Welcome to another exceptional edition of First Look Friday. Over the past week, as May transitioned into June, there’s been a seemingly endless cascade of news and reviews on the site to digest. So here’s the lowdown on seven action-packed days on BikeRadar.
Earlier this week we brought you reviews of the Scott Contessa Addict RC 15, YT Izzo Core 2 and Cervélo Áspero Rival XPLR eTap AXS 1 as our full coverage of the 2022 Bike of the Year continued to roll out on the site.
Cane Creek announced their new eeSilk stem with 20mm of adjustable compliance, Stan Portus reported on the new igus: eye-catching bike, made from recycled plastic, and we took a look at the dazzling gravel bike Custom Colnago G3-X that Nathan Haas will be riding at Unbound 2022 in Kansas.
On Wednesday, the cauldron of content at BikeRadar HQ was simmering nicely as Shimano unveiled a delicious polished silver limited version of its GRX gravel groupset in time for Unbound 2022. We want it, and we want it right now.
Meanwhile, tech writer Oscar Huckle was an industrious blur as the UK Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend loomed, writing about Shimano’s first carbon gravel wheelset and new gravel bike. Grevil F optimized for Pinarello aerodynamics. Check out our review here.
In more burning news, Adidas has announced the release of its first road cycling shoe with a Boa dial.
Elsewhere, if you fancy off-road adventures as summer approaches, rejoice! We served up a comprehensive guide on how to create your perfect bikepacking bike, while on the BikeRadar podcast we discussed how to get started in gravel racing with illustrious guests Amanda Nauman, two-time Unbound winner London-based gravel and cross-country racer Dalila Lecky.
Back on the tarmac, with the Giro d’Italia ending last weekend, now is the perfect time to pick up the UK’s only official Tour de France guide. Brimming with team profiles, rider interviews and essential stage maps, it’s a must-have for all Tour de France fans.
And if the aforementioned veritable banquet of bike-focused news, reviews and features hasn’t satiated your appetite, read on for a finely curated selection of the latest and most desirable cycling gear to appear on our radar this week.
Prologo Proxim W650 Sport Saddle
One saddle to rule them all? The Italian brand Prologo offers the Proxim W650 Sport saddle, designed as an electric bicycle saddle; it is also part of the brand’s all-mountain/gravity range, as well as its urban and commuter range.
Padding is broken down into areas called MSS (Multi Sector System). These islands of padding work individually with their own foams to better support the rider. In addition, they are adapted to the different pedaling positions that cyclists may enter.
The padding of this Sport model is 12 mm thick. However, if you are looking for something more minimalist, the W650 Performance saddle uses 6mm padding.
The W650 saddle is equipped with the PAS (Perineal Area System) relief channel. It is designed to reduce soft tissue compression and numbness in the prostate area, thereby promoting blood circulation in the pelvic area.
The shape is moderate at 250mm long and 155mm wide. The shell is laterally flexible to allow greater freedom of movement when pedaling seated. The rear of the base has been designed as a handle for lifting or moving the bike. Plus, it has reflective graphics for extra visibility.
The saddle has chromoly rails and tips the scales at 267g.
Tooo Cycling DVR80 Bike Light Camera
Are you interested in giving yourself more peace of mind on the roads? Well, maybe this Tooo Cycling rear light / camera can offer you that.
So what’s the problem ? While this device can’t help protect you from other road users than a set of the best bike lights, it does record a wide 105-degree field of view in HD. So, in the event of an incident caused by the rear, you will know precisely what happened and who is at fault. Tooo also claims that the camera will pick up detail in low ambient light.
The camera records in Full HD at 1920x1080P, at 30fps or 60fps. It comes with a standard microSD card slot, and a 128GB card can be purchased online from Tooo Cycling. Tooo claims this will save over 24,000 minutes of footage (that’s about 400 hours). To extract the files from the memory card, you will need a ready microSD card (available from Tooo).
Battery life while recording is claimed at 9.5 hours (1080p, 30fps), which should cover most trips. However, this is without the light being on. Tooo says a full charge should take 2.5 hours.
I shouldn’t forget to mention that it also records audio, so if you ever get verbally abused, that should have your back. It is IPX5 water resistant (protected from splashing water from all directions) and if the camera is damaged, the images recorded up to the damage should be correct and uncorrupted, claims Tooo.
The light is 80 lumens and there are four modes; camera on, flashing light; camera only; camera on, steady light; camera off, steady light. IIt comes with two brackets to attach to your bike’s seat post and bands of different sizes to hold it securely in place. Also, it has an aero seatpost mount.
Topeak Tubi Pod X
This tire plug tool from Topeak has sturdy plugs and a heavy spindle, so it is more suitable for large holes cut in mountain bike tires or gravel bike tires. It has two capsules, one that stores the corks and the other the tools.
The stand has a soft backing to help prevent frame damage and straps to the frame, so it’s ready when you need it. The pin is stored in an aluminum holder. It also features a neat magnetic “air-stop” attachment that can be quickly inserted into the tire to prevent significant air loss while you prep the plugs.
The sockets work in the usual way. You insert one into the fork, then dip the fork and plug it into the hole in the tire. Another useful feature of the Tubi Pod X is its plug retainer. This aluminum piece unscrews from the body of the tool to hold the plug in the tire while you remove the fork.
Once you have successfully sealed the tire, the holder contains a small knife to cut the tire plug. The tool stores five plugs and should have you covered if you get a good sized hole in your tire that the tubeless sealant can’t take care of.
Gore C7 Long Distance Bib Shorts
For many years, the Gore C7 Long Distance Bib Shorts have been considered the brand’s most comfortable bib shorts for long journeys. With several features designed to meet the needs of riders who love long days in the saddle, our video manager Felix Smith hopes these shorts will keep his peach goody happy this summer.
The shorts are made from a very stretchy, densely knit fabric, which is said to feel ‘second-skin soft’. Flat seams are also used throughout for added comfort.
The lower part of the shorts is attached to the suspenders via what Gore calls its “central torso architecture”. So the shorts are held in place in the middle of the body to maximize freedom of movement, while the shorts and seat pad are held securely where they belong.
With padding designed for all-day riding, you need to stay comfortable no matter how long your ride.The all-important chamois is, as you’d expect, designed for all-day comfort.
The cushion is constructed from three different layers. The first and third layers are 80 kg/m³ density foam, the first being more breathable open cell foam. Between these is a layer of material with a firmer density of 200 kg/m³, which is supposed to promote comfort in the sit bone area.
There is also a section of fabric on the outside of the shorts around the crotch. It is made from Gore Windstopper fabric and is designed to protect the rider from cold air as they make their way down alpine descents.
As of this writing, Felix is gearing up for a 10+ hour ride and hopes Gore’s claims of superior comfort ring true.