California-based Dirty Dog have sent us a selection of their latest disc rotors, and while they won't be to everyone's taste they'll certainly make your bike stand out from the crowd.
Take your pick from designs featuring fire-breathing dragons, skull-and-crossbones, spider's webs, aliens, lizards, frogs and more.
They're not light – our 203mm Dragon sample weighed in at 260g on the office scales and the 160mm The Skull was 167g, although the160mm Web was a more competitive 110g – but look like they should stand up to some abuse.
All the designs are laser cut from stainless steel (with the exception of the Web rotor, which is stamped) and then heat treated, and they're all 0.7in thick. They're available in a variety of different sizes, with prices ranging from £29.99 (US$38.95) to £49.99 ($79.95).
Also here to help you pimp your wheels are A2Z Disc Brake Components with their new lightweight two-piece SPV floating rotor. This funky-looking disc combines an anodised aluminium spider with a stainless steel braking surface in a bid to save weight and better dissipate heat.
It's available in 160mm and 180mm sizes, with 203mm rotors to follow in the autumn, and four colours – black, red, gold and blue. Claimed weight is 89g (160mm) and prices start at £27.95.
Also new from A2Z is the XCF QR15-compatible front hub. This versatile unit can be converted to take either quick-release skewers or 15mm through-axles, and will take both Center Lock and 6-bolt disc rotors.
Features included a cold forged, CNC machined shell, sealed cartridge bearings and a high-polish finish. It's available in 32H only, in anodised black. Claimed weight is 113g (QR) / 105g (QR15), and RRP is £59.95.
We're big fans of merino wool here at BikeRadar thanks to its combination of high breathability, warmth when wet and odour-fighting properties, and the new cycling range from Peak District based Embers Merino looks like it's been well thought out.
They've kept things simple with just a jacket, gilet, 3/4-zip base layer and 1/2-zip jersey, all of which boast a classic look with minimal but attractive detailing.
The Velo SS Core jersey combines a merino inner layer with a durable polyester outer and has all the features you'd expect – three back pockets, plus a zipped side pocket with MP3 player cable routing, flatlocked shoulder seams and a reflective logo on the rear. It's available in four sizes for £65.
The Velo Core Jacket is designed for cooler temperatures and is made of dense, wind-resistant Core 300 fabric (again with a merino inner layer and polyester outer). Features include a full zip, eyeletted side panels for breathability, an MP3 player compatible zipped chest pocket and large zipped rear pocket. The jacket is available in black, yellow or red, and in sizes S-XL. RRP is £95.
Embers Merino should have some legwear available in time for autumn. Their bike gear is also available in women's cuts and sizes. For more details about the Velo range, visit www.embersmerino.com.
As 29ers finally begin to win the same kind of acceptance in Britain that they have enjoyed in the US for several years, Marzocchi have decided to add two 44 series forks for big-wheelers to their UK line-up.
The 44 Micro Ti and 44 TST2 aren't, as UK distributors Windwave claim, the "only 140mm-travel 29in forks on the market" – our testers are already rocking 29er RockShox Rebas and Revelations with that much travel – and they're a little heftier than the competition.
But Marzocchi seem to have addressed the reliability issues of recent years and their latest forks have been well received by the cycling press and riders alike, so these new offerings could be good choices for burlier or more maintenance-shy riders.
The 44 Micro Ti uses Marzocchi's top-end TST Micro damping cartridge and features adjustable rebound, compression, lockout and lockout threshold. The new, low-pressure AER system is claimed to offer "coil-alike plushness" thanks in part to its titanium negative spring.
Fork travel is 120mm out of the box but this can be adjusted to 100mm or 140mm by adding or removing spacers. The 44 Micro Ti is only available in white and with a QR15 axle, and weighs 2,035g (including axle). It costs £599.95 and should be available in October.
The 44 TST2 features more basic internals, and lacks threshold and compression adjustment, but offers the same amount of travel. Again, it's only available in white and with a QR15, and weighs 2,250g (including axle). RRP is £339.95. For more details, visit www.marzocchi.com.