It's the end of another working week – and time to show you the recent arrivals at the BikeRadar office that we'll be reviewing in the coming weeks and months. Take a look at some of the most interesting mountain and road products to come our way in the past few days.
New road bike gear
Bar Fly for fi'zi:k Garmin computer mount
Bar Fly's most specialized design to date works only with fi'zi:k stems but it's also the cleanest option we've seen – from any company – for attaching a Garmin Edge computer to your bike. This latest Bar Fly model uses the same two-position quarter-turn interface as the company's other mounts, but instead of clamping around the bar, the fi'zi:k version secures with a custom T-nut and bolt that's ultra-secure, easily adjustable for angle, and nearly invisible.
US$29.95 / £29.95 / €29.95
Fix It Sticks Replaceables
The idea behind the original Fix It Sticks is as simple as they look: two 'sticks' with tool bits at either end that can be joined together to form a 'T' for leverage. The elegant, lightweight, and supremely compact concept was a huge hit on Kickstarter and the new Replaceables version is well on track to exceeding its fundraising goal by three-fold.
As the name suggests, the Replaceables version improves on the original Fix It Sticks idea by using replaceable bits (held in place by neodymium magnets) so that users can customize their tools as needed. The more durable bodies are now made of steel, too. A complete starter set comes with eight bits (2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, and 6mm hex, #2 Phillips, and T25 Torx) and actual weight for the complete package is just 145g. We've already started using these and may have just found a new favourite multi-tool.
US$35.99 / £18.19 / €21.79
Look KéO Blade 2 CR pedals
Look's new KéO Blade 2 CR pedals use the same carbon fiber retention spring concept as the original Blades but with a new shape that effectively includes the sleek shaping of the KéO Blade Aero model at no extra charge. Compared with before, the carbon 'blade' now extends across nearly the entire width and length of the body to form a smooth undercarriage while supposedly making for easier entry plus a more secure hold as well.
Even better, Look has also managed to shave a few grams (actual weight for our chromoly test set is 224g without cleats), increase the size of the stainless steel platform, and decrease the claimed stack height to 13mm. While the previous version was offered in 12Nm and 16Nm release tensions, the new version adds an even-stronger 20Nm option, too.
US$299.99 / £139.99 / €200 / AU$277.82
UVEX Sportstyle 104 and Sportstyle 202 Small Race Vario sunglasses
UVEX continues to expand its collection of eyewear, which includes the 104 and 202 styles we recently received at BikeRadar HQ.
The 104 uses a traditional single-piece, shield-type lens and bendable ear- and nosepieces for a customizable fit. We went with the three-lens package here, which includes dark grey, orange, and clear options plus a storage bag, semi-rigid case, and removable browpad. Lenses are held in place with a clever locking pin, too, for a secure and easy-to-operate setup.
We went a little more off-script with the 202 model, however, opting for the photochromic lens option to accompany its tidy split-frame format. UVEX claims an enormous 9-78 percent swing in light transmission, so these should be suitable for just about everything from dusk to intense sunlight.
Sportstyle 104: US$160 / £89.99 / €129.95
Sportstyle 202 Small Race Vario: US$170 / £89.99 / €129.95
Wilier Triestina Cento 1 AIR
Wilier's latest carbon fiber Cento 1 variant borrows some of the design cues from the TwinBlade TT bike to create a beautiful new aero road machine called the Cento 1 AIR. Key features include relatively deep tube profiles throughout, a dropped down-tube that more seamlessly blends with the fork crown, an aero-section carbon seatpost, an hourglass-profile straight 1 1/8in head-tube to decrease frontal area, and a more compact rear end that supposedly smooths out the air coming off of the cutout seat tube.
Additionally, Wilier has also incorporated a convertible internal cable routing setup and the ultra-wide (and yet impressively versatile) BB366 EVO bottom bracket shell.
Actual weight on our small, Shimano Dura-Ace/Ultegra equipped test sample is 7.62kg (16.80lb) without pedals. Wilier also offers US buyers an optional HED Jet 6 FR aero wheel upgrade (in addition to the stock Shimano RS21 hoops, not in place of) although at US$1,900 there's no break in pricing as compared to full retail.
New mountain bike gear
Genuine Innovations Tubeless Ready Kit
Genuine Innovations has teamed up with the folks at Slime and Gorilla Tape for its own tubeless conversion kit. Included in the kit is a 25mm-wide roll of Gorilla tape (the same as used by Enve Composites and enough for four 29er rims), an 8oz bottle of Slime's latest Pro sealant, two valve stems, two tyre levers, and a push-on Presta valve adapter.
As Slime proudly touts its sealant as the "world's only CO2 compatible sealant", there are also two 20g cartridges and Genuine Innovations' tiny Microflate Nano inflator head included as well.
Will this setup work as well as the tried-and-true Stan's NoTubes kits? Time will tell.
Shimano SH-XC70 shoes
Shimano's new midrange SH-XC70 shoes borrow nearly their entire feature set from the top-end XC90 model, including the slimmed-down heat-moldable uppers with opposing-direction forefoot straps and a ratcheting main buckle, tough-looking plastic toe box armoring, the flatter (and supposedly more efficient) Dynalast XC shape, and a carbon fiber plate to reinforce the cleat area.
Whereas the XC90 uses a full-length true carbon fiber plate for road shoe-like stiffness, though, the XC70 goes with a more economical carbon-reinforced nylon sole. Likewise, the XC70 goes with a slightly more generous tread in place of the XC90's more aggressively pared-down blocks, plus a more conventional synthetic leather upper instead of the XC90's ultra-supple Rovenica material.
Actual weight for our size 43 test pair is 730g with the included heat moldable insoles and cleat inserts.
US$250 / £219.99
Specialized Epic Expert Carbon World Cup
Specialized's current Epic range actually consists of two different bikes: the standard and more marathon/trail-friendly Epic with 100mm of travel, 2x drivetrains, and 70.5-degree head tube angles; and the edgier World Cup variants with 95mm of more firmly tuned travel, dedicated 1x transmissions, and faster-steering 71-degree front ends. Specialized offers two World Cup models and we've opted for the less expensive Expert model here.
Compared with the top-shelf S-Works model, our Expert tester subs in a slightly heavier grade of carbon through the front triangle and aluminum seatstays. Still intact, though, are the humongous 1x-only carbon chainstays, the revamped Fox/Specialized auto-locking Mini-Brain rear shock, and the matching custom 95mm-travel RockShox SID 29 Brain fork (with an alloy steerer). Rounding things out are a SRAM XO1 drivetrain, Magura MTS disc brakes, 22mm-wide Roval Control Carbon 29 wheels, and speedy Specialized Fast Trak and Renegade tyres.
Impressively, the latest Epic frames can also accommodate dual (large!) water bottles inside the main triangle along with an integrated multi-tool and handy storage case for a spare tube and CO2 inflator. Stock Epic Expert Carbon World Cups don't come with all of those options standard, but Specialized saw fit to include them on our loaner. So equipped, our medium-sized tester comes in at 10.87kg (23.96lb) without pedals – or 10.34kg (22.80lb) without all of the accoutrements.
US$6,750 / £5,200
Tioga Psycho Genius Fast 13 tires
Tioga has now added a third tyre to its range using its auto-adjusting 'A.I.' knob concept. This time around, Tioga has gone with a much lower knob height and very tight spacing to reduce rolling resistance while still promising good grip on hardpacked surfaces.
We tested Tioga's Venture model last year and were very impressed with its performance as a desert tire, offering tenacious cornering grip and surprisingly good wear characteristics. Given this new tubeless-ready model's lower 678g weight for a 27.5 x 2.25in sample (713g in the 29x2.0in size), we're hoping to get a little more speed this time around.
US$50 / £45 / €50 (29 x 2.1in)
US$55 / £47 / €55 (27 x 2.25in)
Troy Lee Designs clothing and A1 helmet
Visibility certainly isn't going to be an issue with the batch of clothing Troy Lee Designs just sent over. Want neon? We've got you covered – literally.
Highlighting our recent arrivals are the Skyline Race shorts, built with a lightweight, two-way stretch polyester/spandex shell, an adjustable waist, a generous 13in inseam, and an extra-stretchy panel across the back. Two slash pockets are included up front plus a small zippered compartment on the back of the waist that's perfectly sized for a mini-tool. So far, the removable chamois is proving surprisingly comfortable, too.
The matching Skyline jersey is a simpler piece made of polyester mesh with raglan sleeves, a slightly extended tail, and a small single zippered pocket on the right lower back. Adding some style are alternating-width horizontal stripes.
TLD also included a pair of updated Ruckus shorts, which now feature zippered thigh vents, additional pockets, a more conventional zippered fly and a tougher overall feel than the set we reviewed last season. So far, mud seems to wash out nicely from the fluorescent lime green polyester/spandex shell, too.
Rounding out the wardrobe are lightweight Air and XC gloves with full mesh backs and grippy Clarino synthetic leather palms, and the enduro-focused A1 helmet with a goggle-friendly shape and extra coverage around the back of the head.
Skyline shorts: US$98 / £79.99 / AU$96.95
Skyline jersey: US$50 / £49.99 / AU$69.95
Ruckus shorts: US$135 / £99.99 / AU$149.95
Air gloves: US$29 / £29.99 / AU$34.95
XC gloves: US$30 / £29.99 / AU$39.95
A1 helmet: US$165 / £139.99 / AU$249.95