This week's round-up of releases starts with Aurum's Magma Essentia. Aurum is the brain child of Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso and the Essentia is designed to offer the characteristics of its flagship Magma at a keener price point. The ex-WorldTour pro theme continues with Le Col's collaborative collection with Fabian Cancellara, which celebrates his 15-year career in the shape of jerseys, bib shorts and even a pair of socks.
With Cycling Weekly's inaugural Gravel Week (opens in new tab) drawing to a close it's fitting that we've products here from Restrap and Tailfin, two British brands that have embraced gravel riding: both the Bumper Bar and the V-Mount packs should pique the interest of any cyclist who likes to take the path less ridden.
Aurum unveils the Essentia; a more affordable version of its Magma race bike
It’s fair to say Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso know a thing or two about bike racing. So when they launched Aurum with a single, flagship model, the Magma (opens in new tab), it was no surprise that the bike was designed as a top-tier race machine. Ridden by UCI ProTeam Eolo-Kometa, of which Contador and Basso are both GMs, its price reflected this; one for the few, rather than the many.
However, its second offering, the Magma Essentia looks to change this. According to the brand it's managed to produce a frame that delivers a comparable performance as well as maintaining the essence of the original - and all at a more affordable price point.
Affordability is, of course, objective. The Essentia road bikes start at 5,699 euros for a build that includes SRAM’s Force AXS groupset and Zipp’s 303s wheels, with the most expensive option coming in at 6,999 euros, which gets you a Shimano Ultegra Di2 gruppo and a set of Enve Foundation 45 wheels. For comparison the entry-level Magma model is 7,500 euros.
The Essentia shares the same geometry as its big brother, and Aurum claims that it's just as aerodynamic. However, looking at the brand’s comparison chart, it’s also less stiff and heavier. Other details include clearance for 30mm tyres. It's offered in two colourways, Stone Grey or Cyan Blue.
For more details on the Aurum Magma Essentia visit aurumbikes.com (opens in new tab)
Le Col releases a collaborative collection with Fabian Cancellara
In his prime Fabian Cancellara (opens in new tab) was one of bike racing’s most dominant riders. Against the clock, over the cobbles, he lit up the sport for 15 years, winning seven Monuments and four world titles as well as wearing the yellow jersey on numerous occasions.
Le Col, the clothing partner for his ‘Chasing Cancellara’ series of races, has chosen to honour the man with his own collaborative limited edition collection, comprising two jerseys, two pairs of shorts as well as a cap and socks.
For Cancellara aficionados there’s plenty of detail to enjoy. The designs feature both subtle and striking nods to his illustrious career; there are the colours of both Fassa Bortolo, who he rode for from 2003-05, and the Leopard-Trek squad as well as the Swiss national flag. Meanwhile the rear pockets have both his palmarès stitched into the left and a ‘Spartacus’ Roman helmet on the right.
The Pro Aero jersey and Pro shorts are designed for fast training rides and racing. Le Col says it uses “strategically placed fabrics over the sleeves and front to trip the air and reduce drag”, as well as “three-dimensional four way stretch fabrics” to help keep you cool. Naturally, the jersey’s were tested in the wind tunnel. Likewise the shorts are aimed at performance, with a blend of what Le Col says are aero and compression properties.
However, the fit of the Sport jersey is, according to Le Col, a tad more relaxed, while the matching shorts use a ‘premium’ pad with a gel insert for improved comfort. Together Le Col says the pair are “ideal for long social rides where looking the part at the coffee stop is just as important as the ride itself”. So that’s what Cancellara has been getting up to in his retirement.
The jerseys and bibs come in both men’s and women’s: the Pro Aero jersey has an RRP of £145, while the Pro bibs retail at £170; the Sport Jersey and bibs have an RRP of £95 and £130 respectively.
For more detail on the Limited Edition Fabian Cancellara Collection visit lecol.cc (opens in new tab)
Restrap's Bumper Bar aims to double as bag spacer and light mount
If you’ve ever used a larger bar bag you may well have suffered from the bag touching the front wheel or just sagging when loaded. This can be a particular issue for smaller frame sizes or if you like to run a low stack height.
UK bikepacking brand Restrap has chosen to address the problem with the creation of its Bumper Bar. Made from CR4 steel and featuring a powder coated finish for durability, the Bumper Bar is designed to sit out in front of your bike’s headtube, helping to create a buffer between bag and bike, while at the same time raising the height of your bar bag away from the front wheel.
Designed to work with all 1 1/8in steerers, the Bumper Bag simply sits under your spacers or stem, where it also will serve as a 3mm spacer. Restrap says the grille design and the two 30mm slots will allow you to attach the bag’s retention straps through it, helping to keep it in place.
There’s also a 5mm hole for mounting a light bracket or similar - in fact Restrap is keen to promote the Bumper Bar’s functionality as a hard point for mounting lights, as the ‘out front’ position of the bar “is ideal for forward visibility”.
The Bumper Bar has a claimed weight of 178g and retails for £39.99.
For more information visit restrap.com (opens in new tab)
Tailfin V-Mount pack
If your list of riding essentials keeps growing to the point where your saddle bag can no longer cope but you don’t have a bike with dedicated mounting points, then Tailfin just might have the solution.
The British bikepacking (opens in new tab)equipment brand says it has created the V-Mount pack to improve on existing strap-on soft bags. The V-Mount system is built around the aluminium hardware that Tailfin says will “guarantee a 100% non-slip and non-marking attachment when mounted correctly.”
To achieve this, and to stop the slip and slide issue you can have with strap-on bags when they’re fully loaded, the aluminium base plate features an angled channel that allows the mount to “cradle” the frame tube profile to achieve what it describes as “double line contact”. To further improve stability the V-Mount also uses a removable rubber boot for additional grip.
Each V-Mount pack comes with two V-Mounts, which are individually adjustable and allows the pack, Tailfin says, to work with a full range of tube shapes and external cable routing.
As for the bag itself, it comes in two sizes, a 3L and 1.7L, with the latter designed to work with road and gravel bike frame geometry and q-factor. It’s fully waterproof and features a roll-top opening that usually makes for easy access. Tailfin also notes that the bag’s contents can be accessed even when the bag remains mounted.
The 1.7L bag has a claimed weight of 210g and costs £60/$75/€75, while the 3L bag will set up back £70/$85/€85.
For more information of the Tailfin V-Mount Pack visit tailfin.cc (opens in new tab)
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