Sportful’s short-sleeved insulated gravel jacket (yes, really), a lightweight locking solution from Litelock and more
It’s the middle of December now, and while Christmas decorations adorn homes, trees, and shopping streets across the country, we haven’t yet reached full Christmas Content mode here on BikeRadar – you’ll have to wait for the next week for that.
This week, we fell in love with our usual collection of news, views and reviews. We started with the new Torque de Canyon – a bike designed for the rigors of your local hills, even though those hills include the RedBull Rampage site in Utah. We also reviewed the year of Strava, gave 12 tips for newbies to Zwift, and reviewed the Merida Big Trail 600.
We’ve worked hard on our collection of the best listings to help you choose new bikes, components, and apparel. These are all populated from the reviews our experienced testers spent a lot of time, so you can be sure the tips are as good as what you will get.
This week, we updated our lists of the best gravel tires, the best winter gloves, the best mountain bike helmets, the best hardtail and the best trail bikes – phew!
Sportful Supergiara Puffy
At first glance, the Supergiara Puffy looks rather, uh, unique. And it certainly stands out from the crowd with its short-sleeved but insulated construction.
The jacket is for gravel runners (who else ?!)
The torso features Thermore insulation integrated into a water-repellent outer shell. This will keep important parts of your body dry in the shower and comfortable in cold weather.
There is also some insulation in the shoulders, but there is also a lot of thinner stretch material in the arms to ensure that mobility is not compromised.
The ends of the arms are kept snug with an elasticated hem to prevent cold drafts from entering your core.
Finally, the whole shebang folds into this little mesh chest pocket, for easy storage – Sportful even says it can be attached directly to your bars.
So, uh, why would this work? Well, the forearms are a great place to regulate temperature, so by keeping them out of the wind you are less likely to overheat. At the same time, protecting your heart from the cold can also help keep extremities comfortable.
We only drove there once and it was way too hot. But, it’s light and comfortable! Now that it’s cooler, we’ll be back in this funky-looking jacket.
Sendhit first aid kit
While we all assume we’re riding on gods, sometimes things go wrong and we end up on the ground. Fortunately, the vast majority of the time we can ignore this and joke around with our friends. But sometimes a little first aid is needed.
Sendhit’s first aid kit is designed for mountain bikers.
Inside the kit you’ll find plenty of items to help treat a battered and bruised cyclist, either to help them get home, or to keep them comfortable while assistance is on the way.
There are bandages, dressings, antiseptic wipes, scissors, safety pins, rubber gloves, and a whistle to help emergency services find you.
It is very practical, but the kit goes further.
The pouch is water and mud splash resistant and features emergency actions printed on the outside to help you get the job done, fast.
Inside is a comprehensive emergency field guide – a number of languages are covered (you can throw away language brochures, if you’re not fluent in Spanish or Italian for example).
It goes through procedures to help diagnose and repair a range of potential injuries, as well as further explaining how to keep someone steady while the pros are on the way.
The pouch is quite compact and the set weighs around 100g – a weight worth carrying around, we think.
£ 25 / € 29.99
Hornit Clug Pro
File it under “one of those things you didn’t know you needed”.
We all need to put our bikes somewhere, and there are tons of storage methods, from simple hooks costing a few pounds to elaborate tracked modules that will get a bike from one end of your garage to the other.
For those who keep their bikes inside their homes, there are even plenty of aesthetic racks, including the Clug. These plastic devices rely on the Clug and the deformation of the tire as you push the tire into the Clug, before everything returns to its original shape with enough stability to keep your bike from falling.
However, Clug has taken a step forward to make your bike more secure with the Clug Pro, with added Fidlock (yes, the magnetic bottle cage company) security.
The magnet is attached to the end of a cord. Thread it through the wheel, tie the male and female Fidlock pieces together and twist to take up any slack.
This relieves you of the worry of a bike falling off its Clug.
The Clug Pros come in various sizes, with compatibility between 23c road tires and 3.2 inch mountain bike rubber.
They secure with a few included bolts and dowels, and the Clug’s box even incorporates a neat drill guide.
- £ 25.99 – £ 27.99 (Clug Pro not available worldwide yet)
No one wants their bike to be scratched when they are riding around town, but padlocks can be annoying and bulky items to carry in a bag, to attach to a bulky rack on the bike, or (as we seem to do) to hang around. swing off your handlebars.
Litelok isn’t the first brand to make a portable bicycle lock, but the new Litelok Core is probably one of the most secure.
The 75cm or 100cm locking straps wrap around your waist when cycling around town, with a non-locking rubber-plastic closure attached to an elastic strap for added comfort.
The cable body features a high-strength core coupled to a steel “exoskeleton”, all wrapped in a plant-based polymer coating.
It’s quite flexible, and on our brief trip into town we felt quite comfortable pedaling.
The body of the lock is made of hardened steel.
Whimsical-looking locks aren’t very copious if they’re not secure. The Litelok Core is rated Solid Secure Bicycle Diamond, as high as a bicycle lock.
The Supernova is Koo’s latest pair of ultralight sunglasses, at an impressive 23g (on our scale).
Large glasses are all the rage right now, and while they’re not as crazy as some, they’re still big enough to provide good coverage and a very generous (protected) field of vision.
Category 2 nylon toric lenses are manufactured by Zeiss and allow 23% of the light to pass through, making them ideal for normal daylight conditions (darker lens may be preferable on very bright sunny days).
The lens is frameless, so there is no plastic rim to interfere with what you are looking at, and there is also an interchangeable nose pad, including an Asian cut nose piece.
The glass is said to be shatterproof and has a hydrophobic coating, so vision should remain as clear as possible if you get caught in the rain (or if you sweat a lot…).