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A rain-specific helmet from POC, the new Rough-Stuff Archive book, a cozy go-fast winter jacket and more

Plus all of the best bits from BikeRadar in this week's edition of First Look Friday

First Look Friday 19th November 2021.

Happy nearly-the-weekend cycling tech fans and welcome to this week’s edition of First Look Friday – your regular round-up of the best garden-fresh cycling swag to land at BikeRadar HQ.

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We have an accidentally winter-flavoured theme to this week’s products with a rain-specific helmet from POC; a cozy jacket from MAAP; a goth-approved black bottle cage that reflects the gloomy skies hovering above Bristol as I write this; and a nice book I can sit indoors with when I decide I don’t want to face those gloomy skies.

If that isn’t quite enough to tickle your tech pickle, we’ve had a week genuinely packed to the gunnels with interesting news and reviews on BikeRadar.

Kicking things off, we spoke to Wahoo’s Mac Cassin on the BikeRadar podcast for a coaching Q&A.

Tuesday saw a new track bike from Look, new sunnies from 100%, $85 titanium cleats from Silca and an in-depth review of the redesigned Trek Roscoe.

Wednesday then brought our round-up of the very best gravel tyres as tested by the BikeRadar team. If you’re in the market for some new shred-ready rubber, be sure to check this one out.

Thursday then saw a veritable potpourri of new products from Rapha, Brompton, Trek, Zwift and Giant – phew!

However, most importantly of all, we welcomed Jack Evans as BikeRadar’s newest digital writer. I’m yet to be treated to a ride with Jack but, taking a nose at his Strava, I worry I’m going to have to give up my title as the fastest Jack on the BikeRadar team.

POC Ventral Tempus Spin

POC Ventral Tempus Spin helmet
It might look a bit Mario Kart, but this is a serious bit of kit for serious-weather cyclists.
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

The POC Ventral Tempus Spin is a road cycling helmet that is designed specifically for riding in the rain (yes, really).

The helmet is based on the POC Ventral Air Spin (which is probably my favourite helmet of all time – I’m rarely seen riding in anything else).

A non-removable rigid shell that covers the top vents of the helmet and extends as far back as the rear-most vents is then glued onto the helmet.

POC Ventral Tempus Spin helmet
The shell is permanently affixed to the helmet.
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

While the edge of the shell can be lifted off the helmet, to be absolutely clear, it is permanently bonded on there.

This may seem like an odd approach – Lazer has long offered clip-on Aeroshells for a number of its helmets (including the Z1 and Genesis), for example.

However, as these shells are removable, they would not be permitted for use in UCI-sanctioned races as, according to UCI rules, “adding a removable cover is not allowed”.

Admittedly, few of you reading here would be affected, but it was out of this rule that the POC Ventral Tempus Spin helmet was born.

POC Ventral Tempus Spin helmet
POC sticks with its signature fixed straps for the Ventral Tempus.
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

POC-sponsored pro teams such as EF Education-Nippo use the helmet in wet, snowy or cold races. For punters who enjoy riding in such conditions, it could also be a valuable (albeit expensive) addition to your riding wardrobe.

Of course, a classic cycling cap or a dorky elasticated helmet cover would accomplish exactly the same thing.

However, if you’re like me and loathe wearing a hat under a helmet (sacrilege, I know), or are too much of a fashion victim to use one of those covers, then this might be a good shout.

The helmet is available in the pictured high-visibility AVIP Orange or a handsome shade of green.

  • £230 / $260 / €260 / AU$ N/A

Further Adventures in Rough Stuff

Further Adventures in Rough-Stuff. ISBN 9780995488687
This book is a must-buy.
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

The Rough-Stuff Fellowship is the world’s oldest off-road cycling club. Some of the club’s many beautiful adventures were immortalised in the enormously popular The Rough-Stuff Fellowship Archive (Isola Press, 2019).

Rough-Stuff Fellowship archivist Mark Hudson is back with a second volume of wonderful photos and stories in Further Adventures in Rough Stuff (Isola Press, 2021).

Further Adventures in Rough-Stuff. ISBN 9780995488687
Find me a collection of more stylish cyclists and I’ll tell you you’re wrong.
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

The beautifully designed book is jam-packed full of rickety bridges, howffs and bothies galore, tandems in places they shouldn’t be, rain capes and the most exquisite taste in cycling outfits – you really will lose yourself for hours with this very special book.

If you want to make any cyclist in your life happy this Christmas, buy both the first and second volumes of this book. They will not be disappointed.

MAAP Alt_road Thermal Jacket

MAAP Alt_Road Thermal Jacket
The MAAP Alt_Road Thermal Jacket is lined with Polartec Alpha.
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

MAAP’s Alt_road Thermal Jacket is a windproof cycling jacket that is lined with a layer of Polartec Alpha loose-pile insulation.

The main front panel of the jacket is made from a lightweight 75 g/m² fabric that is DWR-coated to give a degree of water resistance. The rear and side panels are made from a stretchy material to improve fit. The side panels are also ventilated.

Three pockets on the rear are supplemented with a zipped pocket on the right-most side of the jacket and a light mount on the left-hand side.

MAAP Alt_Road Thermal Jacket
I’ve found insulated cycling wear to be more versatile than you might imagine.
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

The fit of the jacket is fairly racy, with the elasticated cuffs and waist helping to keep drafts at bay.

The collar is a small highlight that stands out – this is lined with an insulating layer and feels really nice when cinched right up.

MAAP Alt_Road Thermal Jacket
I like the colourful details on the back of the jacket, but I do wish it was brighter overall.
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

I’ve used a number of gilets lined with Polartec Alpha and have found them to be a really valuable addition to my riding wardrobe.

The jacket is available in the pictured grey or an even more subdued black option. As a winter jacket, I would have preferred for it to come in a brighter colour option to increase visibility on dull mornings and evenings.

Silca Sicuro titanium bottle cage – black Cerakote edition

Silca Sicuro titanium bottle cage black Cerakote edition
Silca has released a black version of its oh-so-fancy bottle cages.
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

Silca’s Sicuro titanium water bottle cages are now available in a black option. This will be welcome news for committed ti-vangelists who want to mix up the usual brushed finish seen on most titanium components.

The cage’s black finish comes courtesy of Cerakote.

Silca Sicuro titanium bottle cage black Cerakote edition
The Cerakote finish is said to be very hard-wearing.
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

Cerakote is a hard-wearing ceramic coating that is commonly used in other industries. It is claimed to be harder-wearing than nitride, powder coating and anodized finishes.

The bottle cage is otherwise identical to the original brushed titanium cages and will set you back a healthy $85 a pop.

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  • $85, international pricing TBC