Van Bikeradar: Posh Specialized road cycling kit, a new TT helmet from Smith Optics, Phil Burt’s guide to bike fit and an aero rear light from LifeLine

The weekend is almost here, and though the weather this week has been wonderful it’s looking like it might rain here in Bristol all weekend. Typical.

Still, let’s not allow that to dampen our spirits, hopefully the forecast is sunnier wherever you’re reading this.

Besides, new tech arrives at BikeRadar no matter the weather and that’s what you’ve come here for.

Before we dive into that, though, let’s have a quick recap of some of the best news and reviews from the week just gone.

The remainder of our Bike of the Year reviews have continued to trickle out, with new reviews posted across the various categories. If you’ve missed any of that coverage, it’s well worth revisiting for the lowdown on some of the best bikes available in 2022.

Our best bike chain tools guide was also updated this week. A chain breaker is an essential piece of kit for the home bicycle mechanic, so if you’ve not got one yet or are looking to upgrade, then we’ve picked out some of the best options available.

On Wednesday, Skarper announced an intriguing new ebike conversion kit that could be set to revolutionise the market for electric bikes.

Our Senior technical editor, Warren Rossiter, got the juicy scoop and an exclusive first ride on the system, in which six-time Olympic and 11-time world champion Sir Chris Hoy is an investor.

Fulcrum made weight weenies purr with its announcement of the Speed 25 carbon wheelset, a new lightweight road bike wheelset designed specifically for climbing, with a feathery claimed weight of just 1,285g.

Canyon updated its Lux World Cup cross-country mountain bike, adding an integrated front end and shaving off 127g of weight.

Technical writer, Oscar Huckle, had the privilege of attending the launch and his in-depth report covers everything you need to know about the new bike.

Specialized Prime road cycling kit

Specialized’s Prime road cycling kit uses premium materials and minimalist design cues.
Simon von Bromley / Our Media

While it makes some of the best road bikes and best cycling shoes, Specialized’s range of road cycling kit has arguably not made quite the same splash.

That could all be set to change, though, with the new Specialized Prime range.

Specialized Prime cycling kit is said to use “the best fabrics, constructions and technologies” to make “perfect apparel for the perfect ride”.

The visual language across the Prime range is minimalist and sleek, with form-fitting cuts and high-quality fabrics.

The Specialized Prime short-sleeve cycling jersey is designed to keep you cool in hot weather, without resorting to excessive use of mesh fabrics, which can be somewhat immodest (and a bit of a sunburn risk).

It features a full-length Vislon zipper, which is said to be “super easy to zip and unzip for hot climbs and cool descents”.

At the rear, you get three generously sized pockets plus a zippered pocket to store valuables.

In the UK, the Specialized Prime short-sleeve jersey is available in navy or black.

Specialized’s Prime bib shorts are about as classic and stripped-back as bib shorts come.
Simon von Bromley / Our Media

The Specialized Prime bib shorts are classic black bib shorts, made with premium fabrics and a plush Body Geometry Contour 3D chamois pad produced by Elastic Interface.

A “silicone-infused fabric cuff” is said to provide “a gentle, secure hold on the legs to ensure a shift-free fit” while riding.

You can have any colour you like as long as it’s black (other colours are available internationally).

The Specialized Prime wind vest features a windproof front with a mesh back. As with other cycling gilets, this should help protect your core temperature while still offering excellent breathability.

The waist and arm openings are elasticated for a close fit, and the Prime wind vest also features a full-length, double-ended Vislon zip for easy use while riding.

At 84g, the Specialized Prime wind vest is also light and packable enough to stuff into a jersey pocket when not needed.

Available in navy or ‘Blaze Orange’ in the UK, you can choose to be conspicuous or inconspicuous, depending on your tastes.

  • Specialized Prime short-sleeve jersey: £100
  • Specialized Prime bib shorts: £120
  • Specialized Prime wind vest: £110

Smith Optics Jetstream TT helmet

The Jetstream TT helmet is a new time trial helmet from Smith Optics.
Simon von Bromley / Our Media

Smith Optics’ latest time trial helmet builds upon the Podium TT short-tail helmet.

Featuring a more elongated teardrop shape, with a longer tail and sharper lines, the Jetstream TT is claimed to be Smith Optics’ “top performing time trial helmet”.

Should you be unlucky enough to crash, the Jetstream TT makes use of both Koroyd and MIPS to improve impact protection, and there are “five strategically placed vents to help keep you cool without adding drag”.

Helpfully, Smith Optics includes both a clear and a mirrored visor in the box, which attach quickly and easily via integrated magnets.

The Jetstream TT is available in three sizes (small, medium and large) and three colour options; white, black and ‘Matte Cinder Haze’ (black and red).

  • Smith Optics Jetstream TT helmet: $380

Bike Fit (2nd edition), by Phil Burt

Bike Fit (2nd edition) by Phil Burt is an accessible guide to DIY bike positioning.
Simon von Bromley / Our Media

Getting comfortable on your bike is crucial to avoiding injury and getting the most enjoyment out of your riding time.

While getting a professional bike fit can be a great way to quickly get yourself sorted, doing so is rarely cheap.

Never fear, though, if you’re looking to perform a DIY bike fit at home, then this could be the book for you.

Written by Phil Burt, former lead physiotherapist at Team Sky and British Cycling, Bike Fit (2nd edition) is an in-depth but easy to decipher guide to finding “your perfect cycling position”.

Covering basics such as pedal and cleat setup, saddle height and positioning, and handlebar setup, it also delves into areas such as time trial and triathlon positioning and considerations for indoor cycling.

This updated, second edition includes new material on why many cyclists could benefit from optimising their crank length, a look at saddle health, and advice on how to make your riding position more aerodynamic (if that’s your cup of tea).

  • Bike Fit (2nd edition), by Phil Burt: £20

LifeLine Aero Beam 50 lumen rear bike light

The LifeLine Aero Beam 50 lumen rear bike light is designed for aero seatposts.
Simon von Bromley / Our Media

With Cycling Time Trial (CTT) rules now mandating that riders have both a front and rear light fixed to their bikes during races, interest in aerodynamic bicycle lights has probably never been greater (at least in the UK).

The LifeLine Aero Beam 50 lumen rear bike light does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a red, rear bike light in an aerodynamic form, which offers 50 lumens of light in five selectable modes.

It attaches to your seatpost via a flexible silicone strap and mount, and can be mounted both on aero seatposts and standard round ones.

In its most efficient flashing mode, the internal rechargeable lithium-ion battery offers a claimed life of 27 hours, which should be enough for most CTT events.

The LifeLine Aero Beam 50 lumen rear bike light produced a maximum of 50 lumens and is said to have a 27-hour battery life in its most efficient mode.
Simon von Bromley / Our Media

  • LifeLine Aero Beam 50 lumen rear bike light: £14.99

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