Five cool things coming soon from Castelli, Bontrager, Hiplok, Merida and Deuter

This week's round-up of bikes, kit and tech that are out with our team of testers at the moment, with full reviews coming soon...

With the weather brightening up (but the wind annoyingly refusing to subside) we're looking forward to getting the miles in over the Easter long weekend and tucking into some egg-shaped recovery fuel post-ride. We hope you manage to take advantage of the break too, happy riding! 

Castelli Tabula Rasa Bibshort


Castelli Tabula Rasa Bibshort - riding.jpg

It looks like navy is in this year, and that's definitely true of these loud and proud bibs from Castelli. Featuring a durable dyed nylon insert for the saddle contact areas, the rest of the short is made with printable fabric to create the vivid graphics, but Castelli say they perform just the same as plainer stuff. The 'KISS Air2' seat pad is included for all-day comfort, and the straps are designed to sit flat so they don't irritate. Are they worth the money, or do they come up short? George Hill's verdict will be in soon. 

Deuter Race X Navy-Denim


Deuter Race X 12 backpack-1.jpg

For those who just want to take the bare minimum for work, the gym or on the trails, the Race X may fit the bill. It has a simple, clean design made from technical Hexlite material, a hip belt with mesh wings so it doesn't dig in while you ride and a rain cover to keep your clothes and valuables nice and try. Emma Silversides is trying it out currently, with her verdict coming in early next month.

Hiplok Spin


Hiplock Spin.jpg

Weighing 800g, this handy lock can be worn as a belt and deployed when and where you need it with ease. it has a four digit resettable combination lock, and the patented belt system fits waists from 26 to 44 inches. Will Siobhan Kelly put a positive spin on her review? Find out soon...

Merida Scultura Disc 200


Merida Scultura Disc 200.jpg

Merida have adapted and trickled down their Tour-proven Scultura to offer this impressively-specced disc brake bike at a Cycle To Work Scheme price. Featuring 6066 series triple butted and hydroformed aluminium tubing, the welds are smooth and the head tube is tapered for precise steering. A press-fit 86 BB and 12mm bolt through axles are specced for stiffness, and the fork is full carbon. Gearing is courtesy of Shimano in the form of their 9-speed Sora groupset. How did it ride? Find out in Stuart Kerton's review, due shortly after the Easter break...

Bontrager XXX WaveCel Helmet


Bontrager XXX WaveCel helmet - side 3.jpg

There have been numerous big safety claims made about this lid due to the new Wavecell technology, and likewise certain competitor brands have openly questioned those claims... but for this review we're interested how the helmet performed in terms of comfort, ease of use and how it compares to similarly-priced lids. Bontrager promise they've poured all their best aerodynamic know-how into the XXX WaveCel  so it'll be fast too, and Trek-Segafredo men's and women's teams are already using them. WaveCel itself is a collapsible cellular structure that lines the inside of the helmet, and they claim it has better impact protection than other systems while still being breathable enough to use for the sweatiest of rides. Find out if merits all the attention in the full test report, coming shortly...


To read all's latest test reports, head over to our reviews section. If you need some more advice before splashing the cash, check out our buyer's guides

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 in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the 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. 

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