Mudguards for bikes without eyelets, a new trail lid from MET and fresh rubber from Panaracer

Plus a roll top backpack that doubles as a pannier bag

  The products mentioned in this article are selected or reviewed independently by our journalists. When you buy through links on our site we may earn an affiliate commission, but this never influences our opinion.
First Look Friday

We entered this week with a retail flavoured hangover to the taste of Cyber Monday, which itself followed Black Friday from the week before.

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Many of the chunky savings we wrote about are still valid, so if you’re on the lookout for bargainous bike bits then it’s definitely still worth having a poke around our Cyber Monday bike deals page.

Now December is here, it’s officially safe to drop the C-bomb, and so too comes our extensive range of Christmas gift guides. So far we’ve got gift ideas for road riders, mountain bikers and for the gadget-obsessed cyclist.

It may have been a quiet week in terms of bike releases, but our test team has been busy posting reviews of some of this year’s most interesting products, and the custom 3D-printed helmet from Hexr is no exception.

Another notable product from the week was Specialized’s confidence-inspiring, yet surprisingly well priced, S-Works Turbo road tyres, which scored 4.5 stars during our testing.

Without further ado, here’s this week’s best new bike gear.

Quickguard mudguards

Quickguard mudguard
Quickguard’s packaging boasts a two-minute installation time.
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

The Quickguard is a clever mudguard that’s designed specifically to work with bikes that don’t have mudguard eyelets.

They aim to offer the performance of a full coverage design but with the convenience and ease of shorter, quick-release style mudguards.

Quickguard thru-axle
The disc brake version of the Quickguard attaches using its own thru-axle.
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

Attaching via a supplied splined axle-nut (or a bespoke thru-axle that’s sold separately should you not have quick release), the single-sided Quickguard consists of two aluminium arms that are mounted to a polycarbonate blade.

Quickguard mudguard on white background
The Quickguard is designed specifically to fit bikes without mudguard eyelets.
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

This asymmetric look not only draws attention but should make for simplified installation and alignment — the packaging even boasts a two-minute installation time. Quickguard claims the design will work with tyres up to 700 x 32c.

These came in a little over their claimed weight at a real world 266g for the thru-axle version, and 225g for the QR variant.

We’ll be fitting these to an unsuspecting road bike in the very near future, so stay tuned for a full review.

  • Quickguard rim brake version: £34.99
  • Quickguard disc version £44.99

MET Terranova helmet

MET Terranova helmet
The Terranova offers more coverage than a lot of lids in this sector.
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

Aimed at all-mountain and trail riders, but definitely still appealing to the enduro crew, is the fetching Terranova helmet from MET.

Featuring a very similar form factor to its bigger brother – the Roam enduro lid – you’ll get substantial coverage around the temple and upper neck area, unlike some skimpier trail helmets.

MET Terranova helmet retention system
The fit is refined with the twist of just one hand thanks to MET’s proven retention cradle.
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

The helmet’s cradle is tightened or loosened with the twist of a dial and its position is height adjustable too. There are 17 vents plus internal channels to guide airflow.

It’s available with and without a MIPS liner and in a variety of colours. Our size medium MIPs model tipped the BikeRadar scales at 366g.

  • MET Terranova MIPS: £100/ €120/$140
  • MET Terranova (no MIPS): £80/€100/$120

Panaracer Race D Evo 4 tyres

Panaracer Race D Evo 4 clincher tyre
The Race D Evo 4 promises decent grip, low levels of rolling resistance and effective puncture protection.
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

Taken from Panaracer’s Race Series is the fourth iteration of its Race D road tyre.

The company’s all-singing all-dancing ZSG (Zero Slip Grip) compound boasts low rolling-resistance and high grip whatever the weather.

Our size 28mm test tyres came in slightly under their claimed weight at 252g each. Despite the competitive number on the scales, Panaracer claims these clinchers are a great choice for those looking for a durable tyre for rough road or long trips. That’s thanks to a special puncture-resistant additive, which is said to have been used in the first layer of the tyre’s casing.

The Race D EVO 4s are available in 23mm, 25mm and 28mm width options, while tubeless-compatible and tubular variants are also in the line-up for 2020.

£44.99 / international pricing TBC

Alban Convertible Roll Top backpack

Alban Convertible Roll Top backpack
The bag’s roll top design means you can fit in longer items.
Simon Bromley

This stylish backpack doubles up as a functional pannier bag thanks to some clever design.

As a backpack, the Alban bag’s roll-top closure means you can easily extend the bag to carry awkwardly long items, while its Cordura construction means it’s waterproof.

Alban Convertible Roll Top backpack
The bag is claimed to be waterproof due to its Cordura construction.
Simon Bromley

Inside there’s easily enough room for a change of clothes, plus a dedicated padded space for a 15in laptop and two storage pockets at the side of the bag.

Alban Convertible Roll Top backpack
A light can be strapped to the riveted logo.
Simon Bromley

A nice touch is the riveted company logo which doubles up as a light strap.

Switching from backpack to pannier is simply a case of removing the shoulder strap (which can stow away in the bag’s zipped front pocket) and making use of the hardware concealed beneath two leather straps at the bag’s padded rear section.

Alban Convertible Roll Top backpack
It’s a backpack and pannier bag.
Simon Bromley

When you consider they’re handmade in London, the price isn’t so bad either.

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  • Alban Convertible Roll Top backpack (13L): £105 / €114 / $128
  • Alban Convertible Roll Top backpack (18L): £115 / €125 /$140