At this time of year, we’d usually be visiting iceBike, one of Britain’s biggest bike trade shows hosted by distributor Madison, but Covid means that it has been reinvented as digiBike, an online version that allows us to check out the latest products from the likes of Shimano, Pearl Izumi, and 100% that will be in the shops this year.
Some of these products have been announced over the past few months, others are entirely new to us. All are – or will be eventually – available on www.freewheel.co.uk.
We’ve reviewed Pearl Izumi’s Expedition bib shorts (£119.99) on road.cc, but the Expedition Pro bib shorts (£219.99) – available in men’s and women’s versions – feature an all-new Levitate PRO seated and an Italian PRO Transfer fabric. They have low profile cargo pockets on the thighs, two small rear pockets, and PI Dry technology designed to keep road spray and light rain out.
The Pearl Izumi Summit Barrier Jacket (£69.99) is made from up-cycled off-cuts, helping to reduce production waste. It is made from a lightweight and windproof ripstop fabric and packs into its zippered chest pocket when not in use.
Shimano’s Equinox glasses were announced last year but we’ve not yet managed to get our greasy mitts on a pair yet. They come with a half-rim Grilamid TR90 frame and a one-piece lens (full UV 400 protection) designed to offer a wide field of vision.
There's a range of colours and you can choose between a road and an off-road lens. Whichever you go for, you also get a clear second lens. A photochromic version is available too.
Park Tool has resurrected with improvements the beam-type torque wrenches it discontinued a few years ago. The TW1.2 (£44.99) covers a range of 0-14 N⋅m, and the TW2.2 (£49.99) covers 0-60 N⋅m.
Each has a 3/8in drive and the gauge readout is simple to use. While they don't have that satisfying click when you reach the desired torque, beam-type torque wrenches are extremely robust (it's practically impossible to knock them out of calibration) and work on left-handed threads like pedals and bottom brackets.
Park has new versions of repair stands designed for home mechanics too.
At the other end of the price scale, Elite’s NanoFly water bottle has had a bit of a rebrand and is now the NanoFly 0-100 (£29.99). Elite says that you can pour boiling water in here and it won’t melt and that it’ll keep the liquid hot for up to four hours. It’ll also keep cold liquids cold, of course.
The new Roundtrip Road travel case (£700) is a compact, semi-rigid design specifically for drop-bar bikes – road, gravel, cyclocross… Rigid side panels are reinforced with 5mm corrugate polypropylene while padded interior packing panels are intended to protect all parts of your bike during transport. It all folds down when not in use for compact storage.
The Truflo Airstore track pump (£139.99) is new too, featuring an auxiliary storage cylinder for tubeless tyres. You can preload this secondary cylinder to 260psi and release it instantly via the air tap on the head to get tubeless tyres to inflate (if you’re not familiar with the tech, getting tubeless tyres to seal against the rim can be tricky, especially the first time). The head fits both Presta and Schrader valves.
We reported last November that DT had updated its ERC endurance wheels in collaboration with Swiss Side, offering new carbon rim shapes that are said to combine improved crosswind stability with lower drag, an increased rim inner width, and the brand’s latest generation Aero Dicut hubs with Ratchet EXP technology.
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Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.
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