Will this rain ever stop!? We've been trying our best to keep riding through the torrential downpours where the local lanes aren't flooded with mixed results, and we're hoping for the sun to make an appearance at some point this week...
We'll get straight in at the deep end with this week's round-up... deep as in deep pockets you'll need to buy them that is, with the new Imperial road shoes from Giro coming in at a wallet-busting £374.99. For that you get what Giro promise is a light (215g for a size 44) and breathable shoe that is very easy to adjust, offering pro level performance for racing and training. Giro say their Synchwire upper offers more support than most lightweight shoes, thanks to a monofilament mesh reinforced with thermal-welded TPU to offer max support for minimal weight. The ultimate light performance road shoe? Dave Arthur's verdict is coming soon...
We're not used to seeing Ribble bikes in this price bracket... but then the spec of this Endurance SL R model is absolutely top notch, and you get a lot for your money. It features SRAM's new 12 speed Red eTap AXS with hydraulic disc brakes, and this is the first test bike we've had in with SRAM's new top-of-the-range electronic groupset. The Endurance SL R itself is designed to be light, with 'carefully considered geometry that offers precise handling, excellent responsiveness and stability' according to Ribble. Rounding off the build are Zipp's dependable 302 carbon rims... find out how the package performed in the review later this month.
Refined in the wind tunnel and made for moving at speed, say Rapha, the Souplesse Aero has smooth fabrics for the most part to make it slip through the air and textured fabrics at the back to increase the aerodynamic performance. The front zip also has an extended placket to stop it from rubbing against bib shorts when you’re tucked tight in the drops, and there's also an updated valuables pockets compared to the previous version with an easy-pull zip for easy access to contents with one hand.
"Glide at speed, open gaps on the flats, jump across to breakaways", Scribe say of their new carbon disc brake wheels... and while you'll need a good pilot to do that too, Scribe promise the 50mm deep rims with U-shaped aero profiles will maximise the advantage across a wide range of yaw angles. They weigh in at 1,438g for the pair, impressive for aero wheels, and they're paired with Scribe's Five4 hubs with 54-teeth and 6.6 degree engagement. The internal width is 19mm which gives you the option to fit wider tyres, and they're tubeless-ready with centre lock disc as standard. Did they make Stu Kerton break away from the pack? His test report is due soon.
Vittoria's Rubino is their workhorse tyre, not offering the mega rolling resistance gains of their Speed series tyres but paying you back in earnest with better puncture protection and decent grip. The new Rubino features graphene infused like Vittoria's all-out race tyres, and they have a 150 TPI nylon casing that will see you through thousands of miles. There are three compounds in the tread that increase their life and make them roll better than the previous versions, and the Graphene 2.0 compound was specifically designed to allow for increased wet grip. We'll be seeing how our tester got on with them in the full review, due early next 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.