We're all back to work and somewhat gutted that the warm weather has sharply slipped away, but those of us of the paler persuasion are grateful of the chance to let our burn lines subside! Here's some of our pile that we'll be continuing to test to the max in the decidedly cooler climes this week...
This handy-looking contraption from Topeak allow you to mount extra bottle cages in various places on your bike where there are no integrated frame options. The band style clamps simply go through the bottle cage holes and are made with engineering-grade plastic, which is supposed to keep your bottle and its cage firm and secure. Does it do the job? Mike Stenning has it on his bike now.
We've been tracking Hövding's innovation for some time (check out our crash test video from last month). It replaces the helmet with a device that looks like a snood/collar-type thing when worn around the neck (you can change the cover if you want a more stylish one) and in the event of a crash, it balloons out like an airbag to give you a much softer landing than if you were to smack your head straight on tarmac. The collar encloses the airbag system is made of black, waterproof, dirt-repellent functional fabric that rests comfortably around your neck, and it's also pretty easy to put on - once the bag has blown up your Hövding is used, but they offer crash replacement offers and it's a hard-wearing device that should last you as long as you don't suffer that unfortunate crash. Could these really replace the humble lid for urban cyclists? It's almost time for our verdict to be delivered courtesy of Mike Stenning later this month
It's a plain black t-shirt, and it's £55... so what can Rapha's tee do that others can't justify the outlay? As part of their 'Explore' range (which includes the much talked-about gravel shorts) Rapha say it can be worn on or off the bike and uses a light micro-mesh fabric with a gradient knit structure that's the same as their Flyweight Jersey; so while it's loose-fitting to look a bit less serious, it's still made to be breathable and suitable for fast riding should you want to. Would our reviewer recommend splashing out north of fifty quid for it? Dave Arthur's review is coming soon.
Bragi Dash Pro wireless headphones
Bragi's innovation is described as "the next generation of true wireless earbuds", offering a strong Bluetooth connection and high quality audio without wires. While you might not want the musical features on the bike, it's good to know that off it the integrated MP3 player can hold up to 1000 songs without having to have your phone connected. With Bluetooth, it's a simple one-touch set-up to connect your device. For getting more out of your rides, Bragi have their Bragi App that offers fitness tracking with an 'on-board activity coach' that will presumably bark orders and keep you motivated during your ride. Can this MP3 player/coaching tool in one wireless package justify the price? George Hill is listening through them at the moment.
Proclaimed as "the world's lightest, flexible, gold security bike lock", Litelok launched via a Kickstarter and have proved popular for the functional and versatile design, and a rock-solid construction made from Litelok's patented material called Boaflexicore. You don't need a key, instead Litelok has an integrated Lock Stopper that you remove with a quick release mechanism, then clicking the rest of the lock together to secure your bike. Did George forge an unbreakable bond with his? Check back for the full review 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.