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Garmin Varia RCT715, Rapha x Palace kit, a 3D-printed saddle from Fizik and Oakley’s Tour de France sunglasses

Plus the latest news and reviews

first look friday july 15 2022

The weather and Tour de France have heated up this week as the arrival of La Grande Boucle in the Alps saw Tadej Pogačar lose the yellow jersey.

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If you’re wondering what that means, our guide to Tour de France jersey colours will illuminate you.

So you don’t miss the rest of the thrilling action, we’ve listed where you can live stream the race.

The heatwave felt like a furnace here in Bristol. Appropriately, we published a video on the hottest Tour de France bikes.

In the BikeRadar content forge, the digital Stakhanovites have been striking while the iron is hot.

First, we covered the Shimano XT Di2 M8150 launch, an electronic mountain bike groupset only for ebikes.

The component maker also released the more affordable Shimano EP600 and updated EP801 electric bike motors alongside the Shimano CUES Di2, which adds electronic shifting to ebikes.

Staying motor-assisted, we covered the Trek mid-level assist Fuel EXe release.

As for gravel, we updated our exclusive 2022 Cannondale Topstone Alloy story from April with all the details from the official launch.

Our BikeRadar team at Eurobike in Frankfurt, Germany, has rivalled the productivity of the Mittelstand, contributing to us publishing 13 news stories on Wednesday.

To name a few, these included: the new Shimano S-Phyre RC903 shoe, the 2023 Bosch ebike Smart System update, the new Garmin Edge Explore 2 and the Lee Cougan Rampage Innova mountain bike.

We also rounded up some of the most interesting tech from the event – stay tuned to for more to come.

Now it’s time for our curated selection of the hottest tech to arrive at BikeRadar HQ this week.

Garmin Varia RCT715 tail light

Garmin Varia RCT715
The Garmin Varia RCT715 has a camera.
Stan Portus / Our Media

Cameras are built into many devices in contemporary life. It’s not just smartphones that can record the world around you, but doorbells, televisions and even kitchen appliances.

With the release of the Garmin Varia RCT715, you can now add bicycle lights to that list of smart devices.

Garmin’s new tail light features a high-definition camera to record any incidents out on the road.

Like its predecessor, the Varia RTL515, this new rearview radar light will alert you to vehicles up to 140m behind you when paired to a Garmin bike computer. Its light is said to be visible up to a mile away in daylight.

The addition of a camera on the Varia RCT715 will provide you with footage of your ride at up to 1080 pixels at 30 frames per second.

You can use the camera like a GoPro, but Garmin says it will also record constantly when in use. If the Varia detects an incident when you are using it, it will automatically save footage, should you ever need it.

  •  £349.99 / $399.99 / AU$639.99 / €399.99

Rapha x Palace EF cycling kit

Stan Portus wearing Palace Rapha jersey
It’s hard to miss the latest Rapha x Palace collaboration.
Oscar Huckle / Our Media

If you’ve been watching the Tour de France, it’s likely you’ve already seen the latest Rapha and Palace Skateboards collaboration. Because, frankly, how could you miss it?

The brands first collaborated for the 2020 Giro d’Italia, where the EF men’s team wore a ‘switch-out’ kit featuring a headache-inducing, fever-dream pattern and cartoon duck.

Now, they have created a new kit for the Tour de France and the first Tour de France Femmes.

The design features a green creature, which takes some decryption – is it a dragon, a lizard, or a dinosaur? – and the Venus symbol, amongst other gaudy details.

Rapha says the kit “righteously celebrates the Tour Femmes”, which will start on the final day of the men’s Tour de France, and is the first edition of the race in more than 30 years.

Cannondale, the bike provider to EF Education-EasyPost and EF Education-TIBCO-SVB, has also collaborated with Palace for the two races, ‘leaking’ a new SuperSlice time trial bike in the process.

Rapha says the kit will be available exclusively to Rapha Cycling Club members soon, alongside training kit and casual clothing.

  • Rapha x Palace Men’s Pro Team Aero Jersey: pricing TBC
  • Rapha x Palace Men’s Pro Team Bib Shorts: pricing TBC

Fizik Argo Adaptive R3 saddle

Fizik Argo Adaptive saddle
Fizik says the Argo is its most versatile saddle shape.
Stan Portus / Our Media

We first spotted a 3D-printed Fizik saddle three years ago at Eurobike 2019. Since then, the brand has released three versions of its Antares saddle with the honeycomb-like structure it calls ‘Adaptive’.

Now, Fizik has brought the 3D-printed saddle technology to its Argo saddle shape. While the Antares occupies a more race-orientated position in Fizik’s line-up, the Argo is said to be the brand’s most versatile saddle shape. It’s suitable for riding on the road, gravel and trails.

Fizik Argo Adaptive saddle
The upper is said to reduce pressure by 60 per cent.
Stan Portus / Our Media

This Fizik Vento Argo Adaptive R3 saddle’s 3D-printed upper is said to provide long-lasting comfort and a 60 per cent reduction in “peak pressure through improved weight distribution”.

Fizik says 3D printing enables it to tailor the amount of cushioning provided in different parts of the saddle’s upper. The design of each section is said to be informed by the riding positions and pressure points of professional and amateur cyclists.

While the Antares Adaptive saddles have a cut-away section in the middle, the Vento Argo R3 Adaptive has a continuous 3D-printed upper, not unlike the Specialized Power Pro with Mirror.

Fizik Argo Adaptive
The saddle has a carbon-reinforced nylon shell.
Stan Portus / Our Media

If you think the mesh-like design looks like it would be a nightmare to clean, you wouldn’t be the only one. But Fizik says “whatever gets in, comes out”. All you need to do is hose the saddle down with water.

This R3 version of the road bike saddle has a carbon-reinforced nylon shell and Kium hollow rails. The R1 version pairs the same shell with carbon rails.

The saddle we have is 140mm across and weighs 226g.

  • £259.99 / $259 / €259

Oakley Kato and Holbrook Tour de France sunglasses

New Oakley Tour de France glasses
The 2022 Oakley Tour de France glasses.
Jack Luke / Our Media

Oakley is the official sunglasses sponsor of the Tour de France and releases a selection of its designs in new colours themed around the race each year.

Last year, Oakley released four glasses said to celebrate the colours of the French flag. The 2022 limited edition range is more muted, with Oakley opting for black and transparent frames with yellow detailing, in honour of the race leader’s jersey.

The glasses are also said to take design cues from the Tour’s trophy and have its logo etched into the lenses.

Ashley Quinlan wearing Oakley Katos
The Katos are said to reference the Tour de France trophy.
Jack Luke / Our Media

The Tour 2022 edition of the Oakley Kato has a Prizm Road lens with a red hue. The arms have clear sections, while the round detail in the arm is yellow.

The Kato’s wrap-around lens was eye-catching from the moment we first spotted the glasses being worn by Chris Froome at the 2020 Vuelta Espana. The design is said to improve your field of vision.

Ashley Quinlan wearing Oakley sunglasses
Oakley’s Holbrooks casual sunglasses with the Tour de France logo etched in the lens.
Jack Luke / Our Media

Oakley has also released a Tour de France version of its most popular ‘lifestyle’ sunglasses, the Holbrooks.

The Holbrook has a black-to-frosted clear design with Oakley’s logo in yellow on the arm.

The lenses are Oakley’s Black Iridium colour, said to eliminate 90 per cent of ambient light.

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  • Oakley 2022 Tour de France Kato: £265 / $323 / AU$396 / €295
  • Oakley 2022 Tour de France Holbrook: £145 / $167 / AU$213 / €160