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Five cool things coming soon from Oakley, Giro, Cafe du Cycliste, Torq and Craft Cadence

More of the best sunnies, shoes, bags and nutrition we're testing right now, with full reviews coming soon

As well as being treated to an incredible opening weekend of racing with Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, the sun was out for some lovely winter riding conditions! Our team of reviewers were enjoying being out and about testing the coolest bits that have arrived at the HQ recently…

Oakley Encoder


The Encoders are Oakley’s multi-sport sunnies which have optimised coverage, a wide field of view and impact protection. Oakley says that it has been able to design the lens with an extended wrap and rigidity in key areas that mimics the structural properties of the frame.

> 10 of the best cycling sunglasses — protect your eyes from sun, crud and flying bugs

The temples are designed to be low profile to fit with helmets, while the earsocks and nose pads are promised to provide no-slip grip as well as all day comfort. Jamie Williams will be letting us know how they perform very shortly… 

Giro Republic R Knit Road Cycling Shoes


These laced SPD shoes feature an internal TPU skeletal structure for support where needed, while the knit outer is designed to provide sock-like comfort. 

For water repellency and easy cleaning, the upper is DWR-treated, while the rubber toe guard and bonded TPU heel should help with abrasion resistance and durability. George Hill has been testing and his verdict is on the way shortly…  

Cafe du Cycliste Irma Men’s Merino Cycling Jersey


Part of the brand’s Audax collection, this merino-blend jersey is designed for long outings. The front section of the jersey traps air, according to Cafe du Cycliste, to provide an added layer of insulation on cooler days or fast descents, while the added stretch is designed to provide a close fit on the bike.

> Is merino wool really the ultimate sustainable choice for cycling kit? 

As well as three standard pockets and a  rear zipped pocket, the jersey also features an oversized mesh 'drop' pocket for stashing an additional base layer or a warmer jacket. Steve Williams has been putting this long sleeve to the test on his long distance rides and his full report is coming soon… 

Craft Cadence Top Tube Bag


This top tube bag has a magnetic enclosure system for easy access to essentials and no more broken zippers. It’s fully waterproof and comes with a capacity of one to 1.5 litres for carrying snacks and battery packs. 

> The 10 best bikepacking bags in 2022 — how to choose lightweight luggage

A cable outlet for using an external battery pack is included as well as a loop for mounting phones and cycling computers. Is this a practical and convenient option? Mike Stenning has been finding out and his verdict is coming soon… 

Torq Explore Flapjacks - Organic Black Forest - box of 20 


Described as soft and syrupy, Torq’s Explore Flapjacks are intended for those who are a little more relaxed about their physical performance and are just looking for flavoursome, homely, energy-enriched goodness while pursuing an active lifestyle. 

> Reviews of energy and recovery bars  

All the bars are organic and suitable for vegans or those who prefer a plant-based diet. Hollis Jones has been testing the Black Forest flavour, but the bars are also available in Apple Strudel, Bakewell Slice, Banana Cake, Ginger Cake and Carrot Cake.

For all the latest test reports, head over to our reviews section. If you want some more advice before splashing the cash, check out our buyer's guides.

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