Wow, so where has the start of this year gone? We’ve been successfully propelled into the quasi-Summer time after spending way too long stuck in the doldrums of winter. So, to keep your spirits lifted and the wind in your sails, we’ve been busy bringing you some top-notch reviews and buying advice for all of the latest bits of kit on the market.
So what have we got to look forward to in the coming months? Well, the racing scene, both mountain bike and road, in the Northern Hemisphere is starting to get into full swing, so keep tuned for your dose of tech coverage right here on BikeRadar.
We’ve also got a summer of shredding ahead of us — what are your goals for the coming months? Whatever they are, maybe some of this kit will help you achieve them.
Mission Workshop The Sans jacket
Mission Workshop’s The Sans is beautifully madeAlex Evans
It’s a pricy bit of kit, The Sans, but please don’t let that put you off.
Designed and manufactured to last, the Toray-built jacket uses an Entrant microporous membrane that’s claimed to be exceptionally waterproof while still being breathable and stretchy.
The 3L jacket is made by Toray in JapanAlex Evans
The jacket’s got an adjustable hood, a breast pocket with zip, taped seams and weighs an insanely light 167g.
Despite its light weight, it doesn’t feel like a plastic bag and the jacket exudes levels of quality that are virtually unparalleled.
At 167g, it’s mega light but doesn’t feel like a wafer-thin shellAlex Evans
The three-layer construction helps reinforce that feeling of quality, but it does almost seem a shame to drag the jacket through hell and back on the mountain bike considering its price and presence.
The cuffs are fairly large and should fit over glovesAlex Evans
It features a fully-vented plastic cup over the knee, is pre-curved into the riding position for maximum comfort and the pad fabric’s elastic helps to keep them secure on your knees.
Top that off with two straps and silicone webbing and it’s unlikely the pads will slip when you’re sending it.
£115.99 / $139
Crankbrothers Synthesis XCT wheels
Crankbrothers’ new Synthesis wheels are individually tuned as front or rear wheelsAlex Evans
In a move away from a lot of other brand’s offerings, Crankbrothers’ Synthesis wheels are front and rear specific. Each wheel has been tuned to be either stiffer or more compliant depending whether it’s for the front or rear.
The rear wheel has more, heavier spokes that are under higher tensions and are laced on a tougher rim with a narrower internal width, which Crankbrothers says will make the tyre’s profile more rounded. Crankbrothers claims this improves the tyre’s grip and reduces rolling resistance.
The hubs have Project 321 hubs with magnetically activated pawls in the rear’s freehubAlex Evans
Up front there are fewer spokes which are lighter and run with lower spoke tensions. The rim is lighter and its internal width is larger. This, Crankbrothers claims, rounds the tyre’s profile and increases its contact patch, improving turning.
They look very well madeAlex Evans
The jury’s out on whether the claims translate to on-trail performance, but we’ve got a set in to review so stay tuned.
Muc-Off’s latest product is a waterless wash. Simply squirt it on and wipe away with a microfibre cloth for gleaming resultsAlex Evans
Designed to remove smaller amounts of dirt, don’t expect the waterless wash to do a thorough all-bike clean.
Muc-Off claims it cleans and polishes the bike to keep it sparkling clean in seconds. Simply spray it on and then rub off the dirt with a clean, dry microfibre cloth. If you want the ultimate shine, buff the now clean surfaces with another cloth.
The Moab bag is designed to work with shorter, 80mm or less stemsAlex Evans
If the adventurer in you fancies getting a bit gnarlier, then you’ve probably been plagued by ill-fitting frame and bar bags that don’t work with bikes that have more extreme intentions.
Well, Bedrock has an answer for the handlebar bag, at least. Traditionally-shaped bar bags had a tendency to interfere with brake levers, especially if you’ve got a short stem fitted, but the Moab is shaped so that it avoids the levers’ action.
It does still butt up against and interfere with the bike’s brake cables but it shouldn’t affect how they perform.
Ghost’s Germanically-named Hybride Slamr X S4.7+ AL U is massive and purposeful
Looking beyond the very Germanic nomenclature and what we’ve got here is a rather hardcore and exceptionally large bike, in extra-large at least.
The battery sits on the top of the down tubeAlex Evans
With a 1,299mm wheelbase, a 65.7-degree head angle and hard-hitting components, the Slamr looks like a veritable beast to ride. Our Seb is going to be putting this XL bike through its paces soon.
Wearwell cycling clothing
Beautifully modelled by Jack, the Wearwell kit certainly looks smartAlex Evans
Wearwell Revival Jersey – Second Edition jersey
The logo is certainly bold lookingAlex Evans
The Revival jersey has some neat features beyond its rather bold styling.
It’s got a waterproof pocket for your most treasured items with headphone cable routing, silicone grippers on the bottom of the jersey to help keep it in place and has small perforations on the sleeve cuffs, which also feature silicone grippers.
The Wearwell Revival Jersey has some nice featuresAlex Evans
The pockets, they claim, are designed to not sag whilst still having plenty of cargo space.
The bib shorts have a mesh back and a sewn-on logoAlex Evans
Contrasted against the matching jersey, the bib short’s styling is particularly subtle. The bibs are designed to help you last for longer in the saddle, offering high levels of comfort.
There’s a small ‘radio’ pocket on the rear of the shorts, but we think you’d be brave to store anything of value in there. The chamois pad is made from dense foam and the mesh backing should help to wick away sweat.
These are the third iteration of 7Mesh’s fantastic bib shortsAlex Evans
Even though these aren’t the cheapest of cycling shorts out there, after the first couple of rides I can confirm that they’re the comfiest bib shorts I’ve ever worn.
And that’s just as well, because 7Mesh set out to make an ultra-comfy long-distance set of road riding shorts. Featuring an Elastic Interface chamois that’s got high-density foam and fantastic breathability, every detail has been considered.
The material is soft and the over the shoulder braces are stretchyAlex Evans
The inside of the shorts, where they contact your skin in sensitive areas, is entirely smooth with the seams moved away from these places. Not only that, the fabric is fairly compressive but highly stretchy.
7Mesh has decided not to fit aggressive hem grippers to the legs that means they fit smoothly around your legs.
I can’t wait to spend more time in these bibs and you can expect a full review soon.
The Specialized Venge S-Works looks amazingAlex Evans
This has to be one of the sleekest and smartest looking road bikes out there. Designed for pure speed with an aero shape that’s the manifestation of plenty of hours of research, there’s no denying how quick this bike has the potential to be.
But for the price tag, it had better be. With this level of components, it’s a safe bet to make that the rider is going to be the weakest link.
Alex started racing downhill at the tender age of 11, later going on to compete internationally representing the UK. At 19, he moved to the Alps to pursue a career as a bike bum clocking up moon-mileage riding the famous tracks in and around Morzine, France. In that time, he broke more bikes than he can remember. Alex then moved back to the UK when he landed a job working for Mountain Biking UK as their Features Editor — BikeRadar's sister title — as their features editor. Since working for MBUK, Alex's focus has moved to towards bike tech and he now wants to find out what bikes and components represent the best value for money regardless of discipline. Alex's current fleet includes his trusty commuter bike, a 2017 Marin Gestalt 3, his long term Orange Stage 6 RS enduro bike, a used and abused 2015 GT Sanction Pro, a Scott Voltage YZ dirt jump bike and a Deluxe Pro 2 BMX.