Issue #018

Hype This! 7 cool products for the ultimate sunset social this summer

Hooray, summer is here! Whether you’re on the world’s fastest racing whip or cruising on your gravel bike, what’s better than rounding off your day with a social spin finished off with a beer outside? Exactly: Nothing! Here’s our guide to this summer’s must-haves that will take your sunset spin to the next level.

Café du Cycliste Laureline gravel jersey

Pulling off a peerless summer ride begins long before you clip in. Donning the right jersey can generate exactly the right vibe, so fling open your wardrobe and take a moment to mull over your outfit choice. You’re opting for social over strenuous today, which means you need a jersey that exudes effortless cool. Café du Cycliste‘s Laureline does exactly that: we’re loath to call it a gravel jersey as that sounds restrictive, so we’d pitch it as the ideal choice for bringing a more relaxed (but definitely not lax) vibe to the asphalt and beyond. What else is great about this unisex jersey? It doesn’t shy away from hard work. Despite its casual aesthetic, it’s technical, durable, lightweight and breathable, plus allows full freedom of movement on the bike thanks to its 4-way stretch fabric. There’s a full-length front zip to let you enjoy the breeze and three rear jersey pockets provide space for all your essentials. We’re also pretty confident that the Laureline makes a good mood inevitable.

Price: € 135.00

Alba Optics ANVMA

Whether you’re flicking through a lifestyle magazine or scanning the crowds in the beer garden, you can’t deny that sunglasses are more of a statement than ever. So, why do cycling brands continue to churn out performance shades without paying due respect to lifestyle? Fortunately, the ANVMA from Alba Optics are turning the tide: with their traditional design, wide field of vision, anti-fog ventilation and scratch-resistant, unbreakable lenses, they seamlessly close the gap between fashion and function. Oh, and they only weigh 19 grams, which is basically as light and as featherweight as you’ll be feeling as you cruise to the pub. The ANVMA comes with a nylon sleeve, microfibre cleaning cloth and neck strap for the oh-so-cool-here-are-my-sunnies-around-my-neck look. They come in three colours and a choice of different lenses, including a photochromic option, as well as nose pad options. For your next gravel or road ride, pub trip or pedestrian zone pottering, the Alba Optics ANVMA will cut a fine figure!

Price: from € 119.00

MET Manta MIPS helmet

We’ll admit it: as much as we care about looking good on our bikes, we know that safety is non-negotiable. This makes us even more stoked that MET have created their Manta MIPS helmet. Not only is it slick-looking and protective, it’s also privy to aero optimisation, which means the next city limits sprint is yours – and so are the beers if you pull up first to the bar. Alongside aero gains, MET have also focused on improving fit and maximising safety, meaning that the Manta MIPS, as the name suggests, is equipped with the MIPS C2 system to reduce dangerous rotational forces in a crash. Specially constructed aerodynamically designed vents set this helmet apart from the rest of the field by ensuring consistent air flow and improving ventilation, even on hot days. The two front vents also double as a slot for your glasses and there’s a magnetic FIDLOCK closure for the chin strap.

Price: € 250.00

Restrap Canister Bag

Even if your destination doesn’t involve bikes, you’re still riding to reach it so you’ll need a spare tube, pump and multi-tool, at the very least. An extra layer for the ride home after sunset will also be welcome. Restrap’s Canister Bag has a 1.5 litre volume, which provides space for all of the above, plus an extra beer for the road. Measuring 10 cm by 20 cm, it’s designed to fit pretty much any handlebar setup out there. There’s one main zipped pocket, two elastic side pockets and a bracket on the front for a light. A prime example of fashion meeting function, it keeps things sophisticated with an understated design, black colourway and the classic Restrap logo. Whatever your coolness rating, this bag is on everyone’s level. Did we mention it’s totally vegan and hand-made in Britain’s beautiful Yorkshire?

Price: € 53.99

ABUS CombiFlex 2502

Alright, you’ve made it to the beer garden but you can’t relax just yet – not while you’re worrying about your bike. Is it within eyesight? What if you nip inside to order? What if the conversation is so gripping that you get distracted? The easy answer would be to bring a bike lock, but they’re usually so bulky that it just doesn’t fly in this scenario. And isn’t it true that even the toughest lock can be cracked with the right tools? That said, where you’re sat right now there are too many onlookers for anyone to wield heavy machinery to break your lock, so you can happily drink your beer providing there’s a secure deterrent on your bike – the ABUS CombiFlex 2502 is just the thing. Weighing a mere 85 g and with similar dimensions to an energy bar, it’s ideal for slipping into your pocket or handlebar bag and whipping out when needed. The 85 cm cable is 2 mm thick and can be fixed in length with a press of your thumb. Use your own personal three-digit code to secure it and go enjoy your beer.

Price: € 17.95

Albion Ultralight Insulated Jacket

As the day’s heat begins to fade and the cool beer brings down your body temperature, you will appreciate an extra layer for the ride home. Here’s where the Albion Ultralight Insulated Jacket steps up: it’s constructed with insulated panels on the front and upper arms to fend off oncoming wind, while smartly cut for your on-bike position with a dropped tail. Despite its cycling performance, it has a cool design that can easily hold its own in social situations. Sure, other cyclists might spot the cyclist in you, but the lack of skintight lycra means there’s no neon look-at-me sign on your head. Super compact and weighing in at just 99 g, it’ll fit into a jersey pocket and lends itself superbly to bikepacking and adventure riding, not just the pub garden. There’s an adjustable drawcord hem to keep it cinched tight. We’re also big fans of Albion’s sustainability focus: the jacket is made in Italy from 100% recycled nylon.

Price: € 156.00

Knog Plus rear light

What else comes in handy after the sun has set on your social spin? Exactly! Bike lights. But who wants a bulky back light that you’ll only need for 30 minutes at the end of your ride? The Knog Plus light weighs just 25 g (including its mount) and measures a minuscule 66 x 24 x 14 mm, leaving you with no excuses for being without one on your next night out. It’s approved for use on the roads by Germany’s Road Traffic Authorisation Ordinance (StVZO) and offers two constant light modes. With a 20 lumen output, it’ll run for 2 hours, or for 3.5 hours on the lower 11 lumen setting. All told, you’ll make it back home safer than Cinderella this summer. The two mounting options (clip or elastic) fit all standard tube sizes and can simply be left on the bike while you pocket the magnetic rear light when not in use. You can also clip the light to your clothing, which is handy for part-time runners. It’s USB-chargeable as well.

Price: € 19.99

Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of GRAN FONDO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality cycling journalism. Click here to learn more.

Words: Photos: Manufacturers