The Musette is Cyclingnews’ weekly curation of the world’s best cycling gear. Here, we’ll take a look at pro-level equipment, bikes and components, alongside some of the most desirable clothing and newest accessories in the world of cycling. This week, more by coincidence than anything else, the Musette has become a cycling shoe special. Both Josh and Graham have received an assortment of new shoes as they look to perfect our buying guides to the best cycling shoes and best gravel bike shoes.
It's been business as usual for tech at Cyclingnews. A busy week was kicked off by Aaron, who has really upped his pain cave game with the Saris MP1 Nfinity Platform. He later shared his opinions on Vision's SC wheels, having ridden and tested the entire range over the last few months.
Graham, Aaron and Josh were all asked a question of their own: If you could have just one bike, what would it be? They duly obliged with their best all-rounder bikes and to very varying results - a great way to get to know the team, and their differing riding preferences.
There was also an interesting feature from Lance on the role of the local bike shop and why it still has a place in today's online-shopping environment. Telling proof comes with the fact that during the hardship of lockdown, bike shops have had to cull their services, yet have still been busier than ever.
The biggest news of the week is undoubtedly the announcement that Chris Froome is moving to Israel Start-Up Nation, so Josh took a look at the tech that the four-time Tour de France winner is likely to be using next year, including the Factor O2 VAM, that Aaron reviewed back in May.
In between all of this, we also published a litany of useful buyer's guides to help you make an informed decision when it comes to your next cycling purchase. If you're in the market for a new cycling GPS, a lightweight road bike or want to improve your visibility with a front bike light, make sure you scroll through the following guides:
- Best budget gravel bikes: Gravel grinding on a budget
- Best bar tape: Grippy, comfortable and durable handlebar tape to protect your palms
- Katusha clothing: Details, pricing and highlights from the 2020 range
- Best turbo trainers: Smart trainers to improve your indoor cycling experience
Now, let's get into what's new at Cyclingnews:
Sidi Jarin shoes
There is nothing subtle about Sidi’s Jarin. The bold and distinctive dials and branding are distinctly Sidi and they have been finished in an outrageous blue red iridescent that is sure to draw attention out on the bike. There is an olive green option as well for those that like a more subtle aesthetic.
The Jarin’s were released earlier in 2020 as a gravel shoe to fill the gap between Sidi’s dedicated road and mountain bike ranges, and feature prominently in our guide to the best gravel bike shoes. Featuring the same double proprietary Techno - 3 Push dial configuration as Sidi’s Wire 2 road shoe and MTB Drako 2 mountain bike shoe. It uses a central mechanism to control the closure over the front of the foot and another which tightens the Soft Instep Closure System over the top of the foot and distributes pressure evenly over the instep area. Uppers are made from Microfibre Techpro which is a microfiber PU made in Italy and reinforced with heel and toe sections which Sidi claims should be more than tough enough to handle the rough and tumble of gravel riding.
An MTB SRS Carbon-Ground sole has been used in the Jarin which can only be described as incredibly stiff, trying to flex by hand is a futile exercise and in use, there will be zero loss in pedalling power no matter how hard you’re pedalling. As with many Sidi products, they have considered the longevity of the shoe and specced it with replaceable tread blocks so if they do wear out they can be easily replaced, although considering the stiffness of the sole you won’t want to be walking very far in these. - Graham Cottingham
- Best gravel bike shoes: cycling shoes for gravel riding
- Gravel bike clothing guide: the best kit for gravel riding
- Price: $499.99 / £340.00
- Weight: 363g (actual, size 43, without cleats)
- Colours: Blue red iridescent or olive
Giro Rincon shoes
Giro didn’t give the Rincon much fanfare, instead, their new Sector received all the attention while the Rincon was quietly released into the wild. Sitting a little lower in Giro’s adventure hierarchy, the Rincon still shares much of the design and technology as the Sector but comes in at a more affordable price point which will likely make this shoe an appealing proposition to a lot of riders.
Giro says the Rincon is ready to tackle everything from gravel grinding to cross-country mountain bike rides making it a tempting option for someone looking for a capable do-everything off-road shoe.
The Rincon shares the same breathable SynchWire upper as the Sector and Giro’s very premium Imperial road shoes. This one-piece design is thermo-bonded with an exo-structure to create a non-stretch upper and the toes and heel are reinforced to ward off any rogue rocks. The Rincon only gets one BOA® L6 dial which gives 1mm adjustment to the steel lace that crosses down the front through soft lace guides.
The sole uses a nylon composite plate rather than the carbon sole of the Sector, with a good old fashioned bend by hand, it still feels reasonably stiff and should offer decent power transfer. We haven’t had a chance to take them out for a ride yet but sizing seems spot on and the initial impressions are that these are going to be a comfortable set of shoes for gravel grinding.
We are also expecting to receive a set of Sectors for review as well so we will be able to put the two against each other to see if they are worth their premium price over the Rincon’s.
Retailing for £139.99, they come in the option of black, port grey or our favourite, and the very gravel-chic, olive/gum. - Graham Cottingham
- Best gravel bikes: Fun and fast adventure bikes for your next off-road ride
- Best budget gravel bikes: Gravel grinding on a budget
- Gravel ride essentials checklist
- Price: $TBC / £139.99
- Weight: 348g (actual, size 43, without cleats)
- Colours: Black, port grey or olive/gum
Mavic Cosmic Ultimate III shoes
Around 9 months after they were spotted by our beady-eyed tech team on the feet of Rein Taaramare at the Tour de France, the Mavic Cosmic Ultimate III shoes were finally made official by Mavic.
The Cosmic Ultimate III shoes see a wholesale change from the outgoing edition, most notably, with the addition of patented Matryx technology which weaves Kevlar into the material, and wraps over the shoe's upper. Similar in feel to Fizik's Vento R2 Aeroweave shoes, the material is said to increase comfort whilst providing efficient foot mapping support.
No longer using the 'Energy Frame Carbon', which formed a K-like shape on the outstep which Mavic would highlight with contrasting colours, the new shoes see a solitary colour palette with contrasting tones, making for a considerably more modern aesthetic, in my opinion, a much better looking shoe.
They are available in four colours of Mavic Yellow, Black, Glacier Grey, and Total Eclipse (pictured). Retention is taken care of by a duo of BOA dials that are placed in the not-uncommon outside centre positon. The upper dial is routed via a single loop for fast ratcheting, the lower dial is looped more like tradition lacing, via five separate loops to offer an extremely finite adjustment per click.
The Ultimate III shoes use the same Full Carbon Energy SLR outsole as its predecessor, and following in the footsteps of Mavic's lightweight Ultimate SL, they feature a low 6.5mm stack height.
Weighing in at 232 grams per shoe, they're extremely competitive on weight, weighing in at 75 grams per shoe lighter than Fizik's Infinito R1. - Josh Croxton
- RRP: $385 / £319 / €350
- Weight: 232g (actual, EU46, without cleats)
- Colours: Four
- Featured colour: Total Eclipse
- Worn by: Rein Taaramae, Axel Domont
Gaerne G.Chrono shoes
Not a new shoe to market by any means, the Gaerne G.Chrono has amassed a loyal following of riders who celebrate Italian heritage and appreciate simple things done well. Featuring a super-stiff carbon sole, double BOA retention and a traditional down-the-middle lacing position, Gaerne hasn't done anything groundbreaking with its G.Chrono. Instead, it has kept things simple.
With a rating of 12 out of 12, they are the stiffest shoes in Gaerne's range, sharing the same rating as the G.Volata and G.Stilo shoes that sit alongside the G.Chrono in the range. The shoe is designed with TSS technology (Tarsal Support System) which is claimed to ensure the foot sits perfectly within the shoe. This is then complemented by a new-for-this-shoe integrated anti-slip heel cup, which Gaerne claims increases foot stability and control.
The sole features ventilation ports and the tongue has perforations which combine to allow increased air intake. This works in synergy with the microfibre upper which is dotted with small holes that allow for heat to escape. The tongue is also padded to offer increase pressure dispersion, and a small velcro strip holds the tongue in place to prevent unwanted discomfort mid-ride. Keeping everything locked in place is a pair of BOA dials.
The shoes are available in four colours: Red, which is actually predominantly black; blue; black; and white, which we have here. All follow the similar design form of small circles, each made up of six triangles, which cover the forefoot and fade down the in- and out-step of the shoe. - Josh Croxton
- RRP: $349.99 / £272.99
- Weight: 330g
- Colours: Four
- Featured colour: White
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