It’s nearly the end of another busy week, and that means it’s time for First Look Friday – BikeRadar’s weekly round-up of the latest tech goodies to land with us.
Before we dive head-first into that, though, let’s do a quick recap of the biggest news and reviews from the week.
In exciting news for lovers of expensive bikes, Colnago announced its new C68 road bike. Its high price and inclusion of a non-fungible token (NFT) might be divisive, but it’s worth reading both our news story and Colnago C68 review before jumping to any conclusions.
BikeRadar’s senior road technical editor, Warren Rossiter, has been charged with riding the new Colnago – and he’s also in possession of a Vitus Venon prototype. With clearance for 45mm tyres, is Vitus’s new endurance road bike actually just a gravel bike?
From one enduro bike to another, this week has also brought us a new Santa Cruz Megatower. Once again, Luke was there to find out just how ‘mega’ Santa Cruz’s bigger, radder 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 the leading electric mountain bike motors through their paces in a Shimano vs Bosch vs Brose vs Yamaha mega-test. You can read his tech deep-dive to find out which eMTB motor is best – or watch the video below from BikeRadar’s YouTube channel.
And with those highlights covered, let’s go straight into the new bike tech.
Michelin Power Cup tyres
Michelin’s Power Cup road bike tyre range is claimed to be the French brand’s fastest yet.
It has even provided test data from Wheel Energy, an independent tyre testing lab, which showed it offers marginally lower rolling resistance than key competitors such as the Continental GP5000 and Schwalbe Pro One.
We’ve got the clincher version here, which has a folding bead and a completely slick tread.
The claimed weight for a 700 x 28c Michelin Power Cup clincher tyre was 240g, but our samples come in a little lighter, at 229g each.
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
In line with modern trends, the 100% Spreedcraft sunglasses use a large, shield-style lens, which offers broad coverage and unrestricted vision.
The HiPER Blue Multilayer Mirror Lens is claimed to selectively filter out certain light frequencies in order to up contrast and definition.
It also has a light transmission of 11 per cent for sunny days, though a clear replacement lens is included for times when light levels are lower.
100% also makes a range of replacement Speedcraft lenses in different colours 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
As we note in our guide to training with heart rate vs training with power, the best way to maximise your training is to use both.
While there are a number of types of heart rate monitors available, chest straps are generally still considered to be the most accurate and Garmin’s HRM-Dual has a solid reputation.
The Garmin HRM-Dual is not as feature-rich on paper as Garmin’s more expensive HRM-Pro (which is specifically aimed at multi-sport athletes). However, it distinguishes itself with an impressive claimed battery life of 3.5 years from a single CR2032 lithium coin cell battery, if used for one hour per day.
Beyond that, it has the ability to transmit data via Bluetooth and ANT+ at the same time, and can connect to unlimited ANT+ devices or two Bluetooth Low Energy devices simultaneously.
This can be helpful if you’re into indoor cycling and want to connect your heart rate monitor to indoor cycling apps such as Zwift and your bike computer at the same time (in order to dual-record your ride data, for example).
- Garmin HRM-Dual heart rate monitor – £59.99