It's been another busy week here at BikeRadar, this time we've taken a closer look at Ritchey's Break-away road bike, which separates into two pieces through the loosening of just three bolts. We've also been lurking around the stands at Sea Otter 2017 where we brought you the latest in gravel and mountain bike tech plus plenty of weird random stuff too. We also proudly announced that BikeRadar has welcomed three new writers to its ranks.
But we all know you're not here to listen to our news, so scroll down to get your fix of new bike kit.
New mountain bike kit
Troy Lee Designs women's MTB kit
We've just got in the Skyline jersey in a fetching turquoise to green to yellow dissolve colour, the Ruckus shorts in a complementary shade, or stealthy black Skyline shorts option, and some rather sparkly gloves.
The Ruckus shorts are constructed from a tough-feeling four-way stretch fabric with claimed water resistance properties.
A velcro fly with popper button keeps things secure, with waist adjustment provided via internal velcro pull tabs, while a stretchy panel at the back / top of the shorts gives more movement in the fabric for riding. The design is finished off with two zippered pockets.
The Skyline shorts are made from a lightweight polyester material with stretch panels at the crotch and lower back, so should be ideal in warmer weather. Mesh panels at the side of each leg help with ventilation too, and the shorts themselves sit high and come to the mid-thigh.
The back is high, providing coverage when leaning forward on the bike and has a little zipped pocket for storing keys, change or cards. There are also two zipped pockets on the body of the short; one on the hip and one on the opposite thigh, both with a mesh lining.
Given the fit of the shorts, we reckon these won't be suitable for carrying anything bulky, but velcro pull tabs on each side of the waist band allow fit adjustment.
The Skyline jersey hasn't changed massively over previous incarnations, with a loose cut, raglan sleeves and a slightly dipped hem at the back.
We also have to mention Troy Lee's women's XC gloves. For anyone unfamiliar with them, a few of the gloves in the XC line have been embellished with diamantés on the knuckles. Do they provide protection? Unlikely. Will they dazzle your opposition on sunny descents? Possibly.
They're a Marmite product if ever there was one, but we're looking forward to seeing how they perform on test.
- Jersey: £47.99 / $55 / AU$TBC
- Shorts: £109.99 / $135 / AU$TBC
- Gloves: £27.99 / $30 / AU$TBC
KETL Mountain Apparel MTB liner bib
Founded by Lindsay Piper and Aaron James, the Minnesota-based brand was only launched in March 2017 and has of a small but comprehensive range of kit for women and men.
Piper and James told BikeRadar that an "important component of KETL is gender parity. We feel strongly that female and male riders deserve equal thought and equal quality. As such, you'll see an equal offering across genders."
We have several items in from KETL, but the most interesting has to be its MTB liner bib.
A few brands have tried different approaches to solve the logistical issue of comfort breaks for women when wearing bib tights and KETL has come up with a very interesting design. The crotch is essentially open at the leg, with the chamois on a separate panel attached at the back, and it's then zipped into place at the front. We're intrigued to see how this works — stay tuned.
- $150 (UK and Australian pricing TBC)
Cane Creek DBAir [IL]
Some shiny, new, black and gold shock hardware landed on our desk this week in the form of Cane Creek's DB Air IL shock.
We reported on it's imminent release back in January and now we've finally got our hands on one to see how it handles in practice.
The 'IL' stands for In-Line, and the shock is designed to be more durable and robust than previous incarnations. Packed full of new tech, it's the first new shock to feature Cane Creek's new LinEair Spring, which has a redesigned oil seal head and a reconfigured air piston.
Ours came in at 398g, just 1g over the reported 397g listed on the Cane Creek website.
- £385 / $475 / AU$TBC
Maxxis High Roller II 27.5 x 2.80
Like your rubber fat and knobbly? Maxxis is here to satisfy your petrochemical compound desires with the new 27.5 x 2.80 High Roller II tyres, which weigh 1,011g.
Designed for trail riding and good in loose and damp conditions, the tubeless-ready High Roller II is a popular choice on many setups. Plus-size High Rollers join the ranks of other wide rubber on the Maxxis lineup, including the Minion DH tyres in 2.8, which we had a look at last year.
Just look at those knobs!
- £79.99 / $TBC / AU$TBC
Flare Clothing Company Men's Stage Enduro Jersey
British company Flare Clothing has just dropped its 2017 line of enduro kit, and we've got the new Stage jersey on our desks for closer inspection.
The Stage jersey is made from a wicking polyester blend fabric and has 3/4 length sleeves and a crew neck cut.
The jersey is available in sizes XS to XXXL and there are two colourways available; black and blue, pictured, and a brighter green and orange.
- Price: £50 / $TBC / AU$TBC
Mons Royale Tech Bike sock
Fancy socks, we reckon most of you have a pair. You know, the ones that you reach for first when the drawer opens and then miss all the way up to when they emerge out of the wash once again.
These merino offerings from Kiwi firm Mons Royale are about to take pride of place in our sock drawer and they sure don't come cheap. Made up of 80 percent merino wool, they're about as technical as a sock can get, and feature strategically placed mesh panels to eliminate bunching and aid breathability.
Despite being mostly merino, caring for them needn't be a chore as they'll happily machine wash at a low temperature and will also tumble dry on a low setting.
- £17.99 / €19.95 / $TBC / AU$TBC
New road cycling kit
Liv Avow Advanced Pro
Could this be one of the most beautiful bikes on the planet? It's certainly got the looks and our friends over on 220 Triathlon will be finding out if it's got the speed to match in an upcoming review.
Built for aerodynamic speed, pure and simple, the Avow Advanced Pro is a women's specific performance triathlon bike. Constructed from an advanced grade carbon composite frame, it boasts Shimano Ultegra Di2 22-speed electronic shifting, Giant SpeedControl SL brakes, Giant SLR 1 Aero wheel system with a tubeless tyre system, and more features than you can shake a stick at.
For example, it's got integrated hydration, food and tool storage, so all you need to do is get on and pedal your heart out.
- £4,899 / $5,450 / AU$6499
Paul Component Tall and Handsome seatpost
All the way from sunny Chico, California is this anodised alloy slice of the nineties.
Paul parts have a somewhat cult following here in the UK and even if this item wouldn’t make it near any of your own bikes it’s impossible to ignore the quality of the finish.
The Tall and Handsome is available only in a 27.2mm diameter and with a 26mm setback measurement, and as Paul frankly puts it "If you do not like setback in your seatpost do not buy this one."
The head of the post is made from specially selected 2024 grade aluminium alloy, which is screwed then bonded into the precision ground shaft.
The clamp uses two bolts to eliminate slippage and these sit on spherical washers meaning around 15 degrees of tilt can be achieved through tightening/loosening.
It’s not light, but that’s hardly the point. We weighed our uncut 360mm (14.2in) example and it was bang on its 320g claimed weight. The post itself doesn’t hold a minimum insertion marking, but the folk at Paul kindly package it with a safety notice advising a minimum of three inches.
It’s totally niche, somewhat ridiculous, but also utterly beautiful. The only problem is, we aren’t quite sure which bike deserves it yet.
- £153 / $141 / AU$TBC
Cawston Press Brilliant Beetroot
Continuing with the purple theme is this Brilliant Beetroot drink from Cawston Press, and if you're looking for something healthier to wash down while out on the bike then Brilliant Beetroot could be it.
90 percent of the blend is made up of pressed and blended beetroot itself, with the coming from pressed apple juice. It's high on sugars but only the sort that are naturally occurring from fruit and veg.
Its earthy taste sure isn't for everyone, but it's less full on than other beetroot juices we've encountered. Just be ready for red wee.
- £1.75 / international pricing TBC
Bontrager Quantum MIPS helmet
The Quantum MIPS from Bontrager is sold as an all-purpose lid, but in this visibility yellow colour lends itself perfectly to commuting duties.
Any markings that aren't hi-vis yellow will also reflect light too, meaning you'll be near impossible to ignore at night time, even the straps are fluoro yellow!
A height adjustable click-wheel retention system means dialling in the fit is a doddle too. As the name suggests, inside you'll find the ever-popular MIPS system which allows the inside of the helmet to rotate slightly to help reduce damaging forces
At 363g it's hardly a featherweight, but multiple large vents give us the impression that this should keep a rider from getting hot headed. Generous coverage on the sides means that we would happily take this one out for mountain bike rides too.
- £79.99 / $99 / AU$TBC
The Bike Book: Complete Bicycle Maintenance from Haynes
For a lot of us, the sight of a Haynes manual alone will bring back memories of fettling under the bonnet of motors from before the millennium. Haynes' step-by-step instructions and black and white illustrations were enough to guide even the most hamfisted mechanics to complete jobs that they'd normally pay someone else to do.
But for those who want to work on bicycles, or perhaps even just learn more about them mechanically, Haynes presents its Complete Bicycle Maintenance title.
This 193-page hardback goes over everything from fitting tubeless tyres to how to wear a helmet correctly and covers topics relevant to nearly all types of rider. Just like the old car titles you used to swear at, each job is rated by difficulty,
- £18.99 / international pricing TBC