Your bike's contact points are some of the most important aspects of how your bike fits, and some of the easiest things to upgrade for increased comfort. We've got plenty of handlebars, shoes, pedals and saddles reviewed already but below are five cool things that we are currently testing. There is a helmet in there as well, but technically, your head is a touch point too right?
SQlab’s 612 Ergowave R saddle comes with four main selling points: “shorter, narrower, lighter, faster”. Short-nose saddles are nothing new anymore, but they’ve been around for years and have allowed many brands to cut off weight and increase saddle comfort on the products.
The 612 Ergowave has a claimed weight of 165g and the wave in the name refers to the slightly raised rear part of the saddle, giving the rider better grip and power transmission. It’s also pretty good if you like to climb seated.
The saddle has a narrow saddle nose that allows more legroom and the SQlab Ergowave form should relieve the soft tissue area and prevents energy-consuming bad posture.
The top of this saddle is light but also abrasion-resistant and non-slip and the padding is closed-cell and minimised; but comfort shouldn't be compromised as SQlab says the shape and the flex behaviour between the rail, the shell and the foam are coordinated as an overall system.
In contrast to the top-performance saddle, we have this commuter one; the KranX Base 145, representing some good value for money.
It’s 145mm wide and has a patented archtech suspension system for support and flexibility and a pressure relief opening on the base. KranX has added new technology PU Cushioning to the saddle for comfort.
Having power data of your cycling performance is not only reserved for the pros anymore, but products like the Wahoo Powrlink Zero are available for consumers as well, as long as you have quite deep pockets, that is…
The Wahoo Powrslinks Zero is a power meter pedal built into Wahoo’s Speedplay platform, and they claim to deliver “reliably accurate power data in a race-proven system to give cyclists access to a more comprehensive overview of their cycling progress”.
It comes a high price tag, yes, but also some pretty impressive performance claims, including a 72-hour running time and real-time ride data with a +/-1% error margin. The pair we have are also dual-sided, meaning you can also get a very accurate picture of your strength balance between the legs, making it easier to spot any imbalances and work on them.
These are only compatible with the Wahoo Speedplay cleats, but the pedals come with a pair so you can get yourself set up quite quickly.
Let’s start with the buzzwords again shall we? Giro says the Aries is “cooler, lighter and faster” than what has come before, weighing only 265 grams (for a size medium) and featuring the brand’s exclusive Spherical technology.
Despite the lighter weight Giro has not been skimping on safety with this lid, as it actually rates as the current number one helmet in lessening head injuries by Virginia Tech. The university's helmet lab having built a solid reputation for its independent testing of helmets for sport. It’s beating even full-face mtb helmets, so that’s saying something.
The Spherical Technology means that there are essentially two layers to the helmet, which adds protection by redirecting energy away from the brain in both low- and high-speed crashes. Giro has also added plenty of vents (24) and cooling properties to the Aries, including the DryCore brow pad, which for heavy sweaters can be a, shall we say, vision saving feature.
These Shimano S-Phyre kicks were a proper tease last year, first making an appear on Mathieu van der Poel's feet and then at Eurobike, before getting their official launch in September.
They’re rather sleek-looking, top-performance road cycling shoes that ar “supremely engineered for your fastest efforts” according to Shimano. Without repeating all those marketing words (again), in short, the RC903 is the top-of-the-range shoe from Shimano. They feature two Boa Li2 dials for a comfortable yet snug fit, a stiff sole, an anti-twist heel cup to stabilise the heel, and a light micro-fibre leather upper with perforated venting that keeps feet cool.
These come in four colours for men, and a bit disappointingly, only one for women. Sizes range from 36 to 48.
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Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops.