This week's five cool things collection is full of wearables, but we've not left the tech side out of it by no means! We're having a look at some Castelli and Specialized jackets, both of which should excel in the wintery UK conditions. And talking about winter riding, we also have the Fizik Tempo Artica GTX shoes, Proviz gloves and an interesting optical heart rate monitor from Polar in for testing. The latter is waterproof so you won't break it on some soaking rides, or if you're going swimming with it.
And as per usual, you can expect to see the full reviews of all of these products up on our reviews section soon!
Castelli's Flight Jacket Air comes with a set of some pretty impressive claims, and the name itself might lead you to think it's gonna make you fly. Stating to be the “lightest, fastest, and most breathable jacket”, this good-looking garment should be good for high-intensity rides or staying at the right temperature in cool conditions (6 to 15°C, to be specific) - so really, ideal for what is the UK winter.
The figure-hugging jacket features Polartec Alpha insulation, water repellent shell, three rear pockets and reflective details, all of which should make your winter ride outside that little bit more enjoyable.
Proviz is well known for its pro-level visible apparel, and these gloves are not only 100% reflective, but they also feature a ‘Korean Hipora’ waterproof outer shell to keep your hands toasty, visible and dry.
The palm of the gloves has a silicone grip and some padding, and you should be able to use your phone with these mitts on. And for a snotty nose, the Proviz Reflect360 Waterproof Cycling Gloves also have a nose wipe (a soft piece of fabric on the thumb). What's there to not like?
Polar Verity Sense is an optical heart rate monitor, meaning that it measures your pulse through changes in the volume of a blood vessel that happens when the heart pumps blood. The frequency of the changes (your pulse) is then detected by an optical sensor and green LED.
This specific sensor fits around your arm, as its diameter is 23-32cm and Polar says that this allows for maximum freedom of movement and multiple options for viewing and recording your exercise. The device comes with Bluetooth, ANT+, and internal memory, and you can connect the monitor to a sports watch or app to see your stats in real-time, or view your data afterwards.
You can use the sensor for 30 hours with one charge, and it’s waterproof so you can take it along to your swimming sessions (or very wet bike rides), too.
Let’s be honest, most of the UK doesn’t get frequent below-zero temperatures and snow, meaning that the majority of our winter riding is done in what some would call the ‘shoulder season’. Softshell cycling jackets are some of the best options for riding in these not-so-cold but wet and windy conditions and Specialized Women's RBX Softshell Jacket promises to deliver just the right about of warmth and comfort.
It is stretchy, wind-and water-resistant and features enough pockets at the back for storing the other ride essentials, and most importantly, snacks.
Fizik’s Tempo Artica GTX range, which launched late last year, I would argue, was one of the most exciting cycling shoe launches for a while. The Artica was released in a road and off-road version, and while the bold colours of the two-bolt model are very nice at brightening up a bleak day, there is simply nothing better than a bright white road cycling shoe.
Winter cycling boots are hardly anything new, but having the option to ride in white winter kicks is pretty unheard of. Well, was, until these shoes came along. Whether the Gore-Tex membrane they feature is actually any good at repelling water, and whether they remain comfortable despite the high ankle, we’ll need to wait until the comprehensive review is out to find out.
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Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops.