The northern hemisphere may have waved goodbye to the summer, with autumn now in full swing (we see you, readers elsewhere!), but the BikeRadar content machine continues apace despite the inevitable wind-down of the traditional cycling season.
Monday saw our review of the new Zwift Hub smart trainer, impressing senior tech writer Simon von Bromley with its sheer value for money and earning a spot in our best smart trainers buyer’s guide. Could it be the new budget smart trainer king?
We also brought news of Team Ineos time trial specialist Filippo Ganna’s hour record bike, complete with a breakdown of the finest (sea-derived) details that might see the Italian put the record on a shelf for the foreseeable future this weekend.
Elsewhere, we’ve had breaking news of Cervélo’s first-ever mountain bike, followed by the announcement of an updated Wahoo Roam bike computer.
Phew! That’s enough of the highlights, now on to this week’s First Look Friday picks.
Wahoo Elemnt Roam 2 bike computer
Wahoo has updated its Elemnt Roam head unit, complete with a suite of improvements aimed at maintaining its place as one of the best bike computers available.
The Roam has gained dual-band GPS, which is said to improve navigation accuracy in low-signal areas, such as under heavy tree cover and between tall buildings.
Wahoo’s Summit Segments Climb functionality has also taken a shot in the arm, with Wahoo claiming it’ll now automatically track climbs on a pre-loaded route and offer greater analysis of those ascents.
The new bike computer now benefits from an increase in screen contrast – helpful for at-a-glance legibility – and convex buttons, which should make interaction with gloves a little easier, according to Wahoo. The computer now also has USB-C charging.
- £349.99 / $399.99 / €399.99 / AU$599.95
Corima Essentia 40 all-road wheelset
Corima recently launched its new Essentia 40 all-road wheelset.
Part of a new breed of road-going wheels with an ability to traverse looser surfaces (or is that gravel wheels with a penchant for tarmac performance?), the Essentia 40s are said to fit between Corima’s MCC DX road racing wheels and its gravel-specific G30.5 hoops.
The hookless design has a 23mm internal rim width and an external width of 28mm.
The all-road wheels are said to be compatible with up to 700 x 50c tyres, while riders wishing to largely stick to the road can fit tyres as narrow as 28c.
The rims are 40mm-deep and visually striking thanks to Corima’s use of a 3K carbon weave structure.
40mm is right in the ballpark of what we’d expect for a wheelset that needs to offer decent aero performance without becoming unwieldy in challenging conditions.
The French marque – probably most prominently known by many as a supplier to men’s WorldTour team Astana – has also incorporated its own ratchet freehub design, which it says is designed to boost reliability in the face of high-torque gravel efforts.
Everything is laced together using the brand’s distinctive R2 spoke pattern, which comes with claims of sturdy reliability yet easy servicing – should something go amiss on your travails.
- £1,119 / €1,390 / $1,590
Specialized S-Works Turbo 2BR
Specialized’s top-of-the-range road rubber has been subject to recent refresh, with these S-Works Turbo 2BR tyres sitting just below the RapidAir versions.
New rubber compounds are the hero of the story here, with improvements claimed across rolling resistance, durability, grip and puncture protection.
The centre strip uses Gripton T2, which Specialized says offers the highest levels of durability and speed. In fact, the brand boldly claims “nothing is faster”.
Either side of that speedier compound is Gripton T5, which is said to offer high levels of grip, according to Specialized. The surface tread has been improved to better mould the tyre to the less-than-perfect roads riders are likely to encounter, Specialized says.
Under the skin lives a two-ply, 120 TPI casing, which Specialized claims offers the most supple ride in its tyre arsenal. In this second-tier offering, the plys overlap for claimed increases in durability.
With some tyres, performance improvements can lead to faster wear rates, but not here according to the US brand. It has an expected total mileage of 6,000km for the front tyre, and 5,000km for the rear.
The new tyre is available in black in 700 x 26c to 700 x 30c sizes, or tan sidewalls, in 700 x 28c or 700 x 26c sizes. It tips the scales at a claimed 260g for the 26c version.
- £55 / $80 / €85 / AU$125 per tyre
Shimano IC501 indoor training shoe
That’s right, for those in the northern hemisphere it’s nearly time to get those indoor training setups back up and running.
The Shimano IC501 indoor-specific cycling shoe is designed to meet the demands of indoor riding, with an anti-bacterial treatment applied to the upper fabric material.
Shimano claims this effectively kills the bacteria, fungus and mildew that can come from repeated intensive (and sweaty) indoor training sessions.
The fabric upper is secured with a Boa fastening system, with fabric ‘Dyneema’ threads used to help avoid excess downward pressure.
The sole platform features a polycarbonate base covered in a rubberised material, ostensibly to make the shoes easier to walk in before and after sessions, Shimano says.
Right now, the IC501s are only available for use with two-bolt SPD cleats which might limit their appeal to road riders at this stage.
We’re staying tuned to hear if a three-bolt cleat system version will be available in the future.
- £119.99 / $135 / € territory-dependent / AU$219.95