It’s almost the end of another busy week, and that means it’s time for First Look Friday – BikeRadar’s weekly roundup of the latest tech goodies to land with us.
Before we dive headfirst into this, let’s do a quick recap of the week’s top news and reviews.
In exciting news for lovers of expensive bikes, Colnago has announced their new C68 road bike. Its high price and inclusion of a non-fungible token (NFT) may be divisive, but it’s worth reading both our news article and the Colnago C68 review before drawing any conclusions.
BikeRadar Senior Technical Editor Warren Rossiter has been assigned to ride the new Colnago – and he’s also in possession of a Vitus Venon prototype. With tire clearance of 45mm, is Vitus’ new endurance road bike really just a gravel bike?
In the mountain biking world, Canyon has announced the latest version of its Strive enduro bike. Our Tech Writer, Luke Marshall, was on hand at launch to bring you his first review of the Canyon Strive CFR.
From one enduro bike to another, this week also brought us a new Santa Cruz Megatower. Once again Luke was here to find out just how “mega” Santa Cruz’s biggest bike really is – here’s his first ride review of the 2022 Santa Cruz Megatower CC X01 AXS RSV.
Finally, Alex Evans has been busy putting major e-MTB motors through their paces in a Shimano vs. Bosch vs. Brose vs. Yamaha mega-test. You can read his in-depth tech to find out which eMTB motor is best – or watch the video below on BikeRadar’s YouTube channel.
And with those highlights covered, let’s jump straight into new bike tech.
Michelin Power Cup tires
Michelin’s Power Cup range of road bike tires are considered the French brand’s fastest to date.
It even provided test data from Wheel Energy, an independent tire testing lab, which showed it offers slightly lower rolling resistance than leading competitors such as the Continental GP5000 and Schwalbe Pro One.
Here we have the clincher version, which has a bendable bead and a completely smooth tread.
Claimed weight for a Michelin Power Cup 700 x 28c tire was 240g, but our samples are a bit lighter, at 229g each.
It’s also worth noting that if you prefer tubeless or tan wall tyres, then the Power Cup range has you covered there too.
We’re looking forward to getting these on the bike and seeing how they match up to the best road bike tyres.
- Michelin Power Cup clincher tyres – £42.99
CeramicSpeed UFO Grease and UFO Clean Bearings
It’s a simple fact of life that fancy bearings with lightweight, low-friction grease will need servicing more often, especially if they get exposed to less than ideal conditions.
If you’re the type of marginal-gains-conscious cyclist who’s upgraded to ceramic bearings on every part of your bike, then, it’s worth remembering to service them at regular intervals.
Given that, CeramicSpeed – maker of some of the cycling world’s fanciest bearings – has released a new range of greases and cleaners for its UFO range, specifically designed for high-performance bicycle bearings.
There are three types of grease: All Round, Long Life and Race Day.
CeramicSpeed UFO All Round grease is “a low to medium viscosity lubricant and works as the best compromise between friction influence and lifetime”.
It’s recommended for use primarily in “dry and sunny weather conditions, where no or very little contamination threatens the bearing.”
According to the brand, CeramicSpeed UFO Long Life grease “delivers the best protection and lifetime of your bearings even in the most harsh riding conditions.” The result of this extra protection is a slightly higher amount of bearing friction, however.
CeramicSpeed UFO Race Day grease is, as the name suggests, “designed to deliver as low friction as possible”. As such, CeramicSpeed recommends it for use in “short time trials or track” events only, and notes that relubrication will be more frequently required when using this grease.
CeramicSpeed UFO Clean Bearings is a non-toxic and biodegradable bearing-cleaner solution.
After applying a small amount to a bearing using the included pipette, old grease can be flushed out using compressed air.
Fresh grease can then be applied once the bearing is visually clean and has completely dried out.
Ceramic Speed UFO grease
- Ceramic Speed UFO All Round grease – €15 (30ml tube)
- Ceramic Speed UFO Long Life grease – €25 (30ml tube)
- Ceramic Speed UFO All Round grease – €30 (30ml tube)
CeramicSpeed UFO Clean Bearings – €25 (100ml bottle)
100% Speedcraft Sunglasses
100% makes some of the best cycling sunglasses, and the Speedcraft is Peter Sagan’s model of choice.
In keeping with modern trends, 100% Spreedcraft sunglasses use a large shield-style lens, which provides ample coverage and unrestricted vision.
The HiPER Blue multi-coated mirror lens is said to selectively filter out certain light frequencies to increase contrast and definition.
It also has 11% light transmission for sunny days, although a clear replacement lens is included for times of lower light levels.
100% also manufactures a range of replacement Speedcraft lenses in various colors or with photochromic capabilities. The latter can be incredibly useful for changeable days.
- 100% Speedcraft sunglasses with 100% HiPER Blue Mirror and clear lenses – £169.99
Garmin HRM-Dual Heart Rate Monitor
While power meters are arguably the most headline-grabbing workout tool these days, the humble heart rate monitor still has a place near my heart (literally).
As we note in our heart rate training vs power training guide, the best way to maximize your training is to use both.
Although there are a number of types of heart rate monitors available, chest straps are generally still considered the most accurate and Garmin’s HRM-Dual has a solid reputation.
The Garmin HRM-Dual isn’t as feature-rich on paper as Garmin’s more expensive HRM-Pro (which is specifically aimed at multi-sport athletes). However, it stands out with an impressive battery life of 3.5 years from a single CR2032 lithium coin cell battery, if used for an hour a day.
Beyond that, it has the ability to transmit data via Bluetooth and ANT+ at the same time, and can connect to an unlimited number of ANT+ devices or two Bluetooth Low Energy devices simultaneously.
This can be useful if you’re into indoor cycling and want to connect your heart rate monitor to indoor cycling apps like Zwift and your bike computer at the same time (to double-record your ride data , for example).
- Garmin HRM-Dual Heart Rate Monitor – £59.99