1 Stop Design Build

A full-service design firm, serving all of your design News

Assos kit, a lightweight 3D-printed saddle, Chris King headset, Koo Cosmo sunglasses and Patagonia trousers 

Although Christmas is now in the past and the New Year almost upon us, we have one bonus batch of First Look Friday presents to unwrap before 2022 is over.

We hope you’ve been enjoying the holiday season and received all the cycling goodies you lusted after, as well as spending quality time with friends and family.

Kudos to you if you’re undertaking the Festive 500. If you need some pointers to get through the final few kilometres, why not check out digital writer Jack Evans’ tips?

Despite the festivities, the content sleigh ploughs on and we’ve been bringing you some tasty tech treats throughout the week.

We published a round-up of the best winter cycling shoes to keep your feet warm and dry. While wearing a pair of the best overshoes over your regular summer shoes is a valid alternative, winter cycling shoes are arguably a more hassle-free option.

Our esteemed writers continued to share their Gear of the Year selections, with senior videographer Robyn Furtado treating us to her gravel and long-distance picks.

Senior technical writer Simon von Bromley also revealed his top products of 2022 – and you may be surprised by his final curveball choice.

Our Bike of the Week was the Moots Womble, a titanium hardtail with 140mm suspension travel. Moots has incorporated some impressive details into the frame design and the build is bedecked with components from SRAM, ENVE and Wolf Tooth.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at this week’s fresh picks.

Assos Superléger clothing range

Assos’ Superléger clothing range is designed for indoor training or cycling in hot weather. Using breathable fabrics to keep you cool, the range consists of a jersey, bib shorts, a baselayer, socks and sweat bands. Yes, you read that last entry right…

The Equipe RSR Jersey Superléger S9 weighs in at a feathery 81g in a size medium, a claimed 35 per cent lighter than its Equipe RS Jersey Targa S9.

The jersey interestingly forgoes a zip and has a single pocket at the rear, so you’ll need to pack light if you’re heading outside. It’s available in sizes from XS to XLG and comes in ‘Holy White’.

The baselayer is also suitably airy.
Nick Clark / Our Media

The jersey has been designed to fit a baselayer underneath and Assos claims the NS Skin Layer Superléger wicks and cools better compared to wearing the jersey against bare skin.

We’ve got the sleeveless variant in, but Assos also makes short and long-sleeve versions.

The bib shorts weigh in at a scant 132g in a size large. To achieve this low weight, Assos says it has reduced the number of seams over the RSR equivalent and incorporated lighter and better-ventilated materials at the panels.

Like the Equipe RSR S9 Targa bib shorts, the Superleger shorts use suction-cup like grippers rather than a silicone band.

Both the jersey and bib shorts are, well… rather revealing in places, so you’ll want to make sure you apply sunscreen beneath the shorts and jersey if you’re wearing them outside.

The socks are said to be Assos’ lightest to date, weighing in at a claimed 15g each, a claimed 20 per cent saving over the brand’s RSR socks.

Rounding out the range are the RS Sweat Blockers, fitting around your lower arms to further wick away sweat.

  • Assos Equipe RSR Jersey Superléger S9: £125 / $170 / €140 / AU$250
  • Assos NS Skin Layer Superléger: £65 /  $90 / €75 / AU$135
  • Assos RSR Bib Shorts Superléger S9: £220 / $300 / €250 / AU$430
  • Assos RS Socks Superléger: £20 / $30 / €24 / AU$45
  • Assos RS Sweat Blocker Superléger: £11 / $15 / €12 / AU$23

Bjōrn Setka saddle

The Setka is seriously lightweight.
Oscar Huckle / Our Media

Slovenian brand Bjōrn specialises in producing seriously lightweight carbon components, ranging from handlebars, seatposts and saddles to bottle cages and even stem top caps.

The brand first drew my attention when I noticed its carbon Sedlo saddle specced on the Sturdy Eimar at this year’s Bespoke Handmade Bicycle Show.

The Setka is its 3D-printed saddle, which weighs in at a featherweight 127g in the 155mm width we have here. It’ll be even lighter in its narrower 143mm offering and, despite the low weight, Bjorn approves the saddle for off-road use too.

The base and rails are constructed from carbon fibre and the Setka features a large cut-out through the middle to relieve pressure.

3D printing is a burgeoning technology in bicycle saddles, with Specialized and Fizik leading the charge in its use. Selle Italia also joined the club earlier this year when we spotted its debut effort at Eurobike.

The padding on the front of the saddle is noticeably softer than the rear, with Bjōrn claiming this is to relieve the load from soft tissues when riding in an aggressive position. The brand adds the rear is more rigid to provide a more stable platform when climbing.

Bjōrn says it undertook pressure-mapping research to decide on these characteristics.

The brand says you can mount a saddlebag if you wish, as long as the weight doesn’t exceed 10kg. Bjōrn advises a maximum rider weight of 120kg for the 250mm-long saddle.

Make sure you use a good-quality torque wrench when installing the saddle because Bjōrn advises a low 5Nm maximum torque on the 7×9 oval carbon rails.

  • Bjōrn Setka: $420 (available worldwide, price converted to your local currency)

Chris King Inset 2 headset

It’s a pricey proposition, but this headset should last a seriously long time.
Oscar Huckle / Our Media

The Inset 2 is designed for 44/56mm tapered head tubes that use a 1 ⅛ to 1.5in steerer tube.

Engineered, manufactured and assembled in Chris King’s Portland, Oregon facility, the Inset 2 can be used with a zero stack, mixed zero stack or an external cup setup.

The Inset 2 uses Chris King’s surgical-grade, heat-treated steel races, combined with its revered bearings that are said to wear in rather than out. The bearings are fully serviceable and come with a 10-year warranty.

You can periodically carefully prise off the snapring and repack the bearing with Chris King’s blue headset grease.
Oscar Huckle / Our Media

The GripLock retention system is said to protect your steerer tube from bearing wear because the preload is set independently.

The Inset 2 is available in 10 colours – Black, Matte Jet, Matte Slate, Silver, Matte Mango, Red, Matte Turquoise, Navy, Two Tone Black Gold and Gold. I’ve got the plain ole’ black headset in.

On the basis of other Chris King headsets I’ve used in the past, there’s a strong chance the Inset 2 will outlast the frame it’s heading into.

  • Chris King Inset 2: £235 / $188

Koo Cosmo sunglasses

Koo, helmet manufacturer Kask’s sister brand, has announced its new Cosmo casual sunglasses designed for outdoor applications.

The frames of the sunnies are made from Grilamid, a polymer designed and developed in Switzerland. The material is said to be resistant to shocks.

Zeiss provides the polycarbonate lens, claimed to offer 100 per cent UV protection in all conditions. There will be one Cosmo model with a polarised lens to eliminate glare.

Koo integrates rubber into the nosepiece and temples, with the brand claiming it stays grippy even when wet.

The Cosmo is available in seven different colours (Black, Avio, Olive Green, Blush, Crystal, Blonde and Blaze) with seven lens choices.

  • Koo Cosmo: £105 / $130 / €120 / AU$180
  • Koo Cosmo (Polarised): £130 / $160 / €150 / AU$225

Patagonia Dirt Roamer Storm trousers

The Dirt Roamer Storm trousers are for the worst conditions.
Annabel Huckle / Our Media

We’re firmly into mountain bike trousers season now and the Dirt Roamer Storms are Patagonia’s first effort.

They are designed to be paired with its Dirt Roamer Storm waterproof jacket, which our tester found to be an excellent option.

The Dirt Roamer Storms are lightweight and fully waterproof, using Patagonia’s proprietary three-layer stretch H2No shell. Because the fabric is quite thin, they are also easily packable.

Patagonia says they’ll excel in the rain and snow, while also offering enough stretch and breathability to stop you from overheating underneath.

There’s abrasion-resistant reinforcement at the knees, seat and crotch, and the hip, waist and knee areas are tailored for on-the-bike posture.

There are two waterproof thigh pockets and zippered leg openings enable you to pull the trousers over your mountain bike shoes and knee pads.

Patagonia is using its rather nifty OppoSet to make adjustments at the waist. This sees a single cord on the right-hand side and makes for a neater system than using a Velcro or belt-style system.

The Dirt Roamer Storm trousers are available in Basin Green or Black, the latter of which we have here, and in sizes XS to XXL.

  • Patagonia Dirt Roamer Storm trousers: £270 / $299 / €290 / AU$399.95

Source link