This week on BikeRadar we've rounded up the latest and greatest cycling GPS units, looked at some new power meter pedals from SRM and launched a bike repair app in association with Haynes.
Jack, Joe and Reuben show us how not to ride a winter 24-hour MTB race, while Ben and Josh have been double-wrapping their handlebars as they head off to Belgium this weekend for the Tour of Flanders, Scheldeprijs and Paris-Roubaix.
But today is Friday and also Easter weekend, which means the majority of you have hopefully got today off work to go ride your bikes, spend time with your families and/or eat unhealthy amounts of chocolate.
Regardless of your activity choice, we have put together the hottest products that have landed here at BikeRadar HQ this week for your perusal.
- Best hybrid bikes for 2018: a buyer's guide to find what you need
- Gravel galore: the weird and wonderful from Land Run 100
- Stages Dash cycling computer review
- Tried and tested kit for super-long distance racing
Ergon GA2 FAT Grips
We’ve featured the Ergon GA2 grips before, but this pair is slightly different being of the ‘FAT’ variety. This means they come up chunky for those with larger hands, or just any rider who wants some extra damping on their grips.
After the ‘BikeRadar office squeeze test’ we can confirm they are indeed chunky and pleasantly squishy.
They’re lock-on style grips, so all you need is an Allen key to install, and they weigh a respectable 138g for the pair on the BikeRadar scales of truth.
- £26.99 / $29.95 / €29.90
Topeak Mountain DA pump
Topeak’s Mountain DA pump is designed to save you time when blowing up a tyre by delivering air on the push and the pull strokes.
Topeak claims this will save you 50 percent time, meaning more chances for hilarious Instagram shots/general fun and japes.
Being a mountain bike pump, the maximum pressure is 60psi, but that’s more than enough for most situations.
- £21.99 / €19.95 /$N/A
Pedro's Master T-handle set
Here at BikeRadar, we’re big fans of a nice set of Allen/hex keys, and our self-confessed tool nerd Matthew Allen has called in a set of Pedro’s Master T-handle hex keys.
It’s a 10-piece set with all shapes and sizes needed for working on your bike, all wrapped up in a fancy tool roll.
They don’t come cheap, however each T-handle key is made from premium 6150 alloy tool steel and features a sliding T-handle, which Pedro’s claim offer the ultimate combination of speed, ergonomics, leverage and versatility.
- £120.95 / $135
Tacx Ciro bottle cage
If you’re after a minimalist style bottle cage then the Tacx Ciro could be worth a closer look.
It’s made from a carbon shell with a glass fibre core, which keeps the weight down to a claimed 29g per cage. On the (hopefully) highly accurate BikeRadar scales, a cage weighed 30g, which should be close enough for even the most weenie of weight weenies.
They’re available in a variety of colours and sell surprisingly cheaply for such a lightweight cage.
- £14.82 / $19.99 / €17.99
BikeRadar’s American staff introduced us to US Brand Alfa and its interesting story late last year.
Its small but desirable range of US-made bikes are delivered direct to the door of a consumer which, to be honest, left some of us UK folk feel somewhat hard done by. Now though, thanks to a flying visit from UK representatives Bicyclechain, we’ve had a good look at what we’ve been missing out on.
The Alfa is Allied’s road race chassis, but it’s one that the company is confident works as an all-day ride too.
The Arkansas-made carbon monocoque is available in a full 12 sizes, with a “+” option across several sizes that introduces a 2cm taller head tube for less flexible riders.
It’ll happily accommodate 28mm rubber and weighs as little as 875g for a size 56. Alfa owners can choose between five standard paint jobs, a nude gloss carbon finish or a selection of premium paint schemes, such as the lovely fade you see here.
- Frameset: from £3,000 / $3,000
- Complete build as shown: £7,000 from The Bicycle Chain
POC Ventral SPIN
Since releasing the Octal, POC has become well known for high quality yet aesthetically polarising safety gear.
The Ventral SPIN is its take on the uber fashionable category of aero but still ventilated.
POC hasn't made any aero claims, but instead claims that its unique design funnels air through the helmet rather than around it.
While POC was one of the early adopters of the MIPS protective liner, the Ventral has its new SPIN system, which consists of pads that sit against the head. This has the same effect as a MIPS liner, allowing the helmet to move against the head in the event of a crash.
Just like anything from POC, it doesn’t come cheap.
- £270 / €299 / $290
Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 pedals (PD-R9100)
Look and Shimano set the benchmark for pedals in modern road cycling. Shimano's Dura-Ace variant of the SPD-SL pedals are the Japanese brand's range-toppers and are constructed from an injection-moulded carbon-composite.
Our pair weighed 6g more than the 228g claimed by Shimano, but at 234g are still around 10 percent lighter than the Shimano Ultegra PD-R8000.
An extra-wide platform combines with the carbon-composite construction for improved power transfer and the pedals feature the expected tensioning adjustment via a hex key.
Shimano offers a limited three-year warranty with the pedals.
- £224.99 / $279.99 / €229
Attaquer All Day Arrow Stripe rain jacket
Known for its leftfield and limited edition kits, Australian brand Attaquer is continuing to impress with its less outlandish designs.
Attaquer's All Day range — as the name suggests — is designed with comfort in mind for a long day's riding. The All Day Arrow Stripe rain jacket is one element of the range that also includes bib shorts, gilets and a range of long and short sleeve jerseys.
Made in Italy, the All Day Arrow Stripe rain jacket offers wind and weather protection while retaining breathability, and is also packable. The white stripes and logos have a touch of reflectivity for extra visibility in low-light conditions.
Josh has already taken the jacket for a few short but wet rides and the initial impressions look good. Keep your eyes peeled for a full review in the coming weeks.
- £199.95 / €209 / AU$299
Well known for making top value bikes that still cut the mustard, Calibre has just announced the Two³ .
Costing just £400 it’s got trail-friendly geometry with a 67.5-degree head angle, 73.5-degree seat tube, shorter 60mm stem and 760mm wide bars. That’s all the fashionable things you want in an entry-level bike.
Component choice is a mix of Shimano and Calibre’s own brand components, with a Shimano 9-speed Altus groupset and MT100 brakes being a real highlight. It’s not out until May, but if you’re looking for an entry-level hardtail this could be well worth the wait.
- £400 / $N/A / €N/A
MAAP M-Flag Ultra Light jersey
MAAP is another successful clothing brand coming out of Australia in recent years.
Designed for hot summer weather (think Australia), the MAAP M-Flag Ultra Light jersey is an extremely lightweight, race-cut, high-wicking jersey that should perform in hot temperatures. The jersey also features UV protection, a full-length YKK Vislon zipper, aggressive collar and longer sleeves.
At the rear of the jersey, three pockets are attached to the rear panel in an 'unidirectional material' to improve security and allowing stretch for tools and fuel. The waist band features silicone dot grippers to prevent any unwanted riding up of the jersey.
Available in black or navy.
- £131 / €150 / $170 / AU$205
Sportful Giara 2018 kit
Sportful’s gravel-specific range was first introduced for spring/summer 2017 and the Italian brand continues to update the line this year.
Sportful Giara offers comfortable kit for gravel riding where race performance isn’t necessarily the focus. The kit also doubles up to offer a more relaxed fitting range of kit for those who don’t fancy see-through technical jerseys (see MAAP’s offering above).
Each piece of the range is connected with a contrasting chest band, left-arm band and left-leg band, allowing you to mix and match different designs or pieces and still pull off matching kit.
A new ‘Bordeaux’ colourway is added to the short sleeve jersey line-up for 2018, which also includes the black/orange, grey/green and blue/black. The latter three colour options are also available as a ‘jacket’/long sleeve jersey.
The range also includes a vest, bibshorts, socks, mitts and overshorts.
- Sportful Giara jersey: £75 / €89.90 / $99
- Sportful Giara vest: £90 / €99.90 / $89.99
- Sportful Giara bibshort: £80 / €99.90 / $119.99
- Sportful Giara overshort: £70 / €79.90 / $79.99
- Sportful Giara socks: £17 / €19.90 / $17.99