Week in Tech: $450 floor pump, a safer helmet, and SRAM’s new wheels
Here’s your Week in Tech — all the gear news, tips, and announcements you need and none of the marketing gibberish you don’t.
SRM previews Power Control 8
SRM was the first name in the power meter game and is still the largest. Especially in the WorldTour peloton, most riders use an SRM crankset and a Power Control head unit. The Power Control 7 has been a mainstay for years, but riders have complained about its lack of GPS features.
The new Power Control 8 fulfills riders’ requests for GPS data and more. With an expected ship date in December, the PC 8 will have ANT+, Bluetooth, and WiFi compatibility, bringing wireless downloads to SRM users. SRM expects the PC 8 to retail for about $850-$870. That’s $100 more than the PC 7, and over $200 more expensive than the Garmin Edge 1000.
The head unit screen and general functions are expected to be similar to the PC 7. SRM has designed it to be a precise training tool, without as many of the GPS and route features as a Garmin. SRM is unapologetic about price and features, owner and founder Uli Schoberer told VeloNews earlier this year, “We make professional training tools, and we use some of the finest engineering and manufacturing. This costs money.”
Expect to see a production version of the PC 8 at the Interbike tradeshow next month.
Silca SuperPista Ultimate floor pump
A $450 floor pump. A $450 floor pump?!
In the past year, Silca was taken over by American Josh Poertner, formerly of Zipp, who has breathed new life into the brand. Silca’s latest product is a premier floor pump, which, like everything made by Silca, is expected to last a very long time.
With a price tag of $450, one would expect the SuperPista to inflate your tires on its own and maybe make you a sandwich afterward. But it does neither. What the SuperPista is, though, is a finely crafted tool, made in the USA, that is intended to last long enough to be handed down to your kids.
The handle is made of rosewood, and Silca says that it studied the shapes of a high-end culinary knife company to develop the shape of the handle area. The hose is rated up to 12,000 PSI, while the pump’s gauge goes up to 160 PSI. The base is large and sturdy, and a piece floating above the base, which Silca refers to as the “Surfboard,” holds the gauge and a magnetic garage for the chuck.
Garmin-Sharp will be first team wearing MIPS in a grand tour
Poc’s products are bold in design, even strange-looking to the unaccustomed eye, but the company has been one of the first to implement a number of technological trends in the helmet world. Poc was the first brand to develop a cycling helmet with the MIPS helmet liner, an inner sheath that helps prevent rotation concussion injuries. Now, Poc will be the first manufacturer to provide its sponsored pro road team with MIPS-equipped helmets.
The Octal road helmet, worn by Garmin-Sharp, will now be available in a MIPS version. The new MIPS helmet gets a tweaked look with white accents inside the vents, rather than black, which adds visibility to the already bright helmet. The MIPS-equipped version is also heavier. We hope to test the Octal MIPS in the coming weeks to see how the MIPS liner affects comfort and breathability.
With its new Octal MIPS, Poc has also unveiled a technology called Eyepark. Magnets are placed in the brow of the Octal and the top of the Poc Do Blade sunglasses so that a rider can push the sunglasses up, opening a range of sight below the lenses. This would be advantageous on descents, especially if salt buildup on the glasses compromises the rider’s vision.
“The idea was born at a training camp in Mallorca,” Garmin-Sharp’s Nathas Haas said. “I shared a thought I had about using magnets on the helmet and eyewear, to avoid having to take your glasses on and off and put them in pockets or the team car. POC listened, and here we are.”
The Eyepark technology will be made available for current Poc Octal helmets and Do Blade sunglasses.
Octal MIPS and Poc products equipped with Eyepark are expected to be available in Spring 2015.
SRAM launches carbon Rise 60 mountain bike wheels
In the world of mountain biking, it seems every new wheelset is carbon. Even for daily adventures, carbon wheels are getting more use than ever. Carbon wheels are increasingly stronger and less expensive.
They’re still not cheap, of course. But SRAM is launching a more budget-friendly carbon cross-country wheelset, the Rise 60, to complement its high-zoot Rise XX tubulars. The Rise 60 wheels will be available in 27.5” and 29” models. The rim uses a hookless-bead design, like many carbon mountain wheels, which sheds some weight and drastically improves durability.
For RockShox RS-1 riders, the front wheel can be ordered with a Predictive Steering hub, which adds $40 to the price of the wheel.
Wheelsets are now available starting at $1,990 with weights at 1,390g for the 27.5” set and 1,440g for the 29” set.