What's going on in the curly bar world? CyclingTips Digest showcases articles from our sister site, CyclingTips. In each installment, you might find endurance coverage, power-to-weight ratios, gravel bike tech and, of course, lycra.
2020 Marin Gestalt X10 gravel bike review: The wheelie machine
By: Caley Fretz
The Marin Gestalt X10 is a mountain biker’s gravel bike. It’s fun and flickable, aware that a bit of instability can be enjoyable, and designed for a rider whose range of terrain is almost wide enough to necessitate flat bars and suspension.
That makes it something of a love-it or hate-it bike. It’s not traditional. It’s not for everyone. But if it’s for you, it’s an impressively affordable way to put a smile on your face.
At Paris-Roubaix, more than any other single race in professional cycling, technical innovation is given free rein in the pursuit of a decisive advantage. The rider and the mechanic’s foe is the same – the brutal cobbles of northern France – and the bikes that are ridden there are sometimes innovative, sometimes bizarre, and perpetually fascinating.
Even as the cost gap between affordable bikes and top-tier bikes widens, the performance gap is closing. Affordable bikes are better than they’ve ever been.
This is particularly true with gravel bikes. A good $1,500 gravel bike gets you almost all the key attributes that come with a $5,000 gravel bike, or a $10,000 gravel bike. You get hydraulic disc brakes, lots of tire clearance, and solid geometry. You get a reasonably light frame and parts that, in general, are just as functional as those that are far more expensive. Ride quality doesn’t have to greatly suffer as price drops, because ride quality on gravel bikes is overwhelmingly influenced by tires, which are relatively cheap.
The law of diminishing returns is in full effect, and, in our opinion, the performance/dollar curve really starts to bend somewhere around $2,000.
Solar-powered sunglasses: POC Aspire Solar Switch review
By: James Huang
POC’s latest eyewear innovation incorporates a solar-powered liquid crystal panel in the lens that instantly darkens or lightens depending on the conditions. It’s a super slick idea, and the technology is truly ingenious given there are no batteries required. However, while the concept holds a lot of promise, the real-world delivery has a little ways to go yet.
Battle of the electric tire inflators: Fumpa vs Xiaomi Mijia
By: Dave Rome
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the Fumpa portable air pump, a handheld device that lets you accurately check and top up tire pressure with the press of a button. As one of my most loved products of 2019, I regularly use it instead of a floor pump, it’s become my go-to travel pump/gauge, and it’s the common envy of other tech editors. And so when I stumbled across the bargain-priced Xiaomi Mijia (or “Mi” for short) electric tire inflator, I ordered one and put it to the test.
New Mercedes-AMG road bike is latest in a long line of dead-eyed automotive collabs
By: Iain Treloar
In the flurry of excitement and trepidation prior to this week’s Australian F1 Grand Prix – which culminated in the masterfully handled last-gasp cancellation of the whole shebang – Mercedes-AMG Petronas driver Valtteri Bottas quietly lobbed an expensive bit of merch into the ether.
That’s right: for an as-yet-unspecified price – although expect it to be five figures – you, too, could show your love for your favourite F1 team by owning a rude-looking road bike splattered with Mercedes logos.