Hallelujah! With the sun finally set to shine down on Blighty this week we're looking forward to trying out our spring/summer kit after a winter that has very much overstayed its welcome. Here's the pick of our test pile at the moment...
The list of specs on Evoc's travel bag would suggest your bike doesn't need to be in a hard case to be fully protected, and if this is the real deal then it's a smart way to save weight while you jet around the world with your steed. Only the pedals, handlebars and wheels need to be removed to pack your bike and Evoc say it can be done in minutes, fitting all sized bikes including 29ers. It's got two external padded wheel compartments and a frame cushion pad inside, with three separate compartments for smaller parts such as your pedals and skewers. To lug it around its got a smooth undercarriage and skate wheels with an extra wide track for stabilisation on the move, with handles on both sides. The weight is just 8.6kg, meaning you'll easily beat any airline's weight restriction. Will it provide our tester Dave Atkinson with peace of mind on his travels? The review is coming soon.
Short for 'all season road', Boardman's ASR is designed to be a versatile and sturdy bike that can take on anything at any time of year. The frame is heat-treated Reynolds 725 steel with Boardman's own carbon fork and a threaded bottom bracket, a reliable set-up that should provide a classy and easy ride thanks to the relaxed frame geometry and longer head tube. This bike was launched in late 2017 so features Shimano's 105 5800 11 speed groupset (read about the new 105 R7000 here) and their RS505 hydraulic disc brakes. It also comes complete with mud guards that have reflectives on them so you'll stand out a bit more on gloomy days. Is steel the real deal in this instance? The verdict is coming soon.
Whole roadies are obliged to stuff everything useful into jersey pockets or it stays at home, it's nice to know that you can break the code and attach this hand pump to your frame if need be, via its side-mounting bracket. Topeak claim it inflates up to 120psi, and it weighs just 118g so its compact enough not to get in the way of your pedalling. It's just Presta compatible, with an integrated dust cap and aluminium barrel. Does Sean Williams rate this inflator? His review is due in soon.
In a time where most of our cycling gear is made abroad, it's good to know that Lusso still make all their kit in Manchester, and we've found it's often top quality stuff in past reviews. This is the second version of their Aqua Repel jacket, and is claimed to be thermal, windproof and water repellent with plenty of breathability so you can still wear it in spring. A full front zip with storm flap and a high neck keep the weather out, and a long tail with a hem gripper stop your rear from getting too muddy. Ashia Fenwick has been testing this jacket through the spring showers.
Castelli's latest version of the Free Aero bib short are subtle in their looks but big on performance, supposed to be best for the summer months with high levels of breathability. Castelli's Doppio V construction makes them contour to your body, and there's flat-lock stitching throughout to prevent chafing. Castelli say their Progretto X2 seat pad is a favourite amongst Castelli-wearing pro riders, and as well as offering a lot of comfort, they've used a Vortex dimpled fabric for some extra aero gains. Are they the gold bib short standard? Find out what Ash Quinlan thinks of them soon.
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.