Jim’s Tech Talk
By Jim Langley
Last Wednesday and Thursday, something extraordinary happened. The marketing company Echos Communication partnering with fellow agencies OutsidePR and Exact Change put on a virtual bicycle show for journalists, calling it the REVEAL Global Media Conference.
Traditionally, some of the largest and most interesting bicycle shows, events and festivals take place in the winter and spring, such as the Outdoor Retailer Show, Sea Otter Classic and NAHBS, the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. Because these were postponed by the current crisis, no companies have been able to show off their new offerings and journalists and consumers haven’t heard about them either.
The REVEAL online conference used Zoom’s video meeting interface to bring companies and the media together. More than 200 journalist registered to attend and about 50 brands from the cycling and active outdoor worlds provided presentations of new product over two 7-hour days. Included were live streaming music breaks and lunch panels with experts discussing how the industry and we cyclists return to normalcy after Covid.
I can’t talk about every product shown yet because a fair amount is embargoed until the companies and retailers reopen and the products make it to market. Also, I don’t have all the details. But, I’m going to share a few of the things that jumped off the screen for me. When more information is available and I can test products, I’ll review some of it.
Sagan Endorses OSMOS Nutrition
The biggest highlight of the conference for me wasn’t exactly a product, it was pro roadie Peter Sagan. He’s sponsored by OSMO Nutrition, who presented their fueling and recovery solutions, which Sagan uses and swears by. To kick off, they said they had a message from a surprise guest. And, up on our screens came this.
In case, you can’t hear everything Peter says, (probably my fault because I recorded it with my phone), here’s a transcription as best I can make out,
“Hello everybody, I am Peter Sagan and well, I’m staying in Monaco and I hope you’re all fine, healthy and I hope you’re enjoying your REVEAL conference and thank OSMO for putting this together. You all know the season isn’t happening like I was planning. But for sure we have to keep going and do what we have available. And keep going with our other lives. What can we do? It is what it is. I’m trying to do some rollers. I have to be closed in my apartment and do some core training and rollers a couple times per day. For sure, as you know training on the rollers can also be very intense and it’s very important to have good hydration. I think OSMO is the best that I can have and I use a lot of OSMO today because I sweat all day long on the terrace. I think also it is a difficult situation for me. But, I found out that I am spending much more time with my son Marlon and I think it’s going to be good memories when this period is going to finish. That is my positive final view. I will keep going, trying my best. And I hope that it’s going to be soon and I am looking forward to see each other outside on the roads because I miss it a lot. Have fun, stay safe and we are going to pass this period altogether.”
One of the OSMO products Peter uses is their Preload Hydration. The women’s version is shown. For optimum cycling nutrition and performance, OSMO preaches something called osmolality, a term I’d never heard and can barely pronounce. They have a white paper on their site explaining it and all the benefits here: https://osmonutrition.com/science/. I’m looking forward to trying their products.
Fazua E-road Bike Drive Systems
Munich-based Fazua makes batteries, motors and drive systems all designed to minimally change the performance of road bikes. Their system is found on some premier road brands already, such as Pinarello and Wilier.
You can see in the photo the battery and bottom bracket based drive system, which are both small enough to almost disappear on the bike. And, also to cut weight and keep bikes light. One of the nicest features is that the battery can be removed from Fazua equipped road bikes and replaced with a look-alike piece that’s hollow for carrying hydration or tools.
That way you can ride an e-bike or turn it into a pedal bike. Plus, Fazua says that unlike many e-bike drive systems, theirs does not add any drag so you’re not paying a serious penalty for taking your motor for a ride. I have ridden a Fazua setup and it’s a sweet ride.
Abbey Bike Tools New Goodies
Some of the most beautiful and innovative bike tools are coming out of a small company in Bend, Oregon known as Abbey Bike Tools. Owner Jason Quade showed us three new products, the Shop Pedal Wrench, the Shop Hammer and the Harbor Dishing Gauge.
Shown is the pedal wrench, which incorporates a 15mm open end wrench for traditional pedals and pivoting 6 and 8mm allens, which have become standards on clipless pedals. The wood handle adds the touch of class and attention to detail found in all of Abbey’s products. Click the links to see it on their new hammers and their product that jumped to the top of my wish list, the Harbor Dishing Gauge (used to check wheels to ensure they’re correctly aligned on the bike).
Dynaplug tubeless tire repair kits
Fans of tubeless tires love their flat resistance. But even they can get punctured by road debris and the sealant inside can’t always repair the damage. That’s where Dynaplug comes in.
Working just like the repair kits you may have seen or even used for car tires, Dynaplug is inserted into the hole in the tire and when pulled out, a plug is left filling the hole, fixing it. Plus, Dynaplug’s kits also include CO2 inflators to make fixing and pumping almost automatic.
The video shows a mountain bike tubeless tire repair. Dynaplug makes road kits, too. And, has a selection for motorized vehicles, too. Fixing a tubeless tire without having to install a spare tube is quicker and much easier since you don’t have to remove the tire and deal with the sealant inside. Also, you can even plug several holes in the same tire with Dynaplug if necessary.
Hiplok Home Bike Security Lock
A while back, I wrote about the increasing problem of bikes stolen from homes, garages and outbuildings. I provided a few tips for protection, too. If you missed that story it’s here Preventing Bike Thefts from Your Garage.
Apparently it’s not just happening in the USA, but in the UK, too, as Hiplok (a UK company) founder Ben Smith told us, “that their latest crime statistics show that MOST bikes are stolen from homes or outbuildings.”
That’s why they’re working on solutions, such as their new Ankr wall- and floor-mount locking point so that thieves don’t have an easy time taking bikes. Used with other security enhancements to keep them getting into your property in the first place, it should help keep your bikes safe. It works for offices, too.
For 31 years Paul Components has been inventing and hand crafting parts to improve the ride. Presenting at the REVEAL bike show (and one of the sponsors) was none other than the man himself, founder and owner Paul Price.
Paul has a wide selection of components to choose from and a huge library of videos to learn about them, too: https://www.paulcomp.com/videos/. What grabbed my attention was their cable-actuated Klamper disc brake calipers (photo).
Paul says they’re designed for absolute reliability, easy adjustability, and field serviceability. Plus they provide super strong stopping power but without hydraulic fluid and fussy bleed kits. Here’s a link to the flat-mount version (post-mounts are also available).
To close, maybe the most awesome sound byte at the REVEAL conference came from Erik at Specialized, who said that in the month of March they had sold more kids’ bicycles than ever before! Maybe it will be the silver lining to sheltering in place and we’ll see a surge in cycling in the future.
Since many of the products shown were embargoed until they actually hit the market, I recommend you keep checking company websites to be the first to see the latest. Here’s a list so that you can check those of interest (it’s in order of appearance at the show).
Solo New York
Hoka One One
Adidas Sport Eyewear
State Bicycle Co.
Sea Otter Classic
Old Man Mountain
OTTO Design Works
Machines For Freedom
Abbey Bike Tools
Portland Design Works
Ride total: 9,632