electric mountain bike

First Look Friday | Look flat pedals, Robert Axle, Rapha & Corima

First Look Friday | Look flat pedals, Robert Axle, Rapha & Corima 2020-10-09Leave a comment

electrical bike First Look Friday | Look flat pedals, Robert Axle, Rapha & Corima

It’s Friday and meaning shiny new issues in your perusal. This week noticed the launch of the astonishing Specialized S-Works Aethos with its claimed 585g body and the 2021 Stumpjumper Evo.

Schwalbe released a 41g inner tube whereas Canyon finally unveiled its much anticipated (and leaked) new Aeroad.

Strava added functionality to its Goals feature and we picked apart some pet peeves we have with bike makers in the BikeRadar podcast.

Learn on for this week’s product highlights.

Look Geo Metropolis Grip and Path Grip flat pedals

There is no brand more closely associated with clipless pedals than Look, so there’s a certain novelty in the idea of it making flat pedals. Look says: “we recognise and respect that not everyone wants to be locked onto their bikes”.

Launched last month, the Geo City Grip and Trail Grip pedals feature grippy covers designed in partnership with shoe sole maker Vibram, and they really do look a bit like soles stuck to pedals. 

The covers are replaceable and ours arrived with an alternative set, allowing a radical change of appearance. 

The Geo City Grip pedals are aimed at the urban rider and their covers have a low-profile ‘tread’ pattern that claims to be grippy in all weathers, while not risking damage to your shoes in the way that conventional mountain bike pedals with pins do. 

An alternative version with built-in lights called the Geo City Grip Vision is also available. 

The Trail Grips have a more aggressive design and are aimed at actual mountain biking and other off-road riding. 

While there are no pins per se, the tread has ultra-hard protrusions (they’re not steel, I checked) to add purchase.

Both sets weigh 522g and get chromoly steel spindles and cartridge bearings, similar to those of Look’s road pedals. 

Corima G30.5 gravel wheelset

Gravel specific wheelsets have been coming thick and fast this year, so Corima’s G30.5 is bang on trend. 

Based on a 30.5mm deep carbon rim, the Corimas feature an internal width of 22mm, which is very wide by conventional road standards, but not as extreme as say, the Zipp 303 Firecrest (25mm) or Enve SES 3.4 AR Disc (also 25mm).

What the G30.5 shares with those wheelsets is its hookless rim design, which has some potential advantages although does mean that you must run tubeless-ready tyres, even if you’re not running them without inner tubes. 

In any case, they’re designed to be used with tyres from 28mm to 60mm wide, covering everything from endurance road to the gnarliest end of the gravel spectrum.

Corima uses what it calls a ‘torsion box’ rim construction with a horizontal reinforcing member with the rim, and a structural foam that’s claimed to increase stiffness and absorb road vibrations. 

Unusually, the rims also feature a pressure release valve to prevent damage in the event the tape is compromised, and the rim itself becomes pressurised.

The G30.5s are built around DT Swiss’s latest 240 hub, while the spokes are standard J-bend items, so sourcing spares should be straightforward. 

The wheels weigh 1,572g for the set on our scales, including tape and valves.

The Robert Axle Project Hexlox thru-axles

Do you lock your beloved bicycle outside? Quick-release skewers have always been a no-no on bikes parked al fresco, but the gradual takeover of thru-axles (on bikes with discs) has complicated things slightly when it comes to improving bike security. 

With traditional quick-releases, compatibility was very straightforward and it was straightforward to substitute them with a set of theft-resistant alternatives.

With thru-axles, there are various reasonably well established hub standards, but the axles themselves come in a bewildering variety of variants, with various designs and a number of different thread standards – you can’t just wander into a bike shop and count on them selling something that fits. 

The Robert Axle Project makes thru-axles to fit just about every disc-equipped bike on the market and, in partnership with bike security specialist Hexlox, the brand now offers axles specifically designed to work with the latter’s clever anti-theft design. 

The brand has an ‘axle finder to make sure you get the right parts for your bike and the Lightning thru-axles take a standard hex key in their native state, but they’re designed to receive Hexlox’ tiny magnetic anti-theft device, essentially a small insert that can only be removed from the bolt head using the dedicated keyring-borne tool. 

The axles themselves are, like the turbo-trainer specific one from Robert we featured previously, beautifully made. The machining looks perfect and the threads are crisp and perfectly cut. 

With the Hexlox inserts in place, undoing the axles (and hence removing the wheels) is impossible by conventional means.

Obviously, securing your wheels is just one of many things you can do to make your bike more secure, but anything you can do to make it less appealing to thieves is worth considering. 

Rapha Pro Team Training Long Sleeve jersey

Rapha’s Pro Team range offers race-cut kit with relatively understated design (it couldn’t be more different to that special-edition kit made in collaboration with Palace).

The latest Pro Team long-sleeve jersey shares its main features with the short-sleeve version, and is described as being suitable for “slightly mild conditions”.

Despite the sleeves, it’s quite a light garment, made from a thin polyester/elastane blend with no fuzzy Roubaix-style fabrics. 

That means it’s going to work best on balmier days, or when layered up with an appropriate combination of baselayer, jacket and/or gilet.

The Pro Team jersey’s design is quite conventional with three full-sized rear pockets and a really wide gripper, while the fit is properly racy and figure-hugging. 

It’s available in men’s and women’s versions, with four colour options for the former and two for the latter. 

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