I don’t know about you, but I’ve lost count of how many days I’ve been sat in my makeshift office (which also doubles as my kitchen, triples as my dining room and quadruples as my living room), but I’m bored of it now, and bored of every article written mentioning it. So I’ll stop now.
This week has been a veritable BUMPER week when it comes to new product launches fortunately. Not only has Giro released a rather spendy mountain bike helmet, but two of the three ‘Big S’s’ have launched major new products this week.
Specialized has launched a new Diverge, while Shimano is bringing 12-speed to the masses with its new Deore groupset – all our coverage is listed below!
- Shimano Deore goes 12-speed with almost all of the tech of XTR
- Shimano’s budget Alivio groupset treated to trickle-down tech
- Shimano ups battery capacity for more miles per charge
- Shimano launches flat-mount MTB brakes, Super Boost cranksets and new wheels
All our usual stuff is still appearing too, though, with Helen’s long-term review of the current Specialized Diverge, as well as a couple of our Bike of the Year reviews including Cotic’s RocketMAX and the Rondo HVRT, and we’re pounding out two podcasts every week.
Right, this one might have been pretty niche a few innocent months ago, but these days (if availability of turbo trainers is anything to go by), it seems everyone is ‘enjoying’ a bit of indoor training.
If you’ve trained indoors without a fan, fair play, we assume you’ve not drowned in your own sweat, yet. But most of you will have realised that a fan makes a massive difference to your comfort.
The Headwind is, no doubt, a luxury item, with that three figure price tag!
It has a pair of rotating feet to help you better aim the jet of cool air at your torso, whether that’s from the floor/table/ironing board/Kickr Desk (delete as applicable).
That jet of air, by the way, is apparently designed to mimic the shape of a cyclist’s body when riding a bike (we’re not sure how, either) and can blow at an almost gale-force 30mph+.
But it’s the smart-features that really set the Headwind apart from that big silver fan you may have bought from Argos.
Not only can you choose one of four pre-set speeds (either manually or via the Wahoo app), but the strength of the fan can automatically adjust based on your speed (via a speed sensor or smart-trainer etc), or heart rate (using a heart rate monitor). The faster you go, the harder it blows!
We’ve got the Headwind paired to our Wahoo Kickr Bike, currently on test, so we’ll let yo know how it fares!
- £200 / $250 / €230
HJC Ibex 2.0
The Ibex 2.0 is a high-end, road-focused helmet that’s not quite full-aero spec, but apparently performs well in the wind tunnel. It also offers high-levels of ventilation via its 16 vents and weighs 222g weight in a size medium.
The in-molded helmet features many of the usual things you’d expect from a roadie lid: internal reinforcement for the EPS foam, internal channelling for ventilation, posh pads and strap splitters, and a highly adjustable fit.
There’s also a rather well-sculpted pair of vents designed to hold your sunnies in an oh-so-pro position on the front of the helmet.
It’s the fit mechanism that is fairly smart, though. The ‘Selfit’ cradle is spring loaded, automatically adjusting itself to your head every time you put it on, so there’s no need to twiddle dials to get the fit just right after you’ve had a hair cut.
Inside there’s little in the way of padding, instead the ‘Coolpath’ structure clipped in to the helmet sits on your head and aids the air flow over it, keeping you cool.
Interestingly, there’s no MIPS or obvious anti-rotational injury component, but, of course, the helmet meets all necessary safety regulations where it is sold.
- £200 / €249 (not available in USA)
Finisterre Orians Waterproof Jacket
If you haven’t got any Finisterre apparel in your life, we urge you to treat yourself. It’s lovely stuff and it’s a lovely eco-friendly company, too.
The Orians Jacket is on the casual end of the scale, so we wouldn’t suggest stuffing it in a pack or a back pocket ready for a mid-ride downpour. But, if you want a classic looking, technical jacket for post-ride pub stops or pootling to the shops the Orians might be ideal.
It’s got taped seams sealing together the 10k hydrostatic head matte-brushed material, as well as a storm flap over the zip and a nice soft chin guard at the top to keep you comfortable.
Finishing touches include deep dual-entry pockets to keep valuables and dog-treats handy, as well as your hands warm, a generously sized hood, an elasticated hem, and popper adjustable wrists to get the fit right in spring showers.
Eco credentials are boosted by its use of 80 per cent recycled nylon and a PFC-free waterproof finish, with the jacket being recyclable at the end of its life.
- £165 / $215 / €199
- Women’s version available for the same price
- Buy the Orians Jacket from Finisterre
DZR S24O Shoes
DZO might not be the most common shoe brand out there, but it aims to create functional cycling shoes that don’t, really, look like cycling shoes.
You might not guess this, but the S24O shoe is actually a bike-packing shoe, with the name referring to ‘Sub 24hr Overnighter’ trips.
As you’d expect from a cycling shoe, the nylon-shank sole is reasonably (though obviously not race-like) stiff, and there’s a cleat channel ready for SPD style cleats. The sole’s ‘Like-Traction’ rubber chainlink pattern should hook up well with platform pedals, too.
The upper is made from supple leather with a well-padded ankle cuff for comfort, while the tongue holds an elastic lace catch.
- $149 (£TBC / €TBC)
- Buy in the US from DZO