Bank holiday can't come soon enough, although this week on two wheels is being made a little easier by the weather gods as the sun continues to shine in the south west. Here's some of the best stuff we've been testing on our training rides and commutes these past few days...
It's not very often we get products through the door that cost more than double in £'s what they weigh in grams, but the Roadbar Oversize Evo TLO from carbon experts Schmolke are one such example... weighing a staggeringly light 147g, these bars are road-specific and were made to give the best stiffness-to-weight ration of any handlebar in the world. With the drop at 126mm and reach at 78mm Schmolke have also designed them with optimal ergonomics in mind for riding in the drops or on the tops, and there are recessed cable grooves and an option to get Di2 routing holes drilled in to keep everything tidy. Is the performance huge like the price, or less so like the weight? Mat Brett's review will be in shortly.
This super smart bell wraps around any drop bar so you barely notice it's there visibly, but you'll definitely know its there when you ping it. A loud yet distinctive and pleasing tone means you'll be heard from far away, and the Luxe version has a CNC machined ringer and brass dinger, plus a stitched leather shim and metal injection moulded stainless steel to make it a classy addition to your front end. Jez Ash will be reporting back to us on whether it works as well as it looks.
Look have added carbon bearings to their top-end pedals, claiming to have reduced friction by 18% which will be appreciated by the most discerning and fussy racers who want every advantage. The stack height of the pedal and cleat is just 14.8mm, and our scales tell us they weigh just 116g per pedal. Are they worth the extra cash? Liam Cahill will be giving us his tuppence worth soon.
This big bucks GPS is being used by Tom Dumoulin and co at Team Sunweb this year, and you get a very comprehensive list of features on their top-of-the-range computer that will appeal to those who like to crunch plenty of data and ride structured workouts. You can personally customise up to six training pages and select from 30 different training views, and you can create a workout directly on the device in seconds. A colour screen with an intuitive smartphone-like interface should make it a breeze to use, and Sigma say they've prioritised making the Rox 12.0 easy to use and logical with big buttons and clear graphics. What's more, there are various optional coloured cases available to purchase separately so you can do some bike matching if black and white is too Plain Jane for you. Worth the cash? The full review is coming soon.
Fifty quid mitts better be damn good mitts, and our reviewer Tass Whitby will be hoping these ones from Rapha will justify the price tag over her test period. The latest versions have a new palm construction for better comfort and feel, say Rapha, and are recommended for warm to hot days in the saddle. The synthetic suede palm should offer plenty of cushioning, and the fabric on the back of the hand is the same used in the Souplesse Jersey, with an anti-bacterial treatment and SPF 50+ sun protection... if you've ever slapped on the suncream before a hot ride and forgot about the backs of your hands, you'll know about it!
To see all road.cc's 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.
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.