Jul 20, 2023

Gear Break: New from Tifosi, Remind Insoles, Stromm Track Bikes , PEARL iZUMi Contours Gravel Collection, Vitus Venon EVO All

Gear Break: New glasses from Tifosi Optics, Remind Insoles, UCI rules, Stromm track bikes and why kickstarter? Limited edition release from PEARL iZUMi: Contours gravel collection, introducing the Vitus Venon EVO All-Road bike and Camp And Go Slow spring drop: A different approach to gravel.

Tifosi Optics celebrating 20 years as a family-owned business

Tifosi Optics is regarded as the #1 brand of cycling eyewear in the U.S., thanks to its incredible value proposition. Using the same best-in-class materials as popular name brands (Grilamid, hydrophilic frames + polycarbonate lenses), Tifosi offers their sunglasses at a fraction of the price – their entire cycling line retails for under $100.

New: Rivet – $79.95

Rivet is the perfect sunglass for cyclists wanting a streamlined look while still having adequate coverage. Cyclists will appreciate Rivet's lightweight half-frame design (28g) and lens vents to help prevent fogging when you’re working up a sweat.

Spot on spec weight

Re-released: Rail Race – $79.95

Having launched in October 2022 as a limited edition, Rail Race is now available as part of Tifosi's regular product offerings. These 2-lens interchange sports glasses offer a lightweight package that maximizes protection, airflow, and all-day comfort. Rail Race includes new top and bottom vents and laser etching around the rimless design.

Also exactly spec weight

Chuck Peña PEZ sez: Happy 20th birthday, Tifosi! Tifosi is the Italian word for super-fan and PEZ readers will know I’m a Tifosi tifosi. They make high quality sunglasses with crystal clear optics (the most important thing) that can more than hold their own against many more expensive brands. And their cycling sunglasses would look right at home in the Europro peloton. Walk into your "typical" LBS and it's a good bet there will be a display case of Tifosi sunglasses.

The Rivet cuts a pretty sleek profile

The Rivet is what I would call "mid-size" sunglasses so a good choice for those who aren't into the current cycling fashion trend of "ski goggles." In terms of style (and I know style is in the eye of the beholder), the Rivet leans a little more "rounder" and "softer" without any what I would call sharp edges. And if you’ve never worn lenses with venting, I can tell you that they do make a #marginalgains difference to help prevent fogging up while riding.

Not too big but also not too small

PEZ got the Satin Vapor Fototec Rivet that has a "translucent black" frame and Tifosi's new Clarion Blue Fototec lens (debuted on the Rail XC) that changes tint with 46% light transmission in low light and 13% light transmission in full sun. In other words, about as close to a "do it all" lens that works across a range of light conditions. I’m able to ride with it in bright sunlight and at night in an urban environment with ambient light and a 1000 lumens front light on my bike. And the lens surface itself transitions to a cool mirrored blue as the tint gets darker.

Vented lenses to help prevent fogging

In fact, the Rivet is more than just a pair of cycling sunglasses. The size and shape with vented lenses make it suitable for lots of different sports. Indeed, Tifosi markets the Rivet as multi-sport sunglasses for cycling (check), running (I used to be a runner), golf (I love playing golf with my daughter even though she has far surpassed me in that department), and pickleball (I’m officially a senior citizen and a former competitive tennis player so pickleball is definitely in my future). And IMHO, they’re great as just a "regular" pair of sunglasses even if you aren't engaged in sport.

The Rivet won't look out of place off the bike #realmenwearpink

PEZ readers may remember what I had to say about the Rail Race when it was introduced as a limited edition sunglass last year:

the Rail Race is the same as but looks very different than the Rail. The vents are for airflow to help prevent fogging. The laser etching creates subtle but noticeable "definition" along the top and bottom edges of the lens (as well as the Tifosi logo). I know style and taste are in the eyes of the beholder, but IMHO these are the coolest looking pair of cycling shades … regardless of brand or price.

Original Rail (left) with Fototec Red lens and the new re-released Rail Race (right) with Clarion Blue lens

In fact, the Rail Race are my "go to" pair of sunglasses for riding on what I know will be largely sunny days. So I’m really happy that Tifosi has now made the Rail Race part of their regular lineup.

Venting and laser etching on the lens make the Rail Race different from the original Rail

PEZ got the new Rail Race in Tifosi's Chrome Anniversary Edition with Clarion Blue lens plus an additional clear lens (if I had one wish it would be for a Clarion Blue Fototec lens like the Rail XC). The chrome frame is totally bling IMHO and the blue lens just pops. If you want to stand out from the crowd, these are the ‘droids you’re looking for.


PEZ readers will know that my sunglass reviews always reference my compadre Ed Hood who has strong opinions about eyeware:

Greg Lemond and Phil Anderson revolutionized things in the 80's with their Oakleys and now it's unusual to see a bare faced rider. There's also the worrying trend toward ever bigger lenses, veering towards images from 60's science fiction comics.

If you have a small head and wear huge shades you could stray into ‘Dame Edna’ or ‘Fearless Fly’ territory – neither is icy.

Over the years, Ed and I have had many lively debates about electronic shifting, disc brakes, and the proper height/color of socks. So I just want to echo Richard's aka the PEZ himself ask for your support to help with Ed's recovery from the stroke he suffered in February, which has been hard for all of us to come to grips with. To say that Ed's future is uncertain is an understatement. So I/we hope that you can help. It doesn't have to be a lot. Lots of smaller contributions add up. Here's the GoFundMe for Ed. Thank you. Merci beaucoup. Molte grazie.

What would Ed say?

Remind Insoles

Remind Insoles are developed from 35 plus years of biomechanics and biomedicine practices along with the testing and approval of the worlds greatest athletes. The result being the best performance enhancing orthotic insoles on the planet. The focus is these key principles: foot and joint alignment, injury preventive support, cushioning, self-molding customization. They are developed with own proprietary blends of materials that are specially formulated with all the characteristics needed for support, comfort, and alignment.

Chuck Peña PEZ sez: PEZ got an assortment of Remind Insoles to try out. The first thing to note is that these aren't cycling-specific insoles. Indeed, "Remind is owned and operated by John Makens who grew up in Minnesota in the early eighties and was heavily influenced by skateboarding and snowboarding since the age of six." But that doesn't mean you can't use Remind Insoles in cycling shoes.

It's easy to see that Remind Insoles aren't the same as the insoles found in most cycling shoes

PEZ readers may remember my review of the Fizik Tempo Decos Carbon Iridescent shoes: "I found that my relatively flat-ish feet didn't "fill" the shoes up as much as some other shoes I have." It's not that they don't fit well (they do), but they have slightly larger volume relative to most of my other cycling shoes. One of the insoles PEZ got was the Destin Boo Johnson Woody Bubak that are 5mm thick and designed for a low arch (that would be me). Knowing they were thicker than the OEM Fizik insoles, I surmised that they might help my feet fill up the volume of the shoe.

I don't know who Boo Johnson is but Woody station wagons were a thing of my youth

The Remind Insoles required a little trimming to fit (I expected that) and slid into the shoes easily. I could definitely feel the difference in how the forefoot more closely wrapped around my feet. My heel wasn't as deep in the shoe as with the OEM insoles, but didn't feel like I was coming out of the shoe.

The biggest difference I could feel was the cushioning, which was significantly more than the OEM insoles. This is a tradeoff of sorts. Modern carbon fiber sole cycling shoes are intended to be super stiff to be able to put every possible watt of power into the pedals. Obviously, if you’re making your living racing this matters. But for mere mortals, this can sometimes result in what I call "carbon fiber sole fatigue" where the sole can be too stiff and "push back" causing pressure points or hot spots. The Remind Insoles can help take the edge off of that.

A little bit of color instead of basic black

I also tried the Destin Clouds insoles as a replacements in my Shimano RC902 S-Phyre shoes. Not because I needed to but just to see what, if any, difference they would make. Plus the Clouds insoles are about the same thickness as the OEM insoles so they weren't likely to adversely affect what is otherwise a great fit.

I’m not going to quibble over a 0.2mm thickness difference between Remind (top) and Shimano OEM (bottom)

To be clear, I don't have any complaints whatsoever with the Shimano RC902 S-Phyre shoes: "The S-PHYRE RC902 is right up there in terms of comfort. The way it wraps around is almost … dare I say … slipper like. With the BOA dials tight, I could feel the upper holding me firmly in place and knew my feet weren't going anywhere, but it felt ‘soft.’ I didn't feel any pressure points from the flap pulled across my instep, the BOA laces, or the BOA dials. " But the added cushioning of the Destin Clouds insoles are a #marginalgains of sorts. And I didn't feel like I was giving up anything in terms of being able to put power down.

The Clouds are a little more subdued, but still add some pop

I haven't had the chance yet to try the Remedy insoles that are custom heat moldable. I have another pair of shoes that are slightly higher volume down in SC and will try the Remedy insoles (6mm thick so too tall to use in shoes that already fit well/snugly) in them and report back.

UCI Rules, Stromm Track Bikes and Why Kickstarter?

Cycling has changed a lot in the last decade. We want a bike design that keeps up with athletes’ innovation on the track.

No More 3:1The UCI has lifted the decades-old 3:1 tube shape ratio restriction giving engineers room to create shapes with 600%+ lower drag sectionally than before. Stromm is the first bike to take full advantage of this new rule change.

Our comparison above shows the relative 2D performance of an airfoil now allowed by the UCI vs. previous limits. Note that this is in some ways a best case scenario, since a poorly-designed 3:1 section would typically degrade in performance more easily with poor design than a thinner section.

Long and NarrowThe age of brute-force speed is over. The Stromm is optimized for a modern, long and narrow rider position to go faster for longer.

System Optimized AerodynamicsWhen was the last time your bike did a lap without you? The Stromm is designed to be the fastest when it has a rider on it: minimize system drag.

Here you can see the fork is super wide. This is to prevent interference drag from the wheel, making it "wheel-agnostic," faster than narrow forks with wheels like Hed 3, Mavic io, etc. In addition, it also shapes the air around the riders legs—one of the biggest sources of drag in the entire rider-bikesystem.

Fast inside and outTube shapes are designed to harness laminar flow that exists indoors for maximum speed, and more turbulent outdoor flow to minimize gust-dependence and use crosswinds to create thrust.

The ForkDifficult to design, even harder to manufacture, forks are the backbone of an aerodynamic system. The Stromm fork employs new techniques in carbon manufacturing to take maximum advantage of the new UCI rules.

Toray CompositesWe’re exclusively using Toray Composite carbon to ensure we are getting exactly the performance we need from each piece. Strong, resilient fibers where needed. Stiff fabric in key areas, and the resin systems to optimize the combination of materials. It is common in carbon fiber manufacturing to use "house blend" carbon with far less quality control and no certification process. What's more is the resin systems are often less optimal resulting in resin-rich end products yielding inconsistent quality.

Additionally we’ve taken the extra step to develop expanded polystyrene internal molds that can dictate precise shape, compression, and wall thicknesses throughout the frame and fork.

Standard Parts

Details: We want this bike for ourselves, so we’re making the bike we want.

Replaceable rear dropouts. Crushproof design prevents frame damage from improper wheel installation. Thumb screw and axle support allow easy rear wheel adjustment and tensioning.

Geometry Chart

AerodynamicsOur frame design focuses on maximizing aerodynamic performance of the rider-frame-wheel system with minimum cost to usability.

Each airfoil shape throughout the frame is designed to a specific location's purpose for best performance. The upper seat tube shape maximizes propulsive lift at minimum drag, which propels the bike forwards as the rider's legs create temporary local yaw angles near that tube. The fork and seat stays create lift at minimum drag to smooth airflow around the rider's legs. The head tube minimizes drag while stalling softly at higher yaw angles preventing frame handling issues on outdoor tracks. Each tube works both to avoid creation of unnecessary drag, as well as to maximize the drag savings for the entire system as a whole.

Who We AreStromm Cycles is a team of longtime friends, athletes and bike nerds who also happen to have a combined 30 years experience in producing the fastest bikes in the world.

Dave Koesel

A lifelong tinkerer, Dave began building mountain bike frames in his basement and father's race car fabrication shop. He worked in bike shops in college and was recruited by Felt Bicycles after finishing school. As Brand Manager he led product development of the track frames used to win medals at the World Championships and Olympic games as well as set numerous records. Dave then directed product development when 3T introduced bicycles and launched their North American operations. As Leader of Component Development at Specialized Bicycles, Dave helped reinvent the Roval brand. The transition of the professional peloton onto clincher wheels like the Rapide, Alpinist, and 321 as well as sub-1300g gravel and 1250g XC MTB wheels was accomplished in his tenure. "Super"Dave has won Elite and Master's National Championships and has his sights set on Masters World Championships in 2024 aboard the Stromm machine.

Daniel Holloway

One of the most accomplished professional cyclists in the United States, Daniel's success on both the road and track have been unrivaled in the current generation of specificity. Daniel has a lot of experience and has built relationships from years of racing. He has a deep understanding of products unlike many hired guns who would simply use whatever was given to them. Daniel remains very interested in the more technical nature of developing class leading products and has helped with the Stromm project management. Often tapped by brands he's represented to provide insight and feedback, he was a key consultant in dialing in the geometry, performance and handling for this bicycle.

Ben RothackerBen is a professional aerodynamicist with over a decade of experience designing high-performance vehicles for the aerospace industry, with a long time interest and focus in the low-speed regime of aerodynamics most relevant to bicycle design. His airfoil designs and expertise have been used in and contributed to numerous successful sub-, supersonic, and vertical lift aircraft, high performance racing cars, and several bicycles, and he holds several patents for novel aerodynamic devices.

Stephen DollStephen has designed, simulated, built, and tested innovative aerodynamic bicycles since early college and has extensive experience developing manufacturing methods and tooling systems for carbon fiber bike frames.

Stretch Goals

Custom decal colors: locked until $125,000

Additional colorways: locked until $200,000

Shipping & VATShipping and VAT costs are not included in your pledge. We’ll be using Pledge Manager after the campaign which will calculate shipping based on your location. Estimated shipping costs are below, and may change based on location, rates and whatever weird stuff happens between now and the ship date.

Estimated Shipping Costs: California $50, United States $100, North America $200, Asia $300, E.U. and U.K. $400, Oceania and South America $500. Planning purposes only, actual shipping charges are calculated post-campaign and may differ.

We have arranged for North America, UK, EU and Oceania and Asia distribution so VAT will be handled in Pledge Manager as well so you won't have to worry about paying on delivery.

Risks and challengesThis is a groundbreaking design. Executing it will require new manufacturing techniques never used in frames before. The fork in particular is exceptionally challenging to make as narrow as the rules now allow, but stiff enough for 100+kg riders doing 70+kph on 50+ degree banked tracks.

Our validation of rider drag reduction is primarily qualitative: we know it has a significant effect based on real-world flow visualization and rider-on testing, but we don't know exactly how significant. However, even without the rider drag reductions we believe our bike will achieve, performance is comparable or better than other world class track frames – the Stromm frame design performs best against the competition at low yaw angles in low turbulence, and outperforms regardless of flow turbulence at high yaw angles. We have data to suggest this is the best combination for overall performance, but it's possible our data has misled us and that's not a good assumption. We’ve tested in a higher turbulence tunnel to make sure we understand the worst-case performance.

We have a superlative design. We have proven our theories in the wind tunnel. We have a team of bike-industry veterans, engineers and world-class athletes. Even with all of that going for us the reality is that material prices are volatile. Freight costs are volatile. Currency exchange rates are volatile. The massive start-up costs with mold fees are well into 6 figures and quite frankly the limited market of a world class track bike makes for a challenging project. That's why the big-companies aren't going to do this (right away). If we want to push the limits of design, we have to do this – with your help.

Limited Edition Release from PEARL iZUMi: Contours Gravel CollectionContours pays homage to how earth's natural landscape molds & and shapes gravel rides; the turns of a creek, the rolling hills of a vast, unpaved adventure. The collection features limited-edition seasonal colorways in high-performance pieces to tackle any road or singletrack.

Expedition Pro Bib Short (Men's // Women's, MSRP $265)Made for the rider who aims to go astray, the Expedition Bib Short is tuned for all-terrain adventures. When you hit the rough stuff, you’ll be glad to have our new Levitate™ Plus multi-density chamois under you, with innovative, highly resilient suspension core to damp road chatter and significantly improve ride comfort.

PRO Mesh Jersey (Men's // Women's, MSRP $150)Forged in the heat of competition, the PRO Jersey is the ideal performance top to push your limits in hot and humid weather. The airy, high-stretch PRO Transfer Mesh fabric is enhanced with In-R-Cool® to improve thermoregulation and keep you cooler, dryer and more comfortable. GoFresh™ keeps the funk at bay and even allows this jersey to be worn multiple times between washes, so you’ll never have to ride without this favorite.

Expedition FF Gel Glove (MSRP: $35)Whether you’re pounding pavement, grinding gravel, or slicing through singletrack, the Full-Finger Expedition Glove will improve your ride. The key element of this endurance-focused glove is the 1:1® Control Gel Palm, which uses a central pad to support the natural curve of your hand, preventing nerve compression that causes numbness.

Introducing the Vitus Venon EVO All-Road Bike

Camp And Go Slow Spring Drop: A Different Approach To GravelBringing Joy To every Ride

Camp And Go Slow's spring drop is born from a desire to ride with products that hold meaning and pay homage to the roots of adventure cycling. This drop includes a massive restock of the wildly popular woven Rattler Tape.

Camp And Go Slow was grown in the Lost Sierra, a passion project turned alt-cycling phenomenon. All CAMP products are playfully created with an ethos of taking your time and drinking the pedal strokes in, not chasing for podiums, PRs, or dropping friends.

As the gravel market has bloomed and more riders are turning the wheel toward the dirt, Camp And Go Slow offers a timeless perspective on the fastest-growing segment in cycling. In addition to Rattler Tape, CAMP produces seasonal small-batch runs of limited-edition accouterments. The anticipated spring offerings include a full restock of the best-selling Rattler bar tape, as well as multiple bags, mugs, and smaller items designed to bring joy to your ride.

Woven Rattler Bar Tape:Camp And Go Slow woven bar tape, patterned after the Diamondback Rattlesnake, comes in two distinct options, Western and Eastern. Each roll is long enough to wrap the widest of drop bars with ease, with plenty left over for vanity projects. You get two 3300mm rolls made from a long-wearing, durable nylon blend and backed with 1.5mm of foam for a little cushion on the rough stuff. Each set of tape comes in a ripstop nylon bag designed to be used and reused for years.

Product Features:

Note: PEZCyclingNews ask that you contact the manufacturers before using any products you see here. Only the manufacturer can provide accurate and complete information on proper / safe use, handling, maintenance and or installation of products as well as any conditional information or product limitations.

Gear Break: Tifosi Optics celebrating 20 years as a family-owned business New: Rivet – $79.95 Re-released: Rail Race – $79.95 Chuck Peña PEZ sez: Remind Insoles Chuck Peña PEZ sez: UCI Rules, Stromm Track Bikes and Why Kickstarter? No More 3:1 Long and Narrow System Optimized Aerodynamics Fast inside and out The Fork Toray Composites Standard Parts Details: Aerodynamics Who We Are Dave Koesel Daniel Holloway Ben Rothacker Stephen Doll Stretch Goals Shipping & VAT Risks and challenges Here's the link to the kickstarter: Limited Edition Release from PEARL iZUMi: Contours Gravel Collection Expedition Pro Bib Short (Men's // Women's, MSRP $265) PRO Mesh Jersey (Men's // Women's, MSRP $150) Expedition FF Gel Glove (MSRP: $35) A limited edition release from PEARL iZUMi, inspired by the ever changing terrain of gravel. Introducing the Vitus Venon EVO All-Road Bike US customers can learn more about the Venon EVO at Everywhere else in the world, head directly to Camp And Go Slow Spring Drop: A Different Approach To Gravel Woven Rattler Bar Tape: Product Features: $44 More info at: Note: