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Tech Round-Ups provide a look at some of the gear that comes across our desks here at CyclingTips. 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.
In this edition, we take a look at a whole bunch of new soft goods and accessories, and some neat bib shorts from one of our favorite brands.
– Lintaman adjustable insoles
– Scott Centric Plus helmet
– 7Mesh cargo bib shorts
– Silca Seat Roll Asymmetrico
– Ryder Cycling Slyder CO2 cartridge and tubeless tire plug kit
– Gore Wear Gore-Tex Infinium Thermo Split Gloves
Lintaman adjustable insoles
Words by James Huang
Aftermarket insoles have long been used to enhance the fit and comfort of cycling footwear, and while there are all sorts of shapes, sizes, and concepts out there, nearly all of the better ones are quite expensive — but not these. Lintaman is a small and highly innovative cycling shoe brand out of Taiwan, and the company has applied its ingenuity to footbeds.
Lintaman’s insoles feature a foam base with a separate arch support and metatarsal pad connected to each other with a small bridge. The latter bits are attached to the underside of the insole with Velcro, and there’s plenty of space to move them around into a position that suits you. Unlike most other insoles that have some sort of adjustable or interchangeable arch insert, though, Lintaman’s is made of carbon fiber and provides a remarkable amount of support, even in shoes that otherwise don’t have any built into the plate. Moreover, Lintaman says the foam body will gradually conform to the shape of your foot with no ovens required.
Lintaman offers the insoles in five different sizes, all of which are easily trimmed to fit with standard scissors. Best of all, the price is almost unbelievably reasonable at less than a quarter the cost of many other popular brands, which isn’t just easier on the wallet, but makes it much more viable to have several sets for multiple pairs of shoes.
Stay tuned for a more in-depth review of these soon.
More information: www.lintaman.com
Scott Centric Plus helmet
Words by James Huang
Scott’s redesigned Centric Plus helmet is said to be “the most advanced combination of ventilation, light weight, and safety to date.” That’s obviously quite the bold statement, but truth be told, it does look quite promising.
It’s indeed pretty light at 263 grams (size medium, CPSC-certified), and the trim outer profile supposedly helps smooth airflow around the outside of the helmet. Meanwhile, a more refined vent configuration and deep internal channeling combine to provide better flow-through ventilation than the previous version to help keep you cool.
Inside, the MIPS SL pads provide the claimed brain-saving slip plane technology without the bulk and warmth of a traditional MIPS plastic liner, while the 360 Halo height-adjustable retention cradle now gets a rubberized dial for a more premium feel.
Scott offers the updated Centric Plus in up to eight colors worldwide, but this particular one seems like the best choice for riders residing in the northern hemisphere as we head toward the much shorter days of winter. While the matte silver finish doesn’t seem especially visible in general low-light conditions, it’s nevertheless equipped with big swaths of reflective material — including the entire rear of the helmet — for excellent low-light visibility, at least when approaching vehicles have their headlights on.
Fingers crossed the bout of warm weather we’re currently enjoying here in Colorado lasts long enough for me to see how this thing does in the heat.
Price: US$200 / AU$300
Weight: 263 grams (size medium, CPSC-certified)
Available colors: White/Black, Fiery Red, Vogue Silver/Reflective, Stealth Black, Prism Green/Purple, Radium Yellow RC, Nitro Purple, Black/Drift Purple
More information: scott-sports.com
7mesh cargo bib shorts
Words by Sarah Lukas
Pockets, pockets, pockets. We all want more pockets, especially on women’s clothing.
Available in both men’s and women’s varieties, 7mesh’s Cargo bibs have been a welcome addition to my collection of riding clothes. A bib with moderate compression, they feature a pocket on the side of each thigh, and two on the back of the bib. The thigh pockets use a slightly different material, having an almost dark grey appearance, and are large enough to hold my obnoxiously large phone. I’ve really liked this option so I don’t have to commit to wearing a jersey with pockets, and I can dress a little more casual.
The Cargo bibs use 7mesh’s WK3 bib as the framework, which features square, side-positioned straps in a drop-tail layout that many women’s-specific bibs are now including. I can confirm they are great for nature breaks, especially when you are layered up for fall riding. They also use an Elastic Interface chamois and seamless raw edges with microgrippers at the legs for a very comfortable fit.
Price: US$200 / AU$TBC / £200 / €180
Available colors: Black, Black Galaxy
Silca Seat Roll Asymmetrico
Words by James Huang
Silca’s latest seat pack blends the appeal of an old-school tool wrap with the modern conveniences — and security — of a Boa closure system. According to Silca, the asymmetrical design allows for more storage capacity in its compact form factor, with enough room in its four separate pockets for a conventional gravel inner tube, a folding multi-tool, tire levers, and a couple of CO2 cartridges.
A supplemental strap that runs around the pack lengthwise (a nod to Silca’s original tool roll) gives the roll a bit more structure and shape while it’s on your bike, and the Boa L6 closure system allows for an extra-tight hold under the saddle to prevent rattling. As a finishing touch, the black-on-black graphics are reflective to provide a bit of nighttime visibility.
Price: US$49 / AU$90 / £38 / €TBC
More information: www.silca.cc
Ryder Cycling Slyder CO2 cartridge and tubeless tire plug kit
Words by James Huang
It seems that hardly a day goes by that we don’t come across yet another way to strap a tubeless plug kit on your bike, and coming out of South Africa (a hotbed for these things, FYI) is the tidy Slug Plug tire plug kit and Slyder bracket from Ryder Cycling.
The Slug Plug itself is pretty straightforward, comprising a stainless steel fork inside a plastic housing for use with standard “bacon strip” tire plugs. The housing incorporates a Presta valve core tool, too. The reasonably priced kit includes five large and five small plugs, all of which come in a handy little storage case.
Going along with the Slug Plug is the similarly affordable Slyder bracket, which attaches to your bottle cage mount and holds the plug kit on one side, and either a 16-gram or 25-gram CO2 cartridge on the other for quick and easy access. The Slyder can also be configured for two cartridges instead.
Price: US$10 / AU$21 / £10 / €10 (either Slug Plug or Slyder, sold separately)
Weight: 12 g (Slug Plug only); 39 g (Slyder cradle with Slug Plug and 16-gram CO2 cartridge holder)
More information: www.rydercycling.co.za
Gore Wear Gore-Tex Infinium Thermo Split Gloves
Words by James Huang
Gore Wear’s Infinium Thermo Split Gloves don’t seem all that warm in terms of bulk, but by employing the old trick of bundling a few fingers together, they’re able to retain more warmth than five-finger gloves while still providing more dexterity than a mitten. Furthering matters along in that department is a layer of Primaloft insulation, which is well-proven to be highly effective without adding a ton of weight or volume. Gore rates this gloves as being suitable for temperatures below 4°C / 40°F.
While seemingly warm, Gore is upfront in saying that the gloves’ Infinium stretch polyester shell isn’t waterproof. However, it is supposedly “totally windproof”, while a DWR coating at least provides some spray protection. Other features include a tight-fitting neoprene cuff to block out drafts, reflective details for low-light visibility, strategically placed silicone rubber patches for extra grip, and touchscreen-compatible materials on the forefinger and thumb so you can check your Instagram account while you’re out in the frozen tundra.
Price: US$80 / AU$100 / £60 / €60
Weight: 122 grams (size large)
More information: www.gorewear.com