Last year we were stunned by CeramicSpeed’s chainless, ultra-low friction drivetrain concept, but it wasn’t until this week that we learned that same system showed significant aerodynamic benefits when compared to a regular road bike drivetrain.
On the other end of the road cycling spectrum, we ran a review of what has to be the most impressive budget road bike we’ve seen to date — the Triban RC120.
The Triban (formerly B’Twin) brand name has become synonymous with budget bikes that punch well above their price point, but the latest Triban RC120 road bike blew our testers away with its value.
Retailing at just £349.99 / €450 / $499 / AU$599, but packing in a carbon fork, cartridge brake blocks and comfort-boosting 28mm tyres, it was enough to score a full five-star rating.
In other news, Alex Evans was very much impressed with Muc-Off’s pressure washer, which uses a lower power output and ‘bike specific’ attachments to make for the ideal cleaning companion.
If all of that isn’t quite enough, take a closer look at five of the hottest things to land with us in this week’s edition of First Look Friday.
Bontrager XXX road shoes
The latest XXX road shoe from Bontrager claims to be the benchmark for premium performance and comfort.
Naturally, then, it’s no surprise to see it fitted with Bontrager’s stiffest and lightest carbon sole, with a stiffness index score of 14 out of 14.
The Clarino microfibre upper closes using two BOA dials, which tighten asymmetrical laces that have been chosen to reduce pressure at the top of the foot.
Crucially, though, these undercut both of those shoes by a considerable amount.
- Price: £269.99 / $299.99
Miche Attiva power meter
Want to know the ‘cheapest’ way to get your hands on an SRM crank-based power meter? Yep, this is it.
The Attiva is a spider-based power meter that vastly undercuts any power meters based on big-name cranksets, and even undercuts SRM’s own Origin Alloy crankset.
It’s built around a 24mm diameter spindle so it should be compatible with the vast majority of modern road bikes. It’s available in 50/34, 52/36 and 53/39t chainring combinations.
The Attiva communicates via ANT+ and is powered by a USB-rechargeable lithium battery, with a claimed battery life of 100 hours per charge.
At 948g it’s possibly the heaviest product of its kind. Stay tuned soon to BikeRadar for a closer look at this power meter and a follow-up review once we’ve spent plenty of time with it.
- Price: £1,249 / $1,399
Orb bike bottle and light
The Orb is a water bottle and a light combined, the idea being that fitting the Orb bottle to your ride is a quick and easy way to improve your visibility.
Switch the bottle on and four yellow LEDs shine down from the lid of the bottle into the liquid below, spreading light for 360-degree visibility.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a bottle with a light inside — Topeak first introduced us to that idea a few years back with its iGlowCageB
At 740ml the BPA-free Orb fits into a standard bottle cage and houses all of its electric gubbins within the screw off lid.
Its battery is a rechargeable item that’s accessed via micro-USB port at the side of the lid, so you won’t have to muck about with changing cells.
The Orb’s claimed run times vary between 7 and 48+ hours depending on which of the three illumination modes you choose.
- Price: £30
IXS Trigger FF full-face helmet
The Trigger FF from IXS is something of an engineering marvel.
Offering certified DH-level protection in an airy shell that totals somewhere close to 600g in its smallest size, this is the lightest full-face out there.
There’s a horizontally and vertically adjustable cradle at the rear of the helmet plus a magnetic buckle and a goggle-compatible adjustable visor.
Four other reasonably muted colours are available should you not like this slightly lairy lime/black.
- Price: £199.99 / $249
Orbea Orca M20 Team-D
The Orca is the racer in Orbea’s range, so there’s aggressive geometry, aero tweaks and a frame that favours speed over outright comfort.
Visually, the 2020 Orca frame features slimmed seatstays that are a stark contrast from the stout chainstays, bottom bracket area and down tube. There’s also an internal seat clamp, thru-axles and internal cable routing.
This particular model manages to pack in some really nice kit without getting crazy spendy. Highlights include Shimano’s Ultegra Di2 group complete with hydraulic discs, DT Swiss E1850 Spline DB 23 wheels and 28mm tubeless-ready Hutchinson Fusion 5 tyres.
Expect plenty more detail on this Basque beauty once Matthew has finished testing it.
- Price: £2,899 / €3,299