A PRO carbon seatpost, women’s bib shorts with a period-ready chamois, a tiny Schwalbe pump, plus Oakley photochromic Sutro Lites
Turns out zero-setback seatposts aren’t only for pros…
Hear ye, hear ye!
Come forth for your weekly inside look at some of the new products to land at the BikeRadar Fortress of Content.
But first, let’s have a quick round-up of some of the news highlights we’ve published this week.
Monday kicked us off with a helmet recall notice from Giro, but happier news for taller mountain bikers that Fox has launched 125mm and 150mm-long Transfer-SL dropper posts.
On Tuesday, we revealed a patent for what could be a new Specialized Roubaix… without a seat tube.
Eagle-eyed deputy editor Jack Luke spotted a discounted £5 helmet on Wiggle on Wednesday (who says safety has to be expensive?), and Cannondale officially launched its much-rumoured Lab71 skunkworks – a glorious place where its bikes go to be race-tuned.
Thursday saw the launch of the Veli XC bike, the Transition Smuggler all-rounder MTB, and the SUV-esque Trek Fetch+.
If expert reviews are your thing, we had plenty of those for your delectation too.
The Hunt 48 Limitless UD Carbon Spoke Disc wheelset has still got me thinking whether you really need carbon spokes in a road wheel, while the Michelin Pro4 Endurance road tyre impressed with its all-round performance.
Warren ran the rule over some pretty Italian lace-up shoes, and Robyn reflected on her time testing the Vittoria Rubino Pro tyre.
Plus, the mountain bikers among you were treated to Tom’s glowing review of the Vitus Rapide FS CRX and Alex’s take on the OneUp Components Dropper Post Remote V3. We also served up a series of jacket reviews, including the Patagonia Nano-Air, Giro Ambient and Decathlon Rockrider softshell.
Now, let’s dive into the fresh new gear.
PRO Vibe Sideclamp Di2 Seatpost
General wisdom often has it that a setback seatpost is for everyday riders, while in-line (or zero-offset) posts are reserved for pro-level bikes.
For an example, just check out Canyon’s chosen method of speccing an in-line post for the raciest CFR version of the Ultimate, while riders opting for the SLX and SL models are supplied with a setback post.
However, a recent bike fit experience suggests I might be better off with an in-line model, having spent the last decade riding setback posts.
So, here’s my choice: the PRO Vibe Sideclamp Di2 Seatpost.
It features a unidirectional carbon construction, Shimano Di2 battery integration, plus PRO’s ‘I-bolt’ clamping system. This enables easy rail and complete saddle angle adjustment, all from the adjustment of a single thru-bolt.
PRO supplies the outer-facing ‘sideclamp’ plates in 7x7mm and 7x9mm sizes to suit a wide range of saddles, plus a sachet of its own carbon gripper paste to help ensure zero slippage.
It comes with a 400mm-long shaft, and can be had in 27.2 or 31.6mm diameters. I’ve opted for the 27.2mm version, compatible with my Fairlight Strael 3.0.
PRO claims a weight “from 199g” for this very configuration, but our Scales of Truth reveal a figure of 212g with the 7x7mm sideclamps.
I’ll be fitting the PRO Griffon Team saddle that Stan featured a few weeks ago atop it, which should give me optimum saddle interaction.
- £199.99 / $120 / €100 / AU$200
Wilma Menstrual Bib Shorts
Cycling should be for everyone, at any time.
Wilma, a French boutique brand dedicated to women’s cycling apparel, says it’s challenging established norms and taboos with its innovative menstrual bib shorts.
At their centre is the ‘Bloody Queen’ chamois pad – claimed to be the first of its kind – which is said to be able to absorb two tampons-worth of “abundant flow”.
This, the brand says, it can do without leaving any unwanted moisture or staining on the bib short itself.
Wilma also suggests it removes the need for any additional period protection (with associated benefits of reducing disposable menstrual pad and tampon waste), but this is by no means a necessity and it can be used in conjunction with your favoured method.
The aubergine-coloured variant on show here is subtly branded, with a reassuringly strong construction and opaque treatment to the fabric.
Wilma also says the bib section is designed to fit varying heights and sizes of bust, and it offers the shorts in seven sizes (XS-3XL) to accommodate the widest possible range of build.
- $112 / €105
Schwalbe SOS Pump
This neat little emergency hand pump from Schwalbe is aimed to get you out of a sticky situation by the side of the road.
Its small dimensions are a real boon for those who want to pack it away in a saddle bag, bar bag or jersey pocket without taking up much space.
Naturally, this reduces the capacity of the pump action versus some longer hand pumps, but the trade-off will be worth it for some.
Schwalbe says the attached rubber bung should help to keep road debris out of the head, which can accept Presta and Schrader valves.
The German tyre brand also provides a frame attachment mount, should you want to fit it to the frame under your bottle cage.
Oakley Sutro Lite Photochromic sunglasses
Winter and the changing seasons often throw up unique riding conditions, and the ability to see properly is paramount.
Photochromic lenses may be the answer, with their ability to adapt to rapidly changing ambient light.
These special lenses have an additional layer (versus standard sunglasses lenses), which features tiny light-adaptive molecules.
The brighter the ambient light impacting on the molecules, the more they change structure to inhibit light passing through the lens. The darker the ambient light, the more light they let through.
Oakley’s version of the technology here allows for as little as 23 per cent transmission in the brightest light (the common road cyclist-specific Prizm Road lenses transmit 20 per cent light), and up to 69 per cent in the darkest light.
Despite this, the American brand markets the lenses as “clear-to-black iridium”. Although never quite truly clear, or able to turn as dark as its full Prizm Black Iridium lens (11 per cent transmission), my initial testing demonstrates good adaptability.
I’ve been able to wear them quite comfortably at night as well as in broad daylight. This has been handy for dawn and dusk commutes, as well as for winter weekend rides where I’ve been faced with dim grey starts and bright sunny finishes, for example.
The lenses offer full UVA, UVB and UVC protection, just like other high-quality sunglasses lenses.
Theoretically, you might opt for photochromic sunglasses as your winter pair, saving your best (and brightest) sunglasses for the summer.
The Sutro Lite frames – available in black or white with the photochromic lenses – are a slightly downsized version of the Sutros Egan Bernal wore to 2019 Tour de France victory. Still bold, but less… in your face.
Stay tuned to BikeRadar for a full review in the coming weeks.
- £164 / $203 / €190 / AU$265