The weekend is almost upon us and we’ve got shiny new things to show you – welcome to First Look Friday!
Since announcing our overall winners last week – the Cannondale SuperSix EVO, Propain Hugene and Whyte G-170C RS 29er V2 – we have continued to reveal our Road Bike of the Year category winners in the performance, endurance, gravel, aero, superbike and under £1,000 categories.
To read more about this year’s Bike of the Year test, find out how we tested and see the full list of contenders, head on over to our Bike of the Year 2020 page.
We’ve also got a Bike of the Year special podcast this week, which you can listen to in the link below or by subscribing to the BikeRadar Podcast via iTunes, Spotify and all the other usual podcast services.
We’ve also updated our best road bike wheels list, taken an in-depth look at our latest Bike of the Week, the Mondraker F-Podium DC R, heard Strava’s most recent news and looked at some exercises you can do off of the bike.
But, now, grab a cuppa and read all about four of the best bike bits to arrive with the BikeRadar team this week.
100% Glendale sunglasses
Cycling sunnies seem to be getting bigger and bigger in recent years, and these full-frame shades from 100% are a case in point.
The Glendale sunglasses have a huge, shatterproof wraparound frame, which holds interchangeable lenses.
They come fitted with a filter category 3 lens, which allows just 17 per cent of light to pass through and offers 100 per cent UV protection – ideal for sunny summer days.
They are also supplied with a clear lens for lower light conditions.
Both offer a remarkably wide field of view, with little obvious distortion, internal reflection or obstruction. Because the lens extends way down towards the cheek bones, they should provide a bit of extra protection from mud or dirt splatters coming up from the front wheel, too.
The frame channels air onto the back of the lens to help keep fog at bay, and the lenses are both shatter- and scratch-resistant, and are treated to repel dirt, water and oil. In theory, that should keep your vision clear for longer.
There are two nosepiece options in the box, and the temple tips are adjustable to suit different face shapes. But at this price, we’d recommend trying before you buy, or at least hang on to the receipt, in case they don’t fit.
The Glendale isn’t a brand-new model, but 100% has just sent us this pair to test in a new matt metallic colourway.
- £165 / €190 / $185
Paul Components Racer Medium centre-pull brake
Paul Components’ centre-pull brakes are a great option for those looking to maximise tyre clearances on any rim-braked bike.
That’s exactly what Jack had in mind when he got a hold of the brand’s Racer Medium brake for his new Surly Steamroller flat bar, fixed gear gravel bike (what a mouthful that is).
The frameset officially has clearances for 38mm tyres, but the extra space afforded has allowed him to squeeze in a 40mm-wide WTB Raddler tyre – trust us when we say there’s more clearance in there than it looks.
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Introducing my new Surly Steamroller ???????????????????????????????????????????? wagon ???????????????? . My old Steamroller test bike was one of my all-time favourite bikes and I've wanted another ever since it went back to @isondistribution ???? Today, my #fixiefamous dreams come true ???? . This bike is my vision of the perfect flat bar fixed gear ???????????????????????? dreamboat (#tracklocross if you prefer) and I'm looking forward to spending many happy hours mashing my knees into oblivion on it ???? Let me know why I'm an idiot for building it in the first place the comments below ???????? . ⚙️ @surlybikes Steamroller frameset ⚙️ @canecreekusa 110 headset ⚙️ @bikethomson Elite X4 stem and Elite seatpost ⚙️ @brooksengland Cambium C15 saddle ⚙️ @paulcomponent Racer Medium brake, Moon Unit, Funky Monkey hanger and canti lever ⚙️ @sramroad Omnium crankset ⚙️ @halowheels custom tubeless 'track' wheelset ⚙️ @wildernesstrailbikes Raddler 40c tyres ⚙️ @kmcchain Z1 chain . #fixie #fixedgearfabulous #tracklocross #baaw #bikesofinstagram #gravel #gravelcycling
The brakes feature short and stout arms that feel super-stiff under heavy braking and, unlike a conventional side pull brake, if you’re using mudguards, the arms will not pinch them during use.
The brakes can be fitted using a traditional centre-mount or, if you’re ordering a custom bike, it’s possible to also have studs brazed onto a frame. A number of different colour options are also available.
The stock silver spring adjusters have been replaced with a set of purple ones and a matching Moon Unit cable hanger has also been fitted. This is all controlled by a matching Paul Components Canti Lever.
Expect to see more of these brakes and Jack’s daft Steamroller in the weeks to come.
- From $150, international shipping available
- Buy the Racer Medium directly from Paul Components.
PEARL iZUMi Elevate D3O knee guards
These mid-weight knee pads look well suited for trail riding, particularly in warm weather.
They feature a D30 pad with a mesh construction to allow air to flow directly to the knees. This is held in place by what is essentially a knee warmer made out of a thin, four-way stretch fabric called Cordura.
At either end are elastic cuffs with silicone grippers printed onto the inside to hold them in place.
The cuffs aren’t adjustable to fit different shapes and sizes of legs, but the upper cuff sits well above the tapered part of the thigh.
We’ve found that a higher upper cuff helps knee pads stay put far better than those with a cuff just above the knee because otherwise the tapered shape of the lower thigh causes the cuff to slip down while riding.
The orange D30 pad covers a broad area around the kneecap, and there are small foam pads to add a little extra protection either side This may help if you knock your knee on the top tube. They’re certified to CE level 1 protection, which means they should be fine for enduro racing.
Basically, this certification means they have been tested by dropping a 5kg weight from one metre and measuring the force transmitted to the other side. If the peak force transmitted through the kneepad stays below a certain level, they can be sold as level one certified.
A few knee pads boast level 2 certification, which means the peak force transmitted in the same test stays below an even lower threshold, but most MTB knee pads are either level one certified, or in the case of some lightweight pads, are not certified at all.
They weigh in at 347g a pair (size medium) on the BikeRadar scales of truth. That’s lighter than most certified knee pads, but not the lightest.
The thin Cordura base material, vented D30 pad and cutout behind the knee suggest they should be especially well-suited to riding in hot weather. We’ll let you know when/if it gets warm enough to find out and we’re able to get out testing again.
- £115 / €130
- Buy now from Bikester
Suplest Edge+ Pro road shoes
If you’re in the market for some new road or mountain bike shoes, it would be easy to overlook Suplest – a small cycling shoe manufacturer based out of Switzerland.
We’ve tested the Edge3 road shoe before, and found it to be comfortable and plenty stiff, but not overly impressive in the weight department.
Suplest claims the newer Edge+ shoes are “11% stiffer whilst also achieving a 5% drop in weight”. While we can’t confirm the stiffness claim, this pair of Edge+ shoes weigh 597g in size 43, while the Edge3 pair we tested weighed 655g in a size 45.
So while this isn’t quite an apples-to-apples comparison, it suggests a 5 per cent weight saving is possible even in the same size.
Having said that, you’re probably kidding yourself if you think you can really notice a 5 per cent weight saving (about 30g) in the real world.
The upper is secured by a pair of Boa IP1 dials, and contains a thin layer of carbon to keep it from stretching as the Boa dials are cinched up.
The carbon outsole has rubber studs at the heel and toe, which should add a little extra grip when walking between your bike and the nearest flat white.
The sole also features the all-but-obligatory vent in front of the cleat to cool down hot feet. Our inventive and intrepid Jack Luke has found that stuffing these vents with Blu Tack helps to keep toes warmer in the winter months.
Even so, these particular shoes are probably best saved for the summer months because the fetching white upper won’t look nearly as pristine after a few hours of riding in the UK these days.
Fortunately, they are also available in more practical black/grey or anthracite/red.
- £320 / €355 / $333
- Buy now from Sigma Sports