Welcome to First Look Friday – your weekly dose of the latest and greatest cycling swag to land at BikeRadar HQ, delivered straight to your tech-hungry eyeballs.
This week we have Mavic’s not-so-new Open Pro UST rims, a neat way to tidy up your handlebars from Cateye and K-Edge, and Garmin’s Charge battery pack.
If that doesn’t sate your appetite for tech, make sure you check our our nine bike mega gallery from the 2020 Hill Climb National Championships, news of Fizik’s funky arch supporting road shoes and our comprehensive test of the best mountain bike lights on the market.
Mavic Open Pro UST rims
The favourite of wheel builders across the land for just about forever, the new-ish rims are starkly different to the quintessential box section alloy rim of old.
The rims have a 19mm internal width (4mm wider than the old rims) and are available in both a disc and rim brake variant.
The disc-specific Open Pro does away with the brake track and uses an asymmetric drilling pattern to better balance spoken tension.
An Exalith-equipped version was announced at the time of launch but, despite a lot of public appetite for that option, it never made it to market.
We have the rim brake version in a 28h variant, which weighs 474g on my scales.
Though I would count myself as a passable wheel builder, I lace no more than a handful of wheelsets a year. Those mining the coalface of flanges are the ones with the really juicy insight into what’s good and what is not.
With his wheel builds, he has found “the ERD [the effective rim diameter] measures evenly across multiple sections of the rim”, and they’re “straight and round out of the box… making the builder’s job a simple task with no surprises”.
He added that the “depth and width are modern enough to assemble a lightweight set of bespoke wheels that have a smooth ride quality while maintaining lateral stability”.
Sounds like good stuff in my eyes!
These particular rims are due to be laced onto the All-City New Sherrif hubs I featured in First Look Friday a few weeks ago, hopefully making for a more practical wheelset for my go-fast fixie (a ‘practical fixed gear wheelset’ – what an oxymoron).
- €69, international pricing TBC
Cateye GoPro adaptor + K-Edge Garmin XL Combo Mount
Cateye’s unmemorably named CA5445340 adaptor replaces a light’s stock mount and opens up mounting options massively, allowing you to fit the light to any GoPro triple-prong mount.
K-Edge’s XL Combo out-front mount is a perfect match for this, allowing you to neatly sling the light beneath your computer.
Not only does this declutter your handlebars, but it is also super secure, holding the light rock-solid in rough terrain.
The only downside is that the battery life indicator on my Volt 1700 light is now upside down. Similarly, if your light has a heavily shaped or StVO-compliant beam pattern, you run the risk of reducing performance or blinding oncoming drivers, so this won’t be a catchall solution.
- Cateye CA5445340: £6.99, international pricing TBC
- K-Edge Garmin XL Combo Mount: £69.99 / $69.99 / €80 / AU$TBC
Garmin Charge Power Pack
The pack can more than double the battery life of a compatible computer and has an additional USB output to power other devices. Like almost all other Garmin devices, it is charged via a micro-USB port.
The pack weighs 132g and a four LED strip on the side of the unit indicates remaining battery life.
The £119.99 price tag is steep for what is essentially a neatly-designed standard power pack but, if you’re looking for the cleanest solution possible, this comes highly recommended.
As an aside, if you want to boost the battery life of your computer without the spicy price tag, you could always buy a bog-standard battery pack and run a cable from a handlebar – or frame bag to your computer. I have used both solutions and though the Garmin pack is more secure, both work well.
- £119.99 / $129.99 / €129.99 / AU$189