Garmin announced updates to its Edge line including the popular 520, AeroCoach has 3D printed chainrings and more, Oakley and SpeedCraft focus on cyclists’ vision, and more in this edition of What We Have Noticed.
Garmin was busy updating their bicycle component line with updates to their Edge line with the new Edge 130, Edge 520Plus, and Varia system.
The Edge 130 is essentially an intro bike computer but with some additional features. It has a claimed mass of 33g and measures 40mm x 62mm x 17mm while featuring a15 hour battery life. It has a black and white screen with a screen resolution of 303x230 pixels (Edge 20 has 128x160) and works on GPS, GLONASS and Galileo satellites and a built-in barometer.
Despite its size, it hosts many of the newer features found in their higher-end series including turn-by-turn navigation, Live Track, Strava Live segments, SMS notifications and template SMS reply feature (Android only at this time), to go along with Ant+ and BTLE connectivity.
The Edge 130 will retail for $199, or $249 for the bundle package with a heart rate strap and speed/cadence sensors.
Edge 520 Plus
The Edge 500 series is arguably the most popular amongst triathletes, not only for its features, but also its size and compatibility with aerobar systems. The Edge 520 includes all the features found in their current Edge 520 “plus” it takes many of the new or updated features found in their recently released Edge 1030 and included it them in the 520 Plus while maintaining the size of the current Edge 520 model and claimed battery life of 15 hours.
The Edge 520 Plus comes with pre-loaded Garmin cycle maps capable of providing turn-by-turn assistance, back-to-start navigation, Group Track, rider-to-rider messaging, advanced power metrics with Vector 3 compatibility, along with preloaded IQ apps from Best Bike Split and TrainingPeaks. The 520 Plus also includes rider’s physiological data such as VO2 max and recovery time.
The Edge 520 Plus will retail for $280 or as part of a bundle for $380. We plan on getting our hands on one in the near future for testing.
With cycling safety becoming more and more prominent, the Varia line of products has grown quickly in terms of popularity. Their new Varia RTL510 rear view radar and light (solid or flashing light mode) along with being visible from a claimed distance of 1.6km, the system also sends visible and audible alerts to the rider via a compatible bike computer when vehicles approach from behind (150 yards detection distance). The Varia RTL510 is currently compatible with the Edge 130 and Edge 520 Plus. It has a battery life that varies from six hours to 15 hours depending on its mode and will retail for $200 or $300 as part of a bundle option that includes the RTLE510 rear view radar and display unit.
AeroCoach Ltd is a UK company that provides a number of components specific to time trialing performance and is headed by Dr B Xavier Disley. The ARC solid chainring, and designed for 1X, is a non-circular carbon chainring designed for time trialing. It is available in a number of sizes, and can be custom made to fit your need as the above model was custom designed to fit the Pioneer power meter on a Shimano 9100 series.
They also produce Align Wing arm rests, a design that is becoming more popular amongst triathletes and TT specialists by keeping the arms more secure and stable in the arm rests. They are also compatible with nearly all aerobar systems and both the ARC chainrings and Align Wing arm rests ship to North America.
There were two notable releases that may interest triathletes and cyclists with their release of the Oakley Flight Jacket and the SpeedCraft Air.
Oakley continued its move into the cycling foray with the release of the Flight Jacket. It features a small switch on the nose bridge that moves the sunglasses away from the face to promote airflow and reduce the fogging and sweat that impedes vision while cycling. It maintains their popular frameless design at the top which is ideal when in the aero position. It is retailing for $225 and shipping May 1, 2018.
A lesser-known brand which Peter Sagan has worn to victory is the SpeedCraft Air. It features a built-in nasal dilator via a patented AC Systems breathing technology and comes with 10 pairs of metal nose stickers to secure — and properly operate — the system. The nasal dilator is located a top of the nose bridge and can be adjusted (further open or close the nasal pathway) by rotating a small dial in the center of the lens. Also included are a clear lens, hard and soft carrying case, and 10 pre-application wipes.
The application process requires the use of a pre-application wipe to clean the nose and then apply the nasal strip via an included applicator below the nasal bone on each nostril and wait 5 minutes prior to wearing the glasses.
The theory behind the use of a nasal dilator (whether or not you ascribe to it) is that it allows the user to improve his or her nasal breathing and thereby better regulates the ratio of Nitric Oxide and Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen and nose breathing is more efficient at regulating the humidity and temperature of the air than mouth breathing. I can’t speak for the science behind the nasal dilator, but its adherents say it is effective in opening the nasal pathway. SpeedCraft Air is at least twice as effective than the over-the-counter nasal strips, goes the claim.
The sunglass itself features two large, interchangeable lenses that worked quite well in the aero position, but I did notice the plastic top part of the frame which is the reason behind the popularity of frameless sunglasses. The SpeedCraft Air lenses are scratch resistant and have a Hydroilo coating, which was effective at repelling sweat.
The TR90 frame design has a noticeable space between the lens via a foam spacer at the top of the frame meant to increase airflow and prevent fogging. The temple arms are finished with an ultra-grip rubber which held the glasses in place and felt quite comfortable. I actually enjoyed the sensation of the nasal dilator and an added benefit was the nasal dilator system kept the sunglasses in a secure position at all times as a result of the magnets.
Of note, their user’s manual specifically addresses the use of the SpeedCraft Air for triathletes and advise the nasal strips can be applied prior to the swim and my limited testing confirmed that the adhesive nasal strips remained after a swim-bike brick.
The SpeedCraft Air is retailing for $325 with additional nose strips retailing for $15 while the model without the nasal dilator retails for $175.
SLF Motion Hyper Speed Systems
For those how are not aware of SLF Motion, it started out as a passion hobby operated out of the house of Blake Young in Illinois. It launched in 2016 combining his love of cycling and his craft as a 3-D Industrial Engineer. SLF Motion focuses on producing high-end pulley system components, think Ceramic Speed but more affordable.
SLF began with their Hyper Pulley Wheels that are made with full ceramic Silicone Nitride (Si3N4) which use PTFE retainers and seals along with world renown CERBEC branded Grade 3 ceramic balls. They have been used, and are being used, by a number of professional’s triathletes. SLF Motion has now released a titanium oversize pulley wheel system, their Hyper Speed Systems. The Hyper Speed System uses a coated hybrid ceramic bearing and billet Titanium wheels and will be available for nearly all models of SRAM and Shimano systems with pricing starting at $445. For those of you who were on the fence of trying OSPW but dissuaded by the cost, SLF Motion may be the answer. We plan on testing the SRAP eTap version in the near future.
Zwift Academy Triathlon
Zwift announced their selections for their inaugural Specialized Zwift Academy Team made up of two male and two female amateur triathletes, stemming from the success of their Zwift Academy for cyclists. The team members: Rachael Norfleet, USA, Geert Janssens, Belgium, Golo Philippe Röhrken, Germany, and Bex Rimmington, United Kingdom, will be provided with Specialized S-Works equipment, Retul fitting, and time in the Specialized Win Tunnel, along with coaching and support from Tim Don, Lucy Charles, and Zwift will be covering associated expenses for the team throughout the season, including a $1500 USD budget contribution towards a qualifying event of the athlete’s choosing as well as entry fees, flights, and accommodations for the Kona IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, Hawaii