Did you manage to buck the trend and carry on riding through 'Quitters' Day'? For those who aren't familiar that day was Sunday 19th January, when we were all supposed to give up on our new year health goals according to the folks at Strava... but with all this gear to test most of us here at road.cc are right on track! Here's some of the best bits sent out this week.
This toasty winter boot has a Gore-Tex waterproof outer that is also breathable, that Mavic say will keep your feet dry and comfortable in even the most miserable conditions. There is neoprene on the ankle gussets to prevent water from getting in, and the water-resistant zipper and covered is inspired by Nordic Ski gear. The Ergo dial (like a BOA dial but Mavic's version)makes for easy adjustment, and Mavic have specced their OrthoLite ergonomic insole to offer plenty of cushioning and comfort for long rides. Better to go all-in-one than throwing overshoes of your regular shoes? Steve Williams is trying them out now.
The road-orientated version of Merida's Mission (there's also a cyclocross version) comes with a full Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset in its 7000-E guise. It's hydraulic disc brake only and comes with Merida's full carbon CX CF3 frame, with a pressfit bottom bracket and 12mm thru-axles front and rear. The frame has Merida's ‘Nano Matrix’ tech for extra impact resistance, and the rear flat mount caliper is mounted on the chainstay which Merida say is better for dissipating braking forces while keeping it protected inside the rear triangle. Although it's mostly at home on the road this is also a bike specced to take on more, coming with 32mm Continential Grand Prix Four Season tyres and sturdy DT Swiss P1850 wheels. Is it 'road plus' done right? Stu Kerton is your tester and his review is coming next month.
The shades specialists that supply Peter Sagan and the Aussie apparel brand have collaborated for the new limited edition S3, that come in Soft Tack Navy and Soft Tack Pink colourways. MAAP's 'M-Flag' logos are laser-etched into the lens, block logos are printed along the brow, and the fluoro nose pads add some extra bright colour so you stand out from the crowd/peloton. Was Liam Cahill 100% happy with his test pair? Look out for his review in February...
We've tested numerous GPS units from the Taiwanese bike tech specialists, and now we have our hands on their first smart trainer. On paper it has everything you'd want from a trainer at its price point and more, with a max resistance of 2,500 watts, gradient simulation of up to 18% and impressive quietness at a claimed 58 decibels when virtually riding at 30km/h. The Nova S also has Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity, and is suitable for road, hybrids and mountain bikes thanks to the adjustable front leg. Power accuracy is claimed to be +/-2.5%, and you can use it with all your favourite training apps such as Zwift and Trainerroad plus Xplova's own Workout app. Smarter than the competition? George Hill is your tester.
The latest top-of-the-range carbon road bars from Ritchey have an aggressive wing-shape on top that both offers watt savings and a comfortable hand position when you're going uphill according to Ritchey themselves. The 'traditional bend' shape of the drops is selected because that was the choice of most Ritchey-sponsored road riders. The bars are also optimised for internal routing with an internal cable groove, and also a drilled section at the bar end for inserting Shimano bar end junction boxes.
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.