We've shown you the best road bikes and gravel bikes from the huge Sea Otter Classic bike festival, now it's time for some fresh components and clothing. If you like your seatpost with suspension (but not too much) your jerseys loud and sustainable and your pedals to light up, there's something in this round-up for you...
Smith released its new Bobcat glasses last month. They offer the coverage of the Smith Wildcats that off.road.cc reviewed a couple of years ago but in a smaller fit.
You get non-slip Megol temples and nose pads, and both an installed Chromapop bright light lens – designed to enhance contrast and natural colour – and a clear lens.
The Smith Boomtown also offers large coverage but this is more of a lifestyle orientated option. The lens isn’t swappable but you can choose from a whole bunch of different tints.
The Smith Resolve offers a medium amount of coverage in a wraparound fit. You get ChromaPop lenses and clear lenses so you can swap between them according to the light conditions. The Bobcat and the Resolve each come with a hard case.
The Smith Ignite MIPS is an aero helmet that uses Koroyd to provide impact protection and a MIPS liner that’s designed to reduce rotational motion transferred to the brain in the event of an impact.
The vents at the rear are huge.
The Smith Jetstream TT also uses Koroyd and MIPS for protection. It comes with a magnetic eye shield; you can choose between a clear lens or a CromaPop lens.
off.road.cc told us about Fox’s new 32 Taper-Cast (TC) gravel fork last week. It is the lightest suspension fork that Fox has ever made – with a claimed weight of 1,226g – and uses Fox's existing GRIP or FIT4 dampers.
The arch sits at the back of the fork, above a lower point of the tyre than if it was at the front. This means less material is required.
The Fox 32 TC fork comes in 40mm and 50mm travel options.
A sensor detects the pedal’s orientation and shines a white light to the front and a red light to the rear – so the pedal can never be the wrong way up. The pedal goes into sleep mode after 30 seconds of inactivity.
Each LED lasts about three hours between charges in constant/steady mode, according to Redshift, and up to about 35 hours in eco-flash mode. When the battery runs out of juice, you slide the LED out of the pedal – it’s held in place by a strong magnet – for USB recharging.
Once the pedals have gone out to everyone who crowd-funded the project, Redshift will start shipping to everyone else in about a month.
The Arclights are flat pedals for city bike and e-bike use. They’re priced £132, including duties and VAT.
Redshift plans to develop a clipless version next, compatible with SPD cleats.
You can also buy an Arclight Multi Mount (£14.99) that allows you to mount an Arclight light module to the front or rear of your bike.
The Redshift ShockStop Suspension Seatpost has been around for years – check out our review – but there’s now a ShockStop Pro RT version that offers 20mm rather than 35mm of travel, and is 25% lighter.
Like the original ShockStop Suspension Seatpost, it uses a linkage design with elastomers providing a progressive spring rate.
The ShockStop Pro RT is 27.2mm in diameter – shims are available for larger seat tube sizes – and is available in 280mm (380g) and 350mm (415g) lengths. It’s priced at £279.99.
off.road.cc reviewed the Redshift ShockStop Pro Suspension Stem last year. Again, it’s lighter than the original – by 15%, according to Redshift – thanks to more CNC machining and the use of titanium hardware.
Like the ShockStop Pro RT Suspension Seatpost, the stem provides 20mm of travel. It comes with five elastomers that you can swap around to fine-tune the performance and is priced at £229.99.
Giro has new Renew Series clothing with an emphasis on sustainability. Renew Series products use recycled nylon, polyester, elastane and Econyl Lycra made from reclaimed fishing nets and other ocean debris.
Giro says that at least 50% of the finished product must use fabrics and materials with recycled content to be included in the Renew Series. It also says that 54% of its entire line uses recycled materials with 55% using Bluesign approved materials.
The women’s Ride Jersey, for instance – aimed mostly at mountain biking and gravel riding – is made from a blend of merino wool and recycled polyester while the Ride Shorts are 95% recycled nylon.
We told you about the Giro Eclipse Spherical helmet last month. The brand says it is the fastest road helmet it has ever tested thanks to aero efficiency across multiple wind angles.
The Eclipse Spherical features the ball-and-socket Spherical MIPS protection that already features on the Aether – two separate EPS layers with the outer one able to rotate around the inner one if you crash to help redirect impact forces away from the brain.
Poc’s Supreme jacket is a three-layer waterproof with a claimed weight of just 81g and, incredibly, it stuffs down to the size of a golfball when not in use. It has a 20,000mm waterproof rating, which is high, and lets moister vapour pass at a rate of 50,000gsm/24hr, which is also high.
What’s not to like? Well, it is priced at £450. Ouch!
The Ambient Thermal Jersey (£140) – available in both men’s and women’s cuts – is designed for spring/autumn and also for cooler summer mornings and evening. It’s a lightweight polyamide/elastane blend with four-way stretch.
A reflective tab with space for emergency contact info can be pulled out of a rear pocket in low light conditions. You also get reflective details on the collar, back pocket and along the lower hem.
The Poc Kernel Layer Vest (£45) is made from a blend of merino wool, polyester and polyamide, the idea being to provide warmth and odour control while wicking moisture away from your body.
It comes in this Granite Grey colour or Dioptase Blue with product details in large lettering on the back.
As the name suggests, the Ventral Lite helmet (£240) is the lightweight option in Poc’s range, coming in at under 200g while also meeting the necessary safety standards, of course.
The polycarbonate shell has been cut back to the essentials and the helmet’s structure has been designed around the use of a different from normal density of EPS (expanded polystyrene).
As well as an altered shell designed to improve ventilation and aerodynamics, one of the most noticeable new features is the improved Octofit+ fit system with a larger rubber-coated dial than previously for easier adjustment.
The Kask Protone Icon is priced at £245.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.