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Apidura bikepacking bags, Assos gravel clothing, Cascada mountain bike kit, Ergon seatpost and American Classic tyres  

Plus all the latest news and reviews from the week

Apidura Handlebar Pack and Assos gravel kit

It’s the end of another week and what a scorcher it was both in temperature here in the UK and in terms of BikeRadar content.

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We opened the week with senior technical editor Warren Rossiter bringing us news of Zipp’s revamped 808 and 858 NSW wheelsets. He also gave us his first ride review of the 858 NSW wheels.

Newly promoted content editor, Stan Portus, wrote a news story on Cannondale’s limited-edition 750g SuperSix EVO Leichtbau, of which there will be 200 available worldwide.

Digital writer Jack Evans asked the question how hard is the Transcontinental Race? We also delved into two new patents submitted by Campagnolo, with the brand seemingly working on a new electric bike motor and power meter.

Senior technical writer Simon von Bromley brought us reviews of the Cube Litening C:68X SL and the Factor Ostro VAM. The review of the final bike in Simon’s three-way test, the BMC Timemachine Road 01 Three, will be published later today.

Finally, we’ve updated our lists of the best gravel bike pedals, best women’s road and gravel bikes and best enduro mountain bikes for 2022.

With the highlights covered, let’s dive into some exciting new tech.

Apidura Expedition packs

Apidura’s Expedition packs are designed for the long haul and the brand says durability, a light weight and waterproofing are its aims with this series.

The packs are said to be constructed from a waterproof laminate with welded seams for complete protection, no matter the weather or conditions.

Apidura Handlebar Pack 9L

The Handlebar Pack should play nicely with most bars.
Oscar Huckle / Our Media

First up is the Handlebar Pack, which we have here in a 9-litre volume. It’s also available in a 14-litre version.

The bag features a double-ended roll-top design, with a hands-free air release vent to assist in compressing the bag down.

It features a three-point reinforcement strap system, with two straps securing the bag to the tops of the handlebars and one fitting around the base of the head tube.

At the front of the bag is a bungee cord for storing extra cargo, as well as reflective graphics.

Apidura also makes an Accessory Pack designed to store food or electronics, which can be attached to the front of the Handlebar Pack.

Apidura Frame Pack

Store your heavier items in the Expedition Frame Pack.
Oscar Huckle / Our Media

Next is the Frame Pack, which is designed for storing items within the main triangle. This is a good place to store heavier items to avoid a weight imbalance.

The Frame Pack is fastened to the tubes with Velcro straps. There’s a battery lead / hydration hose port for charging devices or staying hydrated on the road.

Apidura has gone hard on the waterproofing measures.
Oscar Huckle / Our Media

The bag features an interior storage pocket for improved organisation.

The Frame Pack is offered in tall and compact fits to suit your frame’s head tube shape. Compact fits are offered in 3, 4.5 and 5.3-litre volumes and tall fits are offered in 5 or 6.5 litres.

Apidura Saddle Pack

The eagle-eyed among you may notice the uppermost strap hasn’t been fastened. Unfortunately, this Selle Italia saddle has mountings for its own bag.
Oscar Huckle / Our Media

The Saddle Pack fits to the seatpost and saddle rails and as well as the 14-litre volume pack we have here, it is also available in 9 and 17 litres. Apidura recommends storing clothing in this bag.

Built from a lightweight laminate developed specifically for the brand, Apidura says the bag is highly resistant to abrasion and tears.

The straps are sturdy and offer plenty of adjustment.
Oscar Huckle / Our Media

A three-point attachment system with Hypalon-reinforced Velcro straps allows the pack to hug the seatpost. There is a hands-free air release valve for easy packing and compression.

The Saddle Pack doesn’t require a rear rack and is said to be friendly with carbon seatposts. There is a light attachment point to the rear of the pack and like the other packs, reflective graphics for enhanced visibility.

  • Apidura Expedition Handlebar Pack 9L: £96 / €90.42 / $132 / AU$172
  • Apidura Frame Pack 4.5L: £49 / €85 / $123 / AU$161
  • Apidura Saddle Pack 14L: £126 / €110.83 / $173 / AU$226

Assos Mille GTC gravel collection

Assos’ Mille line is designed for pure comfort rather than speed or lighter weights and the GTC range is the brand’s first gravel collection.

Assos Mille GTC Jersey C2

The Mille GTC jersey combines road and mountain bike elements from Assos’ other jerseys.
Stan Portus / Our Media

The Mille GTC Jersey C2 combines elements of the brand’s road and mountain bike clothing. The brand says it took durable, lightweight and breathable fabric from its trail collection to keep up with the rigours of bikepacking.

It features a quarter-zip and the fit is baggier than the brand’s road clothing but tighter-fitting than a mountain bike tee.

The fabric is plenty breathable.
Stan Portus / Our Media

The jersey eschews the three traditional road jersey pockets and features a security pocket to the left side of your back. Assos says it has used a softer collar and cuff material and the ‘Triangle’ textile is borrowed from its trail jerseys.

The jersey is available in two colours – Torpedo Grey and Schwarzhold Green, the latter of which we have here.

Assos Mille GTC Kiespanzer Bib Shorts C2

The bib shorts are also gravel-specific.
Stan Portus / Our Media

The Mille GTC Kiespanzer C2 is a cargo bib short with four pockets – two on the thighs and two on the rear.

The pockets are said to be high-stretch, extremely breathable 3-Mesh panels and the two rear ones use green pull tabs so you can grab supplies fuss-free while riding. The leg storage pockets’ mesh folds in on itself at the top so you can tuck cargo in to keep them secure.

The shorts use Assos’ tried-and-tested C2 pad with a 19mm gravel-specific insert, which the brand says absorbs vibrations on rough and choppy terrain.

The brand says the shorts have been designed to put up with the abuse of riding off-road.

Mesh-like ‘Bunny Hop’ side panels are said to protect against abrasion while maintaining breathability. The panels are also claimed to further compress your leg muscles, reducing fatigue.

Reflective stripes help ensure visibility and the shorts feature a silicone leg gripper. The shorts use Assos’ X-frame bib straps to hold everything in place.

Both jersey and bib shorts are available in sizes XS through to TIR.

  • Assos Mille GTC Jersey C2: £110 / €130 / $160 / AU$220
  • Assos Mille GTC Kiespanzer Bib Shorts C2: £210 / €240 / $270 / AU$420

Cascada Trail Lightweight T-shirt and Lakewood Adventure II shorts

The kit is designed for the hottest mountain bike rides.
Dave Caudery / Our Media

Cascada’s Trail Lightweight T-shirt is designed for the hottest days in the saddle (not that we get many here in the UK). It is also multi-use, so it could be worn for other sports or even casual use.

The T-shirt is made from 100 per cent recycled fabric and Cascada says the four-way stretch fabric allows full freedom of movement. The neck is label-free to avoid irritation.

We have it here in the ‘Patrol’ colourway, but there are three other colours: ‘Snakebite’, ‘Stained’ and ‘Don’t Dread The Night’.

The Lakewood Adventure II shorts can also be used across other sports or casually. For cycling, they would best suit gravel bikes or mountain bikes.

Cascada says they’re crafted from tear-resistant, lightweight and quick-drying ripstop stretchy fabric. The shorts also feature a water-repellent treatment to the outer layer.

The Lakewoods feature two deep pockets to the side and another two at the rear. They have a drawstring to tie them at the waist and the shorts are packable into the back pocket.

The shorts can be worn either on their own or over a pair of the best bib shorts.

  • Trail Lightweight T-Shirt: £49 / €55 / $60 / AU$86
  • Lakewood Adventure Shorts: £75 / €85 / $92 / AU$133

Ergon CF Allroad Pro Carbon seatpost

Ergon’s leaf-sprung seatpost has been around in many guises over the years.
Oscar Huckle / Our Media

Now a part of Ergon’s ‘Allroad’ series of finishing kit for gravel riding, the CF Allroad Pro Carbon seatpost will be familiar to many as the popular VCLS (Vertical Comfort Lateral Stiffness) post. It is regularly found on Canyon bikes, under its own branding.

The seatpost utilises a leaf-spring suspension design that reduces road vibrations, thus improving comfort over a traditional post. There is an extended range of saddle-rail adjustment, thanks to the reversible Flip Head.

The post is available in zero or 25mm setback options and only in a 27.2mm diameter and 345mm length.

Ergon claims a 240g weight. We weighed our setback variant in at 236g.

The two carbon fibre leaf springs compress and are attached together at the base of the post and the Flip Head.
Oscar Huckle / Our Media

Ergon advises a 100kg weight limit and the seatpost can be used with both 7x7mm steel or titanium round saddle rails or 7x9mm oval carbon saddle rails. However, if you’re using a saddle with oval rails, you’ll need to purchase Ergon’s Flip Head Adapter for Carbon Rails.

The seatpost retails for $249.95 and you can expect a review on BikeRadar soon.

  •  £229.99 / $249.95

American Classic Mauka tyres

The Mauka is one of four new tyres from American Classic.
Oscar Huckle / Our Media

After launching a collection of road bike tyres and gravel bike tyres in September 2021, American Classic has now launched four new mountain bike tyres.

The Mauka is a downcountry tyre available in a 29×2.4in format. It retails for $45 and is claimed to weigh 830g.

American Classic says the Mauka is intended for aggressive cross-country riding and “combine[s] a fast-rolling centre tread with sturdy side lugs”.

Provided it performs well, the Mauka tyre looks to be great value.
Oscar Huckle / Our Media

The tyre is tubeless-ready and features a lighter-weight 1.5-ply 60 TPI casing called Stage TR-L Armor. The casing is topped with American Classic’s Rubberforce G compound “for impressive grip in off-road conditions”.

The Mauka uses a downcountry-specific tread pattern.
Oscar Huckle / Our Media

The tyres are backed by American Classic’s generous Road Hazard Replacement Policy, an initiative where riders are offered 50 per cent off the retail price of a new tyre if a puncture or rip occurs on a tyre while riding and the tyre no longer holds air.

The brand says there aren’t any mileage or time limitations to this policy.

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  • £35.50 / €42.50 / $45 / AU$66.10