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Joshua Amberger Cellarbrates his new Felt IA LTD Time Trial Triathlon Bike

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One of the most dynamic young triathletes today is Australia’s Joshua Amberger. The young Aussie has made a name for himself over the last couple of years with some great performances in some big races. One of the world’s best swim / bikers Amberger is finding his run legs and will become one of the hardest to beat over the half iron distance.

We were lucky enough to get up close out on the race course with Amberger during Challenge Batemans Bay where he was at the front with some very experienced big hitters and not scared to take it to them. We saw him put some time between himself and the lead group of athletes including Sam Appleton, Brad Kahelfeldt, Pete Jacobs and Clayton Fettell towards the end of the bike leg. Josh finished second overall in this race after a very speedy Kahlefeldt ran to victory. Every race like this builds on Josh’s experience and makes him a better athlete.

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Personalised for Josh

Josh is Cellarbrating the arrival of his brand new Felt IA FRD LTD TT Triathlon bike. One of the hottest looking bikes on the market it comes packed with all the latest bells and whistles.

We asked Josh to take us through the new bike looking at the different aspects and what edge he felt they gave him.

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Aerobars offer unlimited adjustment

Aerobars: There is some good chatter about the aerobars on this bike. They seem to be a hit. What do you like about them and what do they offer that previous setups don’t?

Josh Amberger: I use a mix of the Felt basebar & the Zipp Vukashift extensions. Even though Felt make great frames, they have put a lot of work into making proprietary bars that compliment the bike. For one, they are very stiff, but thin, lightweight and very ergonomic. They aren’t at right angles to the stem like some basebars, and I don’t have any issues with knocking my knees on them because of the aggressive saddle position I and most other triathletes run on the TT bikes.

Josh Amberger in action at Challenge Batemans Bay 2014

Josh Amberger in action at Challenge Batemans Bay on his previous Felt

I choose to switch out the Felt extensions for the Zipp Vukashift extensions simply for a little extra luxury. The Vukashifts have an integrated shifter plug for the Sram Red R2C shifters which is a really nice touch. They are finished with a course surface so there’s no need to run bartape and like the basebar they are ergonomic and very comfortable.

The adjustability of the cockpit is to be applauded. There’s different widths to mount the extensions at, and then there’s different widths and cambers to mount the arm pads on top of that. You could play around with them forever really. It’s also easy to add riser pads if need be. Ultimately, this bike is fast, but it’s also built for adjustability and comfort.

Front Forks: How do these wider forks work in both head winds and cross winds?

10275302_1488334078062252_2714925416296133629_oJosh: Head winds and cross winds are a non-issue with the IA. It’s surface area may look cumbersome to ones eyeball wind tunnel, but the shapes of this bike just work. At the right yaw, this bike even has lift.

Groupset: How do you like the new Sram Red 22 group set?

Josh: I love it. It took Sram a while to bring an 11-speed group to market but they seem to have paced themselves well to deliver an exceptional product. It’s a true ’22’ group, meaning I can use either chain ring up front with any combination on the rear without having to worry about cross-chaining or skipping a shift. They have also refined things like the R2C shifters with really nice wider paddles, and it works perfectly with my Quarq crank-based power meter.

Aerodynamic Brakes: Often with integrated brakes there are little niggles that don’t make changing wheels etc straight forward. How do the brakes perform on the new bike? (both from a maintenance and ride point of view)

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Aerodynamic brakes

Josh: The brakes perform exceptionally well. I was involved in testing the prototype brakes, and I can say the finished product available to the consumer on the IA are as good as center pull proprietary brakes are going to get. They aren’t as simple to work on as regular caliper brakes, but that’s the trade off if you want integrated, aerodynamic brakes. My personal solution to adjusting the brakes to different wheel widths is to simply have numerous pairs of brake pads, and shave them down and dedicate a pair to a particular wheelset. This solves my issues switching from a training 404 to a ultra-wide Zipp Super9 Carbon Clincher disc.

Nutrition storage: What nutrition can you get in to the on bike storage? How easy is it to use?

Josh: I can fit 6 to 7 gels in the integrated storage on the top tube, perfect for a 70.3. It’s easily accessible by a rubber lid, which can also be removed as easily to pack the gels. When training, I can fit spares and a gel in there too. This is perfect because I’ve never liked saddle bags! A really neat innovation from Felt.

Wheels: What is your 2014 wheel configuration?

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The frame has a large surface area which does not seem to be affected at all by crosswinds

Josh: My 2014 wheels are identical to the 2013 wheels, that being either a Zipp 404 or 808 Firecrest up front, and a Super9 Carbon Clincher disc to the rear. These wheels are simply magical, and the aerodynamics are twofold, being both fast yet stable in the winds. The blunt Firecrest shape is very similar to the blunt edges and tube shapes of the IA frameset, they compliment each other well. Zipp are known for their innovation and have always been an industry leader. It’s a pleasure to ride Zipp!

Ride and Handling: Tell us about the ride and handling of the new IA FRD LTD.

Josh: The handling on the IA is as best I’ve felt on a TT bike. I feel more confident on this bike than any before it, whether it’s on descents, a technical course or in the crosswinds. From the brakes to the stiff frame and bars, it responds to everything I throw at it. With the ISM Attack saddle, I could easily sit in aero position all day, it’s just that nice a ride.

To give you more than feeble words, Felt put this bike in front of me 4 days before Vegas 70.3 Worlds last year. They said I had the choice to use it, or stick to the UCI-legal DA I’d been using all year. What athlete changes to a completely new bike, not just new frameset but totally new bike with new geometry 4 days before a World Championship? It’s a slightly mad scenario considering the amount of hours of training that went into that race, but when I took it for that first ride, it was an instantaneous feeling that this was the bike I would be riding for Vegas, no questions. It just felt natural, like it’s the bike I’ve been waiting for.

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Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.

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HUUB release third version of Aegis wetsuits

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Explicitly designed for triathletes, the Aegis /// is perfect for the beginner to the serious or expert triathlete who want both comfort and performance on race day.

The Aegis was HUUB’s first mid-range wetsuit family to take inspiration and key features from the brands’ top-end names such as Aerious and Archimedes, making it a best seller, always offering both performance and value for money, and therefore commanding the market at that price point.

HUUB’s founder and owner Dean Jackson, commented, “The Aegis family of suits offer much more than the price would suggest, with features descending from our flagship Archimedes it has created a price point defining suit that delivers more than expectations.” 

So what do you get for the Aegis///’s price tag of £299.99? The brands exclusive X-O Skeleton™ for exceptional alignment and stroke efficiency, superior panel patterns offer Rotational Freedom™ and ease of stroke, plus a Breakawy Zipper™ delivering the fastest transition. The wetsuit provides you with HUUB’s exclusive buoyancy levels of 3:5 for men and 3:3 for women. A sleeveless version is also available.  

Explicitly designed for triathletes, the Aegis /// is perfect for the beginner to the serious or expert triathlete who want both comfort and performance on race day.

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Review: SunGod PaceBreaker sunglasses – Look Cool While Dropping Watt Bombs

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SunGod sunglasses are a relatively new player to the market, a successful, UK based, crowd-funded business who’s appeal is focused on the ability to customise the glasses online at an affordable price.

SunGod was founded in 2013 and developed from a frustration that to get quality lenses that would be able to withstand a sports/adventure lifestyle.

They launched their first product, SunGod Classic, as their first complete custom online build, with polycarbonate polarised lenses and TR90 memory polymer frames. This campaign exploded, with SunGods being shipped to 93 countries and making 10x the initial funding target and becoming the largest crowdfunded project of its kind in the UK.

Simple to use interface, customise away.

Jumping on to the website is simple enough, and you get to choose from a variety of frames and styles. The Classics and Renegades focus more on traditional streetwear, extreme sports etc., while the Revolts are focused on snow sports. All of the range bears the funky looking Limited editions, are fully customizable.  As triathletes wouldn’t be seen dead wearing non-race specific gear, we’re going to focus the review on the PaceBreakers – wraparounds focused on riding and running (swimming not tested!)

What design do you ask?

I was lucky enough to get to design a pair of sunglasses via the simple to understand interface. Simple enough in fact that my five-year-old daughter created my first pair below.

From idea….

To reality…!

Going through the interface, you get to choose the frame colour, lens type (4KO Polarised or not – more on that later), icons on the side and ear sock colour (the tips of your glasses). If your creativity is failing you, you can also choose from a set series of best sellers.

The whole process takes around 30 seconds of effort with 20 minutes of procrastination around the right colours to match with your complexion and handbag.

My second pair was a much more straightforward affair focusing on the traditional grey look.

Got to have grey in Melbourne.

The glasses ship from the UK and for me, turned up in 3 days, a surprising and welcome change.

What’s in the box?

SunGod indeed go above and beyond with the packaging and its contents

Funky looking box

As you would expect you get a box with the sunglasses included, but you also get a spare nose clip, a case which also doubles as a cleaning rag and a truckload of stickers to stick around the place. Its quite a few freebies given the low cost of the product.

Quite the haul

4KO pace lens with triple scratch resistance

SunGod claims that the polarised lens is both triple scratch resistant and will enhance both visibility and field of view in both low light and bright conditions. We obviously couldn’t test them in a lab with serious equipment, but we took the glasses out on a treacherous, wet and windy early morning Melbourne ride around the Dandenong mountains in peak hour traffic.

Compared to my Jawbreakers I certainly felt that their visibility in early morning sun up (6am) conditions was improved.  The lens also survived being bounced along the road at high speed when I forgot to put them back on during a decent, with no scratches if I may add.  So science aside, these sunglasses certainly did the job during a challenging day out.

What differentiates SunGod from the competition

SunGod has a few key differentiated points.

Firstly is the price. For around $110 – $130 dollars you get a solid pair of high-performance sunglasses with features to match and outperform glasses twice their price.

The glasses come with a lifetime warranty so if they break they will replace them free of charge. A lofty claim that I haven’t tested but certainly a welcome one – which some of the major players struggle to offer.

The glasses are made from adventure proof flexible rubber which allows the frames to be flexed, and as above bounced along the road, without damage. Which as a clumsy guy is a great feature.

Overall

Simply put, SunGod makes a great pair of sunglasses, both comfortable and high performing, you cannot beat them for value. The customisation feature is excellent and has got my triathlon team all lining up to get the team colours shipped over. I didn’t have anything negative to say about them, to the point where I’m replacing my tried and trusted jawbreakers with these for both racing and training.

Here is a link to the PaceBreakers

  • Price
  • Features
  • Durability
  • Overall

Summary

Simply a great set of sunglasses and are packed with features and value.

Pros
- Well priced
- Great feature set
- Customisable

Cons
- Carbon (Triathlete staple) look frame appears out of stock
- Were clutching at straws to find anything wrong aren't we!

5.0
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A Wearable RFID Fitness & Calorie Tracker that Mounts to Your Teeth

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Fitness and calorie monitoring technology is getting interesting. Researchers at the Tufts University Biomedical Engineering Department are experimenting with wearable trackers that mount to your teeth. The tiny monitors use Radio Frequency ID (RFID) technology to track calories, alcohol consumption, multiple types of sugar, and the foods you eat. The researchers also speculate about developing the devices to monitor stress levels from saliva.

The trackers use a square tooth-mounted sensor that is either 4 X 4 or 2 X 2 millimetres. They’re made of titanium and gold and feature detector layers made of either water-based gel or silk fibres.

When testing for the trackers’ ability to detect alcohol and sugar, researchers instructed subjects to swish various liquids. The trackers sent accurate information to tablets and cellphones, distinguishing between liquids such as saliva, water, and alcohols, as well as different types of sugars and their concentrations. Using water-based gel sensors, they were able to track varying temperatures and acidity levels.

These trackers could be a new breakthrough in calorie and fitness tracking. They are not yet available commercially because the researchers are still working out a few kinks and discovering more uses for them.

The Tufts study will be published in the journal, Advanced Materials. For now, you can read it in the Wiley Library below. The paper goes into detail about all the possible uses and the chemicals and nutrients these trackers will likely be able to detect.

Tuft’s Study: Functional, RF‐Trilayer Sensors for Tooth‐Mounted, Wireless Monitoring of the Oral Cavity and Food Consumption

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Shimano Introduces Chain Stabilising Rear Derailleur for Road Bikes

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As road bike riding diversifies towards multiple road surfaces such as adventure and off-road riding Shimano introduces Ultegra RX, an off-shoot of Ultegra, with a rear clutch derailleur (RD-RX800/RX805) for mechanical and Di2 drivetrains.

Riders have been pushing the limits of what a road bike is capable of riding for many years, evolving the sport from racing to encompass greater adventure. In recent years we’ve seen a broader definition of what a drop handlebar bike can look like; road wheels followed that by accommodating wider tyres. Now in a natural evolutionary step, it’s time for drivetrains to evolve too.

Shimano RD-RX805 rear derailleur with clutch

The new RX800/805 rear derailleurs share many characteristics with the Ultegra R8000/R8050 derailleur, such as precise accurate shifting and SHIMANO SHADOW RD derailleur positioning, but with the added chain stabilizing switch (known as SHIMANO SHADOW RD+ technology) to control the drivetrain over rough/uneven ground or off-road surfaces. Much like Shimano’s MTB derailleurs, the On/Off switch can be found next to the upper pulley. When activated the rear derailleur pivot takes a firm hold to reduce excessive movement, noise and general ‘chain chatter’.

The RX800/RX805 rear derailleurs are compatible with road dual control levers (mechanical or Di2) and will accommodate cassettes with low gears from 28T to 34T, making them a very necessary addition for all types of adventure and off-road riding including cyclocross and compact styles with 46T-36T up to 50T-34T chainrings.

Alongside the Ultegra RX rear derailleur comes a new wider rim 700c, E-Thru axle, tubeless-ready, disc-specific, WH-RS370-TL aluminium wheelset for 28-38c tyres (weight 1900/pair).

You can expect the new components to be available in stores from mid-June 2018 onwards.

 

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Shimano 105 R7000 Offers Race-inspired Performance for Greater Riding Styles

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Today’s road riders demand much more than pure on-the-rivet speed. They expect comfort, control and versatility from their bikes, and enjoyment and goal achievement to boot. 105 level riders expect the latest pro-level features but they also want to do more with their bike than racing and training.  So step forward the new 105 R7000 generation with customizable disc or rim brakes and wider cassette options to help you remain in comfort and control wherever you’re riding.

Coming with the high-end aesthetic and race characteristics of its Dura-Ace and Ultegra big brothers, the new 105 series also considers that most riders will use their bikes for purposes other than competitive racing. 105 is Shimano’s first level 11-speed groupset for those who are seriously committed to road bike riding, but that definition now becomes broader with the inclusion of superior handling and adaptable control to master different riding situations.

The biggest news for new 105 is the addition of disc brakes to the series line up. New flat-mount BR-R7070 callipers are compatible with ICE TECHNOLOGIES pads and UCI-compliant non-90 degree SM-RT70 rotors (including a new 140mm size) to offer greater cooling efficiencies. Brake operation is handled by new ergonomically shaped Hydraulic dual control levers (ST-R7020), matching the design of Ultegra ST-R8020 levers with a greater range of reach adjustment for different hand sizes. To provide even greater customisability, 105 R7000 offers a version of the dual control brake/gear lever (ST-R7025) to better suit smaller hands by being angled closer to the bar and taking more of an outboard position for better connection and to avoid interference with the handlebar drop during lever operation.

Whether from the rim brake (ST-R7000) or disc brake (ST-R7020/25) lever, gear shifts have been redesigned to offer faster and lighter shifts with a shorter stroke compared to the 105 5800 series. The front derailleur has a compact toggle (pivot) design, better tyre clearance and an integrated cable tension adjustment port (2-mm hex key) removing the need for an in-cable barrel adjuster. The optional long cage rear derailleur (RD-R7000-GS) can accommodate up to an 11-34T cassette and is designed with a low profile SHIMANO SHADOW RD style to tuck it below the cassette and chainstay.

Updates within the drivetrain include a new mid-compact 52-36T crankset, to add to the 50-34T and 53-39T cranksets, and new 11-30 (CS-R7000) and 10-speed compatible 11-34 cassette (CS-HG700-11) options to better suit gravel, adventure or CX riding. Together with this, the inner crank ring has been positioned to reduce the effects of cross chaining or chain drop, better suiting bikes with disc brake criterium racing bikes.

Tim Gerrits, product manager at Shimano Europe said;

“Increased control and reaction were two points we concentrated developments on, combined with what people have always expected from 105, great versatility and value for riders. With 105’s suitability for a large portion of today’s diverse road bike styles we hope to unlock the potential of where and what it’s possible to ride on a road bike.”

New Shimano 105 R7000 items will be available on the market around June and will be available in an appealing dual tone black colourway and an additional silver option for more classic bike styles.

 

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Ventum is expanding its line of cutting-edge triathlon racing bicycles

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Built around the company’s patented Z-shaped frame design, which eliminates the downtube and seat stays while integrating the water bottle into the frame, the expanded Ventum Z line was developed to allow more triathletes to enjoy the aerodynamic advantages of Ventum technology.

“We designed our flagship triathlon bike, the Ventum One, for the toughest races in the sport,” Ventum co-founder Diaa Nour said, “and we based the new Ventum Z models on feedback from triathletes, who told us they want access to the same technology developed for the Ventum One, but with more flexibility to customize the bicycle to fit their needs.”

The new Ventum Z includes Ventum’s patented Z frame plus a proprietary carbon-fibre Z fork and is available for purchase as a standalone frameset for $2,850. The Ventum Z is also available as a complete bicycle with a mechanical component group featuring a combination of Dura Ace, Ultegra, and other Shimano components for $3,500, and as a complete bicycle with Shimano’s electronic Ultegra Di2 component group for $5,500.

“We wind-tunnel and road-tested every component of every version of the Ventum Z to find the perfect balance between aerodynamics, comfort, and cost. Our goal in reimagining the Ventum Z was to make a more affordable ‘superbike’, and to keep it cutting-edge without cutting corners,” Nour said. “To do that, we developed our new, proprietary Z fork, we included a custom set of 3T Vola aero bars for easy positioning and adjustment, and we are offering a choice of carbon-fibre or alloy wheels that are optimal for the bike.”

Ventum was co-founded in 2014 by Diaa Nour and former professional triathlete Jimmy Seear, to build the world’s fastest racing bicycles. Inspired by fighter jets and Formula One race cars, the company’s triathlon bicycles feature a revolutionary frame design that maximizes aerodynamic performance in non-draft-legal races such as IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 triathlons. Ventum also served as the Official Bike Sponsor of the 2016 and 2017 IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. Based in Miami Beach, Florida, Ventum bicycles are available worldwide through the company’s dealer network and from the Ventum online store.

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