In the Drops: Specialized 3D printed saddle, Sportful Fiandre, Sidis and Squid Game gloves


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Welcome to In The Drops, our shiny new roundup where we’ll showcase the latest bikes and kits to arrive for testing and general hugs, revisit some of the highlights of the past week, and invite you to the damp nooks and crannies of the Cyclist team hive spirit.

I am Matthew Loveridge, newly established website editor at Cyclist, and it’s my mission to entertain you, educate you and sometimes get bored of all things road and gravel bikes. You might recognize my name on another popular bike-themed website. VéloSonar? CycleScanner? I forget. The main thing is that I yours now thank you for having me.

This week at Cyclist we reread awesome custom bikes at Bespoked 2021 and got the truth about the best cobbled climbs in Flanders from Cyclist style icon Joe Robinson, as well as a glimpse of an extraordinary collection of classic bikes that lives in a Flandrian hotel.

Following the announcement of the route of the Tour de France Women 2022, Robyn Davidson, passionate about professional cycling, took a closer look at the ins and outs of the inaugural edition of this capital race. Is it going to be hard? Yes. Is the prize money enough? No, but it’s a start.

James Spender has delivered his verdict on the £ 12,000 (twelve thousand pounds!) Bianchi Specialissima, and we’ve published our SRAM Rival eTap AXS group review. Spoiler alert: this is a very good drivetrain, although neither cheap nor light.

It’s a funny time in the bicycle industry, with product availability at an all-time high and prices at an all-time high. Bikes that should have been launched as the 2021 model year are still waiting behind the scenes, and major products like the new Shimano Dura-Ace R9200 and Ultegra R8100 groupsets remain frustrating for regular bettors.

There is, however, something to be optimistic about. For one thing, the gravel bike scene has never been more exciting, with new models launching seemingly every two weeks and new events like the Two Volcano Sprint.

On the bike side, there’s something for everyone, from the versatile Wilier Rave SLR adjacent to the road to the BMC URS LT with front suspension and adjacent to the MTB. Reasons to be happy?

Specialized S-Work Romin EVO with Mirror saddle

Trypophobic, look away, that’s another holey offer from the bike industry. There are a handful of 3D printed saddles on the market and the Specialized S-Works Romin EVO with mirror is the latest.

This intriguing seat combines the technology of the existing S-Works Power with mirror with the popular – and slightly longer – shape of Romin.

Specialized says it’s made from a “liquid polymer matrix” and, being a premium saddle, it’s built on a carbon hull and rails, and weighs a fairly feathery 179g for a 143mm width. (it is also available in 155 mm). Like other Specialized saddles, it has SWAT mounting bosses under the tail for attaching various accessories.

The great promise of 3D printing for saddles is the ability to fine-tune comfort and support by varying the design of the trellis, which would normally be achieved by using sections of different grades of foam.

By pushing the new Romin with a finger, it is easy to feel how much the flexibility varies. It’s fairly firm where your sit bones go for support, but softer elsewhere.

Does this justify the expense? It’s hard to say, but it looks amazing. The even more exciting prospect could be fully personalized saddles, tailored to individual backgrounds.

Maybe one day bike shops will switch from simple seat bone width measurements to full-blown ass scanners. We can hope.

Sportful Fiandre and Fiandre Light gloves

Sportful’s Fiandre range is aimed at cold driving in autumn and winter and there are two glove options that seem to match typical UK conditions well.

The Fiandre Light gloves (left) are meant for milder weather, when it’s too cold not to wear gloves, but you don’t want the essentials of full winter protection.

They feature a water repellent fabric and sealed seams, generous darts inside the palm and fingers, and an elastic neoprene cuff to form a nice seal against your wrists.

Fiandre gloves are much more durable and should offer enough warmth and protection for all but the toughest weather thanks to a Polartec membrane on the outside, fully sealed seams and a comfortable fleece lining.

The clip design is similar to the Light option, but the cuffs have zippers. This design isn’t really new for this year and you can read Paul Norman’s Sportful Fiandre Glove review here.

Sidi Shot 2 Shoes

Sidi’s Shot 2 is a delightfully European shoe that somehow manages to look understated in an era of milky colors, matte finishes and knitted fabrics.

Sidi touts the Shot 2’s “Tecno-3 Push Flex” dial design which claims to somehow eliminate unwanted pressure on the instep. There’s also a tool-adjustable heel cup and, as you would expect on a high-end shoe, a full carbon sole. Sorry, a ‘C-Boost SRS carbon sole’.

The sole is generously ventilated and I can’t wait to cover it with duct tape to get through the winter, sorry Sidi.

The bike industry isn’t always the best when it comes to repairability, but Sidi deserves praise here, as all major components (dials, sole inserts, heel mechanism …) are replaceable and available as spare parts. spare.

These Black / Gray Shot 2s have a nice glossy finish that will almost certainly age more gracefully than the matte options favored by many brands these days.

This size 44 pair weighs 626g on my scale, which is neither exceptionally light nor off-putting.

Gymspin laundry detergent

Are you cursed with a smelly cycling kit? While I don’t identify as a dirt wizard, I am painfully aware of the ability of some kits to contain odors despite frequent washings.

The new Gymspin brand claims to have a solution in the form of its organic laundry detergent which is specifically intended for sweat-soaked exercise clothes.

Gymspin claims conventional detergents simply mask odors, while its product “neutralizes” them with a “deep cleansing enzyme complex” and “Phytofocus” scent technology that “evokes the scent of popular muscle conditioning products.” , “capturing the charged atmosphere of place change and the anticipation of impending competition.” Pretty heady stuff.

Gymspin comes in the form of so-called biodegradable capsules and recommended for use at 30 ° C without endangering the planet.

Whatever they do chemically, Gymspin pods look delicious, don’t they? Remember when eating tidal pods was a thing? Please not do that.

  • Sample pack of 4 pods: £ 2.50
  • Subscription: £ 15 for 12 pods / month
  • Get yours at Gymspin

What we love this week: life-changing eggplants and childish games

Has a recipe ever changed your life? This one may have changed mine. Melanzane alla parmigiana (eggplant and innit cheese) is quite possibly the best thing I have ever done.

It’s a deceptively simple Italian dish, which I have no doubt forgotten on countless menus, but it’s honestly extraordinary.

Melanzane alla parmigiana is made with layers of eggplant, tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan (or grana padano if you’re a plebs like me). daytime.

I’m pretty much Felicity Cloake’s recipe on the Guardian, except I can’t be bothered by the frying, so I cover my sliced ​​eggplants in olive oil and salt and roast them in the oven instead, for minimal mess.

Lest I get too comfortable I hold myself to the ground with Netflix’s really horrific Squid game (subscription required). I’m late for this party – it was launched last month – but just in case you missed the hype, it involves heavily indebted Koreans playing children’s games and being summarily killed when they fail. not.

It’s a premise that makes The Hunger Games seem pretty reasonable and fair. The first episode of Squid game Left me with a moderate sense of trauma and I can’t seem to stop staring at it. It is quite, grotesquely convincing. Do I recommend it? I really do not know.

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Wiley C. Thompson

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