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Real-world aero, outstanding alloy and mechanical shifting FTW: Recommends updated with products from Orro, Mason, Shimano + more

Four bikes made the Recommends cut in March, along with Shimano 105 12-speed mechanical, a handy workstand from Topeak and plenty of clothing

In last month's Recommends update, we said that spring had sprung... which was probably optimistic because that still hasn't really happened, but what has happened is that we've reviewed a lot of quality bikes, gear and equipment since then! Here is our rain-soaked selection for March, with a perfect 10 products making the cut. 

We've split the new products up into bikes, clothing, and components + accessories. Here's a quick list, and you'll find a bit more about them with links to the full reviews as you scroll down the page. 

Orro Venturi STC SRAM Force eTap Tailor Made 2024
Romet E-Modeco URB 3.0
Mason Definition 3.0
Factor O2 VAM

Gorewear Phantom Jacket Womens
Pedla SuperFit Bib Shorts Stormy
Galibier Mistral Toe Covers
Gorewear Shield Arm Warmers

Components + accessories
Shimano 105 R7100 Mechanical 12-Speed Groupset
Topeak Prepstand X

Orro Venturi STC SRAM Force eTap Tailor Made 2024

2024 Orro Venturi STC SRAM Force eTap Tailor Made - 2.jpg

Complete with the latest SRAM Force electronic groupset and mid-depth carbon wheels, Orro's Venturi STC aero road bike has had some small changes to make it lighter and more aesthetically pleasing. According to our reviewer Stu, it's all been achieved without affecting the ride quality, handling or speed, making for an "incredibly smooth, 'real world' fast, comfortable and fun bike to ride." 

Read the full review of the Orro Venturi STC here

Romet E-Modeco URB 3.0


From our pals at ebiketips, the Romet E-Modeco URB 3.0 makes it into Recommends because it's a high quality step-through hybrid with an impressively powerful mid-drive motor. It's not too expensive either. 

Reviewer Richard says: "All in all, the Modeco URB 3.0 is great value for money and can certainly lay claim to being one of the most capable, highly specced and best value city and trekking step-thru models out there." 

Read the full review of the Romet E-Modeco URB 3.0 here

Mason Definition 3.0

2024 Mason Definition 3-20.jpg

Mason's Definition has long been a fave with reviewers, and the third iteration continues that theme. 

Pushing the boundaries of what can be done with a bunch of (high quality Italian) aluminium tubes, the finish and detailing on the Definition is other-worldly, and the looks are matched by its performance. 

Reviewer Suvi praised the all-weather compatibility and performance, geometry, tweaked cable routing and generous tyre clearance, with the only gripe being a slightly sluggish performance on inclines compared to lighter bikes around this price point of £3.8k. 

Read the full review of the Mason Definition 3.0 here

Factor O2 VAM

Factor O2 VAM

On the subject of price points, we're certainly at the pointy end of them when it comes to the Factor O2 VAM, coming in at a nice round quid under the 10 grand mark! 

Is it worth all that cash? If you can afford it then yes, says reviewer Stu, as the O2 VAM is "a master of climbing" at 6.9kg, yet also incredibly fun and extremely capable everywhere else. 

As you'd expect, the finishing kit is all top-of-the-range, and all in all Factor has created a fast and light weapon. If you can ever budget £10k for a road bike, the O2 VAM should be high up your wishlist. 

Read the full review of the Factor O2 VAM here

Gorewear Phantom Jacket Womens

2023 GOREWEAR Phantom Jacket Womens - no sleeves front.jpg

A sort of two-in-one jacket and jersey combo, the Phantom has removable long sleeves to make it a solution for riding in the changeable conditions of spring and autumn. It also works as a layer in winter, and impressed our reviewer with its versatility, warmth and water resistance.

Read the full review of the Gorewear Phantom Jacket here

Pedla SuperFit Bib Shorts Stormy

2024 Pedla SuperFit 2.0 Bib short.jpg

These race-fit bib shorts have a comfy pad and great breathability according to our reviewer, and while not cheap by any means, you'll be rewarded with bibs that are equally suited to race efforts or long summer days on the bike. The legs are a bit shorter than the average, but if you're not particularly long-limbed then they're right up there with the best of our bib shorts buyer's guide.

Read the full review of the Pedla SuperFit Bib Shorts Stormy here

Galibier Mistral Toe Covers

2024 Galibier Mistral Toe Covers.jpg

It's prime toe cover season right now, and you could certainly do worse than these ones from Galibier. 

At under 13 quid they're exceptional value, yet don't scrimp on quality with a robust construction. There are only two sizes (S/M and L/XL) but if they fit you they're ideal for keeping your toes toasty in the shoulder seasons. 

Read the full review of the Galibier Mistral Toe Covers here

Gorewear Shield Arm Warmers

2023 Gorewear Shield Arm Warmers - cuff logo.jpg

These strong winds and weather that can turn in an instant also makes it prime arm and leg warmer season right now, and Gorewear's Shield are a superb choice. They're very comfortable, impressively water resistant, look good and have wide grippers to reduce pinch points; pretty much everything you'd want in a pair of arm warmers.

Read the full review of the Gorewear Shield Arm Warmers here

Shimano 105 R7100 Mechanical 12-Speed Groupset

2023 Shimano 105 R7100 Mechanical 12-speed - 12

Our full verdict is in on Shimano's 12-speed mechanical 105 groupset that they once said they'd never do... and we're rather relieved that the components giant U-turned!

The ergonomics have been improved over the outgoing 11-speed 105, and the (already excellent) quality of the shifting and braking has been maintained. There's nothing major that's changed other than the extra cog, but with 105 R7100, Shimano's top-tier mechanical groupset is now bang up to date, and fills a gaping hole in the market for those who can't justify the price jump to electronic, or would simply rather keep things analogue. 

Read the full review of Shimano 105 R7100 here

Topeak Prepstand X

2024 Topeak Prepstand X 7.jpg

Topeak's Prepstand X is certainly not cheap, but for serious home mechanics who are prepared to invest, it'll make working on your bike a joy according to reviewer Hollis. 

Expensive and feature-packed doesn't mean overcomplicated, as the Prepstand X is super simple to use. It's also compact when folded, fairly light and has lots of adjustability. As you might have noticed there's no clamp to hold your bike, but Topeak's solution - a rail that you simply pop your bike into via the fork and bottom bracket area - means no chance of damage from clamping, and it's just as secure and stable. 

Read the full review of the Topeak Prepstand X here

Head over to the Recommends section to see all of our highest-rated products in one place

Add new comment


HollisJ | 3 months ago
1 like

"Topeak's Prepstand X is certainly not cheap, but for serious home mechanics who are prepared to invest, it'll make working on your bike a joy according to reviewer Mike"

Although i sometimes go by different names, Mike isn't one of them 😉

Jack Sexty replied to HollisJ | 3 months ago
1 like

Sorry, getting my Hollises and Mikes mixed up again. Everyone does it! 

HollisJ replied to Jack Sexty | 3 months ago

It's ok, I'm probably better off letting others take the heat for my reviews!

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