Can it really be December already? I don’t know about you, dear reader, but this year has been a blur.
Before then, though, it’s time for another edition of First Look Friday, our weekly round-up of the latest news, reviews and new tech.
There were plenty of reviews, though. Monday saw us run the rule over the Swiss Side Hadron² Ultimate 500 Disc wheelset, while we published reviews of the Q36.5 Unique road cycling shoes and the Continental Terra Speed gravel tyres on Tuesday.
We also republished our buyer’s guide to the best waterproof jackets for cyclists, so if you’re the kind of brave soul who doesn’t mind venturing out on the bike in inclement weather, be sure to have a look at our picks.
On the other hand, if, like me, you prefer to stay indoors and keep warm and dry more often than not, now is a great time to invest in a smart trainer (if you haven’t already).
With that out of the way, let’s get on to some of the exciting new cycling tech to land at BikeRadar headquarters this week.
Continental GP5000 S TR tyres
Headline improvements over the GP5000 TL are claimed to be a 50g reduction in weight for the 700 x 25c size, increased sidewall protection and a 20 per cent reduction in rolling resistance.
Continental also claims the new GP5000 S TR tyres offer easier tubeless setup, and can be used on hookless rims, up to a maximum inflation pressure of 73 PSI / 5.0 BAR.
In addition to standard black sidewalls, the GP5000 S TR is now available with tan sidewalls too (though Continental calls them ‘transparent’), which is a huge boon for those of us who love the classic look they offer.
We’ve been lucky enough to receive a set of 700 x 28c GP5000 S TR tyres with transparent sidewalls. Compared to a lightly used set of 700 x 28c GP5000 TL tyres, the new GP5000 S TR tyres weigh 35g less per tyre, spot on the claimed weight of 280g for this size.
The larger 700 x 28c tyres don’t see the same 50g weight reduction per tyre as the smaller 7000 x 26c model, then, but 70g per set of tyres is a small improvement regardless.
Look out for a full review soon, where we’ll try to tease out whether the 20 per cent claimed reduction in rolling resistance also stands up to scrutiny.
The continental GP5000 S TR costs £69.95 / €79.90 per tyre.
Hunt 54 Aerodynamicist Carbon Disc wheelset
Hunt’s 54 Aerodynamicist Carbon Disc wheelset is, as the name suggests, a set of carbon wheels with 54mm deep aero rims, for disc-brake bikes.
Designed in conjunction with Hunt’s engineering and product manager, and all-round aerodynamics expert, Luisa Grappone, the Aerodynamicist wheelset range features trickle-down technology from Hunt’s top-tier Limitless Aero Disc wheelset, at a more affordable price point of £899.
That means a wide, blunted rim shape, though in this case the result is less extreme than on the Limitless wheelsets.
The 54 Aerodynamicist wheelset features a hooked, tubeless-ready rim with a 29mm external rim width and a 20mm internal rim width, optimised for 700 x 25 and 700 x 28c tyres.
Our test set weighs 1,580g, with tubeless rim tape installed, and tubeless valves and spare spokes are included in the box as standard.
In terms of aerodynamics, Hunt claims its own wind tunnel testing showed the 54 Aerodynamicist outperforms key competitors such as the DT Swiss Arc 1100 Dicut 48 and Zipp 303 NSW by 0.40 and 0.96 watts respectively.
That’s clearly not something you’d be able to detect in the real world, but it’s perhaps reassuring to know these wheels should fall in the right ballpark in terms of aero performance.
Brooks Scape bike bags
The Scape range uses waterproof materials, with modular designs and a hard-wearing, “made-to-last” construction.
For shorter adventures, the Scape handlebar pouch, top tube bag and saddle pocket bag offer a handy way to increase storage on your bike without overloading it with gear.
The handlebar pouch, for example, offers a healthy 3-litre capacity, which is enough room for a small to medium-sized camera, plus accessories.
The top tube bag has a smaller, 0.9-litre capacity, which looks perfectly sized for sandwiches (or whatever energy food you like). If you run a slammed front-end setup, though, it might protrude above the height of the stem top cap.
If you’re planning bigger adventures, the Scape range also includes larger bags, such as the handlebar roll bag, larger saddle bags and large and small pannier bags.
Brooks Scape range and prices
- Scape handlebar pouch: £60 / €70
- Scape saddle pocket bag: £50 / €55
- Scape top tube bag: £42.50 / €50
Outdoor Provisions Starter Pack
Outdoor Provisions was founded with a view to addressing what it believed was a major problem; it felt traditional energy bars were “bad”, in many ways.
Made in the UK and designed for “bikepackers, campfire cooks and ultra-distance lovers” Outdoor Provisions energy snacks are said to “actually taste nice”.
The starter pack offers a sample of the various types of energy snacks Outdoor Provisions offers. For £16, you get four energy bars and four nut butter pouches.
The energy bars use recognisable ingredients such as sultanas, raisins, oats, almonds and dried bananas. They also come in a range of flavours with a British tilt, such as cherry bakewell, Kendal mint cake, parkin and bara brith.
The nut butter pouches seem more like a WholeFoods replacement for energy gels. Rather than using sugar to offer a quick energy spike, the nut butter pouches are designed to give you a hit of slow-release energy, which is perhaps more appropriate for longer, slower rides.
Outdoor Provisions also says the wrappers are compostable, but, as always, we’d still suggest taking all of your rubbish home with you.