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In the Drops: Portland Design Works, Laser Tools, Giant, #MeToo comedy and Anthony Bourdain

Matthew Loveridge
13 May 2022

The first week of the Giro is drawing to a close and it has been a bumper week for content. We all love content.

Relive all the glory with our Stage 1 and Stage 4 galleries, not to mention our analysis from the first rest day, Robyn’s pink-themed comedy round-up, ranking of the best and worst maglia rosa outfits and an ode to the only woman to race the Giro.

Elsewhere, we published our Cannondale Synapse review, marvelled at an extraordinary titanium penny-farthing and learned of the most thrilling of all video games, Bike Mechanic Simulator

Last weekend saw the successful relaunch of our new Cyclist Track Days format – do keep an eye out for news of forthcoming events and don't miss the chance to sign up for our two Big Rides taking place on 19 June and 24 July, starting from London and Lewes respectively.

We took a look at Ed Laverack’s remarkable Sa Calobra KOM attempt, Roval launched some wheels that really are tubeless this time, we published our guide to e-bike systems for road and gravel and I fell off my bike.

Lastly, we published Richard Moore’s final piece for Cyclist, a typically astute and effortless look at the implicit rivalry between Mark Cavendish and Fabio Jakobsen. You will be missed, Richard.

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Giant Revolt 0 gravel bike

An aluminium gravel bike with mid-range Shimano GRX components is pretty much the ‘median bike’ in this day and age – bang on trend, and neither cheap nor expensive. 

The Revolt is an appealing design with ample tyre clearances – 53mm max front and rear with the rear dropout flip-chip in the ‘long’ position – an unintimidating riding position and a generous range of gears. 

While the carbon Revolt steals headlines, the aluminium bike is the one many of us will buy.

The Revolt 0 is the highest spec of the three alloy models on offer for 2022 and is equipped with a typical mishmash of GRX mechanical bits. You get Ultegra-equivalent RX810 derailleurs, 105-equivalent RX600 levers, and Tiagra-equivalent RX400 brakes. 

Production models will have an FSA Omega crankset, but this demo bike is wearing a Praxis one as a placeholder.

The Revolt 0 is a little porky at 10.4kg on my scales, but delving into the spec reveals that roughly 1.4kg of that is tyre (!) – the rest of the bike isn’t unduly heavy.

Look out for a review of this bike in the near future and, in the meantime, read about how I crashed it.

  • RRP: £1,799
  • Find out more at Giant

Laser Headset Cup Tool 8167

Laser will likely be a familiar name if you do a bit of car-fettling but less well-known is that it has branched out into bicycle tools. 

The headset cup ‘rocket’ tool is a workshop essential, used to remove traditional external headsets from frames.

Laser’s version is much like any other, but it's nicely made with an attractive finish that looks like it will age gracefully.

It has a good weight to it and the steel is thick enough that the flared ends shouldn’t deform when you’re thwacking the tool with a hammer.  

At full retail, Laser’s bike tools look rather ambitiously priced compared to the obvious competition (the headset press is almost £300!), but real-world pricing is much more reasonable.

  • RRP: £32.59

Portland Design Works Light Nug

Remember the Pelago Rasket I featured in a previous edition of In the Drops? It transformed my everyday fixie into the utility bike of my dreams, but also had the side-effect of obscuring any front light I attach to the bars. 

The obvious solution is some sort of underslung light mount and, after balking at the price of a Paul Components Gino, I settled on Portland Design Works’ nifty little Light Nug. 

Essentially a hollow cylinder that bolts to your bike, the Light Nug adds a handlebar-like 26mm diameter mounting point wherever you please. Its knurled surface should prevent unwanted rotation of your light bracket. 

The Light Nug comes in black and silver, although at the time of writing only the latter option is available in the UK. 

What we’re into this week: Chivalry and Anthony Bourdain

Photo: Channel 4

A #MeToo comedy sounds fun, right? You’d be surprised. Starring the brilliant Sarah Solemani and Steve Coogan, Channel 4's Chivalry has a similar vibe to that other Brits-go-to-Hollywood show Episodes, but adds a healthy dose of gender politics and moral ambiguity.

The writing is perfect, the cast are brilliant. It’s funny, clever and uncomfortable. Highly recommended.

Photo: CNN via Netflix

For something more escapist, I've been enjoying Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, all 12 seasons of which are currently available on Netflix UK

The show is an unflinching blend of travel documentary and food porn, and Bourdain’s passion for experiences is infectious and wonderful.

There are scenes involving animals being slaughtered that I’ve found it impossible to watch – I’m one of those hypocritical meat eaters – but it’s mostly a celebration of human existence, one made more poignant by Bourdain’s tragic death in 2018. Give it a go, but don’t hang around, it looks like it’s only available til the end of the month. 

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