We hope you all enjoyed the bank holiday... we certainly did, which is why this is coming to you a day later than usual! Here's the pick of the test pile this week...
Most of Decathlon's B'Twin range has now morphed into the Triban brand, and this gravel-focussed bike looks like a steal considering the componentry adorning it, as you'd expect from the French sports giants. A Shimano 105R7000 groupset, inserts for pannier racks and mudguards, compatibility with 36 mm tubeless ready tyres and a 6061 T6 aluminium frame with carbon fork adds u[p to incredible value on paper, but does that transpose to the road/gravel/trails? Stu Kerton will be telling us his thoughts in the review later in May.
"Mavic quality at an accessible price", so say the brand themselves, with the 17mm wide rims (able to take up to 32mm tyres) and durable hubs making the Aksium a potentially wise choice for everyday road riding. The have cartridge bearings and a consistent, stable spoke lacing pattern throughout. The spokes are straight-pull to make them stronger than j-bend options. Can you get some of the Mavic quality you'd expect from wheels costing five times the price for under £200? Mike Stead's verdict is due later this month.
This lid "makes the wind work for you as you ride", say Catlike, with an internal mesh injected with aramid to make it lighter. A large open surface provides a connection between the incoming and outgoing vent channels to keep things cool and offer less wind resistance.
Castelli wanted to make this glove easier to get on and off when redesigning, which they say was achieved with high-stretch engineered material and an easy-open cuff. For improved cushioning against road vibration, they've added a 'Damping System' to enhance comfort and protect the key nerves in your hand. The thumb wipe area features a soft microsuede. Is this classic mitt better than ever? George Hill is using them right now.
Touted for running and cycling, this jacket can certainly be seen from a distance and acts as a three-in-one, being a lightweight extra layer that provides daytime visibility and reflective panels that can be seen in the dark. This hybrid of 50/50 reflective and high-vis material is the only one of its kind, claim BTR, so you needn't choose between high-vis or reflectiveness. Does it do the job night and day? Matt Lamy is testing this, with the review coming soon...
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.