A bike to ride, some clothes to wear, a tool for repair and an alarm to keep it all safe. This week's products reflect the needs of most cyclists. They're linked by a common purpose, to improve our cycling experience, as well as by an innovative approach to doing so.
The new Cube Litening Air is a 'climbing' race bike, with a featherweight frame befitting its name. It's ridden by the Intermache-Wanty boys and it's already racked up a grand tour stage win before its release. I think that's known as 'marketing gold'.
Raleigh's latest ebike is lightweight too, with hidden technology, that makes it look just like an ordinary, albeit stylish, commuter. Dynaplug also go undercover, devising a neat way to storing a tubeless plugger tool.
Rapha is a little more overt, with a loud and colourful clothing collection centered around its tried-and-tested Pro Team line and designed by artist Bráulio Amado. Finally, the Defender bike shed alarm also looks to make plenty of noise... but only when required.
The Litening Air C:68X is as light as its name suggest...
Cube has released a lightweight addition to its Litening C:68 line-up, the new Litening Air C:68X.
The bike is offered in three models, the SLT, the SLX and the Race. Details are a little thin on the ground, although from images it appears that build options will include both Shimano Dura-Ace and Ultegra Di2 groupsets, with wheels from sister company Newmen.
What we do know is that the Air is designed as an “ultra light race bike”. Cube claims the frame weighs 799 grams, which makes it close to 300 grams lighter than its “aero brother” the C:68X. However, it says that it still delivers an aerodynamic advantage while being “comfortable to ride on long days out in the saddle”.
The Litening range has gained plenty of attention of late thanks to the exploits of the Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert team. The Belgium-based squad has racked up 21 wins so far in 2022, including Biniam Girmay’s groundbreaking victory at Gent-Wevelgem.
Jan Hirt’s dramatic win on the Queen stage of this year’s Giro was aboard a prototype of the Litening Air C:68X; that 202km stage featured over 5,000km of climbing, including an ascent of the mighty Mortirolo, testimony to Hirt’s good legs and the suitability of the bike for such challenging terrain.
For more information visit cube.eu/air
Where's the battery? Raleigh's latest ebike is light, practical and keenly priced
The continued evolution of ebikes sees them becoming more efficient, lighter and closer in resemblance to their non-assisted counterparts. Which appears to accurately sum up the new Raleigh Trace.
It’s the British brand’s lightest ebike to date, weighing just 16.5kg, and it looks just like a regular hybrid. No funny lumps, bumps or visible battery. In fact, based on the images, it’s a stylish number indeed. The aluminium frameset features modern tube shapes and a tapered carbon fork.
Elsewhere the 9-speed Shimano 1x groupset, with hydraulic disc brakes, adds to the clean aesthetics while the 40mm tan wall WTB Byway tyres are both a practical and fashionable choice. As for the Ebikemotion 250 watt hour battery, it's stealthily hidden in the frame, while the motor is located on the rear hub.
But the Trace aims to be far more than just a visually appealing bike. It’s low weight should equate to a nimble and practical machine when compared to its heavier counterparts. Despite its weight, it comes fitted with a rear rack, mudguards and front and rear lights. The battery has a four hour charge time and maximum range of 50 miles. Combine this range with the accessories and you have a machine that would seem to be ideally equipped for the daily commute, a trip to the shops and plenty of weekend adventures - and all fume free!
The Trace has another card up its sleeve, too. The price tag. At £2,199 it’s competitively positioned in an increasingly crowded market.
For more information visit raleigh.co.uk
Freedom and movement inspire Rapha newest members-only collection
Rapha first collaborated with the Portuguese artist Bráulio Amado on a cap designed exclusively for its Cycling Club members. He’s back, this time with a more extensive collection, again available for the RCC crew only.
Both brightly colored and monochrome, the distinctive designs feature plenty of movement, all done with a free flowing hand and an open mind. “I didn’t want to do anything conceptual because in cycling it’s all about choosing your own path and I wanted to get that idea across, so I just did my thing,” Amado says.
The range uses a few Rapha staples as the canvas for Amado’s work. There’s the Pro Team Flyweight jersey, the Pro Team Long Sleeve jersey and the Pro Team bibs, all offered in both men’s and women’s. The collection is completed with Pro Team socks and a cap.
The RCC + Bráulio Amado Collection is available now. For more information visit rapha.cc (opens in new tab)
Mission accomplished! Dynaplug's Covert plugger kit is neat, tidy and ready for action
Gravel. Grit. Groad. Mud, dirt or loam. Whatever you’re riding your drop-bar off-road machine on the chances are you’ve long since switched to tubeless tyres. To help make repairs to those tyres a little easier US-brand Dynaplug have released its latest tool, the Covert Drop.
As the name implies, this plugger tool is neatly hidden away in the end of your drop bars when not in use. It replaces your regular bar bung, with a bar end that features a ‘small aluminum housing’ that stores and protects the plug tip. The tool, which is preloaded with twin tubes storing four standard soft tip plugs, threads into this housing, and according to Dynaplug, with just a couple of turns, you’re ready to make your repair
As well as the bar ends and tool, the Covert Drop kit comes with a hex key for installation as well as additional set screws for larger diameter bars. All this hidden trickery doesn’t come cheap - the Covert Drop kit has a retail price of US$124.95 - but you’re getting a Made in the USA product from a brand that’s dedicated itself to the safe and efficient plugging of your tyres.
For more information visit dynaplug.com
Did bike sheds and garages just get safer?
The reality of bike thefts from seemingly safer environments, such as sheds and garages, can’t be ignored. “As bike sheds are now so widely used they’ve become a target for thieves,” says John Fearnall, an inventor of crime prevention products for over 25 years.
His latest creation, the Defender Shock Contact Alarm, is designed to protect such sheds. The wire-free, dual function alarm uses two sensors, contact and vibration. A 130 decibel siren is triggered by the vibration sensor if the shed or garage door is being forced, or the contact sensor if the door is opened without using the code. The alarm has a 30-second exit delay and a 5-second entry delay to enable the user to arm or disarm the unit via its keypad.
The Defender Shock Alarm has been awarded a Gold Secure Standard by the Master Locksmith Association as well as being accredited by the UK police. It’s priced at £14.95.
For more information visit www.defendersecurityproducts.co.uk
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