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July 15, 2020
Photography by Caley Fretz, Sarah Lukas, Dave Rome, Iain Treloar
A lot of gear comes across our desks here at CyclingTips. Our Tech Round-Ups are a look at some of that gear. Sometimes it’s products we’re doing long-term tests on, other times it’s stuff we’re stoked on but don’t have time to fully review. And, sometimes it’s a wild innovation someone sent us unsolicited. Here’s what we’ve got for you this time around.
Words by Caley Fretz
Everyone’s adding extra pockets to road and groad kit these days. Leg pockets, more jersey pockets, all designed to help you carry more and ride longer. 7mesh’s take on the genre showed up in the form of its special-edition Galaxy kit, based on its Horizon jersey and MK3 bibs. I’ve had a few rides in the kit now.
Jersey first. It uses what 7mesh calls its Anything Panel, a floating design that provides five pockets – three on a floating panel, and two underneath. It works as advertised; you can fit a huge amount of gear back there. It’s almost like wearing a built-in bum bag, but sits firmly on your lower back. The fit of the jersey is trim, but not aero-tight — good for layering of for someone who wants a slightly more casual feel.
The shorts. These are fantastic. 7mesh puts them together in a unique way, with a larger single panel up front. The result is no seams where you don’t want them to be. They’re so, so comfortable. The little pockets on each thigh, similar to shorts by Rapha, Sportful, and others, work well enough. They’re deep enough for a big phone or a banana, but could perhaps use a bit more stretch.
Price: Horizon jersey US$140 / MK3 shorts US$230 (pricing for other regions varies by exchange rate and customs duties)
More information: www.7mesh.com
Words by Sarah Lukas
Liv’s Rev Pro MIPS helmet is Liv’s newest high-performance helmet designed for road, gravel, and cross-country cyclists alike. Designed with the same technology as the Giant Rev Pro (covered in our tech round-up #2), Liv’s Rev Pro features some adjustments for the company’s female customer base. Liv says it used 3D research to determine a women’s-specific sizing, which includes “Western” and “Asian” sizes, and also has space in the back for a ponytail to fit through.
The 21-vent design allows for a lightweight design while offering optimized airflow for those warmer summer days, whether you’re racing or just going for a cruise around the block. MIPS is featured to provide extra protection and uses an integrated retention system for a comfortable fit. The Liv Rev Pro will be worn in the 2020 season by Liv’s top athletes including the CCC-Liv Team and several Liv Racing athletes and is available in gloss metallic black and gloss metallic white.
Price: US$250 / AU$349 / €199
Weight: 280 g – size small
More information: liv-cycling.com
The Maloja RosinaM women’s short is an all-around baggy short that is designed for many different adventures on the bike. Many baggies are mountain-bike-specific and tend to flare towards the bottom to allow for knee pads or other protective gear. The RosinaM short uses a four-way stretch material made out of a combination of nylon, polyester and Elasthan fibers.
One thing that I have found severely lacking in women’s clothing is pockets. It isn’t uncommon to find a men’s short with pockets galore while the women’s version of the same short lacks the convenience. Maloja didn’t sacrifice that need and included two front pockets, with an additional two thigh pockets with zippers. Bonus: the zippered thigh pockets are deep enough to fit my way-too-big smartphone, something I personally seek in a pair of shorts.
The RosinaM short also includes a press button and zip closure, belt loops, stretch waistband, and adjustable velcro straps to snug the fit as needed. Maloja’s RosinaM shorts are shown here in red monk and also available in moonless, night sky, cypress, and yak colourways.
Price: US$109 / CA$129 – (pricing for other regions varies by exchange rate and customs duties)
Weight: 248 g – size small
More information: www.malojaclothing.com
Words by Iain Treloar
As the demand for wider road tyres increases, a growing number of tyre brands are coming to the party. Bontrager’s one of them, with its R3 Hard-Case Lite TLR now available in a tubeless-ready, 32 mm variant.
The R3 is the second-tier road tyre in Bontrager’s range, sitting between the R4 – with its 320 TPI (threads per inch) cotton casing – and the training-level R2 and AW ranges. The R3 rolls on a 120 TPI nylon casing with a puncture protection belt (that’s the ‘Hard-Case’ bit of the product name), and has a slick centre with light shoulder tread. In the 32 mm size, it’s available in all black or a dark-brown sidewall.
The tyres weigh a respectable claimed 340 grams apiece, although my samples came in at 316 and 332 grams respectively. I’ve been using them (tubed) on my Ritchey Road Logic for a couple of months, and have found them to deliver an impressively plush, puncture-free ride quality. The next stage of testing will compare them, tubeless, to the somewhat similar Specialized Roubaix Pro 2BR 32 mm.
Price: AU$80 / US$65 / £50 / €60
Claimed Weight: 300 g – 24 mm / 320 g – 26 mm
More information: www.trekbikes.com
Words by Dave Rome
Suspension stems are back, and the Kinekt coil-sprung suspension is the latest example. This linkage-based stem offers 15-20 mm of suspension travel, all while keeping the handlebars in a “near” vertical path – something that should make this well suited to use with drop bars.
There are three spring weights included with the stem, and all it takes is a 2.5 mm hex key to swap them out. There are elastomer bumpers at the extremes of the travel, while the whole thing pivots on self-lubricating (and replaceable) bushings.
This stem is for use with 31.8 mm handlebars and regular 1 1/8″ steerer tubes – so it would very likely fit your bike. Kinekt offers the stem in 90, 105, and 120 mm lengths in a 7º rise, or a 100 mm length with an upright 30º rise.
Having launched on Kickstarter at the beginning of the year, the Kinekt Stem only landed on my desk 24 hours ago. I’m yet to pull it apart for a closer look. Expect a full review down the track.
Price: US$180 / £TBC / AU$TBC
Weight: 467 g – 90 mm
More information: www.cirruscycles.com
The Kinekt stem includes three coil springs of differing firmness.
Here’s another product just in the door for test. The new Maxxis High Road TR (tubeless ready) aims to be a well-rounded road racing tyre with everyday durability and puncture resistance. The tyre features a generous 170 TPI casing and is fitted with Maxxis’ K2 puncture-resistant belt beneath the tread.
That tread is a full silica compound that, according to Maxxis, offers 16% reduced rolling resistance and 23% increased wet weather traction compared to any road tyre it has produced before.
The tubeless-ready version is now available in either 25 or 28 mm sizes, with the latter ballooning up to an actual 31 mm width when fitted to a pair of Hunt Limitless 48 Aero Disc wheels (22.7 mm internal rim width). The carbon-bead-based tyres proved a tight fit on this rim, but inflated with ease once installed. With over 4 mm of thickness at the tread and a sturdy sidewall, first impressions are that these should make for a reliable everyday pick.
Price: US$65 / £TBC / AU$90
Weight: 335 & 320 g – 28 mm width
More information: www.maxxis.com