We often start First Look Friday by noting how busy the last seven days have been in the cycling world, and this week is no exception.
Ellen van Dijk broke the hour record at the Velodrome Suisse on Monday. The Trek-Segafredo rider and world time trial champion set a stunning new record of 49.254km, beating Joss Lowden’s record of 48.405km. Jack Luke gave us his five ways to make cycling fun again (hour record attempts not included) and we’ve refreshed our selection of the best road bikes under £3k (or $4k).
On Tuesday, Warren Rossiter brought us news of a £500 3D printed stem and his full review of the Shimano Ultegra R8170 Di2. Bromley’s Simon has unveiled the new Specialized S-Works Torch shoes and we’ve updated our brake and shifter cable guide.
A host of new bike releases from Rondo, Nukeproof and Devinci were announced on Wednesday while we released our Bianchi Specialissima Dura-Ace review.
On Thursday, RockShox released three new forks and new rear shocks. Alex Evans tested the RockShox Lyrik Ultimate and the RockShox Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate in time for launch. ENVE also released its updated SES wheel range with the news that it’s getting rid of the rim brake options – a real sign of the times.
And that brings us to Friday and your weekly roundup of the latest bike 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.
Alongside the Bora road bikes and the Shamal endurance wheels in the Campagnolo range, the Levante combines the technology of the brand’s other wheels but with several features to meet the demands of off-road riding.
Like the Bora Ultra WT wheels introduced 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 light weight for a safe ride without harshness.
C-Lux is short for Campagnolo Luxury and the finish is said to be smooth enough not to require paint, which helps save weight. The finish should also make it easier to put on gravel bike tires and reduce wear on tire beads. Campagnolo chose to etch the wheels rather than use decals.
According to Campagnolo, the Levante is versatile thanks to its “two-way fit” rim profile, which means the wheelset is tubeless and clincher compatible.
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 re-launched its Sub Zero sunglasses as part of its new MUZM collection in late April, word was that more retro-inspired releases would follow.
We didn’t have to wait long. Two weeks later, Oakley released the Re:SubZero sunglasses. These goggles are inspired by 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 allows it to create a rimless lens with “extended wrap and stiffness” and a “mask-like fit.”
Oakley has used its logo as a central component in the sunglasses’ attachment design, which helps connect the lens to the temples.
Elsewhere, the sunnies feature the Prizm lens technology and Unobtanium nose pads that you’ll find in many of Oakley’s best sunnies.
Oakley didn’t specifically state that the Re:SubZeros are cycling sunglasses. But it says they are for anyone who wants to improve their life through exercise.
The Re:SubZero sunglasses I own have a ruby matte lens with temples that are printed to look like carbon fiber. They’re also available with a black, sapphire, or “dark golf” lens that appears to have a reddish tinge.
Pirelli P Zero Race 4S tires
In March of this year, Pirelli launched the P Zero Race 4S, a new all-season tire that is said to have “racing feel”.
To achieve this, Pirelli uses the same rubber compound as its P Zero Race summer tire – albeit in a greater thickness – but with several features that make it suitable for driving in the colder, wetter months.
Pirelli has introduced a new sipe pattern that the brand says improves grip on uneven or wet surfaces and helps the rubber warm up faster for better performance in cold weather.
Underneath the rubber is a “TechBelt” layer that is designed to increase puncture protection. This is made of nylon, and Pirelli says they chose this material because it is flexible and consequently improves the tire’s contact patch.
The tire is the first to be manufactured at Pirelli’s new factory, just 10 km from the brand’s headquarters in Milan. This makes it the first bicycle tire that the brand has made entirely in Italy since returning to the bicycle market in 2017.
Ahead of the tire’s launch, Pirelli told BikeRadar that having a factory nearby means designs can be revised quickly and the changes tested.
The brand also said that the difficulty of working with rubber means it has to make its formulas less complex when production is spread over a large area. So, manufacturing tires in one place means that more complex, higher-performing compounds can be developed.
The tire is currently available as a 700 x 26mm or 700 x 28mm 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 Sports Jersey
Johan Museeuw, also known as the Lion of Flanders, was arguably one of the most successful Classics drivers of his generation.
He won both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix three times. His palmarès also includes victories at many other spring classics, winning the 1996 World Championship and several stages of the Tour de France.
This Le Col cycling jersey honors one of Museeuw’s most impressive victories. Racing between Paris and Roubaix in 2002, he attacked on the Pavé de la Rosée before driving single-handedly to victory. This was one of the muddiest editions in the history of the race and it was the last time the Belgian won the race.
The text on the jersey is said to be based on French zinc stencil typography. The red and white design mimics the signs erected to mark the start of the cobbled sections of the race.
The jersey is Le Col’s new men’s sports jersey. Le Col says it dries quickly and is suitable for both relaxed and more demanding rides.
- £95 / $110 / AU$175 / €115