BikeRadar’s own protracted, crowning ceremony, and the one you’ve really been waiting for, has arrived.
Yes, that’s right, it’s Bike of the Year time again.
Our selection process is much more meritocratic than the rules of royal succession. The offspring of last year’s winner, the Giant Revolt Advanced Pro 0, is not destined to inherit the throne.
Instead, dozens of blue-blooded, two-wheeled pretenders have been trying to court our panel of expert bike testers.
And if you disagree with their verdict, you’ll be able to protest in the comments section without spending a night at His Majesty’s Pleasure.
But before we reveal which gifts the cycling courtiers have brought to pay tribute to the King of bikes, let’s recap the week at BikeRadar.com.
Our mountain bike digital writer also reported on the new Canyon Strive:ON, before bringing us a first ride review and covering the launch of the Pinarello Dogma XC. Our cross-country racing guide explains all you need to know about the dynamic MTB discipline.
Elsewhere, CeramicSpeed released the UFO Drip Wet chain lube, Specialized followed suit with a new S-Works Mondo all-road tyre and a new Forbidden Druid trail bike skidded into view.
Now, let’s look at the most interesting tech and gear of the week.
Mavic Cosmic SLR 45 LTD x Masi rim brake wheels and jersey
Mavic has collaborated with French visual artist Jérôme Masi to design three different depths of Cosmic SLR carbon wheels, which the brand calls its fastest, stiffest and lightest all-round road bike wheels.
The 45mm-deep rims are illustrated with Masi’s monochrome cycling-themed silhouettes. They include one of Masi’s signature figures and a casquette-clad male, as well as a chain and cassette.
Perhaps in a nod to Masi’s home of Annecy in the French Alps, you’ll also spot a mountain range and storm clouds.
According to Mavic, the glossy UD rim finish not only looks great, but also saves 15g per wheel.
The French brand says its Fore Carbon design means the upper rim bed does not need to be drilled for the steel, straight-pull and aero spokes to be attached.
As a result, the 19mm internal rim doesn’t require rim tape to be run tubeless and needs less reinforcement, which is claimed to save 40g per wheel. This brings the wheelset weight to 1,440g, according to Mavic.
Mavic says the Instant Drive 360 freehub harnesses automatic bearing preload adjustment to be stiff, fast to engage and durable.
It’s compatible with Shimano and SRAM freehubs and can be converted to Campagnolo with a driver body.
Mavic and Masi have also released a version of the Ksyrium summer cycling jersey in ‘Masi Blue’. Masi’s cap-sporting-man graphic covers the fabric, which is claimed to be lightweight and breathable.
- Mavic Cosmic SLR 45 LTD £2,090/€2,349
- Mavic Ksyrium Masi Blue jersey £80/€85
Oakley Encoder Strike Vented sunglasses
The new Oakley Encoder Strike Vented sunglasses borrow from some of the brand’s best cycling sunglasses.
The dotted line of vents, which was first seen on the now-retro Razor Blades, is claimed to improve airflow to keep the lens fog-free.
The brand says its PhysioMorphic geometry, which debuted on the Oakley Kato, enables the lens to wrap around the face, while maintaining sufficient rigidity.
The Encoder Strike frame is made from O-Matter material and is claimed to be strong yet comfortable. No-slip grips on the nosepad and earsocks help the cycling sunglasses stay in place, according to Oakley.
If the ’24K’ gold lens isn’t your thing, there are six more colour options to choose from. All have Prizm technology that is said to offer clearer vision.
- £210/$255 /€235/AU$330.
Le Col Pro Wind Jacket
Le Col says the Pro Wind Jacket shields you from the wind and can repel light showers, thanks to its water repellence.
The brand claims the close fit and elasticated cuffs stop the Pro Wind from flapping in the wind, aiding aerodynamics.
The soft inside of the high collar keeps your neck warm and comfortable when riding into the wind in an aggressive position, according to Le Col.
Mesh panels on the sides and arms improve breathability while helping keep weight down, according to the brand. Our size-medium sample weighs 128g and packs away easily into a jersey pocket.
Besides lime green, the Pro Wind Jacket is available in orange, green, navy and yellow in sizes XS to 3XL. All colour options feature reflective strips on the sleeves.
Coffee First, Then The World by Jenny Graham
In 2018, Jenny Graham became the fastest woman to cycle around the world, completing the 29,000km circumnavigation in 124 days and beating the previous record by 19 days.
Averaging 234km a day, Jenny rode unsupported all the way round, including through the searing Gobi Desert and freezing Australian winter.
Coffee First, Then The World: One Woman’s Record-Breaking Pedal Around The Planet is Jenny’s written account of her astonishing achievement.