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Five cool things coming soon from Rapha, Galibier, Bollé, FSA and Flanders

Another round-up of bikes, kit and tech we're testing at the moment, with reviews coming soon...

Wow, it's windy out there! It looks like our weirdly warm spell has come to an end and it's back to more February-like conditions in Blighty, so we're putting those deep rims away for the time being. Here's the pick of the test kit pile this week...

Bollé Shifter glasses


Bollé Shifter glasses 3.jpg

Inspired by Bolle's Chronoshield model, the Shifter has curved temples for a secure fit and vents on the lenses for optimal cooling. They also have an anti-fog treatment on the lenses, and are also available in prescription versions. They're currently the shades of choice for the AG2R Mondiale team, but will they become Stu Kerton's too? The verdict is due later this month.

Flanders Forte frameset


Flanders Forte frameset.jpg

Now distributed in the UK by wheel brand Parcours, Aussie born but Belgian-named Flanders are offering the 980g Forte frameset as a reliable yet speedy gravel and/or CX option. "A culmination of countless months invested by the R&D department and race development program", say Flanders, this updated model is 200g lighter than the first version and has a new monocoque fork, shaving a further 100g off the weight. Promising a razor-sharp ride for cyclocross, it's also built to be stable for longer off-road rides. What are Stu's thoughts on the Forte? Find out in his review soon.

Galibier Barrier Deep Winter gloves


Galibier Barrier Deep Winter Gloves.jpg

The Barrier grip gloves are multi-layered, with a soft, thin fleece lining to offer plenty of warmth and comfort. Around the outside there’s a polyurethane membrane to provide weatherproofing, that Galibier say confidently stop all wind from getting in. The bulk of the insulation comes courtesy of their 100g HyTex internal glove, and the final outer layer is a combination of five specific, hard-wearing synthetic fabrics. Are they as tough as they think they are? John Stevenson will be telling us when some colder weather rolls in (a matter of time no doubt).


Rapha Souplesse Womens Detachable Bib Shorts


Rapha Womens Detachable Bib Shorts - clip undone.jpg

Designed for racing and to be used by the Canyon//SRAM team, the Souplesse Detachable Bib Shorts have a redesigned chamois and a self-centering magnetic clasp which enables easy removal of the uppers without removing the jersey, for easier comfort breaks. The shorts also have a high-stretch supportive fit with minimal seams and low-profile leg grippers. They've been three years in the making and tested by 38 women over 15,000km, so you can't say Rapha haven't done their homework. Are they worth that considerable Rapha price tag, though? Tass Whitby's review is imminent.

FSA Afterburner AGX gravel wheelset


FSA AGX gravel wheelset - rear hub.jpg

These hoops from FSA are available in 650b or 700c, with Alloy PRA hubs for direct pull spokes. A 25mm depth with a 26.1mm width means you can fit some fat rubber in there, and they weigh in at 1,749g for the pair. 2-cross double butted aero spokes with brass nipples top things off nicely, and FSA say they're "artisan built" entirely by hand...
Artisan built, entirely by hand



For all'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

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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Chris Hayes | 5 years ago

I wouldn't have thought the detachable straps would be much use: surely you'd have to take your jersey off to put them back on again...unless they're detachable front and back?  

Kendalred replied to Chris Hayes | 5 years ago

Chris Hayes wrote:

I wouldn't have thought the detachable straps would be much use: surely you'd have to take your jersey off to put them back on again...unless they're detachable front and back?  

No, you just pull them from the back apparently, and they'll stretch over the 'relevant area'.

Rumour has it that Tom Dumoulin has ordered two pairs.

Chris Hayes replied to Kendalred | 5 years ago

A velcro attached seat in the pants, then?  You could just tear it down, squat and off you go.  A special pocket too - for wet wipes.... I'm wasted in finance.

eminusx | 5 years ago

ooooh, that Flanders frame looks pretty tasty, looking for something to replace my current 2.1k alu cx frame...we might have a contender. 

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