As the kids go back to school, we're resided to dealling with a bit more traffic out on the roads as we test all the latest and greatest gear; although with the seasons-a-changin that's even more reasons to hit the most gravelly trails we can find in the UK and try out some off-road stuff!
Named after the trail in the Peak District, the full carbon Monsal is Forme's 'grit' bike for taking on all types of terrain in one impressive-looking package. It has flat-mount disc brakes and thru-axles front and rear, a removable seat stay bridge, plenty of bottle cage bosses and clearance for tyres up to 45mm. This version has Sram' Rival 1x gearing, and Mavic Askium all road wheels with Kenda 35mm tyres to tackle the rough stuff. Can you really take it anywhere? Stu Kerton's verdict is coming soon.
Sitcking with the off-road theme, these tough tubeless-ready tyres from Specialized are described as perfect for adventuring, with the tread's sharp angles hooking onto any surface you throw at them. The Endurant protective casing reinforces the sidewall for extra puncture protection, while the Specialized Gripton compound is supposed to provide plenty of grip and control.
The pattern on this unusual base layer from fledgling British apparel brand Métier isn't just for show; it's actually a layer of graphene, which is supposed to be exceptionally good at moving heat around the body, ensuring it dissipates when you're too warm or keeps the heat in during cold weather rides. Métier say that graphene is better at carrying heat than any other material on earth, so it's perfect for temperature regulation in a base layer. The fabric is also high wicking, quick drying and plenty breathable for a comfortable ride. Is graphene the way forward on bae layers or is it all just hot air? Read the full review soon.
Mio's new GPS offers fuss-free operation and navigation at a competitive price, with a high-res touch screen and rugged build to stand up to all weathers. It also has the unique 'Surprise Me' function, which calculates three different bike routes based on your preferred time and distance, allowing you to explore a new area or just some different routes in your own back yard. It continuously offers fresh routes to keep things interesting even if you start from the same point, so could be a decent way to quell boredom if you often ride the same local roads on your training rides. Is it a good alternative to the GPS big boys? Stu Kerton is navigating around the features at the moment, with a verdict due shortly.
Caratti are noticeably less expensive than many other cycling apparel brands, but that doesn't mean the quality is compromised according to the brand themselves. These updated bibs have a slightly more relaxed cut so they're true to size, and are made with a high wicking fabric to keep you cool and dry. A meshed upper section provides further cooling, and there's an ergonomically-shaped chamois pad with high density foam to prevent bum numbness on long rides. Are these bibs a bargain? The verdict will be in before the end of the month...
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 joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. 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.