The sun made a welcome appearance this weekend, which meant we managed to get plenty of sunny miles in testing some snazzy new bikes and gear. Here's the cream of the crop this week...
Yes you can pick up a perfectly serviceable second-hand hack for the price of this stem, but then this ain't any old stem... the SL Sprint weighs in at just 173g, and uses 'SRAM Exogram technology' to get it weighing in at '1.8g per newton meter of stiffness'. It also comes with its own stem cap that is optimised to make things even more aero. It comes in sizes from 90mm up to a lengthy 140mm for even the most committed stem slammer. Worth the dosh? Liam Cahill is testing it now...
Roval (off of Specialized, but they're now branching out as their own brand à la the Bontrager/Trek relationship) wanted this wheelset to have 'aerodynamic attributes of something twice its depth': light enough to get you up climbs efficiently, but also strong enough to be used day-to-day. Plenty of hours in the Specialized 'Win Tunnel' and countless prototypes later, the Roval Alpinist CLX came out the other end as a 32mm-deep rim weighing 1,250g for the pair, that they claim is "lighter and faster than every other competitor in the lightweight wheel category." Big claims, but do they offer the big performance to back that up? The test report is coming later this month...
This lube caused a bit of a storm when it was launched last month, in part due to the jaw-dropping £114.99 price tag for a 140ml tub. They claim that it's the world's first hydrocarbon-based chain lubricant containing graphene, promising to save you 3-10 watts compared to any other chain lube on the market. They also say that a single application can last you up to 1,800km, which could make that price seem a (tiny) bit more palatable. Is this lube the real deal, or are big the claims a little slippery? Dave Atkinson's review is due shortly...
Say what you want about top tube packs, but for long distance bikepacking and touring trips it's a no-brainer to add an easily accessible storage option to your steed. This one from Apidura has a huge one litre capacity, and is designed for ultra-distance racing, gravel rides and 'time-conscious riders' who have the appropriate top tube bolts on their bike to accommodate it. It opens with a magnetic flip-top mechanism and is waterproof, so is ideal for storing electronics, essentials and/or just a pile of food for your next adventure, so say Apidura. There's also a choice of two mounting positions to accommodate different frame sizes and geometries.
This reasonably-priced saddle from Trek's accessories and components sub-brand Bontrager has a wide central channel for pressure relief, and is recommended for aero road bikes due to the shorter, stubbier design. The full cut-out is made to 'minimise soft-tissue pressure' to allow for a more powerful rotated position, and there are two width options available to make sure you get the perfect saddle for your sit bones. The perfect sub-£50 perch? Simon Smythe's review is 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.