Tech & Wearables

Week in Tech: 3T doubles down; Sagan’s TDF shades; Bardet’s $18,000 bike

This week's roundup of tech news features new offerings from 3T, 100%, Factor, CHPT3, and Bontrager.

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

It was a bold move, to strictly offer an aero road bike in a single-chainring configuration. The 3T Strada made waves when it came out last season, and now it seems the company has backed down from its 1X-only approach to offer a double-chainring bike, the Strada Due.

“But when 3T launched the STRADA, we also said it was our concept bike for what an aero road bike would look like in five years,” said Gerard Vroomen, head of design at 3T. “Why did we say five years and not today? Because we know that some technologies and people need a bit of time. So 1x already works great for certain people and certain groupsets (mostly SRAM and some Shimano). Yet in other situations, 2x is still preferred (especially with electronic groupsets; Shimano Di2, SRAM eTap, or Campagnolo EPS).”

The Aqua Blue Pro Continental team stands to benefit the most from this new configuration. In stage 6 of the Tour de Suisse, Mark Christian had some rather choice words to say about his 3T.

The Due continues 3T’s philosophy of designing the bike’s aerodynamics to work with wide tires, up to 30mm.


Breaking news: Peter Sagan loves shiny things — like his new 100% sunglasses

Peter Sagan has a new look for the Tour de France: some wildly iridescent 100% sunglasses. Photo courtesy 100%

OK, there’s nothing new about the fact that the three-time world champion loves all things flamboyant and colorful. And he’s had many occasions to sport 100% sunglasses with special colors and designs. But the special edition shades he’ll wear at the Tour de France are pretty impressive.

The 100% frames are treated with an iridescent finish to match the red/gold mirror of the Hiperlens lenses, creating a nearly seamless transition between the lens and frame. Due to this color process, no two frames are exactly alike.

There will be a limited number of these sunglasses available. The S2 and Speedcraft models are priced at $220, while the Speedtrap is $230.


CHPT3 Girona kit aims for affordable quality

CHPT3’s Girona kit offers subtle styling, Castelli construction and fabrics at a reasonable price. Photo courtesy CHPT3

Apparel company CHPT3, founded by retired pro David Millar, has a new kit meant for everyday performance at a reasonable price. Millar named the line after Girona, Spain, home to more than 100 top pro riders. “Girona is where we live, where we work and where we ride, so it made total sense to honor the city which has given us so much with this collection,” he said.

Continuing its partnership with Castelli, CHPT3’s Girona line uses the same fabric as Castelli’s Maglia Rosa apparel. There is also a new dual-density Castelli KISS chamois. The jersey is priced at 100 pounds (about $132), the bibs go for 110 pounds ($145), and the socks are 18 pounds ($24).


Romain Bardet’s $18,000 Tour de France bike

Romain Bardet’s special Tour de France Factor bike has a bit of inspiration on the top tube. Photo courtesy Factor Bikes

Attention Romain Bardet superfans: Factor Bikes is going all-out for the Tour de France, and with unlimited means, you could ride the exact same setup as Ag2r La Mondiale’s yellow jersey hopeful.

Factor has two special edition “chassis” (frame, fork, seatpost, bar/stem cockpit, headset) to commemorate the Tour: the 02 Bardet Limited Edition, and the 02 Champs Élysées Limited Edition. The former will, in part, benefit Bardet’s children’s charity. It features his slogan on the top tube: “Take the risk or lose the chance.” Only 200 of those will be sold. The Champs edition also features custom paint, it will be available in rim- and disc-brake configurations.

Now, if you want to go whole-hog, there’s the $18,460 Romain Bardet Limited Edition Replica Bike. Only 10 of these packages are available, and as well as the Mavic Cosmic Ultimate, Dura-Ace Di2, SRM power meter, and Mavic Comete Ultimate shoes, you’ll get a jersey signed by Bardet.

These special edition chassis and bikes can only be purchased through a Factor dealer. Find one here >>

Bontrager lightens up with new Flare RT

Bontrager’s new Flare RT light is smaller and brighter than ever. Photo: Kristof Ramon | Bontrager

Bontrager wants to light you up — and for good reason. Working with Clemson University, research has shown a 270 percent increase in driver recognition of a cyclist with a flashing rear light compared to without one. An additional study showed a 33 percent decrease in accidents for cyclists equipped with daytime running lights.

But aren’t lights so clunky and heavy? Not anymore with the new Flare RT, which is 36 percent smaller than its predecessor (now just 23 grams). Bontrager says the new light is also 30 percent more powerful with a runtime that’s up to 20 percent longer. According to Bontrager, the Flare RT’s specific interruptive flash pattern is visible from 2km away during the day. That’s bad for breaking away from the group ride but good for safety.