While the lush meadows may be full of insect life, the legs of cyclists across the land have been cropped to a sterile bald sheen at the first sight of consistent sunlight. And that, dear reader, is the surest sign that spring is here.
Despite last week’s bland weather, in the latest issue of BikeRadar’s High-Mileage Heroes, Deputy Editor-in-Chief Jack Locke looked at the best waterproof cycling jacket he’d ever tested—the Páramo Velez Light Adventure Jacket.
Elsewhere, we took a look at Manitou’s new Mattoc Crossroads. Pivot also released its new Mach 4 SL XC bike and the steady stream of industry-leading bike reviews for 2023 continues to roll in.
We’ve also outlined everything you need to know about disc brake rotors and revisited what FTP is and why it’s important to cyclists.
However, the biggest news of all was the launch of the all-new Allez from Specialized. This classic entry-level bike has seen a lot of changes for 2023, including a wholesale switch to disc brakes. Do these changes make for a good bike? Check out our in-depth review of the Specialized Allez sport to find out.
The coming week will also be full of exciting news, reviews and features. Why not sign up for the BikeRadar newsletter so you don’t miss a thing?
Hand Grip Chapter 21 Gloves Print Jaguar
Whether or not you like the jaguar print (plenty of other glowy designs are available, like muted patterns), there’s no denying the quality of the Fist Handwear Chapter 21 gloves.
The four-way stretch spandex upper should conform to the backs of your hands, and the Clarino faux leather palm is thick enough to feel luxurious while being thin enough not to impede feel.
The capacitive touchscreen threads on the thumb, while the stretchy Velcro closure with elasticated cuff helps adjust the fit.
Available in size from X-Small to X-Large, there is a must have perfect pair for your gloves.
SDG Bel-Air V3 MAX – Luxe Alloy Saddle
With plenty of padding, a deep, long center slot—dubbed the Peri-Canal—and a scooped rear end, SDG claims the Bel-Air V3 Max is their most comfortable saddle ever.
Specific to the MAX model is lightweight injected EVA foam that’s 5mm thicker than standard Bel-Air, creating a cushion-like seat.
The lengthened decompression channel is also exclusive to the MAX, while the hollow tail is designed with electric mountain bikes in mind, enhancing seated climbing performance.
It is also shorter in length and has narrower wings, but has a broader snout.
Dubbed ATMOS molding, the cap is vacuum-sealed onto a nylon glass base.
Alloy rails help keep weight down, with our 140mm-wide version tipping the scales at 242g, which is even lighter than the SDG’s claimed weight.
It’s available in six colors (turquoise, tan, orange, red, black and fuel), so there should be a model to fit any color scheme out there.
Park Tool TPT-1 Tubeless tire repair stopper
If you’re anything like me, your bike life is going to suffer with punctures.
While some products can mitigate flat tire problems—like too stiff tires, tire inserts (to some extent), and well-set suspension among other things—the inevitable hiss of air escape isn’t entirely inevitable.
Therefore, convenient, quick and slick ways to repair holes are a must.
The TPT-1 from Park Tool is designed to tick those boxes.
The large knob should make jamming one of the five included tire repair plugs more comfortable, especially when you need force-like force to close a hole.
The sliding plug retainer helps prevent the plug from being pulled out of the frame when the tool is removed, while the screw cap helps keep the tool clean and repair plugs in place.
It weighs only 80 grams and isn’t much larger than a small apple, so it should fit comfortably in anyone’s riding bag.
Skratch Labs sports hydration drink mix
Whether you’re a fan of long distances, or prefer short, sharp sprints, conserving fuel is key to maintaining peak performance.
Made in Boulder, Colorado USA, Skratch Labs Sports Hydration Drink Mix has been formulated to replace electrolytes lost in sweat when you exercise.
With no preservatives, coloring or artificial ingredients, this hydration drink can be a good alternative for those who currently rely on fizzy pop to fuel their rides.
madison ghost glasses
The Madison Stealth Goggle is the budget brand’s answer to Oakley’s Kato, Sutro, Radar, or EVZero Blades, which isn’t a bad thing.
Their polycarbonate lenses provide protection from UV-A and UV-B rays, and they have a color-changing green mirror (a mirrored silver lens is also available).
Thanks to the TR-90 plastic used in its frames, Madison claims they are flexible, and after bending they return to their original shape without breaking.
A softer rubber section of the arms slides behind your ears, helping the glasses stay in place. The nose bridge is also made of flexible rubber and grippy.
Supplied with a hard carrying case and a cloth cleaning bag, Stealth glasses also have a lifetime warranty.
DMR V6 nylon flat pedals
These bargain pedals from DMR mimic the aluminum profile of more expensive DMR V12s, but are made with a nylon composite material to save costs.
The 102 x 97mm (LxW) platform has 10 molded-in studs per side, each protruding 6mm from the pedal body.
With a concavity of 6mm from the deepest point in the side to the weakest point in the middle of the axle, the V6 promises plenty of performance.
The nylon pedal rotates on two DU bushings and is available in ten different colors.
As a pair, they weigh 334 grams.
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