Hello dear readers and welcome to this week’s edition of First Look Friday. We’ve got a jam-packed edition today, with some rather divisive white tires from Schwalbe, shiny new sunglasses from Rapha to shield your eyes from the glare of said tires, a cool tool roll from Wizard Works and a tasty vegan nutrition on bike.
If that’s not enough, you’re in for a treat – this week has been jam-packed with new tech from the world of cycling.
We finished last week with our coverage of the Cycle Show 2022 at Alexandra Palace in London. Some of the big news includes the release of Chris King’s first-ever wheelset to use his own rims, Reilly’s aero titanium bike, and the re-entry of Mini Cooper (yes, that Mini Cooper) into the cycling market. Cannondale also leaked details on their updated Topstone Alloy gravel bike.
This week saw the release of Quoc’s SPD compatible Chelsea boots, news that Wahoo has purchased RGT Cycling and Cadex teasing a new wide stance triathlon/time trial bike.
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Schwalbe Pro One x Spartacus tires
This set of white Schwalbe Pro One tires was among the eye-catching tech on display at last week’s Cycle Show at London’s Alexandra Palace.
This limited edition x Spartacus pays tribute to the great Fabian Cancellara. The white color is inspired by the World Time Trial Champion jersey that Spartacus wore for four seasons.
Look closely and you’ll see colored stripes on the flanks: yellow for Cancellara’s 29 days in the Yellow Jersey of the Tour de France, red for his Swiss nationality and blue for the Tour of Flanders which he won three times. Together they make up the colors of the flag of West Flanders.
Speaking to BikeRadar at the Cycle Show, Schwalbe’s Tim Ward said creating a white tire was “technically more difficult” than black.
In a standard tyre, he explained: “There is a carbon black filler that goes into the rubber compound, which gives you the color black.
“Moving away from that means using more silica, which gives more grip but encourages the rate of wear.
“The carbon black filler also helps protect the rubber in the tire from UV degradation, and if you remove it, you have to use other compounds to replace them.
“Technically, in terms of construction, the tire is not very different from a normal Pro One.
“But the white rubber compound is, and it’s technically more difficult to make it performance-level with a normal black rubber compound.”
Schwalbe says the 28mm Pro One x Spartacus tires are designed to run tubeless and feature Addix Race Compound for “minimum rolling resistance and maximum grip.”
- €72.50 each, limited to 2,000 pieces
Wizard Works Mag-Neato Tool Roll
Some riders prefer a tool bag over a saddle bag to carry riding essentials. The best bike saddle bags might be roomy and have a zipper for added security, but I still find them rocking and rattling my multi-tool.
Like other tool rolls, the Wizard Works Mag-Neato Tool Roll straps wrap through the saddle rails.
The straps attach to the back of the bag with a magnetic Fidlock buckle. Wizard Works says this clasp is “super secure”, so it should be fine for road bikes and gravel riding.
Measuring 27cm wide and 23cm high when deployed, the Wizard Works Mag-Neato has four pockets to divide your items. There is room for a large inner tube, tire levers, a multi-tool and gas canisters or a small pump.
The pockets are cordura, which stretches quite a bit, according to Wizard Works. The outer fabric of the Mag-Neato is also Cordura and the roller is lined with a recycled polyester “for added durability”.
Rapha Explore Sunglasses
Rapha is targeting the gravel and bikepacking market with these Explore sunglasses.
Unlike most of the best cycling glasses, which are road-oriented, the Explores are designed “for off-road riding and all-day adventures,” according to the brand.
Rapha says the Explore sunglasses are made from “lightweight and durable” injection molded Grilamid. There is no bar under the lens so as not to interfere with your field of vision.
The lens also features the brand’s Rider Optimized Surface Enhancement technology. Rapha claims this increases contrast on all road surfaces, allowing you to spot hazards sooner and see more clearly.
Additionally, the lenses are said to be scratch resistant and repel dust and spray without fogging up.
The bronze lens I chose let in 12% light, slightly more than the 10% of the black lens. All pairs come with interchangeable clear lenses, which take seconds to light up.
Rapha says the Megol arm clamps help the Explore sunglasses stay on your face when riding off-road. You can also hang the removable safety strap around your neck. Bracelet included, the Explore weighs 32g.
- £130 / $180 / AU$230 / €155
Rawvelo Discovery Pack
Rawvelo makes vegan and organic sports nutrition products that it says “support your performance while pleasing your taste buds”. The endurance-focused company has been around since 2018, but was rebranded this year.
The brand also claims that its “100% natural” products are packed with energy and easy to digest. Rawvelo claims its range is more nutritious than most sports nutrition – the base of the bars are dates and almonds, while its hydration blends are mostly coconut water.
Rawvelo is a member of the 1% for the Planet business collective, which pledges to donate 1% of its income to help solve environmental problems. He says the sachet and bar packaging are easily recyclable and the gel packs can be sent back to the company for recycling.
The discovery pack is a selection of Rawvelo’s best-selling products. For £11.99 you get three bars, two gels and a hydration pack.
Mine includes classic flavors such as Chocolate, Orange, and Peanut Butter Jelly Bars, as well as more unusual flavors, such as Blueberry Hibiscus Caffeine Gel.
As a typical example of Rawvelo’s ingredients, a 45g chocolate and nut bar is made primarily from organic date paste, ground almonds, walnuts and cocoa powder sweetened with maple syrup. It packs a nutritional punch, with 199 calories, 23.4g carbs (17.1g sugar), and 4.3g protein.