Welcome to your weekly digest of shiny new things from your favourite cycling website! This week we’re building up to the Tour de France and being deluged with new bike announcements.
Meanwhile, we made Jack Luke race a 60-year-old up a big hill and gave you the low-down on some remarkably affordable road bikes. In case you missed it last month incidentally, please enjoy this photo of Jack proving why he can’t have nice things.
Mavic Allroad Pro shoes
We first saw Mavic’s premium gravel shoes last year and now I’ve got my hands on a pair. The Allroad Pros accept two-bolt cleats only and their USP is the ultra-thin upper made from what Mavic refers to as Matryx fabric — a woven material that combines kevlar and polyamide fibres.
It’s designed to be light and breathable while offering abrasion resistance that, according to Mavic, far exceeds that of ordinary synthetic or woven uppers.
Mavic claims these weigh 280g per shoe for a 42. This size 43⅓ pair comes in at 293g/295g with SPD cleats, so I reckon Mavic is actually being a little bit conservative here. However you slice it, these are really light shoes.
As you can tell from the extremely authentic dirt on these, I’ve already tried the Allroads (using my own insoles, because my feet need more support than standard ones can provide).
Shoe fit is highly subjective, but I appreciated the way the Allroads enveloped my feet. That ultra-thin upper looks strange and floppy when the shoes are unoccupied, but it creates a sock-like fit around the ankle.
- £225 / $275 / €250
Specialized S-Works Diverge Rotor 1×13 testbed
The S-Works Diverge is Specialized’s flagship gravel bike, a very lovely and expensive way to ride quickly over dirt and (small) stones.
Its FACT 11r (that’s Spesh speak for “very nice carbon”) frame is claimed to weigh less than 900g and it accepts tyres up to 700x42mm or 650bx47mm.
The front end features a more progressively sprung version of the Future Shock found on the Roubaix endurance machine. This offers 20mm of travel at the cockpit, enough to take the sting out of the terrain this bike is aimed at.
This 56cm bike is particularly special because it’s been built up with Rotor’s beautifully made 1×13 hydraulic groupset with matching carbon clinchers. Looking resplendent in Satin Cool Grey Camo, the Diverge weighs 8.5kg including pedals, cages and tubes (it will be tubeless imminently).
It’s destined to be ridden in a daft challenge by our very own Jack Luke, watch out for a video in the near future.
- Frameset: £3,500 / $4,000
Velocio Trail kit
After feeling like it might never show up, summer has come at us with a vengeance and that means wearing the lightest, airiest kit we can lay hands on.
Velocio makes a full range of road and MTB kit, and the brand has sent us its Radiator Trail jersey and Trail shorts.
Both are available in men’s and women’s versions in various colours. The shorts are made from an almost papery fabric and have a stealthy waist adjustment to tweak fit, and two mesh-lined pockets for valuables. A DWR finish means they should be at least a little bit water resistant.
The jersey is ultra-light and feels very breathable. It’s actually made from the same material as one of Velocio’s baselayers, one for truly warm weather.
- Women’s / Men’s Radiator Trail Tee: €73
- Women’s / Men’s Trail Short: €149
- Buy now from Velocio