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Five cool things coming soon from Specialized, Fizik, SKS, Lusso and La Passione

Another fine selection of bikes, gear and clothing that we're testing at the moment, with full reviews coming soon...

We have made it into December and oh yes it’s really VERY cold out on rides now. Make sure you layer up to crunch them miles. Here are a few of our favourite bits of kit we have the pleasure of putting to the test at the moment…

Specialized Aethos Pro Ultegra Di2


2021 Specialized Aethos Pro Ultegra Di2.jpg

Just 6,660 grams... that’s the total weight of the new Specialized Aethos Pro Ultegra Di2 which Liam Cahill has been darting up the steepest of climbs on recently. The geometry of the Aethos is most similar to that of the Tarmac SL7, with only slight differences to the stack and reach. The frame itself is said to weigh just 588g (for a size 56cm) and as the total build is under the 6.8kg UCI minimum weight limit, it’s not for the pros.

> Advice: Lightweight v aero - which is best?

Specialized says the new lightweight bike is for those who prioritise handling and ride quality over aerodynamic efficiency. By reducing the number of carbon layers in areas that aren’t subject to the largest forces, Specialized claims it has been able to reduce the weight without compromising stability. Liam has been out testing how this lightweight machine feels to ride and will be revealing his verdict soon…

Fizik Antares VS R3 Adaptive Saddle


2021 Fizik Antares VS R3 Adaptive Saddle.jpg

Utilising 3D printing technology, Fizik’s Antares VS R3 Adaptive Saddle has been developed to provide “seamless zonal cushioning”. The full channel shape design is said to provide pressure relief of soft tissue areas.

> Video: How to choose the correct saddle for you and your riding

Available in two widths, 139mm and 149mm, the R3 saddle is 274mm long and weighs 216g for the larger option. Its carbon reinforced nylon shell is paired with 7x7mm Kium hollow rails to bring the price down to £249.99, while the 3D range tops out at £369.99 with the Evo 00 which has a high modulas full carbon shell with carbon rails.

Although the intricate design may look difficult to clean muck out of, Fizik promises that “whatever gets in, gets out”, and this can be done by hosing the saddle over with water. Ash Quinlan has been perched on this saddle, testing its comfort, and will be giving his verdict soon…

SKS Race Blade Pro XL


2021 SKS Race Blade Pro XL

These matte black clip-on mudguards are designed for bikes with a tyre width between 25mm and 32mm, and are also compatible with aero forks and disc brakes. The double-hinged quick release fitting system means these should be easy and quick to attach, while providing a sturdy hold. An adhesive protection kit is included to prevent any damage to the paintwork where attached. The front mudguard is 565mm long and the rear is 720mm (mud flap included), and by adjusting the length of the stays, these guards are said to be able to adapt perfectly to the radius of the wheel.

> Advice: 9 top survival tips for cycling in the rain

Mike Stead last reviewed these mudguards in 2016 and gave them a great big 9 out of 10. As a non-permanent mudguard option, how much protection do they provide, and how easy are they to fit? I have a set on test and my review is incoming soon…

> Advice: 6 reasons to get mudguards - from the surprising to the obvious

Lusso Breathe overshoes


2021 Lusso Breathe Overshoes - side.jpg

Lusso’s Breathe overshoes are designed for those seeking extra warmth and breathability over the brand’s highly rated Windtex Stealth overboots, which Stu Kerton scored an impressive 9 out of 10. The thermal fabric has three layers and is said to work like a fish’s gill, as it lets the moisture out without allowing the elements in. It has a high eight inch cuff that hugs the leg with a gripper to minimise water entry from the top, as well as a waterproof zipper.

> Buyer's guide: Best overshoes - what to look for in winter foot protection

Reflective tabs and Kevlar reinforced toe and heel pads are also included. Lusso says the overshoe can be used in temperatures ranging from as low as minus 6 degrees, up to a fairly mild 12 degrees. Can these overshoes really deal with such a range? I’ve been putting them to the test in varying weather conditions and my full report will be coming shortly…

La Passione Prestige Winter Tights


2021 La Passione Prestige Winter Tights.jpg

These Prestige Winter Tights are made in Italy, and designed for rides in the chilly transitional months and milder winter days from 10 degrees down to 4 degrees. The construction includes a breathable and quick drying ThermoRoubaix fabric, back-bonded seams and an elastic tape at the bottom of the leg. The tights are fitted with a new Elastic Interface pad, which is said to be engineered for long distance rides of over seven hours thanks to the central channel in its construction. Rob Wilmott has been nipping outside in the cold, and will be delivering his verdict on whether these bib tights are as comfortable as promised on longer rides…

For all the latest test reports, head over to our reviews section. If you want some more advice before splashing the cash, check out our buyer's guides

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Joe Totale | 3 years ago

Given that low weight is so important for the Aethos, Specialized should have gone all Fred Dibnah on that huge chimney stack which would have saved a few more grams. 

Also, the nice paintwork on that Bowman won't last long with those raceblades without some protective tape. 

Liam Cahill replied to Joe Totale | 3 years ago

Hey Joe,

It's a test bike so it'll be going straight back to Specialized who will want to sell it on. An uncut steerer just means that they don't have to put a new fork on but it'd be nice, aesthetically, if we could chop them down to suit.

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