April Fools, the day the internet explodes with a bunch of questionable tech that may or may not be real, more likely the latter. It's also the day that brands and manufacturers attempt to bring out their humorous sides in a bid to win the internet and produce the best and funniest April Fools cycling product. Not the day for reading news really, well aside from our five things that actually aren't April Fools, but at first glance are a little suspect. You could be forgiven for thinking this lot aren't real....
Air Fom airless tyre inserts
That's right, a tyre insert that fills the tyre so you don't need to add air. Hight tech materials and multiple layers are said to give you the same feeling as air. One layer, the outer one, appears to be able to 'rebound', the middle layer of the mountain bike tyre option gives the insert strength and the last layer, the one nearest the rim appears to add rim protection. The concept of rebound is described as thus "Air Fōm has the highest rebound energy of any foam insert on the market. This gives the rider the best energy return possible for a faster more dynamic feel." Interesting and probably bouncy, although you can insert different densities to rider preferences to combat this. These are available for MTB, gravel, road and commuting tyres in a variety of sizes - have you used them yet?
Digirt Carbon Chainring
Yep, carbon chainring, with a carbon price tag too, these things will retail at about $150 USD so expect similar prices in GBP. Dave over at road.cc tells me that certain roadies like a carbon chainring for the 'bling' factor it brings but something tells me at that price you mountain bikers might be a bit more discernable when exercising your "bling:standard" ratio.
The mountain bike 1x rings are shown on the website in a 4 bolt pattern and as a direct mount too, in sizes from 30T-36T and weigh from 29.8g to 54.3g, with weight for the 36T ring not listed. To put that into perspective for you a direct mount SRAM X-Sync Steel chainring weighs a claimed 100g for a 32T and an alloy 32T ring used on something like GX Eagle drivetrains weighs 71g.
PiRope Textile Spokes
PiRope from Germany bring us string spokes into the April Fools day mix, only this is no April Fool. Working with Newmen Components the company has developed specifically designed hubs for the spokes constructed from a high-performance material called Vectran fibre. They say the spokes are light and build durable and stable wheelsets. The spokes exert an even pressure around the rim and the company says that the material used can withstand higher forces than steel spokes before breaking or deforming meaning more durability from a lighter wheelset.
Outbreaker Anit-Lock brake system
This company have produced an additional part to regular brakes which helps create optimal braking performance when braking hard, right before the wheel locks up. The small device inserts on the brake lever and connects again to the hydraulic hose and stops the wheel from locking up.
The brand video's associated with the system concentrate on this as a prevention device for riders who might be in danger of braking hard with the front brake and sending themselves over the bars which might suggest that the main application for this device might be the less experienced or city commuters. But there is also potential if the brake can work effectively before locking up to allow shorter stopping distances and more speed down a trail.
Arofly power meter
At first glance, the Arofly power meter looks far fetched but the product totes quick installation, affordability and compatibility as selling points, for which we should probably give it some credibility. The small sensor attached to the valve on your tyre and transmits information to other devices via a small GPS unit attached to your frame. It measures pressure differences to calculate power with a separate GPS unit used to measure speed and other variables. This might be one that is for the road riders out there and at the moment the newest version is 'ready to launch' on Kickstarter with previous versions getting a less than glowing review from road.cc. At $289 USD it is cheaper than other crank/pedal mounted devices, so here's hoping the new version is an improvement.
Have you used any of these products? Or do you have a suggestion for this list? Let us know in the comments below!
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