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.
But first, let's look back at a busy week at Cyclingnews. There were two stunning galleries from Colin of his new Trek Emonda and Aeolus RSL 37 wheels. He also shared his thoughts of the Garmin Edge 830. Josh also gave us a closer look at his latest ride, the Canyon Grail CF SLX, as well as his opinions on Enve's Road bar and stem.
A couple of new launches caught our eyes, too. The new Specialized Epic tempted our road-racing sentimentalities to the dark side, but they were steered back on track when Officina Battaglin blended old with new, pairing a steel frame with an integrated cockpit.
Now, let's get into what's new at Cyclingnews:
Nike SuperRep Cycle indoor cycling shoes
Indoor cycling is here to stay and the rise of this new discipline has spawned a plethora of new kit and component variations, such as these new Nike SuperRep Cycle indoor cycling shoes. Nike is no stranger to the cycling industry - the company was a major force during the late eighties, nineties and early noughties where it rose to prominence through its range of MTB-specific shoes as well as the Lance Armstrong era. Who can forget the Nike Lance cycling shoe?
Despite several experimental concepts and collaborations with pro riders such as Adam Blythe and Mark Cavendish - all of which were based around the Mercurial blueprint - Nike hasn't actively been involved in mainstream cycling for the past decade. Well, until now that is. These are the new Nike SuperRep Cycle indoor cycling shoes and, while they may not represent an out-and-out comeback for Nike, they do hint at the American shoe giant's possible reassociation with the sport.
As the name suggests, these indoor cycling shoes are based on Nike's SuperRep line of fitness kicks but feature a distinct cycling twist. They are available in two colour options for men (black and white) and three for women (black, white, and red). Contemporary in appearance, the design style incorporates textural patterns and is layered with a contrasting black/red theme that runs throughout the shoe, replete with Nike swoosh on each side.
Two Velcro straps take care of retention and supply a degree of adjustability. That said, on-the-fly tweaks may pose an issue as the ambient temperature rises and your feet begin to swell - particularly if you're using these shoes during high-intensity interval training or Zwift racing. In terms of fit, initial impressions are good. The shoes are pretty comfortable and while we haven't put them through their paces IRL yet, our full review will cover this along with how they cope when it comes to power transfer.
The SuperRep Cycle's trump card, however, hinges more around its superlative levels of ventilation rather than outright performance. The shoes naturally feature a highly breathable, fabric mesh upper complete with venting channels in the sole. As far as performance goes there's no carbon-fibre outsole - instead, the SuperRep uses a heat-moulded nylon plastic half-sole around the forefoot area to take care of power transfer. Torsional stiffness - as expected - is lacking somewhat and the heel area flexes from side to side when manipulated by hand.
At 544g a pair (272g per shoe) they're not particularly the lightest shoes around but they're certainly not the heaviest either. The shoe uses an adaptable cleat insert plate that will play nicely with both three-bolt road and two-bolt mountain bike cleat styles while rubber tread blocks located on the heel and toe provide off-the-bike traction.
Nike's SuperRep Cycle indoor cycling shoes will set you back $120 a pair. Be sure to check back soon for our full review. - Aaron Borrill
- RRP: $120 / £104.95
- Sizes: EU40.5 - EU49.5
- Weight: 544g (actual, size 42)
- Colours: 3
- Retention: Velcro
- Sole: Nylon
Albion's jersey, ABR-1 bib shorts and Burner
I've just received delivery of a few of Albion's new arrivals; the short sleeve jersey, ABR-1 bib shorts, and the one that's likely to grab your attention the most, the Burner.
To protect the environment, all of the above are made from recycled materials and further adding to the sustainability, no single-use plastics are used in Albion's packaging or fulfillment.
The jersey has a form-fitting, race-ready cut. The material has a high stretch, meaning there this no obvious pinch or likely chafe points. It comes with the usual three pockets at the back, a gripper at the lower back, and on-trend just-above-the-elbows sleeve length. The Burnt Yellow colourway really is lovely, and it's the perfect accompaniment to a sunny ride. So much so, I'm crediting this week's heatwave weather to its arrival. However, if you want something with a little less saturation, you can also have it in blue or khaki.
The shorts also use a blend of recycled materials that combine to create a four-way stretch. A mesh back panel aids airflow and heat management, while large silicone grippers keep the legs in place. There is reflective detailing throughout to aid low-light visibility, and the pad is ever-so-slightly forward in position compared to most, making for a comfortable pair of bib shorts in even the most aggressive of riding positions.
The headline-grabber here, though, is the Burner, which will undoubtedly divide opinions. Some would say it's just an expensive copy of La Gazzetta, as it's sole purpose is to be stuffed inside your jersey to add an extra layer of wind block and warmth, just like the pros do before descending off a mountain. However, I can see numerous uses for it such as early starts and late finishes, inclement days, and of course, mountain days. It weighs a mere 18 grams and packs down to the size of a tangerine, so it's considerably more packable than a spare jacket. - Josh Croxton
- RRP: Jersey £90.00 / Shorts £125.00 / Burner £35.00 ($ n/a / € n/a)
- Sizes: Jersey XS - XL / Shorts XS - XL / Burner / one-size
- Colours: Jersey 3 / Shorts 1 / Burner 2
Fizik Terra Powerstrap X4
While most manufacturers are playing with boa dials and lace systems as their preferred method of closure, Fizik has taken a rather unexpected turn and chosen Velcro for their dedicated gravel shoe. These days Velcro has been relegated to the budget and entry-level market however that isn’t to say it doesn’t have the potential to offer some huge benefits if done right. The X4 Powerstrap features two wide velcro straps for closure that give a huge surface area for a very secure even closure. The lower strap feeds through two loops across the toe area to give better adjustability to the instep and midfoot than a traditional strap.
Fizik says the nylon sole features targetted stiffness which presumably improves the walking profile whilst keeping a stiff pedalling platform. A fairly smooth minimal rubber tread recesses the cleat and is used to create toe and heel pads to further improve grip when off the bike. The toe section features reinforcement to help shrug off any rocks that may be kicked up by the tyres and the heels are fairly stiff as well for support
We also have a pair of Terra X5 shoes in for testing, which as a lightweight mountain bike shoe creates an overlap in the Fizik range for gravel riders. While the X4 Powerstrap is a dedicated gravel shoe, will the similarly priced but Boa equipped Terra X5 beat it at its own game, we will be putting both to the test to find out which one is best.
Fizik Terra Powerstrap X4's come in at $149 and are available in all black, anthracite / grape or a rather pleasing mud / caramel. For those looking for an extra colourway PEdALED has partnered with Fizik to create a run of Terra Powerstrap X4 shoes to match PEdALED's Jary range. - Graham Cottingham
- RRP: £149.99 / US$149 / €149
- Weight: 292g (size 42, per shoe)
- Sizes: EU36 - EU48
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