Week in Tech: New Garmins, Schwinn Paramount, Zwifting the desert
Here’s your Week in Tech — all of the gear news you need and none of the marketing gibberish you don’t want.
Garmin banks on advanced mapping
The Edge 530 and 830 from Garmin look very similar. The 830 is a touchscreen computer, while the 530 is button-based. But that’s hardly the exciting news here. For starters, both computers integrate with Trailforks so you can get accurate navigation off-road. To further cater to dirt lovers, both computers track new metrics like jump count, jump distance, and hang time. And you’ll now be able to see how much climbing you’ve got remaining with the ClimbPro feature. If you’re the kind of rider who needs reminders when it’s time to drink or eat, the Edge 530 and Edge 830 can do that. Once the ride is over, the devices will break down your previous four weeks’ worth of riding and give you a sense of your aerobic output so you can tailor your training. This is all in addition to features you’ve come to know from previous Garmin computers, like safety and tracking features, turn by turn navigation, and integration with Garmin’s lights and sensors.
Schwinn updates the Paramount for modern riding
Of course you know the name. You probably won’t recognize the bike though. Schwinn is re-introducing the Paramount, its iconic model that dates back all the way to 1938. The new version ditches the metal and is instead made from full carbon. The first available Paramounts will be dressed in SRAM’s Force eTap AXS group with disc brakes. Vision and FSA provide the wheels and components. It appears the Paramount focuses on endurance geometry for those looking for that ever-elusive combination of performance and comfort. You won’t find it in your local bike shop, though. If you want to get your hands on one, you can order it by calling 1-800-SCHWINN. The bikes start shipping June 20th.
Mavic gets dusty with Allroad Pro Carbon SL and SL+ wheels
It seems dirt roads are getting all the love these days. The Allroad Pro Carbon SL from Mavic seeks out those dusty adventures on a 700c platform. The 23mm inner rim width means these wheels play nice with your wide gravel tires. The SL+ wheels feature much of the same technology but in a 650b package. The inner rim width on the SL+ wheels is a whopping 26mm to take full advantage of tires up to 60mm wide. Both wheelsets cost $2,100, and the SL wheels include tires. The SL wheelset weighs 1,445 grams and the SL+ tips the scales at a mere 1,550 grams. Both sets are tubeless ready, and the rims are hookless.
HiRide buffs out Roubaix cobbles electronically
Forget electronic shifting. HiRide’s eSAS system controls a bike’s compliance electronically, in real time. When you’re on smooth pavement, the system essentially locks out automatically to provide a bounce-free ride. When you encounter rough roads, the system’s gyroscopes and accelerometers pick up the movement and allow the suspension to react instantaneously. There are two suspension units, one at the seat stays and one at the head tube. Both are connected to a control unit, which can communicate via Bluetooth and ANT+ to your smartphone or cycling computer. The system appeared on a few pro bikes during Paris-Roubaix 2019. While the front suspension unit is entirely new, the rear suspension unit made its debut in 2017. No word yet on availability and pricing.
Zwift flattens out in the desert
Welcome to Fuego Flats — 20 kilometers of flat tarmac for those Zwifters who have been craving the miles without the big elevation. Sprinters and time trialists, you’re going to love this one for training and competing. Need to do an FTP test? Here’s your playground. The scenery dips into familiar views from the American southwest, including Death Valley, Antelope Canyon in Arizona, Mesa Verde cliff dwellings in Colorado, the Moab desert in Utah, and the annual California super bloom. You get all the wonders of the pan-flat desert, minus the soaring heat and things that want to bite you.