A Nitto stem, bendy bars from Genetic, a fancy top tube bag and… sandal wash?

11spd: This week's best new bikes and gear

11spd cover photo on BikeRadar including Nitto MT11 stem, Lizard Skins grips, Cane Creek 110 headset and Nikwax Sandal Wash

As predictable as the turning of the tides, the changing of the seasons or the cycle of the moon, Friday at BikeRadar means it’s time for 11spd — our weekly roundup of the most kickin’ fresh kit to be bestowed upon the collective cupped mitt of our content gremlins by the gods of cycling swag.


If 11 of the hottest products in cycling isn’t quite enough to tickle your cycling pickle, be sure to check out our coverage of Team INEOS’ (formerly Team Sky) new Pinarello Dogma F12 race bike, our roundup of the very best electric bikes on the market and Wahoo’s all-new GPS computer.

BikeRadar has also entered the world of Podcasting this week, with Episode 1 of the BikeRadar Podcast tackling this year’s Road Bike of the Year!

Nitto MT-11 1 ⅛in quill stem

Nitto MT-11 1 1/8 forged quill stem
Nitto’s MT-11 stem is just about the only good-looking 1 1/8 quill stem on the market
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

Do you have an old bike with a 1 ⅛in threaded steerer and want to upgrade its cockpit with a handsome forged stem? If so, the Nitto MT-11 is your answer.

This is one of very few good-looking 1 ⅛in quill stems still available to buy new — pretty much everything else in this size is either some hideous adjustable contraption or a considerably less lovely two-piece option.

Nitto logo engraved into MT-11 stem
Mmm, what a delightful satin finish
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

The MT-11 is made to Nitto’s high-quality standards and features a dashing satin finish. This particular stem will be paired with the Japanese brand’s B352 Albatross handlebars on Jack’s tandem, Cecil.

The closest 1in quill equivalent is the MT-10, otherwise known as the dirt drop.

Straight Cut Design top-tube bag

Straight Cut Design top tube back on Lauf Anywhere top tube
Straight Cut Design is based in Edinburgh and makes some damn-good-looking on-bike luggage
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

Flawlessly handmade in Edinburgh using Cordura 500D fabric, this top-tube bag from Straight Cut Design ticks all the boxes if you’re looking for somewhere to stash your on-bike accoutrements.

The closed cell foam padding on each side helps the bag keep its shape without sagging, while also providing added protection.

Glow-in-the-dark zipper on Straight Cut Design top-tube bag
The glow-in-the-dark zipper is genius!
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

The quality No.5 YKK Aquaguard zip has a pleasing glow-in-the-dark zipper making it easy to use with one finger and when riding in the dark.

The bag attaches to the top tube with One-Wrap Velcro, which can be cut to fit your frame.

Straight Cut Design light-coloured lining
The bag is lined with a light-coloured material
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

The liner is available in bright colours for added visibility and Straight Cut also provides a complete custom option to complete the perfect bikepacking rig.

Cane Creek 110 EC44 lower headset

Cane Creek 110 1 1/8 lower headset cup
We love the quality and availability of spares for Cane Creek’s headsets
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

There’s a lot to love about Cane Creek’s headsets — they’re high quality, the cheaper options are great value for money, they’re available in just about every dimension imaginable and spares availability is excellent.

The last point is the key one — if you happen to wear out a cup from your EC44 headset, Cane Creek will almost certainly have an individual replacement cup in stock.

We’ve just taken delivery of this 110 lower cup for this very reason, where it will soon take pride of place on the front of the aforementioned tandem.

Nikwax sandal wash

Nikwax sandal wash
Sandal wash… who knew it was a thing?
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

Are you a proud SPD sandal wearer? Are your beloved open-toed daps beginning to emit a foul whiff? If so, this sandal-specific wash from Nikwax may be just the thing for you.

Formulated to kill guff-creating bacteria and remove accumulated body oils from the beds of your sandals (gross), this sponge-on wash may just be the most specific cleaning product we’ve ever come across.

Litelok Silver

LiteLok Silver lock
The Silver is claimed to the lightest Sold Secure Silver lock on the market
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

The Silver from Litelok is claimed to be the world’s lightest Sold Secure Silver-rated lock.

The stainless-steel core is contained within Litelock’s own Boaflexicore (what a mouthful!) strap. As it is flexible, the lock can be worn around your waist and also offers more options for locking to irregular-shaped objects than a typical U-lock.

The lock is available in three different lengths, with the shortest 52cm-long lock weighing a claimed 630g.

Genetic Driser

Genetic Driser gravel bar
The Genetic Driser bar is contorted in nearly every plane
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

Genetic — ISON Distribution’s in-house component brand — has just released the Driser, a riser drop bar aimed at off-road gravel-adventuring types.

Contorted in every plane, the bars feature ovalised tops, 20mm of rise, 16-degrees of flare at the drops and a dash of backsweep.

Similar bars exist on the market but, at just £45, the Driser is a whole lot cheaper.

SwissStop EXOTherm2 disc brake pads

SwissStop ExoTherm 2 brake pads
SwissStop claims these are its best-ever disc-brake pads
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

SwissStop’s all-new EXOTherm2 pad compound is said to be its most durable yet. When combined with its redesigned cooling fins, the pads are claimed to provide some of the most consistent and powerful braking on the market.

Available in all common pad types, they are expected to hit the market very soon.

  • Pricing and availability TBC

Pearl Izumi PRO bib shorts and Elite Pursuit jersey

Pearl Izumi PRO bib shorts
Pearl Izumi’s PRO bib short feel very high quality
Pearl Izumi

Pearl Izumi’s PRO bib shorts have a bang-on-trend longish cut, come in a fetching shade of navy and are made from very premium feeling materials.

Pearl Izumi Elite Pursuit jersey
The Elite Pursuit Jersey is an aesthetic departure for Pearl Izumi
Pearl Izumi

Likewise, the natty patterned Elite Pursuit jersey dazzles with delightful well-thought-out details, including laser-cut edges on the pockets, long sleeves and a grippy metallic zipper.

The understated kit is a bit of an aesthetic departure from Pearl Izumi’s typical look, but it’s one we welcome readily.

Lizard Skins Charger Evo grips

Green Lizard Skins Charger Evo grip
Lizard Skins claims the Charger Evo is its most complex grip ever
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

Lizard Skins’ Charger Evo grip is said to be ‘its most complex grip ever’, with a mix of dual-pattern textures and a funky compound said to reduce hand-fatigue in rough terrain.

The grip is available in five different delightful hues and in lock-on, push-on or flanged versions.

Easton EA50 stem

140mm long Easton EA50 stem
There’s a lot to love about Easton’s EA50 finishing kit
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

It may have been around for donkey’s years, but Easton’s EA50 finishing kit is always worth highlighting — it’s affordable, high performing, high quality and inoffensively designed.

Take the EA50 stem — the RRP is just £35 (though it can often be found much cheaper), we’ve always found it to be stiff enough and this 120mm length option weighs just 140mm.

If you’re looking to upgrade your cockpit, this is well worth considering.

Backcountry Research Camrat strap

Backcountry Research Camrat strap
The Camrat is Backcountry Research’s road-sized tube strap
Backcountry Research

Backcountry Research is the original, and some would argue best, name in on-bike bagless tube storage.

The Camrat is the road tube-sized option in its increasingly large range and, as with all of its straps, is available in a number of jazzy patterns.