– Hello, and welcome to the GCN Tech Show – This week, amongst the hot new tech, we have got tyre wars, not just one, but two types of self-charging lights, and a time machine – Oh yeah Not only that, we’ve also got a new bottom bracket standard Yay No, seriously, this could actually be a glimmer of light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel of misery, of incompatibility, and creaks, and general headaches – I’m excited (Simon chuckles) (rock music) Let’s start then with what has been hot this week in the world of bicycle tech – Maybe, Dan, we should actually start with what has been cold, wet, and muddy, because it was, of course, the World Cyclocross Championships at the weekend If you haven’t seen any of the action yet then I definitely think it would be worth your while spending a bit of time and catching up because it was brilliant – It was You definitely should – Really good – And, of course, conditions as muddy as those do place considerable demands on the rider’s equipment, so I was always quite impressed to see that standard road group sets aren’t generally used Here, for example, is Wout Van Aert’s Felt FX1 He’s running a full SRAM Etap HRD group set, with 46 and 36 tube chain rings, which, historically, for a male pro, is quite small in a ring, but, as we mentioned on this week’s GCN show, the special part of his bike were the tyres – Oh yeah, special, perhaps, and certainly very different, because CX Magazine checked out, and they said that the Junior Men, under 23 men and women, and Senior Women’s titles, were all won using Challenge Limus tyres Matthew Van Der Poel, who’d clearly taken notice, because he swapped onto the Challenges for the first time all year, but Waul Van Aert, meanwhile, went for something completely different He went for really narrow 30 ml wide Dugast Rhino’s, and maybe that made the difference They were a little bit easier to handle in ruts perhaps, and they were able to cut through and find firmer ground through the slop, maybe get a bit more traction Maybe they were the key – [Dan] It is always this geeky in here? – Yeah Let’s talk about bottom brackets next, Dan You have to forgive us, though, actually, not because we’re talking about bottom brackets, but because we are going to stay in the dirt very briefly, but I think this is gonna be relevant to road riders in the long run – Yeah, could well be Now, bottom bracket standards are frustratingly many and varied There’s enough to lead anyone really to insanity You have threaded bottom brackets, both English and Italian You then have BB30, BB Right, you also have PF30, BB386– – Stop there, I’m gonna have to stop you there I can already feel myself starting to twitch actually You think things are bad on the road, mountain bikers have potentially even worse off Fortunately, SRAM have stepped in and tried to clear things up a little bit They got a new standard called DUB, which stands for Durable Unifying Bottom Bracket, and, basically, it’s got a 29 millimetre axle, which is new, and therefore, it requires its own bottom bracket But before you start shouting and screaming, these bottom brackets could work on any frame On a normal wide stance frame, you will have internal bearings, and then on narrower BB30 frames, you have externally mounted bearings, and the same thing on threaded, as well – It is a really cool idea, isn’t it? Now, we are not a million miles away from this on the road, with FSA’s BB386 Evo, but this does appear to go one step further, doesn’t it, so we like the sound of it – Absolutely we do Right, now, sticking with SRAM but going firmly back on to the road, they announced last week that they are launching their first direct mount brake It’s called the S900, and direct mount brakes, you remember, those that attach to your bike with two bolts, as opposed to more conventional one And they are rear brakes, as well – Admittedly, they are slightly late to the party with this one but it is good news for those of you who do not like to mix your group sets Maybe, for example, like Katusha, the World Tour team Right, more hot new tech coming up later on in the show This week, we have been pondering whether or not professional cyclists really are riding the best bikes in the world – You’d think the answer would be an immediate yes, wouldn’t you? After all, they get to ride top of the range frames and the best group sets, and wheels, and tyres, and, in fact, they get to test prototypes that we can’t even get our hands on, and not only that, it’s all cared for by expert full-time mechanics – Where things do start to get more complicated in this discussion, though, is when you introduce the rules – Oh, the infamous rules – Yes, those rules set out by cycling’s governing body, the UCI, which basically dictate everything to do with a rider’s bike, from the weight of it, to the shape of the tubing that they can use on the frame and forks, to the position that they’re allowed to adopt on their bike, and there was even a point when they couldn’t adjust the tilt of their saddle – And they’re not even allowed to use e-bikes It’s ridiculous

– We jest, of course, but these are a few examples of how we, Joe Public, can’t do anything when it comes to our bike tech If you want to go out there and build a space-age, super aerodynamic bike, go for it If you want to build a super lightweight climbing bike, you can feel free to do that, as well You can even tilt your saddle down if you want to still have kids and not worry about it Fill your boots – Hang on a minute, mate, not so fast Yes, you could go out and build a super lightweight bike, or you could go and find a super aero bike, but don’t forget that when we weigh pro bikes on GCN, or GCN tech, they’re almost always over seven kilos, which suggests to me, at least, that there are some things more important than lightweight Like durability, or comfort, or aerodynamics, in fact Three constituent parts of a theoretical best bike, I think And if you did decide that you wanted to go super aero, like get yourself a Cervelo P5, for example, there would be a massive trade off with weight It would weigh a tonne, or 9.87 kilos, I believe But still, the point is there, that actually maybe pro’s have arrived at the perfect balance of an all-around bike, and I think you’d be forgiven for thinking that the Tour de France is the perfect test of an all-around road bike Hours in the saddle, long distances, high speeds, climbing, descending, handling– – Yeah, maybe, but I think you’d also have to glance briefly at trade shows, such as the one down the road, Bespoked Bristol, Bristol Bespoked, NABS, to name but a couple, to see that there is a whole lot more on offer out there After all, there are only a certain number of bike manufacturers with the budget to sponsor a high level professional cycling team What that means is there are a boatload of smaller manufacturers that we never get to see at races – True, but does smaller necessarily mean better? – That’s what I always claim – You’d be hard pushed to actually find a boutique bike that is as light, as aerodynamic, or as durable as the kind of bike that we see in the World Tour – I think a lot depends on what you think is better For example, road riding, for many of us as a hobby, is changing, isn’t it? We are not riding solely on the road anymore We’re doing bits of gravel riding, as well, and from that perspective, you wonder whether a bike like the 3T Exploro is better, because not only is that bike aerodynamic, it’s also really versatile so you can ride it on the road, off the road, you can even do bikepacking with it – I’m not going to disagree with that, but don’t forget that, depending on what frame you choose to suit your different riding styles, if you were to build up the best Exploro that you could, to stick with your example, you’d still choose the same components that the pro’s use, wouldn’t you? You’d have the same group set, you’d have the same choice of wheels, the same handlebars and stems, so really, all we’re talking about here is choosing a different frame that may or may not suit one rider over another Actually, I think pro’s are riding the best frames that they can do for the type of riding that they do – It comes down to choice then, doesn’t it? We, as the general public, have an almost infinite amount of choice when it comes to the equipment that we choose to use The pro’s, their choice is a lot more limited, isn’t it? – Yeah Hey, can you imagine a World Tour where pro cyclists had to buy their own bikes? – Oh wow Yeah, that would be interesting, wouldn’t it? – Yeah – You think they’d all end up riding the same one? – Ooh, there’s a question One bike to rule them all I don’t think they would I think personal choice would come into it, but it would be super interesting, though – It would Unfortunately, we’ll never going to find out, are we? – No, but we would like to know what you guys think on this subject Are pro cyclists on the best bikes out there? Or actually does it not even matter what pro cyclists ride anymore because pro opinion isn’t relevant to product development anymore because, as Dan said, the riding that we’re doing is different Let us know in the comment section – It’s an interesting and evolving topic, I think, – Oh yeah – Isn’t it? Before we get on with some more new tech, last week, Jon and Tom were asking whether you thought marginal gains even matter, and, as ever, you lot made some great points down in the comment section – Yeah I like this one from Minute Man He said, every gain since the invention of the bicycle, excuse me, has been marginal 200 years of marginal gains took us from the penny farthing to where we are now – That is a great point, isn’t it? – Isn’t it just? – It’s evolution again Meanwhile, Stefan Hoffman wrote, marginal gains, 90% mental I can’t help but obsess about my bike when I’m recovering and I wouldn’t benefit from riding more And if it can get better, it bugs me to know that it’s not The answer, clean your chain instead – Stefan, you legend, yes Hit the nail on the head, clean your chain Marginal gain (wind rushes) Let’s get involved in some more new tech, shall we? Time have just released their first new frame set in four years Yup, it’s called the Alpe D’Huez Ulteam, and it is entirely made in France, right down to the weaving of the tubes – Yeah, for a top level carbon bike, it’s actually quite heavy

It comes in at 840 grammes, and that is quoted for a size small frame with no paint on it, which is a little bit cheeky really However, weight is not everything Providence can be, as can aesthetics, and this Time bike could tick both those boxes – Yeah, it definitely does on aesthetics for me I think that’s lovely How do you fancy a new helmet? There have been plenty launching this year and now Limar have just jumped into the fray, as well, with this, the Air Speed Details are pretty sketchy at the moment, but it’s clearly an aerodynamic road helmet They say that it is faster than their TT helmet, except that it’s got vents, and I think it looks pretty good to boot, as well – At the moment, unfortunately, you will have to admire it from afar on the riders of Team Astana but I think you could easily do that, because, like I said, looks good and it’s got a very small profile – Yeah, I like that Right, so we have been indulging in one of our favourite pursuits of trawling crowdfunding websites for random bike nuggets, like this, the Power Mul It’s an e-trailer that propels your bike in front of it – It looks massively sketchy, doesn’t it? But it does give you 250 watts of extra power and it will propel you up to 20 miles per hour, and the best bit for me at least is that you don’t even have to pedal – No I tell you what, I am really in favour of cargo bikes, utility bikes, keeping cars off the road, and you’d think it would work, wouldn’t you, to a certain extent, so it’s not a total thumbs down for me Not completely – It almost sounds like a ringing endorsement, to be honest Alright then, what about brake pad lights? In the form of Magnic Microlights – These sound quite funky, right? According to the company, they say they are the world’s first contactless rim dynamos, working on pure aluminium wheels and delivering never ending bright lights without any batteries, without wheel contact, without cables, and without noticeable resistance What sounds like a miracle is based on eddy current technology and has nothing to do with perpetual motion machine concepts or pseudoscience – Wow – Yeah – In a similar vein, earlier this week on the GCN Show, we told you about the fact that over on Indiegogo shortly, there will be the launch of Arara lights It uses neodynmium magnets, which are mounted onto over the stays or the forks, which then create a charge every time the light, which is mounted onto a spoke, goes past it – That is cool In fact, both of those products are cool I really like the theory behind them, at the very least We’ll see what the products end up being like Fans of Strava, who are also fans of indoor training, will be no doubt pleased to hear that the virtual miles that you rack up indoors can now count for Strava Partner Challenges if said partner allows it to For example, you’d have to wait to see whether Rapha allows indoor mile to count as part of their Festive 500, for example You’d probably feel they wouldn’t, given that it’s not really in the keeping of the spirit of things but– – That was kind of news that wasn’t news just then – Yeah – Moving on, Pete Sagan, as you very well know, has had his fair share of custom bikes over the years, but recently, for the first time, he gave one to somebody else, and not just anybody else This is the custom Specialised Venge that he handed to Pope Francis – There are some pretty special features on this, aside from the Vatican-themed white and gold colour scheme, which, can I just say I think looks frankly terrible on a bike frame? – Not a fan, are ya? – No, I’m not I like the colour scheme in the broader sense, the robes I just don’t like the bike frame Anyway, the Specialised head tube bags is actually been replaced by a papal coat of arms that was adopted by Pope Francis at his Episcopal Concentration in 1991 – I’ll have to look up what that is – I think we both are – On the top tube is the almost obligatory namesake, complete with the Argentinian flag Interesting, though, not only is it an old Specialised Venge model, but on it is a SRAM Apex group set, which is quite a long way from their flagship Red group set Although, perhaps chosen because the derailleurs, the brakes, and the crank set all come in white and standard (wind rushes) Wall of Fame time now Following on from last week’s rather simple invention of Cinelli cork bar tape, this week it’s the derailleur, or derailleur Basically, couldn’t ignore the demands any longer – That’s right We got Matthew Porter, Roger Watt, Albion March, and StupidpilootStef, to name but just four Here you go then, the Campagnolo Gran Sport rear derailleur Arguably, it was actually the Simplex that set the tone for the modern derailleur It has that sprung arm to adjust the chain tension as the chain moves over the different sized sprockets at the back And it was a super popular system amongst pro racers at the time Legend has it that it was actually when Fausto Coppi won the 1949 Giro d’Italia aboard the French system that Tulio Campagnolo

took to the drawing board – [Dan] The result, later that year, was the Gran Sport (wind rushes) – It’s time for Bike of the Week The part of the show where we put two bikes head to head and you vote for which one you like the best – Yes, last week, Tom and Jon gave you the option of either the Giant TCR or the Trek Madone Two super racing bikes, one lightweight, one aero, and both from big manufacturers Your votes are in and you have decided the bike that is your favourite is – You’ll like this mate It’s the Trek Madone with 63% of the vote The same one that you rode, mate – Interesting For this week, let’s stick with the mud theme that we started earlier on in this show First up, we’ve got this bike, which has just won the Elite Men’s World Cyclocross Championships, this is Waut Van Aert’s Felt FX1 It’s got that full SRAM Red Etap HRD group set, Zipp 202 wheels, Zipp also provide the bar, stem, and seat post, and, of course, it has got those bespoke Dugast tyres – In the red corner, literally, in fact, it’s Matthew Van Der Poel’s Canyon Inflite, his new one You’ve got the Inflite frame You’ve got Shimano DI2 group set, Shimano wheels You got Canyon integrated one piece bar and stem It didn’t win the Worlds but it dominated pretty much everything that he raced it in since January the first, so it is a pretty pretty good performer there – Right then, over to you again, as usual Your chance to decide which of these muddy bikes is the best You can vote right now – I don’t know which one to go for, mate This time Normally, I have an opinion This time, I don’t know (wind rushes) – We’re about to start my first ever Bike Vault, which I’m pretty excited about – Yeah, unfortunately, Dan, so Jon is, of course, away at Dubai, but he’s left us with his (alarm) – I heard that from the GCN set before – I know (chuckles) Here we go, let’s start without further ado We’ve got Jeffrey Hanning’s Project One Madone from Melbourne, Australia First glance, Dan, that’s looking pretty lovely if you ask me – Yeah, it does look very good Although, I’ve never seen a saddle with a face at the front before What’s going on there? – [Simon] It’s not quite keeping with the theme of the bike, is it, but, come on, SRAM ready, Tap group set, he’s got, is that an Enve stem on there? That’s looking good – The rest of the bike is stealth, isn’t it? – I really like that I’m gonna say, I’m gonna put up with that saddle, because everything else is done right, isn’t it? He’s got the cranks at the right position I can’t even see the valves on the tyres, he’s hidden ’em – Wow – You know what this is, Dan? (siren) It’s super nice – He’s gone the extra mile Right then, next up from Andrew Sanders in Baltimore This is his Raleigh Gravel bike That looks like a bike that will stand up to a lot of abuse in a lot of conditions – It looks fun, doesn’t it? That looks like a fun bike to ride, which makes me like it; however, that one water bottle, as opposed to two, and it’s a big one, isn’t it? – It is a huge bottle, yeah – And it doesn’t match the handlebar tape, which otherwise matches the accents on the frame I think it’s only a nice for me for that particular reason – Yeah, I’d agree You only have to tape your bottle off and it would have been great Next up from Simon Cordier, the 8bar KronPrinz from France This is almost what I was talking about earlier, Simon I’ve never seen this manufacturer of bike before, but again, it does look reasonably stealth He’s gone for the double bottles but they are in keeping with the colour scheme of the frame, and that SRAM Red mechanical group set – [Simon] I’ll tell you why you haven’t heard of 8bar before, Dan, it’s cause they’re really quite cool It’s a trendy fixey collective from Berlin – [Dan] That would be why – The only reason I know about them is because I bumped into them at Eurobike once and that was it, unfortunately I’m not cool enough to know about them since, but that is a very cool bike The one thing that I’m hesitating is this dismembered hand, – Yes – Holding it up I don’t think that’s cricket when it comes to Bike Vaults – He obviously is determined that that bike is not going to topple over, and it’s a shame that that hand’s there, because he’s got the valves at 12 o’clock, he’s got the cranks at 3 o’clock Everything else about it is almost perfect – I love the look of that bike, but it’s not a super nice ’cause there’s a hand Sorry, that’s brutal, isn’t it? – I don’t know how you always do this, Simon Meanwhile, from Keri Anne Kennington, this is a Specialised Crux over in New Zealand Very clean, isn’t it? Almost looks brand new – [Simon] That’s super cool that, isn’t it? – [Dan] I’m gonna mark it down because it’s not in the big ring – You know what, I just spotted that, mate I think you’re right But can we hold that against it when it’s got, those Enve wheels on there, and,

’cause that is cool That is a super super cool bike with brand new Shimano Dura-Ace, it’s just not in the right gear – That’s harsh But fair, maybe it’s harsh but fair Put it in the big ring – If you wanna get involved, then the email address to send your beloved bike to is, or at least a picture of the beloved bike, not the actual thing, don’t worry, is on the screen, yeah I’m not sure they’d get it via an email And then also submit it via social media, as well Keep ’em coming in We love a good Bike Vault picture – I won’t be on the show next week so I might send you a picture of mine – Alright, mate, yeah, let’s do that, just make sure your valves in the right position and it’s in the big ring, please – That marks the end of the show, doesn’t it? Thanks for having me firstly – It’s a pleasure, mate – Don’t forget at home there to let us know what you think makes the best bike – That’s right Are the pro’s riding them, that’s the question Jon, obviously, as we mentioned earlier, is out at the Tour Dubai and, brilliantly, he’s sending back videos from there, so why not check out what he’s been up to You can click through to it just down there – And if you’ve enjoyed this particular edition of the GCN Tech show, give it a thumbs up – Oh yeah, we all have, mate