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VN tech ticker: SRAM quietly adds backward compatibility for 11-speed eTap, FloSports to broadcast Tour de France Femmes

Here's what's making cycling tech headlines on Thursday, November 11.

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SRAM quietly adds backward compatibility for 11-speed eTap

With little fanfare, SRAM released a firmware update for its first-generation 11-speed Red eTap shifters, which are no longer being manufactured.

SRAM now allows recent versions of Red AXS, Force AXS, and eTap AXS BlipBox shifters to pair with older, 11-speed eTap front and rear derailleurs, once firmware version 2.29.4 has been applied.

“The goal is to offer product support for customers with a need for shift lever/control service solutions, as the 11-speed SRAM RED eTap shift-brake levers and BlipBox have been discontinued,” explained SRAM’s Brook Fowler.

Our colleagues at CyclingTips noted that adding a new AXS shifter to first-generation eTap derailleurs won’t change the number of gears you can shift with the rear derailleur, which stays at 11.

You can read this full story on CyclingTips.

FloSports to broadcast Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift

The inaugural La Course by Le Tour de France was held in Paris
FloSports has secured the broadcast rights to the 2022 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. (Photo: Tim de Waele / Getty Images)

FloSports has secured the broadcast rights to the 2022 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. The debut event will showcase eight days of racing beginning on July 24, 2022, and will be exclusively available in Canada on FloBikes for the 2022 and 2023 editions.

“We are particularly pleased that FloSports is joining us in this new adventure, following in the footsteps of many Tour de France Official Broadcasters who will be covering also the Tour de France Women avec Zwift,” said race director Marion Rousse. “The key to the success of the race lies in its media exposure to showcase the exploits that women are capable of on a bike and to satisfy the fans with an annual event similar to the Tour de France.”

FloSports also recently announced a multiyear partnership agreement with USA Cycling to be the official media partner and sponsor, an exclusive two-year partnership with Life Time for streaming live coverage of Unbound Gravel, and also a streaming rights deal with the UCI for the Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold Race, Gent-Wevelgem, and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

Rapha debuts City wear

The Rapha Field Coat is one of several casual wear items recently introduced.
The Rapha Field Coat is one of several casual wear items recently introduced. (Photo: Rapha)

Rapha launched Wednesday a line of City wear featuring a GORE-TEX field coat, an insulated overshirt, merino wool sweatshirt, and men’s city denim jeans.

The Rapha field coat ($675) was inspired by the readily recognizable and iconic military field jacket and offers protection from weather through a three-layer GORE-TEX outer shell made from 100 percent recycled materials, a removable short-sleeve quilted liner, a GORE-TEX pack-away hood, a two-way zipper for ventilation, and waterproof cargo-flap pockets.

The Rapha insulated overshirt ($205) has a wind-blocking and waterproof outer fabric, and an insulating Polartec Alpha lining, which may be a smart choice for commutes and casual wear in cool conditions.

Rapha’s merino windblock sweatshirt ($165) is a terry cloth merino wool outerwear option that is naturally sweat-wicking and odor-resistant. Flat-lock seams keep bulk at a minimum.

When wearing shorts is a no-go, the Rapha city denim ($205) might be a comfortable choice. These jeans are constructed of high-quality cotton, nylon, and an elastane blend to offer freedom of movement while promising low-binding comfort while riding. The five pockets may be ample room to store your stuff while riding or just walking around.

MAAP Transit Apparel for on and off the bike

MTA—MAAP Transit Apparel—includes casual and lifestyle wear that's also excellent for use on the bike.
The MAAP Transit Apparel line includes casual and lifestyle wear that’s also excellent for use on the bike. (Photo: MAAP)

Australian cycling apparel brand MAAP released a line of lifestyle wear, perfect for on and off the bike. The MAAP Transit Apparel (MTA) collection merges street and casual style with cycling functionality.

The foray into casual wear includes a down jacket, cropped pants, and tailored shirts, all constructed from repurposed materials, and are available in unisex sizes XS-XXL.

Contemporary color block styling and reflective highlights, as well as fast-drying and wicking fabrics with thermo-welded seams, are a few of the features of the newly introduced line of apparel.