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  1. New battery saving or peak power Eco mode lets you tailor Shimano STEPS more than ever

    New battery saving or peak power Eco mode lets you tailor Shimano STEPS more than ever

    New firmware (version 3.4.3) for the Shimano STEPS e7000 and e8000 systems will let riders customise their Eco mode, as well as Boost and Trail modes with High, Medium and Low settings. 

    The STEPS eMTB system gives you three pre-set modes to choose from:

    - Dynamic is the default mode with Boost level set to high, Trail on low and Eco on high. The high Boost offers maximum assistance when you're trying to nail a difficult uphill, low Trail offers control through the tricky bits while still packing a punch when you're pressing hard, and High Eco delivers the perfect balance between extending your range while still being fun and responsive. 

    - Explorer has both Boost and Trail set to medium. That means you'll feel like you're riding faster than usual, but with improved technical control. Eco is set to high to give assistance on all terrains. 

    - Custom does exactly what you'd expect - lets

  2. Bikes we love: Madison Genesis's Zero SL Disc

    Bikes we love: Madison Genesis's Zero SL Disc

    Pro bikes are almost always very cool. They have slammed stems, implausable stem angles, high saddles, everything that makes a bike look great but also make them almost impossible for us mere mortals to ride. One bike we particularly like (and yes, we're biased) is this season's Genesis Zero SL Disc as ridden by the Madison Genesis pro team. In a world increasgly full of black bikes, this turquoise beauty stands out for its striking lines as much as its fantastic colourway. Purists might not like the sloping top tubes that come with modern, compact geometry, but we think this bike looks fast standing still. 

    If you want to get your hands on one of these, there's good news and bad news. The bad news is that you can't buy one in a team replica colourway, that's team-only. The good news is that the frameset-only version is just 1,699.99 and comes in black with punchy red details.

  3. Sun's out - Premax on - Guns out

    Sun's out - Premax on - Guns out

    After years of thinking that the sun will come out if we just wait until tomorrow, it’s finally here. Now that the weather’s looking up, it’s the perfect time to get out on the weekends and go for a long ride. You know, the kind of ride you spend all week looking forward to while sat at your desk, in fact the sort of ride that you’re probably thinking of right now after reading that sentence.

    But while long, sunny rides are fantastic, it’s not easy to keep your skin protected over such a long time and the last thing you want is to come back sunburned – it’s horrible, uncomfortable and potentially dangerous to your long-term health. That’s why the guys at Premax made their Sports Sunscreen, designed to keep athletes protected from the sun during exercise.

    First off, the Premax Sports Sunscreen is SPF50+. That means it

  4. 12-speed just got real with Shimano's new Deore XT and SLX groupsets

    12-speed just got real with Shimano's new Deore XT and SLX groupsets

    If you've been longing after a 12-speed drivetrain but don't have XTR cash to drop then today is a good day: Shimano has announced its new Deore XT and SLX groupsets, both bringing 12-speed technology to the masses. 

    XT M8100 and SLX M7100 both use the new MicroSpline freehubs, meaning you can run the 10-51 or 10-45t cassette, enabling a huge gear range when used in conjunction with the 1x12 or 2x12 speed cranksets. On top of that, all cassettes from both groupsets use Shimano's Hyperglide+ technology, so shifting is better than ever. Weight-wise you're looking at 470g for an XT 10-51, and 461g for 10-45, and with SLX it's 534g for the 10-51 and 513g for the 10-45. Of course, the XT and SLX cassettes aren't groupset-specific, so you can use and SLX cassette with an XT rear mech or vice-versa. 

    Both also come with 2 or 4-piston brake options, which is

  5. 100% have dropped the S3, and they're the best of all worlds

    100% have dropped the S3, and they're the best of all worlds

    If you've been longing after a set of 100% sunnies, but haven't been sure what style works for you, the new S3 might well be the answer. Taking the understated brow design from the S2 and pairing it to the nosepiece and vent intakes from the Speedcraft, the S3 offers a blend of both styles that's a perfect fit in the 100% range.

    But don't worry, it's not all about understated style as the S3 also brings some brand new colours and one in particular that can't fail to catch the eye: Matte Pink. So punchy that it looks like the glasses will jump right off the shelf and hit you in the face, Matte Pink is perfect for a rider that likes their kit to make a statement. At the other end of the spectrum is Matte Cool Grey, a tone-on-tone masterpiece that's the very epitome of cool.

    But if you want to know what our favourites are, that would be the new Soft Tact Flume, beautiful navy frames paired to wonderfully contrasting HiPER Red Multilayer Mirror lenses. Made from a lightw

  6. So you want to go tubeless?

    So you want to go tubeless?

    Tubeless is one of the most on-trend subjects in the bike industry right now. Here's why you might want to think about making inner tubes a thing of the past (sort of)...

    Why you should...

    One big reason in favour of tubeless is that you can say goodbye to pinch punctures. A pinch pucture usually happens when you hit something (like a pothole) and trap the tube between tyre and rim. It's one of the most common ways to puncture and really rather annoying because feels like it should be avoidable - and now they are. Running tubeless means there's no tube to pinch, so you can leave all those pinched tubes in a metaphorical pile behind you. But it doesn't mean you can go slamming into things all over the place - as you can still write a rim off doing that - but you can run lower pressures without the worry of a pinch.

    Tubeless has been popular in mountain biking for a while now, and not having tubes to pinch is a big reason for that. Roadies, though, have been

  7. How to fuel for your first sportive

    How to fuel for your first sportive

    If you've never ridden a sportive before, figuring out what you need to eat during the ride can be rather confusing. But unless you're riding a very short route then you need to eat during the ride to keep you going and avoid the dreaded bonk. We've asked Science in Sport Performance Nutritionist Ben Samuels about what, when and how you should eat on your first big ride...

    Q: What nutrition should you take when /throughout the day on a sportive?

    A: On the day of a sportive your nutrition will be predominantly carbohydrate based, as that’s the preferred fuel for endurance performance - carbohydrates can be broken down efficiently and rapidly to be used for energy production. Pre-ride breakfast should be 1-4 hours before getting on the bike, and this should come mainly from simple carbohydrate sources (minimising fats and fibre) to promote digestion and glycogen storage in the liver and muscle. Breakfast options could include porridge with berrie

  8. These Pro Vibe Superlight bars are a weight weenie's dream

    These Pro Vibe Superlight bars are a weight weenie's dream

    Just when you though that it was safe to retrieve your wallet from hiding, the team at Pro have brought out something rather special to get weight weenies everywhere reaching for that credit card. Remember the old Pro Vibe bars? You know, the pretty light ones? Well they're the old, heavy ones now because the new Vibe Superlight bars have set a new benchmark for weight. They're 15% lighter. Yep, you read that right, they've taken a 215g bar and chopped it down to 175g (for a 40cm) which, relatively speaking, is absolutely loads. Imagine if you chopped 15% out of a UCI limit 6.8kg road bike, suddenly you'd have a 5.78kg climbing weapon. 

    How have they done it? Well the new Superlight bars are made from the same T800 UC carbon as the old ones, but this is infused with InnegraTM fibres woven into the layup which add extra security to the construction, which is how they're so much lighter but still safe to ride. 

    They've also done the same to th

  9. Park Tool's new PCS-9.2 and 10.2 are perfect for the home mechanic

    Park Tool's new PCS-9.2 and 10.2 are perfect for the home mechanic

    Anyone who's ever tried to fix a bike with it leaning against the wall knows how frustrating that experience that can be, especialy if you need to turn the cranks for any reason. That's why workstands exist, they're a simple and effective way to hold your bike off the ground for all those maintenance and cleaning tasks. 

    Park Tool have been in the workstand game for, well, ages. The original versions of their PCS-9 and PCS-10 stands were released in 2004 and 2006 respectively and have remained pretty much the same for those 14 years becasue they just work. Eventually, though, even the best ideas need a refresh, and that's what Park have done with the new PCS-9.2 and 10.2 stands, taken those original designs and added a few twists and updates to make the entry level stands better than ever. 

    Both stands have re-shaped and contoured clamps parts to make for a better and safer hold on your bike, and the 10.2 also adds in a saddle pad like those you'd find on t

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