Friday Five-a-side: this week’s best new bike gear
By Tom Marvin | Friday, February 14, 2014 1.21pm
Trail tools: Stihl Folding Saw, Fiskars X7 Axe, Gerber Spade Jonny Ashelford/Future Publishing
Another bumper crop of new road and mountain biking kit has found its way into the BikeRadar office this week, and as always, here are the most exciting bits and pieces that we've picked out.
New mountain bike gear
Jon from What Mountain Bike magazine is getting his trail-building hat on, which means a series of rather terrifying tools are floating around the office. Luckily it's Friday the 14th, not the 13th, today.
While a chainsaw might have been a little overkill for scraping in hillside trails, a handy folding saw from Stihl should make short work of branches and twigs, while a Fiskars X7 axe will make Jon feel all manly. Finally, there’s a folding spade for digging hucks and berms from Gerber.
Stihl Folding Saw - £20.86 – www.stihl.com
Fiskars X7 Axe - £36.99 / US$34.99 – www.fiskars.com
Gerber Spade - £25 / US$29.70 – www.gerbergear.com
Lapierre Spicy 327
With 150-160mm of full-on bouncy goodness, the Lapierre Spicy 327 looks like it should be an absolute corker on the trails. The 27.5in wheels are pretty much de rigeur these days on bikes designed to not only smash it down a hill but also be cranked back up again.
2014 Fox 34 CTD forks have been improved for this year, and RaceFace finishing kit usually puts a smile on our faces.
Italian Formula RX stoppers are specced, along with a mixed bag of Shimano XT and SLX and SRAM X7 for the gears. Schwalb Hans Dampf tyres should help keep everything under control.
£2399.99/ US$ TBC
Dakine Enduro Hip Pack
Those crazy Americans at Dakine have decided that the Enduro world needs bum bags (or fanny packs for our American readers) again. With 9 litres of storage space, just enough for a quick snack, a couple of tubes and some tools, they might be on to something – especially as you’re not going to get such a sweaty back. The mini back panel is vented, and the waist trap is wide and soft, which we reckon should give decent stability.
US$50 / £ TBC / €50
Flare Lunar LS jersey
Flare is a new women’s-specific bike brand out of the UK, born from the frustrations of not being able to find women’s clothing that is both flattering to the female form and still high performance.
The Lunar LS jersey looks ideal for spring and autumn days, or ones when nettles and brambles would rip your arms to shreds.
£49.99 / US$ N/A
Five Ten shoes
With an ever expanding range, Five Ten is upping the ante with its latest range of flat and clipless shoes. While the classic Impact shoe might look a bit stormtrooper, the Maltese Falcon, Freerider and and Freerider VXi are a more like ‘normal’ riding shoes.
All three feature Five Ten's fancy Stealth rubber soles, with the Maltese Flacon and the Freerider being clipless ready. The Maltese Falcon has been updated too, to make it more UK weather friendly, with a splash-proof toe area.
Willier Cento1 SR Disc
It seems every week a new disc-braked road bike pops into the office, and this week it’s the smart looking Wilier Cento1 SR Disc, featuring the sure-footed Shimano hydraulic discs.
To keep the smooth lines, the hydraulic hoses are routed internally, however the front disc’s hose runs down the back of the fork leg. The frame itself can take either mechanical or electronic gears, with its interchangeable cable guide plates. As with most disc road bikes, the calliper is mounted on the chainstays, meaning the seatstays, so important for ride comfort, don’t need to be reinforced.
The old adage of measure twice, cut once applies with the Cento1, as the seat mast is an integrated one – you don’t want to cut it too short, however the Ritchey clamp should give a small range of adjustment.
£4249/ US$ TBC
Giant Contact SLR Stem
With Giant using its OverDrive 2 headset/steerer system on many of it sbikes, 1-1/4in compatible stems can be tricky to track down. FSA is one company making stems for the standard, but there’s no harm in going back to Giant if you want to adjust reach or height. For those who love the look, it comes with a shim to 1-1/8in and a top cap too.
The price of the Contact SLR stem might not place it in the value arena, and its 140g weight, while certainly light, isn’t size 0, but we’re expecting it to be super stiff and the finish is immaculate.
£159.99 / US$ N/A
Protein World Strength Collection
Once the UK rain disappears, we might not be too far from spring, which means one thing – training!! There are those out there who’ll want to bulk up, and Protein World’s Oats & Whey blend looks (and tastes) like a good option.
A 60g serving gives 30.7g of protein, along with 19.5g of carbohydrates, and Protein World recommends this serving before exercise.
We reckon it tastes alright, even just mixed alone with water – far better than many of the other protein based shakes we’ve forced down recently.
This package also comes with a bottle of multivitamin capsules and pills to keep you topped up too.
£56 / US$ N/A
Water To Go Bottle
If you’re in the habit of going right off the beaten track, potentially into areas where water might not be as clean as it could be, the Water To Go bottle might just prove useful.
Their website displays a list of what it’ll stop, and quite frankly, it’s a terrifying list of unimaginable nasties, from Mercury to Hepatitus, Legionella to Cryptosporidium Tryonosoma (no, us neither…).
Filters last 200 litres or 3 months, and look easy to replace.
£24.95 / US$ N/A
BG Innovations PRO range
Weather like we’re experiencing in the UK at the moment tends to eat bikes alive, and while it may be a chore, spending a few minutes every now and again giving your bike a bit of TLC will go a long way to making sure it lasts the winter months.
BG Innovations has sent in three rattle cans full of bike maintenance goodness.
The PROtecht-1 and 2 are corrosion preventing sprays, which repel water and protect components from salt and acid damage. The PROtecht-1 dry’s as a transparent finish, while the PROtecht-2 is wax based surface coating. The PROclean-gold is, as the name suggests, a cleaner spray, degreasing and lifting grime.
One thing’s for sure – we’ll be keeping them away from our braking surfaces!
PROclean-gold - £9.95, PROtecht-1 - £14.95, PROtecht-2 - £13.50/ US$ N/A
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