Autumn has well and truly landed at BikeRadar HQ, and with leaves on the tracks, muddy trails and deep puddles hiding freshly dug potholes in the road, we say a fond farewell to Summer 2018 — you really were a classic.
Super-waterproof construction should mean your kit stays dry in even the worst conditionsWarren Rossiter / Immediate Media
Chrome certainly knows how to put together a cool-looking bag. And, the Gas Can takes those good looks and adds in some tech to the build, too.
The ultra-lightweight fully waterproof fabric is sonically bonded together for a completely seam-free construction with no potential leak points. At these bonds Chrome overlays more material than you would normally find on traditional bonds to ensure the strength and that all-important waterproofing.
There is also a storm zip that runs the full circumference of the top opening, keeping the valuables/key pocket protected too.
The fuss-free internals make the most of the space with nothing to snag or catch. The tough bottom section, welded in high-density memory foam pads and (typically Chrome) tough strap-system, looks like it’ll last. The Gas Can is also backed up with a lifetime guarantee.
Woz won’t be getting chilly feet this winterWarren Rossiter / Immediate Media
Northwave has one of the biggest range of winter boots around, and the new 2019 Himalaya is pretty much its most extreme.
The leather upper is complemented by fully waterproof coating, which is combined with the GTX membrane sandwiched between the outer and quilted Thinsulate lining.
To keep your feet even warmer, the Artic GTX footbed comprises a four-layer sandwich of fleece and aluminium. The upper has a whole bunch of rubberised protectors and reflective inserts and this all sits on top of a sole from Michelin that uses its Rock’R dual compound material.
A snug fit should be possible with the concealed rapid lacingWarren Rossiter / Immediate Media
We like the double-wrap closure on the cuff and the gaiter loop on the toe box, as it means you’ll keep dry even when trudging through long wet grass or boot-high snow.
We’re looking forward to trying these out, at the same time as hoping it won’t get cold enough to do so!
The ARD installs easily on the rim, and then shrinks under pressure for an even snugger fitTom Marvin / Immediate Media
Rim inserts, if you’ve never seen one, promise to protect your rims from dings and your tyres from pinches. Meanwhile, others claim they secure tyres in the rim’s beads too, reducing the risk of burping air under heavy loads.
They might look like a swimming pool flotation device, but if the guys at Nukeproof are to be believed (and yes, they tested swimming-float foam), the slower rebounding material, cut from a block, is nothing like what you’ll find at the pool.
The cross-section of the ARD – some bump-stop protection and enough to protect your tyres tooTom Marvin / Immediate Media
This one has a slightly narrower profile than some, but is said to work as an effective bump stop, with the slower rebounding foam offering better ride properties.
It’s also a fair chunk lighter than most, at 144g (per wheel) for our 29er insert, and is only £50 including special valves, pitching it well below some competitors.
It’s like a regular smartphone, but stronger!Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media
Yep, this is a Land Rover branded Android smartphone. Why? Well, because it’s rugged, and packed full of features that make it ideal for any mountain biker who’s constantly breaking regular phones.
It has a large 4000mAh battery, 5in screen, IP68 splash, water and dust resistance, and is drop-proof to 1.8m. Premium ViewRanger mapping comes ready to go, powered by the Deca-core 2.6GHz 64-bit chip and the 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM storage.
The touchscreen works with wet fingers, there’s a 16MP rear and 8MP front camera and night-friendly screen. Still with me?
And, with the added battery pack, it’s bulkier (but with waaaaaay more battery capacity and a better GPS)Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media
Then there’s the Adventure Pack. This adds an extra 3620mAh battery on the back along with an improved GPS antenna, and the ability to bar-mount the phone.
Out geekiest team will be putting it through its paces.
Oh Seb… The onesie from Endura is pricey but its kit generally impresses (and incites menswear-catalogue poses)Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
As soon as this was announced I was rubbing my hands with glee. Yes, I’m an aficionado of the waterproof onesie, and this is the fourth I’ve added to the testing collection (joining the Dirtsuit from Dirtlej, a simpler suit from Vaude and the soon-to-be-on-test Raynsie).
The MT500 is slightly different from the others though, because it’s essentially a waterproof jacket and waterproof trousers (which zip off around the knee) joined at the back, rather than the more traditional onesie design.
Unlike others, the front fully opens like a regular jacket, but it’s attached at the backTom Marvin / Immediate Media
Endura uses its ExoShell 360 fabric that has impressive breathability, backed up by long armpit and thigh zips for added breeze. There are pockets, a hood and zippered fly, too.
The Callaghan jersey is made from a soft, comfortable MerinoTom Marvin / Immediate Media
While 7Mesh says the Callaghan is perfect for chilly trail sessions and post-ride chill-out, I don’t think I’ll be going on too many muddy rides with the Callaghan, it’s a piece of clothing way too nice to get slopped on and shredded.
The Merino wool is combined with polyester for the best of both worlds. There are two front pockets, one of which has a phone compartment.
Meanwhile, the hood is just about snug enough to get under a bike helmet, too, if that’s your bag.
Anniversary specs from ScottTom Marvin / Immediate Media
The original Sport Shields hail from 1989, when LeMond won the tour (using Scott tri-bars, but Oakley glasses) and, to celebrate Scott’s 60th anniversary as a brand, the Sport Shields are back in this rather fancy limited edition.
The eagle-eyed among you would have noticed Simon Yates wearing the oversized glasses on his way to victory in the Vuelta this year.
Scott has made the Shields available with a classic look, but with a new modern red-chrome finished CAT3 lens and adjustable nosepiece, as well a lighter frame (35g) to bring them bang up to modern standards.