Happy freezing Friday! Many in the Northern Hemisphere are experiencing their coldest snaps of the winter so far, meaning some of you will — perhaps sensibly — skip your riding this weekend. But if you do choose to go out on the bike, take care out there. For those further south, don’t forget your sunscreen.
Aside from the weather this week, Matthew has taken a look at Ducati’s new e-bike — yes, the motorbike brand, no, we’re not MotorBikeRadar — Joe and Reuben’s latest edition of BikeRadar Diaries pits a 5.1kg Trek Emonda against a £180 bargain road bike up one of the toughest hills near our Bristol HQ and Warren has given the latest Specialized S-Works helmet a five star review.
£10,000 vs £180 hill climb bike | BikeRadar Diaries #7
Below, we take a look at some of the hottest products that have arrived at BikeRadar this week, including clothing from British brand Albion, tubeless versions of Continental’s headlining GP5000 tyres and an early look at Mildred’s new long-term test bike, a Surly Bridge Club.
Scroll down, enjoy, stay warm and have a great weekend!
Albion bib shorts and insulated vest
Albion is a British cycling apparel company with a focus on providing kit that can be used in the often changeable British weather.
Predominantly made in either the UK or Italy, Albion’s clothing and accessories line-up includes everything from bib shorts and jerseys to baselayers and caps.
Albion Insulated Vest
Albion’s Insulated VestJack Luke/Immediate Media
Albion’s water- and wind-resistant insulated jersey offers an additional level of protection from a tradition gilet with a layer of recycled insulation.
The vest is still packable if the temperatures rise slightly, while a YKK two-way zip enables you to partly unzip on climbs and quickly zip up again without the need to take both hands off of the handlebars.
Vents on the side of the vest will also prevent overheating and a silicone dot gripper on the waistband will prevent any riding up.
The lightweight outer material comes from Japan with the vest constructed in Italy. The Insulated Vest is available in five sizes from XS–XL.
Again made in Italy using premium fabrics, Albion’s bib shorts are a simple, all-black design with a focus on comfort, compression and anatomical cut, which can be worn all day without issues.
Elastic Interface produces the chamois pad for the Albion Bib ShortsJack Luke/Immediate Media
The chamois pad is from Elastic Interface, which provides pads to a number of more well-established brands, and the shorts feature common design features of mesh bib straps alongside silicone grippers on the leg cuffs
Mission Workshop’s The Spar sling packJack Luke/Immediate Media
Mission Workshop is a brand based in San Francisco, USA that began making high-quality messenger bags and rucksacks back in 2009. The company has now expanded its product range extensively, with an array of luggage, outdoor and cycling-specific apparel and accessories with the majority made in the USA and with a lifetime guarantee.
Mission Workshop’s latest bag, The Spar, is a ‘sling pack’ or more simply, a small rucksack designed for absolute essentials or bare minimum that won’t fit in your pockets.
Due to the low capacity, The Spar is sold with a single sling strap worn on the back or chest, but an additional rucksack setup can be purchased to be worn in a traditional backpack format.
The pack is water-resistant and includes a microfleece-lined inner pocket designed for an iPadJack Luke/Immediate Media
Internally, The Spar has a dual-access, 8-litre main compartment and a separate microfleece lined pocket designed to store an iPad or tablet. A 13-inch MacBook Air, or similarly sized laptop, will fit into the pack, albeit without any padded protection.
For those who commute with just a laptop, diary and minimal accessories, the Mission Workshop The Spar could be a great commuting pack.
Four different colour/fabric options are available alongside Aquaguard YKK zippers, with some strong weatherproofing, and we look forward to putting the pack through its paces soon.
Pro’s Handlebar Endplugs are available in five different coloursJosh Evans/Immediate Media
BikeRadar’s video producer Ben Healy was fed up with continually losing (the often cheap and poorly fitting) bar ends that are usually provided with handlebar tape. To combat his frustrations, Ben bought a more securely fitting option from Shimano’s sister brand PRO.
The anodized alloy caps are paired with an expanding plug, which is adjusted with a hex bolt, to provide a secure fit and reduce the risk of losing plugs.
The groupsets, tyres and pedals pro teams actually use
Guy Martin’s Proper Degreaser
Guy Martin’s liquid-free Proper DegreaserJack Luke/Immediate Media
Degreaser is critical if you want a clean bike — and a clean bike is a fast bike, right? However, companies shipping liquid all over the world has a cost; financially and environmentally.
Guy Martin (motorbike racer extraordinaire, and keen mountain biker) has a range of cleaners and now degreasers that ship as a water-soluble capsule and empty bottle. No liquid shipped equals less cost.
The ‘Starter Pack’ (£10) comes with a bottle and single capsule, making 1.5 litres of degreaser. Further capsules can be purchased in biodegradable packaging for £8.50.
Mildred has gone for a Surly Bridge Club as her new long-term test bikeJosh Evans/Immediate Media
There’s a plethora of touring bikes on offer these days, though many tend to cater for either paved or off-road outings. Surly’s Bridge Club essentially bridges the gap (pun intended) between the two to create an all-in-one multi-surface long-distance machine.
It’s the most streamlined and versatile tourer in Surly’s lineup, designed to get more people into multi-terrain touring without overcomplicating their options. It comes stock with 27.5in tubeless-ready wheels with 2.4in WTB Riddler Comp tyres, and can take tyres up to 27.5×2.8, 26×3.0, or 700x47c.
The Bridge Club is Surly’s entry-level, do-it-all bikepacking rigJosh Evans/Immediate Media
The frame features a single position vertical rear dropout for quick release wheels, though it can run a Rohloff Speedhub or similar with an adaptor. Interestingly, Surly has opted for a more obscure Gnot Boost rear spacing, designed around a 141mm Boost QR hub. This allows for more chain and tyre clearance, while choosing QR over thru-axles makes the bike more affordable.
As a side note, the model we’ve got in is an extra small frame (for our extra small Mildred), so it has a noticeably more sloped top tube than the larger sizes. The XS also has a few less mounting options due to limited space on the seat tube. Keep your eyes peeled for a first look video on this soon.
Velo Orange’s V2 Day Tripper saddle bag gets an updateVelo Orange
Velo Orange has been expanding its luggage range — which is produced in conjunction with Road Runner Bags in Los Angeles — in recent months.
It’s much-loved Day Tripper saddle bag recently got an update, ditching the drawcord that was previously used to close the bag in favour of a sturdy and easy-to-adjust buckle.
Sitting between a full-blown saddlebag and a spares-only saddle-pack, the 3.5-litre Day Tripper is large enough to stash away all the spares you’re likely to need for a long day out, alongside a jacket and even a clutch of snacks.
The bag weighs in at a claimed 235g and is available in four handsome hues.
The rack supports either the front or rear wheel of your bike with a sliding aluminium slider that can take up to 27.5x3in or 29×2.4in rubberTom Marvin/Immediate Media
BikeStow’s rack secures up to either two or four bikes in the back of your van, or stores them neatly at home.
The rack, which folds up pretty flat, opens up and then supports either the front or rear wheel of your bike with a sliding aluminium slider that can take up to 27.5x3in or 29×2.4in rubber — it’ll also hold road bikes too.
The rack’s wide base is designed to be strapped down in your van, and then the bikes are secured via the wheel, saving the use of webbing or straps over your bike’s paintwork.
The rack folds flat when not in useTom Marvin/Immediate Media
The whole kit is sourced and constructed in Birmingham in the UK, and the operation is fully family run — including the kids!
Two and four bike versions are available, with a raw, or premium laminated finish. Our two bike laminated version fits nicely in a VW Caddy, and a four bike should easily fit inside a Transit or Transporter sized van.
Rapha’s 2019 jersey for EF Education First Pro CyclingJack Luke/Immediate Media
EF Education First Pro Cycling and Rapha were the final WorldTour team to launch its 2019 team kit on the eve of the Tour Down Under, saying it was hoping to “disrupt the peloton” with the new design.
The kit is the first return to the men’s WorldTour for British brand Rapha since ending its partnership with Team Sky. However, the brand has retained its involvement in professional racing with Team Wiggins and the Women’s WorldTour Canyon-SRAM outfit.
Rapha’s design is a wavy pink and blue fade, perhaps more suited to sportswear of an past, and while the aesthetic is old school cool, the technical performance is definitely cutting-edge.
The jersey features the iconic arm band design from the British brandJack Luke/Immediate Media
The Pro Team Aero Jersey has smooth fabrics on the front and textured fabrics on the rear to improve aerodynamics, alongside modern cut designs of longer sleeves and a low collar.
Three cargo pockets to the rear are accompanied by a zipped valuables’ pocket and the jersey is the same as EF Pro Cycling use for training.
£145 / $195 / AU$255
The Education First logo dominates the rear section of the bib shortsJack Luke/Immediate Media
Alongside the jersey is the Pro Team Bib Shorts, which feature a dual-density chamois pad, bonded bib straps for comfort, race radio pockets and a name label to differentiate shorts in the laundry — the latter two features coming directly from WorldTour demands.
£195 / $270 / AU$340
Accompanying vests, baselayers, socks, caps, accessories and fanwear are all available from Rapha. Men’s- and women’s-specific cuts are available for the jersey and bib shorts.
The Knog Cobbler rear light offers a 330-degree beam angleJack Luke/Immediate Media
Offering a 330-degree beam angle, Knog’s new Cobbler rear light has Chip On Board LEDs, which come with seven pre-programmed flash modes and, interestingly, can also be programmed to design your own flash pattern or mode.
The Knog Cobbler range includes front and rear versions of the Big Cobbler, the Mid Cobbler and the Lil’ Cobbler, with lumens and run time increasing in line with each model. The Mid Cobbler (photographed) is a 170-lumen light, which is claimed to be waterproof.
The light is fixed with a rubber band — three different sizes are included — and Knog says it can fit both standard and aero seatposts. A built-in USB enables charging directly from the light body to a power point, although a USB cable is also included in the box for easier charging.