Tête de la course - December
Tête de la course is a fortnightly feature where we summarise the latest products at Condor and why we think they are worth stocking in our London store.
- Brooks MT21 Multi-tool
- Rapha Women's Classic Bib Tight - new Hi Viz pink
- Condor Carbon Bottle Cage
- Assos iJ.ShaqUno Jacket
- Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders
- Assos Shell Gloves
Brooks MT21 Multi-tool - £50.00
Brooks consulted with over 700 of their community members to create their new MT21 multi-tool. Wrapped in a leather case the substantial twenty one piece tool has absolutely everything a Brooks rider would need when out on a cycling adventure, from sharp knife to bottle opener to saddle spanner, plus a host of spoke wrenches and Allen keys.
The MT21 is priced at £50 is available in three colours: black, brown or ochre.
Rapha Women's Classic Tights - £170.00
This winter looks bright for female cyclists. Along with an acidic yellow rain coat especially cut for women, Rapha have introduced an eye catching flash of pink along the leg and sides of their tights. The unpadded tights are constructed from Thermo Roubaix fabric (a brushed fleece) for an ideal balance between warmth and anatomic fit.
The tight is a fairly simple affair and doesn't feature the thicker wetsuit-style, wind-block fabrics available in some tights. If an arctic tundra brings the city to a standstill the Classic Tights may struggle. That said, this doesn't happen very often and what is great about the tights is you can sling on your favourite comfy shorts, pull the Women's Classic Tights on top and they make the ideal all day, cold weather outfit—a wardrobe staple.
Condor Carbon Bottle Cage - £34.99
The true beauty of your bike is the details: hand-selected upgrades that only you might notice. The latest version of the Condor Carbon Bottle Cage has a ultra minimal design with two slim arms that reach around your bottle and a super glossy clear lacquer finish over the uni-directional carbon.
Bottles go in and out with ease and stay in place when you're hammering along, and it weighs in at a feathery 31g and fits both short and tall bottles.
Assos iJ.ShaqUno Jacket - available in black or white at £211.99
There is more technology in the arm of an Assos jacket than most brands use on a whole garment. Their latest jacket is a new addition to the winter riding range.
The 'Shaq' incorporates two separate fabrics. Assos' venerable RX material is a fleecy, bi-elastic fabric that fits like a glove and insulates well in plummeting temperatures. The second fabric is a super lightweight almost shell material, which staves off the biting wind on fast descents. Importantly the two materials aren't bonded together, instead attached around the jacket permitting greater movement and creating pockets of insulation, keeping your temperature thoroughly regulated. There are all the features you'd expect from Assos including snug fit, no pressure closure system on the cuffs, plenty of pockets and reflective bits.
Look past the confusing name; the iJ.ShaqUno ("shaq" is apparently Arabic for little warrior) could very well be the last jacket you'll ever need.
Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders - £60.00
Black cabs, red buses and precipitation are three things that you will probably see on a daily basis in London. For owners of bicycle frames that weren't intended to fit mudguards a rider has two options; fit shorter clip-on guards (that have a tendancy to rattle) or move onto your wider clearance winter bike. If the latter is not an option a set of Full Metal Fenders from Portland Design Works (PDW) is a lifesaver.
The difference with the PDW anodised aluminium guards is that they reach under the brake bridge and right around the wheel to provide protection against freezing precipitation. They offer as much coverage as a conventional mudguard and stop your friends behind getting splashed in the face too so they can keep their eyes open.
Assos Shell_S7 Glove - £58.99
The Shell glove from Swiss-based Assos are designed to do one thing only: help you claw your way through winter.
The Shell is an update to the popular Assos lobsterShell 851 glove and retains the split finger design. Wear them on their own on crisp autumn days or throw on a liner when temperatures dip. Made with a blend of wind-block fabrics and spandex to keep the artic air out. There is an extended pull-on cuff that stretches well past one's wrist to ensure complete coverage.
Assos say they will provide coverage into ALS Climarange 5. If you're not fluent in Assos, it means that without a liner they're appropriate for temperatures down to 0 degrees Celcius (35 degrees Fahrenheit).