The 8 most read tech news of 2021

We’ve rounded up the eight best performing tech news to remind you of some of the “highlights” of the year. However, keep in mind that this list is based entirely on website traffic – where the truth is, calamity reigns. In other words, the best-performing stories are very likely to contain the worst things.

The warnings are over. So what stories were you reading in 2021? Absolutely in a particular order, let’s go …

Broken handlebars were produced by Bastion and have been removed from website, source says

Broken Australian handlebars

(Image credit: reader provided)

Bastion is an Australian brand, specializing in additive manufacturing (3D printing), and it proudly produces components for Australian Olympic runners.

Unfortunately, during the Tokyo Olympics, team rider Alexander Porter crashed due to a dramatic component failure.

CWThe source of confirmed that the part was made by Bastion, and we noticed that its base bar page was soon in 404 – a cache check of the page showed us that the base bar that was on the page looked extremely similar to the captured component. .

Bastion later confirmed that the piece was a result of her making and said she was “working with the Australian Olympic team to understand the cause of the failure.”

While we can’t comment on Bastion products in particular, this story – and others this year – has raised some questions about the regulation of brands using 3D printing.

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

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Why does Cav’s chain keep coming off after sprints?

cavendish chain

(Image credit: Photo by Chris Graythen / Getty Images)

There have been many memorable racing achievements this year, and Mark Cavendish tying Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 Tour de France wins must be one.

But, as he crossed the finish line on Stage 13, we couldn’t help but notice the Manxman’s chain hanging limply from the front derailleur.

It would be easy to pass off as pure and simple luck that the crash hadn’t happened a second earlier and derailed his chances of tying the record.

But after seeing the same thing happen at the end of the second stage of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey, it seemed far too much of a coincidence to be a fluke.

We spoke to Dov Tate of Parcours Wheels, an Oxford engineering graduate who conducted a groundbreaking study of how wheels behave in real conditions. He likely attributed this to the speed of the freewheel and the wheel combined with the extremely sudden stop of pedaling.

So, while it may seem like Cav was lucky, it seems it was just his celebration that brought the chain down. As long as he only sits when there’s no more pedaling to do, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Stefan Abram and Simon Smythe

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The unfortunate incident of failed tubeless sealant

best mini bicycle pump

(Image credit: Avenir)

If there’s one conversation that will engage riders in a heated debate, it’s tubeless vs clincher – and hookless vs hooked – wheel and tire technology. But I didn’t expect what was essentially a 1,000-word rant about a road ruined by flat tires to interest so many readers.

My problem was not at all – and still is not – with tubeless technology, it works great on gravel bikes, mountain bikes, car tires – any tire operating below 50 psi pressure. . On top of that, and the sealant can – occasionally – have trouble sealing a hole. Since the road bike market is pushing tubeless so much, I think it’s time to fix that. I know at least one brand has admitted this is a problem and is taking action to address it – so maybe we’ll see more road-specific tire sealants in 2022.

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

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Is Ford about to reinvent the derailleur?

Ford derailleur

(Image credit: US patent)

When a big player like Ford decides to get involved in the development of electric bikes, you can expect to see the pace of innovation shift into high gear.

The auto giant filed a US patent for a front derailleur that was not operated by a Di2-style cable or servo. Ford’s design uses two moldable wires made from Nitinol, an alloy of titanium and nickel that changes shape when an electric current is applied to it.

As the wires change shape, they move a guide bar from chainring to chainring.

With descriptions of a “control panel” and “the cadence of a casual cyclist” and “automatic gearshift”, the Ford derailleur appears to be aimed at the e-bike market, representing a very credible stunt. of a company with a huge amount of R&D muscle let alone the money to produce an efficient, lightweight and inexpensive automatic gear system.

The patent was discovered by in October – it will be fascinating how far Ford plans to go with it. Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo be careful…

Simon smythe

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Specialized due to a problem recall on Tarmac SL7 bikes

Specialized Tarmac SL7 Ultegra Di2

(Image credit: Avenir)

The Specialized Tarmac was launched in 2020 as a lightweight aero bike, merging with the outgoing Venge and thus incorporating greater integration. However, in October 2021, it emerged that the brand had to issue a voluntary recall for safety reasons.

Sure enough, on October 12th, Specialized recalled all Tarmac SL7 bikes “on the road”. The issue was with the compression ring inside the integrated helmet. Specialized said: “Strong impacts can put extraordinary pressure on the headset components and can cause the fork’s steerer tube to crack.” Specialized has produced a new compression ring and expandable plug.

We’ve had a lot of questions about this recall, like why it – and the accompanying trip stop notice – was only issued when replacement parts were in stores. Specialized told us there were “no further comments on the voluntary recall.”

Recalls are nothing new. However, with integrated systems and an ever-increasing search for lighter frames, could we see more recalls in 2022?

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

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Is Sonny Colbrelli’s Merida Reacto the most normal bike to have won Paris-Roubaix?

Sonny Colbrelli's Paris-Roubaix bike

(Image credit: Bernard Papon – Pool / Getty Images)

Paris-Roubaix is ​​the most difficult race of all for material. In the past, pro teams raided the service course for old, handcrafted wheels with bonded and welded spokes and Ambrosio Nemesis rims. Various tailor-made wacky suspension systems were tested – anything that could relieve the jagged pavement.

But en route to his victory in 2021, Sonny Colbrelli rode a Merida Reacto Team aero bike with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic groupset, Vision Metron 60 SL wheels, disc brakes and Continental tubeless tires – the exact same setup. that he would use on a smooth tarmac – and also a spec that is not much different from what any of us could buy from any Merida dealer.

It rode on the new Continental Grand Prix 5000 S TR tubeless tires compatible without hook and not on tubulars.

Perhaps the only deviation from standard specs was in the bars: Instead of the Vision Metron 5D ACR integrated cockpit that came as standard, Colbrelli used a standard round-section bar with a separate stem – but that was his only concession.

This is certainly not the first time that Paris Roubaix has won on a standard bike. Mat Hayman also won on an aero bike – the Scott Foil – in 2016, but we think Colbrelli’s bike was even more standard as Hayman used Continental Competition tubs reserved for professionals.

Is this a decisive moment? Have we finally reached a point where bikes are so strong, reliable and comfortable that they can be used on any terrain without modification?

Simon smythe

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Shimano closes components factory in Malaysia: will this further disrupt supply chains?


(Image credit: Photo by Stuart Franklin / Getty Images))

In June, we reported the shutdown of Shimano’s components factory in Malaysia due to the government-imposed nationwide lockdown. The plant had been operating at 60% capacity since May 29, but from June 10 until June 28, the plant was forced to shut down completely.

Considering the shortage of inventory due to the on-going supply chain issues that preceded it, this was not good news for those in need of parts.

As this factory only produces Shimano’s lower tier components, this would not have affected the rollout of the new Dura-Ace and Ultegra. But even if the bands came out at the end of August, it should be noted that the professional teams were not able to pilot the components before the end of the season.

Now, it’s not like there has been a complete shortage of Shimano components, but those looking for specific items, such as a bottom bracket in a particular arm length and number of teeth, will surely have noticed that options became more limited and waits potentially long for products to return to stock.

It’s a bit strong to hope that these lingering issues will resolve themselves over the holiday season – the time when international supply chains are at their most strained, but I hope as we move into the spring, the parts will start to become easier to find.

Stefan Abram

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(Image credit: Ineos Grenadiers)

In June 2021, the UCI banned the use of metabolic sensors in the race. This posed a problem for Supersapiens, the glucose-tracking sensor that had sponsored a number of pro teams, including Ineos and Canyon-SRAM.

Speaking with the UCI’s innovation manager, Mick Rogers, he gave us a number of justifications. First of all, there were concerns that these sensors would make racing formula – like Formula 1, where machines and tire compounds are extremely influential. He also raised concerns about a possible inequality, if some runners cannot afford the technology, and concerns that data may be retained by teams when a runner moves on.

Supersapiens CEO Phil Southerland in turn called the move A step back in the welfare of the rider. He said teams had reported cases of runners crashing during races, and it was later found to be hypoglycemic, with women at higher risk due to fluctuations in metabolism due to hormonal changes. during the month.

The ban remained in place and Southerland – at the time – was contacting teams to offer sponsorship to allow them to be used in training. Will the UCI turn around in 2022?

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

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