Cane Creek eeSilk stem, Silca Chisela, Spurcycle Compact Bell first look

With the Tour de France Femmes wrapping on a high note, we expect you’re now suffering seriously maillot jaune withdrawal so why not ease the comedown with our review of the race and our look at Annemiek van Vleuten’s Stage 8 Strava stats?

Elsewhere this week, some dank beer-themed cycling kit launched, Komoot announced its take on Google Street View (but for trails) and Emma Cole chatted to world record-holding handcyclist Mel Nichols.

There’s been a strong gravel and ultra theme too: cycling guru Ben Delaney gave his verdict on the top-spec Trek Checkpoint while tech ed Sam Challis passed judgment on the all-road Fara F/AR.

Meanwhile, ultracyclist Christoph Strasser was the first to roll across the line at the Transcontinental Race, and Emma profiled last year’s winner Fiona Kolbinger.

We also marveled at the exploits of the Rough Stuff Fellowship, published our buyer’s guide to frame protection and our full rundown of US gravel races and events.

With the news that mountain biker Evie Richards won gold at the Commonwealth Games, we revisited our interview with this extraordinary young talent.

We also used the games as justification to ogle the incredible Lotus 110 bike and, on a more selfish note, I wrote up my eminently sensible Giant TCR build which features – shock horror – rim brakes.

On with the show!

Cane Creek eeSilk stem

Like lairy patterned wallpaper and the threat of nuclear annihilation, squishy cockpits à la Girvin Flex Stem are back.

The Cane Creek eeSilk is an intriguing take on the genre, claiming up to 20mm of ‘tunable compliance’ courtesy of a pivot and a chunky elastomer that comes in three different grades.

The eeSilk fits standard 1 1/8in steerers and includes on-the-fly adjustment with a soft/firm lever setting. This 100mm stem weighs 234g on our scales.

Do you fancy some suspension for your cockpit?



Spurcycle Compact Bell

Spurcycle arguably started the trend for premium bells when it launched its original – and since widely ripped-off – design back in 2014.

The brand’s latest Compact Bell is in much the same vein, with a slightly stripped back design. It’s a lovely object that feels premium in the hand and emits a properly assertive thing when you flick the lever.

The bell comes in two sizes to fit standard 31.8 or 22.2mm bars, and its new nylon bracket takes up just 9mm of bar real estate, a fair bit less than the 20mm of the original.

Look, we’re not here to tell you to buy a £45 bell, but if you’re so inclined, this one’s very nice.

Silca Chisela 3D-printed Ti computer mount

When Silca launched the £175 Mensola 3D-printed titanium computer mount last year, social media failed to #BeKind, thanks in no small part to the unfortunate angle chosen for some of the PR photos, one that provoked some very puerile comparisons.

The Chisela is a fresh take on the concept and, while it looks at a distance to be made from composite, it too is 3D-printed titanium, albeit with a matt black ceramic coating.

The Silca mounts directly to your stem, with the supplied hardware replacing your lower face plate bolts. Two sizes and five variants are available, meaning it should fit just about any stem out there.

Both Wahoo and Garmin GPS computers are catered to with the included ‘pucks’ and there’s a removable light or camera mount on the underside of the mount.

With the latter fitted, this ‘standard’ width Chisela weighs 38g, while removing it shaves off around 8g.

As well as looking cool, this mount claims to offer aero savings of 3-6W, although the baseline for comparisons isn’t clear.

Intuitively, it makes sense that it would be more aero than most out-front mounts, as the computer is placed below the top of the stem, potentially creating one less draggy aero vortex.

Peaty’s Holeshot Biofibre plastic-free tubeless sealant

Years ago, someone worked out that adding glitter to tubeless sealant helped plug punctures, and joy was unconfined.

The problem is, traditional glitter is yet another evil, sealife-choking, water-polluting microplastic, and we don’t like those.

The latest tire froth from Peaty’s claims to offer the benefits of glitter without the side-order of crushing guilt.

Employing hardwood-derived Bioglitter – said to be the only certified fresh water biodegradeable glitter – Peaty’s Holeshot Biofibre is designed to heal punctures up to 6mm, at pressures from 15 to 120psi.

Peaty’s says the new sealant is slightly thinner in consistency than previously for easier setup, but it incorporates a higher proportion of sealing compounds.

  • RRP: £7.99/120ml, £20/500ml, £29.99/1l

What we’re into this week: Better Call Saul

Recommending a series as high-profile as Better Call Saul (Netflix subscription required) feels a bit redundant at this point, but bear with it.

I enjoyed Breaking Bad as much as the rest of you, although I found its relentless unpleasantness a challenge at times.

Better Call Saul is a prequel to Breaking Bad, revolving around the convoluted exploits of slippery lawyer Jimmy McGill, later known as Saul Goodman. While it still deals in some heavy subject matter and lapses periodically into fairly extreme violence, it’s certainly the less gloomy series.

I cannot overstate how well made this show is. Star Bob Odenkirk is mesmerizing, the character development is rich and complex, and the production is cinematic in quality, effortlessly immersing you in the very cheesiest Americana. I love it.

Catch you next week.

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