Specialized’s highly regarded S-Works shoe has just been redone into its seventh evolution, and the Evade aero helmet is now in its second edition.
Specialized S-Works 7 road shoe
Specialized has spent years collating data from shoe fittings and used rider feedback to make some tweaks to the overall shape of the 7. The sole shape addds a 1.5-degree angle at the big toe side to slightly angle your foot. The outsole is designed so that stiffness is the same across the range of sizes (36-49).
Specialized applied a stiffness rating of 15 (the previous S-Works 6 was 13), which is a pretty arbitrary number, but rest assured it's stiffer than the previous one.
Specialized used pressure mapping to shape the sole for fit. For weight reduction the company used a lattice design for the carbon to reduce weight and maintain stiffness.
The one-piece, laser-cut upper has a new, thermo-bonded attachment for the BOA dials and loops.
The offset tongue has some padding to address an issue some riders had with the 6.
The form-fit of the upper has also been adjusted with the slim through the mid-foot shape and heel leading into a forefoot with increased volume over the 6.
Specialized’s ‘padlock' heel internal shape was on the 6, where a small horizontal pad locked your heel into place. On the 7 Specialized switched to a more open shape and the material is smoother too.
The stand-out feature however is the new BOA S3-Snap dials, which are exclusive to Specialized for 2018. These CNC’d aluminum dials with a knurled textured grip offer two-way micro adjustment and are backed with a lifetime guarantee.
Specialized claim 224g for a size 42 shoe. We weighed a 45 at 253g.
The S-Works 7 shoes are available now for £330 / $400.
Evade II shrinks for more airflow and aero
The original Evade was one of the trendsetters for aero helmets for road use. It proved itself fast in the tunnel and on the road, but after a few years the original Evade has started to show its age. The original wasn’t exactly the best-cooling helmet on the market. We found that the air flowed well into it but it did have the unique effect of getting a little warm and damp at the rear especially when putting the effort in on hot days.
With the Evade II the goal was to improve the aerodynamics and greatly improve the airflow and cooling with it.
Put the Evade II side by side with the original and the differences (and similarities) are clear. First, the II is smaller in overall volume and the curvy organic shapes of the original are replaced with a more angular, sharper-lined helmet.
Whilst the original Evade was ‘proven’ in the wind tunnel, Specialized designed the Evade II in its 'win' tunnel, spending half the total R&D time on cooling airflow. Still, the new one is faster; Specialized claim 6 seconds faster over 40km.
To improve the airflow and cooling the internal shaping of the multi-density EPS core is radically different, with deep parallel internal channels running front to back. The deep section that sits at the base of your skull has been excavated into a much more open area for airflow.
Even the pads have been shaped to aid airflow and move moisture and sweat away from your face, with the brow pad set a little distance away from the shell to aid air-assisted wicking and the material designed to channel moisture around and away to the sides rather than straight down.
Fitting and adjustment is handled with a 5-point vertical adjusting rear cradle with a micro-adjust dial. The rear cradle also has a port for long hair.
The lightweight soft touch straps close using a magnetic clasp easy to used one handed and fast to undo too.
The multi-density EPS core is designed to put maximum protection where you need it and use lighter eps elsewhere. The core is reinforced with an internal aramid (that’s Kevlar without the trade name) skeleton. All of which has also helped the II drop a chunk of weight over the original down to 279g for a large compared to the originals 314g. That’s a pretty decent weight saving, especially when you consider more structure in the pad fittings and the magnetic clasp.
The Evade II is available now for £200 / $250.