Across parts of the world, we’ve been enjoying a gradual relaxation of the lockdown rules that were imposed by governments earlier in the year.
That means we’ve been allowed to spend more time on our bikes doing the things we love and, in some countries, with more people from different households.
On BikeRadar, we’ve been trying to keep you informed about the latest and most exciting kit that’s been released such as Specialized’s brand-new 3D printed Power saddle, Roval’s super-lightweight climbing wheels and SR Suntour’s $500 GVX gravel suspension fork.
We’re also aware that more people than ever are getting into cycling, whether that’s for recreation and exercise or just travelling from one place to another as a form of transport.
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We’ve also tried to entertain, and Tom’s opinion on the death of I-Beam saddle and seatpost standard is sure to spark up an opinion or two.
Finally, we’ve said farewell to our much-loved, ultra-fit, dog-owning, hill climbing, cross-country mountain bike riding hooligan Joe Norledge, who’s moved to pastures new to work for another YouTube channel.
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The votes are in and you – our beloved audience – voted scruffy @jacquelucque and @jimmytheexploder1 over a smarter version of the pair as your preferred option ???????? Here the pair is pictured meticulously ensuring they are as unpresentable as possible before their next video ????What do you think the video could be about? #BikeRadarDiaries
Joe holds a special place in the hearts of all of BikeRadar’s staff and will be sadly missed but not quickly forgotten.
SDG Bel Air 3 saddle
First launched back in 1995, the SDG Bel Air saddle has become one of the most iconic perches, with SDG having sold over one million examples of their ever-popular model.
Although the new Bel Air 3 retains some of the original’s looks by keeping a slightly raised rear and its 140mm width, it also gets a host of updates.
The saddle’s been on a bit of diet with the overall length decreasing to 260mm, by lopping a part of its nose off, and its shoulders have been slimmed down in size too. Although its dimensions have reduced slightly, SDG has kept plenty of padding for seated comfort.
There’s a perineum nerve pressure relief channel that runs the full length of the saddle and it’s backed up by a large cut-out in the hull directly underneath the pressure relief channel, which is designed to improve comfort further.
The cover is seamless with no bumps, stitches or hard-wearing shoulders for a clean look.
And its padding is made from a mid-density injection moulded EVA foam. It’s available with carbon rails (181g), lux-alloy rails (236g) or black steel rails (318g).
It can be bought in eight colours and costs from £54.95 for the steel-railed model up to £179.95 for the carbon saddle.
- From £54.95 to £179.95
POC Tectal Race SPIN NFC helmet
It’s tricky to put a price on your personal safety, but the POC Tectal Race SPIN NFC lid certainly puts that theory to test with a £220 / €250 / $250 price tag.
So what do you get for that impressive asking price, then? Not only does it have SPIN – POC’s proprietary tech that works in a similar way to MIPS, reducing the transfer of rotational forces into the brain – but it also features a host of other bits of potentially life-saving kit.
It’s got an integrated medical ID chip that’s readable by compatible near-field communication (NFC) devices. The chip can store your medical information so if you’ve been knocked unconscious or can’t respond to a first aider’s questions, they can treat you appropriately.
A polycarbonate shell covers the EPS foam liner to help protect it from damage. This protection is enhanced thanks to an Aramid Bridge that, POC claims, improves the structural strength of the lid.
It’s got an adjustable visor, a goggle clip and adjustable retention cradle. Our size medium weighs 379g.
The best news about the Tectal Race SPIN NFC lid is that it scored five out of five stars in Virginia Tech’s independent helmet test.
- £220 / €250 / $250
Troy Lee Designs Flowline long-sleeve jersey
It’s made from Troy Lee Designs Dura Knit fabric and, like a lot of Patagonia’s kit, is Bluesign certified, and claimed to have wicking and quick-drying properties.
It feels airy and comfortable when worn so keep tuned for a full review soon.