Whether it’s too warm for a waterproof but too wet to do without, or a chilly morning that sees you set off with a thermal jacket only to overheat when the sun unexpectedly comes out, it seems almost impossible to pick the right clothing. Then, of course, there’s the small matter of sorting your bike out so it can deal with the changeable weather, adding mudguards, fitting tyres that work in the wet, cleaning it post-ride and so on…
But for now, the worst of the autumn weather is still weeks away, so instead of worrying about it, just sit back, relax and have a browse of some of the new gear that’s landed on the BikeRadar desk this week.
Specialized Women’s 2FO Flat 1.0 shoes
The new incarnation of the Specialized 2FO flat pedal shoesOliver Woodman / Immediate Media Co
Specialized released its 2FO shoes several years ago and christened its debut flat-pedal shoe with a term that’s short for ‘foot out, flat out’ (2FO – geddit?).
The shoes have been redesigned for 2017 and now weigh in at 583g per pair.
The sole features a raised tread pattern with a deeper tread at the toe and heel for increased tractionOliver Woodman / Immediate Media Co
Its new features include a more flexible sole that feels tackier to the touch, more flexible fabric in the sides of the upper, a protective waterproof coating at the toe and a reinforced toe and heel.
An inner cuff is included in the new designOliver Woodman / Immediate Media Co
There’s also an inner neoprene cuff that hugs the ankle to prevent any grit, mud and stones from working their way inside. The shoes are still lace-up and have the little elastic strap to keep the laces tucked out of the way.
Loops on the tongue and heel also make pulling the shoes on and off easier, and help you do it without getting muddy hands when the shoes are covered in gunk.
Need something to aim for? How about tackling all of these?!Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media Co
It might be a tiny bit early to mention the C-word (Christmas, in case you’re wondering) but on the off chance you’re already scouting out presents for the roadie in your life, then this box of books is going to be of interest.
The books within contain details and descriptions of 545 climbs from all across the UK, neatly divided into different regions so you can target a section of the country at a time.
Written by Simon Warren, they’re perfect for the rider who loves to pit their skill and stamina against the British landscape.
Glower Clothing make men’s and women’s t-shirts and jumpers with designs inspired by cyclingOliver Woodman / Immediate Media Co
What do you wear when you’re not cycling? Something that declares your love for cycling, of course.
Glower Clothing has a selection of T-shirts (as well as vest tops, hoodies and sweatshirts) with various designs, including everything from sprockets that turn into mountains and bottlecages containing coffee cups, to downhilling marmots. The garments come in a range of colours with options for both men and women.
You can also relax in the knowledge that the company works to ensure the garments are made using recycled or sustainably sourced fabrics by workers who are paid a fair wage.
The Zorya range consists of windproof jackets, gloves, arm warmers and leg warmers.Matthew Allen / Immediate Media Co
Liv Cycling, sister brand of Giant Bicycles, has upped its clothing game significantly this year.
It’s collaborated with Spanish garment manufacturers Exteondo to produce jackets, bibs, tights, shorts, knickers, jerseys, gilets, arm and leg warmers, gloves and more. The ranges are designed to coordinate or mix and match.
The arm warmers are intentionally mis-matched, and coordinate with other garments in the rangeMatthew Allen / Immediate Media Co
The Zorya line is intended for transitional seasons and brings you reflectivity with a twist. The wind jacket, arm and leg warmers have a space-inspired print with speckled reflective detailing as well as the usual stripes along the seams.
If you don’t fancy this bright colourway, there are both brighter and less lairy versions availableMatthew Allen / Immediate Media Co
To keep your hands toasty the long-fingered Zorya gloves are made from a thermal fabric and there are silicone stripes on the digits and thumbs for a secure grip on the bars and levers. What’s more, patches on the fingertips allow you to use touchscreens without taking the gloves off.
If you don’t fancy the bright design of the leg and arm warmers there is a black and grey version available.
The Ambush Comp helmet from Specialized, with low coverage at the back for increased protectionMatthew Allen / Immediate Media Co
We reviewed the non-Comp version of the Ambush a while back and it scored a very impressive 4.5/5, so we’re keen to see how the updated, top-of-the-range version performs.
Aimed firmly at the enduro/trail market, the Ambush Comp provides lots of coverage and plenty of ventilation. Its multi-density EPS foam construction, with a kevlar-like aramid skeleton, provides energy absorption and structural integrity to protect your head in the event of a crash.
While this helmet has been about for a while, we’ve decided to put it in a head-to-head test (‘scuse the pun) with a selection of other trail/enduro lids, so watch this space to find out which one we rate best.
We particularly like this colourway, called Matte Dynamite Panther.
Lezyne’s Classic Brass bell is held on by O ringsRussell Eich / Immediate Media
If you’ve ever spent any time riding on congested bike paths you’ll probably appreciate the appeal of a bell.
Lezyne’s Classic Brass bell is a classy, yet reasonably priced, piece of kit. It’s constructed from polished brass and sits atop an aluminium base, and the striker can be rotated to keep it in easy reach whichever side of the bars you mount it on.
Opinel saws have been made in Savoie, France since 1890Russell Eich / Immediate Media
What does a saw have to do with cycling? Quite a lot if you ride in the woods. Every winter the wind and snow wreak havoc on forests, bringing branches and even entire trees down and blocking the trails. So in the spring, portable saws go in packs and every ride involves some off-the-bike trail clearing work.
The Opinel No 12 saw is made in Savoie, France and combines a 12cm (4.7in) Sandvik stainless-steel blade with a beech wood handle. For a bit of safety (the teeth are seriously sharp), this fine-looking tool has a safety ring that locks the blade in an open or closed position.
Simple but effective, the ring spins to lock the blade openRussell Eich / Immediate Media
BLDG Active claims to repair and heal wounds and skinRussell Eich / Immediate Media
Unfortunately for cyclists: the more you ride, the more you’re going to crash. It’s the law of averages and you can’t avoid it.
When the unavoidable does occur, there are a few remedies to help you get you back to normal again. A new one, sporting an oddball name, is BLDG Active. It holds the promise of “all-natural skin and wound repair for the modern athlete.”
The active ingredient doing the repair work is hypochlorous acid (HOCL), which occurs naturally in white blood cells and is said to fight off bacteria, minimise inflammation and promote healing.
Two versions of BLDG Active are available: a spray and a hydrogel. And while nobody in the BikeRadar office wants to test it, we know that it’s only a matter of time before the law of averages catches up with one of us.
But keeping those lights supplied with fresh batteries or remembering to plug them to charge them up is just another chore on a list that’s already long.
Reelight CIO lights work without batteries. How’s that possible? Magic, that’s how. Well, magnets actually, but they’re sort of magic.
The little key to tighten the cable and spoke magnet is simply a nice version of a hex wrenchRussell Eich / Immediate Media
These lights are small, modern-looking and feature high-powered LEDs. As well as flashing while you’re riding, they’re said to continue flashing for up to two minutes after you stop, which will be useful at junctions and traffic lights. They’re supposed to be weatherproof too.
Reelight is from Copenhagen, Denmark and its CIO lights should be available in November 2017.
I’m not taking flight, rather I’m seeing how muddy, gravel road water beads off of the materialRussell Eich / Immediate Media
Pearl Izumi’s latest arm warmers are crafted from the company’s Elite Thermalfleece fabric for a bit of warmth on cold days.
In addition to the fuzzy fleece interiors, the exteriors mean business with what Pearl says is a permanent waterproof coating. Silicone grippers at the upper hem are there to prevent them from falling down and there’s also some reflective elements for increased dawn and dusk visibility.
The Elite Thermal arm warmers have a bit of shaping, hence the L and RRussell Eich / Immediate Media
Pearl Izumi offers X-Small through to XX-Large sizes to cover petite cyclists up to the most gangly riders.