By now we've realised that you probably aren't taking too much notice of this intro text, so let's cut to the important stuff. Scroll down to check out the finest bits of road and mountain bike gear to land with the BikeRadar UK office this week. Shazam.
New road bike gear
Mando Footloose e-bike
Let’s face it; bikes don’t come much more weird looking than this one. We think the Footloose electric bike from Mando looks like it’s still a concept – and we sure got some interesting looks when moving this one about.
Stare down at the cranks and you’ll notice no obvious connection between them and that rear wheel, that’s because the Footloose does without a traditional drivetrain - instead there’s a 250w motor at the rear wheel and an alternator between the cranks. Inputs at the pedals are processed by an ECU that then dishes power out accordingly to the rear wheel, meanwhile the rider’s physical effort is used to further charge the Footloose’ removable Lithium-ion battery.
The rider can choose from several modes that alter the physical effort to power the bike or – and you’ll either love or hate this, the Footloose also features a thumb push throttle that eliminates the need to pedal at all – naughty.
How long will it go for? Mando claims it’s good for 18 miles on the throttle alone or 37 miles if you actually use your legs. That’s important, because the moment that motor runs out of juice you’re left with a 50lb behemoth. Thankfully the removable heads-up display feeds detailed information on your ride and the life of the battery so that should never happen.
Is the Footloose a glimpse into the future of transport or it simply another e-bike oddity destined to gain dust in the showroom? Only time will tell.
£1,999 /US$TBC / AU$TBC
Schwalbe Pro One tyre
Schwalbe firmly believes in tubeless for the road, and nothing proves that point more than the introduction of this latest range-topping Pro One. Schwalbe claims the Pro One offers 10 per cent less rolling resistance and a 25 per cent weight saving when compared with its current One road tyre in the same width. Talking of weight, we popped our 23mm test set on the scales and were greeted with a 271g figure, that’s a decent saving over the 305g claimed figure for a 23mm One tubular but it’s a far cry from the 235g Schwalbe reckons for this tyre.
The triple-compound tread pattern provides a harder centre for efficiency, softer shoulders for cornering grip and a very soft base layer beneath both of the others which doesn’t ever contact the ground but contributes to lowering the rolling resistance.
It’ll soon be available in 23c, 25c and 28c widths plus an option for 20” wheels. Schwalbe offer a conversion kit of tape, valve and valve extensions to get these working with most clincher wheels.
€69; UK and US prices are still to be confirmed but expected to be around £60 and $80 /AU$TBC
Zipp Vuka Stealth aerobars
Zipp’s new Vuka Aero bars mark a complete redesign based on the company’s SL-70 aero road drop bars. Of course, the shapes of those road bars have been wildly exaggerated for maximum aerodynamic benefit while remaining within the UCI’s 3:1 aspect ratio – airfoil depth is within three times its height.
One of the most innovative features of the Vuka Aero is its removable centre cap, which offers an aerodynamic faring to cover any regular stem. This allows easier adjustment of the bars compared to the totally integrated Vuka Stealth. The cap also increases overall stiffness of the bars by five per cent according to Zipp.
You can bet on Zipp’s aero designs being top of the class and at 750g complete with extensions and pads, the bars are neither super light nor overly chunky.
Cable routing is claimed to be easy, while the broad pads have plenty of scope for adjustment. There’s also an app to help you transfer your bike position to the new bars.
£578 (£680 with carbon extensions) / US$722 (US$850) / AU$TBC
Huez Daily Chino shorts
The cotton stretch fabric is woven in Italy and is almost unbelievably soft while the deep forward facing pockets are partitioned to keep everything in its right place. Inside there’s a removable chamois equipped mesh liner. There’s no waist adjustment so be sure to buy the right size. If the blue isn’t to your taste then they’re also available in two more subtle hues.
We’ll be getting some decent riding time in with these and will follow up with a full review to see if the high price is justified.
£120 / US$184 / €167 /AU$TBC
Mavic CXR helmet
Aero road helmets are fast becoming must-have kit for speed-conscious roadies and being no stranger to the wind tunnel, French brand Mavic quickly joined the fray. The CXR Ultimate helmet is part of Mavic’s aero-inflected road kit line-up, which also includes shoes, gloves, bibs and jersey.
The helmet is described as “an everyday aero racing helmet that maximizes speed but has 28 air vents to maintain ventilation.” Indeed, it looks something like Giro’s Air attack but with a starburst of vents on the front.
The CXR Ultimate is also claimed to be the lightest aero road helmet on the market at 250g. A simple dial ratchet secures the helmet to head while there are also reflective details. Each helmet comes with a protective bag and if you want to go down the traditional route, it also comes in Mavic’s signature yellow.
£150 / US$220 / AU$TBC
New mountain bike gear
Pro-GreenMX bike cleaner solutions
Bike cleaner don’t have to be pink you know! Coventry, UK, based company Pro-GreenMX already has a range of cleaning solutions for various applications including cars, motorcycles and even caravans and now they want you to spray their green stuff on your muddy bike.
Pro-Green’s approach to bike cleaning involves two steps and a couple of products. First up is their performance bike wash which is sprayed on after the worst of the muck is removed with a hose or pressure washer, simply leave it on for 3-5 minutes and rinse. A formula that’s free of caustics, solvents and bleaching agents means it’s friendly for anodised parts, carbon fibre and stickers too. This product can also be diluted to clean riding kit.
Once your steed is looking spangly but before it has dried then it’s time for the second product to get to work. After-shine 101 is applied to everything but your braking surfaces and rubber parts. The product should then be left to air dry for what Pro-Green claim will be a high gloss finish – sounds easy to us.
We’ll be trying it out soon.
Bike wash - £5.99 per litre, After-shine 101 £7.99 per litre / US$, AU$ n/a
Zimtstern mountain bike clothing
If you’re tired of samey mountain bike kit then perhaps its time you checked out the work of Swiss cothing brand Zimtstern.
From cross-country tight to baggy BMX style jerseys for both guys and girls, Zimtstern have something for everyone. Beauty is no doubt in the eye of the beholder but we were impressed by Zimtstern’s designs, and everything seemed to be of a nice quality too.
Hold tight for more on this brand and these items soon on BikeRadar.
Profile Racing Helm stem
It’s crazy that most people don’t even realise that legendary BMX component brand Profile Racing produce parts such as these!
In fact this Helm stem is just one of a range of tasty anodised parts produced by the Florida firm. Enduro light but tough enough for downhill, the Helm is CNC machined in the U.S and, typically for Profile, it arrives in a whole array of juicy anodised tones. Our 50mm cherry red sample weighs in at 176g while, 40mm and 60mm options are also available.
Stay tuned to BikeRadar for more from Profile very soon
£84.95 / US$115.95
Plain Lazy cycle related t-shirts
Let other people know that you like bikes without looking like a tool with this cotton shirt from Plain Lazy. They’re a nice fit and the smooth, 200gsm cotton is about as substantial as you get for a t-shirt. Plenty of other jokey designs are also available to show your love of two wheels.
£22 / $US25 / AU$TBC
We already know that Halfords brand Voodoo can make budget bikes; and good ones at that, but it’s been a while since we saw a full-suspension offering from the brand.
Step in the Zobop, a new 140mm 650b trail bike that’ll retail for a penny shy of a grand in the UK.
Importantly, the geometry of the new Zobop frame is the work of Mountain Bike Hall of Famer Joe Murray and the suspension is a proper four bar linkage.
There’s respectable air sprung and adjustable suspension at either end – namely a tapered Rockshox Sektor and Suntour Epixon rear shock. The drivetrain combines an SR Suntour double chainset with a clutch equipped Shimano Deore rear mech and stopping duties are handled by Shimano hydraulic discs. The finishing kit isn’t too bad either and there was even room in the budget for Maxxis Ardent tyres.
If its ride impresses as much as the spec sheet then the Zobop could well prove to be a great first full-suspension bike. We’ll be putting it through its paces soon.
£1,000 / US$, AU$n/a