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 has recently crossed the BikeRadar threshold.
New road gear
Swiss Side Gotthard wheelset
Swiss Side is a new wheel company based in, wait for it… Switzerland. Following the customer direct business model, Swiss Side claims to offer the same quality and performance as the big brands at less than half the price. The Gotthard wheelset is its top of the range low profile aluminium clincher. At 27mm deep and 1,520g with rim tape, the wheels are hand built in Taiwan with Sapim bladed aero spokes, and feature Swiss Side’s proprietary hubs.
Aprox US$560 / £400 / AU$600
Knog Party Combo lock
Made from a cut-resistant combination of braided steel and fibre, the Knog Party Combo lock should stave off thieves looking to bag your ride. The combination lock features a rotating dial lock barrel and a stainless steel locking shackle. Knog claims all of its Party locks are free of leverage points, ensuring extra security against unwanted attacks. Coated in a flexible UV-stable silicone the lock won’t mark or scratch your bike, and is available in eight colours.
US$24.95 / £TBC / AU$39.95
Rapha/Sky Essentials Case
The Team Sky Essentials Case is a small leather riding wallet that'll fit in a jersey pocket – certainly more refined than the common zip-lock bag. Inside there's a zippered pocket large enough for a credit card and some cash, and a special smartphone sleeve made of a soft stretch fabric. The main compartment is large enough to carry a spare inner tube, tyre levers and an average-sized multi-tool. While the case is not waterproof or sweatproof, the seams are bound to keep your stuff mostly dry.
US$65 / £45 / AU$70
White Lightning Bamboo Cycle Wipes
White Lightning Bamboo Cycle Wipes are a quick and easy solution for cleaning your hands – yet are durable enough to handle a dirty drivetrain. They have a waffled texture and are treated with a solution that's strong enough to clean a bicycle chain, yet shouldn’t dry out your hands as some solvent treated wipes do. The individually packaged wipes fit easily into a saddle bag or pocket and are great for degreasing hands after a roadside repair. As the name suggests, the wipes themselves are made from bamboo, and are biodegradable.
Box of 36: US$24.99 / £17.50 / AU$40
Bontrager Circuit helmet
After a slow start, Bontrager has been refining its helmet line-up with solid results. Now with the performance helmets strong, the budget helmets are reaping the rewards of trickle-down technology too. The Circuit has been revamped for 2014 and features 26 vents, fixed temple straps and the proven Headmaster retention system.
US$99.99 / £69.99 / AU$139.99
New mountain bike gear
Thule Perspektiv DSLR backpack
Thule is known more for car racks than backpacks, but the Perspektive DSLR bag appears to be a sturdy and technical camera bag. While not at all a cycling pack, there are many cyclists out there that appreciate a good snap.
A side access and removable ‘Safe Zone’ camera storage unit offers enough modular storage for a prosumer-level body, one or two extra lenses, depending on the model, and a flash. The bag features Thule’s Cloudburst construction with welded and taped seams, and uses DWR treated fabric to protect your gear from the elements (if the weather gets really wet, the bag has a hide-away rain cover). While the backpack does not have an overwhelming amount of storage, it does feature two zippered weather resistant stash pockets big enough for extra batteries, lens caps or a flashlight, and a larger storage space at the top, big enough for a light jacket, small notebook and some snacks.
US$159.95 / £149 / AU$269.95
POC Trail Light Tee
Looking quite casual at first glance, POC’s Trail Light Tee is made from a mixture of nylon and spandex, and should be perfect for long hot days on the trail. The technical knit is designed to quickly wick moisture away from your skin, keeping you cool and dry. Soft to the touch, the fabric is also treated with Polygiene to keep funky smells at bay.
US$54.95 / UK£49.99/ AU$79.95
4Shaw MTB Race gloves
An updated version of the successful Long Finger Race glove, these features anatomically cut finger webbing, a Gossamer palm, silicone grip, smartphone friendly fingertips, antimicrobial thumb wipes, and an ICE MESH back for summer-friendly ventilation.
Approx US$46.59 / Approx UK£27.64 / AU$50
Race Face Piper women's jersey
The Race Face Piper jersey begins its life as a plastic bottle – or at least the Repreve fabric it’s made from does. The rest of the top is a blend of CoolDry polyester and spandex. Stretch mesh panels on the sides and back offer additional venting, while a faux suede hidden stash pocket doubles as a goggle wipe. Durable flatlock stitching is used throughout the jersey to prevent chafing and prolong its life.
US$77.49 / £31.99 / AU$79.95
Prestacycle Prestaratchet multi-tool
We have already discussed how useful small interchangeable bit ratchets can be to any pro wrench or home mechanic. Prestacycle has now upped the ante by offering its mini ratchets with a 'Prestalever' tyre lever handle, making for a rather neat roadside tool.
US$24.95 / £TBC / AU$21.99