Also this week: new disc brake bikes, time trial position and travelling abroad

New bikes from Canyon, Specialized and Bianchi

Canyon came out with its first gravel bike this week. The new Grail has a bar and seatpost designed to add flex and comfort over bumpy terrain. We went out to a wet, cold Cannes to try it out. Canyon touts the Grail for bikepacking and we’ve demystified the fast and light multi-terrain touring option.

Canyon Grail’s bars help soak up bumpy surfaces

We’ve covered the launch of the new Specialized S-Works Tarmac Disc too, while Specialized also has its own new power meter, developed in collaboration with 4iiii. And not to be outdone, Bianchi too now has a disc brake version of its aero Oltre XR3, which also incorporates the brand’s proprietary Countervail anti-vibration carbon fibre.

The Bianchi Oltre XR3 goes disc brake

This week, we’ve looked at women’s cycling shoes, asked what’s different from a men’s shoe and given you our top buys. While Ekoi has a new top spec men’s shoe on sale. Called the R4, it boasts two dial closures, a low stack height and a weight around 500g a pair.

Waiting for spring to spring

It probably hasn’t escaped your notice that the weather’s been dire again this week. We’ve a video on how to get the most out of riding through it. You might want to fit the new Ass Savers Speed Mullet – it clips onto your down tube to give your feet some respite from wheel spray.

Ass Savers Speed Mullet

Time to fit a Speed Mullet?

We’ve told you how to improve your hill climbing too this week and suggested 11 fitness upgrades to try, including riding with a power meter and swapping to a smart turbo. And we’ve looked into hand position on a time trial bike: are you better with your hands apart or together?

Or you could always go somewhere drier and sunnier. We’ve pondered the pros and cons of letting the airline baggage handlers loose on your machine, or hiring a bike once you arrive.

What will they do to your Dogma at the airport?

And if you’re looking forward to riding out with your kids once the weather warms up, Isla Rowntree of Islabikes tells us how to teach them to ride a bike in 45 minutes.

And we’ve the usual bargains from the major on-line retailers, including Chain Reaction Cycles.