£80 carbon road shoes, 80s Oakleys and Fox’s new trail helmet

Plus an ingenious bike portage solution

  The products mentioned in this article are selected or 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 6 March 2020

It’s March and the first signs of spring are here, at least they are if you count the unstoppable spread of a highly infectious disease as evidence of Mother Nature’s abundant bounty. Otherwise, it’s mostly still raining.

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This week we’ve taken a close look at Joe Norledge’s delectable Santa Cruz Highball CC cross-country long-termer and sniggered quietly at a nascent feud between discount supermarket Lidl and discount bike supermarket Planet X.

We got the low-down on a rather handsome £525 hardtail from Marin, while the Giant Defy Advanced Pro 2 endurance bike scored a stunning five out of five stars.

We’ve also got some tasty product for your hungry eyeballs, read on for this week’s catch.

Boardman Carbon Shoes

Once the preserve of one-percenters, carbon road shoes have never been more affordable. These rather unimaginatively named shoes from Boardman are, as far as we’re aware, the cheapest yet to offer both a carbon outsole and dual ratchet closure.

Boardman’s shoes accept 3-bolt cleats only and use dials from Boa-rival Atop. The uppers are made from a perforated leather-like synthetic material with a matt finish and a mesh vent at the toe, while the outsole is full-carbon, with vents at the toe and midfoot. Given recent riding conditions, we’ll probably be sticking Blu Tack in those…

There are good sized bumpers at the toe and heel, and it looks like the latter is replaceable, although we don’t know what spares availability will be like. This size 42 pair weighs an average 279g per shoe, which is pretty respectable at this price.

  • £80

Fox Speedframe Pro helmet

The Speedframe Pro is Fox’s latest top-of-the-range trail helmet and it looks rather handsome in this camo design.

With a MIPS liner as standard, the Speedframe Pro looks like it should be good in the heat, with large vents all over including three at the brow, and extra ones on the visor which we assume are designed to direct air into the top of the helmet.

You can’t launch a new lid without a few marketing buzzwords, and the Speedframe Pro boasts Varizorb dual-density EPS foam among its features, the same stuff used on previous Fox offerings to distribute impact forces.

The buckle is a neat sliding magnetic item from Fidlock, while the three-position visor is designed to be goggle-friendly.

This size medium (55 to 59cm) helmet weighs 401g on our scales, a touch more than its 380g claimed weight. Look out for a review on BikeRadar in the coming months.

  • £139 / $159.95

Push Components Hookabike

Do you often find yourself carrying your bike up a hill? Is it a miserable, uncomfortable experience? (Yes.) If so, the Hookabike might be for you.

This simple but seemingly effective device consists of a plate that straps to your riding backpack and a large metal pin on a strap that attaches to your bike frame.

To carry the bike, you flip it over your head and hook the pin into the slot in the top of the plate. Once it’s hooked on, your hands are free for scrambling duties and the weight of the bike is borne by your rucksack straps.

The Hookabike is a niche product and it’s not exactly cheap for something so simple, but it cleverly addresses a problem faced by adventurous riders who need to hike-a-bike.

Push offers frame traps to fit virtually all bikes, and it should work with most backpacks as long as they don’t sit too high on your back.

  • £49.99 / €49.99

Oakley Sutro Origins Collection

Retro looking dude with yuge sunglasses
The Sutro: not for shrinking violets.
Matthew Loveridge / Immediate Media

It seems big glasses are emphatically back and these retro-styled Oakleys are about as assertive as they come.

Based on a classic Oakley design from the eighties, the Sutro Origins Collection (not to be confused the more modern Sutro) offers loads of lens coverage and the latest ‘Prizm’ optics, which claim to maximise constrast and enhance visibility.

They also feature a throwback logo font and a row of pleasingly retro circular vents along the top of the lens.

Logo on sunglasses arm
The logos add to the classic aesthetic.
Matthew Loveridge / Immediate Media

We don’t really care how much our sunglasses weigh, but if you’re curious, these are 32g on our scales.

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  • £135 / $166