Happy Friday from one and all at BikeRadar. Much like the last several weeks, this week has brought a seemingly unstoppable stream of new bike and product launches.
The biggest news was, of course, the official launch of Specialized’s latest-generation Tarmac SL7.
Specialized also launched the Status – a rowdy and very affordable 160mm travel do-it-all trail bike.
There was a new Merida Reacto too, which is the bike Mark Cavendish will be riding once the racing season restarts in earnest.
This is all alongside our regularly scheduled reviews, news and in-depth features. If you don’t want to miss a thing, why not sign up to our newsletter. Alternatively, give us a follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Flipboard?
In this week’s edition of First Look Friday – your weekly roundup of the hottest kit to land at BikeRadar HQ – we have limited-edition Oakley sunnies, a nifty Apidura musette, fancy tubeless valves from Schwalbe and fresh butt Butt’r from right here in BikeRadar’s home of Bristol.
Oakley Radar EV Path Kokoro collection limited-edition sunglasses
Brooklyn-based artist Meguru Yamaguchi was enlisted by Oakley to design this jazzy new collection of limited-edition sunglasses.
The Kokoro – a Japanese word that means ‘heart, mind spirit’ – collection was said to be inspired by that which “unifies athletes of all abilities, professional and every day alike”.
The glasses were first hand-painted by Yamaguchi and then Oakley designed a custom-made machine to apply the splatter paint job to each frame, to replicate the artist’s signature design.
The way in which the paint is applied with the machine means that every pair is totally unique.
Every pair of sunglasses feature Oakley’s Prizm Lens Technology lenses. These use different colour casts to suit different conditions to enhance colour and contrast, improving the clarity of detail.
That might sound gimmicky, but all BikeRadar testers have found it to be remarkably effective.
All else aside, there’s no denying that the shades look insanely cool and are excellent Instagram fodder. What more could you ask for?
Sales from the collection will go on to fund a $200,000 donation to the WHO’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
- £181, international pricing TBC
Apidura packable musette
This nifty little packable musette from Apidura has become a surprising favourite among the new kit I have received this year.
Packing down to the size of a small potato – maybe a nice Jersey Royal – the 7-litre capacity musette is surprisingly useful.
I personally tend to just stuff it into a bar bag or jersey pocket, but a nifty integrated Velcro strap also means you can fit it anywhere on your bike. It is honestly so small and lightweight that to leave it behind now seems daft.
The bag is made from very fancy-sounding RS20D, which is totally waterproof. This is great if you want to keep the contents dry but also means that I tend to get a bit of a sweaty patch on my back when riding with the bag on for any length of time.
- £24, international pricing TBC
- Buy the packable musette direct from Apidura
New Schwalbe tubeless valves
Tubeless valves are utterly boring and largely forgettable… up to the point that they don’t work as expected, and they then become the sole focus of your rage.
With that in mind, a high-quality valve can make a genuinely notable difference when setting up tubeless road or mountain bike tyres.
Schwalbe’s newest valves incorporate some neat designs that, the brand claims, make them some of the best on the market.
Available in 40, 60 and 100mm lengths, the very longest valves will mean that valve extenders are not required on super deep aero road rims.
The inner diameter at the base of the valve also grows from 2.4 to 4mm. This means that air can flow more readily into the tyre, easing initial seating.
The shape of the cone at the base has also changed, shrinking in size so it sits deeper into the valve hole. A hex-head is also built into the base of the valve to aid fitting.
The o-ring and lockring have changed too, and it should now be possible to do away with a profiled spacer.
The valves are available now and priced at €21.90 (40 mm), €24.90 (60 mm) and €29.90 (100 mm).
- 40mm: €21.90
- 60mm: €24.90
- 100mm: €29.90
Bistol Buttr is a delightful-smelling chamois and general-purpose anti-chafing cream, made right here in BikeRadar’s home of Bristol.
The thick non-absorbent formula cream is enriched with lavender, tea tree and peppermint essential oils, giving it a very pleasant smell.
Aloe vera, sweet almond and sunflower oil “act to heal existing chapped and irritated skin” and, finally, beeswax in the cream stops it from being absorbed into the skin.
It’s the best way to avoid chafing and prevent sores during endurance sports.
- £16, international postage available
- Buy direct from Bristol Buttr