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In the Drops: Fizik Vento Ferox shoes, Pas Normal Studios kit, Pirelli tyres, Squire lock and fungi

Our Friday round-up of what’s hot in the world of cycling plus a book about fungi and a new bikepacking film

Emma Cole
22 Apr 2022

It’s been a post-Roubaix extravaganza here at Cyclist this week.

Our man on the ground at Paris-Roubaix, Joe Robinson, has all the details on the latest tech from the Hell of the North and a close up of Matej Mohorič’s bike.

Robyn gave us a Roubaix special edition of her Extremely Online series whilst Joe Delves quite literally delved into the depths of Strava to see what it took for Dylan van Baarle to win the fastest ever Paris-Roubaix.

Joe wrote a love letter to his Cinelli Experience, the latest instalment in the What We Ride series, Will Strickson covered the release of the Colnago C68, and we also saw Willier launch additions to its e-road bike range and what it claims to be the lightest e-bike system in the world.

In the ultracycling world, three riders from lower income households have been awarded bursaries to help cover the costs of riding the Transcontinental Race.

Arguably the most prestigious utracycling race, the TCR has been postponed twice due to the pandemic and I for one cannot wait for it to start on the July 24th.

That date also happens to be the start of the Tour de France Femmes

Absolutely buzzing.

Finally, issue 126 of Cyclist magazine is on sale now so get your copy.

Enjoy a ride through the Pyrenees, an interview with Ineos Grenadiers DS Steve Cummings and an in-depth look into how sustainable the cycling clothing industry is.

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.

Fizik Vento Ferox carbon gravel shoes

Oh my word, could these shoes BE any prettier?

Released this April, Fizik’s new gravel shoes are stiff, lightweight and frankly, a delight on the eye.

Weighing a claimed 297g, the Vento Ferox have a PU laminated upper which has a woven mesh structure over the top.

The X1 carbon outsole has rubber tread and a stiffness index of 10, the brand’s highest stiffness rating and on par with the recently released Tempo Decos road shoes.

I’m a big fan of the dual closure system and have so far found the Velcro strap and dial combination gives me a comfortable secure fit.

As with most of the kit I like, these make me feel funky and fabulous. If you aren’t into purple with a hint of neon yellow, the Vento Ferox shoes also come in plain black. 

Pas Normal Studios Essential kit

Pas Normal Studios aims to create slick and contemporary cycling gear with a dollop of Danish finesse.

The Copenhagen based brand leans on the patterns and colours of state-of-the-art fashion to inspire the design of its kit, as is clear from its slick Essential Collection.

Designed for endurance-based cycling, the Essential Collection offers gear with a more relaxed fit with the to allow wearers to enjoy exploring.

The Essential jersey, pictured here in dusty purple, has a relaxed fit and plenty of pockets for snacks. I found it is cut slightly higher on the front than other jerseys.

The bibs feature a gritted structure, which is not too dissimilar to crocodile skin, and combine mesh straps with a four-layer chamois.

The brand says the chamois is ultralight and matches the rider’s optimal riding anatomical position whilst the bib panels are laser cut and then assembled by hand at the brand’s factory in Italy.

Simple, functional, good-looking kit which comes in a wide range of colours. Pas mal du tout.

Squire Stronghold D Lock

British security manufacturer Squire has launched a tough cycle security range which according to the brand meets Sold Secure Bicycle Diamond and Gold standards.

Pictured is the Squire Stronghold D lock D16/230 which to my mind is the most useful lock for a bike.

The D lock is Sold Secure Bicycle Diamond approved and features a 16mm hardened boron steel shackle with a hardened steel lock body.

The 6-pin cylinder offers over 500,000 key differs which is pretty epic even for the most studious of thieves.

According to Squire, the ultra-secure restricted key system and personal key card prevent anyone copying the keys without the owner’s permission.

Weighing a claimed 2.26kg, this is a hefty lock but when you watch the attack testing video you will see why. This is a lock which is a force to be reckoned with. 

The Stronghold range includes the D-lock (D16/230), folding lock (FL/850) and integrated lock and chain set (IC/850).

Pirelli P Zero Race 4S tyres

Unveiled in March, the Pirelli P Zero Race 4S is a four-season tyre and the first made in the brand’s new Italian factory.

It is the successor of the popular P Zero Velo 4S and Pirelli says it is faster rolling than its predecessor.

Optimised for wet weather, the P Zero Race 4S has a new tread pattern that Pirelli says improves cornering capabilities in the wet.

The current glorious sunshine unfortunately means I haven’t had a chance to experience this, not that I am complaining.

The P Zero Race 4S also has increased tread depth for additional puncture protection and uses the same SmartEvo compound found on others in the Race range.

Currently available in 700×26mm and 700×28mm clinchers versions, tubeless variants are apparently coming soon.

What we’re into this week: Fungi

Entangled Life: How fungi make our worlds, change our minds and shape our futures by Merlin Sheldrake

For my next book recommendation, I present this mind-boggling Sunday Times bestseller about fungi.

Merlin Sheldrake, a mycologist who studies underground fungal networks, simply explains the science and complexities in the world of fungi, carrying us through the chapters with his vibrant and at points poetic prose.

What makes this book particularly interesting is that mycology is an under-studied field, and fungi have some of the most unexplained behaviours.

There are more than two million species of fungi according to Sheldrake, most of which we cannot see, and those we do see, such as mushrooms, are the fruiting bodies.

This book is a real eye opener and a thought provoker, whilst also being really weird and uncomfortable at points. The sign of any good book if you ask me.

Did you know there's a fungus that inserts itself into an ant and takes over its body, leaving just the brain unpenetrated? No neither did I. And no, I don’t like picturing it either.

Clearly Sheldrake must be a… fun guy. I had to.

Markus Stitz bikepacking film: Where Roads End

Edinburgh-based filmmaker Marcus Stitz’s new bikepacking film documents his 320km gravel bike journey along the iconic North Coast 500 route.

Based on the time constraints that make it difficult for people to cycle the whole NC500, Stitz designed an itinerary that can be ridden in a week or less in order to encourage more people to get involved and enjoy it for themselves.

Of particular note is that the entire journey made use of a bike or trains only, in order to minimise the environmental impact.

Cycling done right.

Looking to test out the latest road bikes on a purpose built circuit? Cyclist Track Day Sessions at Lee Valley VeloPark on 7th/8th May give you the opportunity to try out top road bikes from Canyon, BMC, Orro, Ribble and Cannondale. 

Find out more and book tickets at

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