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Technogym offers cyclists high-tech training solution

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Technogym has launched MYCYCLING, a complete home cycling training solution aimed at enhancing and transforming avid cyclists’ outdoor performance.

MYCYCLING combines a hi-tech smart trainer, a native app with personalised training programmes and access to a network of professional trainers who can guide cyclists throughout their training journeys.

A key feature of MYCYCLING is the inclusion of a specific training system called Technogym Neuromuscular Training (TNT). TNT is a collaboration between Technogym’s Medical and Scientific Research Centre and high performance athletes, coaches, physiologists and sports trainers. TNT aims to enhance metabolic and neuromuscular characteristics to improve outdoor performance.

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The MYCYCLING smart trainer

The smart trainer is designed to offer maximum stability during training, especially when simulating outdoor sprints, and is suitable for use with your own mountain or road bike. The heart of the product is the electro-mechanical brake that controls every second you are in the seat with acute precision. MYCYCLING also features a torque sensor that directly measures your power with a precision tolerance of approximately one percent.

Optical sensors analyse the thrust during training, and allow you to visualise the smooth circular pedaling stroke as well as the symmetry between left and right foot. The fly-wheel has been designed to ensure a natural pedaling sensation that provides the same sense of inertia felt when pedaling outdoors.

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The MYCYCLING app

The dedicated MYCYCLING app (available from most app stores) encompasses programmes, tests, different routes and bio-feedback. You control the trainer using a handlebar-mounted smartphone that connect to the trainer via a Bluetooth connection. The MYCYCLING app can also be connected to Garmin and Strava accounts to enjoy an overview of your indoor and outdoor training data and drive yourself towards increasingly higher performance levels.

The MYCYCLING app will see South African cyclists ‘ride’ along the world’s most iconic cycling routes, such as Passo dello Stelvio, Col de l’Alpe d’Huez and many others. You can even challenge yourself to compete with other MYCYCLING users anywhere in the world, via the app.

Personalised training programmes

MYCYCLING users will discover a range of personalised training programs that will enhance their performance using TNT. TNT starts with a preliminary test to ascertain your anaerobic power and cadence thresholds via two tests carried out indoors: the Technogym Maximal Test and the FTP (Functional Threshold Power) test.

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Based on the results, your training will be personalised and will last 18 weeks, comprised of three phases of six weeks each. The three phases are preparation, development and transition. You can start from the first phase and follow the entire programme or begin from a later phase, ideally integrating it with outdoor, long-distance sessions.

The TNT programme consists of training sessions of 40-70 minutes that constantly changes the cadence and power levels for comprehensive neuromuscular activation.

Professional coach network

Whatever your goals are, you can access the MYCYCLING app and select one of the programmes designed by professional coaches to help you achieve specific training goals, or you can also choose to train with the support of the best cycling experts in the international cycling community, certified by Technogym, whether you are an amateur, an athlete or a coach.

The MYCYCLING system was launched by Technogym and local distributor PentaSystems at the 2017 Cape Town Cycle Tour Expo, and sells for a recommended retail price of R29,995.00 including VAT.

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Android Go puts reliable smartphones in budget pockets

Nokia, Vodacom and Huawei have all launched entry-level smartphones running the Android Go edition, and all deliver a smooth experience, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Three new and notable Android Go smartphones have recently hit the market, namely the Nokia 1, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 and the Huawei Y3 (2018). These phones run one of the most basic versions of Android while still delivering a fairly smooth user experience.

Historically, consumers purchasing smartphones in the budget bracket would have a hit-and-miss experience with processing speed, smoothness of user interface, and app stability. The Google-supported Android Go edition operating system optimises the user experience by stripping out non-important visual effects to speed up the phone. Thish allows for more memory to be used by apps. 

Google also ensures that all smartphones running Android Go will receive feature and security updates as they are released by Google. This is a major selling point for these smartphones, as users of this smartphone will always be running the latest software, with virtually no manufacturer bloatware.

Vodafone Smart Kicka 4

At the lowest entry-level, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performs well as a communicator for emails and WhatsApp messages. The 4” screen represents a step up for entry-level Android phones, which were previously standardised at 3.5”.

The display is bright and very responsive, while the limited screen real estate leaves the navigation keys off the screen as touch buttons. It uses 3G connectivity, which might seem like an outdated technology, but is good enough to stream SD videos and music. Vodacom has also thrown in some data gifts if the smartphone is activated before the end of September 2018. 

Its camera functionalities might be a slight let down for the aspirant Instagrammer, with a 2MP rear flash camera and a 0.3MP selfie snapper. Speed wise, the keyboard pops up quickly, which is a huge improvement from the Smart Kicka 3. However, this phone will not play well with graphics-intensive games. 

Nokia 1

Next up is the Nokia 1, which adds a much better 5MP camera, improved battery life and a bigger 4.5” screen. It supports LTE, which allows this smartphone to download and upload at the speed of flagships. It also sports the Nokia brand name, which many consumers trust.

Although the front camera is 2MP, the quality is extremely grainy, even with good lighting. This disqualifies this smartphone for the social media selfie snapper, but the 5MP rear camera will work for the landscape and portrait photographer. 

The screen also redeems this smartphone, providing a display which represents colours truly and has great viewing angles. Xpress-on back covers allows the use of interchangeable, multi-coloured back covers, which has proven to be a successful sales point for mid-range smartphones in the past. 

Huawei Y3 (2018)

The most capable of the Android Go edition competitors, the Huawei Y3 (2018) packs an even bigger screen at 5”, as well as an improved 8MP rear camera and HD video recording. The screen is the brightest and most vibrant of the three smartphones, but seems to be calibrated to show colours a little more saturated than they actually are. 

Nevertheless, the camera outperforms the other smartphones with good colour replication and great selfie capabilities via the 2MP front camera – far superior to the Nokia 1 despite the same spec. LTE also comes standard with this smartphone and Vodacom throws in 4G/LTE data goodies until the end of September 2018. The battery, however, is not removable and may only be replaced by a warranty technician.

Comparing the 3

All three smartphones have removable back covers, which provide access to the battery, SIM card and SD card slots. The smartphones have Micro USB ports on the bottom with headphone jacks on the top. The built-in speakers all performed well, with the Y3 (2018) housing an exceptionally loud built-in speaker. 

Although all at different price points, all three phones remain similar in performance and speed. The differentiators are apparent in the components, like camera quality and screen quality. It would be fair to rank the quality of the camera and battery life by respective market prices. The Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performed well, for its R399 retail price. The Nokia 1, on the other hand, lags quite a bit in features when compared to the Huawei Y3 (2018), bwith oth retailing at R999.

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SA gets digital archive

As the world entered the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth on Mandela Day, 18 July 2018, South Africa celebrated the launch of a digital living archive. 

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The southafrica.co.za  site carries content about the country’s collective heritage in South Africa’s eleven official languages.

Designed as a nation building,  educational and brand promotion web based tool, the free-to-view platform features award-winning photographic and written content by leading South African photographers, authors, academics and photojournalists.

The emphasis is on quality, credible, factual content that celebrates a collective heritage in terms of the following: Cultural Heritage; Natural Heritage; Education; History; Agriculture; Industry; Mining; and Travel.

At the same time as reflecting on the nation’s history, southafrica.co.za celebrates South Africa’s natural, cultural and economic assets so that the youth can learn about their nation in their home language.

Southafrica.co.za Founder and CEO Hans Gerrizen conceptualised southafrica.co.za as a means for youth and communities from outlying areas to benefit from the digital age in terms of the web tool’s empowering educational component.

“We can only stand to deepen our collective experience of democracy and become a more forward planning nation if we know facts about our nation’s past and present in everyone’s home language,” he says.

Southafrica.co.za, with sister company Siyabona Africa, is the organiser and sponsor of the Mandela: 100 Moments photographic exhibition that runs until 30 September at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront-based Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island.  The 3-month exhibition, which runs daily from 08h00 until 15h00, is showcasing one hundred iconic Nelson Mandela images taken by veteran South African photojournalist and self-taught lensman Peter Magubane.

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