By Symon Lewis
Start the year as you mean to go on, right? The tech team thought so and decided to get some lavish product in that might hurt the bank balance a little but are worth every penny.
Assos Equipe RS S9 bib shorts
The latest shorts from the Swiss brand, which claim to be the most supportive shorts available on the market. So this is the a redesign of its top-end short. You still get some of the same technology from the previous shorts, like the golden gate, where the central part of the pad isn't stitched so the pad stays in place better.
The pad is lighter and more breathable compared to the previous short, whilst also coming in a great colour instead of purple. The new S9 shorts also have a new bib design with the straps continuing down lower then any other short on the market. It's called A Lock Engineering and means the short should stay in place no matter what - in the saddle and out the saddle the short, along with the chamois, stays put.
Santini Vega Xtreme winter jacket
Santini's new winter jacket is the one jacket you want to have in your wardrobe when the weather is really bad, as the Vega Xtreme is the Swiss army knife of the jacket world.
It's a three layer construction with waterproofing built-in, meaning even after multiple washes you'll still get that protection. Long sleeves with waterproof cuffs, a long tail that has a splash proof middle section and a nice long collar, which is fleeced to stop any drafts down the front.
Specialized S-Works Recon shoes
Following a similar design to the American brand's top-end road shoe are the new top-of-the-range off-road shoes, Recon, launched just last month. Made with the strong and ultra-stiff carbon sole (measuring 13 on the Specialized stiffness index), which has extra rubber sections and studs for traction off-road.
The upper, like the road S-Works, are made from Dyneema fabric that is claimed to be 15 times stronger than steel. That topped with metal proprietary Boa dials it makes for an impressive shoe and despite those add-ons the shoes in a size nine weigh in at 616g (claimed) - very competitive!
Colnago C64 Campagnolo Super Record
There is nothing new on the Colnago C64, the chart topping model from the Italian brand, but we have it here with the very new Campagnolo Super Record groupset, which of course is 12-speed. Despite that extra sprocket don't expect a radical change in gear ratios, the cassette sticks with typical teeth, 11x32 here.
The Colnago C64 is a celebration of 64 years of Colnago and still uses the traditional lugged design used all those years ago. However, this bike has fewer lugs, the seat post section being a one piece design and Colnago says that the C64 is 200g lighter than the C60 despite wider and stiffer carbon tubes. What a bike, but what a price tag!
Vincenzo Nibali: 'My Giro started uphill and isn't getting much better'
Italian throws support behind team-mate Giulio Ciccone after crash on stage eight
By Richard Windsor •
Five talking points from stage eight of the Giro d'Italia 2021
The GC contenders bide their time as the breakaway triumphs again at the Giro d'Italia
By Chris Marshall-Bell •