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An $800 cycling outfit, unreleased Exposure lights, a new MRP gravel supension fork and a snazzy front rack

Welcome to this week's edition of First Look Friday

First Look Friday 10th June 2022.

Hear-ye! Hear-ye! BikeRadar declares the time doth toll for new cycling swag!

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Yes, that’s right, it’s time for this week’s edition of First Look Friday – your intravenous hit of the hottest new cycling tech to land at BikeRadar HQ.

If an $800 cycling outfit, shiny new lights and a shred-tastic gravel bike suspension fork aren’t quite enough for you, why not take a look back at the very best of BikeRadar this week?

The last seven days brought yet more Bike of the Year 2022 reviews, with the Cube Stereo 120 HPC 29, Scott Addict RC, Saracen Ariel 50E Elite and BMC Roadmachine X gracing the BikeRadar homepage.

We also brought you four of the very tastiest bikes from Unbound 2022 – the most important event on the gravel racing calendar.

A round-up of seven of the freshest mountain bike tyre inserts on the market – a relatively new and burgeoning product category – was also a highlight.

Finally, we saw the release of the all-new Garmin Edge 1040 bike computer. This introduces solar charging and, finally, a move to USB-C charging.

Eliel Del Dios collection cycling kit

The Del Dios range is Eliel’s top-end cycling kit collection.
Felix Smith / Our Media

The Del Dios collection is California-based cycling brand Eliel’s new top-end, performance-focused kit.

Said to be five years in the making, the Del Dios collection is Eliel’s vision of what an “absolutely uncompromising cycling kit would look and feel like”.

The lightly compressive bib shorts are said to improve performance.
Felix Smith / Our Media

Eliel’s Del Dios bib shorts are made from abrasion-resistant nylon with a lightly knitted construction that, Eliel claims, offers light aero properties.

In addition, the shorts are constructed from “​​an ergogenic fabric that reflects heat energy back to the body”.

This is claimed to “promote micro blood circulation, reducing lactic acid build-up and improving oxygen transfer thus supporting the leg muscles during long/hard pedalling sessions”. Heady stuff!

The gilet is lined with a flocked grid pattern.
Jack Luke / Our Media

The Del Dios jersey is made from proprietary fabrics that are claimed to reduce aerodynamic drag, with the effect most pronounced at “speeds ranging from 25km/h to 50km/h”. No figure is provided for these claimed savings.

Finally, the vest is made from a densely woven fabric that is windproof without relying on an additional laminate layer.

The inside of the vest is lined with a grid of flocked squares that helps to trap heat without increasing bulk.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, such high-end kit comes with a high-end price tag to match (international pricing N/A):

  • Eliel Del Dios vest: $225
  • Eliel Del Dios bib shorts: $350
  • Eliel Del Dios jersey: $225

For those counting along at home, that’s an $800 outfit without factoring in a base layer, socks, shoes or a helmet… or sunglasses.

We look forward to testing the kit to find out if its performance lives up to its premium price tag.

Pelago Commuter aluminium medium front rack

Pelago manufactures a range of nicely designed cycling accessories.
Jack Luke / Our Media

Pelago is a Finnish brand that produces a line of well-designed accessories in addition to sensible steel commuter bikes.

In particular, the brand’s range of pannier racks feature high-quality hardware and tons of fitting options out of the box, making them a great choice for many bikes.

Pictured is the imaginatively named ‘Pelago Commuter front rack aluminium medium’, which sits alongside the larger ‘Commuter rack’.

The top platform is the perfect size for a porteur bag or basket.
Jack Luke / Our Media

The medium rack features a smaller top platform than the commuter rack, but both share the same legs and mounting hardware.

A stainless steel version of both racks is also available for those who require a higher load capacity. The stainless steel version may also appeal to cycle tourists because it will, in theory, be easier to repair in the field than an alloy rack.

The mounting hardware is really high quality.
Jack Luke / Our Media

Like all of Pelago’s front racks – and somewhat unusually for a porteur-style front rack – the Commuter medium features a rail for mounting pannier bags.

Interchangeable modular attachments cut from steel mount to the base of the rack legs. These give the option to mount directly to a hub axle (as done here) or via traditional rack eyelets.

Each rack ships with all of this hardware as stock, in addition to two different-sized crown struts.

Exposure Boost and Boost R lights

Exposure’s new lights are based around its existing Trace family.
Felix Smith / Our Media

Exposure’s new Boost and Boost R lights are based around the brand’s Trace and Trace R models, which are among some of the best bike lights we have tested.

The new lights get increased battery life and increased power, with the rear light offering a claimed 48-hour burn time in low-power modes. That’s double the claimed battery life of the Trace.

The rear light features Exposure’s React technology and Peloton mode.

The power of the diminutive front light has been boosted to 325 lumens.
Felix Smith / Our Media

React adjusts the light’s power based on ambient light conditions. Peloton mode detects a rider’s light behind you and dims your rear light to avoid dazzling them.

The front light sees a bump up in power to 325 lumens. While these lights are designed primarily for increasing visibility, this is just about enough power to be able to see by if you get caught out.

The lights retain Exposure’s signature machine alloy construction and feature an IP6 waterproof rating.

Various brackets are available for the lights, including specially shaped mounts for aero and D-shaped seatposts. You can also mount the front light on a GoPro-style bracket or TT bar extensions.

The lights will go on sale later this month, with pricing to be confirmed.

MRP Baxter II gravel suspension fork

The Baxter II is MRP’s latest gravel suspension fork.
Warren Rossiter / Our Media

The MRP Baxter II is an updated gravel suspension fork from the Colorado-based brand.

The launch follows on from the impressive Rock Shox Rudy Ultimate XPLR gravel fork and Fox’s all-new 32 TC Gravel.

The new Baxter is a gravel-specific design with 32mm-diameter alloy stanchions and cast magnesium lower legs. The dimensions of the fork are much slimmer than the original fork, and the tapered design certainly looks a better visual fit for gravel bikes. MRP has also greatly increased tyre clearance to a generous 50mm for 700c wheels.

Three cheers for mudguard mounts.
Warren Rossiter / Our Media

The fork has flat-mount disc fittings and can take a 160 or even a 180mm rotor. The legs also have cage mounts on the legs, which are capable of handling 1.36kg of load. In a welcome move for those in wet climates, the fork also features mudguard/fender mounts.

The fork is available in 40 or 60mm travel options, and with a standard 100mm or Boost axle.

Our test fork weighs in at 1.53kg with a 260mm-long steerer tube, the star nut fitted and a thru-axle in place.

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