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.
Shimano announced its lightest ever XC902 mountain bike/cyclocross (£319.99) last August, with a carbon midsole, the brand’s Ultread XC rubber outsole, and either rubber blocks or screw-in spikes for grip when off the bike.
The XC702 shares many of the XC902s features although you get less posh Boa dials, a more flexible carbon shank, and an internal heel stabiliser instead of an external heel cup.
The XC502 (£139.99) still gets the Ultread XC outsole but the midsole is fibreglass and toe spikes aren't included here. There's just one BOA L6 dial.
Everyone probably knows about Shimano’s new groupsets by now, but if not you can check out everything you need to know about Ultegra 8100 here and read our Dura-Ace 9200 review here.
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.
The Park Tool PCS-9.3 (£284.99) features a simple screw handle clamp, 46cm of height adjustment and a textured powder coat finish.
The clamp on the Park Tool PCS-10.3 (£369.99) has a cam handle that’s faster and easier to use, a built-in tool tray, and a quick-release height adjustment.
100% announced its Eastcraft and Westcraft models in November. Both models start at £169.99. We have the Eastcraft (above) with a reviewer at the moment so standby for our verdict.
The Speedcraft now comes in this Grey Camo version that looks pretty cool.
Elite has the new Rizer indoor gradient simulator (£824.99) that we told you about last summer. Essentially, it simulates climbs up to 20% and descents as low as -10% when you’re on an indoor trainer and hooked up to a platform like Zwift, and can be set up for automatic or manual changes.
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.
Elite’s Vico bottle cage (from £26.99) is a modern classic. Now you can get it in metallic finishes: grey, blue, and gold (£49.99). Oooh! We like this a lot.
Sweden’s Thule has had Roundtrip Cases in its range for years, each incorporating a lightweight workstand that doubles as the case’s internal frame.
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.
Thule’s video shows you how it works…
Thule’s Paramount lineup has been around for a long time too but the Paramount Commuter Backpack (£149.99) is new.
You get a 27-litre capacity, including a protective compartment for your laptop, a waterproof high-viz cover, and an integrated helmet carrier for when you’re off the bike.
Again, Thule’s video gives you a great idea of how it works.
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.
Hump, best known for its waterproof backpack cover (£19.99), has a new reflective jacket called Signal (£59.99) that’s available in men’s and women’s cuts. It’s water-resistant and is designed for wearing off the bike as well as on it.
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.
The DT Swiss ERC 1400 Dicut wheels are £1,869.98 while the ERC 1100 Dicuts are £2,299.98. Both are available with rim depths of 35mm and 45mm.
Pro has cut away the corner of the bar where it sweeps around from the shifter to the tops. The idea is to stop the rider from knocking their forearms when down in the drops.
Another noticeable feature is the replaceable grip on the flat top section. This area is designed to be left unwrapped to reduce drag.
There is also a small trough that is designed to better hold your forearms in place when you’re in a pursuit position with hands on the hoods and forearms horizontal.
You still get multi-density foam padding and a synthetic leather cover but this version is just 250mm long rather than the usual 280mm
Laut provides Apple Airtag mounts to help track down your bike if it’s ever stolen.
The Bike Tag Bottle Mount for AirTag (£12.99) bolts in place between your bottle cage and frame, the idea being that it’s discreet enough that no scumbag thief will ever think to remove it.
The Bike Tag Saddle Mount for AirTag (£14.99) is designed to fit inconspicuously to your saddle rails.
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.