It’s June and most definitely summer time here in the UK (and the rest of the northern hemisphere). We’re still reeling from the second round of the downhill World Cup last weekend in Fort William, where Rachel Atherton triumphed in the women’s race in challenging conditions and Amaury Pierron came jaw-droppingly close to a horrific crash on the final jump but managed to hold on to take the men’s win.
As if that weren’t enough to get you excited about riding bikes, we’ve gathered together eleven of the most interesting bikes and products to arrive in the office this week. Please enjoy.
The Superleggera is an old-school beauty with a modern twistSeb Stott
The Superleggera is a celebration of Wilier’s heritage, combining a classic Italian aesthetic with modern technology. Wilier describes the Superleggera as “a tribute to a product that has made Wilier famous… A product that nods to the past, but in completely new and renovated fine finishes.”
The Columbus steel frameset is handmade in Italy. It’s got a threaded steerer for the authentic old-school look, but a threaded bottom bracket for modern compatibility. The frame is claimed to weigh 1690g ± 5 percent and the fork 590g ± 5 percent. Our complete bike, in size 58cm as shown, weighs 8.92kg.
The retro steel tubing and copper finish doesn’t look out of place against modern Campagnolo partsSeb Stott
We’re excited to ride this carbon-framed 29er from NS bikes.Seb Stott
Polish-based brand, NS bikes, is gaining a reputation for its good-value mountain bikes. The Define is a carbon-framed 29er trail bike, available in two guises with 130mm or 150mm rear wheel travel respectively.
We have the latter, and it’s the top-spec version too. That means you get Fox Factory level suspension, albeit with the FIT4 fork damper rather than our prefered GRIP2 unit, and matching seatpost.
The most interesting feature of the Define is the reach-adjustable headset, which allows the reach to be set to two positions, 10mm apart. There are only two sizes in the range, where the Medium has a reach of 450mm or 460mm, while the Large has 480mm or 490mm.
Our bike in size large weighs 13.9kg without pedals.
Mavic’s iconic Deemax Pro wheelset is now available with a paintjob inspired by the even more iconic Sam Hill.Seb Stott
Mavic updated the iconic Deemax wheelset last year. The Deemax Pro is the enduro version (as opposed to the Deemax DH). It features a 28mm internal rim width (slightly narrower than the now standard 30mm) which is apparently done to save weight and allow the tyre to deform more in turns, thereby helping the bike to corner tighter.
Like Mavic’s older wheels, they use alloy spokes (not steel like most wheels), with spoke nipples which thread into the rim as well as onto the spoke. This allows Mavic to use an intact rim bed with no spoke holes, so the rim is sealed for tubeless use without need for fiddly, leaky rim tape.
This limited edition Sam Hill version gets rim graphics inspired by the man himself, but otherwise they’re identical to the regular wheelset including the recommended retail price.
The Sam Hill edition wheelset sports rim graphics which match the reigning EWS champ’s tattoos.Seb Stott
Wide-tyre compatible and able to power lights as you ride, these wheels should be ideal for long-distance adventures.Felix Smith
As you read this, our Hunt SuperDura Dynamo Disc front wheel is currently being used by BikeRadar videographer, Felix Smith, on The Transatlantic Way — a 2,500km unsupported ride along Ireland’s wild west coast.
The wheel is built around a Son Delux dynamo hub, which Son claims is one of the most efficient dynamo hubs available. Since the dynamo generates its own electricity, lights can be run free of heavy batteries requiring charge.
The wheel combines Hunt’s trademark wide rim, at 25mm. Its durability and relatively low weight mean this wheel is perfect for those wanting to gain as much grip and comfort from their tyre as possible — particularly advantageous for ultra endurance distances.
BikeRadar videographer Felix will be riding this Dynamo-equipped Lauf Anywhere around Ireland when you read this.Felix Smith
Hunt says the rims can be used with tyres ranging from 25mm all the way to 50mm. When combined with dynamo lighting, this wheel would also be ideal for winter training or everyday commuting with no need to charge batteries again.
A cosy mid- or outer-layer that provides warmth while wicking sweatAoife Glass
Combining mountain sports know-how and mountain biking expertise, Scott Sports produces a range of kit that varies from on-bike specific to general, multipurpose mountain-wear, which is where the kit we’ve got in sits.
Scott’s women’s MTB range is extensive with multiple options for shorts, jerseys, jackets and more.
That said, the Trail MTN Tech shorts are definitely ones for riders who prefer their shorts short and aren’t particularly bothered by wearing knee-pads or having a gap between the ends of the shorts and the top of the pads.
These fit more into the multi-purpose category, and would also work well for the gravel riders out there… but we know that UK-based mountain bikers generally prefer something a bit longer in the leg.
The shorts are – well – pretty short actuallyAoife Glass
In the plus column, they’re lightweight with a popper and zip fly and adjustable waist band, plus laser-cut ventilation holes.
The Trail Flow shirt looks to be a very handy piece of kit. A lightweight, loose-cut technical riding T-shirt, it has a scoop neckline and a drirelease knit back panel designed to help wick moisture away from the skin.
Casual looks make it a top that’s work well for on the bike, in the cafe, in the pub, in the gym or just every-day wear.
If you like your riding tops to feel more like performance T-shirts, this one from Scott foots the billAoife Glass
If you’re looking for a little warmth on cooler mornings or at altitude, but don’t need protection from the wet, then the Trail MTB 90 jacket is for you.
Another multifunctional garment, it’ll also work for hiking, walking and just hanging out. Made of a ribbed, quick-dry fabric, it’s designed to provide warmth without adding lots of weight.
All of the kit mentioned above comes available in sizes XS to XL and in a range of colour options so you can go as loud as you like, or not.
At a mere €1,380, this is Schmolke’s idea of an affordable wheelsetSeb Stott
If you’re into über lightweight road components you’ve probably heard of Schmolke. Our snake-hipped racer, Joe Norledge, used the German manufacturer’s TLO (The Lightest One) seatpost and tubular wheelset to create his dream (5.1Kg) hill climb bike. And you can find out more about its products here.
While the TLO tubular wheelset Joe used weighs just 940g for the pair, these are more of an all-round wheelset. Dauerläufer means endurance runner in German, nodding to the all-round versatility of these wheels. Unlike the TLO, these are clinchers, not tubular, so should be much easier to live with as well as being considerably less expensive.
On the BikeRadar scales of truth, they weigh 1,358g for the pair without rim tape. The rims measure 26mm wide, and 45mm deep.
The wheels have a total weight limit (bike and rider) of 110kg, and are covered by a two-year warranty plus a crash replacement scheme which extends beyond two years. We’ll let you know how they ride soon.
Loads of healthy, nutritious and (presumably) delicious recipes in here.Seb Stott
This is a recipe book for sociable cyclists. It serves up over 100 sweet, savoury, vegetarian, meat and fish-based meal ideas. There’s an emphasis on health and nutrition, but also on the well-being benefits of eating good food together.
Its authors, Dr. Allen Lim, an exercise physiologist and co-founder of Skratch Labs, and Biju Thomas, a professional chef who’s cooked for pro cycling teams, aim to simplify the experience of cooking tasty, healthy meals for athletes and ordinary people alike.
They say: “We are not interested in perpetuating the idea that there has to be a certain way that athletes eat for performance that is somehow different from how nonathletes eat for health and well-being.”
Many products that are marketed as e-bike specific aren’t. This toothy tyre is one example.Seb Stott
Just like SRAM’s Guide RE brakes, this could be a product that although designed for e-bikes works just as well on a regular mountain bike.
It’s available in 650b only, but there are two width options: 2.6in and 2.8in. There are front and rear specific options too.
The tread pattern is based on the very grippy Wild Enduro tyre, but the e-bike version gets a bigger volume carcass and a slightly different casing and compound.
This 2.6in front tyre weighs a pretty reasonable 1,010g, and Michelin says the compound has been designed to minimise rolling resistance for the purpose of increasing an e-bike’s battery range, but of course that suggests they shouldn’t be too draggy for use without a motor.
Apparently, these specs “evoke the stylish eye shades of the 1950s.” Let us know what you think in the comments.Seb Stott
These cycling glasses claim to hark back to 1950’s style, but are packed with modern features.
Small slits between the lens and the upper frame allow air to enter behind the lens, apparently reducing lens fog. They offer 100 percent protection from UV light as well as reducing the amount of blue light entering the eye. Apparently this results in “greater contrast between colors and a more pronounced brightness of objects.”
They also block HEV (high energy visible) radiation from the sun, apparently to offer further protection to the eye. However, a quick search on Wikipedia revealed this nugget: “Despite a lack of concurring scientific evidence, HEV light has sometimes been claimed to be a cause of age-related macular degeneration… Some sunglasses and beauty creams specifically block HEV, for added marketing value.”
Still, they feel comfortable to wear and offer a wide field of vision.
Our workshop manager, Will, felt in no way uncomfortable while posing for this shot. (Not really.)Seb Stott
Mountain bikers’ increasing aversion to rucksacks has led to more minimalist storage solutions such as hip packs and storage bibs. This in turn has led to a market for flexible water bottles which can be stuffed into pockets and take up less space when they’re less full.
Nukeproof is far from first to the party here but its flexible bottle is a little cheaper than Camelbak’s. If you’re interested, this 500ml flask weighs 21g.
Seb's been riding and racing mountain bikes for half his life. Since getting hooked on mountain bikes aged thirteen riding a tiny 24Seven Crosser, he's raced downhill, enduro and cross country, and while no athlete, still enters the occasional race. Seb studied experimental physics at university, and he's now happily using (wasting) his degree experimenting with different bike setups, trying to work out what works best and why. You'll often find him riding the same track ten times in a day, changing just one thing to pin down the differences. Seb's much happier back-to-back testing suspension on a wet Welsh hillside than riding the latest five-figure bikes on some sunny press trip - although he quite likes that too!