Is it Friday already? Now how did we get here so quickly? Perhaps time compressed, just like the tiny sliver of elastomer that cushions the rear of one of our favourite bikes of the week, BMC’s Teamelite TE01 XC racer. In any case, we’re just about done with all the stuff announced between Eurobike and Interbike, and the flow of top-notch cycling kit continues unabated. Below, we have 10 hot new products that have landed on the desks of our Sydney, Australia offices, and one mouthwatering bike from our Bristol HQ. Enjoy…
New mountain bike gear
Trek Top Fuel 9
Where it’s possible to buy the exact carbon framed Top Fuel the Trek World Racing team use, we’ve got our hands on the far more affordable Top Fuel 9. Using the identical ‘Full Floater’ and ‘Evo Link’ suspension design with the adjustable geometry Mino link, cost savings are achieved in the alloy frame.
Despite a price that’s less than half that of the Top Fuel 9.9 SL, The Top Fuel 9 retains a parts specification that’s ready to race. With this, a RockShox SID XX fork and Monarch XX rear shock are linked together with a XX Full Sprint hydraulic remote lockout at the handlebar. Perhaps carrying a little more weight, the SRAM X1 11-speed groupset offers proven performance, as do the Shimano Deore XT brakes.
Even the Bontrager Team Issue tyres are a race-ready part, and are ready to be setup tubeless on the Bontrager Mustang Pro wheels (rim strips, sealant and valves needed – not included).
£3,000 / $4,000 / AU$4,099
Crankbrothers Candy 7 pedals
For 2016, Crankbrothers has completely revamped its entire range of pedals, with the biggest differences found inside. Carrying a five-year warranty, the new pedals feature a glide bushing from Igus, a sealed bearing from Enduro and revised sealing.
Found on the Candy 7 (and 11) is the new Traction Pad technology which allows slide-in plastic pads for customizing shoe contact surface. This means shoes with problematic treads should be of little issue, while those who prefer a snug fit between the shoe and pedal will be able to get what they want.
Other features include beveled edges on the alloy pedal body to slide off rock strikes, and an alloy bashguard protecting the endcap.
Available in a black, red or pink, our pre-production Candy 7s weigh 320g for the pair.
£TBC / $165 / AU$TBC
Wolf Tooth bottle opener with rotor truing slot
While it’s not exactly a technical tool, this 31g piece of CNC-machined 7075 T6 alloy offers a rotor truing slot on one end, and a quality bottle opener at the other. Wolf Tooth is hardly the first to create such a combination (Abbey Bike Tools Stu stick is the first we know of), but it has done a good job.
Featuring a little hole for hanging, it’s available in a choice of seven anodized colours.
£TBC / $20 / AU$TBC
ESI Fit CR grips
The CR is best described as being the thickness love child of the brand’s Chunky and Racer’s Edge grips. Compare this to the thicker XC, which is closer to a Extra Chunky and Chunky mix. With less material, the CR weighs 55g for a pair, about 10g less than the XC.
Priced a little higher than straight-shaped ESI grips, the US-made Fit CR grips are available in black, aqua, green, orange (pictured) and red.
£TBC / $33 / AU$50
Finish Line Mechanic Grip gloves
We’ve already used these and found them to be grippier than bare hands, comfortable, breathable and most importantly, thin enough for suitable feel. Assuming you don’t dip your whole hand in chemicals, your skin and future self will thank you too.
There are extremely similar gloves available from more generic sources, however, the price on these is more than fair. The Mechanic Grip gloves are available in two sizes – small/medium and large/X-large.
£TBC / $5 / AU$TBC
Abbey Bike Tools Suspension Top Cap Sockets
Saving this stress, Abbey Bike Tools now makes a set of five 3/8in drive sockets designed specifically for cleanly removing most common sized fork top caps. Beyond the perfectly flush fit, the sockets are made of high-grade aluminium and are kept to just 25mm in height to reduce the risk of camming off.
At $150, the set including 24, 26, 28, 30 and 32mm sizes is clearly aimed at professional or regular suspension servicer.
£TBC / $150 / AU$TBC
New road bike gear
Lazer LifeBEAM 2.0 DIY kit
By replacing the rear mud cap and brow pad with the LifeBEAM 2.0 setup, the little optical sensor sits against your forehead and measures heart rate, while a matchbox-sized ANT+ and Bluetooth enabled junction box sits at the back of the helmet wirelessly transmitting information to a paired device.
The whole unit adds 44g to a Lazer Z1 helmet, but eliminates the need for a chest strap. It runs off a USB rechargeable lithium polymer battery and has a claimed life of 15 hours.
We’ll be putting the new LifeBEAM 2.0 DIY through it’s paces attached to a top end Z1.
£TBC / $TBC / AU$180 (LifeBeam DIY kit only)