It's just over a month till you know what, so therefore a good time to think about getting some gifts for yourself in the form of some snazzy new cycling gear! Here are some highlights of what we're testing at the moment, keep an eye out for our reviews to see if they come highly recommended by the road.cc test squad...
This deluxe stand from a brand best known for their static trainers has been developed with the help of World Tour team mechanics, making sure every last detail is thought of when it comes to adjusting, assembling and using the stand to work on your workhorse. Light, compact and foldable, the Spider also has a rotating work surface and has exchangeable components for fork holders so any bike will fit. Does the Spider make bike repairs a breeze or does it need some work? Stu Kerton is finding out.
The Strip Pro 300 packs, you guessed it... a massive 300 lumens in a 69g package, with nine different modes to multiple light conditions. It's got some side visibility and the mouldable mount means it will fit both round and aero seatposts easily. Charging is via USB, and a full charge takes 2.5 hours. Is it a bright idea or more light than you need at night? The verdict will be in later this week.
Short for 'All-Mountain', this jacket from Cube is women's-specific and is optomised for the trails in adverse weather conditions. A 3-layer fabric with waterproofing and wind resistance keeps the elements out, and there's a ventilation zip plus an adjustable storm hood aiming to keep the ride comfortable in all conditions. It's also light at 284g, so can be carried and then called for when needed. Siobhan Kelly is riding the AM Storm at the moment, with a review coming shortly.
After Minoura's hybrid rollers received a mixed-to-positive review from our tester recently, we'll be hoping the new Kagura is a nominee for one of the best value trainers with smart capabilities available. It looks promising, with the Japanese-made trainer coming with a motorised brake and virtual flywheel that is said to offer a very realistic ride experience. There are three magnetic resistance settings so the trainer can be used with no wires in situations such as a race warm-up, and using the power it's BLE and ANT+ controllable and pairs with pretty much any phone and ANT+/Bluetooth bike computers, plus training apps such as Zwift. An interesting feature is the gravity mode, which means your own and the bike's weight is against the rear aluminium roller which requires more control and balance from the rider. Mat Brett is currently testing the Kagura against the other big guns in the smart training market.
This is the folding clincher version of what Vittoria say is one of the top performing tyres anywhere, and is versatile enough to be able to take on rough roads and cobbles while still offering low rolling resistance. They have a graphene compound and a reinforced casing for increased sidewall protection to lower the risk of punctures. Do performance gains come with the premium price? Stu Kerton is finding out now...
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.