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Five cool things coming soon from AbsoluteBlack, Roval, Apidura, Bontrager and Zipp

Some more of the best bikes, gear and clothing we're testing at the moment, with full reviews coming soon.....

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...

Zipp SL Sprint stem


2020 Zipp Sprint SL stem 1.jpg

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 Alpinist CLX


2020 Roval Alpinist CLX wheelset.jpg

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...

AbsoluteBlack GraphenLube


2020 absoluteBLACK GRAPHEN lube - boxed.jpg

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...

Apidura Racing Bolt-On Top Tube Pack


2020 Apidura bolt on top tube bag - on bike.jpg

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.

Bontrager Aeolus Comp saddle


2020 Bontrager Aeolus Comp Saddle.jpg

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...

For all the 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

Arriving at 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 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.  

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Terence the Tractor | 3 years ago

Personally I like the tactical use of the word "just" to make it sound like the Zipp stem isnt 40-50g heavier than almost every other stem on the market.

matthewn5 replied to Terence the Tractor | 3 years ago
1 like



the SL Sprint weighs in at just 173g

I was thinking of my 120mm Superleggero, aluminium, and just 112g. Carbon is a stupid material for stems!

Nick T replied to matthewn5 | 3 years ago
1 like

My Extralite is just 86g, they do one 61g if you don't need it so long

peted76 | 3 years ago
1 like

It's that graphene lube I'm keen to read about. It's crammed 'all of the marketings' into one small (but slippery) bottle of £12 lube. 

But is is better than rock and roll gold (cleans and wax lubes), or Fenwicks Pro lube (with added Moth Wing dust)?

Both of which I actually do highly rate...I do therefore point out that I'm very suggestible, and I'm all in for a bit of added graphene to my lube.


mdavidford | 3 years ago

What sort of a measure of anything is g/Nm? Surely you can reduce that number just by shortening the stem?

hawkinspeter replied to mdavidford | 3 years ago

mdavidford wrote:

What sort of a measure of anything is g/Nm? Surely you can reduce that number just by shortening the stem?

Isn't g/Nm equivalent to s²/m²

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