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The Musette: Oakley shades, gravel wheels, and nifty bike storage

A pair of red tinted sunglasses rests atop a laptop in the sunshine by a window
(Image credit: Future)

The Musette is Cyclingnews’ Friday series in which we take a quick look at some of 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 and newest accessories in the sport.

This week we've had a tasteful mix of componentry, apparel, bodily monitoring, and neat bicycle storage.

Pour yourself a coffee and treat yourself to a sneak peek at what we've been reviewing recently, hear our very first impressions, or just look at some pictures instead of getting your Friday to-do list ticked off; it's nearly the weekend after all!

Oakley Kato

A pair of red tinted sunglasses rests atop a laptop in the sunshine by a window

The latest pair of Cavendish-aided sunglasses from the giant of sports optics (Image credit: Will Jones)

Since the LeMond era, Oakley has very much woven itself into the fabric of cycling. It sponsors vast tracts of the pro peloton, along with many other pros across other disciplines. It's not all marketing hype either; Oakley has more than one pair feature in our list of the best cycling sunglasses.

Following the success of the Jawbreaker, Oakley has continued to develop its top-spec cycling glasses with Mark Cavendish, and the Kato are the latest pair to come out of the partnership. A wraparound, frameless mono-lens vaguely reminiscent of RoboCop thanks to additional nose coverage from the lens itself.

The Prizm Road lenses are pretty phenomenal in terms of clarity and contrast, and the extreme wrap of the lens means peripheral vision is the best I've experienced from any glasses to date. 

They are comfortable, and stay put even on my small head. They aren't the most adjustable glasses I've used, but being able to adjust the angle of the arms to stop the nose shield resting on my sizeable beak was useful.

The only initial issue that arose was, in more upright riding positions, wind tends to buffet under them and affect your eyes. It doesn't seem to be a problem in an aero position, but further testing is required on this front.

£241/$303 is also an awful lot of money to splash out on a pair of glasses without replaceable lenses though, no matter how good the lens is.

Hornit Clug Pro

Hornit Clug Pro bike rack

(Image credit: Aaron Borrill)

We're big fans of the Clug here at Cyclingnews and have been using the diminutive bike rack system for a while now to store all our test bikes. It really is a novel solution to organise your bike room or indoor space and the brand has improved the formula to ensure your bike stays securely positioned at all times - especially during the colder months when you spend less time riding and checking air pressures. 

The simple clip-in system of the original Clug is very good (we've had no issues with bikes falling out) but Hornit has gone the extra mile to make sure your bike wheel doesn't pop out if your air pressure does drop. The result? The Clug Pro, which uses a Fidlock magnetic winch and cord to safely stow your bike. 

It's rated to hold up to 30kg, 10kg more than the standard version, so it should play nicely even with heavier electric bikes. The Clug Pro is available in five sizes: Roadie 23mm to 32mm (1 to 1.25in), Hybrid 33mm to 43mm (1.3 to 1.7in), MTB 44mm to 57mm (1.75 to 2.25in), MTB XL 58mm to 69mm (2.3 to 2.7in) and Plus 70mm to 81mm (2.7 to 3.2in). The Roadie retails at £25.99 / $29.95 / AU$42.95.

One thing to consider is that Clug refers to actual tyre size, not stated tyre size so we recommend measuring before deciding on which version to order.

A pair of black wheels with tanwall tyres leant against a pebledash wall on some grass

(Image credit: Mildred Locke)

Parcours Alta 650b gravel wheels

Parcours Velo is a UK-based manufacturer of handbuilt carbon wheels who started out with a mission to make aerodynamics more accessible. Since then, the brand has produced an array of premium wheelsets covering road (both disc and rim) and gravel, as well as custom builds. Among the gravel range sits the Alta, which comes in both 700c and 650b options, the latter of which we have the pleasure of spending some hands-on time with.

The Alta was developed as part of the brand’s #ridefurther movement, a campaign that sought to encourage riders to push their perceived boundaries and travel further afield. What’s needed in order to do that? Among many things, a strong, sturdy and most importantly comfortable wheelset is key. Thus, the Alta was born.

We’ve not yet had a chance to mount them to a frame just yet, so our hands-on experience with them to date is off-bike. It didn’t take us long to realise though that the Parcours Alta 650b wheelset feels robust and lightweight (1,372g in total minus the tyres and sealant). The machined alloy hubs are disc centerlock and laced in a 2-cross pattern to the carbon rims using 24 Sapim CX-Ray spokes.

The hookless rim profile, with an internal width of 25mm, is designed to be used with gravel tyres ranging from 32mm all the way up to 47mm+, and it comes setup tubeless-ready. We’ve got them dressed in some lovely Hutchinson Touareg 650b x 47mm rubber ready for testing, and will be reporting back on their performance against the best gravel wheels on the market next month.

A standard build of the Alta 650b wheels costs £849, or you can opt for a Son Delux 12 dynamo hub for a total of £1,049 (approximately $1,120/$1,385).

Garmin HRM Pro heart rate monitor

A Garmin HRM Pro heart rate monitor sits on a bench

(Image credit: Josh Croxton)

The HRM Pro is Garmin's best heart rate monitor, assuming the number of features is the yardstick by which we measure. It also happens to be the most expensive, but for your investment, you get a device that takes the basics of heart rate monitor functionality and builds in a host of extra functions for multisport athletes.

For cyclists, it can pair with all of the market's best cycling computers, as well as indoor cycling apps such as Zwift using Bluetooth or ANT+ connectivity. It can be paired directly with the Garmin Connect app, supports real-time heart rate data, and can transmit heart rate variability data to compatible apps. Outside of cycling, it can track running dynamics alongside a compatible Garmin smartwatch. This gives you information such as ground contact time, cadence, stride length, vertical oscillation and running power to help you focus your training. It has an onboard memory to store data for workouts without a smartphone, and triathletes can take it into the pool without issue.

It's waterproof to 5 ATM, which means it can withstand water pressure equivalent to a depth of 50m for 10 minutes, and it's priced at £119.99 / $129.99. We're testing it as part of a new heart rate monitor group test alongside competitors from Wahoo, Polar, Hammerhead and more, so keep an eye out for that in the coming weeks.

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Will Jones
Will Jones

Will joined the Cyclingnews team as a reviews writer in 2022, having previously written for Cyclist, BikeRadar and Advntr. There are very few types of cycling he's not dabbled in, and he has a particular affection for older bikes and long lasting components. Road riding was his first love, before graduating to racing CX in Yorkshire. He's been touring on a vintage tandem all the way through to fixed gear gravel riding and MTB too. When he's not out riding one of his many bikes he can usually be found in the garage making his own frames and components as a part time framebuilder, restoring old mountain bikes, or walking his collie in the Lake District.

Height: 182cm

Weight: 72Kg

Rides: Custom Zetland Audax, Bowman Palace:R, Peugeot Grand Tourisme Tandem, 1988 Specialized Rockhopper, Stooge Mk4, Falcon Explorer Tracklocross