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Q36.5 winter kit, Silca’s Bicycle Spa cleaning range and gravel-specific pump, and Pirelli Cinturato Velo reflective tyres 

Plus all the latest news and reviews from the week

First Look Friday 28/10

It’s the end of another busy week, with the clocks about to go back and winter drawing in here in the UK. Yet on BikeRadar the sun shines all-year round and the content keeps on coming.

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To get you ready for the murky trails, digital writer Jack Evans updated our comprehensive list of the best mountain bike jackets of 2022, following our recent group test. We also revised our round-up of the best waterproof mountain bike trousers.

Jack was busy elsewhere, too, penning a news story on Orbea’s sister brand Oquo’s new mountain bike wheel range.

Senior technical editor Alex Evans published a thorough review of the visually striking Pole Voima and Rob Weaver brought us news of Canyon’s new self-centring steering system.

Heading into the dropped-handlebar world, content editor Stan Portus delved into how Specialized designed its new Diverge STR. The bike is now with us and we’ll be bringing you a full review soon.

Senior technical editor Warren Rossiter reviewed Zipp’s 101 wheelset and the Cannondale Topstone Rival AXS, and I came away very impressed by Assos’ debut cargo bib short, the Mille GTC Kiespanzer C2.

If your winter riding sees you turn to indoor training, you’ll want to check out senior technical writer Simon von Bromley’s coverage of Wahoo’s extensive updates to its Wahoo X subscription service.

And finally, next week will see the arrival of our inaugural electric bike week, so be sure to check in for a plethora of the latest news, reviews, buyer’s guides and best lists.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at this week’s juicy tech nuggets.

Q36.5 clothing

Q36.5 is an Italian brand with a scientific approach to cycling clothing, headed up by Luigi Bergamo, formerly head of research and design at Assos.

All Q36.5 garments are manufactured within a 350km² footprint from its headquarters in Bolzano, Italy.

Q36.5 BAT jacket

The BAT jacket is a fully featured design from Q36.5.
Kaden Gardener / Our Media

Q36.5 says its futuristic-looking BAT winter cycling jacket is an advanced, multi-layered item that prioritises insulation, and wind and rain protection. The brand quotes a temperature range of 0 to 10ºC, but also says the jacket can be used either side of these figures.

The jacket uses a mixture of UF 2L, which Q36.5 says is a light, two-layer laminated waterproof and windproof fabric on the front and arms. There’s a UF Air Insulation inner lining to provide warmth.

The mid-back and pocket areas use the brand’s Graphene Yarn Technology, a bio-polyamide blend that’s said to transfer body heat away from the torso.

There are ventilation openings at the rear for excess heat and moisture to escape, and the brand claims the jacket’s tailored fit means it won’t flap around when riding.

The zip is said to be water-repellant, there’s some reflective detailing and there are three pockets at the rear. The collar is also air-tight, according to Q36.5, so cold air shouldn’t make its way in.

Available in sizes XXS to XXL, the jacket comes in Black as well as the Navy Blue colourway I have here.

Will the BAT jacket usurp my trusty Castelli Gabba 2? Only time will tell…

Q36.5 Termica Long Salopette L1 bib tights

The Termica Long Salopette L1 bib tights are for the coldest of rides.
Kaden Gardener / Our Media

Q36.5’s bib shorts and tights differ from other brands in many ways.

Firstly, the brand uses ‘high density stretch woven fabrics’, which it says are fibres twisted 1,700 times rather than the industry standard of 330 to 400.

The benefits of this construction are the fabric stretches less under heavy loads and fits the body more compressively, as well as being lighter in weight. It is said to offer faster drying times, increased durability and more UV protection.

The brand says the fit may seem uncomfortable when you first put on any of its shorts or tights, but this is deliberate because it’s optimised for the riding position.

The Termica Long Salopette is the brand’s winter bib tight offering and Q36.5 says it’s suitable for riding in temperatures between -5 and 5°C.

One of the technologies it employs to create additional warmth is the use of a smart fibre on the inside face, which the brand dubs ‘Heat Fibre’, produced from the residue of coffee bean processing.

The fibre is said to attract infrared rays from the environment and use them to heat the body.

The chamois is provided by Elastic Interface and Q36.5 says it has worked hard to include a minimum of seams to allow for maximum freedom of movement.

The tights are available in sizes XS to XXXL.

  • Q36.5 BAT jacket: £345 / $475 / €363 / AU$590
  • Q36.5 Base Layer 3 long-sleeve: £89 / $120 / €91 / AU$150
  • Q36.5 Termica Long Salopette: £299 / $415 / €318 / AU$520

Silca Gravelero mini pump

Silca’s Gravelero is heavily inspired by its Tattico road mini pump.
Kaden Gardener / Our Media

While you might huff at the thought of mini pumps now being specific to cycling genres, Silca’s Gravelero has a lot going for it.

Taking inspiration from the brand’s Tattico road line, the Gravelero is an all-aluminium mini pump. Forgoing plastic, Silca says the use of metal avoids any issues with overheating while inflating a tyre.

The mini pump can be mounted, using the supplied bracket with retaining strap under the bottle cage bosses, or stowed in a jersey pocket.

In keeping with the Tattico, the Gravelero uses a retractable hose to allow for easier inflation at tight angles. The thumb-lock, reversible chuck is also retained from the Tattico and the head can be used with both Presta and Schrader valves.

Silca claims the Gravelero pushes 35 per cent more air for the same overall length, compared to the Tattico.

The design has been further refined for gravel and off-road use with a smoother outer texture, to make for easy cleaning. The sealing is also said to be improved to protect the pump against dirt and mud.

The pump weighs 139g and can reach a maximum pressure of 80psi, according to Silca.

  • Silca Gravelero mini pump: £70 / $75 / €90 / AU$120

Silca Bicycle Spa range

Silca’s Bicycle Spa range is designed to keep your bike looking fresh.
Kaden Gardener / Our Media

Silca has also recently launched its Bicycle Spa range, a collection of four cleaning products with the usual attention to detail you’d expect from the brand.

According to Silca, it spent a year and a half developing the products. The price may be high, but the products should last longer because you use less.

The new range comprises a drivetrain and brake cleaner, a bike wash, a graphene spray and a waterless wash.

Silca recommends first spraying the brake and drivetrain cleaner, which has a cinnamon scent, on the drivetrain and brakes. This is a non-aerosol, non-chlorinated solution and Silca says it’ll even work with your disc brakes and can remove contaminants if they’re squealing.

The next step of the process is to add 3oz of the bike wash per 5 gallons of water and wash the rest of the bike.

Silca says the bike wash, with its cherry-scented smell, is “the most highly concentrated soap in the market today that you can use with hand-washing techniques”.

Like the drivetrain cleaner, dirt is encapsulated and lifted from your frame so it won’t damage your paintwork.

The final step is to apply the ‘sweet lime margarita’-scented Graphene Spray Wax. Silca advises waiting two to three minutes for it to dry, before buffing with a towel.

The piña colada scented Ceramic Waterless Wash is designed as an everyday top-up after your rides.

  • Silca Brake and Drivetrain Cleaner: £36 / €36 / $30 / AU$48
  • Silca Bike Wash: £30 / $25 / €30 / AU$40
  • Silca Graphene Spray Wax: £54 / $45 / €54 / AU$72
  • Silca Ceramic Waterless Wash: £36 / $30 / €36 / AU$48

Pirelli Cinturato Velo reflective tyres

The reflective strip should keep you nice and visible on the roads when it gets dark.
Kaden Gardener / Our Media

The darker nights are drawing in now and to combat that, Pirelli has announced a reflective version of its venerable Cinturato Velo road bike tyre, for increased visibility.

The Cinturato Velo is designed for poor, wet road conditions and puncture protection, while the brand’s P-Zero range is more race-focused. Pirelli says they are ready for high mileages on a variety of road surfaces and conditions.

Constructed from Pirelli’s SMARTNET Silica technology and using a 60 TPI casing, the Cinturato Velo is said to be “a strong, long-lasting tyre”.

The Armour Tech casing sees a unique mix of Kevlar fibres to protect against punctures and runs from bead to bead. The lightning-bolt tread pattern is claimed to reduce noise and drain water.

The Cinturato Velo is Pirelli’s four-season tyre.
Kaden Gardener / Our Media

They can be run as clinchers or tubeless. If you run them tubeless, Pirelli says they’re compatible with hookless rims with a 73psi maximum pressure limit.

The tyres are available in 700c x 28mm, 32mm and 35mm widths. We have the 28mm variant in, which has a claimed weight of 350g.

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  • Pirelli Cinturato Velo reflective tyres: from £66.99 / €74.90 / $89.90 / AU$115.90