Gear news round-up: Rapha Softshell Trousers

Plus Mission Workshop backpack, new 3T wide riser bar and more

These new Softshell Trousers are designed to combine high on-the-bike performance with stylish looks – unlike most cycling pants and overtrousers which, in Rapha's own words, would be "more at home on a fishing trawler".

With a tailored fit, they're smart enough to wear in the office yet they're said to be windproof, breathable and highly water resistant. In fact, Rapha spokeswoman Laura Etherington reckons you can wear them on your commute, keep them on while you're at your desk and then wear them home again, whatever the weather.

They're made from the same fabric as Rapha's Classic Softshell Jacket, with a highly abrasion-resistant Cordura seat panel and soft brushed lining. Features include taped seams, deep front pockets, a rear waterproof zip pocket, reflective trim, soft gripper on the waistband, and belt loops. RRP is £180 (US$230/€215). Visit www.rapha.cc to find out more.

Mission Workshop Rambler backpack

The Rambler is a waterproof bag aimed at urban commuters. In addition to the roll-top main compartment – which can be expanded from 1,000 to 1,800 cubic inches if you've got a big load to carry, by unzipping the sides and loosening a pair of compression straps – the sizeable front and back pockets have room for a laptop or ring-binders.

The harness includes sternum and hip straps, along with a low-density polyethylene back panel which adds support and stops lumpy contents digging into your body. The Rambler isn't cheap, at £200, but it's made in the US and comes with a lifetime warranty. It's PVC free, which should please the environmentalists out there.

3T Extendo riser bar

3T have entered the ultra-wide trail riser bar fray with the Extendo, which is 740mm (29in) wide, with 12 degrees of backsweep. The top-end LTD Carbon model weighs a claimed 185g – extremely light for such a wide bar. RRP is £99.99.

The mid-range Team Carbon costs £10 less but weighs 40g more, while the entry-level PROAlloy comes in at a much more wallet-friendly £39.99 but its weight has yet to be revealed. 3T products are distributed in the UK by Jim Walker.

New Lemon Zinger Mule Bar

MuleBar have added a new flavour to their KICKS energy gel range – Lemon Zinger. It's made using 100 percent organic and natural ingredients, including agave nectar, guarana, lemon juice and ginger. It's designed to provide an energy boost during exercise, as well as helping with recovery post training. RRP is £1.49 for a 37g sachet. Visit www.mulebar.com for more details.

New colours for FSA Orbit Z and IS-2 headsets

FSA have added extra colour choices for their Orbit Z and Orbit IS-2 headsets. The Orbit Z is a semi-integrated zero-stack design for 1-1/8in head tubes (44mm ID standard). Features include forged alloy press-fit cups and 36x45° angular contact bearings. Claimed weight is 88.6g, and RRP is £42.95. It's now available in black, blue, gold, red and white.

The IS-2 is an integrated headset for 1-1/8in head tubes that conforms to the CC standard (41.2 ID, 45° bearing seat). Features include 36x45° angular contact bearings and an alloy top cap. Claimed weight is 71g, and RRP is £31.95. It's available in the same colours as the Orbit Z. For details, visit www.fullspeedahead.com.

Syncros AM Traverse pedals now in white

We liked Syncros's AM Traverse pedals when we reviewed them last year and now they're available in a white winter/Christmas version as well as the standard black or grey. Weight (315g) and spec remain the same. RRP is €68.

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