It has been pretty chilly recently, but finally some milder weather is heading our way... which is good news, even if some rain is also in mix. Riding through all sorts our team have been putting some neat bits of kit to the test, including...
After I gave the SKS Raceblade Pro XL Stealth mudguard set a rave review recently, we're expecting lofty things from this slightly cheaper set. Described as "the Rolls-Royce of mudguards", SKS reckon they're almost unbreakable and stylish as an added bonus. Stainless steel v-shaped stays should make for easy fitting, and quick release secu-clips add some extra safety and security. They come in three sizes, and our tester Simon Withers has the narrow versions for up to 28mm, 700c tyres. Are they ideal for making riding less muddy in less-than-perfect conditions? The verdict is coming soon.
Rapha’s Explore Winter Long Sleeve, made with Polartec PowerGrid fabric, is an insulating mid-layer that will suffice by itself in milder conditions, or can be paired with a jacket when the temperature really plummets. It has a relaxed fit, the same as Rapha’s long sleeved Technical T-shirts, to ensure freedom of movement while tackling technical sections of trail.
Rapha says the windproof panels on the shoulders and arms are snag resistant to protect against damage from cycling through foliage, while a subtle zipped pocket on the upper arm is designed to keep your essentials close. Matt Page has been trying out this layer and he will be delivering his verdict shortly…
The Topeak Tubi Master is a complete tubeless tyre repair and CO2 inflation kit. It consists of tubeless repair tools with four tyre plugs stashed inside a machined pod, as well as a MicroAirBooster CO2 inflator head. This is secured to a mounting module that can be strapped to the frame or seatpost with an adjustable nylon strap.
The kit, sized 13 x 5.4 x 2.85cm, is compatible with both 16 gram and 25 gram threaded canisters. Hollis Jones has been trusting this neat mounted kit on his outdoor rides lately and will be letting us know how he has gotten on shortly…
Lazer’s Sphere helmet provides a comfortable secure fit, while also delivering MIPS safety technology at an affordable price. Using Lazer’s Advanced Rollsys fit system, the fit is adjusted with the thumbwheel on top of the helmet and this is said to prevent any hotspots or pressure points as it adjusted around the entire circumference of the head. It also promises to be ponytail-friendly.
Eighteen cooling inlet and exhaust ventilation holes should channel air from the front to the rear, for sufficient temperature regulation, while eyewear can be securely docked in specially shaped slots at the front of the helmet—always useful. The Sphere is compatible with Lazer’s Aeroshell accessory, which is just as good as keeping out the elements as well as delivering improved aerodynamics. Available in six colourways, Steve Williams has been testing the white lid and his full report will be landing on the site soon..
The Evo Disruptor socks, made of a 50% Nylon, 39% Polyester, 11% Lycra blend, use DeFeet’s aero sock technology. Thin, lightweight and compressive for support, the finely knit fabric construction contains low profile, vertical striations which is said to optimise aerodynamics.
DeFeet claims that the eight inch tall socks saw an average reduction of 8 watts when compared to standard bare shaved legs at the 0°& 5° yaw angles, when independently tested in the wind tunnel on elite riders. Jamie Williams has been pulling these socks on and will be giving his verdict soon…
Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.