Read on for the latest bikes and gear to land at BR HQ.
Sonder Santiago Rival 1 Mechanical
The Sonder Santiago is a rather handsome do-it-all machineMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Practical is beautiful at BikeRadar, and this is certainly a handsome machine with the potential to be very versatile. The Santiago’s frame is Reynolds 631 steel and it’s bristling with bosses to bolt things to.
Cable routing is fully external, the bottom bracket is threaded, and there’s room for 650bx47mm or 700cx37mm tyres.
Reynolds 631 is an evolution of the iconic 531, a durable steel that’s ideal for touring bikesMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
This build is no featherweight at a chunky 12kg (size medium) with SRAM Rival 1x shifting and Avid BB5 cable disc brakes, which aren’t exactly generous for the money.
Avid BB5s are a bit primitive by today’s standards, but they’ll still stop youMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Nevertheless, it’s an appealing thing that looks perfect for touring, gravel or heavy-duty commuting.
Restrap offers practical luggage in a variety of sizes and configurationsMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Leeds-based Restrap makes all sorts of ultra-practical bike luggage and this week the brand has sent us its small Rando Bag, small Frame Bag, and 8-litre Saddle Bag.
This dinky frame bag is perfect for portageMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
All are constructed from tough cordura fabrics and are handmade in the UK. Restrap offers all of its luggage in multiple size options, so if you’re on the hunt for bikepacking or commuting luggage then the chances are it’ll have something for your bike.
This £30 inner tube makes a surprisingly compelling case for itselfMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Premium inner tubes are a bit of a hard sell in the age of tubeless, but Tubolito’s curious looking tubes are interesting. We’ve actually covered them before, but they’re available in the UK now and we’ve got our hands on a few.
It’s likely that most riders aren’t going to want to spend £30 per wheel to shave a few grams off their inner tubes, but these make a compelling case for themselves as emergency spares.
This 29er tube, for instance, weighs just 80g, a good 140g or so less than a standard butyl tube. That’s a significant saving if you’re a weight-conscious XCer who needs a spare.
Perhaps more importantly, the tubes are also tiny. This rolled 29×1.8–2.4in tube measures about 45mm in diameter, small enough that you could quite easily slip it in a pocket or hide it under your saddle.
Despite the plasticky feel, Tubolito claims rolling resistance figures similar to those of latex tubes.
The brand offers tubes in all the major sizes and even offers an extra-light spare-only version for some of its tubes called S-Tubo. The lightest S-Tubo road tube weighs a claimed 23g — madness!
The Ninja Pouch+ Road holds a single road inner tubeMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Topeak’s Ninja range includes all sorts of handy accessories that integrate with your bike in a variety of clever ways.
The Ninja Pouch+ Road has a bag permanently attached to its base that’s big enough to take a standard road inner tube. Stealthy tyre levers clip to the sides of the cage and the whole assembly weighs 104g.
Yep, that’s a tyre leverMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
The Ninja Cage Z has a ‘QuickClick’ mount on its base which accepts various Topeak accessories including a tidy little multi-tool that sits snugly in a case. This particular combo weighs in at 175g.
The Ninja Cage Z can be combined with a tidy multi-tool in a caseMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
The QuickClick mount accepts various accessoriesMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
The Corky is one tidy little mirrorMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Rear-view mirrors aren’t the sexiest of bike components, but some riders find them invaluable. There aren’t many options that integrate cleanly with drop bars, but the Corky is better than most.
Snapped shut, the Corky is quite unobtrusiveMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
This little mirror replaces your bar-end plug and flips open to reveal a slightly convex mirror that’s about 30mm in diameter. It weighs 20g on our scales and a ball-joint lets you set its position precisely. It can be clipped shut when not in use.
The Maya 2.0 includes Kali’s LDL impact absorption techMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Aimed at trail and enduro riders, the Kali Maya 2.0 bundles the features with a view to providing a safe, comfortable cover for your noggin.
First up, protection. Helmet companies are keen to address the effects of low-G and rotational impacts using clever tech. MIPS is probably the most well-known system and Kali has its own called LDL — Low Density Layer.
It’s a system of gel pads within the more usual in-moulded shell and EPS foam liner that can compress and deform in all directions, which in turn — Kali says — reduces forces by a significant amount.
On the comfort front, there are all the features you’d expect including antimicrobial pads, 12 vents, a sliding buckle fit-adjust system and a visor. There’s also a bug liner because no-one wants to be riding down a mountain wondering if that bee that bounced into your helmet is actually about to start stinging your head.
The Maya comes in three sizes, XS/S, S/M and L/XL, and of course a range of colours, including black, white, blue and an incredibly loud yellow. This S/M weighs 392g on our scales.
The eeWings cranks are astonishingly lovelyMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Prolonged exposure to bicycle bling means it’s hard to raise eyebrows with new components in the BR office, but these cranks from Cane Creek are pretty extraordinary.
The eeWings are made almost entirely from titanium and are breathtakingly light — 403g including bolts but no chainring, to be precise, for the All-Road version shown here. (There’s also a slightly wider mountain bike version.)
The Hirth joint is precisely machinedMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
They are exquisitely made, with gorgeous welds, lovely machined details and laser-etched graphics. The right-hand arm accepts three-bolt direct mount chainrings and joins to the spindle and left arm with an almost sensually satisfying Hirth joint, much like the one used on Campagnolo Ultra-Torque cranks.
The spindle is 30mm in diameter and is BB386EVO standard (BB392EVO for mountain bikes), meaning it can be adapted to most bottom bracket shells.
Burgtec is offering a more affordable version of its Penthouse Mk4 pedalMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
The Penthouse MK4 pedals have been a staple of the Burgtec pedal offering for years now, but the brand wanted to develop a more affordable option. Enter the Penthouse MK4 Composite pedals.
They look, well, pretty much exactly the same as the originals but are about half the price. Composed of a nylon and fibreglass body and a cromo axle, they have 16 replaceable pins each and weigh in at a very reasonable 375g a pair.
To be fair, there are a few little differences: the composite pedals are slightly more concave and thicker, so they’re more likely to stand up to the tough treatment they’re designed for. They’re also serviceable, and for those environmentally minded riders out there (which should be all of us) the platform is also recyclable.
They come in a range of colours from the beautiful Purple Rain pictured above to Race Red, Deep Blue, Iron Bro Orange, Kash Bronze, White and Electric Yellow
Pursu’s bars tick a lot of eco-friendly and health boxesMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
There are a number of reasons you might choose these bars from Pursu: you prefer your sports nutrition to be made from recognisable ingredients, you’re vegan, you’re trying to avoid added sugar, or you’re fed up of sports nutrition product wrappers littering the ground.
On that last point, if this bothers you, you aren’t likely to be the person leaving such things about but you’ll likely still be concerned about the plastic waste these things create. So the fact that Pursu bars have wrappers that are plastic-free and compostable is an extra win.
The brand also donates 16p per box to Re-Cycle, a bike recycling charity that ships donated bikes from the UK to Africa.
The bars themselves come in three flavours: sun-dried banana and cacao, sour cherry and almond and the more unusual beetroot and date with seeds and nuts (ideal for when you want something a bit earthier and less sweet).
Are you edgy enough for the Smith Trackstands?Matthew Allen / Immediate Media
The nineties throwback trend for sunglasses continues with this vibrant pair of performance specs from Smith, though thankfully a little less in-your-face than others we’ve seen (Oakley, we’re looking at you).
A neat and lightweight frame and lens combo, it comes packaged up in a nice protective storage box with a spare lens. In the case of this model, the ‘matte citron’ frame with Chromapop Contrast Rose lens, the spare set is the Chromapop Black, which is suited to bright light conditions.
By the way, Chromapop is Smith’s name for its lens system, which is designed to increase definition and clarity.
If you don’t want your glasses this loud (or want them even louder) then there are a range of different frame colours from a subdued matt black to a bright matt jade, which looks particularly and wonderfully lairy with the Chromapop Green Mirror lenses.