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.
Santini Nibali Collection
Italian kit manufacturer, Santini, has joined forces with Grand-Tour-winning legend Vincenzo Nibali for its latest offering, the Nibali Collection. This partnership comes as no surprise given Santini serves as the technical partner to his current team, Trek-Segafredo.
The kit is a celebration of the Italian rider's career and service to the sport and has been designed as a limited-edition run for the spring/summer season. Naturally, it features Santini's finest materials and manufacturing technologies claimed to assist in both aerodynamics and breathability.
The entire design is loaded with references and motifs personal to Nibali's success on the bike. For starters, the dark blue is a nod to the coast of his home town in Messina, Sicily. Resting on this oceanic-inspired backdrop is the Nibali wordmark, complete with a stylistic shark logo - a tasteful touch that alludes to his nickname, il Squalo di Messina or Shark of Messina.
More subliminal, however, are the pink, yellow and red lines underneath the Nibali logo, which serve as a tasteful homage to his Grand Tour wins (Giro, Le Tour and the Vuelta) - they also double up as stylistic ocean waves.
The Nibali Collection can be purchased as individual items or a complete kit. The collection comprises a jersey, bib shorts, sleeveless base layer, gloves, socks and casquette.
Base layer: £35
Vision SC 55 wheelset
The new SC range of wheels from Vision is one of the company's lightest racing options currently available. With the growing number of riders migrating to disc-brake actuation, Vision caters for both school of thoughts with options available in rim-brake guise, too.
Developed in the wind tunnel and with real-world feedback from professional riders, the entire SC range has aerodynamics at its heart. The SC 55s are the top-tier offering and feature a contemporary 19mm internal width (24mm external) - an attribute that aids in running wider tyres and lower pressures. Naturally, the SC 55s (and entire range actually) have been built around tubeless tyres technology.
While the SC 55 disc brake option will no doubt account for a large portion of sales, the rim-brake version is still our favourite. Not only does the new carbon 'camouflage' brake track offer first-class stopping performance but the effect looks pretty, too. According to Vision, it has achieved this by using a new weave pattern while only strengthening the necessary areas to keep weight to a minimum. The wheels are compatible with both Shimano 10/11-speed and SRAM 12-speed XDR systems.
We've currently got several sets on test and will be publishing a comprehensive guide to the SL range in the next few weeks.
Spoke count: 21/24 front/rear
Tyre format: Clincher, tubeless
Rapha Pro Team Powerweave bib shorts
Back in February, Rapha announced Powerweave; a new weaving technology that allows its engineers to individually control each warp and each weft to "put support where you need it, flexibility and breathability where you don't."
The announcement came alongside the launch of Rapha's best cycling shoes to date, and in the ensuing Rapha Pro Team Powerweave shoes review, I felt they were worthy of the coveted prize of five of Cyclingnews' finest golden stars.
Now, the technology has been applied elsewhere: Enter the Rapha Pro Team Powerweave bib shorts. They will be positioned as Rapha's best bib shorts, and are claimed to be 20 per cent lighter than Rapha's Pro Team II option. In fact, for the weight weenies out there, a medium pair of Powerweave bibs tip the scales at 170g, 21 grams lighter than the aforementioned.
Thanks to the Powerweave construction, they are constructed from 50% fewer panels (down to just seven) and feature a completely redesigned chamois pad. The smaller number of panels results in fewer potentially irritating seams and a more compressive fit which is claimed to keep the new chamois pad in place. The pad is narrower and made from a 5mm thick high-density foam that is said to be lighter and more stable.
While the price of the Powerweave shoes surprised us in its competitiveness, the bib shorts have reverted to the Rapha playbook by being unapologetically expensive, emptying your pocket to the tune of £275 ($375 / AU$465 / €325).
After a couple of short test rides, I'm mightily impressed, but stay tuned as a full review is in the works.
Colours: Black, Pink (RCC members only)
Price: £275 / $375 / AU$465 / €325
Merida Adjustable Torque Tool
Sometimes it’s the simple things which make the biggest difference and having peace of mind as you quickly tightening bolts around expensive carbon components is one of them. Rather than having to look out and faff around with a full torque wrench, Merida’s Adjustable Torque Tool allows quick adjustments to preset 4nm, 5nm and 6nm settings, perfect for the majority of stem bolts and seatpost clamps.
The T-shaped handle gives a good grip when in use and is made out of a robust feeling nylon plastic. The torque settings are adjusted on the top of the tool using a 6mm hex key. A 3mm, 4mm and 5mm hex key and t25 tool are included with the extra bits neatly stored in the handle for when they are needed.
POC Define Sunglasses
POC’s Define sunglasses range seeks to strike the delicate balance between performance on the bike yet casual enough to wear every day without looking like you have stepped out of the future.
The Define glasses come with POC’s Clarity lenses were developed with optic masters Carl Zeiss to improve clarity in bright conditions. Should you need them, corrected lenses are able to be fitted to the frames.
The frames come in 6ix colours and are made from a transparent polymer called Grilamid. The nosepiece and the temples feature hydrophilic rubber grips to keep the glasses on your face whether sprinting up a climb or rattling down some gravel. Should things go wrong, the legs pop off to reduce damage in the event of a crash and simply snapped back into the screwless hinges.
Price: £150.00 / $180.00 / €170.00
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Aaron is Cyclingnews' tech editor. Born and raised in South Africa he completed his BA honours at the University of Cape Town before embarking on a career in journalism. As the former gear and digital editor of Bicycling magazine and associate editor of TopCar, he's been writing about bikes and anything with wheels for the past 16 years. A competitive racer and Stravaholic, he’s twice ridden the Cape Epic and completed the Haute Route Alps. When not riding, racing or testing bicycles in and around the UK's Surrey Hills where he now lives, he's writing about them for Cyclingnews and Bike Perfect.
Rides: Cannondale SuperSlice Disc Di2 TT, Cannondale Supersix Evo Dura-Ace Rim, Cannondale Supersix Evo Ultegra Di2 Disc, Trek Procaliber 9.9 MTB
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