Gear Break: Panda Optics Conquer sunglasses, try Gnarly Nutrition’s NEW Fuel2O, Colnago presents the first official bike of the Tour de France, Team Qhubeka Assos partners with ABLOC Pro Zero, La Passione launches new capsule with Tom Boonen and ORTLIEB waterproof handlebar bag with quick release.
Panda Optics CONQUER Sunglasses – 79£, US$115
PEZ sez: Staying on trend has never been so important, that’s if I’m to believe my social media feeds, something also not lost on the designers at Panda Optics whose oversized Conquer glasses are on point.
In the box I found the frames, plus 3 lenses, plus a soft bag & a cleaning cloth. Whereas most of the frames I’ve seen land here in recent months ship with only 1 or two lenses, this complete set of clear, amber, and mirrored red mean you’re pretty much covered, and no added expenditure be made to set yourself up for all light conditions.
The nose piece offers plenty of grip, but is not adjustable.
The mirrored red lens looks badass, but I found it changes the color cast of my vision field significantly. You can see the added blue-hues through the lens in the photo below.
There’s a lot in the box for under $120US – that’s good value.
• See more info and buy ’em online at the Panda Optics website here.
My review set came in gray (in reality a lighter gray than what’s on the website), pink and green.
Panda Optics is a British eyewear manufacturer which designs and develops sports goggles and sunglasses for skiing, snowboarding and cycling.
Founded in June 2015 by Oliver Heath, Panda Optics first entered the ski and snowboard market with the launch of several eyewear products. The early popularity of the DIABLO, COBALT and CUB collections soon saw Panda Optics establish itself as a leading partner among ski schools, academies, charities, holidaymakers, brands and athletes.
Panda Optics’ growth continued in 2021 with the launch of its first cycling eyewear range. To celebrate the CONQUER sunglasses collection, Panda Optics partnered with Cure Leukaemia by supplying 25 limited edition and customized frames to riders undertaking the Tour de France in an attempt to raise £1m in the fight against blood cancer.
Leave the Gels at Home: Try Gnarly Nutrition’s NEW Fuel2O
Gnarly released a new powder-based sport drink on June 1st, called Fuel2O. Fuel2O is a high-calorie, electrolyte-rich, easy-to-digest, drink mix that is designed to keep you going during a long day of biking, running, etc. It’s designed to replace (or supplement) the myriad of gels, blocks, etc. you likely use during a big day (2+ hours) training / racing.
Unlike energy gels and blocks, Fuel2O contains HMB, or Hydroxymethylbutyrate, a natural substance that is produced when the body breaks down leucine. (FYI, Leucine is an amino acid — one of the critical building blocks of protein.) Research has shown that providing supplemental HMB during intense exercise can help prevent muscle breakdown and kickstart muscle repair.
Fuel2O is easy to consume (add to water!), gentle on the stomach, and delivers the calories and electrolytes you need during a long bike ride. It comes in 3 flavors (limeade, tropical, and cherry cola) and tastes better than oddly flavored gels and sticky blocks (at least we think so!). And all Gnarly products are non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, NSF for Sport Certified, and use only natural sweeteners and coloring.
Fuel2O is the all-in-one solution for long days on the trails or road, created with fueling, replenishment and recovery in mind.
- Price: Box of 10 sticks (20 servings, 2 servings per stick): $28.95, Single Stick price (2 servings): $3.00, Bag (25 servings): $34.95
- 3 flavors: Limeade, Tropical, Cherry Cola (w/ caffeine)
- Powdered drink mix (pre-mix w/ water, or mix as you go)
- Delivers 100 calories per 12 ounces (a mix of Sucrose + Dextrose to keep it easy on your stomach)
- 250mg sodium per serving (also delivers Calcium, Chloride, Magnesium, and Potassium)
- Vitamin D3 (maximizes the efficacy of HMB)
- Caffeine (30mg caffeine/serving from Green Tea Extract) (available in Cherry Cola flavor)
Chuck Peña PEZ sez: Gnarly sent me a “not for resale” sample container that’s a flavor they don’t actually offer for sale — pineapple/orange/guava (POG). I have to admit that I was a little hesitant about the flavor as I’m not the biggest fan of guava (you would think otherwise for someone who, as a kid, spent all his summers in Hawaii at my grandparents and hanging out island style with all my aunts, uncles, and cousins). But it was actually OK because the sweetness was “muted” and actually almost “tart.” I don’t know if Gnarly has done this with their other flavor offerings, but I liked that it wasn’t so sweet (like a lot of “grocery store” sports drinks are) — it made it easier to drink. The idea behind Fuel2O is that it’s more than just a sports drink, i.e., hydration and electrolytes. It’s also fuel calories (120 calories per serving according to the nutrition facts label), so less of a need to eat an energy bar, gel, etc. My first ride with Fuel2O was 71 miles and over 4,000 feet of elevation gain with the temp hovering near 80F. When we stopped about halfway to refill water bottles, I had consumed a bottle and didn’t really feel the need to eat the fig bars I had in my jersey pocket. And I made it home on the second bottle of Fuel2O without having to drink from my bottle that I re-filled with regular sports drink. Would I recommend just relying on Fuel2O without having anything else on a ride? Maybe that’s an option for someone who just can’t ingest food during a ride (I know a few people who are like that). But I’d still have something in my jersey pocket to supplement the calories in Fuel2O just to make sure you can ward off the dreaded bonk.
- Webpage: gognarly.com
Colnago Presents the First Official Bike of the Tour de France
Colnago presents the first official bicycle in the history of the Tour de France, produced in a limited series of 108 pieces, the number of editions in the history of the Grande Boucle.
In collaboration with ASO, the Colnago V3Rs TdF, winner of the last edition of the race, will have livery and components dedicated to the Tour de France.
Colnago is pleased to announce the first official bicycle in the history of the Tour de France in collaboration with ASO (Amaury Sport Organization), the race organizing company. There are only 108 units – just like the number of editions of the Tour de France from 1903 until today.
The livery is unique, black and yellow like the color of the jersey that distinguishes the leader of the Tour’s General Classification and is presented to the winner on the podium in Paris. The head tube will feature the Colnago logo with the iris, the historic beating heart of Cambiago’s bikes. The Colnago logo will feature on both the top tube and the fork, while a unique and dedicated design representing the outline of France will be on the rear of the bicycle. Another unique detail is the right lever, in yellow, with the same color featuring on the top tube along with the Tour de France logo, also reproduced on the forks.
“We are very happy to have found a licensee in Colnago which is part of the history of the Tour de France,” said Laurent Lachaux, ASO Head of Commercial. “As Colnago bikes are universally recognized as amongst the most technical and well-designed in the world, we could not have opted for a better choice.”
“Colnago has in its DNA the ability to always arrive first in the market, and once again it has happened thanks to the choice of the Tour de France,” said Manolo Bertocchi, Head of Marketing Colnago. “A beautiful, unique and limited edition bicycle. A real Colnago.”
V3Rs TdF frame
The frame is Colnago V3Rs, ultralight and aerodynamic, excellent on any type of terrain: flat, uphill and mixed routes. The frame weighs just 790 grams in size 50s in raw disc version (with the metal parts placed and glued). The total integration of the cables, which pass inside the stem and the pivot of the fork, gives the entire bicycle an aesthetically flawless look.
V3Rs TdF components
The assembly is of the same level, starting with the official licensees of the Tour de France: Selle Italia with the SLR Boost Carbon Superflow kit and the Continental Grand Prix 5000 tires. The groupset is Campagnolo Super Record EPS Disc 12-speed, perfectly complementing the Bora Ultra WTO DB wheels with C-LUX finish. The handlebar is Deda Elementi ALANERA DCR (with Deda internal cable routing) monocoque in carbon fiber. The suggested retail price is 13,200€ (16,399 US$, 11,090 GB£, 20,340 AU$, 57,820 AED).
- Colnago website: www.colnago.com
Team Qhubeka Assos Partners Up with ABLOC Pro Zero
(Spoiler alert: it’s beer!)
Team Qhubeka ASSOS is delighted to announce their partnership with ABLOC “the ultimate sports beer”. The 2021 Giro d’Italia marks the start of the collaboration of Africa’s UCI WorldTour Team and international sports beer brand ABLOC.
The team, including staff and crew will be able to enjoy a tasty refreshing white beer after every stage. ABLOC Pro Zero is created for those who want to stay sharp. It’s alcohol-free, low in calorie and yet full of taste. The crispness of the Alpine Minerals turbo-charge taste and aid recovery. In the future, ABLOC will expand the partnership with extended support of the Qhubeka Charity as together we continue to change lives with bicycles.
Martijn Snelder, CEO ABLOC: “Team Qhubeka ASSOS and ABLOC share the same values. We both feel that sport can unite and inspire us. A shared passion for cycling, friendship and storytelling is why we love to be part of this purpose-led movement. Not to mention the high performance team TQA is. Together we can make this world a better place. Preferably with a cold beer in hand.”
Douglas Ryder, Founder, Team Qhubeka ASSOS: “This partnership came together on a human level. Martijn’s story, his love for the bike and the way it gets you places is our shared passion. The way it creates experiences that you can share with your friends and then wanting to have an alcohol free beer afterwards to tell stories connected with us; it’s that passion that went into creating ABLOC “The Ultimate Sports Beer”. So when you are à bloc it’s time to have ABLOC.”
Riding à bloc means going ‘flat out’. A term that best summarizes our ambition to produce the best low/no alcohol beers with maximum taste we can offer sports enthusiasts around the world. ABLOC beers are low in calorie and high in isotonic value. We want to be where achievements are celebrated and stories are told. To be the perfect reward to share with friends. Made for all sports enthusiasts who want to stay lean and fit. ABLOC. The Ultimate Sports Beer.
La Passione Launches New Capsule With Tom Boonen
The exclusive “Boonenberg” collection has been created with the valuable collaboration of the Flemish multi-champion.
La Passione presents the new capsule collection dedicated to Tom Boonen. Giuliano Ragazzi – CEO & Founder of La Passione – has combined his digital native vision, the technical knowledge of his Head of Product and the racing experience of an authentic cycling icon in an ambitious project to create a product of excellence, designed around the needs of those who expect only the best.
**Read the PEZ review of the new La Passione RVV Collection jersey & bibshorts here.
“La Passione’s mission has always been to offer customers a comfortable yet elegant product that meets the true needs of those who spend many hours on the saddle,” explains Giuliano Ragazzi. “So, it was an honor to share the dream of creating something with Tom Boonen that was absolutely performance oriented, in line with what a professional cyclist expects from clothing. To do so, we could only count on the extensive experience of a champion like him, who has tested the most hostile terrains in the sport. The result is a unique product with a distinct racing edge, preciously signed by Boonen himself, something our community has probably been waiting for and we finally managed to achieve.”
The name and inspiration.
The Taaienberg is a narrow stretch of about five hundred meters of Flemish cobblestones, with gradients between 12 and 14 percent. The fact that it was Tom Boonen’s favorite spot to launch his incredible attacks prompted fans to nickname it the Boonenberg. It is precisely these unforgettable actions that have inspired the collection since the first sketch. Garments that mix technology and romanticism, created to be able to get an experience on the saddle never experienced before.
“When the guys at La Passione contacted me and asked me to work with them on developing something that I could collaborate on personally, I immediately thought it was the right time for something I have been wanting to do for a long time,” commented Tom Boonen. “Being comfortable is key when we talk about cycling apparel, especially if you’re on the saddle for a long time. Today, it is a real commodity to be able to dictate your style without sacrificing comfort.”
The technical aspects of the collection.
The collection consists of two Bib Shorts and two Jerseys and is focused on achieving the perfect balance between comfort and performance through the most advanced technology. Both outfits were rigorously tested by Tom so that they could offer high performance, stress resistance and absolute freedom of movement. The TB3 Jersey – white with silver-colored details – is made from ultralight fabric to promote maximum ventilation and features an aerodynamic V-neckline and raw-cut sleeves with raglan construction for a better fit on the shoulders. The black TB3 Bib Shorts combined with this jersey features an anatomical multi-panel structure that ensures maximum adherence to the body, thanks to the super compact Lycra, while the elastic suspenders, made with a specific design, allows for weight reduction and improved elastic resistance.
The total black look with fine gold detailing defines the purely racing style of the TB4 Jersey, made of aero fabric for maximum air penetration. The sleeves, also made in raglan for maximum ergonomics, feature a mesh to release heat and increase breathability. Also featuring a pro-cut, the matching black TB4 Bib Shorts that go with this jersey are made with a differentiated structure of the individual panels, with different types of fabric to ensure a perfect fit. Highly compressive aero fabric positioned on the waist and side inserts improves pedaling stability and fluidity.
In the collection, the ties that bind Tom Boonen to the Classics of the North are sealed by exclusive details such as the elastic “Cobble Grip” – made to guarantee the correct stability and elasticity – which evokes, in its construction, the legendary cobbled roads.
“With Tom, we carried out a meticulous study on all the issues that riders have to endure when wearing cycling apparel,” explains Alberto Bianchi, Head of Product at La Passione. “Thanks to this research and his valuable advice, we worked on differentiated fabric constructions to reduce weight, increase breathability and improve pedaling fluidity as well as adopting small smart solutions to benefit comfort.”
- More information at: lapassione.cc/
ORTLIEB Handlebar-Pack QR
Waterproof Handlebar Bag with Quick Release for Bikepacking
A new fastening system, the Bar-Lock, enables the waterproof Handlebar-Pack QR (Quick Release) to be attached and removed in no time at all. This means that you can quickly and easily take off the bag and carry it with you when you reach your destination. Thanks to the bar-lock rope attachment, this bikepacking bag remains stable and secure on the handlebars, even on rougher terrain. Internal compressions and the roll closure adjustable height ensures the safe storing of gear or equipment. Two further hooks with CamLock fasteners on the front create further compression options.
The handlebar pack QR has an 11-liter volume, weighs only 530 grams and is loaded from above. In addition to bike packing, this pack would be a great asset for long gravel rides or races thanks to its narrow 32 centimeter design. Lateral outer pockets allow small accessories or snacks to be stowed away yet accessible while riding. The PVC-free bag is made of abrasion-resistant nylon fabric and is, of course, sustainably produced in Germany. The maximum load is five kilograms.
Pair the bag with the extra Handlebar-Pack QR Inner Pocket to keep things tidy, and conveniently store and access your cash, cards or a mobile phone.
- Features: Reflective Logo and Reflector increase safety
- Optional Accessories: Handlebar-Pack QR Inner Pocket
Material: Nylon fabric, PU-coated
Volume: 11 L / 671 cuin.
Weight: 530 g/ 18.7 oz.
Color: matte – black
Sustainbly made in Germany
- Handlebar-Pack QR: www.ortlieb.com
- Inner Pocket accessory: www.ortlieb.com
- See Ortlieb Packs on Amazon here.
Note: PezCyclingNews ask that you contact the manufacturers before using any products you see here. Only the manufacturer can provide accurate and complete information on proper / safe use, handling, maintenance and or installation of products as well as any conditional information or product limitations.