We often start First Look Friday remarking on how busy the past seven days have been in the world of cycling, and this week is no exception.
On Monday, Ellen van Dijk smashed the hour record at the Velodrome Suisse. The Trek-Segafredo rider and world time trial champion set a staggering new record of 49,254km, beating Joss Lowden’s record of 48,405km. Jack Luke let us in on his five ways to make cycling fun again (hour-record attempts not included) and we refreshed our pick of the best road bikes for under £ 3,000 (or $ 4,000).
On Tuesday, Warren Rossiter brought us news of a 3D-printed stem that costs £ 500 and his full review of the Shimano Ultegra R8170 Di2. Simon von Bromley covered the new Specialized S-Works Torch shoes and we updated our guide to brake and gear cables.
A host of new bike releases were announced on Wednesday, from Rondo, Nukeproof and Devinci, while we published our Bianchi Specialissima Dura-Ace review.
Thursday saw RockShox launch three new forks and new rear shocks. Alex Evans reviewed the RockShox Lyrik Ultimate and RockShox Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate in time for the launch. ENVE also released its updated SES wheel range with the news it’s doing away with rim-brake options – a true sign of the times.
And that brings us to Friday and your weekly round-up of the latest cycling gear…
Campagnolo Levante gravel wheelset
The Campagnolo Levante is the brand’s first dedicated gravel wheelset and is designed to complement Ekar, the brand’s gravel groupset.
Sitting alongside the Bora race wheels and Shamal endurance wheels in Campagnolo’s range, the Levante pairs tech from the brand’s other wheels but has several features to meet the demands of off-road riding.
Like the Bora Ultra WT wheels launched in 2021, the Levante uses Campagnolo’s HULC carbon fiber and C-Lux finish.
Campagnolo says HULC technology helps the wheels achieve strength, stiffness and low weights for a confident ride without harshness.
C-Lux is short for Campagnolo Luxury and the finish is said to be smooth enough not to require lacquer, helping to save weight. The finish is also said to make seating gravel bike tires easier and to reduce abrasion on tire beads. Campagnolo has opted to etch the wheels rather than use decals.
Campagnolo says the Levante is versatile thanks to its ‘two-way fit’ rim profile, which means the wheelset is compatible with tubeless and clincher tires.
The 25mm internal width can fit 38mm to 76mm gravel tyres and the 30mm rim depth makes the wheels suitable for gravel racing and bikepacking, according to Campagnolo.
Campagnolo has used cup and cone bearings and straight-pull spokes. The brand says this makes the wheels easily serviceable and consequently suitable for adventure riding, where mechanical expertise and proprietary parts might be lacking.
Campagnolo has introduced a new rim standard on the Levante, called the Mini-Hook. It says this small lip on the rim avoids the complications of matching hookless rims with compatible tyres only, while delivering the benefits of hookless designs – including being able to run lower tyre pressures.
- £1,349.99 / $1,899.95 / €1,575
Oakley Re: SubZero sunglasses
When Oakley relaunched its Sub Zero sunglasses at the end of April as part of its new MUZM collection, it said there would be more retro-inspired releases to follow.
We didn’t have to wait long. Two weeks later, Oakley released the Re: SubZero sunglasses. These glasses take inspiration from the original Sub Zeros but have a more contemporary look and feel.
The Re: SubZeros have a larger lens that uses Oakley’s PhysioMorphic Geometry. Oakley says this enables it to create a frame-less lens with “extended wrap and rigidity” and a “mask-like fit”.
Oakley has used its logo as a central component in the sunglasses’ attachment design, which helps connect the lens with the arms.
Elsewhere, the sunglasses feature Prizm lens technology and Unobtanium nose pads, which you can find in many of the best Oakley sunglasses.
Oakley hasn’t explicitly said the Re: SubZeros are cycling sunglasses. But it does say they are for everyone who wishes to improve their life through sport.
The Re: SubZero sunglasses I have a ruby matt lens with arms printed to look like carbon fiber. They are also available with a black, sapphire or ‘dark golf’ lens, which appears to have a reddish hint.
Pirelli P Zero Race 4S tires
In March this year, Pirelli released the P Zero Race 4S, a new four-season tire said to have a “racing feeling”.
To achieve this, Pirelli uses the same rubber compound as its summer P Zero Race tire – albeit in a greater thickness – but with several features to make it suitable for riding in the colder, wetter months.
Pirelli has introduced a new siping pattern, which the brand says improves grip on uneven or wet surfaces, as well as helping the rubber warm up faster for better performance in cold weather.
There is a ‘TechBelt’ layer underneath the rubber designed to increase puncture protection. This is made from nylon, and Pirelli says it chose this material because it’s flexible and consequently improves the tire’s contact patch.
The tire is the first to be produced in Pirelli’s new factory, which sits just 10km from the brand’s headquarters in Milan. This makes it the first bike tire the brand has made entirely in Italy since it returned to the cycling market in 2017.
Ahead of the tire’s launch, Pirelli explained to BikeRadar that having a factory down the road means it can quickly revise designs and test the changes.
The brand also said that due to the difficulty of working with rubber it has to make its formulas less complex when the production is spread across a large area. So manufacturing tires in one place means it can develop more complex, better-performing compounds.
The tire is currently available as a 700x26mm or 700x28mm clincher. Pirelli says more sizes and a tubeless tire version will be available in due course.
- £ 61.99 / $ 84.90 / AU $ 109.99 / € 69.90
Le Col x Lion of Flanders Sport Jersey
Knicknamed the Lion of Flanders, Johan Museeuw was arguably one of his generation’s most successful Classics riders.
He won both the Tour of Flanders and Paris – Roubaix three times. His palmarès also includes victories at many other Spring Classics, winning the world championships in 1996 and several Tour de France stages.
This cycling jersey from Le Col honors one of Museeuw’s most impressive victories. Racing Paris – Roubaix in 2002, he attacked on the Pavé de la Rosée before soloing to victory. This was one of the muddiest editions in the race’s history and was the final time the Belgian won the race.
The text on the jersey is said to draw on French zinc stencil typography. The red and off-white design mimics the signs put out to mark the beginning of the cobbled sections in the race.
The jersey is Le Col’s new men’s Sport Jersey design. Le Col says it is quick-drying and suitable for relaxed and more challenging rides.
- £ 95 / $ 110 / AU $ 175 / € 115