Week in Tech: Reflective map jackets, modern Eroica, and more

Check out this week's roundup of tech news, which includes some geography-themed cycling jackets.

Photo: Andriana Kruger

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Here’s the Week in Tech — all the gear news, tips, and announcements you need and none of the marketing gibberish you don’t.

U.P.P.E.R.s from OPEN

Photo: Open

Open’s new U.P.P.E.R. is heavily based on the company’s U.P. model: The new bike shares the same frame shape, tire clearance, and compatibility with both 700c and 650b wheels. But the U.P.P.E.R.’s carbon layup differs, as does the weight, fork, brake mounts, thru-axles, and paint. By optimizing the frame’s layup, Open says it has reduced the U.P.P.E.R.’s frame weight to 870 grams (size medium) while maintaining frame strength and slightly increasing drivetrain and torsional stiffness.

It comes with Open’s new U-turn fork that provides enough tire clearance for 2.5-inch tires (650b). The OPEN U-turn does away with the front brake bracket entirely. Instead, the flat-mount brake caliper attaches directly to the fork via bolts that run through the fork leg. Price for the frameset, including frame, fork, thru-axles, and small parts, is $4.500.


Bell’s Joy Ride program names new women’s mountain bike ambassadors

Photo: Bell

Bell expands its Joy Ride women’s mountain bike program with the addition of six new ambassadors located across four new regions (Santa Rosa, California; Golden, Colorado; Gig Harbor, Washington; and Boone, North Carolina). Launched last April, the Joy Ride program helps welcome women into mountain biking through non-competitive events designed to enhance skills, confidence, and community development. More than 2,400 women — ranging in age from 12 to 60 — have participated in the 50 events across North America.

New and returning ambassadors will join Bell in Santa Cruz, California this month for a Joy Ride Camp. They’ll have the opportunity to experience a Girls Rock ride hosted by Ibis Cycles and see firsthand the group that inspired the program. Back home, ambassadors are tasked with starting monthly women’s mountain bike riding programs in their local regions.

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Modern Eroica? We’ll see it at Strade Bianche

Photo: L’Eroica

L’Eroica’s vintage cycling series will get a taste of modern times with the Nova Eroica based in Buonconvento, Italy. For the first time, modern bikes and equipment will be allowed as teams compete across timed segments on Strade Bianche’s racecourse.

That’s certainly a departure from L’Eroica’s origins; it was founded to help riders “rediscover the beauty of fatigue and the thrill of the conquest: the heroic cycling of Bartali and Coppi and the sacrifice that seeks out our physical boundaries.” Most events require riders to sport vintage clothing and gear including bicycles built no later than 1987.

But Nova Eroica’s organizers are also the founders of Strade Bianche. Ditching the old-time feel in favor of modern equipment is perhaps a nod to the newest spring classic. Riders will choose from four route options that vary in technical difficulty.


Find a route with Shower’s Pass map jacket

Photo: Showers Pass

Showers Pass has embraced a unique aesthetic with its new waterproof jacket. The MapReflect fabric design consists of 11 international cities known for cycling (Portland, New York, Washington D.C., Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam, London, Newcastle, Berlin, Sydney, and Taipei). Because of the unique map design and the way the patterns are cut during production, no two jackets are exactly alike.

Three layers of waterproof breathable fabric combine with a PFC-free durable water repellent treatment and fully sealed seams for all-weather protection. The screen-printed reflective map pattern is visible from 200 meters when a car’s headlights hit it, and the jacket features a brushed lining for extra warmth. Showers Pass says the jacket’s adjustable airflow cuffs and large core vents prevent overheating during high-energy activities.


Strava Nicknames

Forget your sixth-grade nickname; determine your cycling nickname with the Earn Your Name app. The program sifts through your Strava profile to generate a unique nickname based on ride data like your longest ride and average ride distance. It provides your rider classification and a personalized poster to celebrate your unique riding style and strengths.


An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.