Racer USA Women’s Pitlane Gloves Review

Racer USA Women’s Pitlane Gloves Review Summary

Review Summary

The Racer USA’s Ladies Pitlane Gloves are a smart choice for the safety-conscious rider; from the excellent price point to the fantastic comfort they offer, the ¾ Pitlanes prove they have use beyond their namesake.

Pros

Good bang-for-buck value

Super comfy

Fantastic breathability

Ulna wrist bone protection

Hard shell for primary knuckles

Lightweight

Cons

No additional padding for hypothenar wrist base

Too much space between the knuckle shell and secondary knuckle braces

Glove’s base leather is too thin to be considered a primary track contender

Not an all-weather glove

Summary of Key Points:

  • The Racer USA Pitlane Women’s Gloves are comfortable to wear, extremely breathable, and very lightweight.
  • With CE Level 1 protection, these make an excellent product for warm weather dual sport or adventure riding—although it would be nice if they were a bit more weather-resistant.
  • Getting the fit right can be a bit of a challenge—the knuckle protectors may sit slightly off of where they’re intended on some riders.
  • Despite those minor flaws, the value for money these gloves offer is extremely good. Recommended for those seeking a solid summer glove.

Racer USA Women’s Pitlane Gloves: Appendage Aegii Extra-Ordinaire

Before we start, I should probably touch on something important to this review.

I am super anal about hand safety on a bike, and there’s a big reason why.

See Also: Best Motorcycle Race Gloves for 2022

Back in 2014, I was handling 7-foot Corvette parts in a cold press factory. The parts—coupled with the cool environs—created a tendon injury in both my wrists called TFCC (short for triangular fibrocartilage complex).

To those who want the nitty-gritties, the stabilizing band keeping everything tight in my wrist was torn, making it 10 times easier for me to get tennis elbow, tendonitis, tenosynovitis, carpal tunnel, you name it. I even had an exotic ‘de Quervain’s’ added to the list a few weeks ago, thanks to some heavy lifting and bad decisions.

In short, I, a musician and rider, have been living with chronic, on-and-off wrist pain since I was 22 years old.

My hands are the most valuable part of my career-working body (short of the ol’ think tank), so I always go the extra mile for safety equipment to ensure I make it to the good end of the stick without losing motor ability and confusing dinnertime with target practice.

With that being said, our good man and editor Marco Tam got his hands on a pair of the Racer USA Women’s Pitlane gloves just for me, and I’ve been itching to talk about them—so let’s give ‘em a whirl and see how they held up under scrutiny.

About Racer Gloves USA

Racer Gloves USA is a big name in the motorcycle industry.  If you haven’t heard of them, they make a killer set of gloves called the High Racers—fantastic units that wouldn’t be amiss in a professional match on the circuit, to be

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Pivot’s Shuttle LT First Ride Review: This E-Enduro Bike has the Handling of a Firebird 29

There are plenty of good enduro-style e-mountain bikes on the market. This one is great. 

Pivot’s Shuttle LT pedal assist e-bike showcases Shimano’s EP8 system, the only drive unit claimed to be specifically designed for mountain bikes. It uses a removable, 756-watt, Shimano-certified battery, 160 Float X/170 E-MTB 38 29″, 44mm offset, GRIP2 Fox suspension, and the geometry and the kinematics of Pivot’s Firebird 29. 

The Ride

All riding photos c. Pivot

I hopped on this bike at the top of Monarch Pass – around 11,000 feet in altitude–the morning after arriving in Colorado from sea level. I pedaled out of the lot and up the double track with the support of this bike’s full boost power behind me. When I turned off onto the first stretch of rooty and rocky singletrack, I bumped the power down a notch to Trail, and had more than enough support and all the maneuverability I needed. The bike absorbed the chunder and steered with precision letting me pick my line around chunky rocks, and charged through steep switchbacks with powerful control. 

Pivot Shuttle LT ebike first ride review

To smash or to finesse–that is always the question for me when I ride e-bikes on technical trails. The Shuttle LT let me do both. The bike was lively, playful and it pedaled efficiently without the heavy feeling of most other enduro e-bikes whether I was pounding through rock gardens or trying to carve through them. It was nimble in technical terrain.

Pivot Shuttle LT ebike first ride review

Blasting through a crash pad of rocks and roots descending Green Creek off Monarch Crest, baby head boulders, and steep sections of slippery dirt, the bike went where I pointed it, sailing smoothly. The ride wasn’t so plush it got boring, and the harder I pushed the bike the better it rode. Pivot’s DW link felt balanced. I never needed to lock the shock to climb, and the bike didn’t squat under power. Shimano 160mm cranks kept me from rock-striking–which is even more important on an ebike. I could power through the chunder thanks to the bike’s low center of gravity and short cranks. I felt settled in on the bike, in control of the ride, and despite the shorter cranks, I never felt like I lacked torque. 

What’s Inside

Pivot Shuttle LT ebike first ride review

At 49.8 pounds, the bike is competitive in weight with others on the market. But it rides light. Part of it might be psychological. The Shuttle LT has a trim downtube that was made possible by a 726-watt, Shimano-certified battery. Pivot didn’t like the shape of existing batteries so it worked with Darfan to develop one using the same cells found in a Tesla. The slimmer tube takes ebikes one more step towards looking like a traditional bike. While the battery isn’t proprietary, Pivot is the first to use it– and Shimano will handle any warranty claims worldwide. 

 

Shimano’s EP8 drive unit provides the assist. Power delivery was smooth and seamless, without any jerky engagement or disengagement. In the Shuttle LT, it also allows for battery placement lower in the

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Maeving RM1 review: a stunning electric motorcycle with removable batteries

As regular readers of T3 will know, we have a strong history already with electric motorbikes. I myself rode the Harley-Davidson LiveWire, while we’ve also had team members hopping about electric bikes such as the Zero S – and we’ve been impressed with what we’ve seen so far.

Which is why I was so interested to leave my Aprilia RSV 1000R in my garage and hop on board the brand new, built in the UK, Maeving RM1 electric motorcycle (opens in new tab).

And it wasn’t just the RM1’s drop dead gorgeous looks that had me eager to go hands on, but the all-electric two-wheeler’s rather unique removable battery system.

Indeed, this ability to remove the RM1’s power source, and then charge the battery indoors in the home or office, feels like it has the potential to be a huge game-changer for many urban commuters, as it removes the need to have the vehicle near your home or to have charging cables trailing out of it.

I rode the Maeving RM1 for entire week, and this is what I thought of it.

Maeving RM1

The Maeving RM1 sat on my drive. What a beauty!

(Image credit: Future)

Maeving RM1 review: design and battery system

One look at the Maeving RM1 and it’s easy to see how this thing turns heads. Simply put, the motorcycle looks stunning, with a gorgeous overall retro style contrasted at its heart by the electric motor and second battery tank. It’s a gorgeous hybrid of old and new to my eye.

There’s lots of lovely details on the RM1. The floating, leather upholstered seat, rear wheel guard-mounted licence plate (which is the current style for many new motorbikes), streamlined classic bike instrument cluster, large circular central headlamp, thin and sculpted tank (where another battery is located) and slick black suspension springs and frame.

The main way you can customise the look of the RM1 is in terms of selecting the colour of the bike’s tank, with options including Maeving Blue, Blackout, Silver, White, Grey, Green and Sand. In my mind all these look class, but Maeving Blue and White would be my top picks.

Overall I think Maeving has done a fantastic job with the design of the RM1. Classic bike styles, such as this boardtracker-inspired design from Maeving, are bang on trend right now in the motorbike world, so I can see the RM1’s look really appealing to a lot of riders.

Maeving RM1

Battery number one slots into this vertical bin that sits under the tank.

(Image credit: Future)

Ok, now let’s

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Giant Propel Advanced SL 0 review – Road Bikes – Bikes

The Giant Propel Advanced SL 0 is the latest flagship aero road bike from the Taiwanese behemoth.

While the previous Propel (which launched in 2018) went all in on aerodynamic efficiency at the expense of some added weight, this latest version is intended to offer the best of both worlds.

With an exceptionally low weight of just 6.91kg, the Propel is competitive on the scales with some of the best climbing bikes, yet appears to sacrifice little in terms of outright speed on the flats.

On top of this, smart refinements such as an increase in tyre clearance, an overhauled cable routing system and a new two-piece aero cockpit, make the new Propel a bike that isn’t overly specialised or difficult to live with.

While at €12,000 / $12,500 / AU$13,999 (UK pricing is yet to be confirmed) the price of this WorldTour spec race bike is predictably lofty, the Propel Advanced SL 0 is a true do-it-all road bike with few compromises.

Giant Propel Advanced SL frameset

Unusually for a self-styled aero road bike, the headline feature on the new Propel frameset is its low weight.

At a claimed 1,429.5g for a size medium frameset, the 2023 Propel is only 163.5g heavier than the latest Giant TCR Advanced SL frameset – an almost imperceptible difference.

It’s clear Giant isn’t lying about this either. Our size ML test bike weighs a feathery 6.91kg, including the new aero bottle cages and an out-front computer mount.

There are relatively few competitors in the aero road bike space that can come close to matching that weight figure (bikes such as the Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7, Factor Ostro VAM and Canyon Aeroad CFR spring to mind).

In its top-spec guise, the new Propel is an exceptionally light aero road bike.
Simon von Bromley / Our Media

Of course, the new Propel likely gives up some aerodynamic efficiency compared to heavier, more aggressively aero-optimised bikes such as the Cervélo S5, Cannondale SystemSix,  Orbea Orca Aero or Trek Madone SLR.

But given the balance of comments we receive on the subject, the compromise struck by the Propel is likely closer to what most people want from a high-performance road bike.

Nevertheless, Giant claims the aerodynamic performance of the latest Propel surpasess that of the previous version as a complete bike by 6.21 watts at 40kph, equating to 27 seconds over 40km.

Notably, though, this figure includes the new Contact SLR Aero cockpit, Cadex 50 Ultra Disc wheelsystem and Cadex Aero Tubeless tyres (more on these later).

How much of that 6.21 watts improvement is attributable to the various component parts is unclear, but if you’re buying it as a complete bike, it arguably doesn’t matter.

Despite being significantly lighter than the previous version, the new Propel is nevertheless said to be more aerodynamic as well.
Simon von Bromley / Our Media

My only quibble with the Propel Advanced SL frameset concerns the integrated seatpost.

The flippable head that allows you to switch between -5 and +15mm

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Stashers Modular Insulated Hike & Bike Adventure Bags review – EDC-C? (Every Day Cold Carry?)

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REVIEW – Headed over to a friend’s house and want to bring a few cold drinks along? Oh, you’re thinking of riding your bicycle there or maybe even walking? That takes the typical cooler out of play. What if I told you that there’s a solution that’s bike and/or hike-friendly and doesn’t take up much more space than the drinks you’re bringing? Stashers Adventure Bags to the rescue.

What are they?

Stashers are insulated adventure bags specifically designed to attach to bikes, roll bars without needing additional hardware. Designed for beverages like cans, tall boys, and even wine bottles, they’ll also handle whatever you can fit inside getting it there cold, protected, or both. I was sent the Green color. They’re also available in Black, Orange, Floral, Realtree edge camo, and Laughing Grass camo.

What’s in the package?

Each model consists of…

  • Stashers Adventure Bag
  • Food-grade zippered liner
  • Reusable cold pack

The Plus Sized version additionally has 2 re-positionable dividers as well as zippered pockets on each end.

A carry strap is available separately and includes a shoulder pad.

Hardware specs

Materials: Waterproof Tarpaulin with waterproof zippers and velcro
Dimensions: Diameter x Length – Medium 3.5″ x 15″ | Large 3.5″ x 20″ | Plus Sized 5″ x 12″
Construction: Multiple layers of padding and insulation keep things cold for 4 plus hours
Modular: Velcro straps allow connecting to each other

Design and features

Each Stashers Adventure Bag is designed with waterproof materials making condensation and spills non-issues. The modular attachment design allows them to be wrapped onto bicycle tubes, handlebars, car roll bars or to each other. Additionally, the zippered closure is also waterproof and offset by 90 degrees so that it can be accessed without needing to detach a bag first.

The thick padding and insulation help to keep drinks cold for over 4 hours. Removable food-grade liners can be used for loose snacks, or to further keep moisture at bay with their waterproof zipper keeping any messes much easier to clean up.

A shoulder strap makes going from bike to hike super simple.

Setup

Remove from the poly bag packaging, throw the included cold packs in the freezer and then figure out how and where you want to use your Stashers Adventure Bag. Let’s jump right into how these work using the Plus Size to demonstrate.

Stashers Adventure Bags are designed with straps that wrap around a tube and then velcro back to the bag in a way that allows for different tube sizes and excess strap management. The trickiest part of installing a bag is that those same straps are curved and like to stay closed, so un-velcro the two straps and just be ready to keep un-velcro-ing.

Wrap the straps around the handlebar or top tube and back to the two velcro patches shown above.

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Cannondale Topstone Alloy 2 review – Gravel Bikes – Bikes

While the carbon fibre Topstone is well established in the gravel world, Cannondale’s latest alloy machine, the Topstone Alloy, brings the brand’s gravel bike platform to more affordable price points.

Here, the Topstone 2 is a mid-range offering at £1,800, which sits alongside a budget Microshift 10-speed option at £1,200 and top-tier alloy build at £2,400.

Having been launched earlier this month, the new Topstone Alloy is bang up-to-date, with plenty of mounting points for bags, mudguards and a rack, clearance for 45mm tyres and dropped seatstays.

In this guise, with a 2x drivetrain and 37mm tyres, it’s an excellent choice for riders who want a versatile gravel bike for all kinds of riding, though you’ll want to make better use of the clearance for more technical trails.

Cannondale Topstone Alloy 2 frame details

There’s (officially) clearance for tyres up to 45mm.
Russell Burton / Our Media

Cannondale’s ‘SmartForm C2’ alloy is used for the Topstone frame, with smoothed welds giving an appealing finish.

The seatstays have been dropped since the previous year’s model, giving a more curved shape towards the rear axle, though they still feature full rear rack mounts. There are full mudguard mounts at the rear, too.

In an additional nod to versatility, there’s also internal routing for a dropper post, should you wish to add one later.

Unlike some Topstone bikes of old, the new Topstone Alloy has a traditional wheel dish – matching the new Topstone Carbon – and, continuing the themes of simplicity and compatibility, there’s a threaded BSA bottom bracket. Cannondale says the new bike is also compatible with gravel suspension forks, including its own Lefty Oliver.

Geometry is fairly conservative for a modern gravel bike.
Russell Burton / Our Media

As standard, a rigid, full-carbon fork is used, with bikepacking cage mounts both on the fork blades and, as mentioned, mounts for easy mudguard attachment.

Unlike some of the best gravel bikes, the Topstone Alloy is compatible with a double-chainring setup, using a band-on front derailleur.

In fact, aside from the most affordable model – the Topstone Alloy 4, with its 10-speed Microshift Advent X 1x drivetrain – Cannondale only specs 2x drivetrains across the aluminium range.

For 2022, the frames are available in this ‘Midnight’ colourway – a deep shimmering blue/black – or olive green, both with a matt black fork.

Cannondale Topstone Alloy 2 geometry and sizing

Cannondale employs its OutFront steering approach on the Alloy 2.
Russell Burton / Our Media

Cannondale has applied its ‘OutFront’ steering philosophy, borrowed from the brand’s carbon Topstone gravel bikes. This sees a long fork offset paired with a slightly slacker head angle to keep the steering, Cannondale claims, confident but lively.

All things considered, the Topstone Alloy’s geometry is fairly middle-of-the-road as far as the latest gravel bikes are concerned, matching its ambitions as a safe bet for a variety of riding, whether that be fitting mudguards for winter road riding and commuting, or adding a bit more off-road capability through wider

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