Welcome to another Friday and the final one of October. This means it’s only 60 days and eight club rides left until Christmas. The inevitable annual fancy dress Christmas bike rides will be in full swing and there are now only a few weeks until the month of December where for some reason, excessive drinking becomes socially acceptable. You’re welcome.
- Team Sky 'vortex' speed suit now illegal under latest UCI regulations
- The best mountain bikes under £2,000
But for now, let’s get back to bikes. This week we’ve seen a new gravel bike and a new cyclocross bike from Pinarello, Benedict has been digging around in the patents bucket and Eddy Merckx Bikes makes a return to the WorldTour in 2019 with AG2R La Mondiale.
Keep on scrolling to see the latest products to land on our desks at BikeRadar HQ.
Factor Vista CHPT3 Devesa edition
Following the end of contract with WorldTour team AG2R La Mondiale, Factor Bikes looks to have switched some of its focus away from professional road racing with the launch of its first road plus/gravel/adventure bike with the Factor Vista, launched last week.
Our colleagues over at Cycling Plus have already got their hands on one of the new bikes, specifically in the CHPT3 Devesa colours. CHPT3 is a brand run by former professional cyclist David Millar and the brand collaborates with Castelli, POC, Brompton, Fabric and Factor.
The Devesa Forest is located just outside of Girona, Spain where Millar now lives and is said to have inspired the design of the bike.
The Factor Vista takes characteristics from a number of road plus bikes, including fork rake, lowered seatstays for compliance and a lowered bottom bracket for stability. Alongside these, the Vista also shares a number of characteristics from Factor's other road bikes such as the unusual external steerer fork.
- Frameset from £3,750
Rapha Explore Down Jacket and Sleeping Bag
Rapha has slowly been releasing its new range of adventure-specific products, including everything from cargo bib-tights, jerseys and now a packable down jacket that is designed to work as a sleeping system with the matching sleeping bag.
A non-cycling-specific cut means the jacket is at home off the bike and offers warmth through an 850-fill-power down “even in the coldest conditions”, according to Rapha.
Rapha worked with Allied Feather to source the down, using fully traceable and responsibly-sourced down for the jacket.
Elasticated openings are located on the cuffs and hood, and the soft nylon is comfortable even on bare skin. Two inner pockets allow for safe stowage for valuables when resting up in a bivvy, alongside two zipped outer pockets.
A pouch is provided with the jacked to be packed in and stored on the bike during the day and our size large weighs just 249g.
The matching sleeping bag is constructed with the same 850-fill-power down and nylon outer, and weighs 275g for a size M/L. A drawstring opening at the feet allows you to walk about while inside the bag.
Like the jacket, the sleeping bag packs down into the included pouch.
- Rapha Explore Down Jacket: £220 / $295 / €260
- Rapha Explore Down Sleeping Bag: £245 / $330 / €290
Muc-Off Disc Brake Covers
First seen at Eurobike back in the summer, cleaning and maintenance specialists Muc-Off has now released its new Disc Brake Covers.
Patent-pending, the neoprene, Velcro and plastic covers are designed to protect disc brake rotors and calipers during transit, as well as from any lubricants or protective overspray while cleaning other parts of your bike.
Sold as a pair in a bright pink, black and grey design, the covers should be removed before riding.
- Muc-Off Disc Brake Covers: £22.50 per pair
Rehook chain tool
For those constantly worried about dropped chains and getting their hands dirty, the Rehook tool could be for you. A tool designed to get the chain back on your bike without the need to touch the potentially oily or dirty chain.
Rehook says the tool will get your chain back on the chainrings in just three seconds.
The Rehook tool weighs 19g, and a silicone strap (weighing an additional 2g) means you can store the tool on your frame. 3D-printed, the tool is made in the UK and reinforced with graphite fibres. It has a claimed tensile strength of 58MPa.
- Rehook tool: £12.99 / $TBC / AU$TBC
DCR Wheels 40 hole Arai-threaded tandem hubs
This is as much of a public service announcement as anything else — if you so happen to be one of our dozen or so tandem-toting readers and need a 145mm spaced Arai-threaded rear hub, Dave at DCR wheels is your man.
The hubs, which are only available in 40h configurations, are one of the very few options for tandem owners who still use drum drag brakes on the market.
The hubs are sourced from Chosen — a very large OEM manufacturer — and use many shared parts, making them an ideal replacement for older hubs that may have patchy spares availability
A disc version is also available.
As with anything destined for a tandem that lands at BikeRadar HQ, these hubs will live on Jack’s often-referenced tandem, Cecil, and are due to be built onto a set of Sun Ringle Rhyno Lite rims.
- £100 per pair of hubs, international postage available
Metier Beacon rain jacket
We liked Metier’s original Beacon jacket, which combined a warm windproof and water-resistant jacket with built in front and rear LED lighting (160 lumen white upfront and 22 lumens of red at the rear).
The Beacon was a seriously warm jacket best suited to the depths of winter, so now it's added the lightweight rain jacket (175g in a medium) with the same powerful lighting (all operated by a clever battery/button hidden in the rear pocket) with flash, slow blink, or solid settings and run times of between 12 and 72 hours depending on mode.
We think we’ll get plenty of use from it as the nights draw in and autumn's drizzly mornings set in further.
- Metier Beacon rain jacket: £200 / $TBC / AU$TBC
Halo dynamo wheels
Year-round cyclists have reason to celebrate with the announcement that Halo is joining the increasing number of brands who are offering stock dynamo wheels.
These wheels pair a diminutive 1.5w 6v SP SV-9 dynamo hub with Halo’s own Rs 6Drive rear hub and are laced to its Evaura rims. The red alloy nipples that finish off the build have divided opinion in the BikeRadar office.
The wheels were never going to be featherweight but come in reasonably light for a dynamo wheel at 891g for the front and 903g for the rear.
What’s more impressive is the price — the front wheel is £180, which is one of the cheapest dynamo-equipped wheels on the market. An even cheaper dynamo-equipped wheel will also be available at £150, though the specs of this aren’t clear yet. The rear costs £190.
The wheels will be available soon via Halo’s distributor, ISON, with a disc version due to follow.
- Front wheel: £180 / $TBC / AU$TBC
- Rear wheel: £190 / $TBC / AU$TBC
- Available soon through all Halo stockists
Campagnolo coffee mug
If Campagnolo, coffee and all things retro is your vibe, this enamelware coffee mug from the legendary Italian brand may well be the item to add to your collection and could well last you a lifetime.
A classic blue and white design features the Campagnolo logo either side of the mug as well as an additional logo on the underside of the mug.
The ultimate utility metal mug is covered in enamel and baked at 850 degrees Celsius for durability and multi-purpose use, meaning the mug is dishwasher safe, can be used on an induction, gas or electric cooker, in the oven or stored in a fridge/freezer without an issue.
Hand-painted touches mean there are a few imperfections, which add some vintage character, and the durable properties of the mug mean you’re likely to add some imperfections of your own in years to come.
But please remember, no cappuccinos after noon.
- €24.90 per mug
Gaerne G.Chrono Road Shoe
Italian shoe manufacturer Gaerne has updated its range-topping road shoe for 2019. The shoe has two Boa dials for a secure fit, while the upper features laser perforations for improved breathability.
Gaerne says the shoes also feature a Tarsal Support System "to ensure the perfect position of the foot inside the shoe", as well as a newly designed, anti-slip heel cup, with both features combining to obtain a "rounded and more efficient pedal stroke."
A clear-lacquered carbon composite sole features four vents for even more breathability, while varying thicknesses of the carbon on the sole combine for great power transfer and a stiffness index of 12, says Gaerne.
The sole also features an anti-slip toe pad and a replaceable heel pad.
Available in black with white or black with aqua (photographed). A size 46 weighs 324g per shoe.
Specialized Andorra Long Sleeve Women's jersey
Specialized's Andorra jersey is designed for female gravity riders and is made from its, and we quote, "venerable Vaporize fabrics". Now that could mean by wearing this jersey you'll get to Vaporize people with your trail slaying skills. Or, more likely, it's a breathable fabric that should take a few thrills and spills along the way.
As it's a women's jersey, Specialized has designed the Andorra with a female specific fit and left plenty of space for pads and body armour to be worn underneath.
- £60 / $70 / €69.90
Oxford Commuter X4 Personal Illumination System
Designed to be worn either around your back or over a rucksack, the X4 Personal Illumination System from Oxford Commuter combines a powerful central light with reflective straps, which also feature further LED illumination.
Charged via USB, Oxford Commuter claims the run time is between 3.5–20 hours, depending on settings.
The main central light has a 70-lumen output and there are five different modes, while the four LED straps have three flash settings alongside a reflective silver trim.
Adjustable straps should ensure a secure fit around most body types and most rucksacks up to a 35-litre capacity. Oxford Commuter also says the unit is water resistant to IP65 specification.
- £39.99 / $49.95