The Vuelta’s all wrapped up, so what are we all going to do with ourselves now? More time for riding, so that’s not so bad. Here are some of the best bits of kit in our testing pile this week...
The SubZero range is NoPinz' brand new indoor optimised kit that “actively cools core temperature”. It does this with FreezePockets — located between the shoulder blades and on the lower back on the bib shorts — which can hold cooling gel packs. Two sets are included with the bib shorts (more can be purchased separately) and NoPinz claims these provide “40-60 mins of cooling at high intensity”.
Other features including “ultra-lightweight and breathable fabrics”, as well as an indoor specific pad for increased comfort. Dave Atkinson has been giving it some on the virtual roads and will be reporting back on whether these unique indoor shorts are a must for indoor training paincaves.
With a 3-layer construction, Le Col claims this performance rain jacket is “form fitting, waterproof and breathable”. It has been designed to be worn in an aggressive riding position and gives a close, comfortable fit when down in the drops. A dropped tail is included to keep road spray off the lower back and the front zip has been shortened to prevent bunching up. The Pro jacket comes in black or orange for those preferring extra visibility. Liam Cahill has been slogging it in the rain to put the jacket to test, and his review is well on its way.
Swiss Side says the new Hadron² Ultimate wheels offer a 10-20% reduction in aero drag and are less affected by crosswinds than the original Hadron wheels, thanks to a 26% reduction in steering moment. But the brand claims this makes the aero wheelset a “benchmark for crosswind stability”. road.cc’s Jez Ash reviewed the previous model and, even then, he was impressed with the “straight-line speed and superb stability”. The latest Hadron² Ultimate wheels use DT Aerolite II spokes that are just 0.7mm thick and the profile is designed to reduce the rotational drag component. Available in 50mm, 62.5mm and 80mm rim depth options, Stu Kerton is testing the 62.5mm ones for us, with a report coming soon.
The FlashStand Slim X is Topeak’s easy-to-use, portable bike stand that holds your bike upright via the crank arm—the non-drive side of Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo are all compatible. The stand fits 700c road bikes with 41 x 16 x 80mm crank arms and Topeak says it “easily slips into a jersey pocket or into your saddle bag”. Weighing 199g, can something relatively lightweight and compact hold up your bike, reliably, with ease? Mike Stead is finding out and will let us know in due course.
These waterproof winter gloves from Polaris are designed to provide the “warmth and isolation of a mitt”, but with the “flexibility and control of a glove”. To grasp the handlebars and brakes, the thumb and index fingers are separate, while the rest of the fingers are grouped together. Polaris says the Amara™ patches over gel padding on the palm should ensure your hands stay firmly and comfortably gripped to the bar. With an extended cuff to help keep the elements out and the warmth in, how well does the insulation work? Neil Gander will be sharing his verdict soon.
Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.