It’s the end of yet another week – and that means it's time for another installment of our Friday Five-a-side round up of the most interesting bits and pieces of road cycling and mountain biking gear that have recently landed on our doorstep. Take a closer look at what we'll be testing in the upcoming weeks and months.
New mountain bike gear
DMR Vault MG Superlight pedals
Since landing on the scene a few years ago, DMR’s Vault pedal has won countless fans, from trail centre shredders to downhill racers alike. Not a company to rest on its laurels, DMR has gone back to the drawing board to come up with the new MG Superlights. Featuring a titanium axle and a magnesium body, they deliver what DMR claims are the lightest platforms available – a crazy 290g!
£199.99 / US$TBC
Hope Technology purple components
If you were into mountain biking in the mid-90s, anodised bike parts were the way to express yourself and jazz up your ride. Retro 90s styling has been creeping back into vogue, so after a lot of requests from customers, Hope Technology will be offering their parts in anodised purple. This colour replaces the pink option and will be available on Pro 2 Evo hubs, stems, F20 pedals, wheels, bottom brackets and all Tech 3 brakes.
Bionicon C.Guide Eco chaingude
This clever little chainguide from Bionicon is designed to add extra chain retention to your bike when a clutch mech isn’t quite enough. Cheaper and lighter than its predecessor, the C.Guide Eco (short for economy) is a hassle-free guide that mounts under the chainstay and twists and rolls with the chain, thanks to its sturdy yet flexible rubber arm, which suspends the chain with enough pressure to prevent chain derailment.
£23.99 / €27.90 / US$N/A
BMC Trailfox TF01 XX1
It wasn’t so long ago that a 29er with 150mm of travel and the geometry of a 26in enduro bike was a thing of pure fantasy. But in 2014, these bikes exist – the Trailfox TF01 XX1 is BMC’s top spec big-wheeled monster. It boasts SRAM 1x11 gearing and a Fox Float X and 34 CTD mounted to a well-delivered carbon chassis with inspiring geometry. The new Trailfox looks like a bike that'll contradict previous notions of what was capable on a 29er.
£6,000 / US$8,999
Switchback Unveil 9 frame
A new brand on the scene, Switchback is all about delivering well-priced and affordable frames that meet the needs of today’s riders. The Unveil 9 bucks current trends with a 29er, 130mm travel all-mountain chassis that features a proven FSR-style linkage, tapered head tube and 12x142mm rear axle. It comes with the highly capable RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 rear shock. The Unveil 9 could well be the frame to help get you into the world of larger wheels. It’s available from this month.
£1,199 / US$1,499
New road cycling gear
Gaerne Bora Reflex shoes
You'll be the twinkle toes of the local cycling crew with a pair of these beauties. The Italian brand's Bora Reflex shoes, with their reflective uppers, have been attracting visitors to the BikeRadardesk like moths to a bulb all week long. As well as being highly visible at night – a property that's bound to be accentuated by the pedal action – they're pleasingly iridescent in daylight. They look incredible new and we'll have to see how they hold up over a wet spring. The nylon sole's not all that stiff but the two straps and sturdy buckle design should deliver a stable fit.
£154.99 / US$234.99
The word 'bombproof' is bandied about too much these days, but we're pretty sure the 15.3kg Hobo is the cockroach in a nuclear storm of the biking world. Built on “lessons learned from the 12,000km Tour de Afrique 2012” and you'll bet those are really quite hard – the Hobo's geometry could best be described as 'racy randonneur'. Its Columbus tubes are steel, natch, and though the paperwork says they're butted, weight-testing and finger-flicking mean some people in this office are sceptical. This Cycling Plus test model came with a wall-climbing 13-34 cassette and 26-36-48 chainrings. Mudguards, panniers and bosses for three water bottles are standard. This bike is not built for speed – anything but – but we reckon it’ll be up to some intercontinental travel.
£1,299.99 / US$1,849.99
Token C28 Carbon clincher wheels
Aren’t these a lovely looking set of clincher road wheels? These C28s from the Taiwanese manufacturer are race-ready aero carbon rims with a claimed weight of 1,210g without rim tape. Doubtful though – our scales said 1,400g with tape. The hubs are smooth however, and the wheelset is supplied with specific brake pads that work with the coated brake tracks.
£999.99 / US$1,650
The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-day Races by Peter Cossins
Forget the Tour, the Giro and the waffle that goes along with three-week racing. One-day racing's where it's at: all the tactics, suspense, heroism, dejection and elation distilled onto one delicious day of competition. Former ProCycling editor Peter Cossins' book The Monuments explores the rich history and heroes of the five pillars in the one-day calendar: Milan-Sanremo, Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Tour of Lombardy.
£12.99 / $22.95
Rapha Merino gilet
We spied this Rapha city gilet draped becomingly on the Urban Cyclist desk and it made us wonder what would happen to the global merino industry if something unspeakable was to happen to UK label. Besides the liberal use of sheep fibre (90 percent), the gilet has nifty technical details indicating it's meant for riding, not just posing: a windproof inner over the chest will help keep you warm and there's a small back pocket for a phone or a wallet.
£120 / US$165