Earlier this year we selected our favorite products from standout European brands for Road Bike Action’s 2019 Euro Buyer’s Guide. As the holidays approach we updated our list for a year-end best-of from overseas.
CERAMIC SPEED OVERSIZED PULLEY WHEEL
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Designed for mixed-surface riding, the OSPW is compatible with SRAM Rival and Force 1 Type 3 derailleurs. Ceramic Speed claims it reduces friction by 30 percent compared to a standard SRAM derailleur.
Price: $619 (coated ceramic bearings)
or $519 (standard
SELLE REPENTE ALEENA
Repente is jumping into the Italian-made saddle game with some unique, lightweight saddles. The Aleena features a modular design that can use three different tops with varying padding thicknesses. The split-tail design brings added comfort. The saddle weighs 130 grams.
ASTUTE SKY CARB
Astute offers a range of saddles that combine a modernist design with a range of colors and shapes. The made-in-Italy, 175-gram Sky Carb uses special memory foam and a double-carbon shell to provide both comfort and support.
The family-run Selle SMP saddle company has been producing their uniquely shaped, ergonomic, Italian-made saddles for over three decades. SMP has one of the biggest variety of models with leather covers and plenty of colors.
With its unique aerodynamic look, the Suomy Glider will turn heads out on the road. Available in nine different colorways, the Glider can add the quintessential Euro look to your favorite kit. Made in Italy, it retails for $225.
The Valegro was developed with Team Sky to offer the best comfort and ventilation. It was specifically designed for climbing and hot conditions. It is available in eight colors and three sizes.
LIMAR AIR MASTER
At the center of the brand’s aero-optimized helmet lineup, the Air Master’s low-profile and narrow three-piece outer shell take the middle ground in this Italian helmet shootout. First launched at the Giro d’Italia in 2018, the Air Master was tested by WorldTour professionals to provide modern aerodynamic advantages. A comfortable amount of ventilation provided by 15 vents connected by shallow channels for continuous airflow.
RUDY PROJECT VOLANTIS
Rudy Project’s Volantis is the only helmet here that is both designed and manufactured in Italy. So for the purists, this might be the only “real” Italian helmet. A broad polycarbonate shell with nine vents and a three-quarter rear covers a layer of impact-absorbing EPS foam. The Volantis has the most head coverage out of the offerings which Rudy Project claims, gives it an aero advantage by allowing the wind to form to the shell rather than deflect off multiple vents.
LEM MOTIVE AIR
Following in the footsteps of their initial release of the Tailwind, LEM’s latest lid is the Motive Air, and it’s constructed with a multi-shell polycarbonate outer and filled with an expandable polystyrene foam in-mold. Designed for maximum airflow, 23 vents are connected by nine rows of deep channels that allow warm air to escape and filter fresh air through the helmet.
Meet the lightest and latest helmet on the market from Belgian lid maker, Lazer. The G1 uses 22 vents and a narrow profile to improve aerodynamics. An aero cover is included with the helmet for added benefit but can also be used to keep warmth in and cold air out during winter.
NORTHWAVE EXTREME PRO
The Extreme Pro features Northwave’s signature snug fit with two Boa dials all on top of the stiffest sole they use for the best performance possible.
MAVIC COSMIC ULTIMATE SL
Owing to its 382-gram weight, this would be Mavic’s version of a lightweight climbing shoe. Available in yellow, black or white, the shoe uses a single Boa adjuster and a full-carbon sole.
A new level of knit performance, the KR1’s upper is a carbon outsole with integrated webbing and an elastic rib-ankle collar for a sock-like fit. The 510-gram shoes are available in orange or a limited-edition tri-color.
The Tierra is Vittoria’s answer to the growing gravel segment. The lace-up closure and road-oriented upper mated to a carbon composite sole with off-road tread mean it’s a great option.
Designed in England and made in Italy, the polished-looking (red, blue, gold, silver, black) DiLuca Killer KS1 shoes have a full carbon shell with a heat-moldable sole and dual-direction ATOP closure.
SIDI WIRE 2
The Wire 2s follow in the footsteps of the Tour de France-winning Shot’s tongue-mounted retention dial. At 510 grams a pair, the Wire 2s aren’t light, but they maintain the celebrated legacy of comfort and durability the brand is known for.
HESTRA GLOVES BIKE LONG SR.
With 80 years of producing top-tier ski gloves to their credit, Hestra is now entering the cycling market. The full-fingered Bike Long Sr. uses a Clarino material on the palm for durability, plus touchscreen-conductive fingertips.
The German-based Gore Wear brand scored big by bringing Fabian Cancellara on to help develop their new line of C7 performance wear. The C7 bibs and jerseys use new materials and designs to bring more style and comfort.
ROTOR 2INPOWER DM ROAD CRANKSET
Rotor’s newest dual-sided power meter offers Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity. The aluminum crank can be set up with regular round chainrings or Rotor’s Q rings that are oval and allow you to adjust your optimum chainring angle.
Price: $1600 with chainrings
Declutter your bars! The Hidemybell maximizes handlebar real estate by incorporating a computer mount, bell and a mount for a light or GoPro all into a single accessory.
LIGHTWEIGHT FERNWEG WHEELSET
New for 2019 is a redesigned Lightweight Fernweg wheelset. Both the 63mm and 85mm also now have a disc brake option. The 85mm disc wheelset weighs 1765 grams, while the 63mm disc set is 1695 grams.