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Marin’s most affordable gravel bike, shiny SIDIs and a clever tubeless repair kit

Plus the hottest topics and reviews from this week

This week's best new bike gear

This week, BikeRadar videographer Felix Smith was delighted to share his initial write up on his chosen long-term test bike, the 2020 Cannondale Synapse Ultegra.


Our eighth Bike of the Week arrived in the form of the charming Spa Cycles Elan 725, a stylish all-rounder that mimics its titanium sibling, but comes in at a far more attractive price thanks to Reynolds 725 tubing.

This week’s edition of the BikeRadar podcast featured former world hour record holder, former world pursuit champion and bonafide legend of the sport Graeme Obree.

In the interview, embedded above, Simon Bromley quizzes Obree on everything from the finer details of his experimental bike builds and his novel riding positions to his philosophy for life and mental health.

It was also great to see YT’s most affordable Jeffsy model, the £1,999 / $2,299 / €2,299 YT Jeffsy Base, roll away with a near-perfect score in our review.

On with the hottest products to (not) arrive at our office this week!

Halfords Advanced Smart Battery Charger

Halfords Advanced Smart Battery Charger
The lightweight charger could save you from the need for a costly battery replacement.
Alex Evans / Immediate Media

One glorious side effect of the recent lockdown is just how quiet the roads have been for those of us lucky enough to be able to get out and exercise.

However, with so many vehicles lying dormant, it’s inevitable that some of us will face the dreaded click of a flat battery when travel restrictions are eventually eased.

This trickle charger from Halfords will maintain the charge level in your car or motorcycle battery, giving you peace of mind that the starter should crank at the first turn of a key. For those of us with older batteries, it could even prevent the need for a costly replacement.

Halfords Advanced Smart Battery Charger
The clamps are colour coded to make sure you grip the right terminals.
Alex Evans / Immediate Media

The compact weatherproof device works with lead acid, gel, calcium, AGM, EFB and lithium batteries and is rated for use on vehicles with an engine size of up to 3 litres. 

  • £48

Marin Nicasio+ 

Marin Nicasio+
Simple, stout and well thought out.
Ben Duke

Gravel bikes from major manufacturers are becoming more affordable and this little Marin is a perfect example of this.

Built from good old chromoly steel, the frame and fork of this bike go without the likes of expensive thru-axles and internal cable routing to keep the price down. 

Marin Nicosia+ drivetrain
The Nicosia+ drivetrain uses left-field components from Microshift and Sunrace.
Warren Rossiter / Immediate Media

The 1×9 drivetrain employs similar thinking, with a Microshift clutch-equipped rear derailleur, a 11-46-tooth Sunrace cassette and 42-tooth, narrow-wide chainring.

The + in the bike’s name of course refers to its road plus tyre configuration, with 47mm WTB Horizon tyres on Marin’s own brand 650b wheels.

WTB Horizon 47mm tyres
The 47mm WTB Horizon tyres seat well on Marin’s own-brand rims thanks to a generous 25mm internal width.
Warren Rossiter / Immediate Media

It looks like a great choice for someone dipping their toes into adventure riding or even as a hardy commuter pick.

  • £865 / $849.99

SIDI Jarin shoe

SIDI Jarin shoe
The Jarin should please both the gravel and XC crowds.
Tom Marvin / Immediate Media

Gravel and mountain bike riders alike will be lusting over this particularly lovely shoe from SIDI

The Jarin pairs a full carbon sole with a plush microfibre upper that’s particularly eye-catching in this blue/red iridescent finish, but is also available in a slightly more subdued Olive colour.

Two retention dials make for incremental, even tension adjustments across the foot.

SIDI Jarin retention dials
The fit is controlled by two dial adjusters.
Tom Marvin / Immediate Media

A textured protector at the toe area combines with a reinforced heel cup for protection against trail obstacles. Replaceable tread blocks and cleat plates should keep these serviceable for many epic rides.

SIDI Jarin sole
It’s good to see replaceable components at the sole.
Tom Marvin / Immediate Media

They’re sold in sizes EU38 to 48, with our 44 samples coming in at 381g each.

  • £340 / €389.00

Dynaplug Air tubeless tyre repair and inflation kit

Dynaplug Air tubeless tyre repair and inflation kit
Push the Dynaplug’s insertion tube straight into the hole in your tyre and it will deposit a repair plug.
George Scott / Immediate Media

On the whole, tubeless tyres can afford us real peace of mind, but should you end up with a puncture that your sealant cannot fix then things can get really frustrating – let alone messy!

The Dynaplug Air is an elegant solution designed to permanently repair your tyre. It’s as easy as removing whatever debris caused the puncture, pushing the insertion tube straight into the hole and then extracting the tool. This then deposits a repair plug in the tyre for the sealant to close around.

If you’ve already lost all the air within your tyre then you can attach a CO2 cartridge to inflate the tyre at the same time as you perform the repair.

Separate versions are available for road and mountain bike tyres.

  • £59.99 / $74.99