Despite the introduction of hosepipe bans across the parched United Kingdom this week, there’s been no drought of content at BikeRadar.com.
Stan Portus opened the news taps by asking when the Tour de France Netflix documentary will be released in 2023. We also published a guide to UK cycling footpath laws so you know where you can ride a bike off-road.
A bumper explainer of bike components also went online. Meanwhile, BikeRadar editor-in-chief George Scott collected a tribute to the great, sadly departed, bike designer Mike Burrows from Chris Boardman.
Two new bikes made our best electric gravel bikes list and we released a tech gallery on Tiffany Cromwell’s SBT GRVL-winning Canyon Grail CF SLX.
Technical writer Oscar Huckle revived a long-dormant feature, making our Bike of the Week the Berria Belador Allroad.
The adventurers among you should read our buyer’s guide to the best touring bikes and Tom Marvin’s review of the Lauf Seigla Weekend Warrior. The gravel bike could be ideal for ultra-distance cycling.
Our technical editor has been a well of enthusiasm and productivity since his return from sabbatical. He also gave an update to his Revel Ranger long-term review, a custom-built downcountry mountain bike.
Giant released the new Propel on Thursday with a claimed weight below 7kg, which is an impressive feat considering it is an aero road bike with disc brakes.
After that healthy sprinkling of stories, it’s time to show you our favourite fresh tech this week.
Adidas Parley Road Shoe BOA
Said to give “all-day comfort” and cause no pressure points, the Parley Road Shoe BOA is a twist on the Adidas Road Shoe.
When launched in 2020, these lace-ups marked the brand’s return to cycling footwear after a 15-year absence.
The Parley Road Shoe BOA has the same fibre-glass reinforced midsole, but tightens with a single Boa dial.
Adidas says the shoe contains plastic recovered from the oceans and repurposed by environmental organisation Parley.
The shoes’ soft upper is a 50/50 blend of Parley Ocean Plastic and recycled polyester, according to Adidas.
The brand says the upper is breathable and has a “sock-like construction for a secure and supportive fit”.
The internal sock extends out of the shoe’s heel, but not to the ankle like on the Adidas Gravel Shoe.
The classic aesthetics resemble the three-striped shoes worn by cycling legends, including Eddy Merckx, Rudi Altig and Jan Ullrich.
The all-black colour scheme evokes the style of those eras, while green is also an option.
Adidas hasn’t given the Parley Road Shoe BOA a stiffness score. A pair in size EU46 weighs 776g on the BikeRadar scales.
The unisex shoe is available from size EU36 (UK3.5) up to size EU55 ⅔ (UK19). The shoe runs in half sizes up to size UK14.
Vittoria Terreno Wet gravel/cyclocross tyre
But in the mid-winter slop, a grippier tyre is required if you’re not to sorely test your cyclocross skills.
This is where something such as the Vittoria Terreno Wet, a tubeless-ready mud tyre, steps in.
The aggressive tread features diagonal lugs running in a central line. Smaller lugs lie perpendicular to the edge of the tyre at wider intervals.
Vittoria says the Terreno Wet “rolls like a race tyre” and corners effectively without clogging with mud.
The brand also claims the tyre’s Graphene 2.0 nano-technology brings speed, grip, durability and puncture resistance.
The Terreno Wet is rated at 120 TPI and the casing has a “cut-resistant sidewall”, according to Vittoria.
Our UCI-compliant 700 x 33c sample pair weighs 780g.
- £44.99 / €54.49 / $58.49 / AU$80.49
Planet X Spitfire Titanium frameset
The down and top tubes are round, while the seat and chainstays are narrow.
In keeping with its anachronistic construction, I intend to spec it with an old-fashioned mechanical groupset.
I can hear you saying that sounds impractical and I don’t disagree. But I envisage it as a stylish training bike and not an all-rounder or commuter bike.
And, of course, it’s made from triple-butted 3Al/2.5V titanium. The metal’s unembellished chromatic sheen is subdued, yet easy on the eye.
Unlike the best titanium road bikes, the Planet X Spitfire frameset costs a much more affordable £499.
Planet X claims a size medium frame weighs 1,510g and the carbon Selcof fork adds a claimed 375g.
Geometry is long and slow in old-school road bike fashion. My XL frame has 577m of stack and 401mm of reach with a 540mm seat tube and 590mm effective top tube.
The Spitfire frame will be appearing in an instalment of BikeRadar Builds later this year. Let me know in the comments which components you think should go on it.
Le Col Pro Long Sleeve Jersey
The Le Col Pro Long Sleeve Jersey is said to offer the breathability and fit of a summer jersey despite covering your lower arms.
Le Col says the jersey is meant to be worn on days when a short-sleeve summer cycling jersey isn’t warm enough. The arm warmers you’d start your ride wearing wouldn’t come off.
The fabric is claimed to be thick enough to provide insulation from cold air, a feature that may be useful on chilly summer mornings or evenings.
What’s more, the long sleeves could stop your arms burning if the sun’s in and out.
This saffron shade and the yellow colour option offer high visibility, but the jersey is also available in navy and black.
There are three back pockets and a zipped pocket on the side, which Le Col claims is waterproof.
- £140 / €180 / $175 / AU$255