What's Cool In Road Cycling

Gear Break: Tifosi Rail XC Sunglasses, Two New Continental Tires, New EKOÏ R4-Light Shoe, Ribble Launch Collective, GCN NEW Tees & The Wolfpack Years – Now in Stores!

So, what's new?

Gear Break: Tifosi Rail XC sunglasses, Continental announce the launch of the Grand Prix 5000 TT TR and the Grand Prix 5000 AS TR tires, EKOÏ R4-Light the new ultra light and ventilated shoe, Ribble launch collective to ride as one, GCN: love spring racing? You’ll love these NEW Tees and The Wolfpack Years – Now in stores!


Tifosi Rail XC – $79.95


One year ago, Rail hit the scene and quickly became Tifosi’s most sought after shield style. This week, the Rail XC launched to again take endurance sports by storm with a more streamlined lens shape and trendy colors. Available in sport interchange, with three included lenses, and Fototec, with a lens tint that adjusts to your lighting conditions.


Chuck Peña PEZ sez: PEZ readers may already be familiar with the Tifosi Rail and Rail Race. The newest addition to the Rail family is the Rail XC. They are what are now de rigueur oversized sunglasses. But per my compadre Ed Hood opining about 50 Years of Cycling Kit: “Greg Lemond and Phil Anderson revolutionized things in the 80’s with their Oakleys and now it’s unusual to see a bare faced rider. There’s also the worrying trend toward ever bigger lenses, veering towards images from 60’s science fiction comics.”

In the 2020s we are back to the future of the 1980s

An evolution of the Rail, the Rail XC features a rimless shield with a shallower lens cut and lighter Grilamid TR-90 frame (31g). Size-wise, the Rail XC lens is the same width as the Rail (137mm) but not as tall (52.6mm vs 59.5mm). Although still “big” for sun and wind protection, the Rail XC might be a better choice for those with “smaller” faces to heed Ed’s admonition: “if you have a small head and wear huge shades you could stray into ‘Dame Edna’ or ‘Fearless Fly’ territory – neither is icy.”

NOTE: The Rail XC is considered a Large-XL fit by Tifosi, but they fit my average-ish size head/face just fine, i.e., gripped comfortably with no slippage.

You be the judge: EuroPro cool … or too big?

The Rail XC will be offered in Blackout Interchange (with Smoke, AC Red, and Clear lenses), Crystal Smoke Interchange (with Clarion Blue mirrored, AC Red, and Clear lenses), and Satin Vapor Fototec (with Clarion Red Fototec lens that changes tint in sunlight).



Tifosi is also debuting something I know I’ve been waiting for: a Clarion Blue Fototec lens that begins nearly clear and adjusts to a smoke tint/blue mirror in sunny conditions. Of course, that’s what PEZ got. Because I already have the Rail with Red Fototec lens and you need to have different color mirrored lenses to wear with different colored kit!


As with all sunglasses in the Tifosi lineup, the Rail XC is less than $100. You could actually pay the same for just a replacement/extra lens from other manufacturers as you would for the Rail XC with three lenses. But don’t confuse lower price with lower quality. Even though they aren’t worn by any big name pros, Tifosi sunglasses would look the part in the pro peloton and can more than hold their own against bigger names in the optics market.

The optics (the most important thing for any pair of sunglasses) are more than clear enough for my Lasik-corrected eyes. I’m a big fan of the Fototec Red lens in the original Rail and love the new Fototec Blue. The tinting is the same: from nearly clear (64% light transmission) in low light to dark enough (14% light transmission) in bright sunlight. Especially if you know you’ll be riding in changing light, you get a single do-it-all-in-one lens that works across a range of light conditions. And the lens surface itself transitions to a cool mirrored blue as the tint gets darker.

The latest from Tifosi goes well with old school PEZ jersey … style points

I didn’t get a chance to weigh the Rail XC (because I got them when I was down in the Lowcountry and my scale is up in Babylon on the Potomac), but my experience with the Rail and other Tifosi sunglasses is that if they’re not spot on, they’re within a gram of spec. I can attest that wearing them riding that the Rail XC falls into the “so light you hardly notice them” category. So … comfortable.

Three words I’ve used to describe other Tifosi sunglasses: style, function, and value. IMHO the Tifosi Rail XC is more of the same … and that’s a good thing. They reinforce what I’ve previously said: “I’m a fan of Tifosi sunglasses. If I was Italian instead of Flipino, I’d be a Tifosi tifosi.”

tifosiI didn’t spot any ‘gators on this ride

• Shop Tifosi Rail VX eyewear at Amazon here.

Two New Continental Tires: Grand Prix 5000 TT TR and Grand Prix 5000 AS TR

Continental’s Grand Prix 5000 TT TR, its Fastest Ever Performance Tire, Joins the Grand Prix 5000 TR Range Full-Time
As used on Filippo Ganna’s Hour Record bike, the Grand Prix 5000 TT TR tire offers criterium, time trial, and triathlon racers a product focused on pure speed


Available worldwide from 3 March 2023

Continental has today announced the permanent addition of the Grand Prix 5000 TT TR to the award-winning Grand Prix 5000 performance tubeless tire range. Previously released as a Limited Edition 25mm tire in celebration of the 2022 Tour de France, the Grand Prix 5000 TT TR will now be available in 28mm.

The ultimate speed-focussed tubeless ready bicycle tire, the Grand Prix 5000 TT TR gives racing cyclists the lowest possible weight and coefficient of rolling resistance thanks to optimised tread thickness and construction to reduce material deformation at the contact point between road and tire. Uniquely for speed-focussed performance tires, the Grand Prix 5000 TT TR includes optimised puncture protection and tear resistance.

Developed in an ongoing partnership with the world’s fastest pro cyclists and proven by Dan Bigham and Fillipo Ganna during their Hour Records in 2022, the Grand Prix 5000 TT TR is 35 grams lighter in 25-622 than the equivalent size Continental’s Grand Prix 5000 S TR. As with every Continental Grand Prix 5000 tire in 25-622, the new Grand Prix 5000 TT TR tire is hookless compatible up to 21 TSS and tubeless ready, giving racers the freedom to choose their preferred tire setup. In 28-622 the tire is hookless compatible up to 25 TSS, weighing in at 235g. A pairing of 25-622 for the front tire and 28-622 for the rear tire provides the lowest overall rolling resistance and greatest racing performance.

Available exclusively in the black sidewall colourway, the Grand Prix 5000 TT TR utilises Continental’s unique BlackChili Compound for the ultimate balance of rolling resistance and grip; Vectran Breaker liquid crystal-polymers for puncture protection and five-times greater tear resistance than a comparable nylon breaker; Lazer Grip expanding profile structure for outstanding cornering; and Active Comfort Technology for vibration absorption to smoothen the ride.

Oliver Anhuth, Head of Marketing TwoWheel Tires, Continental, said: “We are excited to roll out the Grand Prix 5000 TT TR for racers and teams as a permanent addition to the Grand Prix 5000 TR range. Riders now have the opportunity to choose the perfect tire for their race tactics – whether they’re chasing a personal best, a sprint finish or a world record.”

Key features of the Grand Prix 5000 TT TR

  • Weight: from 220g
  • Dimensions: 25-622, 28-622
  • Technology: Black Chili Compound, Vectran Breaker, LazerGrip, Active Comfort Technology.

Pricing and availability

  • Available to purchase from 3 March worldwide, RRP 108.95€ per tire.


Continental Announces the Strongest Ever Grand Prix 5000 Tire for all Season Rides: the Grand Prix 5000 AS TR
Offering increased wet grip, more sidewall protection, improved visibility and better mileage than any other Grand Prix 5000 tire, the tubeless ready Grand Prix 5000 AS TR brings cyclists boosted protection for the extra mile.


Available worldwide from 3 March 2023

Continental has today announced the launch of the Grand Prix 5000 AS TR – the latest tubeless ready bicycle tire to join the award-winning Grand Prix 5000 range. The new Grand Prix 5000 AS TR has been created to provide cyclists with the perfect balance of performance, protection and longevity, giving them the confidence to ride outside in all seasons.


An unmatched all season tire, the Grand Prix 5000 AS TR gives road cyclists the premium Grand Prix 5000 speed paired with Grand Prix 4 Season longevity and protection, plus increased wet grip. This has been achieved thanks to a combination of the performance-optimised Grand Prix 5000 compound deployed with a boosted tread pattern, multi-layer overlapping ply construction, plus additional sidewall protection.


The Grand Prix 5000 AS TR utilises Continental’s high performance Grand Prix 5000 compound, consisting of the unique BlackChili Compound for the ultimate balance of rolling resistance and grip; Vectran Breaker liquid crystal-polymers for puncture protection and tear resistance; Lazer Grip expanding profile structure for precise cornering; plus Active Comfort Technology for vibration absorption.

Tubeless ready, hookless compatible, and available in widths from 25mm up to 35mm, the Grand Prix 5000 AS TR gives riders the freedom to choose their preferred tire setup. All widths are available in cream sidewall or black, with the black version incorporating Continental’s Black-Reflex technology. Black-Reflex is designed to boost rider visibility without impacting the look of the tire in daylight.


Oliver Anhuth, Head of Marketing TwoWheel Tires, Continental, said: “Our project to balance speed and longevity in a single premium tire stemmed from the feedback and requests from thousands of Grand Prix 5000 and 4 Season riders. Three years of development has resulted in the Grand Prix 5000 AS TR: a tire for cyclists who welcome the challenge of riding in all seasons and all weathers but don’t want to compromise on speed and performance. We’ve also introduced Black-Reflex technology to the Grand Prix 5000 range for the first time as part of Continental’s commitment to supporting rider safety, giving riders the confidence to take on longer rides on shorter days.”


Key features of the Grand Prix 5000 AS TR

  • Available in Black with a Black-Reflex Sidewall, or Cream Sidewall
  • Weight: starts at 300g
  • Dimensions: 25-622, 28-622, 32-622, 35-622
  • Technology: Black Chili compound, Vectran Breaker, LazerGrip, Active Comfort Technology, Black-Reflex (black sidewall only).

Pricing and availability

EKOÏ R4-Light, The New Ultra Light and Ventilated Shoe
EKOÏ R4-Light, the perfect compromise between rigidity and lightness.


Lighter than its predecessor (the Ultralight Carbon), the EKOÏ R4-Light shoe is aimed at cyclists who want to ride without compromising stiffness and lightness. Its excellent ventilation obtained thanks to an airy and breathable mesh upper gives it a high level of comfort for the foot. On its side, the support is optimized thanks to the two ATOP® knurls ensuring a precise micrometric tightening. Finally, the EKOÏ R4-Light shoe offers an amazing balance between performance and comfort. Its carbon composite sole transmits power perfectly while preserving an appreciable suppleness for long distances, both in races and in training.




  • Rigid carbon composite outsole
  • Sole ventilation system
  • Standard three-point binding, compatible with all major pedal brands: Shimano, Look, Time, Speedplay…
  • Perforated insole for better moisture wicking



  • Breathable mesh for good temperature regulation during exercise
  • Excellent fit thanks to two ATOP® buckles that allow micrometric tightening
  • Reinforced tongue for comfort, perforated for breathability, and sewn to the quarter to ensure proper fit
  • Spandex Grip lining for perfect heel support
  • Weight: 275g (in size 8)


Product benefits:

  • Ventilated sole and hyper-breathable mesh upper.
  • Comfortable thanks to the seamless construction.
  • Lightweight: -10g compared to the 2022 model.
  • Price: 219,95 GBP, €252,07


Raphaël Dalle, shoes R&D Engineer at EKOÏ: “All cyclists are looking for the famous compromise between comfort and stiffness. With this in mind, we have reworked our best-selling shoe, the Ultralight Carbon, to give it real added value. Thanks to its carbon composite sole and the structure of its particularly honeycombed and breathable upper, expert riders will pedal with a sensation of lightness, while sporting a sober and modern look.”


Ribble Launch Collective to Ride As One
Ribble Cycles launch their all-new Ribble Collective – a group of talented individual privateer riders competing across multiple cycling disciplines, who will be ‘Riding As One’ with the support of Ribble.


The Ribble Collective is a group of diverse, like-minded riders all sharing a true love of cycling. With the support of Ribble, the Ribble Collective riders will be able to set and achieve their own cycling goals across the year. As well as being brand ambassadors, they will also test products in the real world, providing valuable feedback, gain support and encouragement from each other and help to inspire a wider audience to get involved with cycling. The Ribble Collective will be racing on a mixture of bikes from Ribble’s Ultra SL R, Endurance SL R, Gravel SL and Ultra Tri ranges.


“For 2023, we had the vision to look at the cycling landscape creatively and introduce this new model, allowing us to work in close collaboration with each individual rider and support them to achieve their own riding goals as well as telling their own unique story on 2 wheels. We are really excited about the future of the Ribble Collective and we feel we have built a strong, diverse and varied roster of riders for the 2023 season.” Neil Pinkawa, Head of Brand Marketing, Ribble.


To bring the collective together, the riders will all share the same RC custom paint finish – comprising of a subtle teal to black odyssey fade, with teal decals and the all-new metallic abstract teal flicker design across the bars and fork. RC monograms and custom top caps complete the race ready machines.


The teal palette and abstract teal flicker have also been incorporated into the 2023 kit design – the result of a partnership with HUUB, which sees both brands sharing an ethos of continuous improvement, innovation and deliverance of speed across their products.

The Ribble Collective bike and kit were unveiled to the riders at the team’s launch evening at Ribble’s flagship showroom in Clitheroe before the Collective flew off for a training camp in Spain.


The Collective will be in action on and off-road, across the year, across the globe at many events including UK based races, Unbound in the US, The Rift in Iceland, FNLD GRVL and Migration in Kenya to name a few…

The Ribble Collective colourway will be available via Ribble’s online CustomColour tool and can be applied to any Aero, Endurance SL R / SL, Gravel SL or Tri models…


More info on the Ribble Collective, the 2023 rider roster, race bikes and race schedule can be found here

GCN: Love Spring Racing? You’ll love these NEW Tees


The Wolfpack Years – Now in stores!
There’s no secret that Soudal Quick-Step is one of the most successful teams in the history of the sport. The numbers of the last 20 years – more than 900 wins, including 21 Monuments and 113 Grand Tour stages, scored under the guidance of CEO Patrick Lefevere – serve as testimony to the winning spirit and to the squad’s unique DNA.


To celebrate these amazing feats and to present fans with the chance of getting their hands on an incredible collector’s item, we’ve worked hard over the past couple of months to put together “The Wolfpack Years” – a fantastic book that gives an overview of the most exciting and memorable moments of the last two decades.

Featuring unique pictures, some of them never-before-seen, as well as interviews with some of the key figures in the history of the squad – past and present – this book is a real must-have for cycling lovers from all over the world, who can order it from our webshop!

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.

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