The Tour might be over but sun is still shining, so we're getting as many miles in as we can before those nights draw in! Here's the pick of the test pile bunch this week...
As we've come to expect from Boardman, you get a lot for your money with their 2021 carbon SLR 8.9; a full carbon frame and fork with 105 shifting would usually command a greater price tag, but if you can have a reasonably lightweight (8.8kg) package with aero tube profiles on the Cycle to Work scheme, you might as well commute a little quicker.
Boardman have refined the frame so it mimics their top-end SLR 9.6, with dropped seatstays, an integrated seat clamp and a carbon layup that Boardman says will deliver day long comfort. Mr Chris Boardman himself gave his input to make changes to the contact points, and plenty of time was spent in the wind tunnel to validate the changes. Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Graphene 2.0 tyres, Boardman SLR tubeless-ready wheels and Tektro R315 long drop rim brakes to give you the option to run 28mm tyres complete the package. The ideal £1k racer? Stu Kerton's verdict is coming soon.
This handy little CO2 features an ergonomic neoprene sleeve to stop your hands getting 'burnt' while filling up your tube. Being compact in stature and weighing 164g, it won't take up much space in your saddle bag/pocket and is made of CNC machined aluminium so it will last you for years. It's also compatible with Presta and Schrader valves "for an efficient and effort-saving experience". Find out if it saved Mike Stenning some roadside hassle in his full test report next month.
Some smart watches are so neat and convenient nowadays they threaten to make the bike computer redundant... and looking at the specs of the iD.TRI from Sigma, it could be all you need on and off the bike if you're not really one for using extensive mapping features on your GPS.
Weighing just 42g, the watch does have its own special mounting bracket to attach it to your bars and will pump out all the usual data such as speed, altitude or watts with a compatible power meter. You can customise all the training views in the Sigma Data Centre or the Sigma Link app, which allows you to display up to three values at once on screen - "that way the most important data is always in view", say Sigma. A host of other features such as targeted training, workouts and a crash alert system means you really do get a lot for your money on paper... but how does this watch work out on the road, in the pool and in everyday life? Simon Smythe will be reporting back soon.
Giant began integrating their own power meters onto their off-the-peg bikes a couple of years ago now, and you can now buy them separately for a fair bit less than some of the competition. Our test rig is assembled on a tried and tested Shimano Ultegra R8000 chainset, and weighs in at 712g. Claimed accuracy is +/-2% at a cadence of 80rpm, and Giant say their "exclusive algorithm" should ensure accurate and stable data without environmental distractions. An accelerometer is also included to allow for magnet-free measurement, and an LED indicator displays battery level and alerts you to recharge when power gets below 20%. As you'd expect, there is full waterproofing and Bluetooth/ANT+ compatibility so it works with a wide range of modern head units and smart watches.
Power to the people? Dave Atkinson's verdict is due shortly.
If you're forced into a roadside repair, the Sterling Short hand pump from Crankbrothers allows you to reinflate more accurately thanks to a little integrated pressure gauge. It will fit on Presta or Schrader valves and the large dual piston will allow you to get up to 100psi in your tyre. A 6061 aluminium build should make it robust, and the 17cm length should allow you to store it in a sizeable jersey pocket if you're not the type to attach a mini pump to your frame (some people are funny about that, beats me though).
Did it provide Steve Williams with perfect pressure? Find out in the full review, coming soon...
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.