Welcome to First Look Friday… what a week it has been.
With the Tour de France in full swing, it is proving to be one of the most entertaining editions to date. We won’t blame you if you want to skip work and tune in to live streams so you don’t miss any of the action.
We at BikeRadar have brought you the most important Tour content this week, with Wednesday’s cobbled stage standing out.
Technology clearly plays a huge role in how fast a runner can go, and we expected the Trek-Segafredo team to ride the all-new Trek Domane on the cobblestone stage.
Instead, the team opted for the IsoFlow-equipped Trek Madone, with Belgian rider Jasper Stuyven finishing the stage in sixth place.
A notable mention goes to Peter Sagan’s mechanically shifting Dura-Ace bike, a spec choice he made specifically for Stage Five. Unfortunately, an accident put him out of action.
Unlike Sagan, you can now use Shimano Di2 gearing at the 105 level, and we’ve listed 20 bikes with Shimano’s 105 Di2 electronic groupset…
On the topic of spec choices, we got a unique behind-the-scenes look with Dr. Ciarán O’Grady of the Israel-PremierTech team.
We also asked the pressing question: who is the greatest cyclist in the Tour de France, and why does it matter? Of course, the answer to this question is “aero”.
Elsewhere, Simon von Bromley dove deep into Taco van der Hoorn’s aero-optimized Cube Litening C:68X TE setup.
In other aero news, be sure to read our review of Giant’s all-new Propel aero road bike.
Much slower was George Scott’s look at 10 of the best city bikes on the streets of Copenhagen.
And if you’re looking for off-road thrills, check out our reasonably priced article on hardtail or full suspension, where we help you choose the best type of mountain bike to buy.
Finally, we announced the new Pirelli Cinturato Gravel RC tires; maybe some of the Tour riders should have fitted them on their race bikes for stage five…
Specialized 2FO DH flat shoes
Toppling Five Ten of its best mountain bike shoes onto the business pedestal seems to be, for many brands, the equivalent of reverse-engineering the Enigma machine.
It seems that the secret formula for flat pedal grip, stability and comfort is rather difficult to decipher.
Proudly shouting from the rooftops, “hold my beer” is Specialized with its 2FO DH flats.
The hallowed trifecta of Body Geometry features, which includes a longitudinal arch, metatarsal knob and Varus wedge, is said to work in harmony to improve pedaling efficiency, optimize your lower extremity alignment and, according to the brand, reduce injuries.
Combine these science-based features with a reinforced upper for protection (giving a weight of 830g for a pair of EU42), hydrophobic construction to reduce drying time and a cushioned midsole, and there’s only one last piece left. of the shoe-based puzzle: its outsole.
In the case of the 2FO DH Flat shoes, it’s made from Specialized’s SlipNot ST rubber that is claimed to offer “unsurpassed flat-pedal grip and connection”.
Although I’ve read similar claims from brands many times before, I have it on very good authority these 2FO kicks are as good as shoes equipped with Five Ten Stealth soles.
First impressions and an unscientific fingernail squish of the rubber reveal this may well be true, so keep tuned for a full review soon.
Oakley DRT3 MIPS helmet
Oakley’s DRT3 MIPS helmet is a more affordable version of the brand’s range-topping DRT5.
In reducing its cost to £110 from £170 (DRT5), the DRT3 forgoes some of the features of the top-notch lid.
The most notable omission is the ‘Eyewear Dock’.
To the layman, these are small clips on the rear of the helmet designed to securely hold the arms of your glasses for storage.
Instead, the DRT3 gets in-vent glasses storage on the front of the helmet, blessed with ‘Unobtanium’ grippers to keep your specs in place.
We won’t blame you if you’re getting fired up on ‘Unobtanium’ and ‘Eyewear Docks’, but keep some of that enthusiasm left in the tank; the DRT3 promises more.
It features a MIPS rotational impact protection liner, an adjustable visor and a nifty silicone sweat guard on its internal front lip to reduce the chances of saline secretions pouring down your face.
The height-adjustable cradle wraps the entire circumference of the wearer’s head, where a dial (instead of a BOA-branded system on the DRT5) can be used to tune fit.
The DRT3 – despite costing less than its bigger-figured sibling – is, nevertheless, feature-packed and intended to strike a good balance between price, weight (367g, medium size) and features.
The yellow and black wasp- or bee-like colour scheme will surely appeal to insect fanatics, to boot!
Cannondale TrailShroom Grips
“The king is dead, long live the king!”
That’s exactly what I said when I found out that the discontinued Fabric FunGuy grips had been rebranded as Cannondale TrailShrooms.
Although I’ve talked about the FunGuys several times on BikeRadar (here, here and here to name a few), because they’ve now been re-released as TrailShrooms, I couldn’t resist to put them in this edition of First Look Friday.
What do I like so much about them?
Well, they are soft and squishy, but not so much that the trail feels numb or too isolated.
Their 31mm diameter seems to strike a happy medium between too fat and skinny, which corresponds to a straight profile.
The unique built-in locking ring keeps them securely attached to the bars but, unlike double clamp grips, means they can twist and turn slightly, helping to reduce fatigue.
And because there’s no external flange, lip, or locking ring, you can hook the edge of your hand over the handle in comfort, like I like to do.
Like the shiny cherry placed on top of the sweet icing that sits on top of the delicious cake, the dual-patterned gripping surface – with mushroom-shaped gills on one side and a “Micro-Hex” pattern on the other – Provides excellent cycling hand interface in all weather conditions.
If you don’t have one and are looking for some of the most comfortable grips around, look no further.
Thanks to Cannondale, the FunGuy lives on by all but his name and I couldn’t be happier.
Long live the TrailShroom!
OneUp Components Carbon E-Bar Handlebar
The e-MTB is no longer the elephant in the bedroom (or trail center parking lot), nor should it be.
Bikes such as Specialized’s S-Works Turbo Levo, my custom-built Marin Alpine Trail E2, or even the Nukeproof Megawatt 297 Factory that recently won our first eMTB Bike of the Year test are all so good you’ll have as many a blast on the way to the trailhead as you do on the way back.
But some e-bike design elements are still a little clunky.
One of the worst things – in my eyes at least – to fine-tune is the mess of cables connecting displays, controllers and ECUs that litter the handlebars of e-bikes.
Unless a brand has developed their own internal bar compatible with e-bikes, such as Canyon’s ON range or the Santa Cruz Di2 bar found on the Heckler and Bullit that route the cables internally, the best solution we we’ve found so far is using rubberized loops (or rubber bands, if you will). This keeps the cables firmly positioned along the outer length of the bars.
However, it looks pretty poor.
OneUp’s carbon bar (dubbed one of the ultimate mountain bike upgrades by BikeRadar) is famous for its ability to absorb high-frequency vibrations and chatter thanks to the built-in flex. However, it has now been discontinued for e-bikes, with cable routing and ports so those unsightly cables can pass internally.
In addition to cable routing, the Canadian brand has improved compliance by 20% – thanks to “pinched” sections where the bar rises – compared to competitors’ bars, but they still pass ASTM Cat 5 certification. descent.
Hucks to flat should therefore not be a problem for the E-Bar.
They are sold with a rise and clamp diameter of 35mm, a width of 800mm and an eight degree backsweep and five degree upsweep. Our pair of uncut bars weighed 238g.