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A press-fit bottom bracket extractor tool, funky Zwift cycling kit, Rapha’s latest bib tights and reflective woolly socks

Plus all the latest news and review from the week

First Look Friday 16 12 2022

There may only be nine more sleeps until Christmas, but the content factory is still in full swing here at BikeRadar.

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If you need any last-minute tips concerning Christmas gifts for cyclists, the BikeRadar team has curated an array of tasteful items for every budget.

This week also saw the launch of the Colnago V4Rs, the latest matt black, aero-but-still-lightweight, dropped seatstays, all-round carbon road bike (which might lead you to wonder “Why do all bikes look the same?”).

Despite Colnago hyping up the bike’s improved aerodynamic credentials – the V4Rs is claimed to be 27.7 watts more aerodynamically efficient than the Colnago V3Rs (at an unspecified speed) – I suspect Tadej Pogačar is hoping it turns out to be one of the best climbing bikes.

Our latest Bike of the Week, meanwhile, was the Ribble Ultra SL – the British brand’s radical aero road bike in its most affordable electronic shifting form.

Reformed racer, Liam Cahill, brought us his picks for Gear of the Year. #nospoilers, but it’s good to see the latest addition to BikeRadar’s newly expanded roster isn’t setting his stall out on my territory.

After all, there’s only room for one chain waxing, indoor training aero-obsessive on this team (that, of course, is a joke – everyone is welcome in that club, the real problem is that no one else wants to join).

Tuesday saw the launch of a new semi-regular feature, Torque About Tools. In this, Oscar Huckle, BikeRadar’s technical writer and dedicated tool nerd, uses his knowledge gleaned from countless days spent in workshops, to shine a light on some of the latest bike tools on the market.

Lastly, for those who (like me) prefer to avoid the cold weather and train indoors over the winter, I published a piece looking at what’s new in indoor cycling in 2023.

It covers the latest smart trainers, updates to the best indoor cycling apps and a snapshot of what virtual races and events are available to participate in.

Now, though, it’s time to take a look at some of the latest tech to arrive at BikeRadar HQ this week.

BSC Tools Press-fit bottom bracket remover set

BSC Tools’ Press-fit bottom bracket remover set comes with everything you need to easily and gently remove press-fit bottom brackets.
Simon von Bromley / Our Media

Despite being a firm believer that press-fit bottom brackets are better – when properly designed and manufactured – even I wince at the sight of press-fit bearings being hammered out of carbon bike frames.

Fortunately, BSC Tools has stepped up and created a near-universal press-fit bottom bracket extractor tool.

Priced at £114.16, the kit includes pullers and cups to work with all of the major press-fit bottom brackets on the market, including Shimano BB86/92, SRAM DUB, BB30, PF30, Campagnolo Ultra Torque, and so on.

The extractor tool itself is simple but looks exceptionally well made.
Simon von Bromley / Our Media

Aside from the obvious advantage of negating the need to take a hammer to your pride and joy, the BSC Tools Press-fit bottom bracket remover set also makes it possible to extract press-fit bottom bracket bearings without damaging anything.

This can be useful if you’ve got an expensive bottom bracket (perhaps with ceramic bearings) that you’d like to transfer to a different bike. It’s also handy if you need to remove the bottom bracket from your bike to access and service internal cable routing, and don’t want to damage a set of perfectly serviceable bearings in the removal process.

Though not cheap, the tool set appears built to last and could be worth it purely for the peace of mind of being able to retire your hammer from bottom bracket duties for good.

Though fairly expensive, the kit includes various bearing pullers and extractor cups to fit all the major bottom bracket standards.
Simon von Bromley / Our Media
  • BSC Tools Press-fit bottom bracket remover set – £114.16

Zwift Expression cycling kit

Zwift’s Expression cycling jersey and bib shorts can be used both indoors and outside.
Simon von Bromley / Our Media

It may not be your traditional winter cycling clothing, but Zwift recently announced its Expression collection of cycling kit and accessories.

With a colourful, limited-edition design, the Expression collection uses breathable fabrics designed to keep you cool, dry and comfortable while cycling indoors.

Available for both men and women, the Zwift Expression collection comprises a summer cycling jersey, a pair of understated black bib shorts, matching cycling socks, a poly-cotton cycling cap and a musette.

There’s also a T-shirt to wear off the bike, if you want to show off your app allegiance even when you’re not riding.

There are matching cycling socks, a cap and musette to complete the look.
Simon von Bromley / Our Media

Fortunately, unlike some indoor-specific cycling kits, the Zwift Expression kit is also designed to be useful outdoors.

The jersey has three standard rear pockets plus a zipped fourth one, and the kit isn’t designed to be so breathable that you’d be embarrassed to leave the house wearing it.

There’s also a reflective tab incorporated into the bottom of the rear pockets, for increased visibility when riding at night.

  • Zwift Expression jersey – £99
  • Zwift Core bib shorts – £115
  • Zwift Expression cycling socks – £16
  • Zwift Expression cycling cap and musette bag – £29

Rapha Men’s Core Cargo bib tights

Rapha’s Men’s Core Cargo bib tights are a set of classic winter cycling bib tights.
Felix Smith / Our Media

If you prefer to brave the cold and venture outside during the winter, then a good set of bib tights are a must have.

Rapha’s latest Men’s Core Cargo bib tights use a traditional fleece-backed fabric to keep your legs warm, while the bibs are made from a lightweight material to maintain breathability and keep your upper body dry.

The chamois pad is Rapha’s dual-density Classic pad for comfort on long rides, and the tights get a deep mesh pocket on either side for carrying essentials while riding.

The tights have a mesh pocket on either side for stashing essentials, such as your phone.
Felix Smith / Our Media

Reflective tabs are also incorporated into the lower leg for improved visibility in the dark.

In traditional Rapha style, the branding is subtle and the two colour options are black and dark navy.

The Men’s Core Cargo bib tights have an RRP of £135.

Rapha Reflective Brevet socks

Rapha’s Reflective Brevet socks are a medium-weight sock designed for long rides.
Felix Smith / Our Media

Designed as a multi-season sock, the Rapha Reflective Brevet is made from a combination of Merino wool and PrimaLoft.

As the name suggests, it’s intended to maximise comfort, breathability and durability over long rides.

The fabric blend is designed specifically to be anti-bacterial and quick-drying, so touring cyclists can wash and dry them overnight (or even wear them for a few consecutive days without offending anyone).

A reflective yarn stripe is also incorporated into the sock to help keep you visible at night, which is ideal for overnight audaxes or brevets.

The upper-most stripe uses a reflective yarn.
Felix Smith / Our Media
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