Woo hoo, it’s Friday! This isn’t just any Friday, however; it’s the last one before the winter solstice next week, which means that next Friday will bring a wee bit more daylight to brighten up your day. If the pendulum swinging in the other direction isn’t enough to boost your appetite, then at least have a look at some of the new bits to land at BikeRadar’s US office – and maybe buy yourself one of those desktop lamps while you’re at it because to be perfectly frank, your crabbiness is getting a little old.
New mountain bike gear
KORE Stronghold chainring
KORE is the latest company to enter the narrow/wide chainring market with the new Stronghold. In addition to incorporating the usual alternating-thickness profiles to help lock in the chain, however, the teeth on the Stronghold chainring are also noticeably taller and even slightly hooked, for what what KORE claims is “guaranteed chain retention” for 1x and singlespeed drivetrains.
The Stronghold is offered in SRAM GXP-compatible direct-mount fitments in 26-36t sizes or a standard 104mm BCD four-bolt pattern in 30-36t. Both are available in black, silver, red, purple, green, orange, or blue anodised finishes with laser etched logos.
Actual weight for our direct-mount 30t X-Drive sample is 65g.
- $59-72 / £35-43 / €55-70 / AU$NA (104mm BCD KORE Stronghold chainring, depending on size)
- $75 / £TBC / €70 / AU$NA (KORE Stronghold X-Drive)
RockyMounts HotRod truck bed mount
Can a bolt-on fork mount actually be beautiful? Absolutely, provided we’re talking about RockyMount’s new HotRod. The extruded alloy base is elegantly shaped and nicely finished, and the modular head will accommodate 100x15mm, 110x15mm, and 100x12mm thru-axle forks as well as standard quick-release dropouts just by swapping the machined alloy insert (sorry, 20mm users, you’re out of luck). All of the thru-axle inserts are included but the quick-release ones will be sold separately.
As usual with RockyMounts, there will be plenty of colour options including black, silver, red, blue, and green. Whether you secure the HotRod into a truck bed, on to a lowly 2x4, or use it as a base for a home suspension fork workstation, there’s a good chance it’ll be prettier than whatever it’s bolted on to.
As is often the case, good things come to those who wait. The HotRod won’t be in stores until the start of February.
$50 / £35 / €50 / AU$70
Bontrager Air Support HP/HV mini-pump
The Bontrager Air Support HP/HV mini-pump is designed to work equally well on both road and mountain bike tyres thanks to a nifty convertible high-volume/high-pressure design. Use the larger-volume setting to feed more air per stroke up to 60psi, and then switch to the high-pressure position for lower effort up to the claimed 125psi maximum.
Meanwhile, the ‘Stem Saver’ head features a short extension for a better grip (and fewer broken valve stems, according to Bontrager), a locking lever for a tight seal, and a reversible design for use on either Presta or Schrader valves.
Although it seems to work pretty well so far, the pump is nevertheless still a bit bulky at 179g (including bracket) and 30cm (12in) long.
$40 / £35 / €48 / AU$NA
Lazer Dissent snow helmet
Bicycle helmets are usually designed with summer conditions in mind, which basically guarantees that they’ll do a crappy job of keeping your head warm come winter. Wearing a hat underneath will often do the trick but for truly frigid temperatures, Lazer says that many riders are starting to turn to its Dissent snowsports lid.
The Dissent features few vents, lots of coverage, and a cozily fuzzy liner that coddles your noggin and completely covers your ears. What vents are on hand can be opened and closed as needed with a handy slider up top, and Lazer’s long-standing Rollsys retention system proffers a snug and comfortable fit.
Naturally, such conditions would warrant good eye protection, too, so the back of the Dissent is equipped with a goggle strap keeper.
Might you look a little silly wearing one of these? Perhaps, but frostbite is no walk in the park and last we checked, you were rather fond of your earlobes.
$160 / £120 / €140 / AU$NA
SKS Fatboard fat bike mudguards
Riding fat bikes in winter conditions is mega-sized fun. Freezing your ass off while riding fat bikes because you’re covered in half-frozen slush, however, is not.
SKS expands its collection of 'guards – literally – with the new Fatboard set, aimed specifically at bikes sporting tyres measuring 4in wide and up. The front straps on to the bottom of the down tube with rather nice Velcro straps and ample foam rubber padding while the rear is a double-hinged unit that attaches securely to your seatpost with a neat locking cam and rubberised strap.
Past experience with SKS products suggests that these should be very durable and long lasting, too. Actual weight for the set is 371g.
$55 / £45 / €45 / AU$80
Bikelangelo custom headset caps
Custom headset caps are hardly new but instead of the usual laser etching, upstart company Bikelangelo – an offshoot of long-time wheel company Williams Cycling – is using a special high-resolution printing process for a decidedly more colourful look.
Currently, Bikelangelo offers 43 different stock designs and custom orders require a 25-piece minimum – well within reason for shops, teams, clubs, and event organisers. All headset caps are made of 6061 aluminium and sized for 1 1/8in steerer tubes only. A black-finished stainless steel bolt is also included.
$15 / £TBC / €TBC / AU$TBC
New road bike gear
Stan’s NoTubes ZTR Avion Pro Disc wheelset
The Avion Pro Disc is the first carbon road wheelset from Stan’s NoTubes, featuring a 41mm-deep and 28mm-wide aero rim profile, a healthy 22.3mm internal width (intended for 25 to 40mm-wide tyres), and easy tubeless compatibility should you decide to go that route. According to NoTubes, the rims’ so-called ‘RiACT’ rim construction makes the Avion more comfortable than most other rims of similar dimensions, too.
Those rims are connected with Sapim CX-Ray bladed stainless steel spokes to NoTubes’ new Neo Ultimate disc-compatible hubs, which feature much bigger axles and cartridges than the old 3.30 model for improved bearing longevity, improved sealing, interchangeable end caps for quick-release or thru-axle compatibility, and in the case of our top-end ‘Pro’ model, an ultra-fast five-degree engagement speed.
Actual weight for our test set is an impressive 1,477g (631g front, 846g rear) with thru-axle end caps and a Shimano-compatible freehub body, including tubeless valve stems and rim tape.
$2250 / £1900 / €2700
Vittoria Corsa Speed tubeless tyres
Vittoria boldly claims its new Corsa Speed to be the fastest road tyre ever produced (as measured by the folks at Wheel Energy in Helsinki, Finland). According to Vittoria, the keys to this performance are an ultra-supple 320tpi cotton casing, a thin tread caps, and a new graphene-infused rubber compound that supposedly exhibits high-rebound characteristics when just rolling along but softens up under load for increased grip when needed.
Moreover, Vittoria has built the Corsa Speed with a tubeless-ready bead shape and bead materials that further reduces rolling resistance as compared to running a conventional inner tube.
We’re only just getting started with long-term testing here but so far, the Corsa Speed is noticeably fast on both smooth pavement and rough – and with just 35ml of sealant inside, it’s holding air very well, too.
Actual weight for our 23mm-wide samples is just 215g (plus 35g each for sealant).
$90 / £TBC / €78 / AU$65
Specialized E-Cage Titanium bottle cages
The E-Cage Titanium passes over the modern aesthetic that’s all so common with carbon fibre and reinforced plastic cages these days in favor of – the horror – a cage that’s actually made of metal. Hollow titanium tubing makes this cage extremely light yet at just 32g (spot on with claims) but also remarkably strong and stiff for an ultra-secure hold, plus the material won’t mark up your bottles, either.
As good as this cage appears to be, though, we can’t help but wish it were cheaper than the Andrews King Cage, the original hollow titanium bottle cage that’s still hand bent and welded in Durango, Colorado.
$60 / £40 / €TBC / AU$TBC
Velocolour mini tool roll
Want to add a little style to your ride? Canadian company Velocolour specialises in absolutely stunning custom paint jobs (seriously, you should have a look) but founders Noah Rosen and Suzanne Carlson also have a line of gorgeous accessories, such as this mini tool roll made from a mix of Cordura woven nylon and leather.
It’s just the right size for a road tube, a mini-tool, and CO2 inflator kit but yet packs up small with a Velcro tab and secures very tightly below the saddle with the included leather toe strap. Available in black with your choice of seven accent colours.
$40 / £27.50 / €36 / AU$50
Feedback Sports Velo Hinge
We all know about the ‘N+1’ rule, where N is the number of bikes you currently own, and N+1 is the number of bikes you should own. That’s all well and good in theory but even if you could afford an unlimited stable of bikes, you still have to put them somewhere, right?
On the surface, the Feedback Sports Velo Hinge is basically just a fancy wall-mounted hook on which to hang your bike except for a key twist: a hinged base that lets you tuck your bike closer the wall to save space, or stack the bikes closer together on the wall while still allowing for easier individual access. Meanwhile, a separate ‘wheel bumper’ (included) keeps the rear wheel stable to prevent the bike from flopping around.
The standard kit can be configured to pivot left or right, and the standard hook is big enough to accommodate most road and mountain bike wheels up to 2.4in wide. Otherwise, an optional oversized hook is available for deep-section road wheels.
$26 / £28 / €30 / AU$49