Spring isn't quite in the air yet, but we're beginning to see the light at the end of the very damp tunnel! Here's the pick of the pile this week...
Cube say they intended to make "the ultimate urban assault bike" when they created the Editor, marrying comfort, good looks, speed and practicality. It has a double-butted aluminium frame with a rigid fork featuring hidden rack and mudguard mounts for commuting duties, and Cube say it's been thoroughly strength-tested in their very own 'torture-testing lab'. Shimano's Alfine 11-speed hub gears take the faff out of dealing with multiple chainrings, and this is combined with a Gates belt drive for silent running and no oily chain to stain your trouser legs.An urban champion? John Stevenson's verdict is coming soon...
The Helium V4 features BIKND's unique inflatable padding to offer extra protection without the weight, coming in at 9.8kg when empty. The inflatable partitions pump up around your pride and joy and are strategically positioned on either side of the frame to offer plenty of stability and protection, and BIKND say only minor disassembly is needed to pack your bike. It will fit any road bike and mtb's with a wheelbase of up to 114cm, and there are room for a set of spare wheels too. When not in use, you can fold it away for easy storage. Does Dave Atkinson now have an inflated opinion of this unique bike bag? Find out in the full review later this month...
The Allez continues to be one of the most popular entry-level racing bikes around, with Specialized claiming that the E5 version "redefines what it means to be "entry level" with no corners cut. The spec list includes Tektro rim brakes, Shimano Claris 8-speed shifting an a Specialized carbon fork, and the frame is Specialized E5 Premium aluminium. A weight of 9.6kg on our scales is competitive at this price point, and Specialized say they've reduced this by 450g compared to previous Allez editions. Is this classic still one of the best you can buy to get started in bike racing? Stu Kerton's verdict is imminent...
Manufactured from thick natural vegetable tanned leather, this classy French perch is pre-softened to shorten the break-in period. There are built-in loops for a saddle bag and the backplate is made of a technical material providing solidity and flexibility for maximum comfort, according to Cycles Berthoud. Weighing in at 494g this isn't a saddle for weight weenies, but you can't deny it would make a classy addition to a more traditional-looking steed. Did the performance match the aesthetics? Simon Smythe's test report is coming soon.
Exclusive to Sigma Sports, Vel describe this beam as "powerful and capable" with a choice of six modes; the highlight of these being the Auto mode, which means the light will adjust according to the surrounding environment, between flashing and solid modes, and putting out 150-650 lumens. Amongst the five other manual modes is a dayflash option that can provide some extra visibility even in bright sunshine. The lightweight alloy unit is fully water-resistant, and it fits numerous handlebar sizes thanks to supplied rubber straps for the correct fit. Is it the right light for Jamie Williams? He'll be telling us his verdict later this 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 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.