Tech & Wearables

Week in Tech: Feathery Lazer helmet, Viathon eTap AXS, mechanic scholarships, and more

Get trained by QBP and Park Tool. Get fast with SLF Motion's aero oversize pulleys. Get SRAM eTap AXS with Viathon's G.1. Get light with Lazer's G1 helmet.

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

Lazer takes a load off your dome with the G1 helmet

At just 189 grams, the G1 from Lazer might be the lightest helmet we’ve ever tested.

Like many companies, Lazer makes CE and CPSC versions for European and North American markets, respectively. The quoted weight is for a CE size small, and the CPSC model will probably weigh a little more.

In any event, 22 large vents make this one airy helmet, though it’s also compatible with the aero shell that closes off all the vents and turns the G1 into a more aerodynamic helmet.

The Advanced Rollsys retention system places the dial on top of the helmet and pulls a cable 360 degrees around your head to prevent pinch points. And the Raceday pads are slimmed down to shave grams. Price is $219 for the non-MIPS version, and $239 for the MIPS-equipped lid. MIPS obviously adds weight, so if you’re looking for the lightest option, the non-MIPS version is for you. The G1 made its debut at the UCI World Championships, but it won’t be available for consumer purchase until November.

Viathon G.1 eTap AXS build available for preorder

Viathon G.1
Photo: Viathon

If you’ve had your eye on Viathon’s G1 gravel bike, now is a good time to throw your cash down. The G1 eTap AXS build is available for preorder on the Viathon website, but you’ll need to place your order before October 31st to get your hands on one. Orders ship within 2-4 weeks after the preorder ends. This is the first of Viathon’s offerings to feature SRAM’s eTap AXS drivetrain, but it won’t be the last. The R.1 and M.1 AXS models will be available soon as well. The G.1 eTap AXS build doesn’t come cheap at $7,000, yet it’s still well below the $10,000 mark some other high-end race bikes fetch these days. If that price tag still seems astronomical to you, Viathon offers the G.1 in a Shimano 105 build for just $2,300.

SLF Motion adds aero to oversize, introduces Hyper AERO

Photo: SLF Motion

By now we know that oversize pulley wheels can help reduce friction in your drivetrain. Now SLF Motion is taking that concept a step further for the triathlete and time trial crowd with its new Hyper Aero aerodynamically-shaped oversize pulley wheel system. SLF Motion claims the system has up to 60% less drag than competing systems based on Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) testing. (You can learn more about CFD by listening to the VeloNews Tech Podcast.) The system, which includes a 4-year warranty, is comprised of 3D-printed and injection-molded components, as well as 7075 aluminum 14T and 18T pulley wheels. Bearings are “unique coated hybrid bearings,” and the hardware is a combination of titanium and stainless steel. You can preorder the $595 Hyper Aero system now on SLF Motion’s website.

QBP accepting applications for gender-diverse mechanic scholarships

QBP Mechanic Scholarship
B Vivit, a graduate of United Bicycle Institute and current instructor, leads a class during the 2019 Professional Repair and Shop Operations program. Photo: QBP

Now in its seventh year, the QBP mechanic scholarship program offers full tuition to 32 lucky applicants who will attend Barnett Bicycle Institute’s Professional Bicycle Service Course in Colorado Springs, Colorado or the Professional Repair and Shop Operations program at United Bicycle Institute in Ashland, Oregon. The winners will be split evenly between the two courses. Lodging is also included in the package, which is made possible thanks to donations from a long list of bicycle companies, including SRAM, Park Tool, Juliana Bicycles, and many more. The scholarships were started as a way to help get underrepresented populations trained as mechanics. QBP says it hopes to advance the careers of gender-diverse mechanics as well.  Applicants must identify as women, transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming, agender, or two-spirit, and must currently be employed at a bike shop. Applications are being accepted now through November 1. Winners will be announced in January 2020. You can apply here.

Park Tool changes with the times, updates its Tool School

Park Tool School

Bikes have changed drastically in the last several years, so Park Tool is changing with the times. Its Tool School has been revised and updated to include novice, intermediate, and advanced classes, as well as new rider maintenance, with subjects such as tires and tubes, caliper disc brakes, wheels, wheel building, and derailleur systems. The Park Tool School is a set curriculum, and workshops are held at local bike shops throughout the country. (There are international locations too. Check Park Tool’s website for details.)

Coursework covers modern topics such as electronic shifting systems, brake bleeding, and the endless labyrinth of bottom bracket “standards.” Along with the new courses, Park has updated its Instructor’s Guide and the Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair. Both manuals are available now.