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New carbon wheels and tyres from Ere, snazzy 100% sunglasses, bone conducting headphones and vegan protein shakes

It’s that time of the week again…

First Look Friday 21 Feb

The UK may have been under siege from Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis this past week, but as always the team here at BikeRadar has steadfastly soldiered on in the face of great adversity to bring you all the best news and reviews on the latest cycling tech.

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As Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker, “With great power, comes great responsibility”, and we wouldn’t want to let our readers down.

Just in case you’ve been unable to reach us at any point over the past week, here’s a quick rundown of a few highlights from our site that you might have missed.

The venerable Matthew Loveridge published his review of Canyon’s Grail CF SL 7.0 (the gravel bike with the funky double-decker handlebar), while Luke Marshall gave us his opinion on the GT Force 29 Expert, GT’s race-proven enduro machine now with 29in wheels. Meanwhile, Warren Rossiter introduced his long-term test machine for the year, the GT Grade Carbon gravel bike.

Beyond reviews, we’ve pondered if the argument about disc brakes has now been settled with pure climbers winning on disc brake bikes, brought you a buyer’s guide to our favourite cheap kids’ bikes and taken a look at five products that prove carbon isn’t always best.

With all of that out of the way, let’s jump straight into our weekly roundup of the best stuff to arrive at BikeRadar HQ this week.

Ere Research Genus SL 30 wheels and Genus CC Skinwall tyres

Ere Research Genus SL30 wheels and tyres
Ere Research designs its wheels and tyres to work as a system.
Simon Bromley / Immediate Media

There are few things we like better than a set of bling carbon road wheels and these latest hoops from Dutch brand Ere Research tick plenty of the right boxes on paper.

Ere’s SL30 wheels have 30mm deep, tubeless-ready carbon rims (45mm and 60mm rim depths, plus a full carbon rear disc wheel are also available), laced to the company’s own hubs with 24 bladed spokes front and rear.

The rims have a 19mm internal width, on trend for road wheels, but the 28mm external width is more notable. That’s similar to Zipp’s NSW wheels, which are renowned for their wide rims.

Designed primarily as wheels for fast road riding, Ere says they will also play nice with tyres up to 36mm, so gravel and cyclocross are options with these too, if that’s more your cup of tea.

Ere Genus CC tyres
Ere Research’s Genus CC Skinwall clincher tyres have lovely looking 320 TPI cotton sidewalls.
Simon Bromley / Immediate Media

Ere has also supplied a set of its Genus CC Skinwall clincher tyres, which certainly look the part with their 320 TPI tan walls.

Notably, Ere claims that designing its own tyres enables it to ensure its wheel, rim and tyre designs work together in such a manner that they are “close to the ideal aerodynamic shape” when used in conjunction with one another.

Ere claims the SL30 wheels and a pair of Genus CC tyres weighs 1,490g (+/- 2 per cent) and 460g respectively. Set up with inner tubes, the supplied set of wheels and tyres weighs 2,290g on our scales, which leaves about 340g for the inner tubes and rim tape if those claimed weights are correct. We’ll be sure to weigh each part individually when we test them properly.

100% Racetrap sunglasses

100% Racetrap sunglasses
100%’s latest Racetrap sunglasses.
Simon Bromley / Immediate Media

Best known for gracing the faces of stars such as Peter Sagan and Mathieu van der Poel, 100%’s latest version of its Racetrap sunglasses claim to feature an “even larger field of vision and an enhanced fit”.

We’ve got the wonderfully named Soft Tact Banana colourway, but if that isn’t to your taste they’re also available in Soft Tact Black, Gloss Black and Matte White.

100% Racetrap sunglasses
100% supplies a clear lens, microfibre bag and a spare nosepiece too.
Simon Bromley / Immediate Media

100% says the interchangeable polycarbonate lens is shatterproof, impact resistant, is hydro and oleophobic and provides 100 per cent UV protection (UV400).

Usefully, a clear lens option is also included in the box for days when the sun isn’t shining so brightly.

The Protein Works Vegan Wondershake

The Protein Works Vegan Wondershake
The Vegan Wondershake from The Protein Works claims to taste much better than other vegan protein shakes on the market.
Simon Bromley / Immediate Media

Veganuary might be over, but if you’ve decided to carry on with a plant based diet (or even if you were already living on one) The Protein Works thinks it may have solved a particular problem that it claims plagues vegan sports nutrition.

The Vegan Wondershake is said to banish the “grainy, earthy and overly thick” vegan protein shakes of the past and instead be “indistinguishable from a whey protein shake” (which uses whey protein from cow’s milk and is therefore not vegan).

The Protein Works Vegan Wondershake flavours
There are three different flavours available.
Simon Bromley / Immediate Media

The shake is available in three different flavours (Double Chocolate, Salted Caramel and Strawberries and Cream), and a 30g serving is said to provide 21g of plant based protein, made from a mix of pea, soy, hemp and rice proteins.

Admittedly, most of us here at BikeRadar probably don’t do enough training to benefit from a protein shake (because we’re too busy producing riveting content like this!), but if you’re the kind of cyclist that’s looking for a vegan option to get swol then this could be just the ticket.

  • £37.99

Aftershokz Aeropex wireless bone conduction headphones

Aftershokz Aeropex
Aftershokz Aeropex headphones use bone conduction technology to transmit sound.
Simon Bromley / Immediate Media

If you ride on your own a lot, it can be really tempting to pop in some headphones and listen to music or a podcast.

Unfortunately, this generally comes with the drawback of significantly reducing your ability to hear traffic and everything else going on around you – and compromising on safety is never a good idea.

Aftershokz Aeropex headphones
Unlike normal headphones, Aftershokz headphones leave your ears open to ambient sounds.
Simon Bromley / Immediate Media

Aftershokz’ wireless bone conduction headphones potentially offer a solution, though. They bypass your auditory canal and eardrum and instead use vibrations to conduct sound through your cheekbones to your cochlea, leaving your ears open to take in ambient sounds.

Despite their name, the Aeropex headphones don’t make any claims about aerodynamics, but the bone conduction technology has apparently been redesigned to improve sound quality and make these 30 per cent smaller and 13 per cent lighter than the previous model.

Aftershokz Aeropex accessories
Aftershokz supplies two magnetic charging cables, ear buds and a storage pouch with the Aeropex headphones.
Simon Bromley / Immediate Media

They also promise eight hours of battery life and IP67 standard waterproofing (which means they ought to be able to withstand being dropped in water up to a metre deep for half an hour).

This model even made Warren Rossiter’s gear of the year 2019, so we’re hoping to be similarly impressed when we get a chance to put them to the test.

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  • £149.95