As trainer season approaches, you’re going to want all your favorite tunes within easy access to keep yourself sane. Luckily, these Senso Bluetooth headphones, with an IPX 7 waterproof rating, are designed to stay put through your rowdiest, sweatiest workout sessions.
With an eight-hour battery life, passive noise cancelation, and a 30-foot skip-free range to any bluetooth-enabled device, these headphones are ready for some long miles on Zwift island. And the V4.1 CSR Bluetooth offers true High-Definition sound for those hard intervals.
Right now, these headphones are on sale for just $36 on Amazon; they were originally $169, which means you’ll be saving a jaw-dropping $133 on some seriously handy tech. (For comparison, the Apple AirPods are $160, aren’t waterproof, and not designed to stay in your ears during workouts.) The set also includes a carrying case and charging cord, plus a car charger, a lighting cable, and mini usb cord.
Original price: $169.99
Buy it Now:
Take your trainer workout to the next level by mastering your heart rate zones:
Last year, we featured the Elby in our buyer’s guide to best e-bikes. It was not a contentious pick—anyone who’s ridden the high-speed, high-tech e-machine won’t be surprised to hear that our test model seldom made it back to our bike room unclaimed by the next rider. Now, Elby is introducing a new model for Spring 2018: the Cruiser, which packs all the features that made the OG Elby so inexplicably fun into a more affordable package.
Are e-bikes really a workout? See the results of our own test here:
Like its predecessor, the Cruiser sports a 500-watt BionX D-Series rear hub, 9-speed SRAM drivetrain, hydraulic disc brakes, integrated LEDs, iOs Elby app compatibility, handlebar controls and display, and practical touches like a fenders and a kickstand. It also has the same range and comparable motor power, with an identical speed cutoff of about 20mph when at full power. But in addition to the price reduction, the Cruiser is also a visual departure from the step-through frame model, with a more sporty appearance designed to appeal to a broader range of riders. It will also be available in two sizes with quick releases in the seatpost and wheels, instead of the Elby’s original one-size-fits-all adjustable model.
A test ride on the new Cruiser showed that the bike has the same stable-at-speed ride feel as previous Elbys, and similarly easy, responsive controls. But just as importantly, the Cruiser also delivers that same pedal-to-the-metal, power-boost acceleration that can make a practical task (like, oh, say, an uphill trip to the grocery store) actually feel like a thrilling adventure. I tore around corners with it, zipped up steep rises, and then turned the e-power off entirely just to noodle around by my own steam. I even learned a new Elby trick—turn the e-assist down a tick from “off,” and your pedaling can actually power the battery if it’s running low. (Admittedly, it’s pretty tough work in this mode.) My battery outlasted 60km on a mixture of the four assisted settings.
An Elby rep at Eurobike said the biggest challenge for the US e-bike market was just getting consumers to try the bikes—unlike here in Germany, where riders of all ages are zipping down every bike lane on them, and the idea of replacing your car with one feels like a safe and practical option. If you’re considering turning more of your drive time into e-assisted pedaling, the Cruiser is definitely one to seek out for a test-ride. Look for it to launch globally in spring 2018.
Races are often a good way to bring the cycling community together. In the case of big-time events like the Tour de France or the ongoing Vuelta a España, they can even turn out an entire country for several weeks of wholesome fun and national pride.
The massive crowds and enthusiasm make incidents like what happened to the Aqua Blue Sport pro cycling team on Thursday all the more unfortunate.
According to the Irish team’s Twitter account, an arsonist set its team bus ablaze overnight in the Spanish city of Almería. Four photos posted online show the extent of the damage, which looks pretty grisly. Much of the back of the bus burned away, with the rear interior filled with charred debris:
Spanish police heard a report of the arson at 1:30 a.m. and arrested a suspect almost three hours later, according to the newspaper El Mundo. The suspect allegedly set three other fires around the same time. No word yet on a motive.
Get a look inside a pro cycling team bus:
This year is the Aqua Blue team’s first at Vuelta, having earned a wildcard spot on the Grand Tour. Its lineup includes U.S. rider Larry Warbasse and former British champion Adam Blythe. The team has told reporters that it plans on continuing the race despite the attack.
If you’re looking to do more off-road and adventure riding but you can’t swing a new bike just yet, Wolf Tooth wants to help make your current road or drop-bar bike more adventure-ready with a handful of new US-made components. Together, these small-but-useful parts should make for a more capable and fun road bike, ready for just about any adventure you want to throw at it. (Looking for some ideas? Check out ourCycling Bucket List!)
The first is a new seat-dropper lever, which, paired with a road dropper post, will let you drop your seat to lower your center of gravity on technical descents. The ReMote 32’s clamp size is compatible with the most common road bar size of 31.8mm, and features two lever lengths to suit differing dropper post setups. A uniquely large-sized 21mm sealed cartridge bearing aims to provide smooth operation and modulation. There’s also an integrated barrel adjuster to allow on-the-fly cable fixes. Of course, crashing is often a part of off-road adventuring, so there’s a breakaway axle built into the ReMote 32. Replacement axles are less than $5, which is cheaper than replacing the entire assembly. The ReMote 32 seat dropper lever for drop bars costs $69.95.
Photograph courtesy of wolftooth
Other upgrades focus on widening your road bike’s existing gear range, so you can expand the gearing on your existing road bike without investing in a whole new gruppo. Wolf Tooth’s RoadLink derailleur hanger, for example, extends the length of your road bike’s derailleur mount, so you can use a wide-range cassette with Shimano’s road derailleurs. The RoadLink accommodates cassettes up to 40T, like those more typically found on mountain bike groupsets, so you can have a bailout gear on tough climbs. The RoadLink derailleur hanger costs $21.95.
If you decide you want a mountain bike derailleur on your adventure bike, but want to keep your same shifter levers, you might be interested in the Tanpan. This small-but-mighty piece amplifies road shifter cable pull to allow mountain bike derailleurs to shift more smoothly. Wolf Tooth uses a CNC machine here in the US to form the Tanpan out of stainless steel, and includes a sealed cartridge bearing to protect the mechanism from extreme weather conditions. It’s also compatible with Shimano’s road shifters and mountain bike derailleurs. The Tanpan costs $39.95.
Photograph courtesy of wolftooth
Other add-ons from Wolftooth include the B-RAD system, which gives you more versatile mounting options for bottles and tools, and a new "drop stop" chainring, which the company will be offering in elliptical options as well as standard for both road and cyclocross drivetrains. The B-Rad system costs $22.95. All components are available on wolftoothcomponents.com.
Looking for some motivation to get out there and ride? Here are eight ways cycling makes you healthier:
A long-time favorite among cyclists for their lightweight, quality components, Cane Creek has released three new products at this year’s Eurobike show. The HELM Coil 27.5, a coil-sprung suspension fork, a limited-edition color anodized version of their popular eeBrakes, and a new, premium headset, designed with a uniquely low stack height add new options to the Cane Creek line-up for riders.
Here’s how to set the sag on your shock for a perfect ride:
When Cane Creek launched their HELM air sprung fork earlier this year, it surprised those who associate the brand more with its ubiquitous shocks and headsets. But Cane Creek has been in the fork game longer than many realize—the company introduced some of the first mountain bike forks in the 90s. With the HELM Coil 27.5 fork, Cane Creek offers trail riders a choice between coil and air suspension, depending on their preference and riding style.
Why a coil? The development of lighter framesets for trail and enduro bikes has offered more freedom when it comes to component choices, and one consequence has been a revived interest in (generally heavier) coil spring suspension, especially for sustained, aggressive trails. On long descents, the oil in a shock can heat up and become less viscous, which will change the suspension progression. Coil shocks, which are suspended by a physical metal coil rather than oil and air pressure, offer more consistent performance and progression on punishing descents.
The HELM Coil 27.5 is adjustable, and provides a suspension range from 130mm to 160mm of travel. The fork’s compression rod is indexed to ensure riders get the travel they need. Changing the location of the spring perch requires no addition parts and provides riders with a customized travel profile. The HELM 27.5 coil fork will retail for $1,100 and is available at CaneCreek.com now.
Cane Creek’s eeBrakes
Cane Creek’s ultra-light eeBrakes have gained a following among weight-watching road riders. According to Cane Creek, the eeBrakes are half the weight of most competitors on the market at 82 grams for the front and 80 grams for the rear.
For 2017, eeBrakes are being offered in a super-limited anodized blue-and-gold color. Cane Creek is calling it El Chulo—which can mean handsome or cocky, depending how you interpret it. The El Chulo eeBrakes will be available for two weeks only, from today until 15 September, so if they match that bike you’re building, you’ll have to act fast! They’re compatible with tires up to 28mm, and levers from SRAM, Shimano and Campagnolo. They’ll run you $325, but regularly retail for $315, which means the cool colors are only a $10 upgrade.
Finally, Cane Creek’s new "Slamset" headset aims to give riders a lower stack height by creating a slimmer headset assembly. The Slamset makes possible stack heights as low as 2mm, while still providing a sealed bearing and proper preload for the headset. This option will appeal to riders looking for the extra aerodynamics and responsive handling of a low position on the bike.
Cane Creek has also equipped the Slamset with their newly designed Hellbender bearing. The Hellbender is a heavy-duty stainless steel bearing that’s sealed against the elements. Cane Creek is confident the Hellbender will stand up to just about any conditions you may encounter on the bike.
Oakley, it bears reminding, has been around the sport of cycling for more than 30 years—those iconic Eyeshades worn by riders like Greg LeMond stand out pretty well. But the company has never more than dabbled in performance riding kit. Now they’re jumping in, with three new road helmets and two jersey/short combos.
Donning a new jersey? Pack your pockets like a pro:
Oakley’s helmet line is dubbed ARO, with three models: the all-around ARO3 ($180), aero ARO5 ($250) and time trial/triathlon-focused ARO7 ($500, with two visors). All helmets use MIPS liners and Boa fit-adjustment closures. The ARO3, from the front, has a passing resemblance to POC’s Octal, which we like for its airy feel, even on warmer rides. The ARO3 has deeply channeled vents to speed airflow, while the ARO5 has fewer front vents, but is designed to reduce drag while still being cool enough to use on hot days.
The generous vents on the ARO3 push air to deep channels to help keep you cool. Joe Lindsey
Maybe our favorite part is the Boa system, which adjusts the fit in a 360-degree radius, rather than clamping the head against the front of the helmet. And, as you’d expect from Oakley, special consideration is given to compatibility with sunglass temples; the low-profile reel will work with almost any eye protection. And for those hot climbs where you might tuck your shades into helmet vents, special slots in the helmet’s side channels guide and securely hold the temples so they’ll never fall out or sit off-kilter. Both helmets will be available in small, medium, and large, in a variety of color schemes.
The ARO7 fits the trend in helmet design for non-draft events like time trials and IronMan triathlons, with a slightly elongated shape, full shell coverage over the ears, and minimal venting. The helmet comes with two integrated visor options (which helps explain the price, as you’re getting Oakley optics as well as a helmet). The visors clip in magnetically, and can be reversed and stored upside down on the front of the helmet. There are two sizes for this specialty offering, both coming in black or white.
The kits are made in conjunction with boutique brand Bioracer, which is best known for its aerodynamic skinsuits worn by top pro racers. Bioracer has not historically been widely available in the US. There are two lines, Premium and Road, which comprise a jersey and shorts. The Premium line is substantially similar to the Bioracer-made kit supplied to Dimension Data, a WorldTour team that is Oakley’s top partner in road racing.
Oakley’s first big foray into road clothing includes the Premium jersey and shorts, made in conjunction with boutique performance apparel brand Bioracer.
The Premium line features aerodynamic ribs and seams on the shoulder panels, reflective elements and deep rear pockets. The Road line has slightly fewer features and less tailoring, but the same basic silhouette. Pricing isn’t totally set yet, but expect for Premium products to run around $200 each, while jersey and shorts in the Road line will be $120 each. (Want to ride as fast as you look in this gear? Check out our Maximum Overload training plan!)
BioRacer’s hallmark is aerodynamics, which shows up in details like the ribbed shoulder panels, which create better airflow off the rider’s torso. Joe Lindsey
The 2017 Cup Series trophy was unveiled Thursday, and it looks a lot different than the previous trophy.
With the arrival of series sponsor Monster Energy, NASCAR redesigned the trophy for its premier series. The new trophy weighs over 60 pounds and stands over three feet tall. And has a cup at the top of it. Fitting for the Cup Series.
Here’s what the previous trophy looked like.
Every track the Cup Series races is on the side of the cup. There is a minor flaw, however. And it’s kind of funny. The Watkins Glen layout depicted on the trophy is not the configuration the Cup Series uses. The track, which is over 3.4 miles long for sports car and IndyCar races, has only seven turns and is approximately 2.4 miles long for the Cup Series. Apparently realism wasn’t a major priority for the trophy designers.
You really get to know a motorcycle when you ride it all day, every day, for an entire week. Long hours in the saddle give you plenty of time to contemplate what works and what doesn’t. After two days of riding the new BMW K 1600 B in the mountains and foothills near Asheville, North Carolina, during the press launch, I spent the next five days riding it through 14 states on my way home to California. Riding the K 1600 B from sunrise to sunset for several days in a row made its virtues and faults abundantly clear.
During that weeklong, 3,500-mile odyssey, the impeccable smoothness of the K 1600 B’s perfectly balanced, turbine-like in-line six-cylinder engine was indeed a virtue. With cruise control set at the 75 to 80 mph speed limits that prevail on Interstate 70 across wide-open stretches of Kansas, Colorado and Utah, the mirrors remained crystal-clear, there was barely any vibration and the bike felt as stable—and as fast—as a bullet train. I was grateful that, with the windscreen set at just the right height, airflow around my head was smooth and quiet, the seat was all-day, day-after-day supportive and the riding position created no pain points. I also enjoyed the convenience of thumbing buttons or spinning the Multi-Controller wheel to change riding modes and suspension settings, dial up heat for the grips and seat, check tire pressure, raise or lower the windscreen and much more. And every time I toe-tapped rapid-fire, clutchless upshifts while accelerating hard out of a corner, I almost forgot I was riding a bagger.
Wait—a bagger wearing the BMW roundel? That’s right. Inspired by the Concept 101, a 2015 design study by Roland Sands and BMW Motorrad, the K 1600 B is a bagger based on the K 1600 GT sport tourer that won Rider’s Motorcycle of the Year award in 2012. Alas, the Concept 101’s wooden accent panels didn’t make it into production, but much of the K 1600 B is faithful to the original. Compared to the GT, the B has a shorter windscreen, a tubular handlebar, longer, narrower saddlebags with integrated LED taillights and howitzer-like chrome mufflers that are horizontal instead of angled upward. To give the K 1600 B the appropriate bagger profile, the rear subframe and passenger seat were lowered by 2.8 inches, and a new rear fender folds up for easier removal of the rear wheel. The rider’s seat height is 30.7 inches vs. 31.9/32.7 inches on the GT, and a no-cost optional seat is just 29.5 inches. Suspension travel is also lower on the bagger, but there’s still 4.5/4.9 inches front and rear.
Beneath the Black Storm metallic bodywork is the same liquid-cooled, 1,649cc in-line six-cylinder engine with DOHC, four valves per cylinder and a 12.2:1 compression ratio that powers the K 1600 GT. With a narrow 72mm bore (stroke is 67.5mm) and cylinder sleeves spaced just 5mm apart, the engine isn’t much wider than an in-line four. Perfect primary and secondary balance eliminates the need for counterbalancers and the cylinders are canted forward 55 degrees to lower the center of gravity, put more weight on the front wheel and allow the rails of the aluminum alloy bridge-type frame to pass over rather than around the engine. Even though the K 1600 platform (which includes the B, GT and GTL) has been made Euro4 compliant, BMW claims that engine output is unchanged from previous model years: 160 horsepower at 7,750 rpm and 129 lb-ft of torque at 5,250 rpm in Dynamic and Road modes, and 147 horsepower and 122 lb-ft of torque in Rain mode (measured at the crank). When we put the K 1600 B on Jett Tuning’s dyno, however, it produced lower than expected horsepower and torque at the rear wheel with irregularly shaped dyno curves, as compared to the last K 1600 GT we tested in 2013. Some motorcycles electronically limit engine output when the front wheel is immobilized but the rear wheel is spinning rapidly, as is the case during dyno runs, and such a restriction may have been incorporated into the K 1600’s engine management software. We contacted BMW Motorrad to inquire about this, but we did not receive a response before going to press. We’ll follow up in the near future.
Out of the dyno room and on the road, on the other hand, the K 1600 B feels unimpeded, spinning up rapidly and sending ample power to the rear wheel through a 6-speed transmission and shaft final drive. Lots of torque is on tap even at low rpm and response from the throttle-by-wire is precise, though there’s some lag on inital throttle opening that takes some getting used to. Other than a supercar-like, high-revving whine under hard acceleration, the engine and exhaust are very quiet—too quiet, really, for a bagger (BMW should have had the same engineer who designed the R nineT’s growling exhaust take a crack at this one). There’s some heavy engine braking in lower gears, but otherwise this big in-line six feels like the heart of a thoroughbred.
Being based on a high-tech, high-performance sport tourer, the K 1600 B is likewise laden with state-of-the-art technology. Standard equipment includes riding modes (Dynamic, Road and Rain) that automatically adjust throttle response, torque output and intervention by the lean angle-adaptive Dynamic Traction Control, and ABS Pro is similarly optimized for cornering. Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) has two modes—Road for all conditions and Cruise for softer compliance—that automatically adjust damping. Other standard features include self-leveling xenon headlights, heated grips and seat, cruise control, the Multi-Controller, an onboard computer and dual power sockets. Our test bike also included the Premium and Touring packages, adding central saddlebag locks, auxiliary LED lights, an anti-theft alarm, a tire pressure monitoring system, the Adaptive Headlight that points into corners, Hill Start Control, Gear Shift Assistant Pro for clutchless shifting up and down, Keyless Ride, Bluetooth, an audio system and GPS preparation. There’s also Reverse Assist, which uses a worm gear that runs off the starter motor to provide low-speed reverse to assist with parking (up to a maximum gradient of 7 percent).
That may sound like a lot of bells and whistles, but everything is nicely integrated with an intuitive bike-rider interface. In terms of infotainment, the Sirius satellite radio subscription hadn’t been activated, and I didn’t bother pairing my iPhone via Bluetooth. Listening to music blaring out of external speakers while I’m going down the freeway at 75 mph wearing earplugs isn’t my thing. But I’ve used the audio system on the K 1600 GT and it works fine. Our bike also did not include the accessory BMW Navigator VI GPS ($999), which drops into a slot on the top of the dash and is easily controlled via the Multi-Controller, which works great on other BMWs we’ve tested.
Not surprisingly, the K 1600 B attacks corners like a sport tourer. In the hollers and gaps of the Appalachian and Ozark mountains, the big bagger felt nimble and well planted, its Bridgestone Battlax BT022 sport-touring tires providing tenacious grip. Despite my best efforts, on only a few occasions did the peg feelers scrape the ground. The massive brakes scrub off speed easily yet also provide subtle feel at the lever. And the Dynamic ESA keeps the chassis stable and the tires in contact with the ground, absorbing the worst of beat-up back road pavement and even the whoop-like frost heaves around Summit Lake on the road up to the top of Colorado’s Mount Evans.
Two of the K 1600 B’s features are strokes of genius, both of which debuted on the K 1600 GT/GTL in 2012. One is the Multi-Controller wheel on the left hand grip, which makes it so easy to scroll through menus and make changes that riders are much more likely to take advantage of the many available settings. The other is the air deflector winglets on either side of the front fairing, which can be rotated outward to direct airflow into the cockpit. These are the sort of details that elevate a motorcycle from good to great, making the lives of touring riders much easier. On cold mornings, I kept the winglets closed, raised the windscreen and used the Multi-Controller to turn on heating for the grips and seat. As the day warmed, I turned off the heating, rotated the winglets outward to allow more airflow and lowered the windscreen. The windscreen, which has stepless height adjustment, caused no buffeting though in the lowest position there’s quite a bit of wind noise.
The accessory floorboards, which replace the small locking storage compartments on the K 1600 GT and require the accessory engine protection bars for installation, also won me over. They’re really “highway boards” since they provide a second, more forward position for your feet, which must be on the pegs to use the foot controls. With long hours in the saddle, the floorboards allowed me to stretch out my legs, change my knee and hip angles, and move around on the seat.
For my cross-country ride, I loaded both saddlebags and strapped a big, waterproof duffel to the passenger seat. The K 1600 B’s saddlebags are not removable, and they have shallower lids but are longer than those on the GT, offering the same 37 liters of storage but with a different shape. Inside the left bag is the release lever for the seat, and inside the right bag is a removable pouch and a USB port/micro jack for plugging in a smartphone or other media devices. Also good for touring is the big, 7-gallon gas tank. My fuel mileage wasn’t the best because I either had the hammer down or was scuffing the sides of the tires on tight curves.
Both of my complaints about the K 1600 B have to do with temperature. The part of my view that never changed was the cockpit. The 5.7-inch, full-color TFT display has crisp, easy-to-read graphics, and what information is shown is customizable. I always like to see the ambient temperature gauge, but I’m not sure why the K 1600 B (and other BMWs we’ve tested) shows temperature in tenths of a degree when temperature changes are given in odd, 0.9-degree increments. Riding across the Mojave Desert, the temperature crept up from 112.1 to 113.0 to 113.9 degrees, where it stayed for a while, and then finally topped out at 114.8. Minor, I know, but long hours of riding encourage such nitpicking obsessions.
The other complaint was an isolated incident. On the first day of the press ride we got stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic for over an hour on a hot, humid day, and after a while my feet started to roast and the engine temperature gauge spiked, changing from white to red and flashing a warning symbol. The bike never overheated, but it was uncomfortably hot until we got moving again. After that, engine heat was never an issue, even after riding in 105-plus degree temperatures for six straight hours while crossing the Mojave, often going slowly through Vegas-to-LA traffic on I-15.
Subjected to a 3,500-mile torture test in a wide range of conditions—including 14,130 feet of elevation at the top of Mount Evans and hours of scorching temperatures in the desert—the K 1600 B passed with flying colors. There are so many ways in which riding a motorcycle this far in such a short amount of time could have made me miserable, but there was nothing about it that made me want to get off before the day was over or dread the next long day in the saddle. If you want rumble and heritage, then the K 1600 B clearly isn’t for you. But if you want a bagger that will ride circles around every other bagger, has class-leading performance and technology, and has all the comfort and convenience you need for the long haul, then your stallion awaits.
2018 BMW K 1600 B Specs Base Price: $19,995
Price as Tested: $24,390 (Premium and Touring packages, engine protection bars, floorboards) Warranty: 3 yrs., 36,000 miles Website:bmwmotorcycles.com
ENGINE Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse in-line six Displacement: 1,649cc Bore x Stroke: 72.0 x 67.5mm Compression Ratio: 12.2:1 Valve Train: DOHC, 4 valves per cyl. Valve Insp. Interval: Varies, computer monitored Fuel Delivery: BMS-X EFI, 52mm throttle bodies x 6 Lubrication System: Dry sump, 4.75-qt. cap. Transmission: 6-speed, hydraulically actuated wet clutch Final Drive: Shaft, 2.75:1