GCN Tech Show: Cycling tech that we think sucks

This week we take a look at some hot tech from the Vuelta a España, an all-new wheel size, and a discussion about tech that sucks

Clock08:32, Friday 1st September 2023

This week GCN's Alex Paton and Ollie Bridgewood are in the studio discussing tech that isn't fit for use - instead of elevating your riding experience or making life easier, they in fact do the opposite. Some of their opinions on what tech falls into this category is controversial and sure to split opinion, so be sure to let us know what you think in the comments section.

One of the main points of contention is rim brake carbon clincher wheels. Not something that is anywhere near as common as they were five years ago, and that might just be a good thing.

Due to the fact that the braking track is in the same location as where the bead of the tyre mounts to the rim, there is a weak point in the material that under the pressure and heat build up of braking can cause delamination of the rim. For the pros that used rim brake carbon wheels, this was less of an issue as they typically ran tubular tyres that don’t exert the same force on the rim.

Another issue with carbon clinchers is that the braking performance on offer in the wet is never up to standard, no matter what braking compound is used they always struggle with initial bite in the wet.

Something else that the guys aren’t a fan of is the cable disc brake. These are inferior to hydraulic disc brakes in the power they offer and also the over performance and set up of the system. Because a cable disc only moves one pad it is not an optimised system for braking performance. A well set up rim brake configuration could offer more power and ease of maintenance. The one key advantage of getting a budget bike with cable disc brakes is that it allows for a fairly straightforward upgrade to hydraulic disc brakes further down the line.

Be sure to check out the tech show to see what else Alex and Ollie think sucks in the world of bike tech - there is plenty of disagreement so don’t be afraid to chime in with your suggestions or comments for what you think sucks, or what they're wrong about.

Elsewhere in the world of tech, American titanium frame specialist Moots have teamed up with WTB to create a new prototype 750d wheel size for gravel bikes. The rationale behind this is to give a comparable total system diameter to a 29er mountain bike, in an aim to allow the wheels to roll better on rough terrain. For more information you can check out this story that takes a closer look at the system.

In hot tech this week we take a look at a new base layer that has been spotted at the Vuelta a España being used by dsm-firmenich. The purpose of this base layer is to increase the aerodynamics of the rider by texturing the surface that is exposed to the wind. The new product from aero clothing specialists Rule28 has been optimised for a higher speed than the typical base layer, ideal for the speeds of WorldTour racing.

Elsewhere in a jam-packed episode are regular segments Comment of the Week and a trip to the Bike Vault. If you want to see your bike featured in Bike Vault head over to the GCN App to upload an image. But remember Ollie is a stickler for the finishing touches, it could be the difference between a nice or a supernice!

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