Merry Christmas from all of us here at BikeRadar! We hope you got absolutely everything that you wished for this yule and are enjoying recovering from many days of festivities.
If you didn’t get exactly what you wanted, why not start spamming your loved ones ahead of next year’s big day with suggestions from our extensive list of gift guides for cyclists?
If you’re looking at a more short-term goal, be sure to check out our guide to making cycling resolutions for 2020 (and how to keep them).
If you’re looking for a more specific idea, why not set yourself the challenge of riding 100 or even 200 miles next year?
If you just came here to see sweet, sweet cycling swag, scroll on for the most delectable items to land in BikeRadar HQ.
WTB Exposure 36mm road tubeless tyres
WTB has released a 36mm-wide version of the Exposure. Jack Luke / Immediate Media
The WTB Exposure, in all of its various guises, is one of our all-time favourite road tubeless tyres. The 30mm version, in particular, occupied a weirdly limited space – fat 700c road tubeless tyres that are designed solely for road riding with no gravel tread are oddly few and far between.
Rene Herse (formerly Compass) offers tyres like these in a huge range of sizes but, for a more mainstream (and affordable) option, the Exposure filled the gap nicely.
Both a tan and black wall version of the tyre are available. Jack Luke / Immediate Media
WTB has expanded its offerings and a chunkier 36mm-wide version of the Exposure is now available. Black and tan-wall versions are both available.
Weighing in at 366g, the tyre is a perfect match for modern road bikes such as the 2020 Trek Domane, which has seen clearances balloon to up to 38mm in recent years.
The tyre features a very light file tread. Jack Luke / Immediate Media
With a competitive price, weight and, in our experience, an excellent ride quality and puncture performance, we expect these tyres to be very popular indeed.
PRO Stealth Superlight saddle
The Stealth is PRO’s take on the short nose saddle trend. Jack Luke / Immediate Media
Following on from the storming success of the Specialized Power series, every man and his dug has introduced a stubby saddle in its lineup these days.
PRO has thrown its hat into the ring with the Stealth. The saddle is available in three different versions and two widths for each (142mm and 152mm).
The Superlight version of the saddle is built on a one-piece carbon hull. Jack Luke / Immediate Media
We have the PRO Stealth Superlight – which is built around a one-piece carbon hull – and the regular stainless steel-railed model. These are both the 142mm-wide version and weigh in at 145g and 209g respectively.
A third model, the PRO Stealth Carbon, which uses more traditional carbon rails, is also available. This comes in at a claimed 172g, which sounds about right.
The overall shape of the saddle is very similar to the likes of the Spesh Power, with a slightly fatter nose section and a slightly smoother transition into the wings.
The cover is pleasingly smooth, which should help reduce friction between shorts and the saddle. Overall, the saddle just looks and feels exceptionally premium, which it should for £250!
All versions of the saddle include a two-bolt mounting plate on the underside of the tail of the saddle. This is designed to be used with a camera mount but it could also be useful for securely mounting lights or other accessories.
Ride with GPS app
Ride with GPS’s mapping functionalities are now available on the iPhone and Android version of the app. Jack Luke / Immediate Media
A digital product in First Look Friday? Sacrilege! The erosion of all that is pure about our sport and everything that makes BikeRadar good! Insert something sensationalist about Zwift!
Fret not. This doesn’t signal a change of tact for FLF, but the news that Ride with GPS (RWGPS) has finally ported its very powerful and popular route planner to its mobile app (for both iOS and Android) is genuinely noteworthy.
RWGPS has been around for donkey’s years and is one of our favourite for planning routes.
The route planner is very powerful and was one of the very first apps that allowed you to use route-finding in conjunction with ‘freehand’ planning. This was particularly useful if you planned to take off-road detours on unmapped trails or roads.
RWGPS has loads of maps to choose from. Jack Luke / Immediate Media
We also like the ability to switch between a number of different maps – the likes of Komoot allows you to switch between Open Street Map or Google, but RWGPS goes a step further and you can also use Esri and US Geological Survey maps.
We’re just scratching the surface of what can be done with the app, which is available now via RWGPS.
PB Swiss PB 470 bike multi-tool
I like the design of this neat little multi-tool from PB Swiss. Jack Luke / Immediate Media
This neat little multi-tool from PB Swiss has been on the market for years and is sold under a number of different names, including Victorinox and, as shown here, DT Swiss.
The tool is based on a 5mm hex key that attaches to one of the eight included bits via a magnetic connector. This connector has a very well defined ‘snap’ and the magnet is more than powerful enough to securely hold a bit in place.
PB Swiss PB 470 included bits
The bits feel reassuringly ‘sharp’ and well made. Jack Luke / Immediate Media
- 6, 4, 3 and 2.5mm hex bits
- T25 and T10 Torx bit
- Phillips head bit
- Flat screw head bit
- 4mm hex key
- Two tyre levers
The bits have a lovely iridescent-ish finish from the heat finishing process and, in the hand, they feel very well finished, with crisp well-defined edges.
The magnetic holder is also pleasingly well-made and holds the bits securely. We particularly like that each bit can be pushed out from the back of the holder with the 5mm hex key.
It would be nice if the base of the holder was flat so the tool would stay upright when laid on a desk, but that’s incredibly nit-picky.
The PB Swiss version of the tool is available in red, blue, green, black and yellow and costs £62.40 at RRP, though seems to be available discounted through most retailers.
The Victorinox version, which has a slightly different selection of bits, comes in orange only and costs £42 at RRP, though it’s currently available on Amazon for under £19.
Finally, the DT Swiss version, which appears to be identical to the PB Swiss version, comes in at £44.99.
My favourite bit of nonsense that we’ve managed to sneak into First Look Friday this year
Oli’s whip is spacious, frugal and utterly forgettable Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
There’s little more I enjoy than trying to sneak stupid photos and rude lines onto BikeRadar.
This year has been a vintage year for goofs and gags and we’ve got some absolute crackers into First Look Friday (and its predecessor, 11spd (RIP)).
Personal highlights include a £6 Casio watch, Nikwax sandal wash, my old Patagonia running jacket and 3mm-thick SBR rubber sheeting.
But, of all the stupid stuff we have squeezed into this feature, by far my favourite is Oli’s much-loved Volkswagen MK4 Golf Estate.
Costing considerably less than many bikes we feature on-site and being so far out with our day-to-day remit, the car provoked a mixture of admiration and ire across the team and readership that I think is, thus far, unmatched.
Here’s to much more nonsense in 2020.