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Review: GripGrab Raptor Gloves

Wout Van Aert, Marianne Vos, Tom Pidcock… All multiple World Champions and all with something in common. The GripGrab Raptor gloves have been around for a few years now and have enjoyed plenty of success – we thought it would be good to see why so many athletes are opting for the Raptor Gloves in Cyclocross.

WVA GripGrab
Photo: GripGrab / @naimawieczorreck

 

GripGrab, based in the cold climate of Denmark, clearly know how to make a warm glove and this was immediately evident in near freezing temperatures endured during testing, but these are a race glove so although warmth is key for Cyclocross we were confident these could be worn in races all year round, so have focused more on the specific details of the design.

As you’d expect with Grip in the company name, the grip on our muddy handlebars was exceptional, thanks to rubber printing on the palm, fingers and thumb making sure your fingers don’t slip off the bars or levers which was summed up by the brands motto ‘Never lose your Grip’. Hidden from the outside, the InsideGrip™ technology features silicon grips located inside the glove which are claimed to improve friction between glove and palm, making the glove work like a second skin with an unprecedented grip. The fingertips incorporate the same approach and ensures grip to the brake levers and gear shifters.

We too were impressed with the breathability, with the slip-in cuff allowing easy removal at the end of a muddy race, whilst the breathable softshell back allowed air to reach our hands even during high intensity races, yet the windproof design preventing that horrible feeling of wind rushing through your hands.

With ourselves located in the U.K, the typical British Winter provided us with some ideal rainy test conditions. Although the glove is not fully waterproof, we were impressed by how dry our hands kept, and linking back to the impressive warmth avoided us suffering from any cold hands during testing.

Finally a few nice additional features such as the sweat wiper and no padding again show why the Raptor Glove is tailored to suit Cyclocross Racers. We were also a fan of the Touch Screen Compatibility – allowing us to get some photos whilst still keeping our hands warm and dry!

 

More information at https://www.gripgrab.com/products/raptor-1

 

GripGrab Raptor Cyclocross Glove Review
Product Testing
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Spotted: Prototype Tread from Challenge Tires

With the National Championship weekend only 10 days away, many riders are going to great measures to have the best shot of the National Title.

With the Belgian Championships being hosted in the iconic dunes of Koksijde, it’s no surprise the Belgians are looking for their file treads, whilst most of us other racers, their extreme Mud tubulars – two complete different ends of the spectrum!

European U23 Champion Eli Iserbyt posted this photo earlier on Instagram, of what looks to be a 33mm Road Tread! This looks similar to the current Dune offering from Challenge, but with an even smaller tread pattern, missing the smaller side knobs. Only on a course such as Koksijde is a tyre like this needed, with riders looking for the smoothest way through the deep sand…

Eli Iserbyts new prototpye Challenge Tubulars
Image: @IserbytEli

We’ve recently seen Wout Van Aert using some interesting custom tubular setups – it will be interested to see what he opts for next weekend. To read our chat with Wout’s tyre producer Dugast about his custom treads click here

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New Year, New Tech, Teams and More!

The New Years Day DVV Trophy round in Baal today was the first opportunity to see the new colours, bikes, buses and more in the Cyclocross Field…

Here we run you through all the changes and what you can expect to see in 2018:

Firstly Mathieu Van der Poel and his Beobank-Corendon team now have a new name, kit, bike and sponsor! Circus Casinos have replaced Beobank, with the team now known as Corendon-Circus. The new sponsor only meant one thing a new jersey, as seen below.

Along with a new title sponsor, Circus, Canyon Bicycles also joined as bike sponsor, replacing Stevens after a lengthy deal. The team will be riding the new Canyon Inflite CF SLX, with more details found here

Van Der Poel Canyon Inflite CF SLX

Mathieu and his team were also spotted wearing the new Lazer Bullet Aerohelmet, replacing the ever-popular Lazer Z1 – it looks like aerohelmets in cross are here to stay!

Also spotted rocking the new lids were Kevin Pauwels and his Marlux teammates, seemingly switching to the aero design from longtime sponsor eKoi. The main thing you would have noticed however is the new jersey for team Marlux-Bingoal, with Bingoal replacing Napoleon-Games as title sponsor

The super successful development team Lares-Doltcini also sees change, with Callant replacing Doltcini as title sponsor.

There was no change for World Champ Wout Van Aert, however it is rumoured Stevens could be replacing Felt as bike sponsor from 1st March, with riders reportedly unhappy with the current Felt Bikes. Van Aert’s teammates do see change however, with the Crelan Charles team changing kit to a more ‘striking’ green design!

There we no apparent changes for Vastgoedservice-Pauwels Sauzen, however a new team bus awaited the riders today in Baal! Would you like to see some team bus and truck tours next year?!

Team IKO-Beobank also had a new team bus – with Lotto Soudal reportedly gifting them this beast of a truck for the riders to use for the remainder of the season and beyond after the previous bus caught fire!

Photo credit: Radio2be

 

Sanne Cant remained on Stevens Bikes today, however new teammate Ceylin Alvarado was sporting the new Canyon

Talking of transfers, the Womens Scene has seen a lot of change. Firstly Helen Wyman will now be riding for new team/project Xypex-Verge Sport and will be riding KindHuman Bikes, after losing backing from long term partner Kona

Fellow Brit Nikki Brammeier also starts her own CX ‘project’ and will be another rider on Canyon Bikes as part of the Mudiita Canyon setup.

2016 World Champion Thalita de Jong also has a new team, moving from Lares Waowdeals to Experza-Footlogix for 2018 and is rumoured to be making her CX comeback next weekend in Lueven.

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The Secret behind Wout Van Aerts tyre collection – a quick chat with Dugast

World Champion Wout Van Aert is known to have a wide range of tubular tyres for a variety of conditions… remember back to #Bieles2017 where Wout used an old Green Michelin Mud tread on a Dugast carcass?

Yesterday in Zolder many of you eagle eyed viewers spotted an interesting tread pattern used by Wout, on what was an extremely fast and dry course compared to the used Mud of Zolder, our friends at Dugast let us into the story behind this interesting tyre choice from Van Aert…

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@Cyclocrosss: So what was the combination Wout used today?

Dugast: “This is actually a Barum tread that we have glued on our casing on demand of Niels Albert.
Barum used to be a Czech producer of tubular tyres back in the eighties.
It is a pretty similar thing as the green Michelin treads: we can put these treads on a Dugast casing as long as the customer sends us the tread – and the tread needs to be in a good condition, which is not always the case after conserving it over 30 years”

This tread, more similar to a moto-cross style tread allowed a fast, yet grippy tyre, with good clearance for any mud picked up along the way, was it the perfect combination for today?

“As a rider Niels Albert was always trying many different treads and he is doing the same now for Wout as his team manager.
It could be a good choice for this course, but with today’s conditions. The tread would perform better when it is 100% dry.”

Do you do custom tubulars often, and for the general public?

“We did have lots of interest after last years worlds,  We do this for every customer. Before we had the rhino tubulars we were producing a lot of these tubulars with Michelin tread on our casing. But since the rhino, we get much less requests to do this.”

You can supply your own tread to order custom tubulars on request for €50* by contacting A.Dugast

 

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Exclusive first look: New team bike for Mathieu Van der Poel and Corendon-Circus

From January 1st 2018, Mathieu Van der Poel and his Beobank-Corendon teammates make the switch from Stevens Bikes to Canyon Bicycles.

The team, which will be known as Corendon-Circus, will ride the new Canyon Inflite CF SLX, featruing the Shimano Dura-ace 9170 Groupsets and Wheels, equipped with FMB tubulars and Selle-Italia bar tape and saddles.

mvdp canyon 2