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RockShox Domain, Q36.5 Unique shoes, Hunt gravel wheels and Ashmei kit

New gear, new you, yeah?

First Look Friday May 21 2021.

It’s Friday and that of course means fresh new swag for your eyeballs.

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This week we anointed our Road Bike of the Year champions, with the Boardman SLR 9.4 AXS Disc Carbon taking the overall title, the Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1 Disc winning Performance Bike of the Year, the Cannondale Topstone Lefty 1 taking the gravel Bike of the Year crown, the Giant TCR Advanced SL 0 Disc winning Superbike of the Year, and the Boardman ADV 8.9 being our best value pick.

We also marvelled at Silca’s impressively expensive 3D-printed titanium computer mount and enjoyed the relaxed comforts of Bianchi’s E-Spillo Luxury ebike.

Hunt 4 Season Gravel Disc X-Wide wheelset

Hunt now offers a dizzying range of wheels for all budgets and the brand has been a vocal proponent of tubeless and wide rims for some time.

The 4 Season Gravel Disc X-Wide is a reasonably affordable aluminium wheelset aimed at gravel, with an internal rim width of 25mm that’s ideal for tyres from 35mm to 50mm wide.

The rims use Hunt’s H_Lock inner profile, the brand’s name for the pronounced bead humps that help prevent untimely dismounting of a tubeless tyre when it’s subjected to side loads, and makes riding at the lower pressures demanded by gravel safer.

The rims have hooks so can be used with standard clinchers too, although it’s interesting to note how minimal these are.

As with other Hunt wheels, the Gravel Disc X-Wides are available in all major axle standards and a choice of Shimano freehubs or SRAM drivers.

Hunt uses asymmetric rims for more even left-right spoke tension balance, and laces them with Pillar spokes secured using corrosion-resistant brass nipples.

The complete set with end caps for 12mm axles front and rear weighs 1,653g on our scales, including rotor lock rings, cassette spacer, tubeless valves and tape.

RockShox Domain RC

Feeling left out of the 38mm stanchion game but don’t have the astronomical amounts of cash needed for a ZEB or fancy Fox 38? Fear not because RockShox’sDomain is a (slightly) more affordable option.

It has those chunky stanchions that mean when you barrel into a rock garden your fork should be as stiff as any non-DH fork out there, but to save cash, its materials, damper and air spring are a little less ‘fancy’ than its top-spec counterparts.

Instead of a Charger damper you get a Motion Control RC damper, which can be upgraded to a Charger down the line for a few hundred quid.

OEM forks (i.e. the ones that come on a stock bike) might have a yet cheaper Motion Control R fork. If it’s got an R at the end of the name you get rebound control, if it’s RC you get rebound and compression.

The DebonAir Spring is present, but it’s not quite the same as the one in the ZEB, so this can’t be upgraded – that’s because the internal space on the air side is different, thanks to the use of cheaper alloys.

Aside from this, you get 150 to 180mm of travel in both wheel sizes, a short 44mm offset, 2.8in tyre clearance and a (claimed) weight a touch over 2.5kg. Want to know more? Check out our news piece on the new Domain.

Ashmei Signature kit