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.
Selle Italia SP-01 Boost Tekno Superflow saddle
As far as the best road bike saddles go the Selle Italia P-01 Boost Tekno Superflow is as close to pornography as you can get. Tipping the scales at a scant 117g (actual) it's certainly one of the lightest mainstream offerings around. While it's likely to appeal more to the gram counter than weekend racer, Selle Italia claims the P-01 Boost represents 'the perfect union between comfort and performance'.
Designed in consultation with Dallara, an Emilia-Romagna-based firm known for its carbon-fibre wizardry in the automotive sector, the goal was to create a saddle that pushed the boundaries both in terms of design and function. It certainly looks spectacular and could easily pass as a display sculpture it's so beautiful - just look at raw, shimmering Textreme carbon weave of the outer shell. The undercarriage is more functional in appearance, utilising sections of unidirectional fibre blended with the same Textreme weave of the exterior. It's all very pretty, but is it comfortable?
Well - we've only spent a few hours testing it to date (it arrived just a few days ago) but initial impressions are positive. While the P-01 Boost saddle is notably firm, comfort has been dialled into the saddle's anatomy by way of flex zones or what the Italian company calls 'Suspension Link Movement' - a technology found on all Superflow saddles which softens and adapts to the pelvic movements when pedalling. This is claimed to improve lateral flexion as well as help thwart impacts and stresses caused by road imperfections.
I personally prefer my saddles to incorporate a firmer and flatter platform - so something like the P-01 Boost suits me just fine. Our particular test saddle falls on the smaller size of the saddle spectrum (130 x 245 mm) and was specially made for Cyclingnews. The Selle Italia P-01 Boost Tekno Superflow saddle is manufactured on demand and in small volumes - as expected, something of this ilk is not going to be cheap. Expect to pay upwards of £420.
A full review of the Selle Italia SP-01 Boost Tekno Superflow saddle will follow in the coming months.
- RRP: £424 / $540 / €450
- Rails: 7 x 9mm carbon
- Shell: Carbon
- Widths: 130mm, 140mm
- Size: Small (S3), large (L3)
Megmeister eco-friendly cycle jersey
German cycling clothing brand, Megmeister, has eschewed the printed polyester jersey philosophy in favour of an eco-friendly meld of dyed yarns and regenerated polyester. The cycling jersey was manufactured using techniques harnessed from producing its woven base layers - the woven nature of the fabric not only fosters better temperature management but also supplies a body-hugging fit.
The range comprises ten distinct designs featuring houndstooth print, geometric patterns or full-colour options that should appeal to most tastes. The jersey pictured here is the Premium Woven Stripe Jersey - it's available in two colourways, red or blue. Owing to the recycled nature of the yarn less ink is used in the manufacturing cycle so colour clarity is a little on the dull side. That said, the pastel red does offset the black collar, sleeves and rear pockets to great effect.
Speaking of pockets, the jersey uses a traditional three-pocket layout with the right-side doubling up as an extra storage option by way of a zipper. As far as performance goes, the jersey is impressive, to say the least.
Ventilation is great while still offering decent thermo-regulated properties for when it's a little cooler than usual. I've been using the jersey across both indoor and outdoor training sessions and can vouch for its effectiveness in combatting moisture and fluctuating temperatures. Unlike other garments that tend to retain sweat to the point of saturation the woven fabric of the Megmeister eco jersey has a tendency to stay dryer as well wick moisture away from the skin.
- RRP: £119.99 / US$150 / €119.95
- Fit: Race
- Colours: 10
- Material: Dyed yarns and regenerated polyester
- Pockets: 3
- Reflective details: Yes
Rapha Explore shoes
The amount of 'road less travelled' adventure has been curtailed of late but it won't be long till lockdown is lifted and we can go out and explore again.
Rapha's Explore shoe is an off-road shoe that the company says has been designed from the ground up for everything from bikepacking trips to ultra-endurance racing. The carbon sole has been shaped in a way that provides a stiff pedalling platform but is only used in the mid-section so that there is some flex around the heel and toes for the odd hike-a-bike. The rubber used for the sole is particularly impressive and feels soft enough to offer a good amount of grip on surfaces that are usually a death wish in cycling shoes. Rapha borrowed the rubber compound from hiking boots and say that its resistant to cuts and extremely hard-wearing.
We are big fans of lace-up shoes, especially for adventure riding. While they do take a little longer to get on or off and are annoying if they need to be tweaked mid-ride, the unlimited scope of adjustability makes a huge difference in comfort when its day three of riding on a week-long trip. Plus should you break a lace it's an easy fix - we can tell you from experience it's no fun riding 500km with a broken boa dial.
The uppers use a double-wall system where the material folds over itself to create the lace holes, this applies more even pressure when tightening and should make the shoe more robust. The one-piece microfibre upper is perforated along the inner and outer sides and on the tongue for ventilation.
The Explore shoe is finished with the typically Rapha toe strap (reflective), nice speckled details in the sole and the subtle flash of anodized titanium hardware details for the two-bolt cleat plate and toe strap loop.
- Weight: 694g (actual, 43)
- Colours: Black, white, green
- Price: £220 / $295 / AU$385 / €260
Shop at Rapha.cc
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