What's Cool In Road Cycling

Gear Break: Tifosi Custom, Body Glide Anti-Chafing, CHAPTER2 Artist Edition, Wahoo New KICKR + KICKR Bike, Bianchi E-Arcadex Capsule & Snēk Dry Creek Merino Pocket Tee

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Gear Break: Tifosi Custom Lab – Alliant sunglasses, Body Glide anti-chafing balm, CHAPTER2 Koko Bharms special projects artist edition, Wahoo new KICKR + KICKR bike, Bianchi launches New E-Arcadex Capsule collection and Snēk Cycling launches the Dry Creek Merino Pocket Tee.


Tifosi Custom Lab – Alliant – $64.90

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PEZ readers will know that I’m a fan of Tifosi sunglasses. They may not be worn in the pro peloton, but they certainly wouldn’t look out of place in the pro peloton or on your local group ride. In terms of style and function they are pro level. What sets them apart from other sunglass manufacturers is price. Everything in the Tifosi catalog is less than $100. And that includes sunglasses supplied with multiple lenses for different conditions. The one word that comes to mind is: value.

I own several pairs of Tifosi sunglasses. This time around, I wanted to do something different and used the Tifosi Custom Lab to create a pair of “made to order” (dare I say “bespoke”?) sunglasses. I chose the Alliant frame because I wanted to try the Enliven Bike lens. According to Tifosi:

Just as you can turn down the volume on your music player, wearing sunglasses turns down the brightness of your environment, but your music player doesn’t stop there! It allows you to adjust the bass and treble of what you hear to a more pleasing level. Imagine if your sunglasses could do that with what you see! Enliven™ lenses do just that! Color Capture technology fine tunes the wavelengths of light that matter most; making greens, blues, and reds pop with definition.

The way the Custom Lab works:

  • Choose your frame style
  • Then choose your frame color (I went with Gunmetal because I thought it would look good with the red-ish Enliven Bike lens)
  • Then choose the lens you want (NOTE: the Enliven Bike lens isn’t an option as I’m writing this — maybe I got the last one they had on hand?)
  • Finally, chose what color ear pads you want (I went with red — again because of the red-ish Enliven Bike lens)

Pretty easy-peasy. Tifosi then “builds” your sunglasses and sends them to you (I got mine in less than a week).

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You get a microfiber soft case that doubles as a cleaning cloth plus a sturdy hardshell case

The Alliant isn’t quite as large as many of the “shield” sunglasses that are the current fashion rage. The lens is 45mm tall x 133.5mm wide compared to my Tifosi Rail that’s 59.5mm tall but slightly less wide at 131mm. So maybe a “medium large” size lens — which a lot of pro riders wear.

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Maybe not as much real estate as oversize shield sunglasses, but still more than enough eye protection

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I certainly wouldn’t call the Alliant sunglasses “small”

Tifosi specs the Alliant as a Large-XL fit frame, but I thought they fit my average-ish head/face well (I’m of Filipino ethnic heritage but have never worn specific Asian fit sunglasses). The temples fit snugly without being too tight. Tight enough to hold the sunglasses in place without pinching but still easy enough to put on and take off. And the rubber ear pads were comfortable.

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At least on my Filipino head, the Alliant frame shape fit comfortably with no slip and more than enough grip

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The nose piece can be easily adjusted to fit

I have Tifosi golf sunglasses that use their Enliven technology, but the Enliven Bike lens is different. To begin, it’s not a smoke tint and it’s not Fototec that gets lighter or darker according to light conditions. The Enliven Bike lens is a red-ish tint. At first glance, it wouldn’t seem a lens well suited to bright sunlight. Surprisingly, however, it provided enough “tint” (for me) to relieve eye strain in bright sunlight (this might not be the case for those whose eyes are more sensitive to bright light). But it’s not a “dark” tint like a smoke lens. With the red-ish tint, it actually “brightened up” the overall picture. I know that may sound a little weird, but it’s the best way to describe how the lens works. Another way to describe it is a “high definition”-like effect. It really is one of those “you have to try it” type of experiences/phenomena.

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Venting to help prevent the lens from fogging up

IMHO a big benefit of the Enliven Bike lens is that because it’s not a “dark” lens it works across a wide range of light conditions — from bright sunlight to ominous overcast. So if clouds role in and block out the sun, it’s not too dark and you can still see/pick out stuff because the Enliven technology provides good contrast/definition. Ditto for riding into heavily shaded areas. Although not designed for night riding, the Enliven Bike lens has been OK enough, i.e., sufficient light transmission, for short stints in an urban environment with a lot of ambient street light (plus a bright bike headlight) when my ride starts before sunset but ends after.

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As snug as a bug in a rug?

I’ve yet to find a completely “do everything” pair of cycling sunglasses for all light/weather conditions (real night riding requires either a clear or hi-viz yellow lens — ditto for riding in a thunderstorm), but the Tifosi Alliant with Enliven Bike lens comes pretty close (and I’m not riding in thunderstorms … at least not on purpose).

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It’s always a good idea to try cycling sunglasses on with your helmet for fit and style

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BTW, it’s National Negroni Week!


Body Glide Anti-Chafing Balm

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Chafing from cycling is quite common — and horribly uncomfortable. This chafing will usually present itself in specific areas of the body, including the groin, butt, and inner thighs. Something as simple as the saddle not being adjusted properly can increase the chance of painful chafing, as well as sweat, distance, and cycling shorts with a less than high quality chamois. Thankfully, Body Glide anti-chafing balm is a cyclist’s best friend.

As the PEZ himself has previously said, “the real problems in our nether region almost always result from friction between our skin and the pad itself – not how much ‘padding’ is there.” Body Glide makes a range of products to help prevent the friction that causes irritation, rash, chafing, blisters, and raw skin. PEZ got a couple to test out in the saddle.

Skin Glide – $10.99

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Skin Glide isn’t necessarily aimed specifically at cycling, but is intended to “protect hard-to-reach places with a silky smooth and moisture rich anti chafing barrier that resists the rubbing that causes chafing, blisters and painfully raw skin.” Sounds a lot like cycling to me.

If you’ve used chamois cream/butter, Skin Glide is similar. Application is much the same: squeeze some onto your fingers and then rub the stuff onto all those “special” places. You don’t need to glop it on (as can be the case with some chamois creams/butters), but don’t be afraid to apply liberally. Where Skin Glide is a little different is that it’s more like hand/skin lotion in that it starts out as a cream but essentially “disappears” as your rub it into your skin. You may not see it, but what’s left is a friction resistant layer on your skin.

Cycle Glide – $10.99

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Besides being specifically intended for cycling, Cycle Glide is different in that it is a “solid” form factor and uses a deodorant stick-like dispenser. Application is just like you would with a deodorant stick, i.e., rub it on directly. It did take a little getting used to know that I actually got the stuff on because it goes on “hard” not “soft” like a cream. But it’s a pretty “clean” application, i.e., no having to wash stuff off your hands afterwards. Like Skin Glide, Cycle Glide leaves an “invisible” layer of friction resistance. Another benefit of Cycle Glide being a stick rather than a cream is that it’s easy to apply directly to your chamois. Just take the stick and rub it all over.

They both work

I’m not prone to saddle sores but have gotten them very occasionally. Over the years, I’ve used various chamois creams (including “old school” Noxema and other non-cycling “butter cream” products) with good enough for me results — but usually a “thick” coating of stuff. What I really like about both Skin Glide and Cycle Glide is that they’re not so “messy” compared to most other chamois creams and require a much lighter coating. More importantly, they both work, i.e., prevent the friction that causes saddle sores, on the short- to medium-distance rides (40-ish miles) I’ve done with them. I don’t have any reason to believe they won’t work as well on longer rides.

Some other attributes about Body Glide products that might matter:

  • skin safe, made with allergen free, plant-derived ingredients
  • no messy petroleum, lanolin or mineral oils
  • water and sweat resistant and will keep pores clog free by allowing sweat to escape and lets skin breathe
  • vegan approved
  • never tested on animals

CHAPTER2: Koko Bharms Special Projects Artist Edition
We are super excited to announce our 2nd Artist Collaboration Project: KOKO B’Harms Special Projects Artist Edition.

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Bradley Harms’ artwork is a perfect fit for CHAPTER2, merging Art with Technical Performance. Only 60 Framesets will be produced.

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Each frameset will come with an original B’Harms signed artwork, your choice of MANA Bar (5 Sizes / 2 Colours), custom-painted carbon bottle cages, an anodized blue matching thru-axles/top cap, and the option to purchase an exclusive NFT.

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Key Information:

  • Only 60 framesets will be made and offered on a first come first serve basis.
  • Available for pre-order via Website and Authorised Dealers.
  • Shipping worldwide December 2022.
  • Bundle Includes:
    • MANA Bar (Choice of 5 sizes/2 colours)
    • Matching Thru-Axles, Top cap, and a Pair of Carbon Bottle Cages
    • Option to Purchase NFT

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Prices include shipping and taxes except where noted below:
USD $4,999 / AUD 7,259 / EUR 4,999 / £4,299 / NZD $7,599 / JPY ¥559,000 (pre-tax) / CAD $6,399 (excluding local taxes)
** All prices include MANA Bar


Wahoo New KICKR + KICKR Bike

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Bianchi Launches New E-Arcadex Capsule Collection
The new e-Arcadex gravel e-bike collection redefines the way to explore on two wheels. Its unique, full-carbon design gets a boost from a powerful Bosch motor unit, and is enhanced by three colorways inspired by our planet’s biospheres: the arctic, forests, and the desert

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With the e-Arcadex collection, Bianchi extends its gravel and touring e-bike platform by adding a new high-performance, full-carbon model designed for adventure, either on- or off-road.

The e-Arcadex frame geometry comes from Bianchi’s Arcadex model, which has been specifically designed to guarantee ideal power transfer and elevate comfort, even during long hours in the saddle. The E-Arcadex provides the smoothest, seamless transition from asphalt to off-road, thanks to its full-carbon frame, which can be fitted with up to 700×45 tires, thus further improving the bike’s feedback and stability. The Velomann seatpost was developed to increase the bike’s shock absorption with 80 mm of travel – that’s in addition to 40 mm of integrated suspension.

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Designed to make the most of every adventure, the e-Arcadex is equipped with eyelets on the fork and the rear stays to comfortably carry whatever gear you need during your outing. Thanks to the dedicated cover designed by Bianchi engineers, the battery is well protected from mud, water, and debris, while the simple and user-friendly release system makes it easy to remove and recharge the battery whenever needed.

Equipped with the 250W Bosch Performance Line CX power unit, with 85 Nm torque and an integrated 500Wh Powertube battery, e-Arcadex’ has a range of up to 115 km and can be fully recharged in just four hours.

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The Colors of Nature
The link between e-Arcadex and surrounding nature is further enhanced by three color concepts. Bianchi’s creative team has created a capsule collection of color treatments that draw inspiration from three of the most fascinating biospheres on earth: the regions of the great glaciers, forests, and deserts.

The Glacial colorway combines traditional Bianchi celeste with a splash of arctic blue, while the shades of green characteristic of forests define the Forest colorway. e-Arcadex Desert is characterized by beige and gold shades typical of the endless expanses of dunes and sand in a fluid landscape that’s constantly changing.

From Adventure to Urban Commuting: E-Arcadex Tourer
Along with the gravel version, Bianchi has also created the e-Arcadex Tourer for those who wish to be in the saddle all week long, whether it be for work or for fun.

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Outfitted with racks, fenders, and front and rear lights for riding safely even in low-light conditions, the e-Arcadex is designed to be used on both off-road trails and on the daily commute to work.

  • The new Bianchi e-Arcadex is available for a retail price of 6,249 €.
  • The new e-Arcadex Bianchi Tourer has a recommended retail price of 5,349 €.

Snēk Cycling Launches the Dry Creek Merino Pocket Tee
The Perfect T-Shirt Doesn’t Exi…

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Today Snēk Cycling introduced the Dry Creek Merino Pocket Tee. Designed and crafted to be the only T-shirt you’ll ever need, the U.S. made Dry Creek Tee is now live on Kickstarter.

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Snēk, a boutique Utah-based cycling brand, has built a brand following by focusing on essential cycling gear and simply making it better and with more care than anything else on the market. The Dry Creek Tee is no exception. It checks all the boxes expected of a modern merino tee – moisture wicking, odor resistant, temperature regulating and built to last – and does it with a style that’s equally at home on the bike or off.

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“The origin story of the Dry Creek Tee is pretty similar to the rest of our product line: I wanted something simple that I couldn’t find, so we made it,” said Jonny Hintze, founder of Snek Cycling and a long-time cycling product engineer. “With the right mix of quality performance fabrics, and thoughtful styling and construction, the Dry Creek Merino Pocket Tee was born.”

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Rigorously tested and iterated, the Dry Creek Tee features a slight drop in the back hem for extra coverage during active use. It’s also made with a reinforced nylon core merino wool fabric that will stand up to years of wear and is backed up with a lifetime guarantee. Additionally, its stylish silhouette strikes the perfect balance between active and leisure wear, outliving and outperforming other tees in the drawer.

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“It’s the only shirt you’ll want to wear,” said Hintze. “That’s probably the best endorsement I can give it.”

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The Dry Creek Merino Pocket Tee is now live on Kickstarter. MSRP $95.

  • Slick and neat – Snēk (Pronounced Sneak). For more information on Snēk please visit: snekcycling.com

 

Note: PEZCyclingNews ask that you contact the manufacturers before using any products you see here. Only the manufacturer can provide accurate and complete information on proper / safe use, handling, maintenance and or installation of products as well as any conditional information or product limitations.

 

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