks is supporting the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) by donating a dollar to NICA for every pair of socks sold on its website (50 cents for every pair sold through independent bike dealers). The socks are designed in the USA and made in Italy. each pair costs $20.