There‘s a crazy number of exciting products out there being pushed to their limits by our reviewers at the moment, and here are some of the highlights that you can expect to see on road.cc in the coming days and weeks…
You can’t have missed the launch of Shimano’s Ultegra R8100 groupset last year; unveiled on the same day as the top-level Dura-Ace 9200, the second-tier offering is now 12-speed and Di2 (electronic shifting) only. The shifters on the disc brake version communicate wirelessly with the rest of the system.
Shimano Ultegra R8100 has been in short supply but our man Liam Cahill has had it on his bike for the past couple of months and is all set to give his verdict. Stay tuned to road.cc for the review. It might land as early as this Thursday (19 May 2022).
The last time we reviewed Mason’s Definition aluminium all-road bike, Stu Kerton called it “a superb machine, crafted with attention-to-detail to give a ride sensation that almost defies logic”. Wow!
Whereas that model was built up with a Shimano Ultegra groupset, a new model has just arrived with Campagnolo’s 12-speed Chorus components. Quite a few brands have made the switch to Campag lately; it’s high-quality kit, of course, and it also has the distinct advantage of being available, whereas Shimano components are generally harder to get.
Our review bike is also specced with Hunt carbon wheels and Schwalbe Pro One tyres in a 30mm width.
We’re excited to find out whether the Definition performs as well in this build as it did last time.
The Xtract Bibshort II is the most inexpensive bib short in Endura’s range and we’re interested in finding out how they compare with some of the pricier options. The FS260-Pro (£89.99) got a nine out of 10 review last year, for example, and Endura offers many other high-quality options.
The Xtract Bibshort II features a seam-free inside leg and raw-edged hem bands with silicone print grippers to hold them in place.
The 400-Series pad has gel inserts to keep you comfortable and a maximum thickness of 15mm.
Lazer unveiled its KinetiCore technology at the end of March, a system that uses controlled crumple zones that are designed to protect your brain damage in the case of rotational impacts – so it’s the brand’s proprietary answer to MIPS, essentially.
Lazer says that KinetiCore is the first tech on the market that does this while being directly integrated into the EPS (expanded polystyrene) of the helmet itself.
Lazer is initially including KinetiCore in six helmets, only two of them designed for sport-style road riding. The Strada KinetiCore Helmet is the more affordable of these at £99.99, while the Vento is an aero model that’s still reasonably lightweight (290g)
The Craft Cadence Metro Pannier Backpack got an impressive eight out of 10 review on road.cc recently, Steve Williams describing it as “waterproof, well made and very usable luggage that's great for carting around”.
The Craft Cadence Roll Top Waterproof Backpack is seamlessly constructed from the same material – 600D polyester with a TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) coating – but it’s designed to be worn on your back only, rather than as a dual pannier/backpack system.
Craft Cadence boasts that the Roll Top Waterproof Backpack features a tech sleeve with eight compartments, two front zipped pockets and external storage for a D-lock/U-lock.
It sounds promising but we’ll have to wait for the review from Nick Ball for all the details.
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.