Weekly Reviews Roundup #9 and #10

A double whammy of reviews this week seeing as we accidentally neglected to do a round up last week. POC, Fizik, Sportful, Shimano SPDs, Kinesis, Zipp, Transition, Dura Ace and more.

13552_poc_essential_short_sleeve_cycling_jerseyPOC Essential jersey – Cycling Weekly

Read the review | Buy it here (this is an old post and the linked content no longer exists)

“POC’s approach to clothing has left them with a kit that performs exceptionally well, and in our opinion, looks the part too. The materials in evidence here all work exceptionally well, from the compressive shorts to the very lightweight top, which offers great heat distribution in summer months. We loved the waist and leg grippers that really held on tight, as well as the stylish reflective panels on the rear.”

18436_selle_italia_flite_team_edition_flow_black_saddleSelle Italia SLR Flow saddle – Cycling Weekly

Read the review | Buy it here (this is an old post and the linked content no longer exists)

“Established in 1897, Selle Italia knows a thing or two about making saddles. Since its inception in 2000, the SLR profile has become hugely popular in the pro ranks. In fact, according to Selle Italia it is the most demanded saddle by professional cyclists. ‘Flow’ denotes the cutout, which is mainly in place to eliminate pressure points. Selle Italia also produces the SLR in both larger and no-cutout versions, as well as this Selle Italia SLR Team Edition Flow model.”

12895_fizik_arione_r5_saddle_with_k_ium_railsFizik Arione R5 saddle – Cycling Weekly

Read the review | Buy it here

“According to Fizik’s Spine Concept guidelines it will best suit ‘snakes’ — flexible riders who adopt a low, aggressive position on the bike. Through our experiences, we would agree. However, the Arione is also a fairly narrow saddle, so it will also suit riders who have narrower sit-bones. A nifty feature not to be overlooked is Fizik’s integrated clip system that allows for easy fitment of saddle bags and lights.”

17688_sportful_r_d_speed_skin_cycling_jerseySix Essential Spring Cycling Accessories – RCUK

Read the review

A lengthy compendium of recommended clobber and kit. Sportful’s NoRain arm warmers and knee warmers are specifically in the mix and there’s heavy mention of their R&D collection too. Castelli are well represented with a definite thumbs up for their Nanoflex range of stuff. On the lighting front, Cateye’s Nima (this is an old post and the linked content no longer exists) light get a nod, as do Lezyne’s super stylin’ Femto lights. And finally there’s Knog, whose Blinder 4 LED rear lights are recommended by RCUK.

17408_sportful_windstopper_reflex_cycling_bootieSportful WindStopper Reflex Booties – RCUK

Read the review | Buy it here 

“The Sportful WS Bootie Reflex overshoes incorporate a number of nice touches into a mid-range package good for winter, early spring or late autumn rides, unless it’s seriously cold. The Sportful WS Reflex Booties are one of the most comfortable pairs of overshoes I’ve worn, no doubt helped by the lack of bulk and the stretchiness of the Gore Windstopper 4-Way Warm fabric used in the majority of their construction. The provide ample warmth for early spring, late autumn or milder winter rides when it’s dry or damp out, but there are warmer – and bulkier – options for really cold conditions.”

15254_sportful_r_d_long_sleeved_wind_cycling_jerseySportful R&D Long Sleeve Wind jersey – RCUK

Read the review | Buy it here (this is an old post and the linked content no longer exists)

“The Sportful R&D Long Sleeve Wind Jersey strikes it rich with a tricky trifecta, combining low weight with impressive insulation and first-class breathability. The fit is superb, too, and there’s a lot of attention to detail. The Sportful R&D Long Sleeve Wind Jersey combines jacket-like performance in a jersey which is warm and light to wear, without giving up anything in the breathability. While we’re not keen on the thumb loops, there’s also a lot of top-notch attention to detail. A genuinely superb piece of kit for cool or cold, dry days.”

6959_shimano_xt_m785_trail_spd_pedalsShimano XT Trail SPD pedals – Pinkbike

Read the review | Buy it here

“Having spent multiple seasons on both the XT Trail and XTR Trail pedals, I can confirm that the functionality of both is virtually the same, and I’d challenge anyone to tell the difference between the two models when they’re both underfoot, regardless of any differences in design. That means that the XT Trail pedal has the same unmistakable, loud ‘click’ that you can easily feel through the soles of your shoes when you’re locked into them, and the release action offers the same positive stop before unlatching.”

18420_kinesis_racelight_t2_complete_bikeKinesis Racelight T2 – Cycling Weekly

Read the review | Buy it here

“The Kinesis Racelight T2 is an aluminium all-rounder that specialises as a winter trainer has been resprayed and up-specced for 2015, but is still priced at a penny under £1,000. The Kinesis T2 is already a popular winter training bike. Kinesis has a good reputation with UK riders for creating bikes specifically suited to British riding conditions. With this new, improved spec we would expect it to be even more popular. The T2 in this build offers excellent value for money, and the two most important elements — the frame and the gears — are spot on. This could almost be the perfect winter bike: tough, reliable, fast and cheap enough to not worry about when road conditions turn really nasty.”

18653_gore_bike_wear_oxygen_2_0_gore_tex_active_shell_cycling_jacketGore Oxygen 2.0 Gore-Tex Active jacket – Bikeradar

Read the review | Buy in store only (this is an old post and the linked content no longer exists)

“The top choice for both road and mountain bikers is the Gore Oxygen 2.0. It scored five stars out of five in tests by both Cycling Plus and Mountain Biking UK magazines, with the former saying: “Gore-Tex is the byword for waterproofing, and the Active version used on the Oxygen 2.0 is outstanding at keeping rain out. It breathes brilliantly too, is light, and is packed with well thought-out features”. The latter called it: “quite simply outstanding.” This is the result of the key elements of waterproofing, breathability and fit coming together perfectly, yet there’s still more to this fantastic jacket.”

16159_zipp_202_carbon_clincher_disc_brake_front_wheelZipp 202 Firecrest CCL Disc wheels – BikeRadar

Read the review | Buy it here

“On the road, the 202’s proven stability and responsiveness is undimmed, the front feeling crisp when turning in, and acceleration lively. They suit 25mm or larger tyres, and on rolling terrain the low rotational mass makes them rapid ascenders, while their stability inspires descending and cornering confidence. Knowing you have consistently reliable brakes beneath you removes any potential carbon braking issues – and keeps your rims looking immaculate.”

13549_poc_octal_helmetPOC Octal helmet – BikeRadar

Read the review | Buy it here (this is an old post and the linked content no longer exists)

“The POC Octal has certainly divided opinions within the cycling community with its bright and unusual looks. Some say it’s the best looking helmet on the market, while others would rather see it killed with fire. It features 21 vents, so not pushing the boundary for number of holes but POC has opted for quality over quantity, and the holes are so massive that there’s nearly more vent than helmet! This allows plenty of heat to escape and the deep full-length internal channels allow air to flow through the shell freely.”

11784_troy_lee_a1_trail_helmetTroy Lee Designs A1 Trail helmet – Dirt

Read the review | Buy it here (this is an old post and the linked content no longer exists)

“The A1 has placed Troy Lee Designs bang in the middle of the trail lid market, in the company of brands like Bell and POC they have delivered a helmet that is bang up to date with the current needs of trail riding. The styling is not led by the A1′s full face siblings but developed from it, the form has been worked on to create a safe and stylish option for any rider out there. For riding in the UK where we can be more accustomed to pads being wet with rain not sweat the A1 sings, styles for everyone, you can’t go far wrong picking up an A1 but if you are a Peaty, Fairclough or Gwin fan then you probably already have?”

10514_shimano_dura_ace_9000_groupsetShimano Dura Ace 9000 long term review – VeloNews

Read the review | Buy it here

“Two years, over 10,000 miles, one conclusion: Shimano’s Dura-Ace 9000 mechanical group is the best human-powered drivetrain the world has ever seen. The question, then, is why go Dura-Ace? If you are consumed by weight-weenieism, you’re probably already salivating at Red or Record. The answer is simple: if you can afford it, there is nothing better. The improvements over Ultegra are slim, but we ignore the law of diminishing returns every day, when buying cars, groceries, and certainly bike parts. If you must have Dura-Ace, buy it. Just throw an Ultegra cassette on there, please.”

16585_transtion_scout_mountain_bike_frameTransition Scout first ride – BikeRadar

Read the review | Buy it here

“What we really liked though was the smooth, progressive stroke that uses every inch of the bike’s travel yet feels like it has even more to offer. This leads you to ride the bike harder and harder on every run, and the Scout just laps it up. There’s a tiny bit of cable rattle, but careful ziptie-ing where the cables enter the frame fixes this. The 140mm travel Pike handles the hits impressively too, and sticking a fork with a stiff chassis on a short-travel bike only further elevates the Scout’s razzing credentials.”

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