Here are some words we associate with January: dull, grey, cold, sad, Jones. Which one is the odd one out? Correct! It’s ‘dull’, because how could the month after Christmas in which you get to play with your new toys possibly be dull?
At BikeRadar towers we’re all zipping around on flammable hoverboards and playing with the shifters on our new bikes, and even as we do so fresh kit keeps showing up in the post. It may be the end of your first week back at work, and yes, you are eventually going to have talk to that nice lady whose shoes you were sick on at the office Christmas party. But in preparation for the weekend, let’s cast an eye over 11 new things you won’t be able to afford (unless you sell your kid’s new Xbox on eBay).
New road bike gear
Giant TCR Advanced
Giant tcr advanced: giant tcr advanced
It’s Bike of the Year time at our sister magazine Cycling Plus, so the workshop is heaving with tasty carbon. The world has more than its share of black bikes already, but we think you’ll agree that this race weapon from Giant looks absolutely stunning. It weighs a hair over the 6.8kg UCI minimum weight in size small and comes with a full Ultegra groupset and Giant’s own SLR 1 carbon clinchers.
You can’t write the history of European cycling without Look, and its classic Mondrian-style paintjobs made famous by the La Vie Claire team still set roadie hearts a-flutter. The 765 is a sportive-style machine built around a carbon frame that incorporates flax fibers for added Frenchness, or something. This non-standard Ultegra Di2 build weighs around 8.1kg in a medium, and we think it looks pretty sharp. Allez courage!
Road tubeless technology has been on something of a slow burn for the last few years, proving useful and practical for some, but never achieving the momentum needed for its wider adoption. One of the big issues has been the comparatively small number of suitable tires on the market, so new products are always of interest.
Hutchinson already has a range of tubeless tires, but it’s upping the ante with its new Fusion 5 range, which aims to cater to all your road cycling needs. We’ve got our hands on the heavy-duty All Seasons version, which weighs about 300g in 23mm, and offers the highest levels of puncture protection. Also available are the lighter Performance version, and the top-flight Galaktik, which is lighter still and offers the best performance.
Fabric’s funky saddles (and what appear to be many imitators) are suddenly everywhere, and the range keeps on expanding to cater for all disciplines. We recently took delivery of this neat look triathlon-specific perch (the clue is in the name). It’s got a generous cutout along with the traditionally abbreviated nose, and at the rear a removable bracket accepts a bottle cage – perfect if you want to take out the competition by launching bidons depth-charge style. The Tri weighs 260g with the bracket installed, and it’s available in a huge range of colours.
We all love a proper set of riding glasses and these new ones from Rudy Project look promising, with a lens shape strongly reminiscent of our beloved Oakley Radars, and a close wraparound fit. They weigh 28g, have some built-in adjustability, and are available in various colour and lens combinations. We reckon the photochromic option shown here will be a popular choice – the lens is fully transparent in its un-darkened state.
World bike relief buffalo: world bike relief buffalo
For every £95 donated to non-profit organisation World Bicycle Relief, one of these Buffalo bikes makes its way to Africa. Here the bikes will be used to provide life-changing transportation through various schemes. From getting children to school, to carrying goods and essentials to local businesses and organisations, the possibilities are vast.
Designed specifically for the purpose, these singlespeed coaster brake-equipped steel bikes are sturdy haulers with the simplicity and reliability required to tackle rural Africa. Head on over to the World Bicycle Relief website for a closer look at the fantastic work being done by this exceptional charity.
New mountain bike gear
Yeti SB5c Beti
Yeti sb5c beti: yeti sb5c beti
Rachael Gurney, the recently recruited staff writer on our sibling mag Mountain Biking UK, has just taken delivery of this rather lovely Yeti SB5c, which she can’t wait to put through its paces this weekend. Just as Santa Cruz has the Juliana brand, Yeti has Beti – and mimicking the Juliana/Santa Cruz relationship, the bikes are based on existing models from Yeti with builds tweaked to better fit and satisfy women’s requirements.
Underneath the coral paintwork there’s the same carbon frame as the regular SB5c, with its trick Switch Infinity suspension system. The sizing is also identical to the regular SB5c. What does changes for the Beti version is the suspension tune, with both the factory level Fox 34 fork and Float DPS shock set to compeiment the typically lighter female rider. Along with a SRAM X01/Race Face Turbine transmission, the build includes a DT Swiss M1900 wheelset and a Thomson dropper post. We’ll bring you a more detailed first look on this bike soon but for more information on the SB5c check out our full review.
You’ve probably heard of Wiggle, they’re the people that drain most of our bank accounts by offering bikes and bits at annoyingly good prices – and offer complimentary bags of Haribo as compensation.
Anyway, Wiggle has just spruced up its range of energy gels with a full range of 9 flavours. The collection, which includes two caffeinated gels, holds a whole host of flavours with highlights including lemon meringue, strawberry split and fruit punch – there’s even a mocha flavour for the truly brave. Each 38g sachet is good for 20 to 30 minutes of exercise. The two we’ve tried so far have passed the BikeRadar taste test with flying colours.
Californian company 6D have this new premium full-face lid on offer. The 1334g (size medium) lid features a carbon shell, is compatible with all neck braces and features what the company call Omni-Directional Suspension (ODS) technology. ODS allows the helmet’s inner and outer EPS shells to move independently from one and other due to a number of strategically placed rubber dampers – thus reducing the forces submitted to a rider during a crash.
If you’re going to have a big one then you may also be glad of the ATB-1’s sternum pad – which is said to protect the chin, jaw and sternum in the event of an accident. Another highlight is the removable cheek pads, which in the event of an accident can be removed without having to disturb a rider’s head or neck.
We’ll being passing it over to MBUK so stay tuned for a full review.
Time for another helmet, and this is one we’ve already covered in some detail (see here) – but now we’ve got one to try for ourselves. Our size medium sample lid tipped the scales at an impressive 321g. The Rex is actually Kask’s first attempt at a helmet designed specifically for off-road use but you wouldn’t have guessed so.
Along with a built in camera mount, the Rex’s in-mold shell gets a full 20 vents, an adjustable visor and Kask’s own Octo-fit retention system. Finishing this lid off nicely is Kask’s signature leather strap. It’s an interesting addition to a competitive market and we can’t wait to properly test it out.
Shimano AM5 shoes
Shimano am5: shimano am5
Shimano has recently revamped its popular line of trail shoes and the AM5 is a new entry-level option for those who clip in. With a more casual style than its AM7 and AM9 siblings, the AM5 does away with the large lace cover in favour of a single Velcro strap.
There’s raised protection at the heel and hardwearing materials where you’d normally encounter crank rub. They’re available in black or olive green. At 1055g for a size 43 they’re not exactly light but with this price tag that’s hardly a surprise.
Matthew is an expert on bike tech and a lover of practical, beautifully-engineered things. Originally a roadie, he dabbles in all disciplines and has tested a huge variety of bikes and gear over the years.