CT Tech Round-Up #10: New gear from Topeak, Arundel, Velocio, and more
A lot of new gear comes across our desks here at CyclingTips. Our Tech Round-Ups are a look at some of that gear. Sometimes it’s products we’re doing long-term tests on, other times it’s stuff we’re stoked on but don’t have time to fully review. And, sometimes it’s a wild innovation someone sent us unsolicited.
This time around Sarah Lukas looks at a handful of items that she’ll be using in the fall season, while James Huang offers up a couple of interesting products in for test.
WaterField Jersey Pocket Tool Case
Words by Sarah Lukas
A plastic sandwich bag was always a perfect sleeve for my phone when riding. It used to be needed for keeping water and sweat out, but now I use a phone wallet almost exclusively when I ride. I do this for a few reasons, one major one being that my phone has bounced out of a back pocket on more than one occasion while riding. To prevent this, I began using the Topeak Cycling Wallet to keep my phone secure. It fills the back pocket a little bit more, and is a place to put extra cash, my ID, or a credit card.
San Francisco-based company, WaterField, makes a variety of bags, laptop sleeves, and other gear cases. One that has made its way into my pockets is its Jersey Pocket Tool Case. While it fits my oversized iPhone, it’s also large enough to fit things like a spare tube, a mini pump, tire levers, etc. I’m more inclined to keep spares and tools in a saddle bag or frame bag, but this is a great option when I am trying to keep a ride minimal. The outside is made with full-grain leather, and uses a nylon gold liner.
The outer zippered pocket allows for easy access to important items like money, keys, and a slim multi-tool.
Price: US$69 for both Pro (small) and Pro Max (large) sizes
Colours available: Grizzly (pictured), crimson, blue, and black.
More information: www.sfbags.com
Topeak Taillux 100 USB
Words by Sarah Lukas
Fall riding is some of the best riding of the year. It also means the days are getting shorter. If you don’t currently use a daytime running light and ride in traffic, I highly recommend you get one.
I have been using Topeak’s Taillux 100 on any ride I find myself riding with traffic, which means it pretty much lives on my bike. It’s an affordable safety investment at US$44.95, available in red and red/amber, and offers 100 lumens with four different lighting modes. Topeak claims it offers 220° of visibility, and is IPX6 water resistant.
The Taillux 100 offers a 3-10 hour battery life, depending if you are using a blinking mode which would make the battery last closer to 10 hours. The Taillux 100 does come with a couple different mounts so you can set it up on seat posts, seatstays, helmets, bags, etc.
Price: US$44.95 / Global prices vary on regional availability.
More information: www.topeak.com
Token Ninja Lite press-fit bottom bracket
Words by James Huang
Ah, yes, the press-fit bottom bracket — such a simple thing, yet often saddled with so much frustration and headache.
The advent of press-fit bottom bracket cups that thread together has largely taken care of the format’s persistently annoying cacophony of creaks and squeaks thanks to their firmer hold on the shell, and Taiwanese brand Token has its own take on the idea with the Ninja.
The Ninja cups still thread together, but Token has added a novel Pressure Relief Design shape to the frame interface that is designed to help the carbon-reinforced plastic cups slightly deform as necessary when installed in bottom bracket shells that aren’t quite perfectly round. In this way, Token claims the Ninja is therefore able to fit more tightly in those problematic frames without affecting the bearing bore (and, thus, bearing longevity). The design won’t be of any help on frames where the bottom bracket shell isn’t properly faced, but the idea is intriguing nonetheless for other cases where owners have had issues keeping their frames quiet.
Token offers the Ninja in six different versions for various combinations of PF86/92 and PF30/386EVO frames, and Shimano, SRAM GXP, SRAM DUB, and 30 mm-diameter cranksets.
Claimed weights are all quite low, ranging from 82-104 grams (which are spot-on for the samples I have here), and retail prices are pretty reasonable at US$39-44.
Price: US$39-44 / AU$TBC / £TBC / €TBC
Weight: 82-104 g
More information: www.tokenproducts.com
Words by Sarah Lukas
A hip bandana is a part of the head-to-toe gravel kit. Skip the bandana and are you even a true graveler? Any bandana will do, and while fashionable, it can also be used to keep smoke and COVID away, and block out sun or cool wind. You can find a decent bandana or scarf pretty much anywhere. Gas stations. Department stores. Boutiques. A dresser drawer at home. Wherever you get one, it’ll probably do the trick, but if you’re interested in making bikes more accessible for others, cowgirl and racer Alison Tetrick has got you covered.
Tetrick, known for her giddy-up, larger-than-life personality, has teamed up with Oso Creative, a small design company led by fellow gravel- and adventure-seeker, Sarah Sturm, to make a trio of AMT bandanas that “bring to life why we ride and enjoy the outdoors.”
Proceeds raised from the bandana sales will go towards creating scholarship opportunities to bring more women and diversity into the sport of cycling. Her first scholarship for the NorCal High School Cycling League will fund a year’s worth of high school racing for a student-athlete.
AMT Bandanas are a 20” x 20” (50.8 cm x 50.8 cm) cotton square, and available in ‘A Few of My Favorite Things’ (white), ‘Eternal Summer’ (blue), and ‘Giddy Up Western’ (yellow).
More information: AMT Bandanas
Arundel Handlebar Czar handlebar bar bag
Words by James Huang
If it feels like just about every accessory company suddenly has a fancy new handlebar bar bag they’re trying to sell you, well, that wouldn’t be too far from the truth. One of the latest entries comes from Arundel (who, coincidentally, also makes one of our staff’s favorite bottle cages).
The Handlebar Czar features a simple layout with one large two-liter (120 cubic inch) zippered main compartment with an open mesh elasticized pocket out front. Polyurethane panels with welded seams and water-resistant zippers promise to keep the contents dry even in pretty heavy rain, while the high-vis nylon liner helps you find your stuff more easily when needed.
Two wide Velcro straps attach the bag to your handlebar of choice, and three small woven loops are designed to help further stabilize the load if needed. There’s one on either side that attaches to your hoods with the included elastic shock cords, and one on the back where you can anchor your housing hoses, too.
We’re working feverishly to determine exactly how many gummy bears will fit in here, but the constant snacking is making it difficult to get an accurate count. We’ll get there eventually — maybe.
Price: US$79 / AU$120 / £68 / €77
Weight: 212 grams (with all straps and attachments)
More information: www.arundelbike.com
Velocio Women’s Recon Micromodal Jersey
Words by Sarah Lukas
Ask and you shall receive! Velocio has taken its Recon Micromodal short sleeve jersey, a favourite of mine, and released a new long-sleeve version for this fall. Identical in features, the Recon Micromocal is made from Micromodal Carbon fabric (86% Modal / 12% Elastane / 2% Carbon), has no zipper for a very comfortable fit, but still has the standard three back pockets.
What I continue to love about this jersey is the fabric. It’s incredibly soft and comfortable thanks to the modal fabric, yet fits like a race jersey. Modal is similar to rayon and is made from the fibers of beech trees. The fabric is moisture wicking, anti-microbial, and very breathable. The jersey also has a nice silicone gripper at the waist to offer stability to the pockets, and keep the base of the jersey secure.
My short sleeve recon jersey has seen some adventures, and this long sleeve is sure to see its share this fall. Like the short sleeve, the long-sleeve Recon Micromodal jersey is still only available in one colour, navy, which includes a grey-striped sleeve.
Price: US$149 / AU$169 / £129 / €139
More information: www.velocio.com