Emma Cole

6 Jan 2023

Latest gear roundup of the newest stuff in cycling plus a book to make the brain whir

Welcome to the first In the Drops of 2023. May your festivities have been glorious. If you did the Rapha Festive 500, fair play to you or if you spent most of it on the sofa (recovery is important) then also, fair play to you. 

We start the new year with the most important news. Cyclist magazine issue 135 has now hit the shelves and you can subscribe here or buy it from the Cyclist shop or any good newsstand.

This month’s magazine features an absolutely stunning ride in Utah with our very own James Spender hurtling through some magnificence autumnal landscapes. The colours have to be seen to be believed. 

Alongside this there’s an interview with Ellen van Dijk, a close up of the Giant TCR, all the latest tech you need to know about, and me arguing that we should ditch our GPS devices every so often.

In the world of digital, Charlotte Head has been cracking with her bottle cage reviews, with the Supacaz Fly Anodised bottle cage and the Silca Sicuro titanium cage. We also have an easy guide on how to replace your road bike gear cables.

For those lusting after the Swiss Alps crossed with James Bond, the Furka pass classic climb is definitely worth a read, and a gawp, and for all of us who are looking forward to the 2023 pro cycling season check out the five things we’re excited about for this year.

Products included in our weekly round-up are independently selected by our editorial team. Cyclist may earn an affiliate commission if you make a purchase through a retailer link. Learn more.

Velocio Alpha system

Winter layering is notoriously difficult – too hot, too cold, and, if you live in Britain, too soggy. However, Velocio claims to have solved this ongoing conundrum with its Alpha layering system.

Inspired by alpine climbing and ski mountaineering, the system is centred around the brand’s Alpha long sleeve top which features Polartec insulation called Alpha Direct (hence the name). This insulation is said to trap air where you want it without adding weight whilst also remaining breathable.

The sides, back and lower sleeve are made from merino fleece fabric which is super soft and, as we are constantly reminded, renowned for its thermoregulating properties.

The idea is that you can wear the Alpha long sleeve with Velocio’s signature softshell or rain jacket, and it extends the use of these garments to colder temperatures. I like this principle as it makes your cycling gear go further.

Velocio has also recently launched the Alpha glove which borrows tech from the layering system and features the same Alpha Direct insulation.

These gloves are light and dexterous. And the fire red colour is rather ravishing.

  • Buy the women’s Alpha long sleeve from Velocio (£160)
  • Buy the men’s Alpha long sleeve from Velocio (£160)

Moju Turmeric shots

Turmeric is often touted as a possible cure for many ailments, including arthritis, digestive issues, allergies, infections, hangovers… Ok maybe I exaggerated with the latter but that’s not to say the rest aren’t legit.

Turmeric has an active ingredient called curcumin which is said to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Moju’s turmeric shots contain 16.3g of fresh pressed turmeric root in every shot. Which sounds like a hella’ lot of goodness to me.

Each 420ml bottle has seven shots in it and, most importantly, the turmeric is blended with a pinch of black pepper to aid absorption. No point shotting some slightly bitter turmeric if it isn’t going to work, right?

So far, gulping down a shot every morning has made me feel ever so sprightly and I am here for it.

  • Buy now from Moju (£27.80 for four 420ml bottles)

Le Col Hors Categorie Insulated Gilet

This gilet from Le Col is marvellously soft to the touch, feels insulating and is, well, very orange.

The gilet benefits from PrimaLoft insulating technology, so it promises good thermal regulation, and apparently even works when wet. I haven’t tried this yet though, because, well, rain.

I rather like the subtle branding in the seams around the arm holes.

There’s also a sneaky internal pocket for a phone, snack bar, etc. which is a nice touch.

Shown here in saffron (a fancy word for orange) – because let’s face it who wants to be a shrinking violet on a bicycle in bleak January – this gilet also comes in black.

What I’m into this week: The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus

Ha, bet you were not expecting this one.

Not for the faint hearted, The Myth of Sisyphus is a philosophical essay where renowned French writer Camus introduces us to his idea of Absurdism and questions the meaning of life through his existential observations.

In Greek mythology, the myth of Sisyphus is as follows: Zeus punishes Sisyphus for his trickery by making him push a rock up a mountain, only for it to roll down every time it gets to the top, so Sisyphus has to start over every time.

Camus presents this daily grind by Sisyphus… as, well, the daily grind and argues that it is absurd, yet Sisyphus is happy doing it. Camus challenges the everyday worker, the 9 to 5, the 10 to 6, whatever you want to call it. 

It’s the ideal January read, not least because it is less than 120 pages, but also because it’s thought-provoking, at times depressing and confusing, but nevertheless gets the brain whirring.

It reminds me of the sound of a freehub.

All image credits: Emma Cole

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