11spd: This week's best new bike gear

Fresh kit from Specialized, MRP, Castelli, Ergon and more

The second week of the new year has nearly come and gone. We hope you're still sticking with your new year's resolutions and have found time to get out for at least a few rides. If you've fallen off the resolution wagon, we hope this glittering assortment of new road and mountain bike gear will help pry your butt off the couch and get you motivated to get back on the bike. 

New mountain bike gear

Ergon SMC3 Comp saddle

Ergon's smc3 saddle blends comfort with performance:
Ergon's smc3 saddle blends comfort with performance:

The SMC3 is designed for long days in the saddle. It has the same profile as the cross-country race-focused SMR3 saddle line with additional air cell foam padding to make it more forgiving.

It’s available in small, medium and large widths. The size medium SMC3 Comp we’ve got in for test measures 145mm at its widest point. It’s designed to accommodate riders with sit bones spaced 11 to 13cm apart.

The SMC3 Comp saddle features TiNox rails to prop up the fiberglass shell. The weight for our medium SMC3 saddle is a respectable 250g.

$100 / £75 / AU$120

www.ergon-bike.com

MRP SXg chain guide

The new mrp sxg chain guide is suitable for everything from trail riding to gravity racing:
The new mrp sxg chain guide is suitable for everything from trail riding to gravity racing:

The all-new SXg is designed as one chain guide for virtually every type of mountain biking – trail, enduro or downhill.

The SXg forgoes a friction-producing lower roller to tension the chain. Instead, the SXg relies on a cleverly designed skid plate that doubles as a lower chain guide.

MRP co-molded the upper and lower guides with a softer layer of TPU plastic to reduce chain noise.

MRP offers the SXg in sizes for 30-34t and 34-38t chainrings. The SXg comes in a budget-minded version with an alloy back plate as well as this lighter, more expensive carbon-backed variant.

The weight for the 30-34t SXg with a carbon back plate is 110g.

$225 / £190 / AU$329

www.mrpbike.com

The Weatherneck

The weatherneck uses magnetic snaps so it's easy to remove while riding:
The weatherneck uses magnetic snaps so it's easy to remove while riding:

Brian Davis, the creator of Fix It Sticks, is back with another clever creation. The Weatherneck is a high-tech bandana designed to shield your face from the elements.

According to Davis, most neck warmers on the market are great until you start to heat up and want to remove them quickly. The solution Davis came up with was to use two pairs of high-strength magnets to secure the Weatherneck at the back of the wearer’s neck. These magnets allow the Weatherneck be removed quickly with one hand while riding.

The Weatherneck is constructed from a blend of polyester and spandex with a perforated panel over the nose and mouth to help expel moisture. 

$20 / £14 / AU$30

Davis is currently hosting a Kickstarter campaign to fund the Weatherneck. 

D.Fender fat and standard mountain bike fenders

D.Fender makes fenders for standard as well as fat bike forks: d.fender makes fenders for standard as well as fat bike forks
D.Fender makes fenders for standard as well as fat bike forks: d.fender makes fenders for standard as well as fat bike forks

D.Fender is a small, bicycle-mechanic owned company that makes front as well as rear fenders for mountain bikes. (UK readers, we know you call them mudguards, but Colorado is at the controls this week. Okay?) These US-made models are are available for standard as well as plus and fat bikes.

We have versions for a RockShox Bluto as well as a standard mountain fork in-house. Both designs use four zip-ties to secure them to the fork brace.

$17 / £12 / AU$25

dfenderguard.bigcartel.com

Bike Touring and Bikepacking by Justin Lichter and Justin Kline

Falcon guide's guide to bike touring and bikepacking is an essential read before your first big adventure :
Falcon guide's guide to bike touring and bikepacking is an essential read before your first big adventure :

If you’re looking to try your hand at multi-day cycling adventures this guide is a great resource. It features advice on proper bike selection, different approaches to carrying gear (frame bags versus panniers), as well as critical information on layering, water purification and nutrition.  

$12.95 / £9 / AU$18

www.falcon.com

New road bike gear

NiteRider Sentinel taillight

The niterider sentinel is more than a standard taillight:
The niterider sentinel is more than a standard taillight:

So what separates this light from the growing number of high-output taillights? 

Frickin' laser beams!

In addition to the usual steady and flashing modes, the Sentinel has a second button that allows the rider to turn on a pair of lasers on that create a virtual bike lane. The rider can choose from steady or flashing lines.

It has freakin' laser beams to create your own virtual bike lane!:
It has freakin' laser beams to create your own virtual bike lane!:

It's like the movie Tron but better, because you're not trapped in a computer...

The Sentinel is rechargeable via the included micro USB to USB cable. It has a 40-lumen output and an estimated run time of seven to 36 hours, depending on the mode selected.

$50 / £45 / AU$75

www.niterider.com

Bontrager Classique jersey

Bontrager's classique collection looks and feels like rapha: bontrager's classique collection looks and feels like rapha
Bontrager's classique collection looks and feels like rapha: bontrager's classique collection looks and feels like rapha

Bontrager's Classique collection looks and feels a bit like Rapha with its merino/poly construction and throwback aesthetic. The price, however, is substantially lower.

The fit is trim but the wool content lends a relaxed feel.

Other pieces in the collection include lace-up shoes, which we reviewed last year.

$179 / £134 / AU$299

www.trekbikes.com

Castelli Nano Flex Pro bib tights

Castelli's nano flex pro bib tights: castelli's nano flex pro bib tights
Castelli's nano flex pro bib tights: castelli's nano flex pro bib tights

Building on the Nano Flex tights, the Nano Flex Pro adds extra protection with an additional layer of Nano Flex Light on the knees, lights and rear end, deflecting the water and wind.

But the most noticeable difference are lowers, which are hyper-reflective, waterproof and – in our test set – pretty tight and not very stretchy.

$199 / £133 / AU$286

www.castelli-cycling.com

Garmin Index Smart Scale

The garmin index smart scale requires a smartphone to capture all the information: the garmin index smart scale requires a smartphone to capture all the information
The garmin index smart scale requires a smartphone to capture all the information: the garmin index smart scale requires a smartphone to capture all the information

Garmin’s scale requires a smartphone and the Garmin Connect app to capture and view all the metrics it captures: weight, body mass index, body fat percentage, muscle mass and water percentage.

Each of these metrics appears on the screen, and can be set for LB or KG.

The scale uploads your information to garmin connect, where you can view the daily data and the trends: the scale uploads your information to garmin connect, where you can view the daily data and the trends
The scale uploads your information to garmin connect, where you can view the daily data and the trends: the scale uploads your information to garmin connect, where you can view the daily data and the trends

The benefit to the scale is having the app record all the details for a quick look at trends. The downside is that the information is largely confined to the Garmin Connect ecosystem.

$149 / £129 / AU$249

garmin.com

Specialized S-Works Tarmac S-Build

The 2016 specialized s-works tarmac: the 2016 specialized s-works tarmac
The 2016 specialized s-works tarmac: the 2016 specialized s-works tarmac

Special paint jobs like this can be had through the S-Build program for no extra charge. This particular model has a design that looks either blue or purple, depending on how the light hits it.

Related reading:Specialized S-Works Tarmac Di2 Disc review

In addition to the paint, riders can work with their local Specialized dealer to build up the bike how they want. 

We got this frameset in to test the new SRAM eTap components.

This paint looks either blue or purple, depending on how the light hits it: this paint looks either blue or purple, depending on how the light hits it
This paint looks either blue or purple, depending on how the light hits it: this paint looks either blue or purple, depending on how the light hits it

$3,750 frame/fork/seatpost / UK & AU N/A

www.specialized.com

Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance

Zinn and the art of road bike maintenance is now in its 5th edition, with massive updates on everything from electronic shifting (including etap) to hydraulic brakes to tubeless set-ups: zinn and the art of road bike maintenance is now in its 5th edition, with massive updates on everything from electronic shifting (including etap) to hydraulic brakes to tubeless set-ups
Zinn and the art of road bike maintenance is now in its 5th edition, with massive updates on everything from electronic shifting (including etap) to hydraulic brakes to tubeless set-ups: zinn and the art of road bike maintenance is now in its 5th edition, with massive updates on everything from electronic shifting (including etap) to hydraulic brakes to tubeless set-ups

Now in its fifth edition, Lennard Zinn’s masterpiece includes massive updates on everything from electronic shifting (including eTap) to hydraulic brakes to tubeless set-ups.

This 488-page tome will walk you through everything from simple repairs like fixing a flat to installing and bleeding hydraulic systems.

Some 700 illustrations help explain the steps and the tools needed, and troubleshooting charts help isolate the problem and define the solution.

You will need many tools for this task, grasshopper - patience the most important one of all: you will need many tools for this task, grasshopper - patience the most important one of all
You will need many tools for this task, grasshopper - patience the most important one of all: you will need many tools for this task, grasshopper - patience the most important one of all

$27 / £19 / AU$N/A

www.amazon.com

Josh Patterson

Tech Editor, US
Josh has been riding and racing mountain bikes since 1998. Being stubborn, endurance racing was a natural fit. Josh bankrolled his two-wheeled addiction by wrenching at various bike shops across the US for 10 years and even tried his hand at frame building. These days Josh spends most of his time riding the trails around his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • Discipline: Mountain, cyclocross, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Anywhere with rock- and root-infested technical singletrack. He also enjoys unnecessarily long gravel races.
  • Current Bikes: Trek Remedy 29 9.9, Yeti ASRc, Specialized CruX, Spot singlespeed, Trek District 9
  • Dream Bike: Evil The Following, a custom Moots 27.5+ for bikepacking adventures
  • Beer of Choice: PBR
  • Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA

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