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.
Described as the world's first custom-fit helmet Hexr has rider safety at its core. While bereft of contemporary slip-plane liners such as MIPS or WaveCel, Hexr claims its impact control is 68% more effective than the average EPS-constructed helmet.
The secret comes in the form of a 3D-printed honeycomb structure made from Polyamide 11 - a nylon-based bioplastic. The design structure comprising hexagonal cells is proven to effectively channel energy over a larger area thereby reducing the risk of brain injury.
The USP here is the made-to-measure nature of the Hexr helmet, which is tailored to your head's unique shape. A 30,000-point 3D-mesh image is taken of your head using a scanning app on an iPad, after which the helmet is 3D-printed from the digital mould.
In terms of fit, there's nothing quite like the Hexr. There is a three-point removable retention system included in the package but it's not really necessary given the custom-fit properties of the helmet. While I did experiment using the retention system I found it to impede on the natural fit of the helmet while also causing some unnecessary restriction at the nape of the neck.
Dubbed an aero helmet, the 100% biodegradable honeycomb structure is topped by an aero shell which is both interchangeable and customisable. Removing it is a rather simple exercise but caution should be taken when removing and reattaching it correctly - the shell is very light and composed from plastic that can bend if maltreated.
I've been using the Hexr for the past six months now and have come away feeling largely impressed by what it offers - everything from the scanning procedure and theatre of the packaging to the fit and feel is up there with the major players. I've only experienced one bugbear to date - it's incompatibility with certain sunglasses caused by the lower flanks of the helmet extending only millimetres above the ears.
At a penny shy of £300 it's not the cheapest helmet option around - it's also fairly heavy at 344g. What the Hexr brings to the party, however, is unparalleled comfort thanks to its custom fit. Furthermore, if you were to crash and damage your helmet, Hexr would be able to print another one to your exact measurements at the push of a button.
Rotational safety: No
Colours: Black and white (standard), custom colours and designs available
CeramicSpeed OSPW and UFO Racing Chain
CeramicSpeed's Oversized Pulley Wheel system is undoubtedly a premium product. At €459.00 for the Shimano 11-speed-compatible OSPW and €139.00 for the UFO Racing Chain, it's reserved for those who want to eke every final watt out of their setup, and as a result, is common among time trial specialists and professional riders.
CeramicSpeed is dedicated to producing products that enable cyclists to ride faster using less energy, and claims that a complete CeramicSpeed upgrade can result in a 10-16 watt saving over a traditional setup.
The Danish company's products appear in the WorldTour on the Factor bikes of Israel Start-Up Nation, as well as in the Women's WorldTour on the Chapter2 bikes of team Bigla-Katusha. In fact, as part of its Green Campaign, the Danish company will be donating €15 (£13.27) from every sale in order to raise funds to give back to women's cycling.
The OSPW is said to offer 2-4 watts worth of drivetrain efficiency, with the 11-speed Dura-Ace model being worth 'from 2.4 watts'. It uses a 13-tooth upper pulley wheel and 19-tooth lower pulley wheel. The larger pulleys result in reduced chain-link articulation (from around 33 degrees down to 19), which in turn, means less friction.
The UFO Racing Chain is a standard Shimano 11-speed HG-901 but has been coated with CeramicSpeed's special-formula low-friction coating, claimed to save between 2-5 watts. While the chain is likely to remain serviceable for thousands of miles, the low-friction coating is claimed to last no longer than 600km, though it's said to be able to survive light showers.
RRP OSPW: €459.00 (£413.03)
RRP Racing Chain: €139.00 (£125.08)
7Mesh Horizon jersey and MK3 bib shorts
7Mesh is a Canadian brand based in British Columbia that makes technical riding kit for mountain biking, gravel and road cycling. The Horizon jersey and MK3 bib shorts are from its road collection and are aimed at long-distance riding.
The Horizon cycling jersey is made from a thermoregulating material which 7Mesh says will wick away moisture build-up if temperatures get warmer. The fit is on the looser side, making it a comfortable option for long stints or casual rides. The most interesting feature is the 7mesh Anything signature pocket panel. 7Mesh has mounted the rear pockets - three standard and two zippered - to this panel, which resists vertical stretching and is designed to float to add stability when packed full.
Designed specifically for long-distance comfort, the MK3 bib shorts use a custom Elastic Interface® chamois that uses a high-density foam for the centre channel, finished with an air-permeable top layer for better ventilation. The chamois itself is mounted on an internal hammock that's fixed around the waist and anchored at the rear, the idea is that the chamois moves with your body rather than getting shifted out of place when repositioning on the saddle.
The shoulder straps are 45mm wide and have a slight elasticity to them. The leg hems are laser cut and have a very clean raw finish, a broad silicone pattern inside the hem gently grips the leg to stop the shorts moving around.
Horizon jersey price: £99.99 / $140 / €120
MK3 bib short price: £150 / $200 / €175
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