In the world of cycling, things just keep getting better. Yes, you read that right; cycling is a breeding ground for positivity in more ways than one. At BikeRadar we try to bring you the best reviews, news and articles to keep that light shining bright, and this week has been no exception.
Start out 2021 the way you mean to go on by learning how to build healthy, positive and bulletproof habits into your training regimes and life in general, and suss out which is the best bike you should buy in 2021 to help you reach those goals and execute newly-gained routines.
Remember that you can still go for bike rides during a lockdown in the UK (please check the rules in your area), giving you a great opportunity to blow off some steam and set the wheels in motion on that new training plan.
If gravel riding is your tipple, maybe the new Focus Atlas 6.8 will get your juices flowing and could already be one of the best gravel bikes of 2021, or if you’re more into full-on off-road riding, Canyon’s Lux CF SLX 9 LTD might be a better tool for the job. Either way, you’re going to want to know how to pedal your latest bike efficiently, so it’s important to learn about cadence, what it is and why it matters.
Riding your new bike is all well and good, but coveting your pride and joy needn’t be a shameful exercise. We’ve put together a guide on how to photograph a bike (and get a picture to be proud of) so you can longingly gaze at the perfect snap of your steed forever more.
We’ve had a bumper number of off-road reviews this week, too, including Orbea’s Wild FS H10 that didn’t quite make our best electric mountain bike list, however. We’ve reviewed two dropper seatposts, both scoring high enough to enter our best dropper posts in 2021 list! That’s right, Brand-X’s Ascend XL and e*thirteen’s Vario Infinite dropper scored 4.5 and 4 stars out of 5, respectively.
Last, but certainly not least, Maxxis’s long-standing Minion DHF tyre has continued to impress thanks to its cornering prowess, and the Melon Optics Alleycat glasses look to put Oakley’s legendary reputation to the test with some fantastic performance.
Silca Tattico Mini Pump
Italian for tactical, Silca’s Tattico mini pump has been designed using feedback from its equally impressive but slightly smaller Pocket Impero pump.
The Tattico’s a frame-mounted, side-slung pump that uses the same bolt pattern as a water bottle mount. The pump and supplied bracket weighed 151g on our scales and exude quality.
The grip handle is rubberised and uses two thin tubes with an insulating gap of air to help keep your hands cool once the pump has heated up during and after vigorous inflation getting tyres up to high pressures. It is rated to 100psi.
The pump has its own valve hose with locking lever, rather than a screw-on design, which extends from inside the pump’s shortest end. The valve head is both Schrader and Presta compatible.
Silca Mattone Seat Pack
Although seat packs – or saddle bags – might not be as cool as handlebar or frame bags (especially if you ask assistant editor Jack Luke), arguably they’ve still got their place in the world, and the Silca Mattone is no exception.
Sticking to Silca’s theme of Italian naming for its products, mattone means brick in the latin-derived romance language. Luckily, the Mattone’s weight isn’t brick-like, tipping our scales at 88g.
Made from a waterproof material and opened using a YKK Aquaguard zip, the Mattone is big enough for a tube, a multi-tool, tyre lever and C02 cartridge, while there’s a small interior divider with a pocket designed for a credit card and cash.
The pack is secured to the seat using a Boa-ratchet system that’s claimed to have more than 15 times the power of Velcro!
- £45 / $46 / €37.54
Silca Super Secret Chain Lube 8oz
According to BikeRadar’s tech writer Simon Bromley, nothing beats waxing your chain – read our chain lube buyer’s guide to find out why – so Silca’s pricey Super Secret Chain Lube should appeal to those with incredible attention to detail for how their drivetrain runs.
Fabricated using the “world’s fastest, must lubricious additive” known as nano-scale tungsten disulphide, this chain wax is claimed to be the most slippy – and drivetrain quietening – wax out there. The exact ingredients are a bit of mystery, though, hence the name.
If you’re going to spend this much on chain wax, it’s crucial to follow Silca’s application process to get the best results.
- £32 / $25 / €20.32
Orange Seal Regular Sealant 32oz
Punctures are the bane of my life and there is little more I hate in the world than having to fix a puncture out on wet, cold and muddy trails. Tubeless sealant is one of the solutions to my rather ‘middle-class problem’, but there appears to be a hierarchy of performance in the world of puncture plugging liquids.
Orange Seal’s Regular Sealant is claimed to seal punctures up to 6mm big and slices up to 19mm long. It’s supposed to make tyres with leaky carcasses air-tight and, according to the brand, works in temperatures down to -11 degrees Celsius.
A standard 29in mountain bike wheel should need around 100ml of this sealant, which means the large refill bottle will seat and seal up to nine tyres!
The jury is still out on whether the Regular Sealant can do its job out on the trails, but I’ll be sure to report back with any findings soon.
Adidas Sport Sunglasses SP0001
They’ve been designed with high-level activity in mind and feature ventilation holes in the interchangeable lens to help prevent fogging, while the nose pad is adjustable to help them stick to your face if or when the going gets tough.
They weigh a claimed 32g and are available in four different colourways, if this rather fetching combination isn’t your cup of tea.
- From £140
Garmin HRM-Pro heart rate monitor
Geeking out on ride statistics has to be high up on any cyclist’s list of post-activity to-dos, so it comes as no surprise to find our bikes and bolts kitted out with power, cadence, speed and heart rate monitors to record every metric.
Garmin’s HRM-Pro is its top-of-the-line heart rate device and features ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity to pair with your chosen smartwatch or on-bike GPS device to transfer live data.
If your device goes out of range while you’re training with the HRM-Pro, it saves the heart rate data while disconnected and will automatically transfer it to a compatible device once it’s back in range.
Garmin claims the user-replaceable battery can last for up to a year, too.