Week in Tech: XC from BMC, Enve trade-ups, Bianchi-Starbucks mash-up
Here’s the Week in Tech — all the gear news, tips, and announcements you need and none of the marketing gibberish you don’t.
BMC’s Fourstroke features non-round dropper post
“XC is dead.” —Everyone, four years ago.
Like so many of its competitors, BMC has sniffed out the resurgence of XC and continued its play into the game with the Fourstroke 01. It’s a lightweight, short-travel XC tool with some tricks up its sleeve. Most notably, the Race Application Dropper (RAD), is an integrated system that allowed BMC engineers to move away from traditional round seatposts. The elliptical shape of the post saves weight while maintaining stiffness and reducing fore and aft flex. The Fourstroke features 100mm of travel and 429mm chainstays to make for some quick handling. The geometry errs on the steep side (67.5-degree head tube angle) to encourage fast climbing. It’s available in three different builds, as well as a frameset option.
Trade your carbon hoops in for a set of Enve wheels
From now until December 31, you can get your hands on a set of Enve wheels more easily than ever before. If you’ve got a set of carbon wheels at home that are rideable, you can trade them in and Enve will give you a credit toward a new set of SES, M Series, or G Series wheels. If you’ve got Enve wheels to trade in, you’ll get $1,000; if you’ve got non-Enve hoops, you’ll get $700 toward the purchase of a new set. Simply bring your rideable carbon wheels to your local Enve dealer to trade your wheels in, or go to Enve’s website to initiate the trade-up. This is a short but awesome window in which to turn your older carbon wheels into cash.
Starbucks is coming to Italy and bringing a Bianchi with it
Italians love their coffee, so perhaps opening a Starbucks in Milan seems like a bit of a stretch. But Starbucks is doing just that, with a little help from its Italian friends. In celebration of the grand opening of Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Milan, Bianchi Bicycles is releasing its Starbucks Reserve bicycle. The disc-brake-equipped, drop-bar bike is intended for commuting and adventure, and it has a custom color scheme to commemorate what is sure to be a controversial addition to Milan’s coffee scene. You’ll have to hop a plane to Italy if you want one, though: The Starbucks Reserve Bianchi is only available at the Milan store.
Assos S9 shorts focus on stability
Assos of Switzerland has long been known for its exceptional quality, and odd naming conventions. It seems the company has discovered brevity with its simply-named S9 shorts, which feature a total redesign focused on keeping the shorts in place. The rollBar feature helps improve lateral stability to prevent bunching as your hips and legs move side to side. (This feature is eliminated on the RSR version of the shorts to help reduce weight for all you weight-weenie racers.) And the A-Lock Engineering system, which is a fancy name for the panel layout, helps keep the chamois from creeping and shifting underneath you. The bib straps cross over in the back for even more stability and comfort.
Goodyear’s sub-zero tire sealant
To go along with its line of bicycle tires launched in April, Goodyear now offers a bicycle tire sealant that will work in temperatures down to -30°F. The sealant will be available late-September in 150ml bottles, which it says is enough for two 29×2.6″ tires or four 700x25mm road tires. It also claims the sealant can fix holes up to 6mm in size. While sealant isn’t the most glamorous bike product, this recent video of Goodyear athlete Geoff Gulevich offers a bit of excitement: