Even though it's just been snowing this week in the UK, we're going to put the blinkers on and continue pilling up the spring releases – perhaps wishful thinking will turn the conditions to what they should be.
This week we have shorts and jersey releases from the likes of Le Col, MAAP and Giro – but what's really got us talking is Burley Design's pet trailer, a bike attachable buggy designed to offer the "ultimate" in pet comfort. If that's not going to distract you from the lingering winter, nothing will. More on that just below!
Le Col spring/summer collection
With the last icy gasp of winter now behind us (we hope), it’s time to look forward to some sunshine and some suitably bright colours to wear while enjoying it.
Le Col’s new spring/summer 2022 collection includes some exotic, vibrant new hues such as saffron, sage, pomegranate, coral, flamingo and even merlot if you really feel like celebrating (though the darker, subtler colourways are still there should the sun go back in again).
It’s not just the colours - there are minor makeovers for some of the British brand’s most popular garments too. The Pro and Hors Categorie jerseys get updates and Le Col says there’s a more refined version of the Sport jersey too.
The Le Col Pro II jersey (men's fit: £130.00 (opens in new tab) / $175.00 (opens in new tab); women's fit £130.00 (opens in new tab) / $175.00 (opens in new tab)) has a closer fit than before and a “superior fabric feel” in Le Col’s words. The fabric itself is now made from 100% materials and there are four block colours to choose from.
The Le Col Sport II jersey (men's fit: £95.00 (opens in new tab) / $115.00 (opens in new tab); women's fit £95.00 (opens in new tab) / $115.00 (opens in new tab)) comes in a two-tone colourway but has a slightly more relaxed fit than the Pro II. It’s a short-sleeved jersey but those sleeves are now slightly longer in line with current trends.
While it’s still more spring than summer, there’s the Le Col Pro Long Sleeve jersey that comes in four block colours, and the flagship Hors Categorie jersey that gets a new sleeve fabric, an updated cuff gripper and new reflective detailing.
We have a selection on test and should be well equipped - and well turned out - for whatever the weather throws at us.
New pet trailer range from Burley Design
Burley Design, an American brand which specialises in trailers and strollers, has released a new range designed expressly for "ultimate pet comfort" and can be towed behind a bike.
A "roomy interior" is combined with mesh windows for breezy ventilation and there's even to option to add some plush "Pet Bed" inserts to take the pampering levels to new heights.
To facilitate easier cleaning, the floor is fully removable and the "Bark Ranger" trailer can be folded for more compact storage when not in use. Two sizes are offered, with the smaller one being able to accommodate loads of up to 75lb / 34kg and the larger model able to handle up to 100lb / 45kg.
Considering that the larger trailer weighs 33lb / 13kg just on its own, perhaps the more pertinent concern is what your legs will be able to handle. Thankfully, though, the trailers are at least rated as being e-bike compatible.
The price for these trails is $599.95 (opens in new tab) for the smaller size and $699.95 (opens in new tab) for the larger. Raleigh is Burley Design's UK distributor, but although other models are available it doesn't appear as though the Bark Rangers are just yet.
Giro's off-road 'Ride' collection
Giro, the California-based apparel company, has released this week its new "Ride" collection which, ironically, has been designed for "seamless transitions to off-the-bike life."
With the continuing rise of bikepacking and gravel riding, there is a growing number of brands looking to accommodate this area of the market: the confluence between riding performance and suitability in contexts away from the saddle.
The Ride jersey offers a relaxed fit with three expandable storage pockets, a secure zipped pocket and a single chest pocket. Merino wool is used in the fabric, but this does only constitute 11 per cent of the make up. On the other hand, 84 per cent is recycled polyester and only five per cent is elastane.
The Ride short provides a slim fit – for a set of baggies – but combines this with a four-way stretch fabric so as not to restrict your pedalling motion. A PFC-free water repellent coating is used instead of the more environmentally impactful long-chain DWR treatments.
Alongside the two hand pockets, there's also a zipped side pocket which is large enough to accommodate a phone. The men's sizing ranges from 28 to 40" in 2" steps and the price is $130. The women's goes from US size 2 to size 12 and costs $130.
MAAP: The Emblem Collection
MAAP has launched a new capsule of their Emblem collection, themed around what it believes is "the most enduring element of the company’s visual DNA" – the M-Flag, which was first designed in 2014.
The new Emblem collection contains everything you need to roll from head to toe and features the latest version of the M-Flag graphic. There's also a new long-sleeve version of the brand’s well-known Emblem Pro Hex Jersey to compliment a short sleeve version, as well as water bottles to base layers, caps to socks.
All the kit is available in both men's and women's fits and you can view the range on MAAP's website (opens in new tab) here.
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Starting off riding mountain bikes on the South Downs way, he soon made the switch the road cycling. Now, he’s come full circle and is back out on the trails, although the flat bars have been swapped for the curly ones of a gravel bike.
Always looking for the next challenge, he’s Everested in under 12 hours (opens in new tab) and ridden the South Downs Double in sub 20 (opens in new tab). Although dabbling in racing off-road, on-road and virtually (opens in new tab), to date his only significant achievement has been winning the National Single-Speed Cross-Country Mountain Bike Championships in 2019.
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