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Tech & Wearables

Week in Tech: Oversize pulleys for 1x, colorful Wolf Tooth axles

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

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SLF Motion introduces Hyper 1x oversize/midsize pulley system

Single-chainring drivetrains appear to be the future, at least for gravel and mountain bike applications (road bikes? The jury’s out …). SLF Motion has responded to the trend with its 1X-specific Hyper 1x Oversize/Midsize pulley system. The combination of the midsize and oversize pulley help reduce overall drivetrain friction, and SLF Motion says the 7075 aluminum CNC machined wheels will outlast stock parts. The carbon cage is made in the USA, and the bearings are ceramic-coated. Notably, SLF Motion says its system offers the same ground clearance as stock 12/12t systems, as well as SRAM Eagle’s stock 12/14t system. The Hyper 1x is designed specifically for mountain bike and gravel applications.

Swap out and customize your axle with caps from Wolf Tooth

Photo: Wolf Tooth

Anodized thru-axle caps add a bit of pop to your bike, so you can add a bit of personality to an oft-neglected component.  Since it’s likely you’ll scrape these bits up on the trail, it’s easy to change the caps out if you damage them. Wolf Tooth makes the axle itself as well as replaceable caps in eight anodized colors. Swapping the caps is as simple as turning an 8mm Allen key. And if you live in cold climates where indoor riding is inevitable, Wolf Tooth also offers trainer caps so you can preserve your colored caps. Axles cost $40, the caps cost $10, and the trainer caps cost $20.

Effetto Mariposa gets in the tire insert game

Photo: Effetto Mariposa

While Cushcore remains the most recognizable name in tire inserts, Vittoria’s Air Liner joined the game last year. Now Effetto Mariposa is in on the action with its TyreInvader. The insert aims to reduce or eliminate pinch flats, just like other tire inserts. But the TyreInvader is flat, which means it takes up far less volume in the tire and, according to the company, only comes into play when it’s needed. In other words, it shouldn’t affect your ride at all unless it’s performing its primary function: creating a buffer between your rim and whatever obstacle you hit. The TyreInvader also won’t absorb sealant, and it’s lighter than any other option at only 50 grams. That weight saving is largely due to the flat profile, as well as the space invader cutouts throughout the liner. The TyreInvader starts at $50 for two pieces.

Passoni donates two Buffalo Bikes to WBR for every custom bike sold

Photo: Passoni

If you were in need of a good excuse to buy a luxury, handmade Italian bike, you’re in luck. Passoni will donate two Buffalo Bikes to World Bicycle Relief for every Passoni bike sold during January. WBR provides specially designed bicycles to students, healthcare workers, and entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa to help them overcome the distance barriers that often prevent access to education, healthcare, and other resources. Passoni has been making luxury handmade frames for over 30 years.