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
Ti-Springs seven-speed conversion kit
This handy conversion kit from Ti-Springs allows home mechanics to effectively set their bikes up like the pros’, by removing the three sprockets at the upper end of the cassette, which are unnecessary for downhill anyway. This helps save a little weight, but more importantly, helps to keep your chain away from your wheels if or when your derailleur has an impact on the trail.
£25 / US$42.48
USWE F4 hydration pack
The USWE F4 hydration offers nine litres of storage, enough to hold a helmet, tools, provisions and anything else you might need on the go. It has a four-point harness to keep the load on your back secure, as well as an element of suspension to help spread the load on rough terrain. There’s also a waterproof phone pocket and a useful tool organiser.
€119.95 + €9 delivery / Approx US$163.35 + US$16 delivery
Dainese Rhyolite body armour jacket
This new lightweight upper-body armour jacket from Dainese covers the back, shoulders, arms and chest with the company’s soft Crash Absorb material. Offering a less restrictive feel when moving the bike around on technical terrain, the Rhyolite could be just the ticket for enduro racing and trips to the Alps this summer.
£219.99 / US$299.95
Thomson Elite Covert dropper post
This is the latest addition to the Thomson dropper post lineup. The Elite Covert is the new internally routed option for those who are looking to get a cleaner setup by untilising their frame’s internal routing. Featuring 125mm of drop and available in 30.9 and 31.6mm options, the Elite Covert is ready for action.
£349.99 / US$479.95
Novatec 27.5 Demon wheels
Novatec is still relatively new on the scene, but hasn’t wasted any time establishing itself in the bustling wheel market. Its downhill-specific 27.5 Demon wheels are packed with all the necessary elements for hardcore terrain. The 31mm wide tubeless-ready rims are hand built with double-butted spokes and sealed bearing equipped hubs that are fully adaptable to all cassette bodies.
£489 / US$849
New road bike gear
The Cycling Anthology, Volume 4, edited by Ellis Bacon and Lionel Birnie
If you have a pre-Tour itch to scratch, volume four of the Cycling Anthology is out now. The Anthology bills itself as a ‘collection of original writing by some of the world’s best cycling journalists’. Volume four majors on the Tour and includes pieces on one of the race’s major protagonists of the early 2000s, Iban Mayo, who’s now purportedly a truck driver (he’s not); a look back at the career of one of Yorkshire’s Tour riders, Ken Russell; and a forensic analysis of Marco Pantani’s 1998 victory in the Grand Boucle.
£8.99 / US$N/A
Mavic Ksyrium R-Sys 125 Ans wheels
Mavic went big on its 125th anniversary this year. We were lucky enough to attend its birthday party a couple of months back and now the company has sent us a pair of these limited edition R-Sys. These wheels represent the vanguard of Mavic’s rim manufacturing technology. Ultimately, Mavic has refined the shape (making it more aero) and, thanks to some sophisticated computer software, is now milling away more alloy in areas where it won’t affect the highly regarded rigidity of the clinchers. Well, that’s what Mavic says, anyway. Mavic produced just 6,000 sets of these one-yellow-spoked wheels.
£1,100 / €1,250 / US$N/A
Ritchey Road Logic frameset
If we were to translate this Ritchey Logic frameset into footballing terms (this is Friday five-a-side and the World Cup is on after all) we’d say it would slot into a defensive midfield position but be armed with a devastating touch in the set pieces. Basically it’s an all-rounder with some racy touches. The triple-butted steel tubeset is TIG welded (the Logic has beautifully neat joints). And because it’s springy steel with a fairly slack geometry, it should be comfortable too. The welds are excellent, the paintwork superb and, if its built up simply, we can’t imagine it would be anything than an exquisite-looking bike.
£950 / US$1,049.95
Aftershokz Bluez 2 headphones
Now these are clever: Bluetooth headphones that conduct sound through a user’s cheekbones into the inner ear, leaving the lughole open to ambient noise. They fit well, are light and well made. We gave them a trial in the office and they were certainly effective: sounds quality was brilliant and the strap didn’t interfere with helmet fitting mechanisms. We look forward to giving them a go on the open road. It’s not a massively competitive category, but they’re definitely our favourite audio exercise device since the Scosche BoomBOTTLE.
£83.29 / US$99.95
Louis Garneau P-09 TT helmet
Louis Garneau has whipped the trailing edge off the P-09 TT helmet and made it into a great big exhaust vent. It’s also given the helmet gill slits to evacuate even more hot sweaty air. A dimpled surface pattern and a small frontal area (this is one tight-fitter) should make its aerodynamic performance first rate.
£TBA / US$349.99