After our first full week back after the festive break, we had some pretty epic winds to contest with here in the south west over the weekend - but we ride on, there's plenty of gear to be testing! Here are some of this week's highlights...
Shimano's top-of-the-range road shoe has earned many a good review in the past, and this updated version is now even lighter with an improved heel cup. Shimano have also worked to lessen moisture retention by adding enhanced hydrophobic materials, and there's an extra 11mm of cleat adjustment range for more choice when setting yours up. Is Shimano's best road shoe now even better? Our full review is imminent.
Pirelli launched back into the bike tyre market nearly two years ago now, and another year on the tubeless-ready, all-weather Cinturato Velo was shown for the first time. Offering what Pirelli claim to be superior puncture protection while still maintaining low rolling resistance, Pirelli's patented 'Armour Tech' is responsible for toughening up the tyre. Aramid fibres are dispersed through it and get thicker towards the underside, so the top layer still retains low rolling resistance and grip thanks to Pirelli's Smartnet Silica compound, while the base layer has a greater concentration of aramid fibres to guard against flats. It sounds impressive and has performed admirably in independent rolling resistance tests, but how did it fare on the road? Stu Kerton is riding them now.
Selle Italia have redesigned this high-end road saddle for 2019, claiming it offers increased comfort with all the weight-saving and stiffness benefits of carbon. Selle Italia call the design their “suspension link movement”, with an adaptive rear frame that has two parts. They they it works in a similar way to an automotive leaf spring, allowing a more natural movement of the pelvis when pedalling, which in turn increases pedalling efficiency. Big claims and a big price, but does it really do the trick? We'll be hearing from Mat Brett for the full review in the coming weeks.
This versatile all-rounder is on old Shimano 105, but available for an impressive knock-down price nowadays. It can fit up to 35mm tyres so you can also take it off-road briefly, and the triple-butted 6061 aluminium frame comes with a comfortable geometry for all-day riding. Hyraulic disc brakes and Mavic XM319 wheels finish the package, but is this Merlin a two-wheeled magician? Stu's currently writing his verdict...
The Kobe Thermo is a lightweight number, made to keep you warm during autumn and winter rides. The stretch fabric panels are supposed to offer breathability and plenty of range of movement, and the side and back panels has stretchy fleece added. There are also two big back pockets and the fit is described as 'performance' (i.e. tight). Can it challenge Castelli's much-lauded Gabba thermal jersey? Elliot Barrett's review will be coming soon...
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 was Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine for two years before joining road.cc in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the road.cc live blog. He is also the news editor of our electric-powered sister site eBikeTips. 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.