Only slightly less reliable than the sun, you can count on BikeRadar‘s weekly 11spd to showcase the best new bike gear worth knowing about. From Intense bikes to Colombian energy products and much else in between, we’ve got your back this Friday, and every Friday to come. Leaving you more time to ride.
New mountain biking gear
Andystand AS2 bike stand
Andystand as2: andystand as2
Looking for a simple bike stand that won’t take up too much space? Not fussed about the full functionality of a full workstand? The UK-made Andystand AS2 could be right up your street.
The AS2 uses a single arm to suspend a bike by its hollow-axle bottom bracket. This means it’ll work with most cranksets from Shimano, SRAM and FSA and many others that feature a 20mm hole. While in situ, the front wheel of the bike will touch the ground and so basic cleaning and maintenance issues can be dealt with.
It’s rated for bicycles weighing up to 43lbs, so won’t have an issue with even the heaviest of today’s downhill rigs. When not in use, the AS2 will fold down completely flat making it ideal for indoor or car storage. Those who like the idea but don’t need the folding functionality should take a look at Andystand’s original, cheaper AS1 stand.
The Uzzi has returned to the Intense lineup for 2016 and well… just look at it. With 190mm of suspension at the rear and 180mm at the front, the now 650b-wheeled Uzzi is unfashionably long in its travel. This model is what Intense calls the pro build, which pairs the alloy frame with quality Fox suspension at each end plus an X1/X01 drivetrain and Flow EX wheels from Stan’s.
Its sales blurb also states the bold claim of an ability to ‘climb like an all-mountain bike but descend like a downhill machine’. Hopefully it can live up to those good looks, and we’ll soon find out.
Live in an apartment? Alienating your flatmates and/or loved ones with muddy bikes left in the hallway? Then you, my friend, might need the VeloSock. It’s exactly what it sounds like, a muck-proof sock that goes around your vélo (or more accurately, its wheels).
The VeloSock is made from stretchy, machine-washable fabric (90% polyester, 10% Spandex) and comes in a variety of colourful, funky designs and sizes (kids’ version also available). It weighs just 500g, and the adult option fits bikes up to 2m long. Plus it comes in a convenient carry bag. Next, a version to contain muddy cyclists?
Clear lenses, black frames and acid-yellow flashes – these look like glasses that mean business, and there’s more to them than meets the eye.
The Evil Eye feature what Adidas calls its VARIO lenses: photochromic lenses that change their tint from clear to dark grey according to light conditions. And that yellow flash? It’s glow in the dark, so no more rooting around in gloomy early morning light or deep, dark rucksacks fruitlessly searching for your specs.
Within the Evil Eye range, there are also a selection of different lens types, frame sizes and colours, and the option for half frames as well as full frames.
MIPS – which stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System – is becoming more and more common across bike helmets, and it’s no surprise to see the new Rally helmet from Bontrager featuring the technology.
The Rally MIPS provides deep coverage at the back, a dial ratchet fit adjuster, and recessed internal channels for better airflow, with a view to keeping your head cool when the going gets hot.
The camo-print on the version we have in is something we’ve seen a lot of lately with MTB gear, so it’s certainly on trend. Perhaps best not used during hunting season, though.
The Rally MIPS is available in small, medium and large sizes, and if the olive green and camo-print option isn’t quite your thing, you can also get it in black and California Sky Blue.
The Vaude Moab AM shoes add another option to the flat-pedal market for downhill and all-mountain riders who need some traction when walking.
Featuring a Vibram sole with decent tread in the toe and heel area, the main upper is constructed from a hydrophobic canvas and PU. The pedal zone is reinforced, and is made from Vibram’s ‘Megagrip’ and XS Trek rubber compound for grip. The shoes are lace-up, and have a rubber toe cap area to help protect against rips and tears in this area.
And for those who like their MTB kit with eco credentials, you’ll be pleased to hear that 50% of the lining and insole is produced from recycled materials, and the shoes are PVC-free, which means no potentially health-harming phthalates.
Mention the words ‘new’, ‘Colombian’ and ‘energy bar’, and there’s inevitably a little sniggering and nudge-nudging. But it turns out these new Luchos Dillitos snacks are totally above board and legit, a natural and 100% legal way to carry energy for your next long ride.
Described by its maker as an energy bar and gel rolled into one, they’re made from guava paste that’s dry to the touch but melts in the mouth. The snacks are packed with vitamins and minerals, and contain no added flavourings, additives or preservatives. They’re called ‘bocadillos’ in Colombia (yes we know, that’s Spanish for ‘sandwich’), and come wrapped in a dried leaf for extra green points. Tasty.
Papa’s got a brand new bag, and it fits his Brompton. There are 16 new luggage styles from the purveyor extraordinaire of folding bikes, from shoulder bags to game bags, totes, rack sacks and more. Big update, then. We’ve been sent this Harris tweed version of the Game Bag in Storm Grey, developed with Cumbrian bag maker Chapman, and a new waterproof Mini O Bag in reflective black trim, made by German specialist Ortlieb.
The new Game Bag is handmade in Britain from genuine Harris Tweed, bonded to an inner rubber layer for waterproofing, and is roomy enough to fit your lunch, a book or mag and lots more inside. The Mini O Bag is a more streamlined version of its big brother, the O Bag, and fits all Brompton handlebar types (including S-type). Perfect for the bare essentials. There are loads more options though; head to the Brompton website for the full lowdown.
Italian brand Sportful makes some of the nicest cycling kit out there, so we were very pleased to be sent its Fiandre range of wet-weather gear. The timing couldn’t have been better. There’s the Fiandre Light NoRain top, described as more than a vest and less than a jacket. So it keeps the wind and wet away thanks to Windshield 3L fabric on the front and NoRain Light fabric on the back, but gives lots of breathability for high-tempo riding.
A good pairing is with the Fiandre Light NoRain armwarmers, which again feature Windshield protection on the front and NoRain Light on the back. For your noggin, there’s the Fiandre NoRain Cap which combines a traditional look with waterproof construction for extreme conditions. Finally, we were also sent the Fiandre Light NoRain Bibshorts, featuring NoRain nanotechnology for water repellency, plus ultra-wide lie-flat leg bands, highly elastic 3D mesh bibs, reflective highlights, and a TC Pro seat pad.
Pearl izumi race road iv shoes – light, bright, and is it pink or purple? we can’t decide:
The Race Road IV are a women’s specific road shoe, and part of the SELECT range from Pearl Izumi, and are both road and SPD cleat compatible.
The BOA ratchet closure combines with a Velcro strap at the toe region to help ensure even tension across the top of the foot, and the shoes are designed with a women’s specific fit with lower ankle notches and padding around the heel, and a smaller internal volume.
The soles are a fibre-reinforced composite with a unidirectional carbon plate for stiffness. The shoes also feature a rubber heel bumper, and weigh in at 517g for the pair (size EU41). If you don’t like the white/purple option, they are also available in black.
£119.99 / $150 / AU$TBC
Muc-Off Luxury Chamois Cream
Muc-Off continue their world domination plans – or at least the world of lubricants, cleansers and accessories – with another addition to their range of products for cyclists. Known initially for their bike cleaners and lubes, Muc-Off added personal care to their range several years ago, and new for 2016 are additions to their Athlete Performance range.
The Luxury Chamois Cream is antibacterial, is free of parabens, and contains Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel, Shea Butter and Sunflower oil for lubrication and moisturising effects while you ride. It also has a mild cooling effect. Also available in the range is a warm-up cream which is as the name suggests designed to warm up and stimulate cold muscles before you ride. It contains something that Muc-Off cryptically refer to as their ‘intelligent self thinking heating system’, plus a range of warming natural ingredients such as camphor, cinnamon and capsicum and – in case this is a concern – nothing that is prohibited by WADA. It also has a pleasant but pungent aroma, so is best not stored in confined spaces.