electrical bike £115 chain lube, swish suspension sensors and a Bluetooth bike lock
It’s Friday and which means it’s time for an additional round-up of the most effective driving package to reach with the BikeRadar crew.
This week we’ve been exploring the best tech from the Tour de France, shared our favourite cycling shoes and baselayers, and introduced you information of Greg LeMond’s newest vary of e-commuter bikes.
Yesterday we reviewed the brand-new Vitus Vitesse EVO, a comparatively inexpensive pro-level bike. In the meantime, I gave my ideas thus far on Privateer’s 161 enduro bike, which I’ve been testing for the previous few months.
Aggressive highway cyclists and professional mountain bike racers are beginning to realise that drivetrain effectivity is a relative gold mine of marginal positive factors.
Within the lab, variations between the type of chain lube used (in addition to the situation of the chain, the mannequin of drivetrain and the gear mixture) can all make a big distinction to the quantity of energy that transfers from the pedals to the rear wheel, which in flip results how briskly you may go for a given quantity of effort.
With that in thoughts, absoluteBLACK’s Graphenlube is the most costly chain lube we’ve ever seen. At £114 for a 140ml bottle, it’s proper up there with the best single malts when it comes to price per millilitre. You should buy a bottle for simply £12, however you solely get 14ml! Ouch.
It’s a wax emulsion lube that’s impregnated with graphene – a much-hyped materials comprised of tiny sheets of carbon only one atom thick. Apparently, the graphene (which could be very costly and never the identical because the graphite in your HB pencil) helps lubricate the chain extra successfully over lengthy intervals of driving.
That is claimed to not solely save just a few watts, and thus present a marginal efficiency achieve, but in addition increase the wear-life of the drivetrain, offsetting the price of the chain lube.
In line with a check commissioned by absoluteBlack and performed at impartial check lab Wheel Power, a series handled with Graphenlube travelled nearly twice as many simulated kilometres, in comparison with different chain lubes examined, earlier than energy losses crept up above 10 watts.
It’s price noting that this check doesn’t embrace each lube available on the market, and the opposite lubes aren’t essentially designed to final for 1000’s of kilometres on a single utility. In the actual world, just a few 100km earlier than re-lubing is extra typical.
In one other check performed by absoluteBlack itself, the Graphenlube was claimed to avoid wasting 7.3w in comparison with Muc-Off’s Hydrodynamic lube at a 250w output. That’s an astonishing 2.9 per cent of the rider’s energy saved. That’s fairly a bonus if the check is correct.
However do these outcomes translate into the actual world? We’ve been attempting to determine that out already, however extra knowledge is required, so keep tuned for a assessment quickly.
Movement Devices knowledge acquisition system
Working out what your suspension is doing isn’t easy. Trying to get a fork and shock working together, and at their best, is even harder.
Pro-level downhill riders sometimes use expensive, cumbersome data acquisition kits to help with this. The idea is to record the travel position of the fork and shock hundreds or thousands of times a second while the bike is ridden down a course, then upload the data onto a computer.
In the right hands, data can be used to see how much travel the fork and shock are using, when and how often. Among many other things, this can help flag if the suspension is balanced in terms of travel use, ride height, as well as compression and rebound speeds.
Until now, such suspension telemetry has been beyond the reach of us mere mortals. The hardware required to record the data can be bulky, bespoke and expensive, while the raw data is not easy to make sense of without serious expertise.
However, this nifty little system from Motion Instruments has been developed with pro-level athletes, such as Greg Minnaar, which appears to be more user-friendly than anything we’ve seen before.
This particular system retails for an almost affordable $1,050, weighs just 242g for the whole kit, doesn’t turn your bike into a rat’s nest of cables and, most importantly, has an iPhone app to make sense of the data for you (to an extent). The Android version is still in development.
The app isn’t designed to give specific setup instructions, but it can tell you such things as how much time your fork and shock spend in each part of their travel and how fast the front and rear axles move on compression and rebound.
This information, which comes in the form of easy to read charts, can be used to work out if the front and rear of the bike are using travel evenly or if one is moving faster or further into its travel than the other.
Histograms help to visualise the amount of time spent in each 10 per cent increment of the travel; toggling between the shock and fork tabs makes it easy to visualise if the fork is spending more time deeper in the travel than the shock, or visa-versa.
This could help to decide if either end of your suspension is too stiff or too soft, too progressive or too linear. Similarly, compression and rebound speeds are tracked for each bump, so if your fork is moving faster than the shock (or visa-versa) it’s easy to see this happening on the app, and adjust damping accordingly.
There’s a lot more to it than that, and after a couple of days testing I’ve only scratched the surface of the app’s capabilities. I’ll have a full review ready once I’ve puzzled over the charts a whole lot more.
Squire Inigma lock
Connectivity is the most recent development in all issues biking. Nicely, now historic lockmaker Squire has jumped squarely into the twenty first century with its new Inigma lock.
As a substitute of utilizing a standard lock and key mechanism, the Inigma goes about securing your bike by way of an app in your cellphone (iOS or Android). A Bluetooth connection permits the Inigma to be opened and it locks mechanically once you shut the 2 halves collectively.
For these cautious of latest know-how and the potential for hackers to interrupt the code, Squire assures us that, as a result of the system makes use of 256-bit AES encryption, it’s protected.
In line with tech specialists, AES would take billions of years to crack utilizing present computing know-how. Meaning irrespective of how particular your bike is, we’re fairly certain the world’s hackers have higher issues to do.
Being a keyless system the lock can have a number of customers, so if your mates or colleagues have the Inigma app you may ship an invitation giving privileges – maybe making it best for sharing at an workplace bike park, at residence, or in the event you lend your bike to a trusted buddy.
The bodily lock has a troublesome armoured core with a hardened Boron metal shackle that’s encased in an aluminium outer, with a soft-touch polymer bonded to the inside surfaces so it’s sort to your bike. It’s rated to Offered Safe’s highest Gold stage.
The Inigma additionally comes with a battery life of 5 months primarily based on regular commuting utilization, and the app warns you when energy ranges are low. A full recharge takes two hours.
Tag Metals T1 Dropper put up
Dropper posts are popping up on ever cheaper bikes, and that’s nice information for mountain bikers. Aftermarket dropper posts stay an expensive improve although, and there aren’t many choices beneath £200.
That’s notably true if you’d like a long-travel dropper (something with 150mm of drop or extra). And, as mountain bikes get longer, they require the rider to remain extra central over the bike when driving technical terrain, reasonably than hanging off the again. This makes longer journey posts much more of a profit, in any other case the saddle will get in the best way when driving centrally over the bike.
Tag Metals is an organization attempting to interrupt into the mountain bike market from its motocross heritage. Its first dropper put up, the T1, is obtainable with 150mm of drop at £160 or 170mm for £180, and in 30.9mm and 31.6mm diameters choices.
It’s acquired all of the options you’d anticipate in a contemporary dropper, together with an under-bar distant, a twin-bolt inline head and the flexibility to set the peak anyplace within the journey.
We now have the 31.6mm diameter 170mm journey possibility, which weighs 714g together with the total size cables and under-bar distant (or 598g for the put up by itself). That makes it lighter than its principal rival the Brand-X Ascend II, and it’s additionally lighter than the far pricier 175mm-travel Fox Transfer.
One factor we like in regards to the T1 is that the cable clamps on the lever finish reasonably than on the distant. Meaning the cable pulls by means of from the put up and is then reduce to size and secured with a clamp on the lever, after the put up is put in within the body on the desired top.
This makes putting in the put up a lot simpler than some, the place the cable clamps on the put up finish so the cable must be reduce exactly to size and secured with a fiddly grub-screw earlier than the put up is put in.
The T1 additionally has a barrel adjuster to fine-tune the cable size after set up – a pleasant contact.
Our pattern put up wanted inflating from the Schrader valve on the high of the put up earlier than it will prolong totally, however now operates easily with a reassuring “thwunk” because it reaches full extension. We’ll let you understand how it performs after some in depth bike-based testing.
- £160 (150mm drop), £180 / €206 (170mm drop)