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Top Gear: A Close Look At The Latest Releases In Cycling

Not a day goes by without the release of something new in the world of cycling. Here we take a look at a wide range of products – from hydrating sunscreen to bikes, books and all things in between.

Cancer Council Hydrating Sunscreen

Cancer Council are reminding Australians of the importance of sunscreen both year round and particularly over these warmer months. They have recently released a Hydrating Sunscreen for men, a high-performance sunscreen that also features a soothing and nourishing hydration lotion.

We’ve been using and testing the SPF50+ product and can attest to its quality … it’s a great sunscreen! Top features include –

  • Everyday facial sunscreen for men’s face, neck and scalp
  • Lightweight, hydrating lotion
  • SPF50+ broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection
  • Non-greasy, quick dry and safe for sensitive skin
  • 8 Dermatologically tested
  • Sweat resistant
  • 4 hours water resistant
  • Contains nourishing green tea extract to soothe the skin
  • Formulated with hydrating ingredients of Aloe Vera and vitamin E
  • Made in Australia

RRP: $19.95 for a 100ml tube.

Flip Insurance

New research from Flip Insurance reveals 44 per cent of 1000+ Australians surveyed admit the fear of injury is holding them back from trying new sports and adventure, despite 72 per cent of them stating they’d like to embrace more adventure in their lives.

For a quarter of these Australians (26 per cent) the cost associated with injury was another deterrent, which was particularly relevant as 36 per cent of respondents said they’re craving being more active and embarking on more adventures to relieve stress from the cost-of-living crisis. Here, cost was the biggest hurdle for those Aussies aged 34-55 years old compared to only 40 per cent of Baby Boomers aged 60+.

A massive 70 per cent of respondents were eager to spend more time outdoors and travelling.

Flip Insurance is an on-demand insurance provider that you can turn on and off. Their prices are fixed at $7 a day, $25 a week or $40 per month. 

For further details visit https://www.getflip.com.au

Koo Supernova Sunglasses

High summer is the perfect time to not just be extra aware of skin and sun protection, but ensuring your eyes are protected as well. We’ve recently been riding these new Blue Matt Supernova’s from Koo. Fitted with top quality turquoise-coloured Zeiss lenses, these are some of the lightest and most comfortable cycling sunnies we’ve ridden.

Weighing in at only 21 grams, the Supernova features the Zeiss Nylon toric lens in a modern minimalist and frameless design. This lens not only offers incredible detail but is shatter-proof, anti-reflective, has 100 per cent UV protective and a  hydrophobic surface treatment.

Great looking, lightweight and with brilliant optics, these are a fantastic option for summer 2024. They retail for around $199 and are available in a wide variety of frame and lens colours.

More at www.kooworld.cc 

New BMC Teammachine R

In their second recent collaboration with Red Bull Advanced Technologies, BMC have launched the new Teammachine R.

Weighing 7kg in size 54, BMC say the R takes the best of the SLR model and ups the ante even further. It’s described as a high-end race bike and ‘one bike to rule them all’. 

Not yet available in Australia, but due early in 2024, the BMC press release states the following key points about the latest release.

The result of several years of analysis and development, the bike is based upon the best possible carbon infrastructure to keep weight low but the frame responsive, is a frame and fork nudging the scales at 910 grams and 345 grams respectively, making the Teammachine R a 7.00kg (size 54) all-purpose race weapon.

The Australian line up will consist of the following models:

Teammachine R 01 LTD $19,499.00    

Teammachine R 01 TWO $18,999.00 

Teammachine R 01 FOUR $12,499.00 

Teammachine R 01 MOD V1 $8,299.00 

New Merida Silex

Merida have launched the latest model Silex, the first major overhaul of their pure adventure platform in five years. 

The updated geometry features increased reach and a slackened head angle for improved stability, space for 45mm tyres (on 700c rims), and a platform that looks to be perfectly suited to carrying bike packing equipment on rougher terrain. 

There’s a much shorter, sportier-looking headtube and longer, suspension-corrected fork. Merida say the new Silex retains the “much-loved comfortable and confidence-inspiring riding position of the original bike, just without the love-it-or-hate-it looks.”

On top of these updates, both the affordable aluminium framed bikes and high-performance carbon options get concealed cable routing for sleek looks while also preventing any cable scuffs and rattling.

Eight different models will be available in Australia with RRP’s ranging from $1799 through to around $10k. 

More at www.merida-bikes.com

Latest Lekker e-Bikes

Dutch eBike and boat brand, LEKKER, is revolutionising the way we move around our cities, with the launch of their brand-new Amsterdam Urban eBike. Designed specifically for the Australian market, LEKKER is the first Dutch bike brand to launch an eBike specifically suited to the Australian consumer, weather conditions, and variable terrains.

Sporty, simple, and sturdy, the Amsterdam Urban is the result of 14 years of LEKKER’s testing, tweaking and perfecting both urban eBikes and high-speed Dutch Sloep boats; with the Amsterdam Urban being the very first eBike designed specifically for the Australian consumer.

Utilising the same design philosophy as their boats, the Amsterdam Urban is made of a lightweight aluminium frame.

The Amsterdam Urban is set up to tackle steeper gradients with its seven gears, front-hub motor, and three levels of power assistance which you can control with the touch of a button, sleekly integrated into the bike’s top-tube.

For those looking for the higher-specced version, LEKKER have also upgraded their Amsterdam GT model with the new Amsterdam GTS – with more torque and power, a mid-drive motor, belt drive and stepless gearing.

The range will be priced between $2498 and $3798. For further details visit www.lekkerbikes.com.au 

Pastel Kask Protone

Some products capture cyclists’ hearts more than others; not just for their performance, safety and comfort benefits, but for their beauty and style that transpires the latest trends. It was these cyclists KASK had in mind when selecting four new colours for their timeless and versatile Protone Icon range. 

The collection is expanding to include Lavender, Tangerine, Forest Green, and Sahara – four matte colours inspired by natural vistas.

Equally at home on the gravel, cyclo-cross tracks and cross-country mountain bike trails as it is on the road, the Protone Icon is a helmet that guarantees high levels of safety, aerodynamics, comfort and ventilation. 

A reflective insert on the rear has been included to provide increased safety on the road, while the internal lining, made of CoolMax fabric, is comfortable, quick-drying, removable and washable. 

As is the case with all KASK helmets, the Protone Icon has passed the KASK Rotational Impact WG11 Test, an internal, scientific testing procedure adopted by KASK that measures the helmet’s performance when subjected to rotational impacts.

The Protone Icon is available in three sizes (Small, Medium and Large) with a Medium helmet weighing in at 230g.

More at www.kask.com or your local bike shop.

Aston Martin .1R

Luxury sports car maker Aston Martin have revealed what they are describing as “the world’s most bespoke, advanced and meticulously engineered road bicycle”.

Collaborating with titanium bike company J.Laverack, the Aston Martin .1R is handmade in the UK and said to “exceed anything seen before”.

The companies say the bikes will be available in such bespoke individual builds that components can be custom made for each rider, right down to custom crank length increments of 1mm.

“Synergising the shared values of the two high performance British brands, Aston Martin and J.Laverack have applied truly innovative design and engineering processes to produce a fully integrated ‘visually boltless’ design that possesses an aesthetic purity and obsession to detail beyond compare,” said a company spokesperson as the bike was released.

And the million dollar question … the price? Well it’s listed at POA – price on application, so now doubt an eye-watering amount. More in our ‘A to Z of 2024 Bikes’ or at www.astonmartin.com 

Lezyne’s Mega Light

Lezyne have announced what they are describing as the bike industry’s most powerful light, the Mega Drive 2400+.

Delivering 2400 lumens of output for over two hours of night riding, the light has an impressive 450-hour runtime in ‘Femto’ mode. 

It is waterproof and features a USB-C 2A+ fast charging capability allowing for convenient recharging, while the CNC-machined aluminum construction with cooling fins ensures durability and efficient heat dissipation.

It also benefits from five LEDs and a versatile strap securely fixes the light to all common handlebar sizes. The light has an RRP of $179. 

More at www.lezyne.com 

Casual BZ Optics Eyewear

Looking for casual eyewear for those rare times you are off the bike? Cycling sunglasses brand BZ Optics may have just what you’re after. We’ve been riding and reviewing their recently released ‘Urban’ range and can vouch for their tough build quality, brilliant optics and stylish design. 

These sunglasses feel fantastic on the face, and like all BZ Optics feature lovely, sharp, quality lenses. Frustrated after going through a number of pairs of poor quality casual sunnies over the past year or so, this Urban range feel built to last … they really are top quality sunglasses.

Available in three frame colours, crystal clear, gloss coke (brown) and matt black, they have Category 3 dark tinted lenses with light transmission at eight to 18 per cent which is classed to suit very sunny days.

At A Glance:

The frame had a moulded, built in nose piece.

Supplied with a case and micro fibre cleaning cloth.

13cm arm length

14.5cm wide, front of frame with a 6 base curve

5cm high at lenses

Lens length 6cm x 4cm high

RRP: $89.00

More at www.BZOptics.com

Zwift Play Controllers

Zwift Play is a recently released controller system for the Zwift virtual indoor cycling app.

Designed to mount to your indoor trainer bike’s handlebars, the Play controllers help streamline the user experience on the Zwift app by offering enhanced functions such as fully controlling Zwift from the handlebars (from menus and workout controls to route selection and Ride Ons). 

There’s the ability to drop PowerUps straight from your bars plus steer and brake and get into drafting positions a lot easier.

The controllers are USB-C rechargeable, have a 20-hr battery life, and connect to the system via Bluetooth. 

The RRP is $275 and further details can be seen at www.zwift.com

New Lonely Planet Books

Two new releases from Lonely Planet will help encourage riders to get out and enjoy a pedal-powered journey across the breathtaking landscapes of Australia and New Zealand.

Best Bike Rides Australia and New Zealand serve as comprehensive roadmaps to thrilling two-wheel adventures, offering easily navigable routes, author-recommended picks, invaluable travel tips, and downloadable digital maps. 

Choose from a diverse range of rides, tailored to every level of cyclist, from a leisurely couple of hours to a full day, and from easy to challenging. 

Each accessible route promises a journey through diverse landscapes, coastal panoramas, historic trails, mountain paths, and eco-friendly perspectives and exploration—armed only with a bike and a sense of adventure.

Key Australian inclusions are –

  • Three Bridges in Sydney crossing the ANZAC, Pyrmont, and Sydney Harbour Bridges 
  • A ride around ACT’s Lake Burley Griffin 
  • Surfers Paradise to the Spit on Queensland’s Gold Coast 
  • The Murray to Mountain Rail Trail in Victoria 
  • Tasmania’s Bruny island trail 
  • The Riesling Trail in South Australia
  • Halls Head Coastal Trail in Mandurah near Perth 

And some NZ highlights –

  • New Plymouth Coastal trail 
  • Remutaka Rail Trail near Wellington 
  • Mistletoe Bay to Anakiwa at the tip of the South Island 
  • A user-friendly bike path from Christchurch to the Beach
  • The Otago Harbour Loop 

Best Bike Rides Australia and Best Bike Rides New Zealand by Lonely Planet Is priced at $34.99 and available where all good books are sold or via www.booktopia.com.au

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