Posted on Sep 27, 2014 under Raves |
I didn’t really have a lot of opportunity to pre-ride the RudyProject Wing57 before my fall A-race, the Barrelman 70.3 distance on Sept 21st. I’m usually all about “nothing new on race day” but I knew the helmet fit, so I went for it, and I was not disappointed.
The weather on the day was supposed to be cold, windy and rainy. The race was a point to point and so we had limited ability to stage options in T1/T2. I’d toyed with blocking the air vent in the front of the helmet to deal with the cold, but I’m glad that I didn’t. Coming out of the swim it was like running into a steambath. The sun had broken through and the day was to be sunny, hot and windy instead of the forecast cold and rain.
A few things didn’t go great on the bike, but, for certain, the Wing57 worked beautifully! The ventilation built into the helmet kept my noggin comfortable, even when a hornet flew into and immediately out of the helmet. I rode with the magnetic-attached extra fin at the back of the helmet and found that when I was on the aerobars and my head was in a comfortable position, the fin just lightly touched my back for total aero advantage.
We always see a lot of Rudy Project at Kona. This year I expect we’re going to see many of these atop the heads of the best and fastest in our sport. I know I’m planning to watch the day’s broadcast and I’ll certainly be playing “spot the wing57″!
Well done RudyProject – super comfortable, light, cool and aero brain-bucket! Love it!
Posted on Sep 18, 2014 under Raves |
I’ve had the Braketron Trurunner in my review queue for quite some time. I wasn’t avoiding reviewing it, but generally I review equipment by using it in my training (and/or racing) and, to be honest, my typical runs are long enough that I almost always need to carry water either in a FuelBelt or in a hydration pack. With the temperatures cooling off, and with my training entering the taper before the inaugural Barrelman Triathlon this weekend, I finally had a chance to log a few km with the Truerunner.
The Truerunner is, what I’d call, a stretch/stealth fanny pack. The storage compartment is water resistant, pleated and stretchy to accommodate all the little bits you need to carry when heading out for a short run (keys, phone, id, some money, etc).
It’s surprisingly accommodating and can hold a lot more than I expected it to hold. The waist-strap is very adjustable and VERY elastic. It fits comfortably, but because of the stretch you’ll have to be careful about overloading the storage compartment. When I overloaded the storage compartment I found I had to cinch the waist-band up uncomfortably tight to stop the pouch bouncing around as I ran. I did this intentionally as a test and I don’t think that with a reasonable load this would be a “real world” issue. With my cellphone, keys and a $20 the bounce wasn’t noticeable with the strap comfortably fitted.
There are a few of these types of stretchy micro-fanny-packs on the market today. The ones I’ve seen seem to skimp on materials: no water-resistance in the pouch, narrow and not stretchy waist-bands, etc. The Truerunner definitely has these lesser products beaten.
If you’re looking for something to carry your bits’n’bobs for a short run, checkout the Trurunner.
Posted on Sep 09, 2014 under Raves |
Powermeters have been the tools of the sponsored and well-heeled. A few years ago, Stages shook the market with a $800 powermeter and now 4iiii Innovations has gone even further!
Checkout this press release:
4iiii INNOVATIONS ENTERS THE POWER METER RACE WITH A BREAKAWAY DESIGN
INTRODUCING PRECISION FOR UNDER $400!
LAS VEGAS (September 9, 2014) — The world of power meters is about to be rocked with the launch of 4iiii Innovations’ Precision here at Interbike 2014. The company’s crank mounted power meter was designed with every rider in mind, expanding the opportunity for all cyclists to use power to train more effectively.
“Due to a cost prohibitive price point, power meters have been a performance tool that up until now was restricted to a small segment of the cycling population,” said Kip Fyfe, CEO 4iiii Innovations. “We have designed a power meter that delivers uncompromised accuracy at an affordable price.”
With a MSRP starting at $399.99, Precision opens up the door for all cyclists looking to improve their performance. The meter is easily installed on most existing cranks and gives athletes the opportunity to choose a left only module, or a left/right option dependent on their specific needs.
The features of Precision abound with it boasting bilingual communications — both via ANT+ and BLE, a coin cell battery life of 200 hours and the benefit of active learning temperature compensation.
One of the key designers and engineers behind Precision is Keith Wakeham. Prior to joining 4iiii Innovations his educational and professional career has been devoted to using strain gauge sensors for testing under stringent requirements in the nuclear industry. His passion for cycling inspired him to develop this patent pending technology. His dual sensor design uses both primary and secondary sensors to reduce error to well below 1% for torque measures making Precision more accurate than most power meters currently available.
“I just always felt there was a smarter way to design a power meter,” said Wakeham, Mechatronics Engineer for 4iiii Innovations. “My goal was to bring this technology down to a price where it would be accessible to all avid cyclists and I feel we have definitely achieved that.”
4iiii Innovations is taking reservations now for the first run of Precision, expected to ship in Q4 2014.
DCRainMaker has already managed to take one for a test ride. His initial thoughts are on his blog here. I’m expecting my test unit to arrive soon. This will definitely shake up the powermeter market! Well done 4iiii!
Posted on Aug 28, 2014 under Raves |
Wahoo Fitness KICKR Power Trainer Wins Eurobike Gold Award
This in my mailbox this morning. No surprise to me here. I love my KICKR!
(Atlanta, GA – August 28, 2014) – Wahoo Fitness, the leader in fitness apps and products that take advantage of the power of smartphones, announced today that the KICKR Power Trainer has received
the Eurobike Gold Award in the accessories category, the most prestigious award of the Eurobike Tradeshow.
The KICKR Power Trainer was selected over an impressive list of submissions. “We are honored to have been selected for the Eurobike Gold Award from such a deep field of competitors”, said Chip
Hawkins, CEO of Wahoo Fitness. “Being chosen for a Eurobike Gold Award is a true testament to the entire Wahoo team and our dedication to create the ultimate indoor cycling experience.”
The winners of the Eurobike awards were presented at a ceremony in Friedrichshafen, Germany during Europe’s largest bicycle industry tradeshow. Selected by an independent jury of industry experts, the
award winners were deemed to stand out from thousands of products based on a number of criteria including functionality, design quality, and degree of innovation.
Using Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ technology, the KICKR Power Trainer connects to a wide range of smartphones, tablets, and PCs, allowing full resistance control during your training session. While
pedaling, users can increase or decrease resistance, structure interval workouts or even simulate real world bike courses all from their connected device.
Posted on Aug 27, 2014 under Raves |
During a club ride a few months ago, I met one of the editors for Bicycling magazine who showed me a product he’d started using: the Koala Bottle.
The Koala “bottle” is a bit of a misnomer, but rather a really well designed magnetic bottle retention system.
The system is comprised of a bottle with a ferrous ring and a “cage” with 2 super-strong magnets positioned to align with the ring.
Now, of course, you’re thinking: “A magnet to hold a waterbottle?! No way, it’ll pop off!” Well, I can tell you after several hundred km with these mounted it’s not been a problem on the bottles mounted on the downtube or the seat tube. I also have one mounted between my arms on my aerobars.
This one has bounced free once or twice after hitting a pretty significant pothole, but it reseated itself almost immediately. I’ve also get a Koala bottle setup on my mountain bike, where it’s taken some serious bumps (and falls) and the bottle has stayed firmly attached to the cage.
I have to say, I really love this system. The bottles are held firmly, but are also easily accessible. Clearly it isn’t a solution to every problem (what is): you don’t want to use this system behind the saddle as you could pretty much guarantee ejection there. Using a strong-grip cage behind the saddle with these bottles to swap into active use works well.
You also probably don’t want to use these bottles anywhere you’re going to be ditching empty water bottles (perhaps use these for fuel and disposable bottles for water), since the rings are something you’d have to replace at a cost.
Small caveats aside, I really like what Koala bottle has done here. Would love to see a carbon version to shave some weight, but really, compared to the weight of a bottle of water, the weight of the plastic in the “cage” is pretty minimal.
Posted on Jul 01, 2014 under etc... |
Another from the press-release files. Love Wahoo Fitness. Have their Kickr, and RFLKT+. They’re a modern-thinking company, with good products. I haven’t physically evaluated the RPM but thre’s little to investigate here. It either works or it doesn’t and I know that Wahoo wouldn’t release a dud.
My only concern with it was battery life and how to change the battery. The unit attaches to the crank-arm with very strong double-sided tape or zip ties and the battery can be end-user replaced without removing the sensor from the crankarm. I love the endless march of developers towards open standards (bluetooth) and feel that in time, openness will win over incumbency but as an ANT+ (primarily) user love the dual-mode devices even more
Wahoo Introduces RPM Cadence Sensor With Bluetooth & ANT+ Connectivity
RPM now connects with nearly any device, fits on any bike, and does not require charging
(Atlanta, GA – June 24, 2014) –Wahoo Fitness, the leader in iPhone powered cycling, running and fitness, is pleased to announce dual-band capability of the RPM Cadence Sensor. Now, the user can pair the sensor with both Bluetooth 4.0 and/or ANT+ devices, increasing its versatility. The sensor is available immediately at WahooFitness.com and at specialty retailers later this summer for $49.99.
The sleek, 7-gram wireless cadence sensor eliminates magnets, and it connects wirelessly to your iOS, Android OS 4.3 or greater, or any device with Bluetooth 4.0 and/or ANT+ capability. The RPM collects and displays your cadence data through the free Wahoo Fitness App or your favorite cycling app. The sensor runs on a coin cell battery, does not require charging, and the universal fit allows the RPM to work with any bike. The RPM can also be worn vertically on your shoe like a traditional footpod for indoor cycling.
“We’ve seen an incredible emergence of devices that connect to Smartphones,” says Chip Hawkins, CEO of Wahoo Fitness. “Adding ANT+ connectivity to our proven RPM Cadence Sensor only serves to make it more flexible and useful for a wider range of cyclists.”
ANT+ and Bluetooth 4.0 capable, the RPM Cadence Sensor easily connects to a range of smartphones and GPS devices. RPM can also be paired with a range of the most popular cycling and fitness apps including Strava, MapMyRide and Cyclemeter.