Tech & Wearables

Week in Tech: New gravel options, the Canyon effect, and more

Seven Cycles rolls out a new gravel bike, and so does Open in collaboration with Yeti. Plus, Lightweight's new disc-brake wheels.

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

Seven offers enormous gravel upgrade

Seven Cycles is offering an upgrade to its thru-axle, disc, SL, and SLX frames that can reduce the weight by up to 20 percent. The XX upgrade is based on 11 design features that Seven claims will have no negative impact on performance. Upgrades include asymmetric dropouts and chainstays, an internal seat post binder, and more aggressive bottom bracket machining. The XX upgrade is available as a $995 add-on to any of Seven’s SL or SLX disc brake, titanium frames.


Lightweight gets in the disc game

The Meilenstein Disc is Lightweight’s first disc wheelset and it’s crazy light — with a corresponding crazy price tag. The 48-millimeter deep carbon wheels weigh 1,380 grams for a pair of clinchers or 1,245 grams for a pair of tubulars. The rim width of the Meilenstein Discs has increased from 20mm to 24mm compared with other Meilenstein wheels. The increased rim width accommodates 25-32mm tires. Lightweight’s specially designed pentagon-shaped hub is laced to the rim using just 20 spokes. The company claims the disc wheels are 10 percent stiffer than the previous generation. The clincher wheelset costs about $5,400, while the tubular wheelset is about $4,600.


Open and Yeti join gravel forces

Yeti Cycles and Open Cycles have collaborated to release a limited run of Open’s NEW U.P. GravelPlus frameset in the iconic Yeti turquoise. The U.P. — which stands for Unbeaten Path — is an all-carbon gravel bike that can handle tires up to 27.5 x 2.1 inches. VeloNews tested the Open U.P. earlier this year and it scored well due to its versatility. The frame comes with three MultiStops for 1x, 2x, and Di2 cable routing. The collaboration is limited: Only 50 turquoise frames are being produced. You can score yours for $3,200.


In a chamois far, far away…

BioRacer has partnered with Disney to develop multiple Star Wars-themed jerseys and bibs. The collaboration includes five series: Iconic Sleeves, Allover Print, Art Collection, Logo Shirts, and Planets. The Iconic Sleeves series comes in five jerseys with colorful short sleeves adorned with the face of popular characters like Yoda, C-3PO, or Darth Vader. The Allover Print series includes two prints: a Death Star pattern and several iconic spaceship patterns. The multicolored Art Collection invites its wearers to pick a character: Boba Fett, Storm Trooper, or Darth Vader. The Logo series displays the iconic logo of the saga across the torso while the last series showcases the colors of different planets. The Logo and Planets series are also available in women’s cuts.


Canyon effect in full swing

Pirelli Pzero bikeIntense Cycles and Pirelli tires both announced that consumers can now buy products directly. Pirelli’s e-commerce site is currently only available to those in Italy, France, Spain, Germany, and the UK. U.S. consumers will have to wait for direct sales; in the meantime, they can find Pirelli tires at select retailers. Intense Cycles’ direct sales program is called the Rider Direct Network, which includes a network of bike shops that offer the same consumer-direct price at the local bike shop.

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Bell Helmets sponsors college cycling programs

Bell Helmets has partnered with four collegiate cycling programs for the 2018 season, including the University of Colorado, Boulder, Piedmont College, Lees-McRae, and UC Santa Cruz. CU Boulder won both road and mountain bike national championships in 2017. Each team will sport Bell’s lightweight Z20 helmet, aerodynamic Star Pro helmet, and Javelin time trial helmet. Each respective college will have its helmets custom-painted with team colors.


Rolf Prima partners with RAAM

Rolf Prima and Race Across America (RAAM) announced a multi-year partnership that designates Rolf Prima as the official wheel of RAAM. Rolf Prima performs all its engineering, design, testing, and wheel building in its Eugene, Oregon facility. RAAM is a 3,000-mile, coast-to-coast race across the U.S. that starts in Oceanside, California and finishes in Annapolis, Maryland. The 2018 RAAM will be the 37th edition.