The heavens opened last week in Blighty, temps have cooled dramatically and we're remembering what it's like to feel almost a bit chilly on the bike again. It was sort of pleasant for a few hours, but now we're bored of it and would much prefer to be out testing gear in the sunshine, thank you very much!
Garmin's latest entry-level GPS has plenty of features that appear on their more advanced computers, with connected features such as Strava Live segments compatibility, GPS, GLONASS and Galileo satellite reception and BLE/ANT+ support. It has a compact yet clear 1.8" display, a navigation mode and you can also connect it with Garmin's Varia line of radar and smart light accessories. that's crisp and easy to read in sunlight or low-light conditions. Smart notifications also means you will never miss a text, if that's really what you want... Does it have the Edge over other bike computers at the sub-£200 price point? Dave Arthur's review is coming soon...
Crossing over from MTB tech, the new clutch derailleur for road groupsets removes any movement of the rear mech cage, holding your chain at a greater tension and giving you more accurate shifting over rough surfaces. It fits closer to the frame to prevent damage, and the clutch mechanism itself can be disengaged for easy wheel removal. It looks like the perfect solution for gravel and CX especially, but is it worth the upgrade to reduce chain chatter? Dave Arthur's verdict is coming soon.
Smith Portal helmet
Smith are more renowned for their eyewear (hence the name Smith Optics) although their helmets have received plenty of favourable reviews on road.cc and off.road.cc recently. The Portal is a mid-range road offering, with an adjustable 'VaporFit' system to provide a customized fit. There's also an optional MIPS liner to increase protection. 18 vents mean the Portal should keep you cool and comfortable, and it's available in four different colourways for bike-matching purposes. Steve Williams is currently trying out this lid.
This has got to be one of the more out-there jersey designs we've seen in a while, and it's got an eye-catching price tag to match the print (we have seen it around for considerably cheaper though, see the link above). The woven 3D fabric promises body support and aerodynamic performance according to Nalini, and the semi open structure at the back provides more ventilation and quick drying. There are also reflective details, although you will probably be seen a mile off anyway... find out what our tester George Hill made of it later this month.
The new entry level GPS from Xplova weighs just 80g, with a 2.2" full colour high resolution display. It picks up GPS, GLONASS and BeiDou satellites for precise positioning at all times, plus a supposedly simple and convenient Waypoint navigation system. Xplova claim the battery life on the X3 is best in class, lasting 20 hours when it's fully charged and going for up to 27 hours under power saving mode. it supports ANT+ & BLE as standard to connect devices such as power meters and cadence sensors, and all data can be shared through Xplova's app and third parties such as Strava. Is it as good as its rivals? Find out via Dave Atkinson's review coming 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.