The Musette is Cycling news‘ Friday series in which we take a look at some of the best cycling gear in the world. We’ll be looking at pro-level gear, bikes and components, as well as some of the most sought-after apparel and newest accessories in the sport.
This week we had a tasteful mix of components, clothing, body surveillance, and neat bike storage.
Pour yourself a coffee and catch a glimpse of what we’ve been reviewing lately, hear our very first impressions, or just look at some photos instead of checking off your Friday to-do list; It’s almost the weekend after all!
Since the LeMond era, Oakley has been deeply embedded in the fabric of cycling. He sponsors large swaths of the pro peloton, as well as many other pros in other disciplines. It’s not all the hype either; Oakley has more than one pair of features in our list of the best cycling sunglasses.
Following the success of the Jawbreaker, Oakley continued to develop its premium cycling eyewear with Mark Cavendish, and the Kato are the latest pair to come out of this partnership. A frameless, wrap-around mono lens vaguely reminiscent of RoboCop thanks to additional coverage of the nose by the lens itself.
The Prizm Road lenses are quite phenomenal in terms of clarity and contrast, and the extreme lens wrap means peripheral vision is the best I’ve experienced to date.
They are comfortable and stay in place even on my small head. Not the most adjustable goggles I’ve used, but being able to adjust the angle of the arms to keep the nose guard from resting on my bulky beak was helpful.
The only initial issue that arose was that in more upright riding positions the wind tends to blow under them and affect your eyes. This doesn’t appear to be an issue in the aero position, but further testing is needed on this front.
£241/$303 is also a lot of money to shell out for a pair of glasses without replaceable lenses, regardless of lens quality.
Hornit Clug Pro
We’re big Clug fans here at Cyclingnews and have been using the little rack system for a while now to store all of our test bikes. It really is a new solution for organizing your bike storage or indoor space and the brand has improved the formula to ensure that your bike stays securely in place at all times, especially in the colder months when you spend less than time to ride and check air pressures.
The original Clug’s simple clip-on system is very good (we’ve had no issues with bikes falling off) but Hornit has gone the extra mile to ensure your bike wheel doesn’t come off if your pressure of air falling. The result? The Clug Pro, which uses a magnetic Fidlock winch and lanyard to securely store your bike.
It’s designed to hold up to 30kg, which is 10kg more than the standard version, so it should work well even with heavier e-bikes. The Clug Pro is available in five sizes: Roadie 23mm to 32mm (1 to 1.25 inches), Hybrid 33mm to 43mm (1.3 to 1.7 inches), MTB 44mm to 57mm (1, 75 to 2.25 inches), MTB XL 58 mm to 69 mm (2.3 to 2.7 inches) and Plus 70 mm to 81 mm (2.7 to 3.2 inches). The Roadie sells for £25.99 / $29.95 / AU$42.95.
One thing to consider is that Clug refers to the actual tire size, not the listed tire size, so we recommend measuring before deciding which version to order.
Parcours Alta 650b gravel wheels
Parcours Velo is a British hand-built carbon wheel manufacturer that started with a mission to make aerodynamics more accessible. Since then, the brand has produced a range of high-end wheels covering road (both disc and rim) and gravel, as well as custom builds. Among the gravel line is the Alta, which comes in 700c and 650b options, the latter of which we have had the pleasure of spending some hands-on time with.
The Alta was developed as part of the brand’s #ridefurther movement, a campaign that aimed to encourage riders to push their perceived limits and travel further. What does it take to do that? Among many things, a solid, robust and above all comfortable wheelset is the key. Thus, the Alta was born.
We haven’t had a chance to mount them on a frame yet, so our hands-on experience with them to date is off-bike. It didn’t take long for us to realize that the Parcours Alta 650b wheelset is tough and light (1372g total minus tires and sealant). The machined alloy hubs are disc centerlock and laced in a 2-cross pattern to the carbon rims using 24 Sapim CX-Ray spokes.
The hookless rim profile, with an internal width of 25mm, is designed for use with gravel tires ranging from 32mm up to 47mm+, and it is tubeless ready. We’ve wrapped them in nice Hutchinson Touareg 650b x 47mm rubbers ready for testing, and we’ll be reporting on how they perform against the best gravel wheels on the market next month.
A standard build of the Alta 650b wheels costs £849, or you can opt for a Son Delux 12 hub dynamo for a total of £1,049 (around $1,120/$1,385).
Garmin HRM Pro heart rate monitor
The HRM Pro is Garmin’s best heart rate monitor, assuming feature count is what we’re measuring by. It also happens to be the most expensive, but for your investment you get a device that takes basic heart rate monitor functionality and packs in a host of additional features for multi-sport athletes.
For cyclists, it can be paired with all the best bike computers on the market, as well as indoor cycling apps such as Zwift using Bluetooth or ANT+ connectivity. It can be paired directly with the Garmin Connect app, supports real-time heart rate data, and can transmit heart rate variability data to compatible apps. Outside of cycling, it can track running dynamics alongside a compatible Garmin smartwatch. This gives you information such as ground contact time, cadence, stride length, vertical oscillation and running power to help you focus on your training. It has built-in memory to store workout data without a smartphone, and triathletes can take it to the pool with no problem.
It’s water resistant to 5ATM, meaning it can withstand water pressure equivalent to a depth of 50m for 10 minutes, and it’s priced at £119.99/$129.99. We’re testing it in a new heart rate monitor group test alongside competitors from Wahoo, Polar, Hammerhead and more, so keep an eye out for that in the weeks to come.