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Prologo CPC Technology for Mountain Bikes & E-MTBs Reviewed

Prologo CPC Technology for Mountain Bikes & E-MTBs Reviewed

29.04.24 07:02 69Text: NoPain (translated by AI)Photos: Erwin HaidenWith their patented CPC technology (Connect Power Control), the saddles, grips, and gloves from Italy stand out from the crowd. We tested the "Formula 1 innovations" on the Ducati TK-01RR E-MTB.29.04.24 07:02 76

Prologo CPC Technology for Mountain Bikes & E-MTBs Reviewed

29.04.24 07:02 76 NoPain (translated by AI) Erwin Haiden
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With their patented CPC technology (Connect Power Control), the saddles, grips, and gloves from Italy stand out from the crowd. We tested the "Formula 1 innovations" on the Ducati TK-01RR E-MTB.29.04.24 07:02 76

You might find it hard to believe, but we have managed to make our Ducati TK-01RR long-term test E-MTB even more Italian despite its many Dolce Vita components from Thok, FSA, Crankbrothers, and Pirelli. Now joining the lineup are the lightweight Prologo Dimension NDR NACK CPC Airing 143 saddle, the Prologo Proxim X-Shred grips, and the Prologo Energrip Long Finger Gloves, which we have subjected to an extensive long-term review.

All three products incorporate Prologo's CPC (Connect Power Control) technology. This consists of small, rubber-like cones or knobs on the surface, which provide the biker with improved grip, more comfort, and control. Generally, these cones serve to increase the friction between the rider and the saddle or grip, preventing slipping during riding. Moreover, CPC absorbs both shocks and road vibrations, increases airflow, and dissipates heat and sweat. As if that were not enough, CPC also reduces pressure points, which should minimize the risk of numbness or pain.

 CPC (Connect Power Control) 

Prologo's patented technology enhances performance and comfort through vibration damping, maximum grip, and increased control, and is also used in Formula 1 and the military.
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 Improved blood circulation and reduced pressure are just as beneficial during long rides and in tough combat as they are during a one-night stand. 

Prologo CPC technology promotes circulation
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  • Prologo CPC Technology for Mountain Bikes & E-MTBs Reviewed
  • Prologo CPC Technology for Mountain Bikes & E-MTBs Reviewed

Prologo Dimension NDR NACK CPC Airing 143 Saddle

Prologo's Dimension NDR NACK CPC 143 saddle essentially matches its counterpart without the "NDR" designation, but it features an additional 3 mm of padding to better absorb terrain-specific vibrations. On the sides, the Italians added a stylish "side protection" to prevent scratches or tears in case of falls.
Otherwise, the lightweight Dimension is understood as a universal saddle for both women and men, intended to prevent seating discomfort in all disciplines with its ergonomics and high pressure relief. The Dimension is 35 mm shorter than other Prologo saddles and has a stub nose to distribute pressure more evenly across the seating area, especially in sporty elevations.

Dimension NDR NACK CPC 143

Application MTB, Gravel, Trekking
Gender Ladies & Men
Dimensions (Length x Width) 254 x 143 mm
Weight* NACK 182 g (183 g measured), TIROX 220 g
Color Black, White
Material Rails Carbon with oval rails
Material Shell Carbon Fiber Reinforced
Material Cover Microfiber
Material Padding Light foam
Features NDR MTB padding and side protection, CPC ventilation & damping, PAS technology with indentation
Price (MSRP) € 279.90 (TIROX € 169.00)

* Manufacturer's specification

The top model features oval-shaped saddle rails (NACK), made with a monocoque carbon structure and a special nanocarbon fiber technology called BCR. BCR is the acronym for Braided Carbon Rail and reinforces the clamp area to withstand even the maximum loads when tightening the seatpost clamp without damage.

  • #1 NDR NDR MTB Padding with Side Protection#1 NDR NDR MTB Padding with Side Protection
    #1 NDR NDR MTB Padding with Side Protection
    #1 NDR NDR MTB Padding with Side Protection
  • #2 Oval NACK Carbon Rails#2 Oval NACK Carbon Rails
    #2 Oval NACK Carbon Rails
    #2 Oval NACK Carbon Rails

The most innovative feature here too is Prologo's patented CPC Technology, which supports the rider in all weather conditions to maintain the optimal position on the saddle, to dampen shocks, absorb vibrations, and increase air cooling by improving airflow and dissipating both heat and sweat. CPC is made with a special 3D nanopolymer and creates a kind of "vacuum effect" with its design, ensuring perfect grip and positioning.

  • #3 CPC Ventilation & Damping#3 CPC Ventilation & Damping
    #3 CPC Ventilation & Damping
    #3 CPC Ventilation & Damping
  • #4 PAS Technology with In-depth Review#4 PAS Technology with In-depth Review
    #4 PAS Technology with In-depth Review
    #4 PAS Technology with In-depth Review

Finally, the Dimension also uses the PAS-System from Prologo, which aims to reduce pressure peaks and numbness in the pelvic and prostate areas with its large central channel, and to maintain blood flow while seated.

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Prologo Proxim X-Shred Grips

Prologo integrates CPC into its MTB grips as well. This technology ensures improved grip and prevents hands from slipping, even under difficult conditions and with heavy sweating. Combined with their conical shape, the grips provide optimal control over the bike while simultaneously reducing fatigue and vibrations during the ride.

Prologo Proxim X-Shred Grips

Application Area Offroad, MTB
Gender Ladies & Men
Dimensions Length: 135 mm, Outer diameter: 34 mm
Handlebar diameter: 22.2 mm (Standard)
Weight 122 g (weighed)
Color Black/Gray
Material Grip Rubber
Material Clamping Ring Aluminum
Clamping Lock On incl. Bar Plugs
Price (MSRP) € 29.50

Additionally, the 3D-printed polymers on the outer side of the grip harmonize with the CPC system of the in-house Energrip gloves, which are available both as short and long finger gloves. Their suction cups literally cling to the grips, creating many small vacuums, which Prologo refers to as a vacuum effect. This allows you to hold the handlebars relatively loosely even in critical situations, which promotes circulation and reduces the risk of numb hands or fingers.

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Prologo Energrip Long Fingers

CPC, as far as the eye can see - even on MTB gloves. The 3D printing polymers of the CPC not only improve the grip on the handlebar grips in weather conditions, thereby increasing precision and control, but also offer additional comfort and protection from vibrations, shocks, blistering, friction, and hand fatigue during long rides.

Prologo Energrip Gloves

Application Offroad, MTB
Gender Women & Men
Sizes XS, S, M, L, XL
Color Black
Version Long Finger, Short Finger
Technology CPC
Price (RRP) € 79,- (€ 69,- Short Finger)
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Furthermore, the Energrip gloves are equipped with specially designed channels that allow for a continuous airflow and help to dissipate heat and sweat. Thanks to the mesh nylon and polyester back, they offer excellent protection against external influences while still being breathable enough to prevent excessive sweating.

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Showroom: Ducati TK-01RR

In cooperation with the Italian E-Bike manufacturer THOK, Ducati launched the Ducati TK-01 RR in 2021. This model is equipped with a Shimano EP8 motor with 85 Nm of torque, a battery capacity of 630 Wh, 2.6-inch tires on Mullet wheels, and an exclusive Öhlins suspension with 180/170 mm of travel.

The frame design incorporates motocross elements and is enhanced by the Ducati Corse paintwork of the renowned motorcycle racing division and the matching lettering on the downtube. A generously sized mudguard on the downtube emphasizes the motorcycle-like appearance and also provides protection from splashing mud. In addition, there is a fender at the rear over the rear tire.

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Tech Specs

Frame Aluminum frame 6061 with hydroformed tubes, forged and CNC parts, Headtube Tapered 1.8" Cassette SLX 10-51T
Sizes S/M/L/XL Chain Shimano 12S
Drive Shimano Steps EP8 (250 Watt, 85 Nm) Wheels Crankbrothers Synthesis, Alu 29"x31 mm front, 27.5"x35 mm rear
Battery Shimano 630 Wh (integrated) Tires Pirelli Scorpion Enduro S 29" x 2.6"
Pirelli Scorpion E-MTB S 27.5" x 2.6"
TR, SmartGrip, HyperWall
Display Shimano SC-EM800 LCD Pedals Aluminum
Fork Öhlins RXF38 Air TTX18, Boost 29", 180 mm travel, HS/LS and rebound adjustable Stem Ducati CNC Alu, 35 mm clamp, 45 mm length
Shock Öhlins TTX Air, 170 mm travel, Ducati Custom Tuned Grips Ducati Lock-On
Crank FSA, 165 mm, 34T Saddle Ducati Fit, CroMo Rails
Handlebar Renthal Carbon, 35 mm clamp, 20 mm rise, 800 mm width Seatpost KS e20i 125 - 170 mm with Remote Control on the handlebar
Brakes Shimano Deore XT, 4-piston with “Ice Technologies”, H01A Resin pads Discs Shimano XT 203 mm
Shift lever Shimano SLX 1x12 Weight 26.20 kg (BB measurement)
Rear derailleur Shimano XT 1x12 Price € 7,690,- RRP

Top components including the Pirelli Scorpions

To the powerful frame proportions are then consistently joined by serious components from Öhlins, Renthal, Crankbrothers, and other renowned manufacturers, which not least due to the brutal Pirelli Scorpion Mullet tires cause the weight to skyrocket. The Bikeboard scale showed 26.2 kilograms, but the permissible total weight is also relatively high at 145.5 kg. This leaves a whole 119 kg for the rider and equipment.

The Pirelli Scorpions, with the "29 inch Enduro S" variant on the front wheel and the specially developed "27.5 inch E-MTB S" on the back, offer particularly high puncture protection. This allows you to experiment with air pressure on one hand and to confidently leave the spare tube at home on the other. The recently revised Scorpion S with their open tread pattern are suitable for medium-hard conditions on both dry and wet trails alike. The narrow, but high-profile knobs dig effectively into loose soils. Thanks to the new SmartGrip rubber compound, the tire now also offers secure grip across the entire tread circumference in wet conditions.

  • Prologo CPC Technology for Mountain Bikes & E-MTBs Reviewed

Öhlins Suspension

The high-quality Öhlins suspension works just as brilliantly, provided it is optimally adjusted to one's own body weight and individual riding style beforehand. The setup of the Öhlins suspension can be a bit unfamiliar and requires time, especially since a SAG indicator is missing. Our approach was rather pragmatic and quick: We set the fork pressure according to Öhlins' specifications, adjusted the rear spring pressure until the SAG was right, adjusted the fork including the rebound - and done. Our settings were always at the lower end of the range, since NoPain doesn't land high jumps anyway. Overall, the Öhlins RXF38 Air TTX18 at the front with 180 mm provided excellent grip and large reserves, which was equally true for the Öhlins TTX Air with 170 mm of travel at the rear.

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Geometry

The Ducati TK-01 RR is available in 4 sizes from S to XL, with the frame heights tending to be on the smaller side. The chainstays are measured at 453 mm on the long side. Seat angle at 75.5°, top tube length at 600 mm, and the reach at 439 mm in size M are moderate, while the steering angle at 64.5° is relatively flat. For NoPain, with a height of 175 cm and an inseam of 84 cm, it was just possible to achieve the desired seat height of 74 cm (bottom bracket center to saddle top) on the medium frame; however, a large frame would have been a better choice.

Geometry

S M L XL
Rider height (cm) 154-167 168-177 178-184 from 185
Top tube length, horizontal (mm) 582 600 629 660
Reach (mm) 423 439 464 491
Stack (mm) 614 623 638 654
Seat tube length (mm) 385 415 450 495
Chainstay length (mm) 453 453 453 453
Steering angle 64.5° 64.5° 64.5° 64.5°
Seat angle 75.5° 75.5° 75.5° 75.5°
Bottom bracket drop (mm) 15 15 15 15
Wheelbase (mm) 1212 1233 1265 1298
Head tube length (mm) 105 115 131 149
Fork Offset (mm) 133.6 133.6 133.6 133.6
Bottom bracket height (mm) 355 355 355 355
Fork offset (mm) 44 44 44 44

In all sizes: Handlebar width 800 mm, Stem length 50 mm, Crank length 165 mm, Standover 783 mm

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Riding Characteristics

Uphill, although one is positioned far above the rear wheel, the long chainstays and the good traction from the chassis and tires provide excellent propulsion. If it gets too steep, one struggles a bit to keep the front wheel on the ground - the Ducati handles flowy sections better. When pedaling hard, strong calves repeatedly touch the expansive rear linkage, and in the standing position, the knees brush against the overly wide top tube. Both cause no pain, but they are irritating and slightly limit the range of motion.

Downhill, the Ducati TK-01 RR shows its strength with its potent chassis, but is limited in technical twisty tracks or rapidly changing riding situations by its wheelbase and high weight. Nevertheless, the Öhlins RXF 38 fork and the Öhlins TTX Air shock absorb small bumps with ease and swallow large shocks without resistance.

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"Pimp my Ride" with Prologo CPC

The Ducati grips and Ducati saddle installed at the factory were nothing special, but they worked perfectly. Honestly, we only swapped them for the Prologo components primarily because of our CPC long-term review.

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Prologos CPC in Practice

Although Prologo products have always been equipped with the patented CPC technology, it was the first time that I closely examined the small, open rubber cones. The claims of the Italians about the benefits of their 3D polymer material are extensive, some more relevant and credible than others. I would be lying if I said that I noticed improved air cooling, muscle massage, or reduced fatigue. However, the good grip and better damping were undeniable, as the many polymer cones stick to everything and thereby change the sitting and gripping sensation. Especially in combination with the gloves, the CPC complete system does a great job in eliminating vibrations and shocks.

The briefly held Prologo Dimension NDR NACK CPC Airing 143 Saddle features a modern design and offers great comfort with its cutout (PAS), stubby nose, and thick padding (NDR). Additionally, the carbon rails have an extremely long clamping area, which skillfully mitigates particularly flat seating angles. The shell and the carbon frame (NACK) allow noticeable damping, while the CPC technology does the rest. Thanks to the 3D cones, the desired seating position can be assumed and effortlessly maintained, as unwanted sliding around is nearly impossible. A hit for all those who can get along well with the "Power" shape and whose sit bones are compatible with the width of 143 millimeters, as Prologo only offers this one width.

For those who move a lot or want to slide forward and back on the saddle, CPC is more of a restriction than a help. However, it is worth mentioning that many seating problems arise precisely because of sliding around when the saddle just does not fit or is suboptimally adjusted.

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However, the Prologo Proxim X-Shred Grips and the Prologo Energrip Long Finger Gloves come highly recommended for every mountain biker. Both products excel in terms of ergonomics, grip, and cushioning on their own, but they truly unleash their full performance potential when used together.

The CPC material is perfect for gloves - it is incredibly thin, so it does not create pressure points like many raised pads do, yet it still dampens vibrations well and provides an unparalleled good grip. At the fingertips, the material is even more effective, giving the sensation of not wearing gloves at all while braking or using a smartphone. The breathability is good, the fit is crisp but not tight, and the sizes I would describe as neutral. Unfortunately, there are drawbacks in terms of dirt accumulation and self-cleaning, which means they need to be washed more frequently. Moreover, they do not seem very robust and are likely not very durable in frequent falls.

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The same applies to the 3D polymers on the grips. They work just as well without gloves as with third-party gloves, but they particularly show their strength in combination with clean Prologo Energrip long-finger gloves. The grip is really incredible, so it is sufficient to lightly hold the handlebars even in difficult driving situations. This promotes the circulation of the hands and fingers, which means that numb extremities belong to the past. The only drawback for people who prefer narrower grips is the outer diameter of 34 mm - narrower versions are not available.

  • Prologo CPC Technology for Mountain Bikes & E-MTBs Reviewed

Conclusion

Prologo CPC for MTB & E-MTB
Model Year: 2024
Review Duration: 1 Month
+ Ergonomics
+ Design
+ Great Grip
+ Improved Circulation
+ Gloves with good touch function
+ Saddle has a long clamp area
o Only one saddle/grip width
o Improved cooling and muscle massage by CPC not objectively perceivable
- 3D polymers get dirty quickly, poor self-cleaning
BB-Verdict: Exclusive and highly functional design objects from Italy.

Prologo's CPC technology is not just a marketing gimmick, but an effective innovation that provides real added value and significantly enhances the riding experience. The advantages in terms of grip, ergonomics, and damping are undeniable, while the saddle shape naturally has to fit the individual sit bone distance and the outer width of the grips to the size of the hands.

Those who have already had positive experiences with modern, wide, and short road bike saddles and do not want to constantly slide forward and backward during the ride will find in the Prologo Dimension NDR NACK CPC Airing 143 a comfortable and relatively lightweight companion, which would probably also be great on a gravel bike. The Prologo Proxim X-Shred Grips also provide pleasant ergonomics with high grip on their own.

Lastly, Prologo's Energrip Long Finger Gloves solve the problem of sweaty hands in midsummer, abraded fingers, and the annoying issues of cramping grip or slipping off the handles.

The only real drawback - besides the proud MSRP - is the higher susceptibility of the 3D cones to dirt, which means the stylish components need to be cleaned more often than usual. But as the saying goes: beauty comes at a price.

  • Prologo CPC Technology for Mountain Bikes & E-MTBs Reviewed