Tech & Wearables

Week in Tech: Sportful gravel kit, Donnelly 650b tires, and Muc-Off

Here's your Week in Tech: All the gear news you need and none of the marketing gibberish you don't want.

Here’s your Week in Tech: All the gear news you need and none of the marketing gibberish you don’t want.

Sportful joins gravel craze

Gravel bikes are hot right now, and apparel company Sportful has joined the party. Its new Giara line is meant for adventure, from jackets to vests and jerseys to bib shorts. The Giara line even includes an over-short piece because adventure riding isn’t all about aerodynamics and reducing drag. The over shorts have two zip pockets and two jean-style pockets for convenience. They have a fly and belt loops like normal clothes, so you could wear them off the bike and blend right in. The over shorts cost $80. The Giara jersey is designed with a casual performance cut, so it won’t feel incredibly tight and scream “bike racer.” The jersey has color highlights that are also reflective, for when you end up getting home a little later than you expected. The jersey costs $100.


Santini expands women’s range

Thursday was International Women’s Day and Italian apparel company Santini added to its women’s range with high-end performance jerseys and bib shorts. The Volo jerseys and bibs feature the same cut and fabrics as the kit worn by the Women’s WorldTour Boels-Dolmans team and world road champion Chantal Blaak. The Volo jersey is an ultralight jersey with an aerodynamic fit. It is held in place by a silicone gripper at the bottom hem. The cut of the collar is a petal shape, which might alleviate irritation caused between the zipper and the wearer’s neck. The jersey comes in orange, purple, and aquamarine. The Volo bib shorts are designed around a women’s specific chamois, which requires neither stitching or gluing. The chamois is carved from a single layer of foam to create different thicknesses. The result, Santini says, is a light and breathable pad that offers complete movement. The bib shorts include a mesh insert at the back to improve breathability and comfort. The Volo bib shorts are available in a choice of three colors to match the jersey.


Donnelly rolls out 650b range

The X’plor Strade USH by Donnelly is a 650b x 42mm tire that is tubeless-ready and made for the roads less traveled. However, sometimes to get to the road less traveled, one needs to take a paved road. Donnelly took this into account when it designed this tire. The Strada USH combines a smoother center track with an exaggerated chevron pattern on sides for cornering traction. The tire costs $67. Donnelly says the diameter of the tire is equivalent to a 700c x 23mm. The Strada USH is also available in a 650b x 50mm size. Donnelly has another, more robust gravel tire on the way, the X’plor MSO 650b x 50mm, which will be tubeless-ready. The tire will be the equivalent to a 700c x 32mm tire in diameter and will retail for $67. The X’plor MSO tread is Donnelly’s go-to adventure tread. It includes somewhat smoother-rolling center knobs, but more aggressive shoulder knobs for cornering control through rough terrain.


Hutchinson goes tubeless-ready

Hutchinson has jumped into the tubeless-ready road game for three of its road tires — Fusion 5 Galactik, Fusion 5 Performance, and Fusion 5 All Season. All the tires use Hutchison’s new 11storm road compound, which was developed over the course of three years and initially came out last year. The three tires are available in 23mm and 25mm widths as road tubeless and only 25mm as tubeless-ready. Plus, 28mm tubeless-ready tires are coming soon for the performance and all-season models. The tubeless ready tires were designed to optimize rolling resistance, grip, mileage usage, puncture resistance, weight, and comfort.


Brake like a pro with Muc-Off

Muc-Off has added braking oil to its high-performance line. The braking oil was designed to provide performance under the toughest conditions, like downhill World Cup courses and extreme heat. The oil includes additional ingredients to prevent fluid oxidation and rust. The formula was tested on the professional circuit throughout the 2017 season before Muc-Off released its final product for consumers. Muc-Off’s High-Performance Brake Oil comes in a 250-milliliter bottle and costs $27.