VN Tech Ticker: Bid on custom Fizik shoes for World Bicycle Relief; Skratch Labs mystery flavor; Muc-Off Disco bar end plugs

Here's what's making headlines in bike tech on Friday, December 16.

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Bid on these custom Fiziks for a good cause

In the market for new cycling shoes? Well, right now you can not only get a cool one-off pair, but help out a good cause at the same time.

Fizik has collaborated with UK-based artist jarpz on a one-off pair of Terra Artica GTX shoes, a winter-ready model that should keep your feet nice and warm until long days come back around, with proceeds benefitting World Bicycle Relief.

World Bicycle Relief is a non-profit that distributes robust bikes to people in rural communities around the globe, providing them the mobility needed to access education, markets, health facilities, and vital services.

Bidding on the shoes will open on December 19 and stay open for nine days. Place your bid here. And even if you’re not the winner, you can still support World Bicycle Relief with a donation.

Jarpz has a wonderful Instagram feed full of customized cycling kicks that’s worth a look as well.


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Skratch Labs has a mystery flavor

For a limited time, you can get your hands on a mystery flavor of Skratch Labs hydration mix that the nutrition brand isn’t planning to sell.

The mix comes in a black bag with the word “prototype” written across the top, and any other details are just as opaque.

In the brand’s own words, the flavor leans tropical.

“Think tropical island sunsets, fruit trees for miles, and cute little green geckos frolicking in palms. We’re not sure if we should even be talking about this new flavor — it’s that good.”

The flavor won’t be around for long, though. Skratch says due to the seasonality of the fruit used in it, and the difficulty in sourcing it, there aren’t plans to sell the mystery mix.

Instead, the brand is using it as a holiday deal to sweeten the pot when you spend at least $50 on Skratch products. Bags of Skratch mix usually cost $21.95, so that’s not a half-bad deal to restock heading into the new year.

The deal is only good through tomorrow, December 17, or until supplies last. If you get a bag, let us know how it tastes.

Muc-Off Disco bar-end plugs add some flair to your handlebars

Muc-off‘s new Disco bar-end plugs look to step up the durability and styling on an often-overlooked component.

Made of 6061 CNC machined aluminum instead of the flimsy plastic bar ends that come with every roll of bar tape, these bar plugs should stand the test of time, or certainly more than one or two bar tape refreshes.

Muc-Off says they are super secure thanks to expanding silica plugs that are supplied in multiple sizes, securing nuts, and a knurled back-face that prevents slippage.

They come in five anodized colors — black, pink, red, orange and blue — that match other accessories from Muc-Off, and they’re compatible with most open-ended road, gravel, and MTB handlebar sizes.

A set of plugs costs $25.

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.