Tech roundup: Ritchey WCS Zeta ZX wheels, Pirelli line of waterproofing products, TICCC Roam shorts and Apidura’s bag sizing tool
This week’s roundup includes 25mm internal width rims, tubeless road tire sealant, “baggy” shorts and frame bags – products that, it only a few years ago would have seemed unlikely to most drop-bar enthusiasts if not downright sacrilegious to the traditionalist.
But times are changing. Broadening horizons and opening minds has allowed cycling to make significant (baggy) progress in recent times. And while product development pales in comparison to the Women’s Tour de France and its subsequent impact, equipment that could get more people on the bike can only be a good thing too. Okay, out of the soap box and onto the products…
Ritchey’s new gravel hoops are “built to last”
Examine any Ritchey product and you’ll quickly see the thumbprint of its founder. Tom Ritchey infuses everything he designs with a few proven principles, such as reliability, durability and common sense. The new hand-built WCS Zeta GX gravel wheels look no different.
Available in 700c and 650b sizes, these alloy hoops are tubeless ready and feature a generous 25mm inner rim diameter. This makes them perfectly suited for today’s high-volume gravel tires, with Ritchey suggesting rubber compatibility between 30mm and 50mm, which pretty much covers the range no matter what terrain you’re riding on.
This practicality is a recurring theme. Center-lock hubs feature sealed bearings and use a simple ratchet system; they do not require any tools to maintain them. They are fitted with 28 J-bend DT Competition spokes front and rear for the ideal blend of strength and weight. Naturally, they use brass nipples for their anti-corrosive properties. Freewheel options cover Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo.
The WCS Zeta GX tips the scales at 1840g (700c) and 1740g (650b) per pair. There are, of course, lighter gravel axles, but as Ritchey states, “strong and reliable” is the end game here.
For more information visit ritcheylogic.com (opens in a new tab)
Pirelli creates a sealant for high pressure situations
One of the drawbacks of racing tubeless on your road bike is that the sealant doesn’t work as well with the high inflation pressures associated with narrower tires. Pirelli is looking to make that a thing of the past with the release of its P Zero sealant.
The sealant, which bears the same name as the Italian brand’s line of road tires, uses a formula specially created for thin-walled tubeless and TLR tires as well as tubulars operating at higher pressures. Its properties also mean that P Zero sealant will not coagulate if CO2 is used to inflate the tire – a bonus for riders who prefer cartridges to a traditional pump.
The range of Pirelli sealing products does not stop there. The Cinturato sealant joins the brand’s line of gravel products and is designed to work with a much wider range of inflation pressures, from 15 psi to 100 psi according to Pirelli. This seems reasonable given the often varied terrain of a “gravel” ride, which can range from road to light sand to rocky singletrack.
While the P Zero formula contains both ammonia and latex, presumably to aid its high pressure claims, the Cinturato ingredients, which are free of both, are much more friendly to both bicycle rims. and for people with allergies. As for the longevity of the two sealants, Pirelli suggests three and six months before a refill is needed, “depending on quantity and weather conditions.”
The P Zero sealant comes in a 60ml or 2oz bottle, which Pirelli says is good for at least a 700c tire up to 32mm wide, while the Cinturato comes in a larger size of 125ml / 4.5oz, which Pirelli says is for “saving space when packing spares on long adventures”.
For more information, visit velo.pirelli.com (opens in a new tab)
TICCC’s Roam shorts combine technique and practicality
Although a good bib short is a must for most outings longer than a few miles, they can leave you a little exposed if that outing also involves stopping at a cafe, camping, or generally spending a lot of time off the bike. Hence the creation of the cycling overcourt.
TICCC’s Roam shorts are a new addition to this expanding category and are intended for what it describes as “everyday adventures on and off the bike”. The unisex fit is “designed” for “on-the-bike” activities, but the shorts also feature pockets and belt loops to allow them to look and function like a regular pair – in fact, TICCC promotes them as shorts that can be worn alone or over the bibs, with ergonomic inserts allowing the latter.
Made from performance Italian fabrics with recycled fibres, the material is designed to allow freedom of movement while drying quickly, with ‘anti-crease’ properties. There is also a reflective logo on the leg for low light visibility. All of these elements make what looks like a pair of shorts well suited for gravel walks, multi-day excursions and a two-wheeled jaunt to the pub.
The TICCC Roam Shorts are available in four colors, Storm Black, Lava Grey, Space Blue and Pine Green, and sizes ranging from XS to XXL.
For more information visit tic-cc.com (opens in a new tab)
Apidura helps you measure twice so you can only buy once
Choosing the right frame bag for your bike isn’t always as easy as it should be. While most bag brands offer a range of sizes and will advise you on which one will best fit your bike frame, this is not an exact science. The internal dimensions of the frame vary considerably, not to mention the number of bottle cages and their location. To combat these issues, Apidura has launched its own interactive sizing tool.
The online tool, available on the Apidura website, is simple to use. Just add a picture of your bike – you’ll need to make sure it’s a side shot, with the rear wheel on the left – line it up as instructed, then start selecting different bags from the Apidura range , allowing you to create a virtual configuration. From there, you can take a close look at the fit of each bag.
While it’s not quite the same as getting a custom frame bag made to your specific dimensions, given Apidura’s huge range it seems likely that you’ll find a bag that not only fits , but fits well. The tool should also reduce the number of bags to be exchanged due to poor fit, which from an environmental point of view is certainly a plus.
If you prefer to do things the old-fashioned way, Apidura’s website also has a drop-down menu where you can select your bike to see a table showing all compatible bags as well as printable templates to download.
For more information visit apidura.com (opens in a new tab)
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