Gear of the year: our favourite cycling tech from 2019

It really has been a stellar year as far as new bikes, gear and kit are concerned with some amazing products and developments sprouting forth from the world’s most revered brands.

While we saw some crazy concepts – the CeramicSpeed Driven concept yet again wooed the masses – we made an effort to get our hands on as many products as possible to establish which truly are the best in a bid to offer Cyclingnews’ readers best-in-class cycling buying advice.

Eurobike showcased some impressive tech highlights but throughout the year, only a few truly stood out as game-changing items. We narrowed down our search by carefully and methodically sifting through all the marketing hype and ensured we field-tested each product. That said, it’s fair to say that all the items listed here have become our go-to choices when we head out of the door as well as represent products we’d personally buy ourselves.

We’ve also pulled out some of the key features of each product, photographed them beautifully and ensured we’ve found the best prices so that you too can get in on the action. Enjoy.
Our gear of the year

Cannondale SuperSix EVO Dura-Ace Disc

The new Cannondale SuperSix EVO is fast but also impressively compliant. It’s the benchmark for lightweight road bike perfromance

Brakes: Rim and Disc | Frame: Carbon | Type: Race | Sizes: 47-62cm
Sharp handling
Aero and comfort gains
Power meter requires a fee to unlock

On the surface, it’s difficult to spot any similarities between the new SuperSix and its forebear. Save for a couple of monikers and decals, they couldn’t be further apart. Despite the generic facade, however – something it shares with all of its rivals – the new SuperSix looks fast even when standing still.

It’s only once you’ve pedalled it and taken it through its paces do the similarities with its predecessor come to the fore. It’s an agile machine; stiff and fast. Like version two, it climbs well, corners with confidence and is perceptive to directional changes, instilling in the rider assurance as well as sending dollops of feedback through the tyres, saddle and bars.

The new Cannondale SuperSix EVO is fast. Undeniably so but it’s also impressively compliant. It’s starting to feel more and more like the SuperSix EVO it replaces every time we ride it, which is a lot.

Roval Terra CLX wheels

An incredibly light wheelset designed to transition effortlessly between tarmac and gravel roads

Brake: Disc | Material: Carbon | Tyre format: Tubeless and clincher (28-42mm) | Rim width (internal): 25mm
Beautifully designed wheels
Stiff and incredibly light
Compatible with tyre sizes ranging from 28-42mm (frame-clearance dependent)
Glossy decals prone to surface scratches

Roval Components, a subsidiary of Specialized, has gone all out on its new Terra wheel portfolio, pitching them squarely at the ever-growing gravel market. The range comprises a brace of options – the Terra CLX and CLX Evo – designed to cater for both speed merchants and gnar lovers of dirt-road riding, with the CLX Evo coming in both 700c and 650b guises.

Not only are they achingly beautiful, but they’re also incredibly well rounded and can be manipulated to dismiss anything you throw at them through tyre pressure experimentation, be it tarmac, gravel or even singletrack. As an all-round option, nothing we’ve tested thus far comes close to the value and versatility they provide in spades.

The Roval Terra CLXs, then, are neither a gravel- nor road-wheel-specific wheel option. Instead, they combine lightweight performance with an ultra-stiff chassis for use across every imaginable discipline. As a wheelset upgrade, the Terra CLX offer speed, cornering precision and a tailorable ride quality that will not just make you faster but improve the way you ride, especially on unpredictable surfaces like gravel.

POC Aspire Solar Switch sunglasses

Carl Zeiss-fettled lens and Solar Switch tech make for one serious set of sunnies

Lens type: Nylon lens by Carl Zeiss Vision, Solar Switch sensor | UV protection: Yes | Frame type: Half frame | Weight: 40g

Carl Zeiss lens
Solar Switch sensor
Exquisite design and fit
Lens needs care as it’s prone to scratches

POC’s Aspire cycling sunglasses represent the brands move into a more premium and performance-focused space with an elegant colour palette comprising white, yellow, black and even tortoiseshell frame options.

The one-piece Clarity lens, developed in collaboration with Carl Zeiss Vision, provides enhanced contrast and colour definition across the spectrum. While the lens is decently sized, it doesn’t offer much of a wrap-around effect which limits peripheral vision to a certain extent.

What it does possess in spades, however, are superior ergonomic qualities – particularly when it comes to fit and comfort thanks to the sizeable nose piece and flexibility of the Grilamid frame and arms.

This particular pair – the Aspire Solar Switch – were unveiled at EuroBike 2019 and utilise an electrochromic LCD lens that can change its tint instantly and automatically, regardless of the lighting conditions. The price? A cool £340. The regular Aspire shades are a worthy alternative should you not secure a set of Solar Switch shades.

Favero Assioma Duo power pedals

Accurate, affordable and incredibly light. What’s not to like?

Weight: 296g (actual) | Battery life: 50+ hours | Battery type: Rechargeable | Measurement: Dual-sided | Type: Pedal

Weight
Price
Accuracy
None

Favero Electronics may be a newcomer to the power-meter realm but the Italian manufacturer has taken the fight to PowerTap and Garmin by offering a lighter, cheaper and more accurate power pedal – the Assioma. In fact, they weigh just 148g per pedal, which is significantly less than the Garmin Vectors and PowerTap P2s (216g per pedal).

It’s a tidy-looking package – all the sensors and strain gauges are located in a housing next to the pedal body, which measures directly at each axle. Not only does this neat little design cue ensure the Assiomas look like an ordinary pedal and not as chunky and bulky as its rivals, but it also keeps the electronics from getting damaged by falls or impacts, meaning it’s easier to maintain down the line. They’re also IP67 certified.

Unlike other power meters that harvest data based on the angular velocity of the crank arm through each rotation, the Assioma uses an instantaneous angular velocity (IAV) measuring technique thanks to an on-board gyroscopic sensor. According to Favero, the IAV way of harvesting data is class-leading, with accuracy to a maximum deviation of only one per cent.

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