Weird & Wonderful CES Tech // Unbound Bans // Longest MTB Trail & more!

cake aik electric cargo bike with multiple batteries and 440lb load capacity

It’s a bit early in the year for product launches, but CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is going on right now in Vegas, and there is a lot of fitness, cycling, and design tech being shown off.

There’s also a few interesting patents being shown off, and for gravel racers, some news from Unbound. Here’s all the best stuff from this week…

Best CES Cycling & Fitness Tech

Cake Åik e-cargo bike

cake aik ulility work cargo e-bike for fleets and deliveries with massive battery and range

Thus far, design-forward Swedish brand Cake has made electric motos without pedals. The new Åik cargo e-bike is their first pedal-assist model. It’s a Work/Utility bike that’ll handle 400+ lb loads with huge front and rear racks available. It’s Class II for the US, assisting (with a throttle if you don’t want to pedal) up to 20mph.

The included 750Wh battery is good for up to 74.5 miles, connect up to two more for all-day range. An Enviolo CVT hub provides stepless shifting that works even when stopped, which is perfect for when you forget to downshift before a stop and have a heavy load. The app allows for fleet management, remote locking, and GPS bike tracking. Prices from $6,470 to $9,140, ships in May.

TrueKinetix TrueTrainer has virtual gears & HDMI data output

truekinetix truetrainer indoor cycling smart trainer with virtual gears and HDMI output

The new TrueKinetix TrueTrainer won a CES 2023 Innovation Award by packing in several unique features on top of +/-0.5% power meter accuracy and a massive 2600w max resistance. WiFi output insures lag-free Zwift performance, and an HDMI output lets you see real-time metrics on the big screen, including pedaling dynamics.

It’s powered by your riding, no plug needed, and it’s just 15kg, so you can take and use it anywhere and use the included USB port to charge your devices. VirtualGears let you virtually match the gearing you have on your regular bike(s) without having to change the included cassette. Squishy feet provide natural rocking motion. MSRP from €1,499 to €1,999.

Bianchi’s virtual prototyping eliminates test bikes

bianchi aero road bike being designed with ansys 3d prototyping CFD software

Bianchi is using Ansys 3D CFD software to prototype its bikes, saving them from making up to 70 real-world frames and testing in the wind tunnel. The software also lets them test materials and designs, which has led to new shapes that generate better combined stiffness, compliance & aerodynamic performance.

ErgoSportive bio-monitoring mattress improves sleep, recovery

ErgoMotion ErgoSportive biometric mattress adjusts shape to fit your body and measures sleep quality and breathing rate

The ErgoSportive Sleep System’s adjustable bed is another CES 2023 Innovation Award honoree. It lets you find a comfy position for reading (or doomscrolling) before bed, then flattens for sleeping and starts measuring your heart rate, breathing rate, sleep stages & movement.

A “Zero G” position slightly elevates your head and feet (and can vibrate them) for better recovery. It pairs with Garmin wearables to combine your sleep quality with activity levels to provide sleep, rest & recovery recommendations (like, not doomscrolling right before bed).

Withings U-Scan home urine analysis lab

Withings U-Scan connected home urine analysis sits in your toilet and measures vitamins, hydration and ketones

Here are four words I never thought I’d type together: Connected Home Urine Lab. But that’s exactly what the Withings U-Scan is (and won a CES 2023 Innovation Award for), and it could be quite useful for athletes.

With a 3-month charge and replaceable test cartridge, it could detect ketone, hydration, and nutrient levels, helping you adjust your diet and nutrition to better meet your training or weight goals. For female athletes, it can track menstrual and ovulation cycles, too. It doesn’t launch until later this year, but you can request updates on their website.

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SRAM, Shimano & Fox (??) derailleur patents; Campy power meter, too

Bikerumor found three interesting patents showing new derailleur designs. SRAM (top left) is showing a modular, completely rebuildable Eagle AXS direct-mount derailleur so you don’t have to replace an entire (very expensive) rear derailleur. I’m thinking if they did this for road/gravel, it would be easier to optimize for different gear combos, too.

Shimano (bottom left) is toying with a breakaway design that allows both front and rear Di2 derailleurs to disengage the motor/gear in both directions, protecting it from impacts on either side.

Lastly, Fox (which owns Race Face, who make hubs) is showing off a rear hub and derailleur concept that can automatically decouple the derailleur clutch and freehub pawls (shown on right) to allow unrestricted movement during rapid, deep rear suspension compression. This would eliminate pedal kickback and minimize drivetrain influence on the suspension, helpful in DH & Enduro particularly.

Separately, found a fresh Campagnolo crank-based power meter patent that would finally get them caught up on that front.

Detroit Bikes E-Type made-in-USA, steel, belt-drive e-Bike

detroit bikes eType steel electric commuter e-bike with hub motor and regenerative braking

The new Detroit Bikes E-Type is an elegant take on a commuter e-bike, blending a classic steel frame with a clean belt drive, hydraulic disc brakes, and all-in-one 250W Zehus hub motor/battery. And it’s just 32lbs and $2,599 (plus $99 shipping).

The completely self-contained hub motor/battery has a trick: It recharges as you backpedal, coast, and brake. It assists up to 15.5mph for up to 35 miles in Eco mode. An app lets you customize the modes and even remotely lock the motor. Pre-order now, delivery in March.

Rene Herse Nivex “Analog” derailleur

Designed to work with anything from six to 12 speeds, the retro-looking Rene Herse Nivex rear derailleur is fully modern…ish. It requires a two-cable system running from their own shifter, a new mount to be brazed onto the chainstay, and maxes out with 30-tooth cassette cogs. So, probably best for custom steel bikes…but, worth it.

Bonas Labs disc brake bedding machine

bonas labs automatic bicycle disc brake bed in machine for bike shops

If your shop’s mechanics can’t break away for test rides (or you don’t want them to), the Bonas Labs Disc-o-Matic brake bed-in machine will let them get customer’s bikes’ new brakes properly bedded for maximum performance.

The sustainably built, easily serviceable device fits various wheel sizes and basically spins the wheel so you can bed in the brakes. They provide instructions for each brand and rotor/pad material, and the 1hp motor turns on and adjusts speed with a simple kick pedal on the side. Total geek-out on bed-in procedure (and why it matters) on their site.

7,300km Orogenesis MTB Trail will connect Canada to Cabo

bikepacking roots orogenesis survey map showing world's longest mountain bike trail

When finished, Orogenesis will be the world’s longest mountain bike trail, connecting British Colombia to Baja over ~5,000 miles of singletrack and dirt with 127,000m of climbing. They say less than 5% is pavement, necessary only to circumvent unride-able terrain (or private property).

Conceived by Bikepacking Roots, they have an ambitious plan to open the entire route in 2023. Follow along (and donate to support the cause) on their website. Here’s video of the first trail day.

Unbound Gravel bans (some) aero bars, separates Elites from Freds

2023 garmin unbound xl gravel race entry lottery deadlines and aero bar bans

First off, the lottery to get into the 2023 Unbound Gravel race is now open, enter by January 12th for a shot at racing this year.

If you make it, you’ll see the Elite men & women starting 8-10 minutes before the “I’m just there for the experience” (aka “amateur”) riders. This puts the hyper-competitive (and faster) riders up front and creates a more pleasant and safer experience for everyone.

Apparently, “Elite” doesn’t necessarily mean “Pro”, so you can submit credentials to be considered for the early start. Elite riders will no longer be allowed to use aero bars or extensions on their handlebars, also for safety reasons. Here’s a Podcast interview with Life Time’s President about these changes.

Gravel Bike Mini-Pump Buyer’s Guide

best gravel bike mini pump buyers guide leads with the silca gravelero

If you’re looking for a mini pump that works for those not-quite-MTB, not-quite-Road tires we ride on gravel bikes, these are the best five I’ve tested along with some tips on how to pick the best one for your style, plus a template to make sure they’ll fit your bike.

Small Bites

the lunch ride logo cycling cap

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