Shimano’s GRX in-line brake levers, plush handlebar tape from ENVE and a Bluetooth lock

Plus warm winter footwear from Fizik

  The products mentioned in this article are selected and reviewed independently by our journalists. When you buy through links on our site we may earn an affiliate commission, but this never influences our opinion.
First Look Friday

Before we introduce the latest bikes and kit to arrive with our testers, let’s first take a recap on the working week we are about to leave behind.

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Our man Alex Evans presented his test of budget downhill bikes after pitching four rigs priced between £2,500 and £3,500 head-to-head in a video showdown. We welcomed the arrival of GT’s first electric bikes, namely the full suspension GT-E Force and GT-E Pantera hardtail.

The 2020 Tour de France route was also announced this week and we were excited to see 29 categorised climbs, plenty of gravel and six mountain finishes.

In the market for a new road helmet? Your timing couldn’t have been better, because we’ve just rounded up 25 of our favourites and placed them all in one list.

Fizik Terra Artica X2 shoes

Fizik Terra Artica X2 shoes
For a winter boot, the Terra Artica X2 is a looker.
Helium Media

Quality footwear is a must for those hardy enough to ride through the worst of winter and these new kicks from Fizik certainly look up to the task.

The hard upper closes with a single BOA dial and flows into a waterproof yet breathable sock-like membrane that’s secured by its own waterproof zip.

Fizik Terra Artica X2 shoes
Vibram soles should offer plenty of grip for when the going gets sloshy.
Helium Media

Inside there’s an insulated fleece liner and insole to fight off those dreaded numb toes. The sole uses Vibram rubber and has been designed to work on and off the bike.

Jack is currently putting these through their paces in reassuringly soggy and mucky conditions, so stay tuned for a full review.

  • £280 /  €280

Squire Inigma BL1 Bluetooth lock

Squire Inigma BL1 D lock for bike on white background
The Inigma BL1 has a futuristic look to it.
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

Do you frequently leave your keys behind or lose them? Are you useless at remembering the numbers for combination locks? The Squire Inigma D-lock might be for you.

The keyless Inigma locks and unlocks by using Bluetooth tech from a paired mobile phone. A dedicated iOS or Android app manages accessibility, so it’s possible to share the lock among friends or to control multiple Inigma locks from one device.

Squire Inigma BL1 D lock for bike on white background
The dial at the bottom of the lock does look disappointingly flimsy.
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

The 145mm wide body allows for generous clearance should you be locking your bike to something awkward.

It’s a tough little number too, within the aluminium body is a hardened boron steel shackle that’s earned a Sold Secure Gold rating.

  • £160

ENVE handlebar tape

Enve handlebar tape in cardboard box
We hope this tape is as plush as it looks.
Felix Smith / Immediate Media

ENVE has a plush new handlebar tape aimed at the rider who desires a bit of extra comfort and grip on their drop bars. It looks like just the ticket for gravel bikes or even a lavish winter build.

The 3mm thick tape is available in white, black or grey and features a backing strip of silicone, which has been used to absorb vibrations.

ENVE handlebar tape on white background
ENVE tape sure looks like a nice way to complete a gravel bike build.
Felix Smith / Immediate Media

ENVE’s chosen compound is supposed to work particularly well in wet weather and should provide enough stretch for easy installation.

  • $40 / £40

Shimano GRX BL-RX812 sub brake levers

Shimano GRX BL-RX812 levers
The Shimano GRX BL-RX812 levers bring hydraulic stopping at the tops.
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

When we first saw these cyclocross-style in-line brake levers from Shimano we were convinced they were the first of their kind to make it to the market.

Plumbing into Shimano’s RX400 or 800 calipers, the RX812 levers bring hydraulic stopping power to your fingertips when you’re positioned on the tops. Because they run inline from the shift levers they neither replace nor detract from the braking power of the GRX levers at the drops.

Shimano GRX BL-RX812 sub brake levers
The levers tip the scales at 79g each.
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

Key parts of these levers look reassuringly similar to proven parts from the Shimano mountain bike stable which is, of course, no bad thing.

Warren Rossiter was initially impressed with these when he tested them at the GRX launch last month, but we’ll be holding onto these for some long-term testing.

For more on Shimano’s GRX group head across to Matthew’s original article.

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  •  £54.99 / €47.50