It’s the end of yet another working week and, depending on which side your bread's buttered, the trails or tarmac will be calling you. Before you buckle up and clip in, here are 10 new and exciting bits of cycling gear recently landed at the Australian BikeRadaroffices.
New road bike gear
Bontrager Classique shoes
Bontrager now has a laceup shoe, the Classique. Released in the wake of the Giro Empire's success, the Classiques feature a pliable microfibre upper and 12kweave carbon sole. The Classique receives 12 out of a possible 14 on the American brand's ‘stiffness scale’.
Built around Bontrager’s InForm Pro last, the shoes are snug through the mid section but flare out before the toes for added comfort. At the front two large vents bring plenty of air into the shoes, while the heel cup is lined with a ‘No Slip’ two-way material.
Burnishing their style credentials, the Classiques also come with four different shades of lace to coordinate with the rest of your getup – and a velvet shoe bag.
US$269 / UK£199 / AU$389
Oakley Radar EV Prizm Road sunglasses
Launching at the same time as Oakley’s new Jawbreaker, the Radar EV is quite an advance on the hugely popular Radar model. The most notable difference to the frame is in its extended height for improved visibility in the common ‘head down’ position of cycling. Ventilation is also said to be better.
Also new is Prizm lens technology. Here the lenses are tuned to specific conditions, with our pavement-specific Prizm Road lens said to boost road texture, painted lines, and traffic lights, while also enhancing greens and blues.
Prices range from US$170 / £135 / AU$240 to US$230 / £175 /AU$300
Fuji Cross 1.3 Disc cyclocross bike
Sitting as the second cheapest cyclocross bike in Fuji’s range, the Cross 1.3 Disc looks to be offer plenty of barrier hopping, leg burning and mud in eyes action for your money.
At its heart lies a butted alloy frame with a tapered head tube, press fit bottom bracket and a carbon bladed fork. Bolted to this is a SRAM Rival 22 drivetrain using a lesser-known Oval crankset and cross-specific forged Praxis chainrings. Stopping is handled by Avid BB5 mechanical disc brakes, and hopefully keeping your face out of the mud pit is a set of Challenge Grifo folding tyres.
This all adds up to a 9.65kg (21.23lb) complete weight that should prove plenty durable.
£TBC / US$1,349 / AU$1,849
Santini Interactive aero kit
Designed to be worn as a full kit, Santini’s Interactive jersey zips into the bibs at the back for a skinsuit effect.
The front panel of the extremely slim-fitting jersey is made with Artico fabric, a lightweight and breathable material; while the back is made of LycraKa, a special micromesh Lycra that Santini says keeps the top comfortable and form fitting while in the tuck position. An anti-slip elasticated Lycra band at the bottom of the jersey and sleeves prevents the jersey from riding up.
The bibs have a low cut waist and an elasticated Lycra cuff at the bottom which Santini claims aids in muscle support. The Interactive bibs also feature the Italian brand’s new super lightweight MIG3 chamois, a pad that has a mesh core covered with breathable gel layers in varying densities.
Spy Optic Daft sunglasses
Spy Optics has sent us its latest performance sunnies, named Daft. Featuring some serious Euro styling, and a fitting name, the Daft glasses make us want to dust off the zebra-stripe kit and do our best ‘Cipo’ impression.
Our sample frames (or lack thereof) came with the Happy Bronze with Green Spectra lens and spare yellow lens. Spy claims its Happy lens boosts the sun's beneficial wavelengths, while still blocking the harmful ones, to uplift mood and improve focus and alertness.
US$150 / UK£TBC / AU$240
New mountain bike gear
DT Swiss OPM O.D.L 100 29 suspension fork
Beyond Nino Schurter’s hard charging descending abilities, we don’t often see the stealthy black suspension from the Swiss wheel experts. The OPM O.D.L is a performance level cross country fork that features a light and wild-looking one piece magnesium (OPM) lower and three position Open Drive Lockout (O.D.L) damper. Our 29in sample weighs 1.63kg with an uncut alloy steerer.
In addition to the solid rear-facing lower arch and 32mm stanchions, a tapered steerer and RWS 15mm thru-axle should aid in stiffness. There are new SKF wipers too, which claim to be better sealed, longer lasting and reduce stiction by 50 percent over previous seals.
We were also sent a handlebar-mounted remote lockout kit (sold separately). This three-position alloy trigger switch replaces the top-cap mounted lever.
OPM O.D.L 100 fork: £TBC / €859 / US$1,159 / AU$N/A
Remote Kit O.D.L: £TBC / €67 / US$89 / AU$N/A
Specialized Phenom Pro saddle
Designed in the Body Geometry lab and built with performance mountain biking in mind, low friction panels aid in getting off and behind the saddle and reducing friction when on it. A carbon reinforced base and carbon rails mean our 143mm and 155mm width samples weigh just 195g and 208g respectively.
The Phenom Pro features an ‘Adaptive Edge base construction’, which is said to conform to a riders’ body. And at US/AU$100 less than the S-Works version, the Pro looks to be a great choice for those riders it fits.
£TBC / US$200 / AU$250
The SwiftCarbon Detritovore is a high-end race-ready 29er hardtail frame designed with equal amounts of comfort and stiffness in mind. Okay. So this product isn’t new in the slightest – we reviewed it in late 2012 and it’s barely changed since. However, what we’re planning to do with this one is new.
This medium Detritovore frame is to form the core of a new long-term test rig to put parts such as the new DT Swiss OPM fork and Shimano XTR M9000 wheels through their paces. Look out for a detailed build-up story soon.
£TBC / US$2,200 / AU$2,699
ESI Fit XC silicone grips
US-made ESI grips are the market’s original silicone foam grip and continue to be the benchmark given just how many athletes line up at world cups with them.
At 58g a pair, the new Fit XC grips take the material one step further with an ergonomic shape that’s said to relieve blood-flow blocking pressure and increase bar control. We’re already big fans of ESI grips, so we’re keen to see if the new shape is worth swapping to.
£TBC / US$33 / AU$50
Abbey Bike Tools titanium hammer
We hear you screaming at the screen. What’s the point of a titanium hammer? And look at the freaking price!
This 237g whacking device was originally conceived for the most discerning of professional travelling race mechanics. Since then, many (including the tool maker himself) have seen the genius in such a lightweight and compact hammer beyond the space it saves in the toolbox: it’s so easy to swing and perfectly sized for (most) bicycle use.
To prove it’s a cyclist’s hammer, the hollow titanium handle receives an impact absorbing ESI grip.
No, it’s not the hammer you want for creating an open plan living area, and no, we’re not saying you should buy one. But for true (and tragic) tool lovers, it’ll never rust nor fail to impress.
£TBC / US$180 / AU$TBC