The Musette is Cyclingnews’ weekly look at the world’s best cycling gear. We’ll take a look at pro-level equipment, bikes and components, alongside some of the most desirable clothing, accessories and more in the sport.
Scroll down for this week’s look at Peter Cossins' book, The Yellow Jersey, Bontrager's all-new range-topping XXX road shoes, as worn by Trek Segafredo, cleaning products from Muc-Off, and something different from British clothing brand, Invani.
The Yellow Jersey, by Peter Cossins
Aesthetically, The Yellow Jersey – Peter Cossins' history of the maillot jaune – has a simple yet elegant design. A padded soft jacket encases and protects the pages within, and a yellow ribbon will save your spot in the unlikely event you wish to put it down.
Inside, the charming aesthetic continues, and the graphic design and photo choice complement the content perfectly. Luckily, the content itself doesn’t fail to meet the precedent set by the style. As an author of cycling literature since the early nineties, Cossins clearly knows a thing or two about the sport. The Yellow Jersey takes the story of cycling’s most coveted prize, back to its humble beginnings, and intersperses facts, anecdotes and statistics to take you for an enjoyable ride through the history of the sport.
Back in July, Cyclingnews ran an excerpt of The Yellow Jersey, which you can read here.
Bontrager XXX road shoes
The all-new range-topping XXX Road shoes from Bontrager were announced during this year’s Tour de France. They are currently worn by a number of riders from the Trek-Segafredo team, and have been seen on the feet of Jumbo-Visma star Wout van Aert.
The XXX Road shoes are a well-ventilated, lightweight shoe complete with twin Boa dials, a carbon-fibre sole, no-slip heel-cup lining, and optimised flex zones that reduce pressure in delicate areas such as where the tongue meets your foot.
The shoes’ carbon-fibre soles come at a stiffness index rating of 14, which, while incomparable to its competition by this number alone, is the stiffest sole that Bontrager produce. The external heel cup is made from plastic which provides lateral flex with a secure hold. The heel pad is replaceable, although the toe-pad is not.
At £299.99, they are priced at the top end of the market, but on first impressions appear to be worth every penny.
Muc-Off Waterless Wash
I have to admit, I’m not very good at keeping my bike clean. It rarely gets ridden in the rain, so it’s common for my summer bike to go weeks without a wash. A full bucket-and-sponge session seems overkill for that thin layer of dust, so when Muc-Off introduced me to their new Waterless Wash, my interest understandably piqued.
On first use, and paired with Muc-Off’s new Luxury Microfibre Polishing Cloth, I have to say I’m impressed. Thanks to the misting effect of the spray head, a very small amount seemed to go a long way; the bike was soaked with a mere 25ml used. After a two-minute wait and a few minutes spent wiping down, the bike was clean. No sponges or wet wipes required. For my own sense of intrigue, I purposefully avoided a section of the bike to check whether a simple dry-wipe would provide the same outcome. While the majority of the dirt did come away, it didn’t achieve the polished finish that came with using Waterless Wash.
Waterless Wash isn’t going to transform your grit-covered winter bike into a gleaming masterpiece, but it is useful for a quick spruce-up between major washes, and to take the labour out of keeping your bike clean.
Invani reversible jersey
Invani might be a newcomer to the competitive realm of cycling apparel but the British company is hoping to find favour with cyclists based on its unique reversible range of cycling garments and accessories. Suitable for both men and women, the collection is comprehensive and comprises a selection of short- and long-sleeve jerseys, gilets, baselayers, and knee and arm warmers – all of which are reversible in application.
In terms of materials, Invani has chosen to employ only the finest Italian fabrics with premium colourways to match. Of all the items, it's the jerseys we fancy. Both racy and breathable, they naturally function as two different jerseys. The rear storage pockets feature on both sides and the clever, seamless stitching promotes a figure-hugging fit.
The Invani range is diverse in function and appeal, and while not described by the company as an out-and-out race-specific jersey, it can certainly double up for use both in races and weekend coffee rides.
The Invani reversible cycling jersey is £80 / US$100 / €88, and is available in black/blue or grey/teal.
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