A set of Shimano’s latest Ultegra 6700 road wheels have arrived at BikeRadar, courtesy of UK distributors Madison. These aluminium hoops have received a cosmetic upgrade for 2012 in the form of a new “Glossy Gray” finish to match the latest version of Shimano's second-tier groupset.
As before, the big appeal is that they're compatible with both standard clincher and tubeless tyres. The rear (£184.99) has a wide-flange hub and asymmetrical rim to increase stiffness, and is built with 20 bladed stainless steel spokes. It can take eight-, nine- or 10-speed cassettes and weighs 990g on our scales (Shimano claim 957g).
Manufacturers are continuing their push to drive tubeless-ready road wheels into the mainstream
The front wheel (£164.99) uses 16 stainless steel spokes and weighs 730g – 40g more than Shimano's claimed 690g. Madison tell us they should have their first stock in September. For more information, visit their website.
Selle San Marco Concor-R
The Concor range from Selle San Marco – introduced in the 1970s and the saddle of choice for more than 30 Tour, Giro and Vuelta champions – has been given an update for 2012. San Marco say more than two years' development work has gone into the new Concor-R, with their designers taking the waved profile of the original and throwing in “cutting edge” materials to make it fit for the demands of racing today.
The model pictured is the mountain biking and cyclo-cross specific Protek (£89.99), which features rails made from Xsilite – a composite material that's said to have the strength of titanium but with a tenth of the weight shaved off.
Selle San Marco Concor Protek
Also available are the Carbon FX version used by the pros (£134.99) and a Racing model (£99.99). Weighing in at 197g, the Concor-R Protek is reinforced with silicone in key areas to improve durability, while its shell is packed with carbon fibre for added comfort.
LEDwear Aurora jacket
As much as you don't want to hear it, it won’t be long before the nights start drawing in and we’re back to commuting to and from work in the dark. If it's nighttime visibility you're after, you won't find a much brighter jacket than the new Aurora from LEDwear.
We tested the company's original LEDjacket a couple of years ago, and this updated version features the same mix of hi-viz yellow fabric, reflective panels and front and rear LEDs. Improvements for 2012 include an inner mesh lining, zipped underarm vents, and zipped pockets on the chest and rear. The sleeves are no longer detachable.
The integrated LEDs have three modes – full, fast flash and slow flash – and are powered by three AA batteries in a holder stowed in a pocket in the bottom of the jacket. LEDwear say it's machine washable but is more of a wipe-down jacket, as the reflective detailing degrades after around 15 washes. RRP is £57.
Also available from LEDwear is the LED Backpack Cover (£22), which features the same LED technology as the Aurora. It’s a waterproof, one-size-fits all cover and should fit all medium-sized rucksacks. Visit the LEDwear website for more details.
Have you ever wished for a pair of socks that can be worn day after day without having to wash them to get rid of the smell? That wish is now reality, according to Incrediwear. Made from naturally antimicrobial bamboo charcoal, Incredisocks are odour absorbing and moisture wicking, which they say translates into fresher smelling socks for longer.
The model we have – the Above Ankle Sport Sock – costs US$13.50 and comes with heady claims of increasing blood flow, temperature regulation and delivering greater supplies of oxygen to the foot. It's available in medium and large sizes.
The new Women’s Grand Tour Gloves (£100) from Rapha are handmade in England from African Hair Sheep leather, said to be the softest around. More importantly, it’s highly breathable, which should hopefully keep your hands dry. Rapha say you should buy the mitts slightly tight, as they'll stretch to fit the shape of your hands over time, which came as a relief to the tester pictured below.