While the UK government changes leaders more often than the Movistar team on a Grand Tour, continuity reigns here at BikeRadar as we deliver on our overt commitment to delivering superb content to you.
Fittingly in a politically and weather tumultuous week here in the UK, a deluge of reviews of waterproof mountain bike jackets have poured onto the homepage, including the high-scoring Gore Endure Waterproof Jacket.
In related news, our list of the best waterproof mountain bike shorts will help you decide what to pair your jacket with.
When the sun comes out, some of the best fanny packs offer enough space to store your jacket next to your other riding essentials.
If you ride your road bike in the wet, tech writer Oscar Huckle says look no further than his high-mileage hero, the Castelli Gabba 2 Jacket.
Moving away from wet weather gear and wacky bikes, Oscar gave an ambivalent review of the Berria Belador Allroad LTD gravel bike. Is the Spanish brand’s first version with drop bars and knobby tires one of our best gravel bikes?
In another busy week for Oscar, the seattube-less Superstrata Classic was his Bike of the Week.
Air Deflector technology also lends an intriguing look to the new Bianchi Oltre RC 2023, which the brand claims saves 17 watts at 50 km/h.
Meanwhile, Specialized has announced the 2023 Specialized Diverge STR. The revolutionary full-suspension gravel bike has 30mm of rear travel and its frame post suspends the rider.
Coming off the tarmac, Shimano’s new RX8R gravel shoe features an integrated gaiter to prevent gravel from entering the shoe.
Now that we’ve covered the news and reviewed the highlights, let’s take a look at the best technology to arrive at BikeRadar this week.
Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders City Mudguard
The Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders City goes out of its way to persuade skeptics that the best fenders can be a stylish as well as a practical addition to a winter bike.
Made of anodized aluminum, rather than plastic, and fitted with rubber flaps, these Portland Design Works mud flaps offer as much coverage as the “Full” in their names suggests.
They bolt to your bike’s fender mounts, making them harder to remove than the clip-on variety, but in theory safer and quieter.
As with most full length fenders, installation is not easy. Unless you’re handy with a drill and saw, consider taking them to your local bike shop mechanic, who should have them installed in about 30 minutes.
By encircling much of the front and rear wheels, they should better protect you and, if riding in a group, the riders in front and behind from the worst road spray and grime. They should also reduce how often you need to clean your bike.
The Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders City are 45mm wide and can fit a 700 x 35c road bike tire, depending on the brand. They will add 568g to your bike.
- £109.99 / €145 / $129 / AU$225
Rapha Pro Team Gore-Tex Infinium Long Sleeve Jersey
The Rapha Pro Team Gore-Tex Infinium Long Sleeve Jersey is designed to solve the conundrum of how to layer up for winter riding by being both a jersey and a jacket.
Rapha suggests wearing the Pro Team Long Sleeve Gore-Tex Infinium Jersey as your outer layer when riding hard in variable conditions.
The brand says its top fits like a road bike jersey because its stretchy fabric hugs the body to stay streamlined.
At the same time, the brand claims that the windproof, breathable and water-resistant Gore-Tex Infinium material protects you like the best winter cycling jackets.
Elasticated cuffs and silicone printed gripper on the hem are designed to fit securely to protect you from the wind.
Despite its low cut, the jersey has three back pockets in which you can carry food, such as energy bars or energy gels.
Rapha says the Pro Team Long Sleeve Gore-Tex Infinium has reflective detailing on the front, sleeves and back to help you be seen when it’s dull or dark outside.
The men’s version is available in black, lime green and red, and the women’s jersey is available in gray and green.
- £215 / €255 / $290 / AU$375
Time ATAC XC 8 Pedals
The Time ATAC XC 8 are automatic MTB pedals, which can also be used for gravel racing and cyclocross racing, depending on the brand.
Time says its second-tier off-road pedals have a carbon body to reduce weight, with a steel axle and bearings for durability.
We weighed them at 290g a pair, slightly above the claimed 286g. However, this makes the Time ATAC XC 8 much lighter than some of the best gravel bike pedals.
The XC 8 pedals use Time’s own engagement system, known as ATAC (Auto Tension Adjustment Concept). Time claims ATAC technology clears mud and debris from the pedal when you engage it.
Another difference with the Shimano SPD and SPD-SL pedals is that instead of changing the release and entry tension on the pedal body, you have to swap the cleats. These only work with Time pedals.
The XC 8s are supplied with brass cleats which release with 13 or 17 degrees of movement. Easy release cleats that require 10 degrees to extend are also available.
The height of the pedal is 19 mm and there is a gap of 54 mm between the axis of the pedal and the crank.
Topeak Roadie 2Stage Mini Pump
The Topeak Roadie 2Stage Mini Pump is another product that attempts to do the job of two in one.
The best mini bike pumps usually have good stroke volume or stroke pressure, but Topeak claims the Roadie 2Stage has an adjustment for both.
When you need to fix a puncture, a high-volume pump will inflate tires quickly. However, pumping this large volume of air at higher pressures will strain your arms.
In contrast, a pump with a high stroke pressure will require more strokes to reach a given psi figure, but will be easier to pump at higher pressures.
Topeak says you should start with the high volume stage to inflate your tire from 0 to 75 psi. This uses two cylinders at a claimed stroke of 40.8cc.
Then, if your road bike tire needs to be harder, the single-cylinder high-pressure stage goes from 75 to 160 psi at 11.2cc per stroke, according to Topeak.
You change the settings by turning a dial on the bottom of the pump.
The Topeak Roadie 2Stage is 163mm long and weighs 90g, so it shouldn’t be bulky in a jersey pocket. Topeak also provides a side mount bracket if you prefer to mount the pump to your frame.
Topeak says the Roadie 2Stage has an aluminum handle and an integrated thumb lock. A dust cap closes on the Presta valve only.