‘Tis the season to be jolly. And to dust off your winter kit. With a month until December 25 (can we say the C-word?), and 2023 looming into view, there’s a wintry theme to this week’s First Look Friday.
As the old adage goes, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing, and here we have Rapha’s take on the do-it-all winter jersey, as well as some unique overshoes from British brand Spatz, designed to provide impenetrable protection.
Switching things up, we’ve then got a pump capable of doing the business both with high-volume tyres and high-pressure shocks, for those of you who like your tyres knobbly and suspension supple, before taking a look at Apidura’s diddy frame pack.
What other delights have we brought you on BikeRadar this week? Well, for starters, this Specialized Aethos DIY fixed-gear conversion is undoubtedly one of the coolest bikes we’ve seen this year.
Meanwhile, Silca’s new $165 Hot Wax X chain wax is probably one of the most expensive products of 2022 by watts-saved-per-pound.
Now on to First Look Friday…
Rapha Men’s Brevet Insulated Gore-Tex Infinium Jersey
This is the latest release from Rapha to use the Infinium fabric from Gore-Tex, following the Rapha Trail Gore-Tex Infinium Jacket we featured in First Look Friday at the start of the month.
While the Trail is a hardshell jacket for mountain biking, this jersey – a new addition to Rapha’s line of Brevet clothing – is a softshell piece, said to be “breathable, fully windproof and water resistant to provide optimum protection from the elements throughout your day”.
Is this Rapha’s answer to the Castelli Perfetto, as a jersey for the changeable weather conditions many of us face through winter?
Aside from the Infinium fabric, the jersey sports a lightweight, waffle-textured lining for insulation, features a full-length zip and raised collar, and has taped seams in the areas most likely to see water ingress.
As is common with Rapha’s Brevet collection, there’s generous amounts of reflective detail, with two horizontal stripes across the chest and back, as well as additional detailing on the sleeves and rear.
You’ll also find five pockets in all, with three open pockets on the rear and two zipped pockets on the front.
It’s available in men’s and women’s fits, with six sizes and three colours: Navy/Hi-Vis Pink, Red/Dark Red and (for men only) the Light Grey/Lilac featured.
- Buy direct from Rapha
- £240 / €285 / $325
Spatz ‘Roadman 3’ Overshoes
Keeping your feet warm and dry through winter is a challenge for any rider and, if you want to take a belt-and-braces approach to your wardrobe, these overshoes from Spatz could be the answer.
Spatz is the brainchild of former pro cyclist Tom Barras, who needed a solution to keep him comfortable through winter.
There are now five sets of overshoes in the Spatz range, including the Legalz, with a shorter design to keep the bigwigs at the UCI happy, and these, the Spatz Roadman 3 Super-Thermo Hi-Viz Reflective Overshoes with Kevlar (to give them their full name).
The overshoes are made from waterproof neoprene, with a hydrophobic outer layer. The seams are heat-welded and taped, Spatz says, and there are liquid-seal grippers at the top and bottom.
There’s also a thermal liner for the shin and Kevlar protection around the toe box. I’m sure you haven’t missed all the reflective and fluorescent detailing either.
They’re not cheap, at £94.99, so how effective are these for winter riding? Look out for our full review.
Topeak Mountain 2Stage Digital pump
We (nearly) all, (nearly) always carry a tyre pump with us when we’re out on our mountain and gravel bikes, but rarely (unless we’re deep-diving into some technical fork or shock testing) carry a shock pump.
However, we’ve certainly been left short before with a deflated or deflating shock that really puts a damper (geddit?) on the ride.
This pump from Topeak is one of the first we’ve seen that combines a high-volume tyre pump with a high-pressure shock pump, and leaves us wondering why nobody else has done this.
As such, it’s ideal for mountain bikers (and with more and more gravel suspension forks on the market, gravel riders) who might want to fine-tune their ride on the trail, or just get out of a slightly over-sagged issue while out and about.
The pump, which is 26cm long, and weighs just over 200g, has a digital display for clear read-outs, as well as an articulated, braided hose.
This should help you get into awkwardly accessed areas of a bike, and separates your pumping action from the valve-stem.
The dial on the bottom of the pump switches its mode from high-volume (HV) to high-pressure (HP). A bleed valve at the top enables you to dump pressure, if needed.
The screw-on valve head works on both Schrader (on shocks and forks) and Presta (usually on tyres) valves. It’s rated up to 300psi.
- £94.99 / €99.95 / $125
Apidura Backcountry Frame Pack 1l
As more and more mountain bikers ditch backpacks in favour of less sweaty, less restrictive options, there’s now a plethora of kit-carrying accessories on the market, from storage bibs to bumbags, saddle bags and frame packs.
This 1-litre frame bag from Apidura is designed with mountain bikers in mind, with a rugged 420D nylon material and a shape that’s designed to snuggle neatly into the head tube/down tube junction.
The straps – two at the top, plus a down tube strap – have multiple mounting points, so the pack can be mounted in two orientations to better fit your frame’s dimensions. Reversed zips on either side ensure access is easy, too.
The bag’s material is waterproof, as are the zips. The taped seams complete the waterproofing picture.
Inside, there’s an elasticated loop, into which bulkier items can be squeezed to stop them from rattling about.
Want to go night riding, and have a light with an external battery? There are cable ports at either end so you can stash your battery out of the way.
Obviously, this means you can’t dunk the bike in a river and expect everything to come out dry, though!
- £48 / €55 / $65