The BikeRadar team has stormed into the second week of 2022 with a rip-roaring mix of news, reviews and features.
We kicked off the week with a fascinating (genuinely!) review of POC’s Consort Dungarees. These have a more than passing resemblance to Carhartt insulated dungarees, but will set you back considerably more than that workwear favourite, with a set coming in at a whopping £450 / $500 / €490. That is, objectively, a lot of money to spend on a pair of riding trousers, but tech editor Alex Evans thinks they could be worth the cost.
We then took a look at the bikes Harriet Harnden and Thomas Mein rode to victory at the 2022 British National Cyclocross Championships, as well as the custom Specialized Crux that Cameron Mason rode to second place in the men’s event.
If that wasn’t quite enough to sate your appetite for tech, sit back and enjoy this week’s edition of First Look Friday – your weekly round-up of the best new kit to land at BikeRadar HQ.
100% Eastcraft and Westcraft sunglasses
100% seems to have taken a leaf out of London buses’ book recently – since the Hypercraft, fans of the brand have waited ages for a new model to arrive, and now two have come along at once.
The new Eastcraft and Westcraft models have an aviator-like silhouette, but the Westcraft design is rounded and the Eastcraft is squarer in shape, bearing a passing resemblance to Oakley’s Sutro sunglasses.
The sunglasses boast all of 100%’s usual design features. The 5.5-base, cylindrical lenses are said to be treated to repel water and muck, and the frames are made from durable TR90 Grilamid plastic.
100% also includes a hard case, microfibre cloth, alternate-fit nose pad and a clear-lens option as standard, which are all nice value-adds over similarly priced sunglasses for cycling.
Unusually, the Eastcrafts and Westcrafts can be used with both a singular shield lens and separate dual lenses. The glasses’ V-latch locking mechanism across the bridge of the nose secures both lens types, and contributes to a distinctive look that is unmistakably 100% in style.
The glasses also have side ‘shields’, which 100% says offer extra protection from the elements.
I’ll be honest, all I can see those protecting me from is my peripheral vision, so sensibly 100% has made them removable.
- From £169.99, international pricing TBC
Le Col Pro Indoor training kit
The apparent cross-compatibility of lightweight summer kit makes it easy to scoff at turbo-specific cycling gear.
However, indoor training can often get uncomfortably warm. The usual indoor training tricks – an industrial-grade fan, open windows and bottles of ice-cold water – only do so much, so some riders need all the help they can get.
Le Col says this was the stimulus behind its new Pro Indoor training kit range.
Everything from the string-vest like, sweat-wicking fabric of the jersey to the minimalist leg grippers of the bib shorts is featherweight. Indeed, large sections of the jersey and bib shorts are thin and perforated enough to be translucent.
In the name of decency, Le Col has tried to mitigate how revealing this is. A funky pattern covers the jersey chest panel and a darker strip of material runs down the thigh to similarly obscure the garment’s flimsiness.
All practicality is not lost in the search for ventilation, however. The jersey has two back pockets to stash snacks in for long, hard training sessions, so you should be able to stay well fuelled as well as well cooled.
- Pro Indoor jersey £120 / €150 / $170 / AU$235
- Pro Indoor bib shorts £160 / €200 / $225 / AU$315
Peaty’s Bicycle Brush Set
It’s only been a few years since Steve Peat hung up his wheels, but in that time he has built up a rather successful business developing and selling bike maintenance, cleaning and tubeless products.
The Bicycle Brush Set is Peaty’s latest release and to an extent completes its maintenance range – in theory, it now offers everything a rider needs to look after their bike.
Peaty’s says its products are as environmentally friendly as possible, and uses natural materials where it can.
As such, the Brush Set uses waxed beech wood for its handles instead of plastic. The brushes’ bristles are synthetic, however – Peaty’s says natural fibres don’t achieve the same performance or durability, so where possible has used post-consumer recycled plastic.
The set comprises 4 brushes: the Bog Brush, which features 360-degree bristles for all-round cleaning, with the handle clattering into the bike frame; the Detailer Brush, which is thin and cylindrical for hard-to-reach areas; the Drivetrain Brush, with a kinked handle and stiffer bristles to make cassette scrubbing easier; and the Tyre Brush, whose wide head features stepped bristles that wrap around the profile of the tyre.
- £34.99, international pricing TBC
Bontrager Circuit WaveCel helmet
This is Bontrager’s latest helmet to feature its WaveCel technology. WaveCel is an EPS alternative and pseudo-competitor to MIPS, which was released in 2019 and promised to be cycling’s “most important” new tech in 30 years.
WaveCel is the collapsible cellular structure you can see lining the inside of the helmet. Essentially, it’s designed to work a bit like a crumple zone on a car by absorbing impact forces. It’s also claimed to divert rotational forces by flexing and gliding against itself.
The Circuit model that contains it is designed to be “ultra-versatile” rather than being pigeon-holed to a particular style of riding. Indeed, its sleek design would be equally well suited to racing a local crit as it would be a commute through the city.
As well as WaveCel, the Circuit has key features that make it stand out from other helmets at this price point.
It has two nifty magnetic mounts, one on the top for a light or action camera and another on the back for a rear light. Being magnetic, they require no tools and fit snugly despite being easy to use. Large reflective elements are still used on the back of the helmet too.
The Circuit’s closure system is operated using a Boa dial, usually seen on higher-end road shoes, so the fit can be easily fine-tuned.
On a final note, the EPS foam around the WaveCel structure is made from 50% post-consumer recycled materials, which is good to see.
- £134.99 / €154.99 / $159.99 / AU$229.99