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Five cool things coming soon from Rapha, Gaerne, Roka, Repente and Galibier

Another exciting selection of gear and clothing that we're testing at the moment, with full reviews coming soon...

Test products continue to fly in and out of towers! Here are the highlights this week...

Roka Kona Performance Glasses


2021 Roka KONA Performance Glasses With Prescription Lenses - front.jpg

The modern, square lens of the Kona takes inspiration from the iconic American style of the 50s and 60s. These glasses are designed for those who are active.

Roka’s impact-resistant C3 nylon lens promises to excellent optical clarity, as well as offer anti-scratch, anti-fog, anti-reflectance, oleophobic & hydrophobic coatings.

The brand’s patented Geko system is also included and this features a proprietary elastomer for the nose and temple pads that is said to be hydrophilic, chemical resistant, and promises to support multidirectional traction with comfort. Basically, no matter how sweaty you get, these promise to stay put.

Hidden spring hinges are said to offer shock absorption while also providing the optimal fit for any head size or shape. Hollis Jones has been heading out wearing these shades and his verdict is on the way soon…

Repente Quasar Saddle


The 170g Italian-made Quasar has a 142mm “flat” design seat and central opening along a wide channel that is designed to relieve soft tissue pressure. The comfortably sized rear support surface is said to have been modelled according to anatomical and ergonomic requirements, while the “close fit” effect of this saddles’ shape promises to make it comfortable without using thick padding. The rails are made of Aisi Stainless Steel, which Repente has further strengthened through a process called Shot 304, which is said to harden the metal surface, as well as make it more resistant.

Could this be your perfect perch? Hollis Jones will be letting us know how he got on with this saddle soon…

Gaerne Carbon G.STL Road Shoes / Matt White


Gaerne’s new top-end road shoes combine an ultra-stiff carbon sole (rated 12 out of 12 on the Italian brand’s scale) with a supple upper. The Anatomic Heel Cup 1.0 has been updated to improve foot support and the anti-slip treatment should prevent heel lift when you're pedalling. The heel cup works alongside the Tarsal Support System 1.0 which is said to ensure the ideal foot position within the shoe, for efficient pedal strokes and power transfer.

Laser perforations aid breathability, while Boa’s Li2 dials allow for precise adjustments to be made for a secure and comfortable fit. I have been testing these shoes and my full report will be coming soon…

Rapha Classic Bib Shorts - Men's and Women's


Rapha’s Bib Shorts are now made using recycled nylon for a lower environmental impact. “The lycra fabric is soft against the skin and has increased mechanical stretch to provide a comfortable fit across a range of body shapes,” says Rapha.

Up top these feature a lightweight mesh that is said to provide excellent breathability, along with a central cut out to also help with temperature regulation. Updated low profile silicone leg grippers should keep the shorts securely in place, while reflective piping has been added to the side panels for extra visibility.

Stuart Kerton has been testing the men’s versions, while Tass Whitby has been testing the women’s ones. Both of these reports will be coming soon…

Galibier Izoard PRO Gilet


This is Galibier’s race fitting warm insulated gilet that’s low bulk and packable. The 49g/m synthetic recycled insulation is said to keep on performing even when it is wet, and it is also fully windproof. Stretchy mesh side panels help with the close fit, while a DWR coating provides a touch of shower resistance.

There’s also a sizable rear pocket that can be accessed from both zippered sides, as well as an angled zip chest pocket for easy storage access on the move. Steve Williams has been testing this gilet and his verdict will be coming soon…

For all the 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

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TheBillder | 3 years ago
1 like

My (normal) specs have Oakley frames and Nikon lenses - anti reflective, anti scratch, high refractive index, precisely ground for my prescription (dioptre, prism, whatever else for astigmatism and other wonkiness) and weren't much more than £200. Makes sunglasses that don't do much of the optical magic, but cost almost as much, seem awfully spendy.

What am I missing (genuine question)? Is there more than marketing and mark-up?

ktache replied to TheBillder | 3 years ago
1 like

You are very lucky.

£100 for each of a pair of 2nd hand Oakley Ti Zeros, about £400 for the lenses of both clear normal and slightly tinted sunglasses.

Though I have the astigmatism and quite heavy short sightedness, and the opticians is a bit flash.  Very expensive lightweight plastic and all the coatings.  One of the best, and it really is quite a revelation, was one that stops distortion at the edges of the lenses, gives a more all round view, and for the sunnies it was that or mirror coating and for me the lack of distortion won.

Still worth every penny.  Need a new set of the clear lenses very soon too.

And very soon some reading glasses, grrr, my nose will be to short to get good focus in a bit.  I don't think bi/varifocal will suit the riding.  It's not like driving, my "dashboard" has nothing I want to focus on and I want an unemcumbered view of the ground right in front and in the distance very quickly.  Anyone got any opinion on this?

There is quite a market in old, quality Oakleys out there...

zero_trooper replied to ktache | 3 years ago

*each lens?

4x 100 = £400

So, you can present a pair of second hand, third-party frames and the opticians will put prescription lenses in. I've  never considered that and I've been wearing glasses for years. 
Does it only apply to certain brands/models?

ktache replied to zero_trooper | 3 years ago
1 like

Unfortunately £400 for each pair

zero_trooper replied to ktache | 3 years ago


zero_trooper replied to TheBillder | 3 years ago
1 like

I'm sure that last time I was in my opticians had 'wraparound' Oakleys for just over £100. Then there's the coatings and prescription, so you'd be pushing £200.

No matter what deals they are promising, bills from opticians are always expensive!

TheBillder replied to zero_trooper | 3 years ago
1 like

Yes, though for my prescription sunglasses (less complex than my normal lenses) I paid £75 online. My point is that £200 is a big ask for sunglasses that just shade your eyes.

I'm still a bit bemused as to what I'm missing out on, though as I ride mostly in Scotland, perhaps I'm just inexperienced with the warm bright thing that appears in the sky 3 days a year.

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