Welcome back to Gear Break amongst all the race news. Today’s offerings: Ribble Ultra redefines aero, PRO introduces sleek new Vibe Evo integrated handlebar, QUOC Mono II road shoes, Neversecond™ science-based sports nutrition helps athletes fuel optimally, Finish Line™ releases FiberLink™ tubeless sealant and The Breakaway introduces motivation & Challenges for Garmin users.
Ribble Ultra Redefines Aero
Ribble Cycles launch the all-new Ultra Road following the brief to develop the world’s most aerodynamically advanced road platform.
The Ultra Road is designed to be superfast, following an extensive and ground-breaking R&D process of market-leading CFD, Wind Tunnel testing and Real World Analysis, where every aspect of the bike and rider performing in perfect aerodynamic harmony has been considered to create a machine which has been optimised to give maximum aero advantage.
“The Ultra Road project is the result of 3 years of development by the Ribble R&D team and is a clear statement of our position as a world-class, innovative and exciting British cycling brand. Core to our culture is challenging convention and not being afraid to explore new ground in our pursuit of developing a better performing product. The Ultra Road is perfectly aligned to this with its Ribble derived technology giving Pro riders and our customers a proven and meaningful performance advantage, meaning this bike is as much for me as it is our Pro Teams.” States Andy Smallwood, CEO, Ribble Cycles
The project started with extensive exploration of the specific forces that need to be overcome by the rider, influencing the physical shape and form of the new platform. Firstly, through development, analysis, testing and refined using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and because bike and rider can never be analysed in isolation it was fundamental to use a 3D digital scan of the Ribble test rider to provide complete consistency across the entire testing process (CFD, Wind Tunnel to Real World). CFD allowed the team to understand the aerodynamic challenges and how to use the design to maximise and manipulate the airflow to generate a significant performance gain across a full range of YAW (cross wind) angles from 0 to an extreme 20 degrees and speeds from Pro rider 29mph and the more average road cyclist speed of 22mph. Every section of the frame, fork, seat post and handlebar has been aerodynamically optimised with particular attention made to component integration.
The next stage utilised Rapid Prototyping for both further aerodynamic as well as ergonomic optimisation with particular attention being made to the handlebar – which is critical from both an aerodynamic and primary rider contact point perspective.
When the shape and initial component material layup had been defined, extensive and detailed Wind Tunnel testing was employed to test and qualify the gains seen at CFD level. The wind tunnel results are extraordinary and illustrate the importance of considering the total package of bike and rider to obtain the best aerodynamic efficiencies. The next step was to create rideable samples to fully understand the aerodynamic gains in real world conditions and to fine tune the weight, stiffness, handling and ride characteristics by putting the various iterations of prototype through their paces on the road.
One of the key innovations is the design of the Patent Pending Ultra Bar. The groundbreaking Ultra carbon integrated cockpit achieves unmatched aerodynamic integration through innovation. Working as a holistic proposition with the rider, the bars work to manage airflow upstream of the rider with the wake generating design creating a drag reduction zone (DRZ) for the rider to sit in as well as directing vortexes around the rider further enhancing the airflow. Lightweight, super-stiff and with component integration the carbon monocoque handlebar system has also undergone a full ergonomic study, maximising control, grip and comfort. The design has also been optimised aerodynamically in the drop and the hood positions.
Jamie Burrow, Head of Product, Ribble Cycles adds: “To understand the full performance of a bike you need to understand how the airflow interacts with the rider and the resultant gains made by the bike and rider as a total package. Minimising drag-inducing effects increases the bikes aerodynamic efficiency which allows you to maintain the same speed for less effort or more speed for the same effort – either way the Ultra SL R equals better performance.”
The Ribble Ultra SL R is an aerodynamically efficient performance bike with an improvement over the already aero-optimised, race proven Endurance SL R with a 75.1second saving over 40km at 22mph across the average of 5 and 10 degrees of YAW and 61.4seconds over the same 40km at 29mph. This equates to an approximate 3 minute saving for the Ultra SL R on a typical 100km ride with average YAW conditions.
The Ultra Road is available as two models: Ultra SL R and Ultra SL – both with multiple pre-spec options and further specification customisation through Bike Builder and full personalisation through Custom Colour.
The Platform also includes a Tri Specific version: Ultra SL R Tri Edition.
PRO Introduces Sleek New Vibe Evo Integrated Handlebar
With an evolution of integration, the new Vibe Evo handlebar delivers aerodynamic and ergonomic advancements to improve your ride.
PRO’s new Vibe Evo handlebar delivers the next generation of integration with enhanced aerodynamics, proven ergonomics, and improved grip for better control on the bike. The integrated bar/stem design offers a sleek front-end look for both standard and fully internally routed frames while the hose and cable integration tucks things out of the wind for ultimate aerodynamic advantage. Integrated grips placed on the tops of the bar transition seamlessly into the hoods for a neat carbon package ready to cheat the wind while keeping your hands comfortably planted in place.
Carefully crafted integration is the keystone of the new Vibe Evo handlebar. Starting with the smooth interface between bar and stem, the Vibe Evo also delivers strategically placed entry and exit ports for shift cables and brake hoses to run cleanly and silently through the inside of the handlebar and come through the stem. This means, the front end of the bike can be clean and cable-free.
“We looked at the cockpit as a complete system, not just a handlebar and stem,” says PRO Product Development Team Manager Mark Kikkert. “We took into consideration the placement of brake/shift levers and how the shape of the handlebar could provide a more seamless transition for more comfort”
As the control center of the bike, the Vibe Evo’s lightweight and strong carbon construction boosts rider control and comfort with a new ergonomic shape and five secure hand positions. Ride on the tops, in the pursuit position, use corner grip, ride the hoods, or in the drops comfortably.
The tops of the Vibe Evo handlebar feature a new replaceable grip design, which negates the need for wrapping the tops with bar tape. This keeps the bar flatter and more aerodynamic while maintaining a comfortable and solid grip on the bar. PRO also introduces the new Ergonomic Drop Grips that slide onto the bar ends and replace the need for bar tape in the drops.
“The integration of the top grip is a unique way to offer comfort and control, while simultaneously keeping the aerodynamic profile and cutting down on the total system weight compared to using regular handlebar tape,” explains Kikkert. “With the new Vibe Evo, we are entering a new era for integrated cockpits that PRO has been offering for over 15 years.”
Completing the PRO Vibe Evo’s seamless integration design is the attachment point for a forward bicycle computer mount. Two rivnuts sit on the underside of the bar/stem area, providing a fixing point for bike computer mounts (or other mountable bags and accessories) to integrate into the handlebar’s aerodynamic design.
The Vibe Evo bar/stem system allows for +/- 2 degrees of stem angle adjustment with a 1 1/8 shim. Additionally, the bar is compatible with 1 1/8 and 1 1/4 steerer tubes thanks to a removable shim. The bars come in widths of 38, 40 and 42cm with stem lengths of 105, 115 and 125mm.
Pricing and Availability:
First Look: QUOC Mono II Road Shoes
QUOC launches its most advanced road shoe to date, complete with dual-dial closure system and vibration-absorbing insole.
QUOC has launched Mono II, a race-grade road cycling shoe and the latest in the company’s range of premium performance footwear. A successor to QUOC’s strap-closure Mono, every design element has been selected to increase convenience and remove distractions from the ride.
At 249g, the shoe is lightweight and features a unidirectional, hand-laid carbon fibre sole that provides effortless power transfer to the pedals. Representing the brand’s first use of QUOC Technology dual dial closure system, the shoe slides easily on and off, while a custom-moulded lace guide allows for fast and intuitive tension adjustment.
Designed for comfort across any ride distance, the Mono II last was meticulously hand-worked to precisely follow the contours of the foot. At the footbed, it features a vibration-absorbing, ball-of-foot pressure point release, a choice of three arch-support options for a tailor-like fit, and supportive heel padding.
Additional enhancements include a two-piece, weather-resistant upper inherited from the brand’s top selling silhouette, the Gran Tourer, and a supple, dovetail padded tongue improves ventilation. Elegant, brogue-inspired, zig-zag stitching offers an additional layer of strength in what is already a shoe built to go the distance.
Available for Pre-Order on quoc.cc from 26 August 2021 in two classic colourways: All White and All Black. RRP: £270.00 GBP
Neversecond™ Science-Based Sports Nutrition Helps Athletes Fuel Optimally
Developed with the world’s best runners, cyclists, triathletes and swimmers, Neversecond™ promises science-based, athlete-focused nutrition.
Endurance sports nutrition upstart, Neversecond™, introduced their line of scientifically-proven fueling solutions that promise to forever alter the sports nutrition landscape by helping endurance athletes unlock their true potential. Neversecond™ gels and drink mix, which are being used by EF Education-Nippo Pro Cycling and Team Bahrain Victorious in the Tour de France, will soon be available at never2.com.
The spark that would become Neversecond™ started when lifelong endurance runner and successful entrepreneur, Bill Armstrong, had a difficult time finding nutrition that was supported by cutting-edge science to power his daily runs, swims and bike rides. Bill’s quest for science-based fuel for his workouts led him to the laboratory of Asker Jeukendrup, Ph.D., one of the world’s leading scientific authorities on sports nutrition. For nearly 30 years, Jeukendrup has been at the forefront of sports science research and has worked closely with countless world-class athletes including runner Haile Gebrselassie and Chrissie Wellington. Jeukendrup works, amongst others, with Team Jumbo-Visma and the Dutch Olympic team.
Bill and Asker were quickly in agreement that the sports nutrition world was full of inaccurate information and was built on myths that were promulgated on the internet. They believed the ideal method for creating the best sports nutrition was by separating facts from myths and to use the best available scientific knowledge to enhance performance and recovery.
“Asker is one of the world’s leading minds in sports science, and we quickly saw the opportunity to bring his decades of research to life,” said Neversecond™ CEO Bill Armstrong. “As a former competitive runner who now balances a hectic professional life with more modest fitness goals, I could see my own nutritional struggles mirrored by world champions, and wondered why someone had not found a sports nutrition solution for endurance athletes. I knew that products and recommendations backed by testing and clinical research will be the key to helping all levels of endurance athletes.”
Asker Jukendrup in the lab
“Time and again I see athletes training really hard, but not getting the most out of their efforts due to fundamental mistakes with their nutrition,” said Jeukendrup. “It doesn’t matter whether they are struggling to finish their first 10K fun run or to win the Tour de France, athletes often rely on misinformation and myths. Frequently they aren’t using sports nutrition in a systematic fashion to optimize performance. In fact, it is highly probable that some of their fueling products are even hindering performance because their composition is not optimal or because they contain unnecessary ingredients. I’ve seen both scenarios cause severe gastrointestinal distress, cramping and incomplete fueling.”
Using decades of clinical research and testing, Jeukendrup and the Neversecond™ team developed a complete line of sports nutrition products that include all the ingredients athletes need for optimal performance and do not feature fillers or unnecessary ingredients. Neversecond™ has also made it easier for athletes to nail their nutrition by developing a clear guidance system that helps athletes make intelligent sports nutrition decisions.
To help prove and refine their products, Neversecond™ has enlisted a team of the world’s highest-level athletes including runners Jordan Hasay, Sondre Moen and Joseph Gray; triathletes Mario Mola, Lisa Nordén, Adam Hansen and Rudy Von Berg. Neversecond™ is also the nutrition sponsor of EF Education-Nippo and Bahrain Victorious UCI WorldTour cycling teams.
Beginning in mid-July, Neversecond™ will sell their C30 Energy Gel, C30+ Energy Gel with Caffeine and C30 Sports Drink on Never2.com. More products will follow soon. Neversecond™ will also be featured on sports nutrition retailer thefeed.com.
Sponsored athlete – Adam Hansen
Neversecond™ currently offers the following products:
Finish Line™ Releases FiberLink™ Tubeless Sealant
Finish Line™, the world’s leading manufacturer of specialty bicycle lubricants and related maintenance products, is pleased to announce the release of FiberLink™ Tubeless Sealant, the newest addition to their product line.
“We challenged ourselves to develop a tire sealant that would lead the bicycle industry in sealing speed, strength, and longevity,” said Hank Krause, Founder & President of Finish Line. “After two years of formulating and testing, we’ve now ticked those boxes, and we’re extremely excited for its global launch.”
Finish Line’s FiberLink™ Tubeless Sealant uses Kevlar™ fibers for faster sealing action and maximum seal reliability.
What is Fiberlink™ Technology?
FiberLink represents the new standard for tubeless bicycle tire sealant. Developed with Finish Line’s proprietary FiberLink™ Technology, this low viscosity and free-flowing pro latex formula seals punctures quickly up to 8mm, ensures maximum seal integrity, and delivers optimum longevity.
Kevlar™ fibers work synergistically with fast-acting natural latex to seal punctures as they occur. The natural-latex cures rapidly and seals the puncture while simultaneously, Kevlar fibers flow to the puncture, linking and intertwining for extra strength and durability. During development, this hybrid idea was internally referred to as “a double-sealant with triple benefits.”
Features & Benefits:
FiberLink is now available in the United States with global availability starting this fall. With an ever-present focus on both local bike shops and home mechanics, Finish Line offers their new FiberLink Tubeless Sealant in the following sizes for cyclists and shops:
The Breakaway Introduces Motivation & Challenges For Garmin Users
New connected fitness app provides insights, workout recommendations and motivation for the millions of riders who rely on Garmin devices to track their efforts.
New connected fitness company, The Breakaway, has announced the launch of their app that helps Garmin users improve by making sense of their power data. The Breakaway uses the data riders generate on regular workouts with Garmin to assess the strengths and weaknesses based on power, and provide workout recommendations and tips from pros that help them meet those goals. Additionally, The Breakaway makes it easy for Garmin users to improve alongside their friends with a group challenge feature. The Breakaway is currently available for iOS devices in the Apple App Store and a monthly subscription costs just $7.99.
“I’ve been an avid cyclist for decades. The more I experimented with things like power meters, I realized I had plenty of data, but no actual intelligence on how to improve.” said The Breakaway co-founder Jordan Kobert. “Let’s be honest, most training programs are horrible! As one of the first ten Strava employees and user number 30, I saw how motivating data and direction could be, and I thought ‘I know the perfect team to build the next digital fitness platform that will help people improve.’ So I called some friends, including Christian Vande Velde, and we got to work.”
“I remember the early Strava days and Jordan trying to convince me to try it out when I rode for Garmin-Slipstream. Now as a father with a job, I’m in the same boat!” said Christian Vande Velde, who is a founding team member of The Breakaway and competed as a professional racer for 15 years and is currently an NBC Sports analyst who covers the Tour de France and other cycling events. “I want to keep riding and improving, but there’s no way I’m going back to a training program. We built The Breakaway to make it easy for ourselves and others to find motivation and improvement.”
In addition to analysis, The Breakaway also helps riders with content from professionals like Christian by adding short audio and video tips to compliment the analysis. With more workouts and content coming later this summer, The Breakaway is working to help cyclists of all levels who are focused on improvement.
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