Christmas is just around the corner, and we're still busy testing to get our last few reviews in to give you some extra present recommendations or things to keep your eye on for the new year! Here's the best stuff that's bee sent out to our intrepid testers this week...
Not many things are safe from smart tech nowadays, and outdoor brand Jack Wolfskin's latest effort is this backpack featuring an illuminated set of LEDs to help you stand out when cycling in the dark. The LEDs are activated by connecting a power bank to the USB plug inside the backpack and you should be lit up for at least nine hours, and to further bolster visibility there are also large areas of 'retroreflective' fabric. In terms of storage you get a small security pocket at the back of the pack that provides a safe place to stash a wallet, and your laptop and tablet can be stowed in the padded e-device compartments. There are several other stash pockets for smaller items, and also a separate waterproof pack bag and a sternum strap to take some of the weight off your back - capacity is 26 litres. Did Matt Lamy find it illuminating on his commute? The test report is due soon...
Described as ideal for multi-day bikepacking tours, to commuting or even just a short trip to a coffee shop, these waterproof SPD-compatible boots have a waterproof Gore-Tex liner so your toes won't get freezing and your feet won't get soaked. When you're on the bike, an EVA midsole should provide plenty of support and the BOA L6 dial gives you a quick an easy way to modify the fit. A grippy rubber sole should also make exploring on foot plenty comfortable. Worth the asking price? Watch out for Mike Stead's verdict in the new year.
The 2020 Diverge Comp E5 comes with a Shimano 105 drivetrain and a Praxis Works Alba chainset with 48/32 chainrings, a wise size for this gravel-focussed bike. Specialized Axis Sport wheels with their tubeless-ready Roadsport 35mm tyres are ideal for roads, brief off-road forays and gravel riding, and the rest of the finishing kit is all supplied by Specialized including a comfy Body Geometry Power Sport saddle. A solid do-it-all bike at a reasonable price? Stu Kerton is testing it now.
This lightweight mini pump is designed for road riders, with an alloy barrel and an efficient design that can pump up to 160 psi according to Topeak's claims. It's suitable for Shrada, Presta or Dunlop valves and weighs just 109g while being 22cm long, so should fit in most back jersey pocks with ease. A side-mounting bracket also means you can mount it down by your water bottle if you really don't like carrying stuff. Find out if it got Dave Atkinson pumped or left him feeling deflated in the full test report, coming soon...
Bioracer's latest winter gloves are made with their Tempest fabric feature a unique panel stitching concept, whereby the gloves are stitched from the outside to offer a better fit and no irritation, according to Bioracer. There are reflective details on the outer, and the fabric is also wind and waterproof to protect you from the elements. What score will they get handed from tester Adam Robertson? His review is coming early in the new year...
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.