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Do you need a solar smartwatch? This week's five cool things coming soon from Garmin, Shimano, Vel, Spatz and HJC

Check out the latest and coolest gear we have on test right now, with full reviews on the way…

Normal service resumes with the end of another heatwave and the latest dose of five cool things. In this week's edition, we've got a very expensive smartwatch that we've been desperately trying to discharge, a helmet for the youngsters that's got a plant on the top of it...some carbon deeps, arm warmers, and the new 105 Di2 groupset. Full reviews will be following over the next few days and weeks...probably weeks in the case of the arm warmers...unless I find an industrial fridge...

Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar


Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar

The Forerunner range isn't designed just specifically for cycling, but later models such as the 955 have loads of the features that you'll also find on the cycling-specific Edge head units. This Solar version has a panel built into the display for a massive claimed battery life of up to 49 hours in GPS mode or up to 20 days when in smartwatch mode.

There's simply too many features to list, but along with all the usual tech here are some highlights: contactless Garmin Pay for those emergency cafe stops, smart trainer control, body energy level monitoring, a 33mm diameter touchscreen display, suggested workouts, turn by turn navigation and 'health snapshot', which makes use of the devices blood oxygen sensor.

Garmin says that the new device is “the ultimate cycling smartwatch.” Ben Woohouse has been putting it through its paces to find out whether that is the case...

Vel 60 RL Carbon Tubeless wheels


Vel 60 RL Carbon Tubeless Disc Wheelset

Vel is the in-house componentry brand of Sigma Sports, and as the name suggests these carbon hoops are 60mm deep. Vel says that this is a wheelset for those looking to "maximise their speed on flatter courses" and is a "rapid, reliable and great value choice".

> 10 best road bike and gravel bike wheels 2022

At 1,810g these wheels are not featherweight... but will Stu find that this can be overlooked? One thing that is for sure is that with a 102T ratchet ring in the rear hub, the engagement angle is going to be absolutely tiny, just 3.5 degrees by my calculations. Keep an eye out for the full review coming soon, and keep in mind that at the time of writing there's 25% off with the price currently at £599.99.

Spatz Burnr Seamless Arm Warmers


2022 Spatz Burnr 4 Season arm warmers - 1.jpg

This warm weather won't last forever, and the first thing that many of us dig out the drawer as things get more autumnal is a set of arm warmers. Spatz claims that its new “Burnr” arm warmers are a fresh take on what arm warmers should be, and that nobody before has "created an arm warmer with such a detailed design and with so much consideration into what makes the perfect arm warmer".

Big claims, then... can they really offer warmth, support, comfort, allow for proper articulation and moisture transport and be fast drying and aerodynamic? I've been using them on my early morning and late evening rides to find out...

HJC Gleo Kids Cycling Helmet


2022 HJC Gleo Kids Cycling Helmet 2.jpg

At the office we're a sad bunch and quite often get overly excited about new helmets. Not normally kids helmets, though... This HJC Gleo however has brought a smile to plenty of faces since it arrived thanks to the unique ability to swap out accessories. The helmet ships with the green leaves but there's also horns that can be purchased separately. 

The Gleo is expensive compared to other kids helmets, but HJC promises that it's very adjustable and should fit for a long time with its one size (49-55cm) approach. Hollis Jones (Or Hollis Jones Jnr we presume) has been trying this one out to see if it's worth the dough...

Shimano R7100 105 Di2 Groupset


2022 Orro  Terra C Shimano 105 Di2 - drivetrain.jpg

It's no secret that we've been busy getting to grips with the recently released Shimano groupset and you'll be able to read (and watch) our full verdict very soon. Shimano upset a few people when it announced that the R7100 model of its ever popular 105 groupset would feature electronic shifting, be available in disc brake only and will set you back £1,730.

> New Shimano 105 R7100 groupset goes 12-speed, Di2 and disc brake only

> 33 bikes that feature Shimano’s new 105 Di2 groupset

We've had multiple reviewers out and about on both road and gravel bikes fitted with the new groupset to put as many miles on the new components as possible. Are the twelve gears, revised disc brakes and huge gear range enough to justify the price tag? Or should you be looking elsewhere? The full review is dropping very 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.

Jamie has been riding bikes since a tender age but really caught the bug for racing and reviewing whilst studying towards a master's in Mechanical engineering at Swansea University. Having graduated, he decided he really quite liked working with bikes and is now a full-time addition to the team. When not writing about tech news or working on the Youtube channel, you can still find him racing local crits trying to cling on to his cat 2 licence...and missing every break going...

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mattw | 1 year ago
1 like

Do I need a solar smartwatch?

Er ... no smiley.

ktache replied to mattw | 1 year ago

But if anyone is going to benefit from a solar powered smart watch it's going to be a cyclist.

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