Reuben and Joe’s hill climb season continues this week
Specialized BLCK DMND tyres
Specialized created its BLCK DMND casing to meet the needs of enduro racersMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
To finish first, first you must finish. Anyone familiar with enduro racing will know that punctures are a frustratingly common end to many a racer’s hopes. Hoping to avoid this fate, many use downhill tyres, but these are slow and energy sapping over a long weekend of pedal-powered racing.
Following feedback from racers Jared Graves (#strengthforjared) and Curtis Keene, Specialized developed the BLCK DMND casing as a halfway-house between its mid-weight GRID casing, and full-fat downhill tyres.
They use a double-layer of reinforcing threads under the sidewall for plenty of puncture protection; while the carcass under the tread is single-ply for a more supple feel over small bumps and lower rolling resistance.
Spesh is offering the new tyre in its Butcher and Hillbilly tread patters. This is the formerMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
The BLCK DMND casing will be available with Specialized’s Butcher and Hillbilly tread patterns. There will be five sizes offered: 2.3in and 2.6in in 29in; 2.3in, 2.6in and 2.8in for 27.5in wheels.
Sportful’s Moire long sleeve thermal jerseyOliver Woodman / Immediate Media
Short sleeves will soon have to be swapped for long ones as the autumn sets in and temperatures begin to cool.
Sportful says its Moire thermal jersey and wind vest are optimised for 10–20 degrees Celsius and the combination could be a versatile addition to your cycling wardrobe.
The Moire pattern covers the three rear cargo pockets, as well as the front of the jerseyOliver Woodman / Immediate Media
Moire is a geometric pattern formed when parallel lines are overlaid onto others at a 5-degree offset, and the design features prominently on the namesake thermal jersey and wind vest from the Italian company.
The long sleeve thermal jersey is constructed from a lightweight fabric with a soft fleece lining, while a double mesh layer is placed on the collar and cuffs of the jersey.
As you would expect, it also has three rear cargo pockets, a silicone gripper around the waist for improved fit and a full-length front zipper.
Double layer mesh material features on the cuffs and collar of the Sportful Moire jerseyOliver Woodman / Immediate Media
In the same design as the Moire thermal jersey, the Moire wind vest has a nylon mesh back panel, designed for maximum breathability and heat regulation in an area prone to overheating.
The front panel of the vest is constructed from a windproof material and, combined with a high collar, will keep the cold air out. An additional three rear cargo pockets will also be useful.
The identical design on the vest and jersey mean the two items work perfectly together from an aesthetics point of viewOliver Woodman / Immediate Media
If the temperatures do warm slightly — or looking ahead to the spring — and the wind vest becomes surplus mid-ride, it is light enough to pack into your jersey pocket.
The vest has a black nylon mesh back panel, which allows for greater breathability and temperature regulationOliver Woodman / Immediate Media
Sportful’s Moire jersey and vest were recently sent with some of the company’s highlights from the Autumn/Winter 2018 collection and pieces are available in grey on grey (photographed), orange on blue or yellow on purple.
We’ll have a full roundup from the Sportful Autumn/Winter 2018 collection on site soon.
Rose’s new Backroad Cross Force 22Josh Evans / Immediate Media
Last week, Rose released its updated gravel-specific Backroad line-up and while the range of full carbon framesets is identical, you can now opt for one of five cyclo-cross setups alongside the four gravel-specific models. The German direct-to-consumer company also offers a flat-handlebar ‘Multicross’ model in the line-up.
The Backroad Cross is available in Shimano or SRAM, 2X or 1X drivetrain optionsJosh Evans / Immediate Media
Josh has recently called in the Rose Backroad Cross, equipped with a SRAM Force 22 groupset for the ‘cross season.
At the front end of the bike, the cockpit consists of the high-end combination of a Ritchey WCS Evo Curve handlebar and a matching Ritchey WCS C220 stem. DT Swiss P1750 wheels are paired with Schwalbe X-ONE Allround EVO tyres in the UCI-legal 33mm width.
33mm Schwalbe 1 X-One tyres should be perfect for the upcoming mud of cyclo-cross seasonJosh Evans / Immediate Media
Priced at €2,499 the full carbon frameset is equipped to the standard we would expect at this price point. Rose pairs the frameset with a Rose Flex Carbon seat post and tops it with an Ergon SMC40 saddle. 160mm SRAM rotors feature front and rear.
We think the teal and black colourway looks great and we’ll have a detailed first look at the new bike soon.
Extralite’s Streeter skewers certainly live up to their brandnameMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Think your quick release skewers are light? Think again, as Italian lightweight specialist Extralite has managed to trim this pair down to just 30g! Yes, you read it right, just 30g of metal to hold the wheels in place on your bike.
The rods are made from GRD5 titanium, which is forged and butted to withstand 1000kgf of pull, whilst the levers are beautifully CNC’d to be as light a possible. They’re compatible with 100mm/130mm standard hubs and come in 5 colours if black is too boring for you. This pair is destined for a special hill climb build which will featured on BikeRadar in the coming months.
The Ransom is big and bouncy and whole lot of funMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Want to go really fast down hills, but still pedal up them afterwards? The Ransom is a big-hit machine with 170mm of travel at both ends.
170mm of travel is kept in check by Fox’s rather Gucci NUDE TR EVOL shockMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
It weights 13.5kg with SRAM XO1 Eagle and posh Fox suspension, including Fox’s latest NUDE TR EVOL shock. A remote lever on the bar lets you cycle through three suspension modes on the fly named Descend, Traction Control and Lockout.
Finishing kit is all Syncros, including a very cool (but non-adjustable) one piece carbon bar and stem.
This particular bike is fitted with 29×2.6in rubber but the frame is equally happy with 27.5×2.8in tyres.
Alpecin is all about putting caffeine on your head, rather than in itMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
If you’re a fan of pro cycling, you can’t have missed Alpecin’s presence in the peloton as sponsors of team Giant-Alpecin (now team Sunweb).
Alpecin claims that its super duper caffeine formula for shampoo “stimulates hair growth directly at the roots” while the Caffeine Liquid (no, not that kind) is marketed as a Hair Energizer, designed to strengthen hair roots and reduce hair loss.
We aren’t in a position to comment on such lofty claims, but Marcel Kittel does have great hair, so there’s that.
If you’d like to emulate your favourite hair model pros, these are the products for you.
The Thule Pack ‘n Pedal Commuter Backpack looks like a practical option for daily commutersMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
It would be easy to write this waterproof backpack from Swedish firm Thule off as just another riding pack, but look closely at the thought that’s gone into its features and construction and you’ll notice it’s something a bit special.
A roll-top means flexible capacity and great weather protectionMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
We are particularly fond of its crushproof compartment which looks like the ideal place to stow your sunglasses or phone. The bag’s main compartment is accessible through a zipped roll top and inside there’s room for a 15in laptop as well plenty of other kit. The fact the front pocket is very much d-lock shaped is certainly no coincidence while other practical touches include a helmet cover, a light attachment and high-visibility interior panels for easily locating smaller times.
Oli will have it on his back twice a day for the next few weeks in order to write a full review so stay tuned for that.
Ritchey’s WCS finishing kit is light and very classyMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Ritchey is one of those brands that’s consistently produced top notch components seemingly forever. Our Matthew is building his dream alloy bike and the brand’s top-tier WCS finishing kit seemed a natural choice.
The WCS carbon seatpost’s shaft feels almost weightlessMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
It’s not too shouty, but it’s respectable light and beautifully made. The WCS C220 stem comes in at 136g for a 100mm, while WCS Carbon Link Flexogic post is 171g for a size 27.2mm/350mm.
He’s also got the stunning Streem Di2 bar en route, which combines slightly swept aero section tops with classic looking drops.
WCS C220 stem: £85 / $89.95
WCS Link Carbon FlexLogic seatpost: £187 / $199.95
The Condor Italia RC a light and stylish alloy machineMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Condor Cycles has form with classy looking bikes, and the Italia RC doesn’t disappoint. Built around a fairly traditional looking alloy frame, it’s a handsome thing, made only more so with the addition of Campagnolo’s 11-speed Chorus groupset and matching Zonda wheels.
Campag 11spd isn’t fresh any more, but it’s still prettyMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
It’s an aesthetically harmonious build that weighs in at a respectable 8kg.
The finish on the Condor is delightfulMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Condor will sell you a frameset, or build the bike up however you like. This particular bike is in for a group test of Campagnolo-equipped machines. Look out for Cycling Plus issue 346 in all good newsagents (and some really dodgy ones) soon.
The Look/SRM collaboration has produced some very clever, and very expensive pedalsMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Power meter technology has improved hugely in recent years, and the choice in the market has grown significantly too. Look and SRM’s collaboration has produced some very normal looking pedals with all the power-measuring electronics hidden on the inside.