Fear not, vélo faithful, the end of the week is nigh, and on BikeRadar that can mean only one thing – it's Five-a-side time! Brew a cup of your favourite hot beverage, pull up a chair, and contemplate 10 new things that just might lighten your wallet in the coming months.
New road bike gear
Hunt Race Season Aero Wide Road wheelset
Hunt Bike Wheels is a new UK company looking to take on the big players with smartly specced and reasonably priced wheelsets. The Race Seasons use 24mm-wide alloy rims built on own-branded hubs, and they weigh a very reasonable 1513g the pair on our scales (including rim tape). They’re tubeless ready, with valves provided and the correct tape pre-fitted.
We’ve already put a few miles on the Hunts and first impressions are good. They may lack the bling of many more costly options, but they show signs of being great all-rounders. The wide rim gives a nice tyre profile and allows for low pressures, and of course an aluminium brake track means no wet weather worries.
£459 / US$719 / AU$971
Roadies are famed for their fussiness when it comes to bike aesthetics, and sticking a conventional light on the front of a race bike will certainly offend some. The G-mount combines a neat four-LED front light with an ‘out-front’ style Garmin mount, making for an appealingly slick package. The light is USB-rechargeable, with a well-placed power switch on the back of the bar clamp, facing the rider. For even more versatility, an optional extra bracket lets you mount a camera (GoPro etc) underneath the light.
£42.99 / US$TBC / AU$TBC
Fabric Cageless bottle
We’ve covered Fabric’s unusual alternative to conventional bottle cages before, and now we’ve actually got our hands on the system. The ‘cageless’ bottle clips onto a pair of plastic studs that bolt to your bottle bosses, and which weigh just 3g. It’s easy to see the appeal for weight weenies, and it has a certain elegance, as well as feeling quite secure. One could argue that replacing the one part of a bike that’s truly standardised with a proprietary system is a special kind of evil, but we’ll withhold judgment until we’ve tried it on the road.
£12 / US$20 / AU$TBC
PowerTap P1 pedals
The power meter market just keeps growing and growing, and if there's one thing manufacturers can agree on, it's that there's no single right way to measure power. Pedal based systems appeal to many for their easy interchangeability, and Powertap (of rear hub power meter fame) is the latest company to dip its toes in these choppy waters. The P1s are based Look-compatible pedals and measure left and right leg power. They weigh 430g for the pair and use the widely-adopted ANT+ protocol to communicate with your head unit. We'll be bringing you a more detailed first look article on these in the coming days...
£999 / US$1199 / AU$TBC
Mango Point.R bike
We review some pretty high-zoot kit at BikeRadar but we’re always on the lookout for entry level bargains, because cheaper bikes are the gateway drug to a lifelong two-wheel addiction. Mango Bikes is best known for its colourful singlespeeds, but the Point R is a full-on geared road bike, specced with value in mind. Builds start at £429.99, with this Shimano Tiagra version coming in at £549.99. It’s not particularly light at nearly 10kg, and the price point means some older-school components like a square taper bottom bracket, but the Point R has quite a tidy looking aluminium frame as well as a carbon-bladed fork. Better yet, it’s available in a choice of four colours, including a positively radioactive shade of yellow.
£549.99 / US$NA / AU$NA
New mountain bike gear
Halo Tundra wheelset
As the fat biking segment grows and does its level best to waddle into the mainstream, it’s reassuring to see good quality and affordable kit coming onto the market. The Halo Tundras, fitted here with the company’s Nanuk treads, are a solid looking and straightforward wheelset based around an 80mm, 32h rim, aluminium nipples, and Halo’s own cartridge bearing hubs. They’re available for a range of axle standards both front and rear, with claimed weights from 2850g the pair.
From £344.98 / US$TBC / AU$TBC
We’re always sceptical when someone claims to have reinvented something as basic as the saddle, but the concept from Slovakian company Morgaw actually looks quite sound. In essence, a fairly standard shell is attached to separate rails via shock-absorbing elastomers. The elastomers are available in three grades to cater for different rider weights, and there’s a choice of carbon or alu rails. You can customise the looks too, with bolt kits available in a range of colours.
The Trian saddle is aimed at XC and CX riders, and yes, there’s an enduro version! (It has more padding.) There’s also a road model called the Forsage.
Trian w/carbon rails £95 / US$149 / AU$201
Trian w/alu rails £76 / US$119 / AU$161
Forsage w/carbon rails £102 / US$159 / AU$215
Forsage w/alu rails £82 / US$129 / AU$174
Atomlab DHR seven-speed hub
Is gravity your thing? Do you know your flange spacing from your ERD? Well rejoice, because this (top) is Atomlab’s dedicated rear hub for seven-speed downhill drivetrains. Look how massive it looks next a regular 142x12 rear hub and a front PimpLite!
£269.99 / US$289.95 / AU$TBC
Voodoo Bizango 29er
The original Bizango was one of the best value hardtails we ever tested, wringing unreasonable amounts of fun from an ostensibly modest spec. This latest version sports an updated frame, a 2x10 drivetrain with a mish-mash of parts, and a Suntour Raidon 120mm air fork. Can it live up to the standards set by its predecessor? We have high hopes.
£599.99 / US$NA / AU$NA
Cotic is a brand beloved of British trail-bashers, the kind of riders who always have traces of mud in their ears from their most recent foray into the forest. The original Solaris was classic steel 29er material, and the new version is faithful to that ideal, with updated geometry that’s optimised for 100-120mm forks instead of the 80-100mm of the original. The front end has slackened to 68 degrees across all sizes (with a 120mm fork and 20 percent sag), and in keeping with the fashion for shorter stems and longer frames, a medium has gained just under 10mm in the top tube, bringing it to 614mm effective. The other headline is that the new bike is as happy with 27.5+ rubber (up to 2.8in) as it is with standard 29er kit. In all, it looks great, and we can’t wait to get it absolutely filthy.
Frame £499 / US$782 / AU$1055
Complete bikes from £2350 / US$3681 / AU$4970 (Deore XT, Hope Tech XC 29 wheels, X-Fusion forks, and 1x, 2x or 3x drivetrain)