The BMC SLR02 Disc One is a handsome racer with discsMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
BMC’s road range is looking particularly appealing right now, and this bike ticks a whole lot of boxes.
Shimano’s latest Ultegra Di2 groupset is a welcome sightMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
The SLR02 is BMC’s second-tier race bike, sitting below the fearsomely expensive SLR01. In its disc incarnation with Ultegra Di2 and DT Swiss P1850 Spline db 23 wheels, this machine weighs a hair under 8kg in a 56.
BMC keeps things tidy with flat mount calipers and slickly integrated thru-axlesMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Along with BMC’s signature dropped stays, this bike has some very slick features, such as the Di2 charge port which sits near the top of the down tube facing upwards.
The Di2 charge port on the down tube is a nice touchMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Whilst the cables and hose routing from the bars could do with a tidy once the setup is nailed, the overall impression is one of delightful integration, from the seat wedge to the smooth heads of the thru-axles.
The ‘Stique ML125 CF packs a lot of functions into a fairly small packageMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
The ’Stique multilever was the result of a successful Kickstarter a few years ago, and this updated version uses “injection-moulded carbon fibre” to shave weight.
The ’Stique is a do-everything multi-tool that splits into three separate tyre levers, each of which has additional functions including acting as a wrench, holding a chain tool and pound coins, and more.
The three levers are held together with small but strong magnetsMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
The levers are held together with powerful magnets and the whole thing weighs 134g on our scales, plus 24g if you use the supplied neoprene case.
B’Twin’s affordable sunnies cost about the same as the haircut this staff writer needsMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Cheap glasses are sometimes disappointingly naff looking but we think you’ll agree that our Jack looks eminently sporting in these affordable B’Twin shades.
The Roadr 500s are a pretty standard wraparound design that’s vaguely Radar-esque. The lenses are vented at the outside upper corners and the nosepiece and arms are nice and grippy to stop the shades moving around. What more could you want?
We’ve finally laid hands on a ‘1x’ set which includes the E-Link servo unit and a Pod remote. The former attaches to your frame near the front or rear derailleur, while the latter attaches to the bars.
The E-Link moves derailleurs in the usual way using a cable, but eliminates long cable runs and in theory offers the consistency of electronic shifting.
The E-Link mounts near your derailleur, and a cable emerges from that holeMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
First impressions are that the finish feels a little cheap, but this doesn’t look like a prototype product anymore.
The remote unit weighs 32g while the E-Link is 103g on our scales with its battery, plus a handful more depending on which mounting hardware you use.
We’re intrigued to try out the XShifter, so keep an eye on the site for more in-depth coverage.
$299 (currently discounted to $224.25) / £212 / $388
The Foldylock Compact looks to be a very convenient, everyday bike lockMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Bike locks are often rather cumbersome objects, but these days there are plenty of alternatives to the classic heavy duty D-lock.
The Foldylock Compact from Seatylock (makers of that saddle with the built in lock) is a particularly neat take on the folding lock concept. It weighs a reasonable 1,010g and collapses down to a package measuring less than 19×6×4cm at its widest points.
You can chuck the Foldylock in a bag or use the supplied mount which uses either Velcro straps or a set of bottle bosses to attach to your frame.
The Foldylock’s mount attaches to your frame using either straps or your bottle bossesMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
The lock gets a Sold Secure Silver rating (Silver locks offer “a compromise between security and cost” according to Sold Secure).
It’s constructed from steel links with a plastic outer covering, which is designed to be weather resistant and soft enough not to damage your frame.
Sealant that stays good for the life of the tyre? We’re intrigued…Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
Very few things pain a cyclist more on a frequent basis than a puncture, so it’s no surprise that there are plenty of products out there to keep the evil pressure loss at bay. Tubeless is perhaps the most obvious, and prevalent, but it’s not without its shortcomings — namely sealant that doesn’t seal.
And why might it not seal? Often because hidden away in the tyre the sealant is slowly drying out, and the latex commonly used is coagulating into a bouncy ball of uselessness.
If Finish Line’s claims are correct this could all be a thing of the past.
Finish Line says that by not using latex or ammonia, the sealant will last the lifetime of the tyre. With DuPont Kevlar tech, fibres in the liquid seal the hole, but the liquid carrier itself shouldn’t evaporate.
We’ve now got some here, so we’ll be sloshing it around in the months (and maybe years?) to come.
The whole package comes, er, packaged in a handy bucketTom Marvin / Immediate Media
Taking cues from the automotive world, Muc Off has a whole cleaning kit that comes in a massive bucket with a ‘Filth Filter’
This Filth Filter is a little shelf that stands at the bottom of the bucket, allowing dirt to filter to the bottom, yet protecting your sponge from picking it up again when you dip it back in your cleaning water.
Sold as a full kit, you also get the bike wash fluid, a few sprays, brushes, and lube too, to keep your ride in tip top condition.
Everything you (should) need for cleaning your bikeTom Marvin / Immediate Media
It may seem like a fair old outlay, but in back-to-back testing we reckon Muc Off is likely one of the best cleaners out there, and taking good care of your bike could save you cash in the long run.
Bontrager’s Flatline shoes promise big thingsTom Marvin / Immediate Media
While clipped-in riders can rely on the mechanical clip interface of pedal, shoe and cleat, those who choose to shred on flats are tied to their bike by pins, rubber and skill.
Given this, a decent connection between shoe and pedal is vital for staying rubber side down.
Bontrager’s Flatline shoe looks like a smart option. The sole utilises Vibram rubber in a uniform tread pattern, which Bontrager says this gives a consistent feel between shoe and pedal, regardless of foot position.
At the heel and the toe there are slightly different treads for when you’re scrambling up or down stuff that’s just that bit too steep to ride.
There’s an EVA foam midsole, as well as Ortholite insoles for comfort and a synthetic upper for ruggedness too.