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Fly-weight XC hoops, a Silca track pump, Magicshine sunnies and Elite’s insulated bottle

Plus a round-up of the week's top stories on BikeRadar

First Look Friday 13 January 2023

I’m sure everyone’s happy we’re almost halfway through January now. Mince pies will have been digested, New Year’s resolutions broken and at least one of your new Christmas socks will have been eaten by the washing machine.

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So let’s look forward to spring. It’s not that far away really, and the nights are noticeably drawing out. Soon, the commute home will be in daylight and the trails might, possibly, be dry.

Okay, that last one is wishful thinking in the Northern Hemisphere for another couple of months, but we can dream.

Before we rattle through what’s hot at BikeRadar HQ this week, let’s see what’s been popping up on the site in the past seven days.

It has been a good week if you prefer a longer read, with a plethora of features having going live.

We delved into our crystal ball to predict what 2023’s MTB trends will be, as well as what the road cycling world will see trending in 2023.

From an advice point of view, we discussed how to set up your cleats, while Simon von Bromley paid tribute to his High-Mileage Hero, the dependable Elite Direto XR.

Tech aficionados will want to catch up on the best sub-£100 helmets and the best enduro bikes. Our Bike of the Week was Canyon’s Grail 7 AW gravel bike.

Robin Furtado brought us the first update on her Sonder Camino Ti Rival 1 long-term bike as she took to the mountains of Slovenia in search of cottage cheese and stellar gravel climbs.

Elsewhere, we served up in-depth reviews of the Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders, Exposure Strada Mk11 SB AKTiv front light and Cube Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC SLT 750 27.5.

Finally, and this one is close to my heart, we rounded up the world of waterproof onesies.

With that rapid tour of the past seven days’ highlights complete, let’s get onto the most exciting tech to land on our desks this week.

Miche K1 Evo wheels

Miche’s K1 Evo wheels are the brand’s new lightweight XC-race carbon hoops.
Tom Marvin / OurMedia

Miche might not be the first brand you think of when it comes to fresh hoops for your bike, but assuming performance matches the spec list, perhaps it should be on your radar. Testing will reveal all, of course.

These Italian-made hoops feature a broad UD carbon rim that’s 29mm wide internally to give plenty of volume to the latest generation of 2.4in cross-country tyres.

The rim walls, which have a hookless design, are 3.5mm wide. This might not sound particularly interesting, but the goal is to spread tyre bottom-out forces over a wider area, thus reducing the chance of you needing to fix a tubeless puncture.

It also goes towards adding a little extra strength to the rim wall – great if you don’t want to crumple your rims when rattling through their first rock garden.

The rim is 26mm deep and triangular in section. It has an offset spoke bed, which allows Miche to build the spokes into a more equilateral triangle shape over the hub, for more even spoke tension and a potentially stiffer build (Miche claims an 11 per cent increase).

Speaking of spokes, there are 24 per wheel, and they’re straight-pull, built around Miche’s own SKF-sealed hubs. Ours came with a Shimano Microspline freehub, but a SRAM XD driver is available, as is a Shimano HG freehub body.

The wheels are designed for tyres from 2.1 to 2.5in wide, and have a maximum rider and bike weight of 97kg. I weighed our set at 761g for the rear and 631g for the front, with tape and valve installed – a very competitive 1,392g for the pair.

Wheels come with tape and valves pre-installed, and Miche pops them in individual wheel bags, before dropping them in a box. Lovely.

  • Miche K1 Evo: £1,885 / $2,050 / €2,260

Silca Terra Floor Pump

The Terra is high-end brand Silca’s low-pressure floor pump, designed for MTBs and gravel bikes.
Tom Marvin / OurMedia

This MTB and gravel-focused (but not excluding our roadie friends) pump from Silca is reassuringly expensive at £180. No, you don’t go to Silca for ‘value’.

However, you might go to Silca for exceptional build quality and serviceability.

Silca’s web page hosts a wide range of spares and accessories for its pumps, designed to keep them working for a very, very long time.

This Terra pump is said to be an evolution of the original 1988 Terra, which Silca claims to be the first low-pressure, high-volume track pump designed for the broader tyres found on mountain bikes.

It has a sturdy aluminium construction, finished with a hand-lathed ash wood handle, which doubles as a hose guide.

At the end of the hose is a locking chuck, inspired by the Tattico mini-pump, that can accommodate Presta and Schrader valves, as well as the rarely-found Dunlop valve. There’s also a bleed valve included, to help fine-tune your pressures.

Silca seems most proud of its asymmetric, non-linear gauge. It shows the first 30psi in large increments, to help fine-tune lower pressures, before ramping up to ensure those looking for higher pressures can get accurate readings up to 120psi.

  • Silca Terra Floor Pump: £180 /$145 / €170

Magicshine Windbreaker glasses

We’ve got three pairs to test, including a photochromic lens version (on the left).
Tom Marvin / OurMedia

Magicshine is a brand previously associated with ensuring as much light as possible made it into your eyes, via the medium of rather good, very bright, value-packed lights.

However, its latest product demonstrates a U-turn as dramatic as any we saw in UK politics in 2022, with the introduction of three pairs of sunglasses designed to keep light out of your eyes.

The Windbreaker features a frame-less design, whereby there’s no outer frame to the lens, to keep your eyesight as unencumbered as possible.

The lenses wrap around your face, and feature ventilation ports to keep fogging to a minimum and, Magicshine claims, reduce wind resistance (though I’m not sure you’ll notice this IRL).

The lenses are said to offer 100 per cent UV protection, and are impact-resistant, too.

The TR90 frame material has slightly elastic properties, and contributes to an overall weight of 31g on my kitchen scales.

The glasses all have anti-slip temple inserts, as well as an adjustable nosepiece.

Magicshine is offering the Windbreaker with three lenses. There’s a standard Cat. 3 lens for sunny conditions, a Polarized model to reduce glair, and a Photochromic model that gives Cat 1-3 changeability. Each version also comes in a range of colours.

  • Magicshine Windbreaker Classic: £36.99 / $44.99 / €41.99
  • Magicshine Windbreaker Polarized: £49.99 / $59.99 / €56.99
  • Magicshine Windbreaker Photochromic: £61.99 / $74.99 / €70.99

Elite Deboyo Race bottle

Fancy swigging a warm cuppa as you ride? Insulated bottles are a winter game-changer.
Tom Marvin / OurMedia

In the weeks preceding Christmas, the weather in the UK was SO COLD. Needless to say, testing bikes in those conditions was rather chilly.

And so I make no apology that I got straight on the phone and requested this insulated bottle from Elite – the Deboyo Race.

The bottle has a dual-wall construction to provide insulation from the cold, with Elite claiming up to 12 hours of warmth for the 550ml of liquid it’ll carry.

There are two lids on offer – a solid one, handy I’ve found for more compact frame triangles, and one with a bidon-style valve.

This lid features a plastic cap over the top to keep the valve clean – handy in the wetter months.

While we usually keep review content separate from First Look Friday, I can confirm the bottle keeps a cuppa tea warm, on a cold day, for a good four to five hours (and tepid for around eight), based on sub-zero temperatures.

The cap over the bidon valve does compromise space inside your frame triangle, but if that’s not an issue, it’ll keep the mud out of your mouth.

My only complaint? The stainless steel construction scratches instantly in your bottle cage – perhaps not one for the perfectionists.

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  • Elite Deboyo Race bottle: £29.99 / €32.95