Tech & Wearables

Week in Tech: Heads-up Team USA, Rapha glasses, Garmin

Olympic hopefuls get smart glasses; Rapha has new shades too; you can ride the Giro with Bkool and improve your GPS devices — both Wahoo and Garmin.

Here’s the Week in Tech — all the gear news, tips, and announcements you need and none of the marketing gibberish you don’t.

USA Cycling goes heads-up for Rio

Solos and USA Cycling partnered up for the Rio Games to provide athletes access to the Solos smart eyewear — which integrates heads-up display and audio technologies — for pre-Olympic training. The performance glasses allow athletes to access real-time performance data from their smartphone or wearable sensor. The data appears on the high-resolution, heads-up display with an image three times larger than bike computers.


Rapha releases featherweight sports glasses

Rapha takes another stab at the eyewear market with the new Flyweight performance glasses. This new option follows the more casual Classic Glasses. The Flyweight variety looks promising with a frameless design and interchangeable lenses to suit any light.


Wahoo Elemnt gains features with firmware update

Wahoo’s Elemnt computer gains faster and more reliable loads and data syncing to the Elemnt app thanks to a firmware update (1.2). The computer’s maps also get an upgrade, adding the rest of the world maps to the Elemnt’s built-in memory and allowing riders to orient the maps according to their current direction of travel. Update the firmware through the Elemnt computer under the “System Info” option.


Get more out of your Garmin with Baron Biosystems

Baron Biosystems released new fitness apps that add performance features to any Garmin Edge 100, 520, or Edge Explore 1000. The apps are designed to ease the process of gauging performance and recovery while providing insights into personal fitness. The Xert MPA and Power app displays your maximal power available (MPA), which is a metric to determine the max power you have at any given time. All of the new apps can be downloaded through Garmin’s Connect IQ store and users must have an account with the Baron Xert fitness platform online.


Brooks releases iconic saddles to celebrate 150 years

Brooks England has created a series of saddles to celebrate the 150th year since founder John Boultbee Brooks opened his workshop in Birmingham, England. At first, the workshop was for horse harnesses and tackle but Brooks began making  bicycle saddles after his horse died. The saddles will be constructed of copper frames with hand-hammered copper rivets and black leather.


CycleOps launches Hammer smart trainer

CycleOps added to its line of smart trainers with the direct-drive Hammer trainer. Eliminating the tire-to-roller contact of traditional trainers, the Hammer has improved axle compatibility for easy swaps between thru-axle and quick-release bikes. A 20-pound flywheel replicates real-world inertia for a smooth road feel. And when you want to change resistance levels quickly, CycleOps says its electromagnetic resistance system covers large changes quickly and quietly.


Ride the Giro with Bkool’s virtual progam

Bkool indoor training platform has introduced a Giro d’Italia cycling simulator that allows riders anywhere to take on the stages of Italy’s grand tour. Bkool has picked some of the most important segments from the Giro and shortened the stages to make them accessible to riders of all levels.


Champion System auctioning bike for World Bicycle Relief

Custom apparel company Champion System is auctioning a brand new Parlee Chebacco to benefit World Bicycle Relief. The bike comes with a special SRAM Force 1/Zipp build, and the winning bidder chooses his or her correct size. Every dollar from the winning bid goes directly to benefit World Bicycle Relief. Get your bid in soon, because the auction ends May 20.


Swoffle donates meals to food banks with every purchase

Yeah, we know, gluten-free often translates to flavor-free, but Swoffle has actually created a tasty waffle that has an excellent texture too. We taste a lot of waffles around the VeloNews office, and Swoffle is right at the top of the list. Even better, for every small box purchased, Swoffle donates one free meal to a local food bank. That tastes great twice.