First Look Friday: budget kit, comfy grips and an eco-friendly coffee cup

A weekly dose of new kit for you to drool over, including kit, tools, accessories and more…

First Look Friday collage

11spd is dead! Long live First Look Friday!

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Every week we bring you some of the shiniest, prettiest and occasionally quirkiest new bits and pieces to arrive in the BikeRadar office.

It can be kit, clothing, accessories, tools, bikes, socks, nutrition or random tandem-related items that Jack has been sent to try on Cecil, his beloved tandem.

But the bike industry has forced our hand. What with the latest crop of 12-speed groupsets coming out, we neither want to get outdated in our naming policy nor find ourselves faced with ’20spd’ in the future. So our regular dose of newness has a new name and a new format.

Don’t worry, there’ll still be plenty to look at, as well as our latest videos, top-rated articles, new reviews and the like.

So grab a cuppa, sit back, and enjoy a First Look this Friday.

Shimano Tiagra ST-4720 levers

Tiagra hydraulic disc levers
Tiaga hydraulic levers are, mercifully, no longer hideous
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

We’ve just taken delivery of Shimano’s new Tiagra ST-4720 hydraulic levers, and riders who are after a good quality budget set of shifters will be pleased to know that performance doesn’t now come at the price of looks.

This is because, thankfully, they have aesthetics — and a build — that largely mimics last year’s updated 105 R7020 levers.

The new ST-4720 lever now replaces the unforgivably ugly RS405 lever and we expect them to be a very popular OEM option in years to come.

  • £165, international pricing TBC

Wolf Tooth Pack Tool and Fat Paw Cam and Karv grips

Two packets of Wolf Tooth handlebar grips
If you don’t like black, don’t worry, there are plenty of other colours available
Immediate Media Co

Minnesota-based company Wolf Tooth is formed of a collection of passionate riders who love good hardware and tools, so they came together to make their own.

On the hardware side of things comes the Pack Tool, a relatively small and packable mech hanger alignment tool to get you back rolling when you’ve mashed your mech on a rock or similar.

We fully admit that it isn’t the kind of tool the average roady or cross-country whippet is likely to consider ‘packable’ but it is the kind of thing that rugged, cycling across the middle-of-nowhere types may want in their (sizeable) bags.

Pop it in your pack for mech hanger repairs when on the road
Pop it in your pack for mech hanger repairs when on the road
Immediate Media Co

For the rider who prioritises comfort, grips are one of those simple additions that can actually make all the difference.

Wolf Tooth recently acquired another US-based company, RedMonkey Sports, and the result is a new line of grips.

The silicone foam Karv grips are soft with a tacky surface, designed to help alleviate fatigue in the hands and provide good grip with or without gloves.

Shift the grip round to different positions to get the most comfortable fit for you
Shift the grip round to different positions to get the most comfortable fit for you
Immediate Media Co

If you need something a little more tailored, the Fat Paw Cam grips are also made from silicone foam and measure up at a chunky 36mm diameter – ideal for large paws.

As well as having the tacky feel of the Karv grips, they’ve also got an unusual ergonomic shape to them.

Depending on how you like your grips to feel, you can fit them at different angles to provide more palm support, more finger support or more thumb support.

And if you’re concerned about the lack of colour (surely black goes with everything, right?!) then don’t be, there’s a veritable rainbow of colour options to pick from.

Wolf Tooth Fat Paw Cam grips

Wolf Tooth Karv grips

Wolf Tooth Pack Tool

Dare2b men’s and women’s cycling kit

Image of cycling leggings and jersey for women
The jersey and capri combo would work well for the gym or spin classes as well as riding
Immediate Media Co

Dare2b is well known for making accessibly-priced sportswear for runners, gym-goers, skiers, hikers and now cyclists.

The selection we’ve got in includes padded cycling capris, jerseys and jackets, and interestingly, although the RRP is already pretty low, most of the gear also appears to have some serious discounts on it at the time of publishing. And when we say serious, we mean in the region of 60 percent.

Not everyone will be a fan of the eyecatching yellow and black colours, but there are others available
Not everyone will be a fan of the eyecatching yellow and black colours, but there are others available
Immediate Media Co

The kit is of a fairly standard entry-level design. Don’t expect lots of features or colourways. Do expect to be able to get a full top-to-toe outfit for under £100 / €120 / $150 though.

The bibs have a fairly think chamois and pretty stretchy Lycra
The bibs have a fairly think chamois and pretty stretchy Lycra
Immediate Media Co

The other good news is that the kit has a fairly loose fit and an extensive size range, from UK8/US6 to UK18/US16 on the women’s side and S to XXXL on the men’s side.

Women’s Dare2b kit

Women’s Worldly Capri Cycling Leggings

Women’s Theory Cycling Jersey

Men’s Dare2b kit

Men’s Palpable Bib Short

Men’s AEP Clarify Multi Pocket Cycling Jersey

KeepCup

Image of KeepCup
We’ve customised our KeepCup a little with stickers because why not?!
Immediate Media Co

‘What’s a portable hot drinks receptacle doing in here?’ I hear you ask? Why, let me tell you!

Bicycle riders are partial to a coffee or two. Indeed, we’re all somewhat known for it. And we like to ride in the great outdoors, enjoying the fresh air and beautiful scenery.

So it’s only fair that we take some responsibility for looking after it, particularly if we want it to continue to be a pleasant and lovely place to ride bikes, both for ourselves and others.

Disposable cups are extremely hard to recycle, and in the UK 2.5 billion of the things are used then thrown away with 500,000 littered every day, according to a UK Government report. That’s a whole lot of rubbish in hedges, green spaces and public spaces.

So imagine if more of us switched to refillable cups for our pre-ride or post-ride coffee. Less waste, less rubbish in the countryside, AND with most coffee shops offering a discount for using them, the chances are you’d get money off your caffeine fix too. Bonus!

And yes, there are other models available than KeepCup (though we like the interchangeable coloured bits) and even collapsable ones so if you’re a caffeine addict you could stow one in your rucksack or back pocket!

KeepCup

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