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Five cool things coming soon from Giant, Castelli, Dexshell, Blinkers and Merlin

Another fine selection of kit and gear that road.cc's reviewers are testing at the moment...

There was definitely a chill in the air this morning as October kicked off, and that means the cold weather gear is now flying through the office doors. Here are some of the highlights from our latest crop of test products, including some items definitely built for keeping the cold out...

Castelli Scalda Elite gloves

£75.00

Castelli Scalda Elite gloves.jpg

75 quid, for gloves? That's what Castelli are asking for these winter warmers, designed for 'cool, not freezing' conditions to cover off all but the chilliest days. They're slim-fitting gloves that provide plenty of wind protection without leaving your palms sweaty, and they're entirely fleece-backed to keep the warmth in. Castelli's double Thermoflex material, stretchy enough to be able to slip on with ease and put on under jersey or jacket cuffs. They also tick off the high-vis box with some reflective transfers to help you be seen. Considering UK winters rarely get totally baltic, are they worth the large outlay considering they will be just right for most wintery conditions? Read Ash Quinlan's review soon...
saddleback.co.uk

Giant Surge Pro road shoes

£275.00

Giant Surge Pro shoes - heels.jpg

Giant have gone high-end with these pro level kicks as worn by Team Sunweb this year, with a 100% thermoset carbon ExoBeam outsole combined with two BOA dials and an 'ExoWrap' support system to fit any foot shape and arch type. The sockliner is also removable with tunable arch support and the 'TransTextura Plus' antimicrobial layer to keep your shoes fresh. Of course Giant are claiming these shoes provide top notch power transfer, with the ExoBeam plate giving ultimate stiffness while being super light. Are they Giants amongst some of the best road shoes out there? Stu's review is due shortly...
giant-bicycles.com

Dexshell Ultra Dri sports socks

£34.99

DexShell Ultra Dri Sports Socks.jpg

These socks are all-purpose, and described as 'element repellent' suitable for any outdoor activity. They have merino wool liners to offer a combination of quick-drying, moisture wicking and breathability, with a cushioned footbed for additional comfort. They look very cosy indeed, but are they warm and functional enough to allow you to go without overshoes on the bike? Read Mike Stead's verdict soon.  
dexshell.co.uk

Blinkers bike light set with turn indicators

£169.00

blinkers-blinker-set-indicator-left

These unusually-shaped lights are also indicators, that you can operate via a remote control mounted to your handlebars. The rear red light is 30 lumens and the front white light is 100 lumens, plenty bright enough for urban areas, and all the controls are wireless with adjustable levels of brightness and different light modes. There's also an automatic brake light, thanks to an accelerometer that measures the motion of the cyclist and triggers when you're braking hard. Does our reviewer Mike Stenning think these lights/indicators are the business, or is he getting mixed signals? The verdict is coming soon... 
blinkers.bike

Merlin Malt G

£899.00

merlinmaltg

Merlin's gravel/adventure bike comes with a double-butted alloy frame, carbon fork and full 10-speed Shimano Tiagra groupset, to give a sensibly specced all-round bike for commuting, gravel and occasional off-road forays. you also get Kenda Kwick 35mm tyres and mechanical disc brakes for simple yet powerful stopping power, and the geometry is described as relaxed so you can ride it all day.  
merlincycles.com

 

To check out road.cc's latest full test reports, head over to our reviews section. If you want some more advice before splashing your cash, check out our buyer's guides

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.  

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19 comments

Avatar
fenix | 5 years ago
0 likes

What happened to that helmet that had indicators built in ? 

 

I think I saw one out on the road but that was a couple of years ago ?

 

It also had front and rear visibility lights. 

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froze | 5 years ago
0 likes

I agree as well with the lack of separation in the signal light device.  Plus the size of the light is so small that from a distance of say more than a car length a motorist won't be able to tell anything other than it's a light of some sort.  I don't understand why they just don't make a light with LED's in the form of an arrow so from behind it will look like an arrow pointing left or right.  Even if they did come out with a usable turn signal light for bike I would never buy one, in over 40 years of riding I've found hand signals to work just fine...even at night.

 

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OldRidgeback replied to froze | 5 years ago
0 likes
froze wrote:

I agree as well with the lack of separation in the signal light device.  Plus the size of the light is so small that from a distance of say more than a car length a motorist won't be able to tell anything other than it's a light of some sort.  I don't understand why they just don't make a light with LED's in the form of an arrow so from behind it will look like an arrow pointing left or right.  Even if they did come out with a usable turn signal light for bike I would never buy one, in over 40 years of riding I've found hand signals to work just fine...even at night.

 

I'm old enough to remember when someone was on BBC evening TV with a set of indicators for cyclists. That was in the 1970s. Maybe there's a reason these have never taken off despite many, many people trying over the years.

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Mungecrundle | 5 years ago
1 like

For a narrow vehicle such as bicycle or motorcycle, correct road position is a very obvious statement of intent. An arm signal can be useful to reinforce the point.

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macrophotofly | 5 years ago
1 like

Totally agree with Joules about the lack of seperation means these indicators at night time will just look like a blinking light.

Also the location of the switch in a central location at the top of the bar on a road bike means taking your hand off and pressing a button (possibly having to look down at the control), therefore ends up making them more dangerous than sticking your hand out.

I do think there could be a market for properly designed indicators though. What it would take is being physically built into the exisiting controls such that the switches don't require you to shift your grip and that the lights are at the outer proximity of both sides (bar ends, etc)

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PRSboy | 5 years ago
3 likes

Why do companies keep trying to overcomplicate things... sticking an arm out is such an easy, visible, understandable and cheap way of signalling a turn.

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joules1975 replied to PRSboy | 5 years ago
1 like
PRSboy wrote:

Why do companies keep trying to overcomplicate things... sticking an arm out is such an easy, visible, understandable and cheap way of signalling a turn.

Because putting an arm out momentarily might be fine, but holding an arm out for a prolonged period approaching a turn, while often trying to slow down and/avoid stuff like potholes, while still maintaining control, can often be a problem (and I'm an experienced rider with 25+ years riding on the road and more than comfortable riding one/no handed).

The problem is that a bike is narrow (at the rear, anyway), so there isn't really any sensible place to put indicators. The solution will be clothing or maybe a development of the laser lights so that the ground is used to display the signal.

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andyp replied to PRSboy | 5 years ago
1 like
PRSboy wrote:

Why do companies keep trying to overcomplicate things... sticking an arm out is such an easy, visible, understandable and cheap way of signalling a turn.

 

Not always possible though. I'd love somone to come up with a solution which works for those of us who can't.

 

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ClubSmed replied to PRSboy | 5 years ago
1 like
PRSboy wrote:

Why do companies keep trying to overcomplicate things... sticking an arm out is such an easy, visible, understandable and cheap way of signalling a turn.

I take it that because you believe this that you also believe that car indicators have overcomplicated things too so you use nothing but original motorists hand signals?

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BehindTheBikesheds replied to ClubSmed | 5 years ago
1 like
ClubSmed wrote:
PRSboy wrote:

Why do companies keep trying to overcomplicate things... sticking an arm out is such an easy, visible, understandable and cheap way of signalling a turn.

I take it that because you believe this that you also believe that car indicators have overcomplicated things too so you use nothing but original motorists hand signals?

But really signalling is only beneficial in a very few situations that are actually more about courtesy/helping peope along than actually about safety, except for those morons who are ignorant of road position, have next to zero understanding of how things work, are impatient or simply going too fast, these types might behave differently but very likely not.

I'd rather a cyclist took the lane/correct road position in advance of what they are wanting to do in terms of direction than waving an arm about and have less control and not make as positive a move as they could have. if a vehicle ahead of me decides to turn and just brakes with no indication, how has that endangered me, surely I'll be keeping a distance back and going at a speed I can stop well within the distance I can see to be clear?

That means if the ahead vehicle (of whatever type incl cycle) were to 'slam on' then whilst that might on the odd occasion come as a surprise, you should be sufficient distance back and be aware so that you aren't rear ending them. When it comes to turning, the ahead vehicle with priority can turn left or right with no indication and that should not impinge on my safety whatsoever from behind nor indeed those oncoming.

Turning right across traffic then the vehicle waits until there's a safe gap to turn and that the exit lane is also clear, an indicator makes jack all difference, the road position in itself tells the tale as well as wheels turned in. Even to pedestrians crossing the exit road it's actually a negative because it's seen too often as I need to stay out of the way of the big killing thing (IF they even see the indicator/vehicle wanting to turn) because it's going to turn with the usual BS by the dirver 'well I was indicating' to validate their impatience and ignoring the rules of the road to give priority to peds crossing when entering minor from major.

Can indicating help traffic flow, sometimes yes, but we rely on things like lights at night and indicators when actually all it takes is patience, lowering speeds, being aware of where vehicles are on the highway, analysing what people generally do and thinking about those times when they don't (indicating one way but do something totally different to that signal) and actually looking out for the danger you present to others to get about without their being people getting hurt.

Think about it.

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Simon E replied to ClubSmed | 5 years ago
1 like
ClubSmed wrote:

I take it that because you believe this that you also believe that car indicators have overcomplicated things too so you use nothing but original motorists hand signals?

Is that a straw man?

Those 'indicators' are sh*t. They look ugly, they are too close together and give the impression that they could snap off with little force.

Some people love inventing stuff just to make money, not to make anything worthwhile. As long as enough fools buy some they're sorted.

As for indicating/signalling one's intentions on a bike, I agree more with BTBS' comments about positioning etc. Recumbent riders seem to manage without waving their arms, or perhaps they still do it 18" above the ground, where it is surely even less effective.

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ClubSmed replied to Simon E | 5 years ago
1 like
Simon E wrote:
ClubSmed wrote:

I take it that because you believe this that you also believe that car indicators have overcomplicated things too so you use nothing but original motorists hand signals?

Is that a straw man?

Those 'indicators' are sh*t. They look ugly, they are too close together and give the impression that they could snap off with little force.

Some people love inventing stuff just to make money, not to make anything worthwhile. As long as enough fools buy some they're sorted.

As for indicating/signalling one's intentions on a bike, I agree more with BTBS' comments about positioning etc. Recumbent riders seem to manage without waving their arms, or perhaps they still do it 18" above the ground, where it is surely even less effective.

I did not say that the indicators shown in the article are the answer (I have similar views as yourself to the usability), I am pointing out that the original statement was flawed.

I do think that there is a market for such things though, and BTBS' comments about positioning are right, but they assume that everyone is on a road. Positioning on a dedicated cycle lane or shared path is either not possible or not indicative of intention. Cycling with a small child on your bike often means that you do not want to remove your hands from the bar to indicate and the advent of suitable indicating system could be beneficial.

Just because a solution does not work for you does not mean that it does not work for anyone. Just because the design of a solution is poor does not mean that a solution is not needed.

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Simon E replied to ClubSmed | 5 years ago
1 like
ClubSmed wrote:

Just because a solution does not work for you does not mean that it does not work for anyone. Just because the design of a solution is poor does not mean that a solution is not needed.

Just because a claimed 'solution' is made available doesn't mean is it either (1) suitable or (2) necessary, never mind whether anyone thinks it desirable to own or use it.

I'm not thinking of myself but trying to consider whether there are those who might benefit from some kind of indicators, hence the mention of recumbent riders. But I expect you will continue to assume that I said something I didn't.

Surely if these things were genuinely beneficial (or manufacturers could scaremonger us into buying them) then the market would be awash with them.

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ClubSmed replied to Simon E | 5 years ago
0 likes
Simon E wrote:
ClubSmed wrote:

Just because a solution does not work for you does not mean that it does not work for anyone. Just because the design of a solution is poor does not mean that a solution is not needed.

Just because a claimed 'solution' is made available doesn't mean is it either (1) suitable or (2) necessary, never mind whether anyone thinks it desirable to own or use it.

I'm not thinking of myself but trying to consider whether there are those who might benefit from some kind of indicators, hence the mention of recumbent riders. But I expect you will continue to assume that I said something I didn't.

Surely if these things were genuinely beneficial (or manufacturers could scaremonger us into buying them) then the market would be awash with them.

I did not assume that you said anything that you didn't, I can't see anywhere in my comment where I said that I did! Is it a case of you assuming that I said something that I didn't?

I agree that my point also works in reverse, I was just putting that side of the arguement here for balance.

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dave atkinson replied to Simon E | 5 years ago
0 likes

Simon E wrote:

ClubSmed wrote:

Just because a solution does not work for you does not mean that it does not work for anyone. Just because the design of a solution is poor does not mean that a solution is not needed.

Just because a claimed 'solution' is made available doesn't mean is it either (1) suitable or (2) necessary, never mind whether anyone thinks it desirable to own or use it.

I'm not thinking of myself but trying to consider whether there are those who might benefit from some kind of indicators, hence the mention of recumbent riders. But I expect you will continue to assume that I said something I didn't.

Surely if these things were genuinely beneficial (or manufacturers could scaremonger us into buying them) then the market would be awash with them.

to be fair the market is awash with them, in the sense that there's a new one on kickstarter pretty much every week  3

Avatar
joules1975 | 5 years ago
13 likes

The issue with the Blinkers, and many turn indicator 'solutions' is that the turn lights are not spaced apart enough, meaning that from a short distance it quickly appears to be just a flashing light in the middle of the bike.

Motorcycles must have a minimum spacing between inticators for this reason.

From the product website I see that the turning LEDs light up in a way that helps to show the turning direction, beyond simply flashing (from centre to outside) but I'm not sure it's sufficient. If the main front or rear lights were a little broader, placed directly between the indicator lights and were perminantly on (i.e. the indicators don't function either if the main lights are off), that would help to give a reference point for those observing, and may help to alleviate the issue slightly.

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bechdan | 5 years ago
3 likes

And what do I do when Ive sold all expendible organs? Christ some people must have way too much money 

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MNgraveur replied to bechdan | 5 years ago
4 likes
bechdan wrote:

And what do I do when Ive sold all expendible organs? Christ some people must have way too much money 

 

You can likely donate small chunks of your liver to children.

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jacknorell replied to bechdan | 5 years ago
0 likes
bechdan wrote:

And what do I do when Ive sold all expendible organs? Christ some people must have way too much money 

The turn signal lights or the gloves?

I've got Raynauds (mostly hands) so no price tag for gloves is too much if they actually work!

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