Shimano’s new entry-level gravel shoes, limited-edition Sagan sunglasses, SaddleDonut and a kickstand hack


Since the last edition of First Look Friday, the Tour de France 2022 has come to its thrilling conclusion and we have seen the start of the first Tour de France Women.

The race will end this Sunday and, by then, 24 teams will have tackled eight stages and covered 1,033.6 km of cycling in north-west France. Who are you betting on for victory? Let us know in the comments.

Back in Britain, the BikeRadar team has strived to produce the best reviews, buying guides and technical news in the world of cycling.

Highlights include a look at six bikes racing in the 2022 transcontinental race, the release of the new Tour-winning Cervélo S5, and an update to our bumper-sized buying guide for the best gravel bikes available today.

Shimano RX6 Gravel Bike Shoes

The RX6 is Shimano’s new entry-level gravel bike shoe.
Jack Luke / Our media

Shimano’s new RX6 SH-RX600 gravel bike shoes sit alongside the existing RX8 gravel shoe, offering a lower price in a package that’s nearly visually indistinguishable.

The new shoes feature a single Boa L6 dial and a Velcro strap on the toe box.

The synthetic upper is perforated to increase breathability. The carbon-reinforced nylon midsole features a vent at the front and back of the shoe.

A single Boa dial and Velcro strap provide retention.
Jack Luke / Our media

Molded lugs in a beautiful, almost tan wall finish the shoe. Our size 43 shoes weigh 576g per pair.

The shoe is a bit less stiff than the existing RX8.
Jack Luke / Our media

In the hand, the RX600 shoes have a bit more flex around the heel compared to the existing RX8 shoes. How much of a difference this will actually make to performance is debatable.

The shoes are available in the forest green pictured, as well as black and brown camo. The shoes are also available in a women’s fit option (RX6W).

It’s a raceJames Robertson

It’s a race is a new book by Scottish cycling photographer James Robertson.
Jack Luke / Our media

It’s a race is a new photobook about the Transcontinental Race (TCR) – an epic 4,000km non-stop ultra-endurance event that takes racers across Europe, checking off a series of checkpoints atop a mountain on a route of their choice.

James Robertson followed every edition of the TCR from 2015 to 2019, and the beautifully designed 228-page book is full of his stunning photographs.

The book is full of spectacular (and sometimes amusing) images.
Jack Luke / Our media

From attempts to warm up fully naked in public restrooms to epic mountain views, Robertson vividly details what it takes to complete – let alone participate in – this legendary event.

The 2022 edition of the event kicked off last week and we’ve got a roundup of some of the weird and wonderful bikes ridden in the race.

Surly Long Haul Trucker Kickstand Plate

Crutches are not a crime.
Jack Luke / Our media

Last week I boldly claimed that no bike is complete without a kickstand.

Doing my part to further the cause and earn my kickbacks from the big kickstand, I decided my commute bike needed a cheeky double legger to further bolster its already golden practical credentials.

My skid-tastic fixed-gear commuter is based on a 1960s path racing frameset (which, incidentally, featured in a previous edition of First Look Friday).

This frame was absolutely not designed for crutches. This means clearance is quite tight around the bottom bracket and seat tube junction.

This is a problem because most crutches are secured in place using a rectangular stamped steel plate.

The Surly LHT kickstand plate hugs the radius of the seat tube.
Jack Luke / Our media

It’s difficult to fit them in a tight space because the seat tube pushes the plate too far back, which means the kickstand mounting bolt fouls the chainstay bridge.

Luckily for me, Surly produces a kickstand plate for their Long Haul Trucker touring bikes that features a rounded cutout to circumvent this exact issue.

The two alloy plates sandwich the chainstays, helping to distribute the loads. It is also possible to use a plate on top of the chainstays if your kickstand has an integrated plate.

While a bit of careful grinding can produce a similar result with a stock plate, this solution is much neater and doesn’t cost the earth at just £17.99 / $15 a pop.

  • £17.99 / $15, other international prices TBC


The SaddleDonut-Pro is supposed to improve saddle comfort.
Jack Luke / Our media

The descriptively named SaddleDonut is an adhesive silicone mat covered in raised nodules that the brand says “reduces micro-slips, prevents saddle sores, and provides comfort on long rides.”

The SaddleDonut works by cradling your seat bones (seat bones), helping you maintain a consistent position in the saddle.

The SaddleDonut-Pro cannot be swapped between saddles.
Jack Luke / Our media

Once your seat bones have been measured and the optimal placement has been determined using the included instructions, the SaddleDonut-Pro sticks to your saddle. The donut is designed to be single use and cannot be swapped between bowel movements.

The SaddleDonut-Pro is available in men’s and women’s options and costs $39.95.

  • $39.95, international shipping available

100% Speedcraft Sagan Limited Edition Sunglasses

The latest cycling sunglasses from 100% feature a beautiful tie-dye finish.
Jack Luke / Our media

100% has released a limited edition of its Speedcraft cycling eyewear in a jazzy tie-dye finish in honor of the brand’s top sponsored rider, Peter Sagan.

The Speedcraft is a large, half-frame, goggle-like model with a separate nose bridge and nose pad.

The finish is matte.
Jack Luke / Our media

The scratch-resistant lens is said to be coated with a hydrophobic and oleophobic finish, and features small vents at the base to increase airflow

If the bold silhouette of the Speedcraft doesn’t appeal to you, the brand’s S2 and S3 sunglasses are also available in the same finish.


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