Fridays are lovely, aren’t they? The working week is drawing to an end, the weekend is peeking its head round the corner and relaxation and fun are beckoning you ever closer. And, like your favourite news presenter or talking dog meme, we’re here to tell you all the things that have been happening this week both here at and in the wider cycling world.
We’ve had a stonking week on the website, laying down more content than you could hope to know what to do with. Resident pro cycling fanatic Robyn gave us her insights on what went down in the Amstel Gold Race and has kindly set you up with everything you need to know about Liège-Bastogne-Liège this weekend.
We had some awe-inspiring ride features in the form of the Rhône-Alpes Big Ride from James and the Mur de Huy Classic Climb, worryingly dubbed the ‘empire of hurt’ – isn’t cycling such a lark?
Over on the Cyclist podcast, Emma spoke to modern-day cycling royalty Orla Chennaoui about how she got into cycling, the rivalries she loves to watch and where we’re at with the growth of women’s cycling. It’s a must-hear so definitely go check it out.
I got to grumble about my favourite topic – why groupset names make no apparent sense – while we also got some more practical explainers on ‘what is a road bike?’ and how to choose the best cassette for you. Never a dull moment here.
Now, time for the main events!
Le Col 2023 summer kit
I love jazzy colours and the new Le Col Pro Jersey II in lime ticks all the boxes. The jersey is designed for high performance riding, so uses a slim cut with four-way stretch, which Le Col says helps balance freedom of movement with aero advantages.
Le Col says the jersey was made with input from professional riders, and uses features like fast-wicking fabric and lightweight material to provide a premium level product. The Pro Jersey II is made from 100% recycled materials, and has UPF 50 UV protection.
Also new for this season are the Women’s Sport Cargo bib shorts. Featuring as part of Le Col’s more relaxed Sport range, the cargo bib shorts use a mesh pocket on either leg to provide easy-to-reach storage for everything from phones to snacks.
The bib shorts have a mesh upper and straps for breathability, while Le Col says that the flatlock seams help prevent unwanted irritation and chafing. Like the jersey, the bib shorts have UPF 50 protection, and also use Le Col’s women’s-specific chamois pas with a gel insert.
For more information, go to Le Col.
Ride Wrap bike protection
Bikes are bloody expensive these days, which means that damaging them can be even more heart-breaking when it eventually happens. As much as I think that an imperfection or two gives a bike character, I’ve just moved to an area where the roads regularly turn into a pebble party, then turning south onto stone-chip saloon. As a result, my bike has taken a bit of a beating.
That’s where Ride Wrap comes in. The Whistler-based brand aims to kit out riders with the means of protecting their bikes themselves, keeping them looking fresher for longer. Ride Wrap says its film kits help prevent damage caused by road or trail debris, travelling and ‘talent deficiencies’ – harsh but true.
The protective film is made from a self-healing, hydrophobic topcoat, with a TPU durability structure and an acrylic adhesive layer beneath. Ride Wrap says that it’s the first brand to make this kind of coverage specifically for bikes.
The kits are available for protection on specific areas on the bike or for complete coverage, and you can get custom kits for the make, model and size of your bike.
For more information, go to Ride Wrap.
Michelin Power Adventure tyres
Last month, Michelin launched its latest addition to its performance range, the Power Adventure tyres. The Power Adventures build from the existing Power Gravel tyres, bringing a more tarmac-friendly tread to the off-road remit.
Michelin says that the tread pattern and Gum-X compound combine to make the Power Adventures the brand’s best wearing tyre in its gravel range. The tyres use a bead-to-bead technology in conjunction with the 3×100 TPI casing to provide increased puncture protection and durability and, according to Michelin, the minimalist tread gives better rolling resistance when riding on the road.
The new tyres are available in either black or tan-wall, and come in sizes 30, 36, 42 and 48mm. Michelin says the Power Adventures can be used for a range of purposes, from light gravel to commuting to bikepacking, with the increased performance most noticeable when rides bounce between tarmac and trails.
A nice nod to a more eco-friendly future is the cardboard packaging, which is recyclable and uses vegetable ink for the printing.
For more information, go to Silverfish.
Northwave Rockit Plus shoes
New for 2023, the Northwave Rockit Plus are the brand’s update to its most relaxed off-road shoe, which now features SLW3 X-Dials in place of the traditional laces. The Rockit Plus are somewhere between a light gravel shoe and a bikepacking shoe, with a minimalist tread and a heavy focus on all-day comfort.
Northwave says its background in the outdoor industry, starting out with snowboarding boots, has helped it know what is needed to create durable, practical off-road shoes. The Rockit Plus shoes use a ripstop upper fabric, to protect against snags and tears, while the Vibram Wolftrax sole features a variable tread with a flexible toe. Northwave says the EVA midsole acts as a shock-absorber, while the TPU-reinforced toe cap acts as a bumper when walking.
Though pitched as a gravel shoe, the Rockit Plus shoes feel best suited to days leisurely hopping on and off the bike, with excellent walking quality and a suitably subtle aesthetic as to fit into day-to-day life.
For more information, go to Northwave.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m obsessed with most animals, often preferring their company than that of humans (sorry, not sorry?)
I recently moved to Wales – a fact that I will relentlessly harp on about for the foreseeable future – and there are sheep everywhere. Sheep in Wales is not a shock and they are pretty great, bouncing around when they’re young and forming hilarious mobs when they’re older.
The abundance of sheep has made me realise how much I miss my favourite countryside animal though: the cow. Huge ears, adorable noses and big, kind eyes, what’s not to love? I should mention now that I’m vegan, so any jokes about other great uses for cows will be looked upon with scorn.
While I was acknowledging the lack of cows in my life when at the pub over Easter, gazing into an empty field across the river, lo and behold a whole herd of these magnificent, hairy creatures appeared before my eyes.
They moo-ed, they grazed, they did synchronised backflips across the paddock – I may have incurred heat stroke by this point – but nevertheless, their majestic presence made my day. Life lesson from all of this: cows are bloody brilliant.
Tags: In the Drops