Week in Tech: Wattbike comes to the U.S., Niner donates to IMBA, and more
Here’s your Week in Tech — all of the gear news you need, none of the marketing gibberish you don’t want.
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Wattbike has arrived on U.S. shores
How serious are you about riding indoors? As indoor cycling evolves into its own sport, Wattbike offers the Atom for those who spend an outsized amount of time in the indoor pain cave. The Atom looks an awful lot like a fancy piece of gym equipment, but this indoor cycling machine integrates modern technology to make it a much more valuable tool. To get the important stuff out of the way, yes, you can connect to Zwift. But Wattbike also has the Hub App that allows you to get organized with training plans and workouts. Wattbike says its magnetic resistance unit is extremely quiet, and the integrated shifters help create a realistic ride feel. And it captures 100 data points per second, which, according to Wattbike, means it’s the most accurate smart bike trainer on the market. The Wattbike Atom costs $2,600 and ships free in the U.S. with a 30-day zero-risk trial. If you don’t love it, you can return it for a full refund. If you are sold, there’s a 2-year warranty if you live in New York state. If you live anywhere else in the U.S., the warranty is a bit trickier.
Zwift Academy announces finalists for pro-contract competition
The online training platform Zwift has selected the final six riders who will compete for a slot on a professional team. Zwift said the initial pool started from more than 68,000 riders. Now the Zwift Academy competition is down to three women and three under-23 men, based on workouts completed on Zwift and out on the road. Next, the finalists will travel to Spain in early December for the team camps of CANYON//SRAM Racing and Team Dimension Data, which will rebrand to NTT Pro Cycling in 2020. After more tests on Zwift and on the road with the teams, each team will select a rider. The three CANYON//SRAM Racing Zwift Academy finalists are Catherine Colyn (South Africa), Jessica Pratt (Australia), and Samara Sheppard (New Zealand). The three Team Dimension Data Zwift Academy finalists are Drew Christensen (New Zealand), Mathijs Loman (The Netherlands), and Campbell Pithie (New Zealand).
Niner populates IMBA auction with RIP 9 RDO Frames
Niner Bikes has donated several RIP 9 RDO frames to the IMBA auction, which benefits IMBA’s mission of working for more trail access, among other projects. The frames were designed by Niner’s senior graphic designer Nate Adams and painted by Spectrum Paint and Powder Works in Boulder, Colorado. These one-of-a-kind frames will be auctioned off with 100% of the proceeds supporting trail access around the world. SRAM, FSA, Ergon, and Maxxis — all IMBA partners — donated components for the bike builds. The auctions are hosted by The Pro’s Closet, another IMBA partner based in Boulder, Colorado. Only four of the RIP9 RDO custom frames were made, and three will be available for auction.
Did Tailfin create the fastest seat pack?
Well, not exactly. But the Aeropack sure is a clever design for bike touring, long-haul self-supported racing, or just serious commuting. The Aeropack Alloy S and Carbon S feature alloy and carbon arms, respectively, that mount to a specially designed axle via a quick release system so you can quickly remove the rack. The upper part of the rack mounts to your seatpost with a plastic strap. The Aeropack features a rigid bottom to support your gear, and a roll-top design to stow as much gear as possible. There’s a side access too so you don’t have to unroll the bag to get to your stuff. The Aeropack Carbon X and Alloy X feature mounts for side panniers. All Aeropack models allow you to haul plenty of gear without slowing you down aerodynamically, since the pack itself sits behind the rider, tucked away from the wind.
Sage Storm King channels its inner monster truck
We demand more of our bicycles today than we did even five years ago. In that spirit, Sage Bicycles has created the Storm King, a go-anywhere, do-anything gravel bike with the heart of a monster truck. The frame is full titanium and can accommodate a dropper post. It can also handle up to a 700×50 tire, or a 650×2.4 tire. Bolt on some frame bags and you’ve got a bikepacking tool. Throw on some skinnies and go for a road ride. Or dream up anything in between; the Storm King is ready for anything. It’s a beautiful bike with a titanium price tag: Frames start at $3,200, and complete bikes start at $7,500. The Storm King pictured above runs about $15,000. But if you’re looking for a versatile frame for life, the Storm King is up for that, too.
Enve banks on your tire pressure obsession
For a mere $750, the Enve Air Pressure station can give you tire inflation accuracy of .5% of PSI or Bar. The station includes a digital gauge that mounts to your workshop wall, and a 15-foot coiled hose along with fittings and a filler head. The tire pressure gauge allows you to preset up to three tire pressures for quick and accurate inflation, and there’s even a tubeless tire/flat tire override function to help you seat your tubeless tires quickly and safely. There’s a smartphone-compatible NFC tag as well; scan it with your phone and you’ll be taken to a website that lists current tire pressure recommendations and education. The Air Pressure Station inflates between 3PSI and 145PSI, and it’s weather resistant. And no, it does not come with a compressor.