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.
Ride Like a Pro Week kicked off at Cyclingnews on Monday - a tech curation featuring a litany of content to help keep you up to date with current trends from the professional peloton. This comprised content around training programs to boost your power output, cycling tech from the WorldTour, a CADEX Range Overview and a host of new product reviews.
There was the news that Goodyear has expanded its range of tyres with two new rubber options including a trademarked tubeless technology called Tubeless Complete. And our Yorkshire-based tester, Guy Kesteven, shared his impressions on the Kinesis Range hybrid bike after putting it to work in typical 'Kes' fashion - to ascertain whether it truly is the ideal bicycle for the daily commute.
As always, we published some stellar eBay Finds after scouring the internet for incredible deals on rare cycling kit and memorabilia. This week we managed to find a pair of retro Adidas Eddy Merckx cycling shoes as well as Philippe Gilbert's 2014 Pearl Izumi BMC skinsuit.
We also published an array of expertly compiled buyer's guides to help you make an informed decision when it comes to your next cycling purchase. So if you're looking for a new cyclo-cross bike, cycling computer, a fresh pair of cycling shorts or wanting to get a head start on prepping for indoor training come winter - we've got you covered. Make sure you scroll through the following guides:
- Best cyclo-cross bikes: Our ick of the best CX bikes
- Best cycling computers: GPS, maps, data and more, the best bike computers can do it all
- Indoor cycling: A comprehensive guide
Now, let's get into what's new at Cyclingnews:
ENVE SES 29c tyres
ENVE brand loyalists rejoiced when news of the firm's SES rubber offering hit the market earlier this month. While the tyres represent a natural progression for the company, ENVE had to look further afield when it came to expertise, partnering with industry tyre stalwart Tufo, to help with the research and development process.
This partnership has given the Utah-based brand better control over the full wheel ecosystem, enabling it to better understand the aerodynamic process and design its wheels as a complete system rather than have to rely on third-party tyre companies. Working with leading aerodynamicist Simon Smart of Drag2Zero fame, ENVE has been able to actively manipulate the aerodynamic proficiency of the rubber profile for all makes of wheels, not just ENVE SES tyre and Foundation wheelset owners.
In terms of the rubber compound, ENVE has gone with a sticky mixture of synthetic and natural rubber - dubbed SPC Silica - to improve wet weather performance and rolling resistance. The tyre surface benefits from a laminated casing complete with a Vectran layer for improved puncture resilience. Visually, ENVE has knocked it out of the park with a complementing tan wall strip and reflective logo graphic that runs the entirety of its circumference.
While the range comprises size options spanning 25 to 30mm, ENVE sent us a pair of SES 29 tyres to test. The upshot of the larger volume tyre is claimed to increase grip as well as foster better rolling efficiency. According to ENVE, this tyre is best paired with the SES Ar wheelset, however, we'll be trying it together with a brace of ENVE Foundation 65 wheels. Are they good enough to make it into our best road bike tyres buyer's guide? Full review coming soon. - Aaron Borrill
- Price: £70 / $75 / €75
- Type: Clincher, tubeless
- Size: 700 x 29c
- Weight: 280g (actual)
Fizik Antares Versus Evo R3 Adaptive saddle
I'm a big fan of the Fizik Antares Adaptive saddle but never really gelled with the milky-lime-green colour of the 3D-printed lattice - and that's probably the only area I can fault it if I'm honest. In my review, I called its appearance polarising as it certainly divides opinion - some like it while others don't. I wasn't alone in my opinion and it appears as though Fizik has answered the requests from enthusiasts the world over by adding two additional Adaptive saddles to the line-up, the Versus Evo R1 and Versus Evo R3, both of which are available in black.
The saddle pictured here is the Versus Evo R3. Visually it's virtually identical to the 00 model, retaining the same shape, central channel and zonal cushioning as before - the only real difference coming in the form of the new, stealthy-looking black lattice. The disparities are prominent when it comes to the details. The Versus Evo R3 Adaptive is built around a plastic platform so the texture is a little different. There's also a vented cutout at the rear.
Turning the saddle over reveals the biggest disparity in terms of design and material. Here you'll notice the full extent of the plastic undercarriage including the addition of hollow Kium rails which are neatly packed into plastic sleeves at each end. While these tweaks have significantly dropped the asking price, it has also culminated in a substantial weight gain - 215g vs the 00's 153g.
Whether or not Fizik will eventually offer the halo Fizik Antares Versus Evo 00 Adaptive saddle in same black colour scheme, I'm not entirely sure but going this route would surely up its appeal to a broader audience, despite the hefty asking price. Speaking of pricing, the Versus Evo R3 retails for £249 which, while still expensive, is a staggering £121 cheaper than the 00. We'll be pitting it head-to-head against the Specialized Power Mirror saddle and Versus Evo 00 Adaptive so be sure to check back for the full verdict. - Aaron Borrill
- RRP: £249 / €249
- Weight: 215g (actual)
- Dimensions: 274x139mm
- Rails: Kium
- Shell: Plastic
- Cushion: Digitally printed polymer lattice
- Colours: Black
Campagnolo Shamal Carbon Disc
Even with today's advancements of wider is faster, hookless vs hooked rims, and the ever-enjoyable tubeless debate, the launch of a new pair of wheels rarely sets the world alight on the excitement front. These launches are often predictable. There'll usually be a claim of tubeless compatibility, wider internal rim widths, and perhaps if we're going for new-wheel bingo, it'll be lighter and stiffer too.
Campagnolo's latest announcement checks off all of the above when announcing the new Shamal Carbon Disc wheelset. It features a 21mm internal width, which Campagnolo says is 'perfect' for the en-vogue trend of 25, 28 or 30mm tyres, and even suited to gravel tyres up to 50mm. There's a guarantee of complete compatibility with tubeless tyres, and both the weight saving and increased stiffness come courtesy of the patented MoMag system (which, in essence, is a hole-free upper bridge, negating the need for rim tape). All told, the wheels are perfectly on-trend and, on paper at least, sound like a contender for our guide to the best road bike wheels, and potentially even our guide to the best gravel wheels - we'll be sure to put them through their paces and find out.
However, seldom in a new wheel launch does the freehub become the main talking point, but when Campagnolo launched the new Shamal Carbon wheelset, that's exactly what happened.
Campy teased the cycling world with 'N3W', or 'Next 3 Ways', which sits alongside SRAM XDR 12-speed and Shimano HG 11-speed as the freehub options.
"N3W is our future: A single standard to manage all the Campagnolo cassettes… present, past, and… still to come!" reads the Campagnolo website. Perhaps most intriguingly, however, is the following claim from Campagnolo. "Backward compatibility with 10-11-12 speed cassettes."
Backwards compatibility with 12-speed would suggest 13-speed is available, but so far, the maximum number of teeth you can get on a Campagnolo branded cassette is 12. Something new must be in the pipeline, and we'll be sure to bring you the details when we know more. - Josh Croxton
- RRP: €1,299
- Weight claimed: 1,585g
- Weight actual: 1,624g
- Depth: Front 35mm, Rear 40mm
- Internal width: 21mm
- External width: 28.1mm
- Spokes: 24/24
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