Will this winter actually ever end?? After another weekend of slipping around on icy roads we’re hoping that’s the last of it, so we can commence testing of our spring-themed kit; but for now, here are some more previews of mostly wintery bits before the verdicts are delivered…
What with the current brutal cold snap, let's start with something 'seasonal'... Fizik's Artica winter shoes should allow you to bypass overshoes thanks to their full waterproofing and advanced insulation properties. A waterproof zip seals everything up so your feet stay protected, while inside you get a speed lacing system for high retention and a Microtex reinforced shell to offer structural support. Although it's a cold weather shoe Fizik say this doesn't mean you have to compromise on stiffness or weight, and this is still supposed to be a proper performance road cycling shoe. The sole is full carbon composite and the insole is fleece-lined with an aluminium foil underside, which means you shouldn't have to resort to the old wrapping-your-feet-in-foil foil trick yourself to keep those toes warm. We're keen to see how Stu gets on with these, as we could all do with a pair in the office at the moment!
The new Laterite is a trickled-down version of Pinnacle's much-lauded Dolomite, and shares many of the same features for the affordable 700 quid outlay. Internal cable routing is a nice touch at this price point, and it also has a threaded bottom bracket for easy maintenance. You get mudguard mounts as standard for winter riding duties, plus the carbon fork, 11 speed Shimano 105 groupset and relatively low 9.7kg weight for an alloy road bike should mean the Laterite punches well above it's weight. Stu Kerton will be letting us know if that's the case soon.
This road lid from Bontrager is touted as a real do-it-all: "if you can only buy one helmet, this is the one", they boldly claim. It's relatively light at 300g on our scales, and it also has the MIPS brain protection system inside. It also has magnetic mounts for Bontrager's Blendr lights and action cameras, which is a handy touch for night time riding, and the retention system is courtesy of BOA. Is this really the only helmet you need? George Hill is finding out now.
"Let's be honest winter can feel like a bit of a chore", say Attacus... and while it's definitely overstayed its welcome this year, at least their thermal bib tights will prevent the chill from getting in. They're fleece-lined, water-resistant and also have double-layered knee panels to keep you warm and dry. There are large visibility strips around the ankles, and Attacus claim their chamois is "one of the most comfortable and versatile ever made." Are these bibs the business? George Hill's verdict is in soon.
This powerful rechargeable light is renowned for being user-friendly, and while it's more than powerful enough for taking off-road it also has added side visibility so you're more noticeable to cars at dodgy junctions. It comes with a tool-free replaceable cartridge battery, a 3 level battery indicator and run time is impressive, with a claimed 2 hours on full whack and a huge 150 on the economy flashing mode. Did it light up Mike Stenning's life? His review is coming soon...
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He was Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine for two years before joining road.cc in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the road.cc live blog. He is also the news editor of our electric-powered sister site eBikeTips. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.