La Musette – Shoes, shorts, bikes and wheels


The Musette is Cycling news‘ Friday series in which we take a look at some of the best cycling gear in the world. We’ll be looking at pro-level gear, bikes and components, as well as some of the most sought-after apparel and newest accessories in the sport.

Another week has passed, so it’s time to take stock of what happened here at Cycling news over the past 7 days, partly to whet your appetite for future reviews, and partly so we can feel #blessed to be able to play with toys for the general benefit of the greater cycling community.

This week, in a post-Easter chocolate haze after the long weekend, we got our first look at some bib shorts from Rapha with new materials and a hefty price tag, stylish purple road slippers from Fizik and a set of Flagship racing wheels from Hunt.

Also, my long-term Fairlight test bike finally got its first ride to dial in the setup with a blast in the local woods, so you get a glimpse of that too.

Turn on the kettle, feet up, treat yourself to some light journalism, then plan your weekend riding.

A close up of an off white frame and slightly dirty front tire

(Image credit: Will Jones)

Fairlight Secan 2.5

Here has Cycling news we can test a good number of bikes, the majority of which are carbon or aluminum. However, we rarely deal with high-end steel. Testing the Secan 2.5 long-term should correct that imbalance somewhat, thanks to a frame built from custom-butted Reynolds 853.

Why choose steel, then, when it’s generally considered a material for crafted but not necessarily high-performance bikes? Well, in my opinion, there has been a resurgence in high performance steel bikes in recent years, perhaps in part due to a revival of the handmade bike scene, which uses the steel more than any other material. In short, I want to see how a steel gravel bike performs compared to other materials, and if “steel has an elastic ride quality” is just one of those sentences exchanged without real thought.

A close up of the front end of a broken white bicycle on a dirt road

(Image credit: Will Jones)

Also, in the long run, it needs to be versatile enough to allow me to test other components; 650b or 700c, up to 2.2 inch tire clearance (like those Continental Race Kings), well used standards with no crazy proprietary components.

Fairlight doesn’t do stock builds, instead opting for a “choose your own adventure” style spec list. I opted for a GRX Di2 11-speed groupset, reliable 650b Hope alloy rims, wider 44cm bars that are usually standard on their models, and a matte black Chris King helmet.

The giant 2.2-inch tires might seem like a bit of a stretch for tamer gravel riding, but many of my local routes in the Lake District involve terrain that’s on the edge of MTB territory, so having a little squish extra will hopefully allow me to maintain a bit more speed when the going gets tough. Getting the tire pressures right took a bit of experimentation, but once they’re on the money, they’re a real joy. I have to set them up tubeless though; on my first proper outing, a little thorn really sabotaged things. It serves me well to be impatient I suppose!

I’ve only done about 30km so far in a frenetic after work session so I’ll hold back on commenting but the fat tires are great fun and make me want to jump in every puddle of dirt. water and each speed bump.

If you want to learn a bit more about the production of steel versus other bicycle materials, our guide to how bicycles are made will probably be perfect weekend reading, and to take a look at the Secan 2.5, head towards Fairlight.

Will Jones – Reviews writer

A pair of Hunt 60 Limitless Aero Disc wheels leaning against a wooden fence

(Image credit: Josh Croxton)

Hunt 60 Limitless Aero Disc

British brand Hunt Bike Wheels have a reputation for offering good wheels at great prices, backed by even better customer service, and although I’ve known the brand for years, I learned something recently: that Hunt n It’s not just a “direct-to-consumer” business. It also sells through quite a number of brick-and-mortar stores. company most easily described as the parent company of Hunt. The philosophy of The Rider Firm is a customer-first approach and, quite simply, many Hunt customers still prefer to shop in person. This customer-first approach is all about also the after-sales service, of which I have heard many positive experiences.

A close up of the rim lettering on the Hunt 60 Limitless Aero Disc wheels

(Image credit: Josh Croxton)

It’s obviously great to hear, but it won’t turn a bad wheelset into a good one, so I got my hands on a pair of the brand’s flagship wheelset – the 60 Limitless Aero Disc – to see how they stack up. compare to their competitors. In fact, spoiler alert: I’ll be taking them to a wind tunnel in a few weeks to really get some comparative data, which I’ll use to back up my own riding experiences over the next few months. Stay tuned for that.

Josh Croxton – Senior Review Writer

Mildred wears light purple blue tights over a black sports bra

(Image credit: Mildred Locke)

Rapha Powerweave Overalls

Sitting at the top of its race-ready range, Rapha’s Pro Team Powerweave Bib Shorts are extremely lightweight and low bulk, thanks to the use of the brand’s exclusive Powerweave fabric.

Originally seen in the Rapha Pro Team Powerweave Shoes, this proprietary fabric is woven rather than knitted, which is what you’ll typically find in most traditional bib shorts. That said, there has definitely been a shift towards woven fabrics lately, as seen in the Castelli Premio Cycling Shorts Black, as they are able to provide compression and support for fatigue prevention and quick recovery, with less bulk to weigh you down on race day. Powerweave panels can be seen running the full length on each side, with a subtle Rapha logo stitched into the pattern.

The Pro Team Powerweave Bib Shorts are designed for high-intensity running efforts in mild to hot conditions, thanks to their high breathability and moisture wicking, which Rapha claims is twice as fast as with knitted fabrics.

A close up of Rapha Powerweave fabric, with the Rapha logo stitched onto it

(Image credit: Mildred Locke)

It features an open-structured center back panel designed to aid in temperature control, while the seven-panel construction is claimed to make it 20% lighter than Rapha’s Pro Team Bib Shorts. Ergonomic laser-cut shoulder straps are low-profile and feature an integrated radio pocket, the all-new racing chamois is said to be more breathable, faster-drying, thinner and lighter than the brand’s previous offering, and there are no regular leg clips. de, thanks to the ability of the woven fabric to incorporate elastic threads and provide a stable fit.

At £305/$415 they are extremely expensive. Price aside, they’re absolutely luxurious against the skin, fit beautifully, and look great (unless you’re a strict “black bibs only” type of rider).

Mildred Locke – Reviews writer

A single purple road shoe rests on a sparsely foliaged shrub in the garden

(Image credit: Will Jones)

Fizik Tempo Decorations

It’s only been a matter of days since Fizik launched the new Tempo Decos on the market, but I was lucky enough to get my hands on a pair in a rather regal purple hue. If you want the news, head over to the link above where you can read more about the features and construction of the shoes.

I haven’t exhausted them yet, as my recent testing has been gravelly in nature and they’re definitely not the best option for a long trail ride. The fit though, of popping them around the house, is excellent; Fizik has a print-at-home guide to make sure you get the perfect size, which I initially overlooked. I had the chance to check because the pair that fits me (an EU44) is a different size from my Giro and Specialized shoes. Don’t take your chances; just measure your feet.

Aesthetically they’re very nice, although purple isn’t the easiest color to pair with the kit (I think I’ll be wearing a lot of muted greens). The inner back panel being black is a bonus for me too, as I cycle with my feet slightly angled and these bits always get dirty on my shoes.

For those with hot feet (me, in this case), a perforated platform appears to hang above the unidirectional carbon sole, allowing the air channel to cool the entire foot. Combined with a laser-perforated upper, I hope to keep sweaty feet at bay as summer wears on.

The unique BOA dial isn’t unique to the market, but it certainly adds to a clean look. What really interests me about these shoes is whether the ability to slam the cleats backwards will have a noticeable difference in performance and fatigue resistance. This is something unusual even among the best cycling shoes, so will it make me faster or will it just mean another measure of bike fit to overthink?

Will Jones – Reviews writer


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