Road Gear

Tech Ticker: Strava adds 3D Terrain Mode, 4iiii’s Earth Day crank buyback, $3,500 Campy wheels, $4,000 Zipp wheels

Here's the gear that's making headlines on Thursday, April 22.

Strava adds 3D Terrain Mode to personal heatmaps

Strava Thursday added 3D Terrain Mode to users’ Personal Heatmaps when viewed on a desktop or laptop.

The 3D maps are powered by MapBox and offer an experience similar to viewing maps in Google’s 3D (but not street-level) view.

With the addition of MapBox technology, the recording activity function on Strava mobile no longer relies on Apple Maps (iOS) or Google Maps (Android).

In addition to the newly added 3D features, all satellite maps throughout Strava have been recently improved for Routes, Personal Heatmap, and activity uploads for desktop and mobile experiences. Strava indicated the new satellite images are, on average, less than two years old, with improved accuracy and smoother scrolling across all zoom levels.

The new 3D feature in Strava's Personal Heatmaps for desktop.
The new 3D view feature in Strava’s Personal Heatmaps for desktop. Photo: Greg Kaplan

4iiii’s Earth Day crank buyback

On Earth Day, 4iiii launched a Crank Buyback Program, where riders can send in a left Shimano crank arm for $30 to $45 or the option to donate the proceeds to a cycling charity that helps underprivileged youth.

The Canadian company sells power meters on new cranks, and has also offered a program where a rider sends in their crank to have a meter installed on it. Now, with this program, 4iiii will be selling used cranks with new meters dubbed 4iiii Ride Ready reCYCLED Powermeters.

“We’re very excited to introduce this new initiative,” 4iiii president Phil White said. “Everyone benefits from a circular economy where we reduce waste, reuse products, and preserve resources in an effort to protect our environment.”

Campagnolo Bora Ultra WTO wheels

Campagnolo has been making carbon Bora wheels in Europe since 1994, and now the Italian brand has a new Bora Ultra WTO model in 33mm, 45mm, and 60mm depths.

The tubeless, disc wheelset features a few neat technologies and a stout $3,585 price tag.

The rim’s inner surface is completely smooth and unpunctured, and thus requires no rim tape or even lacquer for the mounting of tubeless tires.

Hidden nipples are made specifically for the angle of each spoke, and a magnetic clip helps anchor them to the rim when doing assembly and repairs. The spoke holes are molded, not drilled.

The wheels use Campagnolo’s triple G3 spoke design, and the rear hub has an aluminum thru-axle with a 36-tooth pawl ratchet.

Claimed wheelset weights are 1,385g for 33, 1,425g for 45, and 1,530g for 60.

Using ceramic bearings, Campagnolo claims that the wheels will spin a whopping 2 hours and 45 minutes before stopping, once accelerated up to 78kph. A wheel with standard bearings would stop from this speed in 30 minutes, the company says.

With an internal rim width of 21mm, the wheels are optimized for 25mm tires, and Campagnolo claims the 45mm wheels are quite similar aerodynamically to SwissSide’s super slippery Hadron 485.

There is no standard clincher or tubular model. Since the tubeless rim is not hookless, Campagnolo says the wheels are compatible with all tubeless tires.

Zipp 353 NSW replaces 202

Not to be outdone, Zipp has a new set of $4,000 tubeless carbon wheels.

Featuring a Sawtooth rim profile, the new Zipp 353 NSW weighs a claimed 1,225g for the $4,000 set of wheels with a whopping 25mm internal width hookless rim. With such a light wheel on offer, Zipp has discontinued the 202, its previous climbing wheelset.

At 1,255 grams/set (580 grams front, 675 grams rear), it becomes Zipp’s lightest clincher wheelset ever. (The 202 tubular was lighter, but that was discontinued.)

Read the full story on the new disc-only 353 NSW wheels on Peloton.