Another Friday in the BikeRadar office, another round-up of the best new bike kit we’ve gotten our hands on this week. Here’s the most exciting mountain bike and road cycling gear that we’ve received in the last few days.
New mountain bike gear
NoTubes Valor wheelset
We tested a pre-production pair of Valors last summer and came away impressed by this lightweight wheelset’s stiffness as well as its ability to absorb trail chatter. NoTubes is now rolling out production Valor wheelsets in 26, 27.5 and 29in sizes. We recently took delivery of one for a long-term test. Our 29in test wheelset tips the scale at a scant 1,270g with rim tape and valve stems installed.
US$1,900 / £1,800
Giro Terraduro shoes
While the Terraduro is aimed squarely at enduro racers, it also looks like a great option for trail riders looking for a more walkable option than carbon-soled cross-country shoes. It’s also much more streamlined than bulky skate-style shoes such as the Giro Chamber. The Terraduro has two velcro straps and a ratcheting buckle. Vibram rubber lugs provide plenty of traction and the nylon sole is stiff but still walkable. The Terraduro is available in sizes 39 to 48. There are half-size options available between 39.5 to 46.5. Female riders will be glad to know that Giro offers a women’s version as well, the Terradura.
US$180 / £130
Easton 35mm Haven handlebar and stem
For 2014, Easton is expanding its 35mm diameter handlebar and stem range. Following in the footsteps of the gravity-oriented Havoc line, the trail-minded Haven collection has had a 35mm makeover. The 180g Haven carbon handlebar measures 750mm wide, has 20mm of rise and 9 degrees of sweep.Accompanying the new 35mm Haven bar is a matching 35mm Haven stem. Our test stem measures 50mm and weighs 140g.
Bar: US$160, stem: US$100 / UK pricing TBC
Swagman Jackknife 4
The Jackknife 4 is a unique vertical-style hitch rack. The Jackknife 4 carries up to four bikes by cradling the front wheel in trays secured with ratcheting straps. The trays are adjustable and can accommodate wheels ranging from 26in to 29in. It’s compatible with 2in receiver hitches and folds flat when not in use. It can also swing down to allow access to the rear of the vehicle.
US$650 / £TBC
Liquid Image Torque HD + WiFi camera goggles
There are a lot of mounting options for wearable video cameras on the market these days. What the Torque HD camera goggles lack in versatility, they hope to make up for in perspective – it sees exactly what the wearer sees. The Torque HD can shoot in 1,080p at 30fps or 720p at 60fps and it also has a 12mp photo mode. The free Liquid Image app – available for both iOS and Android – allows the user to stream the camera’s live view, view saved photos and video. The app also acts as a remote to activate the camera.
US$399 / £349
New road bike gear
Reynolds Aero 46 wheels
New for this year, the Aero 46 combines the wide rims (26.2mm) that are becoming popular among high-end wheelmakers with a distinct, sharply pointed spoke bed – which is a departure from current trends. We weighed this set at 1,530g total (700g front, 830g rear, including rim strips), plus 35g for a pair of quick releases. Reynolds says the 46mm rim is the ideal height for an all-around aero wheel.
US$2,675 / £1,799
Pearl Izumi Transfer Lite baselayer
After building a few jerseys with the sleeve pattern oriented for the cycling position, the company figured, why not make a snug baselayer with the same cut? The Transfer Lite baselayer uses a thin, fast-wicking, bacteria-fighting material to keep you dry, and the cut allows for use under a tight jersey without bunching.
US$50 / £24
Cycling Souvenirs coffee cups
With cycling and coffee being as inseparable as ever, we’re sure some of you will want to give your post-ride cappuccino some Classics flavour. These 290ml cups from Cycling Souvenirs come in a set of two with saucers, sporting Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix themed artwork.
US$46 / £28 / €34
Sportful Hot Pack Ultralight vest
The Sportful Hot Pack Ultralight vest lives up to its name, weighing a mere 39g for a windproof and water-repellant layer that packs down to the size of two gels. Sportful doesn't skimp on the zipper, either, using a 12g YKK piece. The slim-fit vest has elasticized cuffs and waistband to all but eliminate flap in the wind, and reflective details top and bottom nod to safety. All this comes at a price, but this is the best product in its class we have seen.
US$99 / £100
BMC TeamMachine SLR01
BikeRadar first got a look at – and a ride on – the latest TeamMachine SLR01 last January, and we came away impressed with the ride quality. The bike's distinctive look has its roots in function. Supported by a BB86 bottom bracket shell, the massive down tube provides a stiff chassis along with the oversized, asymmetric chainstays, and the seatstays yoke sits well down on the seat tube, allowing the latter to flex for a bit more comfort. This particular model is built with an Shimano Ultegra 11-speed groupset with a 52/36 crank and tubeless-ready DT Swiss R-1650 wheels. It comes in six sizes, from 48-61cm.
US$5,600 / £TBC