Just arrived at Merlin Cycles! Here’s a look at some of the top products that have caught our eye over the last couple of weeks, including the hot new Giro Aether MIPS road bike helmet, some brilliant heated cycling gloves and our own Merlin carbon cyclocross bike….
This new Giro Aether helmet has been getting a lot of attention from our resident roadies in the Merlin office and warehouse thanks to its good looks, light weight and the new MIPS® Spherical Technology which takes the MIPS concept to a new level, offering even more protection from angled impacts but in a much more sophisticated and stylish way than other MIPS helmets. Instead of a plastic slip-plane inside the helmet for the new Giro Aether MIPS helmet Giro have created two separate layers of EPS foam which become the slip-plane at the same time as being an integral part of the helmet, providing more protection without any obstruction to comfort or ventilation. The Giro Aether design allows the exterior liner and helmet shell to rotate independently around your head during an angled impact helping to reduce rotational forces. The Giro Aether is available in a range of colours to choose from including a classic matt black and a hi-vis yellow option.
The Castelli Alpha RoS Light cycling jacket has been a welcome piece of kit over the last few weeks when temperatures have fluctuated widely anywhere from 12º to 5º during rides that have included quick showers or more persistent rain. Castelli call it a light jacket, but the comfort range is surprising, coping with temperatures where you might normally reach for a full protection jacket while still being breathable enough to keep you comfortable on warmer wet weather days. RoS stands for Rain or Shine which is exactly where this jacket excels, in mixed conditions it prevents you from the cycle of overheating and cooling, which can lead to becoming chilled from the inside. When cooler conditions arrive the Windstopper® 150 front and sleeves keeps the wind-chill and rain out at the same time as letting body moisture escape.
Muc-Off have recently branched out into body-care with a range designed specifically for cyclists and we’re pleased to say there’s some really nice user-friendly products included. Developed in close association with some of the most successful professional cycling teams in the peloton this chamois cream is part of Muc Off’s Athlete Performance range; this is a high-performance chamois cream that’s been formulated to deeply moisturise your skin for total riding comfort and protection, particularly on long-distance rides. Muc-Off’s special formula is enriched with Provitamins, uses natural ingredients and creates a mild cooling effect while riding; the cream forms a protective barrier which helps prevent skin damage on sensitive areas and it’s also anti-bacterial. Saddle sores happen to the best of us, if you’re having problems then give Muc-Off Athlete Performance Chamois Cream a try.
If you’re into gravel riding and are spending long hours in the saddle exploring remote tracks and trails then why not check out these special shoes from Giro. The Empire VR70 Knit MTB shoes are a new approach to off-road footwear; featuring Giro’s high-tech engineered Xnetic™Knit upper the Empire VR70 combines comfort and breathability with great fit thanks to its bonded TPU exoskeletal system which provides support where you need it. A key feature of the Giro Empire VR70 is the closed stretch-knit ankle cuff which provides superior comfort, additional support and protection from the elements out on the gravel tracks. All of this is built on top of a stout Easton® EC70 carbon fibre sole that offers pro-level stiffness when pedaling combined with a moulded Vibram® rubber outsole for enhanced grip when you’re off the bike.
Our new super-lightweight Merlin CX.04 carbon cyclocross bike has been built to handle any of the course-conditions thrown at you in a typical cyclocross season. Packed full of user-friendly features to help you race more effectively, we’ve enhanced the mud-clearance in the rear of the frame by using bridgeless seatstays and chainstays to eliminate the potential for the build-up of mud keeping your wheels rolling even in the heaviest races and included a flattened top-tube profile that sits neatly on your shoulder when you’re carrying the bike. The CX.04 is specced with a threaded bottom bracket shell to allow you to quickly and conveniently change bearings without the need for expensive press-fit bearing tools and Sram’s excellent Force 1 hydraulic disc brake groupset which features a simple single chainring upfront and a clutch-mech rear derailleur to ensure your chain always remains taut and is never unshipped even on the roughest cross courses. We’ve also included Sram Force hydraulic disc brakes to provide effortless, confidence-inspiring control in any race conditions. A choice of finishing components lets you customise the finer details of this great handling carbon cyclocross bike before our Merlin workshop technicians custom build your bike to your own spec. Choose your preferred wheelset, tyre choice, stem-length, handlebar profile and more to tailor your dream cyclocross race bike.
Check out this Fizik Aliante R1 carbon rail saddle which is Fizik’s top of the range saddle for this particular shape. The Aliante is one of Fizik’s three ‘Spine Concept™’ men’s road saddle shapes; of these three, the Aliante R1 shape, known as the ‘Bull’ is the widest and most longitudinally waved. The Aliante R1 has been cleverly profiled to support cyclists with less spinal flexibility who are prone to rotating their pelvis fully to compensate when riding in an aggressive head down position on the bike. The Aliante’s lightweight shell is made from carbon composite with a co-injected nylon Twin Flex™ ‘sweet spot’ at the centre combined with carbon braided saddle rails. Super-lightweight and comfortable over long distances this is a great upgrade for your road bike.
Expecting some REALLY cold weather? If you’re the type of cyclist who is determined to ride outside all year round regardless of bad weather and low temperatures then a pair of Sealskinz Cold Weather USB heated cycling gloves would be a useful addition to your kit bag. Featuring the latest wearable technology this clever glove includes a heating element built into the shell fabric which can be activated when you need it; choose from multiple temperatures using the integrated control switch giving three power settings: low, medium and high, with 5-6hrs run time. The Sealskinz Cold Weather glove is easy to recharge with a 4V 2200mAh Polymer rechargeable battery unit located inside the Velcro pocket of each cuff and comes with a convenient to use USB charger. These cold weather gloves are 100% waterproof, windproof and breathable; a reflective liner reflects body heat for added warmth and Primaloft Gold provides excellent levels of insulation while maintaining high levels of breathability. If you’re serious about your winter riding and don’t hesitate to get out even when temperatures are below zero then these Sealskinz Cold Weather USB heated cycling gloves would be a worthwhile investment.