In the Drops: Maap kit, Quoc shoes, Giro shoes, Africap Lunsar
Five-day weeks, eh? Feels like a century has passed since last Friday and the last In the Drops. But here we are again – the cycle never ends because the cycling never ends. And that’s a good thing because there’s so much to talk about.
We started off with a very Giro day, with our first rest day recap of the race, why this generation isn’t a golden age and a preview of the stunning Croix de Coeur, the Swiss climb set to light up the race on, well, today.
An excellent piece on the history of the iconic Scott Addict followed along with a round-up of the best cycling documentaries followed, as well as the news of Kask launching the world’s most expensive helmet.
Trek-Segafredo’s team psychologist Dr Elisabetta Borgia joined the podcast yesterday and we also released the latest edition of the print magazine, which is, on paper, a great one.
Maap’s new Alt-Road gravel kit
Who doesn’t love some earthy tones? Maap’s ‘Alt_Road’ is designed for gravel riding and comes exclusively in natural colours, so when you get dirty no one will notice. The Australian has recently released the second generation of Alt-Road kit and it’s gravellier than ever.
In case you hadn’t caught on, along with earthy colours #gravelspecific kit means more pockets, durability, endurance-friendly design and hot-weather capabilities. The new Alt-Road jersey and cargo shorts tick all those pockets, with the latter boasting a zip pocket and mesh pocket on the legs and rear pockets to sit under jersey pockets, ideal for using with a pocketless tech T-shirt (which they also have).
The jersey is made from Naturalmatch wool, which blends lightweight merino with synthetic fibres, which combine to allow it to be sufficiently stretchy and durable while being soft, breathable and sweat-wicking. It also has ripstop panels on the sides for extra durability for whatever the route entails.
Riding on gravel is a recipe for bashing your hands up, whether it’s blisters from holding on on technical trails and descents or just getting ripped up crashing on rocks, gloves are always a good idea. The Alt-Road gloves are designed for crash protection and have an anti-slip suede palm for extra grip and comfort on the bars. It features perforations and mesh panels to stop too much sweat building up and is DWR-coated to keep your hands dry from rain too, just don’t expect it to work if you end up in a stream. Maap also says they work on touch screens, which is very handy for navigation issues.
Quoc Escape Off-Road shoes
Yes, Robyn brought you news of Quoc’s new Gran Tourer XC off-road shoes a few weeks ago, but these are different. These are Quoc’s Escape Off-Roads, and they’re a bit more adventure-focussed than the XCs. Branded as a mountain bike shoe, they’re built for taking a beating on trails while keeping high performance and Quoc’s signature aesthetic.
They have a nylon sole reinforced with glass-fibre for a mix of enough stiffness for pushing down with enough comfort for the tribulations of the trails, and the TPU tread is paired with an integrated spike for maximum grip when your feet go down or you have to walk. They also have a toe guard for extra durability and the upper is protected against abrasion and is easy to clean.
My favourite thing about Quoc’s Gran Tourer II shoes, which were one of my favourite products of 2022, was their comfort, and the Escape Off-Roads have plenty of those features too, with plenty of supportive padding and holes to keep it ventilated.
Giro Regime road shoes
That’s enough gravel for one day, here’s some road shoes for balance. I recently came back from three days riding in Mallorca – including the incredible Kill the Hill sportive – and had the pleasure of wearing these Giro Regime shoes.
Being mid-range shoes, the Regimes are designed to balance performance with comfort with a lightweight mesh upper surrounded by a TPU layer for structure and to protect from dirt. They have two Boa L6 dials with steel laces for a consistent, secure closure that’s easy to adjust. Underfoot they have a carbon sole with TPU walking pads, and the inside has a molded footbed with medium arch support. Giro says a size 42 weighs 265g.
I can confirm they are very comfortable and feel strong under power.
Africap Lunsar 23 cap
I first brought Africap to In the Drops at the back end of 2021, now it’s back with the limited edition Lunsar 23, with proceeds going to support the Tour de Lunsar, Sierra Leone’s biggest bike race.
Africap founder Mohammed ‘Hammer’ Sesay is from Sierra Leone, and through the company he works to support grassroots cycling in the country. All the Lunsar 23 caps are handmade from Ankara cotton fabric in Freetown, Sierra Leone and mark this year’s Tour de Lunsar, which took place at the end of April.
The event, which included a junior race – you may have seen the young riders wearing kit donated by the Hayter brothers, a women’s race and a men’s four-day stage race, with Nigerian Preye John Dede take the overall win. There are some incredible images of the event by friend of Cyclist Matt Grayson and Abdul Hamid Kanu at lunsarcycling.com which are worth a look.
What we’re into this week: Jury Duty and playlist 13
No, I’m not talking about actually going to court, this is a TV show. I’m so bored of crime show that I let out a big groan when Jury Duty was recommended to me, but it’s actually a semi-improvised mockumentary, kind of. Basically all the characters are actors and the trial is fake, except for one guy, who thinks it’s all real, while crazy stuff goes on around him.
It’s created by two writer/director/producers from The Office (the American one, which is the superior Office and there’s no debate), so you can guess it’s light-hearted humour with a touch of real sentiment. I don’t want to spoil it but it’s very funny and the guy doesn’t clock on that it’s fake until the big reveal in the final episode.
Finally, I’ve done another playlist of new music I’ve enjoyed in the increasingly small number of weeks between my In the Drops, and I missed a couple of weeks worth of new stuff in that time because I was busy riding my bike in Mallorca. If anyone’s seen two big Nikon cameras being flogged near Deià or Sóller, please get in touch, there’s a Big Ride on them.
Playlist 13 (unlucky for some) features new music from The Japanese House, King Krule, Willie J Healey, Mac Demarco, Tame Impala/Thundercat, Daft Punk/Julian Casablancas and Remi Wolf as well as In the Drops fave Freak Slug and new discoveries Ellur, Blackaby and Æ MAK. Enjoy.