Happy Friday, everyone, and welcome to this week's edition of 11spd. As the leaves start to fall in the northern hemisphere, we're starting to pull out the warm jerseys – and cyclocross bikes. But there are still warm days ahead of us yet. Read on to see the latest hot products to land in BikeRadar's Colorado offices.
New mountain bike gear
Silca low pressure gauge
Silca has developed a low-pressure gauge for its lustworthy SuperPIsta Ultimate pump. This gauge add-on was designed to help mountain bikers and cyclocross racers dial in their tire pressure. Silca claims adding this low-pressure kit to the SuperPista Ultimate increases gauge accuracy from 1psi to .5psi.
The kit consists of a low-pressure gauge, a 4mm hex key and a 10ml bottle of O-ring lubricant housed in an EVA foam case.
$65 / £60 / AU$TBC
Giro Montaro MIPS
The Montaro is Giro’s latest off-road helmet. This trail lid features an in-mold polycarbonate shell with 16 vents to keep you from overheating. The Montaro uses hydrophilic, anti-microbial pads that can absorb up to 10 times their weight in perspiration, according to Giro.
In addition to employing the MIPS system to mitigate rotational forces generated in a crash, the Montaro has a breakaway visor that pivots out of the way, allowing the rider to place their goggles on the front of the helmet when not in use.
Giro offers Montaro in eight paint schemes and has a women’s version, called the Montara.
$150 / £129 / AU$TBC
Smith Squad MTB goggles
Smith’s Squad may borrow heavily from the company’s expertise in snowsports, but make no mistake – this is a mountain bike-specific pair of goggles.
The Squad uses a single Carbonic-X cylindrical lens, with a wide field of view.The interior of the lens has an anti-fog treatment to reduce moisture build-up, while the hard-coated exterior keeps out dirt and mud.
The Squad MTB ships with a mirrored lens as well as a clear lens. Both lenses feature pre-installed posts for tear-offs.
$60 / £65 / AU$TBC
Dakine Slayer kneepads
Dakine is stepping into the protection game. The Slayer kneepads are aimed at trail riders, with a minimalist look and a slip-on fit. Silicone grippers on the top and bottom of the pads keep them in place while a Polygiene treatment keeps funk at bay.
Unlike some other lightweight pads, the CE-certified Slayer has ample padding to help riders shrug off impacts, while still remaining light enough to wear for long rides.
We’ve got these in for test now, though they won’t be widely available until next March.
$65 / £TBC / AU$TBC
Acre Traverse short
The Traverse short is a light yet durable garment designed for long days in the saddle. It’s constructed from a water repellent, four-way stretch nylon fabric with a slim fit that leaves ample room for kneepads.
The Acre has a single-sided forward-pull to adjust fit and side cargo pockets strategically placed so as not to impede pedaling.
We’ve already logged a fair amount of miles in the Traverse and are quite impressed by their fit and function. Stay tuned for a full review.
$165 / £TBC / AU$TBC
New road bike gear
It’s a front like; it’s a rear light; it’s both! Blackburn recently released the 2’Fer, a rechargeable LED light that provides white and red illumination.
This versatile light puts out 60 lumens when used as a front light and 20 lumens as a tail light. The 2’Fer can run for 1.5 hours on steady and five hours in flashing mode. An LED gauge lets you know when it’s time to recharge via micro USB.
This two-for-one light uses a one-size-fits-most silicone strap to mount it to handlebars or seatposts. It also has a built-in clip allowing it to be fasted to belts, frame bags and backpacks.
$25 / £17 / AU$TBC
Specialized Power Pro saddle
Designed for riding in an aggressive position, the Power saddle mashes together the concepts of an anatomic cutout, a TT-style short nose and the wide tail of a road saddle.
Our testers have generally been impressed with the top-end S-Works Power. If you are the type of cyclist to ride low and stay planted, you will probably like it. If you like to slide forward, however, this saddle won’t work.
This Pro model weighs 209g (claimed 211g) in a 143mm width, with a carbon shell and titanium rails. There is very little padding.
$200 / £150 / AU$TBC
Shoulder to Shoulder coffee table book
More than 100 restored photos from the 1960s bring another age of bike racing to life in the new book, Shoulder to Shoulder: Bicycle Racing in the Age of Aquentil.
Pulled from The Horton Collection, the black-and-white photos center around French legend Jacques Anquetil, from his days as a fresh-faced youth shaking hands with Fausto Coppi to the latter end of his career as he hails a young Eddy Merckx.
Riding without helmets through mud and snow, the men look more like cyclocross racers than roadies.
The hardcover book uses premium paper and a lay-flat binding.
$17 / £TBC / AU$TBC
Lezyne Super GPS computer
Tool- and light-maker Lezyne jumped into GPS computers this year, and the Super GPS is their top-end model with a competitive price ($200 / £160).
While the 75g Super GPS does not provide navigation — the GPS functionality here is used for recording where you ride, plus metrics like speed and distance — it does work with heart rate straps, power meters and mobile phones thanks to ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity.
Lezyne has its own app, too, Lezyne Ally, which uploads your rides wirelessly. Its complementary website, Lezyne Root, can be linked with Strava so your rides go right to the social fitness site.
In initial testing, we found Bluetooth connection to an iPhone worked very well, relaying text messages to the Super GPS screen, and not dropping the iPhone connection like some of our test Garmin Edge units often do.
$200 / £160 / AU$TBC
Ridley X-Night cyclocross bike
Like most cyclocross bikes these days, the Ridley X-Night comes in a variety of builds; this is the Shimano 105 / Spyre C option.
While some ’cross bikes are billed as all-rounders that can do double duty as commuters, Ridley keeps the X-Night as a purebred racer. Not only is there an absence of rivets for fenders or racks like a commuter would have — there are no bolt bosses for water-bottle cages on the seat tube.
Our 54cm test bike here weighs 9.15kg / 20.17lb. Ridley bikes run much taller than their competitors. We would recommend going down a size (we did).
$2,420 / £1,899 / AU$TBC
BikeTag safety device
BikeTag is a safety sensor that you can put in your saddle bag or attach to your bike. The company claims that the device provides crash detection, live tracking, ride alerts and more.
The BikeTag has to be paired with a smartphone via an app to work.
Once launched, the app records the ride and can notify followers in the event of a crash. The app also integrates with Strava and can upload rides to the social fitness site.
BikeTag claims the device has a year's battery life.
$99 / £TBC / AU$TBC