"Sweet dreams are made of this," sang Annie Lennox. She probably wasn't talking about the happy combination of Friday, winsome new bike gear and a sunny forecast for the weekend. But we are.
New road bike gear
'Hour Record' limited-edition print
Interest in the Hour Record shows no sign of abating, with Australia’s Bridie O’Donnell setting a new women’s record at the Adelaide Super-Drome just recently (46.882km, in case you were wondering). Will Sir Bradley’s record of 54.526km last the year? We don’t know, but we do like this new illustration from Bristol-based graphic designer Michael Green.
It lists six record-breaking bikes, from the penny-farthing that Frank Dodds rode around the grounds of Cambridge University, through the steel-framed track bike that Eddy Merckx rode in Mexico City in 1972, to the Pinarello Bolide HR that Sir Bradley Wiggins used in 2015 to set the current record.
Also featured are the bikes of Oscar Egg (1914) and Jacques Anquetil (1956), but our hands-down favourite is the Corima that Chris Boardman rode to victory in the 'Superman position' in 1993. Faster than a speeding bullet.
The print measures 183mm x 420mm unframed, and is signed and numbered by the artist.
£25 (international shipping is available)
Bryton Rider 310 bike computer
GPS undoubtedly revolutionised bike computers – who remembers the pre-magnet models that tracked wheel revolutions with a physically-actuated counter? – but it also brought considerable complexity. So three cheers then for the Bryton Rider 310, which combines GPS tracking with a simple design – just power on and go.
There’s a large monochrome screen that can display up to seven scrollable pages of data, including time, speed, distance, calorie, cadence, altitude, power and heart rate. It even comes preloaded with training workouts, and can estimate your maximum heart rate and lactate threshold based on interval training drills. Oh, and it claims an incredible 36-hour battery life.
£79 / $100 / AU$149
Vélobici Continental jersey and thermal arm warmers
Any guesses where this bike clothing company comes from? France perhaps, or maybe Italy? Nope, it’s the English city of Leicester that Vélobici calls home. But as one of Europe's great textile manufacturing heartlands, there's plenty of garment nous worth tapping up there.
Witness the skill used to make their thermal arm warmers – created in one entire piece from a single thread, to deliver a seam-free fit and supreme comfort. They feature thumb holes and soft upper arm silicone grippers, with VB embroidered on each arm. Price is £40 (US and Aussie pricing TBC).
Or how about the Continental short-sleeve jersey, billed as a high-performance three-season jersey, knitted with a soft thermal loop on the inside to keep the chill at bay. If you like gold piping then you’ll be happy for it’s used on the top pocket, hem and embroidered VB logo.
Continental short-sleeve jersey: £160 / $TBC / AU$TBC
Arm warmers: £40 / $TBC / AU$TBC
Bike7 care pack
Those Belgians, they know almost as much about rain as we do in the UK. So when we heard this new care pack from Bike7 was developed in collaboration with WorldTour team Lotto Belisol, we sat up and took notice.
The five-piece care pack includes: a 1l bottle of water-based cleaner spray, 500ml of degreaser, 500ml of wet lube, 500ml of dry lube, 500ml of moisture-repelling shine/protect. Claimed to be “all you need to keep your bike clean and running smoothly” – though you’ll need to supply your own brushes and bucket of hot water.
£39.95 / $TBC / AU$TBC
The Modern Mamil
Do you have an aspiring Bradley Wiggins in your life, excited as a primary schooler about the new bike he got for Christmas? Or maybe you are one? Then you my friend need to read up on the modern MAMIL (middle-aged man in Lycra).
It's packed with information on the history, customs and rules of road cycling, and the author Joel Rickett delivers it all with a generous dollop of tongue-in-cheek mirth. Plus there are excellent illustrations throughout by Spencer Wilson.
£8.99 / $13.99
Rapha Classic 2 Jersey
Premium cycle clothing company Rapha has updated its Classic jersey, one of the first garments produced when they launched 12 years ago. The new Classic 2 jersey features 12 updates – one for each year Rapha has been around.
The jersey features Rapha’s proprietary merino fabric, improved cut and more technical and aesthetic features. Both men’s and women’s versions are available, in a range of colours.
£110 / $170 / AU$195
New mountain bike gear
Specialized Ruze Comp 6Fattie
The women’s-specific version of the Fuze, the Ruze is a 27.5 hard tail plus bike with women’s specific geometry alloy frame, which includes lower standover. 100mm of front suspension is provided by the SR Suntour Raidon 650+ forks.
The plus-sized tyres, which are somewhat reminiscent of tractor tyres if you’re not used to the size, give the overall diameter of the wheels something approaching those of a 29er wheelset. This also provides the added benefit of a large contact patch for extra traction.
£1,400 / $1,600 / AU$2,199
e*thirteen TRS+ cassette
If you’re looking for an 11spd cassette with a massive range, one that’s compatible with both SRAM and Shimano derailleurs, then the e*thirteen TRS+ cassette might just be the answer.
The three part construction means you only need to replace the sections of the cassette that have worn out rather than the whole thing. The largest cogs are constructed from alloy for weight saving, and the smaller from steel for durability.
The range on the cassette is huge, from a tiny 9t to a 44t, which equates to nearly the same range as most 2x drivetrain setups. Plenty of spin for the climbs, plenty of oomph for flats and descents.
The cassette weighs in at 334g with the lock ring, a little over the 320g e*thirteen lists on the site.
£229 / $279 / AU$TBC
BOS Deville fork with FCV damper
The shiny new updated BOS Deville fork has a raft of features, including new crown and lowers, damping and air spring. These are, BOS states, the first enduro specific forks to feature its FCV, or Freqency Control Valve, technology, which uses an internal inertia valve which differentiates between trail input and rider input. On our scales, they weigh in at 2kg exactly.
It’s tempting to start using phrases like ‘descend like a BOS’ but we’ll restrain ourselves. Oh, we failed.
£1,000 / $TBC / AU$TBC
SDG Allure Women’s Ti-Rail saddle limited edition Dakin/Steffi Marth
The Allure saddle is a women’s specific offering from SDG, and this limited-edition version of it is certainly not run of the mill visually. The bright graphics are the result of collaboration with pro downhill and 4X racer Steffi Marth, and luggage and kit manufacturer Dakine.
The saddle itself has a nylon base, titanium alloy rails, supportive foam and a central cutaway area designed to suit women, with a microfibre fabric cover.
This isn’t the first collaboration SDG has worked on: a previous version of the Allure featured graphics penned by enduro racer Anka Martin.
We weighed the Allure in a 251g, a good few grams lighter than the stated 285g.
£69.95 / $89/ AU$TBC
Pedro's biodegradable range
Pedro's has a new range of products that are designed to have minimal impact on the environment – which also makes them a bit nicer on the person using them. The Bye Grease is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a degreaser that's also solvent free and biodegradable, as is the matching Go! penetrating chain lube.
Pedro's claims the items work just as effectively as its other, less green cleaning and lubricating products – we'll be slapping some on our machines soon enough to see how they measure up.