We hope you all enjoyed the bank holiday... we certainly did, which is why this is coming to you a day later than usual! Here's the pick of the test pile this week...
Most of Decathlon's B'Twin range has now morphed into the Triban brand, and this gravel-focussed bike looks like a steal considering the componentry adorning it, as you'd expect from the French sports giants. A Shimano 105R7000 groupset, inserts for pannier racks and mudguards, compatibility with 36 mm tubeless ready tyres and a 6061 T6 aluminium frame with carbon fork adds u[p to incredible value on paper, but does that transpose to the road/gravel/trails? Stu Kerton will be telling us his thoughts in the review later in May.
"Mavic quality at an accessible price", so say the brand themselves, with the 17mm wide rims (able to take up to 32mm tyres) and durable hubs making the Aksium a potentially wise choice for everyday road riding. The have cartridge bearings and a consistent, stable spoke lacing pattern throughout. The spokes are straight-pull to make them stronger than j-bend options. Can you get some of the Mavic quality you'd expect from wheels costing five times the price for under £200? Mike Stead's verdict is due later this month.
This lid "makes the wind work for you as you ride", say Catlike, with an internal mesh injected with aramid to make it lighter. A large open surface provides a connection between the incoming and outgoing vent channels to keep things cool and offer less wind resistance.
Castelli wanted to make this glove easier to get on and off when redesigning, which they say was achieved with high-stretch engineered material and an easy-open cuff. For improved cushioning against road vibration, they've added a 'Damping System' to enhance comfort and protect the key nerves in your hand. The thumb wipe area features a soft microsuede. Is this classic mitt better than ever? George Hill is using them right now.
Touted for running and cycling, this jacket can certainly be seen from a distance and acts as a three-in-one, being a lightweight extra layer that provides daytime visibility and reflective panels that can be seen in the dark. This hybrid of 50/50 reflective and high-vis material is the only one of its kind, claim BTR, so you needn't choose between high-vis or reflectiveness. Does it do the job night and day? Matt Lamy is testing this, with the review 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.