Week in Tech: Enve/Vittoria dispute; Surly electric cargo; Campagnolo EPS 12-speed
Here’s your Week in Tech — all of the gear news you need, none of the marketing gibberish you don’t want.
Vittoria responds to Enve compatibility claims
Last week, Enve sounded the alarm over the potential for blowouts when carbon rims are used with certain tires. Two brands — Challenge and Vittoria — were called out specifically for consistent failures in Enve’s testing. Some of Vittoria’s race tires use cotton casings, with little reinforcement at the bead. This, Enve says, can lead to failures. Vittoria is now responding to Enve’s claims, stating it has requested the specific data from Enve’s testing and has not yet received a response. Further, Vittoria states that it has received no previous reports of consistent failures, and calls into question some of the carbon manufacturing processes employed by wheel makers as a potential cause for failures — specifically, the edges where the rim meets the bead of the tire. Regardless of where this spat shakes out, it’s always a good idea for riders to check their rims and tires before heading out on a ride. We will report more on this issue as information becomes available.
Surly finds the perfect application for e-bikes with the Big Easy
It certainly is big. And it’s easy to pedal. Surly’s Big Easy adds a logical feature to the cargo bike class with a Bosh Performance CX pedal assist motor. That means you can load up at the grocery store and still pedal that last hill toward home without maxing out your heart rate. The big 26 x 2.5-inch tires are meant to add stability to this big’un, though it’s curious that Surly didn’t opt for the more modern 27.5-inch platform, which offers more tire options. The Big Easy also has a headset damper for smooth handling when the bike’s loaded down. It’s a very cool solution to ditching the car; unfortunately you’ll pay almost as much as a used car for the Big Easy, which costs $5,000. Still, if you’re looking to live the car-free life but don’t have quads of a superhero, this might be your perfect solution.
Rouleur Derby brings back fantasy cycling
Got some money burning a hole in your pocket? Fortunately for you, Rouleur Derby is back after a years-long hiatus. You can sign up for free and make bets on various races, as well as elements within each race. (“Who will get over the Poggio First?” for example.) You can place your bets on road races and cyclocross races, and Rouleur Derby is one of the few systems out there that allow you to place bets on women’s races too. Rouleur Derby is also partnering with Wide Angle Podium, a network of independent cycling podcasts. Wide Angle will produce a weekly podcast discussing the weekly odds on Rouleur Derby so you can plan your strategy accordingly.
Campagnolo Super Record EPS 12-speed hits the market
If you won big on Rouleur Derby, you can toss your cash at a brand new Campagnolo Super Record EPS 12-speed group. You’ll need to win big though: The group costs around $5,400 for the disc brake setup. That makes it the most expensive group on the market. While the drivetrain is largely a mirror of the mechanical 12-speed group, Campagnolo adds its EPS electronic shifting platform. A trickle-down version is likely in the future, for now, the Super Record group is the only EPS 12-speed group available from Campagnolo. The junction box gets a few tweaks: It is now available in a bar-end mount configuration so you can clean up your cabling, as well as a downtube version. Movistar and Lotto-Soudal teams have been using the new group this season already, which is no surprise. Shifting layouts can also be tailored to your preferences using a mobile app.
Allite to show off Super Magnesium Concept Bike at NAHBS
Allite got a lot of buzz at Interbike last year with its magnesium alloy frames. Now the company is partnering with bicycle manufacturer Weis to develop a track bike made from Super Magnesium. It’s a one-of-a-kind concept bike that will be on display at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) this weekend in Sacramento, California. Allite says its Super Magnesium is 30 percent lighter than aluminum but also stiffer and stronger. It’s also the most eco-friendly and sustainable metal in the world, according to Allite, because it’s completely recyclable. Weis Bikes are handmade in Brooklyn, New York.