The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness has fallen in the Northern hemisphere. The leaves are turning red and gold, the temperature has fallen and it’s time to dig out those warm layers.
And on the flip side of the planet, Spring is, er, springing and the temperature is warming up. So, for one of only two seasons in the year, both hemispheres are in ‘transitional wear’ time.
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It’s the time when you have no idea whether the clothes you put on in the morning will still be weather-appropriate an hour later, let alone at the end of the day. You can start a ride with thermals and full-finger gloves, and then the sun comes up and you’re riding around in a short sleeved jersey. Still, it keeps things interesting, right?
So take a pause from pondering your ride-wear options, relax, and enjoy perusing this week’s list of practical and pretty products.
Santa Cruz 5010 CC X01
It’s now landed at the BikeRadar office for a comprehensive test, and we can’t wait to get on it.
There are quite a few changes over the previous incarnation of the 5010. For a start it’s 15mm longer, has a steeper 75 degree seat angle, and a head angle that’s been slacked by 0.8 degrees.
A redesigned back end also adds to the update list, and you can pop in either regular 27.5 wheels or bulk up to 27.5+ if you like a little more volume in your rubber.
- £7299 / €7099 / $6799 / AUS$TBC
7Mesh women’s Revelation Jacket and Revo Shorts
If you’re the type of rider that favours hours or days out in the mountains, exploring new trails and old, and doesn’t want a little thing like torrential rain to stop play, then 7Mesh is a brand that if you don’t already know about, you probably should.
The products they create are highly technical, well considered and premium. Think of them as Arcteryx or Rab for cyclists, cut to suit a rider's on-bike position and with features and fabrics designed to ensure good breathability when working hard on climbs.
The Revelation Jacket is 7Mesh’s top-of-the-range jacket made with GoreTex Pro fabric with a hood designed to sit under a helmet plus forearm and side vents.
If you’ve never experienced the joy of waterproof shorts, they may well transform your wet weather riding. The Revo shorts have a women’s specific cut, are designed to sit over the knees when riding, and are also constructed from GoreTex material plus have fully taped seams.
7Mesh has also changed the seam position from the men’s version to ensure there aren’t any located in places where they might rub or chafe on ‘sensitive’ areas.
- 7Mesh Women’s Revelation jacket £385 / €450 / $450
- 7Mesh Women’s Revo waterproof shorts £165 / €200 / $200
New MBUK T-shirts
They're here! The newest crop of MBUK merchandise has arrived and it’s got new improved fabric and brand new designs.
The premium, 100% brushed organic cotton, regular-fit T-shirt has a super-soft feel. The limited-edition contrast logo stands out against the burgundy background without being too ‘in your face’.
The unisex and women’s T-shirts are both available from the newly opened MBUK online shop, along with a selection of other cool merch including caps, mugs and more!
- MBUK Limited edition women’s T-shirt £25 (UK only for now, international shipping available shortly)
- MBUK limited edition unisex T-shirtt £25 (UK only for now, international shipping available shortly)
Book: The adventure of a girl called bicycle
If you eat, sleep and dream cycling, you should probably read cycling too. While there are plenty of factual books to get your teeth into, sometimes it’s nice to read something a little more imaginative.
Enter ‘The adventure of a girl called bicycle’ by Christina Uss. It’s the story of Bicycle, a young girl who lives at the Mostly Silent Monastery, and her beloved bike Clunk.
Together, Clunk and Bicycle set off to meet her idol, a famous cyclist who she hopes will be her friend.
It’s a beautiful story that’s perfect for 8 to 14-year-olds, or grown-ups who haven’t lost their love of adventure and a good rip-roaring yarn.
- £13.04 / $16.99
Bontrager R4 open tubular classics
Pretty much most conversations lately seem to be around tubeless tyres and (like disc brakes) are they going to become the standard on the road as they have for mountain bikers.
We do however think there’s plenty of room for top class clinchers the likes of Vittoria’s Corsa G+, Conti’s GP4000 SII, and the S-Works Turbo.
Now Bontrager has this new version of their top rated R4. Its super supple 320tpi cotton casing is as close as you’ll get to handmade classic tubular tyres from a clincher, and in 28c guise these look like the ideal fast winter tyre (they feature Bontrager’s Hardcase Lite puncture protection strip).
On our scales they weigh in at 284g (claimed 280g) and fitted to a pair of Zipp 202 Firecrest CCL wheels they measure up at 27.2mm wide. But forget the weights and measures, we still think skinwall tyres look the dogs and can’t wait to get these up and running.
- £54.99 / $99.99
- Coming soon!
Rapha Commuter waterproof jacket
Enjoy your wet-weather commute with a dash of Rapha style. The new Commuter waterproof jackets from Rapha come in a men’s and women’s version, with a range of features designed to keep you dry and seen.
Adding great practicality to well-proven protection, the Commuter Jacket is made from a durable, but breathable DWR-treated microporous fabric with a hydrophobic membrane and dry touch internal print, and it has sealed seams all round. The cut is more relaxed then Rapha’s usual road offerings, which makes perfect sense, and even includes two zipped hip pockets.
Internal cuffs prevent draughty wrists, and both the hem and hood are adjustable, plus the hood can be rolled down when not required. The waterproof zip is asymmetric, a large shoulder vent helps with cooling, and a reflective logo and dot pattern cover the lower back, beneath where a backpack would sit, for visibility
If you don’t like the yellow there are other colour options. The men’s jacket comes in yellow, orange, pink and black, while the women’s jacket comes in yellow, pink and black.
- Commuter jacket £100 / €120 / $135 / AUS$175
- Women’s Commuter jacket £100 / €120 / $135 / AUS$175
Troy Lee Stage full-face helmet
Troy Lee’s latest helmet, the Stage, is designed for enduro and trail riding. Weighing a claimed 690 grams in size M/L, it’s pretty lightweight for a full-face helmet and is pitted by Troy Lee in between its D3 and A2 designs.
The helmet comes with dual-density EPS and EPP foam to protect against high- and low-speed impacts respectively, and MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) to protect against the rotational forces the brain experiences during a crash.
There are 14 exhaust ports and 11 intake ports to keep your head cool, a liner with some fancy-sounding, odour-fighting fabric called silver X-static to keep the helmet smelling fresh. Inside there are two headliners, three jawpads and two neck rolls so that you can fit the helmet to the shape of your noggin.
Two helmet styles will be available soon: the Stage Race helmet and Stage Stealth helmet in a variety of colours and sizes.
The helmet is in the capable hands of our test team, so keep an eye out for a full review soon.
- £275 / €329.99 / $295 / AU$TBC
Liv EnviLiv Disc Advanced Pro Disc women’s aero road bike
Say hello to the frankly gorgeous higher-performance race bike the Liv EnviLiv. This bike is an evolutionary step above the Envie, the aero road bike ridden to victory by pro-teams such as Team Sunweb.
The EnviLiv comes with aero tubing with a women’s specific frame, integrated cockpit that allows reach adjustment to suit riders, Giant composite tubeless wheels, 28c tyre clearance and Shimano groupsets. And, of course, hydraulic disc brakes.
As for the aesthetics, the matt black frame with subtle iridescent graphics looks bloody beautiful.
If you can’t quite spare the high price tag for this version, there are cheaper models available.
- £4899 / $5600 / AUS$6799
Cateye Sync light set
CatEye’s daylight visible Sync lights have customisable settings and outputs, and up to seven lights can be synced to work together, with one-touch control from a central location.
The 500 Lumen Core front light is the heart of the system, showing pairing and battery information, and turns all of your Sync lights on or off.
The 50 Lumen Kinetic rear light contains an accelerometer, which switches the output to its 'High' mode when you decelerate.
Optional 40 Lumen wearable lights can be clipped or bungeed almost anywhere to add all-round visibility. Both the rear lights have a battery auto save function, which defaults to a slow flashing pattern when battery power is too low.
The CatEye Sync App is downloadable for most phone, it offers synchronisation and mode customisation options, battery life info for all lights, real-time control and alerts.
- Front and rear set £119.99 / €TBC / $TBC
- Wearable rear light £49.99 / €TBC / $TBC
Shimano S-Phyre X1 glasses
We reported on Shimano’s new S-Phyre glasses back in March but it’s taken us this long to get hold of a pair to finally test.
The S-Phyre glasses have been seen on the faces of Lotto Jumbo riders but they certainly look like they’ve been worth the wait.
The minimal frames on the X model have removable bottom sections, and our black-framed models came with black lowers and contrasting red pieces which work well with the red mirror lens. As you'd expect they have full UV400 protection and the polycarbonate lenses are hydrophobically coated to resist fogging and treated with an anti-scratch coating they claim is three times tougher than standard coatings.
They total just 27g and arrive with a hard case, soft cleaning bag, 2 sets of frame bottoms, and three lenses. The red mirror lens show is particularly interesting, it's 80% polarized which Shimano claims enhances contrasts whilst still meaning you can see the data screen on your GPS or phone. Also included is a light smoke lens for cloudier conditions and a tinted clear lens for low light.
- £139.99 / €159.95 / $159.99
DT Swiss CRC 1100 Spline 38 db T
If your idea of Sunday fun is hammering around a park for up to an hour with dozens of like-minded riders, and fighting for every scrap of speed between the tapes, DT Swiss has some wheels for you.
Topping their Cross Road wheel category, the DT Swiss CRC 1100 Spline 38 dbT wheelset is light, tough, fast and disc brake and tubular-only. Although more riders are going tubeless, most adult races are still won on tubular tyres, and their potential performance benefits are obvious. Without tyre-retaining hooks on each side, the rim shape is far less likely to cause pinch flats, is lighter and more robust.
Our pair weigh 592g front and 730g rear, totalling just 1322g, with 38mm tall, 26mm wide carbon rims. They’re built with DT aerolite and aero comp straight pull spokes on DT Swiss 240s hubs with SINC ceramic bearings for slick and reliable performance in the worst conditions. They come supplied with 12mm thru axle end caps plus adaptors for those with a 15mm front axle or 6-bolt rotors. The recommended maximum system weight of bike plus rider is 120kg.
We’re off to glue some tubs on so we can report back on how they perform.
- £2069.99 / €2408 / $3103