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.
It's been full-steam-ahead this week at Cyclingnews. We kicked things off with a review from Guy Kesteven on Zipp's 303 Firecrest wheels and followed that up with a comprehensive range overview of Look's road pedal portfolio as well as a buyer's guide detailing BMC's road bike range.
There was also a string of industry news that started with Pinarello's updated Prince and reintroduction of the Paris platform. Merida dropped the covers off its all-new Scultura Endurance bike, Canyon unveiled the Grail:On e-gravel bike, Fizik updated its 3D-printed Adaptive line-up with a new black colourway and Cervelo revealed its all-new terrain-conquering Caledonia.
In between all the madness, we were still able to churn out some valuable buying advice on the best gravel bike shoes on the market. Our senior writer, Graham Cottingham, tested eight of the leading gravel shoes and pitted them head-to-head in a quest to establish a winner. Looking for a new pair of shoes for the daily commute? Our freelance tech wizard, Lance Branquinho, penned a detailed guide on the best commuter shoes currently available - check it out.
We also published an array of expertly curated buyer's guides to help you make an informed decision when it comes to your next cycling purchase. So if you're in the market for a new road or time-trial bike make sure you scroll through the following guides:
Now, let's get into what's new at Cyclingnews:
Hope RD40 carbon wheelset
The Hope RD40 carbon is a versatile lightweight wheelset that can be used across myriad platforms including road, gravel and cyclo-cross bikes. Weighing in at 1,492g (actual) these hoops are a genuine climbing option that can double up for use at criteriums and road races. The rim profile measures 40mm deep which should provide a decent mix of straight-line speed and resistance to cross-winds.
The wheels are manufactured using unidirectional carbon fibre and assembled at the Hope factory in Barnoldswick using Sapim CX-Ray Aero black straight spokes and RS4 straight-pull centre-lock 24-hole hubs. The anodised hubs can be personalised in up to six different colours - ours came adorned in a blingy gold-orange.
They're also tubeless tyre compatible and come standard with rim tape and tubeless valves. The tubeless conversion process took a little over 10 minutes per wheel and was very easy to set up. Hope also included a brace of 160mm Road CL rotors as well as the company's new CNC-machined centre-lock lock rings, both of which can be customised to match your hubs. The lock rings weigh just 9.5g and cost £8 / $10 / €8 per unit.
Available in 700c format only, the wheels feature a contemporary 26.5mm external and 19mm internal width. Each wheelset is supplied with QR and 12mm end caps to suit all axle standards. We will be putting these wheels through their paces over the coming months so be sure to check back for the final verdict. – Aaron Borrill
- Price: £590.00 / €740.00 / $750.00 (front), £660.00 / €820.00 / $830.00 (rear)
- Depth: 40mm
- Weight: 1,492 (actual)
- Tyre format: Clincher, tubeless
- Rim width: 19mm (internal)
- Spoke count: 24 front/rear
Stolen Goat gravel shorts and merino jersey
If you have read our gravel bike clothing guide you will no doubt be familiar of the broad range of clothing styles there are available for riding gravel bikes. While lycra is a popular choice for many off-road drop bar riders there are still plenty of occasions when a more relaxed dress code is desired.
Stolen Goat's gravel casual clothing range consists of a jersey, shorts and a water-resistant hoodie that will also happily take on any commuting or light mountain biking needs as well.
The jersey is a polyester/merino mix and has a soft and pleasant lightweight feel to the material. To further improve the relaxed feel of the jersey it doesn't feature any pockets so you will need to pack your saddle bag. Thanks to the thermoregulation properties of merino, the jersey should help maintain a comfortable temperature if the sun ducks behind the clouds. The cut isn't obviously bike orientated however a subtle drop tail and reflective detailing add on the bike performance.
Stolen Goat's gravel shorts are a baggy short that is designed to work well on the bike without looking out of place if you like to stop for a pub lunch mid-ride. Made from four-way stretch Cationic Fabric, the legs sit just above the knee for restriction-free pedalling. The shorts closure is handled by a zipped fly and a flap with two firm poppers. The waist has a decent amount of adjustment using elasticated velcro adjusters in the waistband. Two fairly large zipped thigh pockets (with reflective detailing), two front pockets and two small rear pockets offer storage for phone, keys and money. The shorts don't include a built-in pad but can be worn over regular bib shorts if extra comfort is needed.
Stolen Goat offers men and women versions of its gravel shorts while the jerseys are unisex. The shorts come in a grey colour so that they are likely to match your existing wardrobe and there is a choice of five different jersey designs. – Graham Cottingham
- Best gravel bikes (opens in new tab): Fun and fast adventure bikes for your next off-road ride
- Best budget gravel bikes (opens in new tab): Gravel grinding on a budget
- Gravel ride essentials checklist (opens in new tab)
- Price: £65.00
- Material: 4-way stretch Cationic Fabric
- Colours: Grey
Merino gravel jersey
- Price: £65.00
- Material: Shetland Island merino
- Colours: Red, blue, fluke grey, gritty blue, ronin
LuxCreo Lab Bisca360 3D-printed shoes
We don't usually feature non-cycling equipment here on Cyclingnews but these new kicks from LuxCreo Lab really piqued our interest and for one reason only - they're 3D-printed. The whole 3D-printing concept has become increasingly de rigueur in the cycling world of late with companies such as Fizik and Specialized embracing the concept with their respective Antares Versus Evo 00 Adaptive and Power Mirror 3D-printed saddles.
Based out of Silicon Valley and Beijing, LuxCreo Lab is an award-winning company that provides 3D-printed services to the medical, robotics, automotive, aerospace and athletics fields. The shoes you see here are called the Bisca360 and could prove to be the ideal off-the-bike/podium shoe for cyclists.
Combining a waterproof, nano-fabric outer material with 3D-printed outsoles, the Bisco360 is touted by LuxCreo Lab as the world's first waterproof 3D-printed shoes. They feature a slip-on design which ensconces the foot for extra support while retention is taken care of by traditional laces. They have also been designed with the environment in mind - LuxCreo Lab has committed to using sustainable materials thereby reducing 30-40% of waste in the supply chain.
The 3D-printed sole is manufactured using the company's patented Light Enabled Additive Production (LEAP) to craft a continuous and seamless lattice - the structure interlinks to create a weave-like pattern that is both intriguing to look at and functional. LuxCreo Lab claims the sole 'compresses in response to pressure, protecting the knee from both repetitive impact and static strain'.
While I'm yet to put the waterproof claims to the test I'll be using the Bisca360 over the coming months which will include a British winter and plenty miles at WorldTour races, trade shows and causal events. The shoes will initially be offered in two colourways (dark and light) with sizing options that span EU38-48. – Aaron Borrill
- Price: $109
- Weight: 460g (actual) per shoe
- Outsole: 3D-printed
- Colours: 2, dark and light
- Sizes: EU38-EU48
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