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Week in Tech: A bike bell in disguise

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

Knog’s Oi Kickstarter reaches $180,000 and climbing

Bike bells don’t often grab headlines. But Knog’s Oi bell, which the company launched through a Kickstarter campaign this week, is making waves with its decidedly un-bell appearance. Knog ditched the typical dome shape and opted for a more discrete wraparound that hugs the handlebars. The Oi comes in five styles, including aluminum, brass, copper, black, and titanium, and the bell will work with most handlebars. Bells are only available through the Knog Kickstarter campaign and they’re going fast.


RockShox introduces new 2017 suspension fork line

RockShox has updated its line of entry-level suspension forks, including the Recon Silver, Sektor Silver, 30 Gold, and Paragon Gold. The Recon Silver is RockShox’s value-based, performance suspension fork that blends the Reba’s crown and lower legs with the Recon’s steel upper tubes. The new Sektor Silver includes RockShox’s Motion Control damper performance and chassis structure for more affordable race suspension. RockShox’s 30 Gold also includes Motion Control damping but is compatible with all wheel sizes. And the Paragon suspension fork is ideal for 700c-wheel trekkers.


Diamondback’s new Level Link suspension design

Diamondback Bicycles has released a short-link, four-bar suspension system called Level Link that is available on both the Catch 27.5+ and 27.5-inch Release mountain bikes. Level Link’s lower linkage stays parallel to the chain, which Diamondback says helps reduce or eliminate the effect of pedaling forces on the suspension. The upper link stays perpendicular to the lower link at sag, which Diamondback claims ensures the system stays active at all times. The new suspension platform is aimed at improving climbing without sacrificing descending aggressiveness.


Fuji’s launches new Gran Fondo endurance bike

With the launch of its updated Gran Fondo endurance road bike, Fuji now offers an all-day bike that uses the company’s VRTech technology for a claimed 24.6 percent reduction in road vibrations. VRTech (Vibration Reduction Technology) strategically places a natural fiber in the bike’s carbon layup, which results in vibration reduction. “The Gran Fondo is our answer to a cyclist’s nemesis: road vibration. It causes fatigue, compromises comfort, and diminishes performance,” Fuji Road Product Manager Steven Fairchild said. First introduced in 2012, the Gran Fondo employs many of the features of the original frame; new additions include disc brakes, thru-axles, a convertible axle system, wave seatstays, and VRTech.


Bopworx protects frames during shipping, no bubble wrap necessary

Bopworx wants cyclists to stop using towels, t-shirts, foam, bubble-wrap, plastic bags, and cardboard when packing bikes for travel. Instead, Bopworx offers six different impact protectors that latch to various parts of the bike, ranging from derailleur protectors, fork guards, bumpers, and reusable wraps. The bike protection products use durable rubber and hard plastic to create hook and latch systems that don’t require tools. Bopworx are now available at REI, Performance Bike, and independent bicycle dealers.