11spd: This week’s best new bike gear

Trek Top Fuel, Lazer LifeBeam 2.0, ESI CR grips and more in this week's roundup

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

The 2016 trek top fuel 9 offers plenty of value for the xc racer :
The Top Fuel is reborn for 2016, replacing Trek’s (previously Gary Fisher’s) long-standing Superfly FS series. Designed for World Cup level cross-country racing, the Top Fuel offers 100mm of efficient suspension travel built around 29er wheels (27.5in for the two smallest frame sizes).

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.

Very unusual for a bike of this price, the top fuel 9 includes rockshox xx suspension front and rear with a full sprint lockout switch at the bars :
Given the price, a highlight is the RockShox XX Full Sprint handlebar lockout 

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

Crank brothers’ have plenty to offer for 2016. the candy 7 is an all-new model that’s totally different inside and out from older candy versions :
Something we saw while at Interbike, the Candy 7 is an entirely new pedal model that offers all the function of the premium-priced Candy 11 pedals, but with heavier, stronger and far cheaper hardened steel axles and stainless-steel wings.

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

Not a first, but wolf tooth components now offer a bottle opener and disc rotor truing fork in one. certainly a nice gift idea :
If you have disc brakes, you’ve likely experienced a little rotor rub. If the rub is inconsistent and only happening at one point in your wheel’s rotation, then it’s likely warped in the rotor that’s easily fixed.

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 original silicon grip, esi now offer its fit ergonomic grip in a thinner ‘cr’ model :
Released at Interbike, the Fit CR is a thinner version of the recently released Fit XC grip. The Fit grips are ergonomically shaped versions of the original silicone grip – they’re designed to reduce hand pressure, increase bike control and improve riding comfort.

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

www.esigrips.com / www.dirtworks.com.au (Australian distributor)                 

Finish Line Mechanic Grip gloves

Keep your hands happy with these mechanic grip gloves from finish line. re-usable and breathable, they’re far more comfortable to wear than the more common nitrile gloves :
Re-usable, machine washable and chemical resistance, we picked up a pair of these mechanics gloves at Interbike. With a breathable mesh backing, the palm features a thin chemical resistant polyurethane palm.

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

Abbey bike tools now offers a set of five sockets for use on stubborn suspension fork top caps. they’re priced for the pro’s, but are the first truely bicycle-specific suspension socket we know of :
Suspension fork top caps are commonly made of soft alloy and don’t offer a whole lot of tool purchase – so often end up marred or, worse, stripped when worked on. With this, experienced mechanics commonly grind the bevel off expensive automotive sockets to get a flush and secure fit.

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

The lazer lifebeam 2.0 diy kit with z1 mud-cover clip (the translucent item):
Announced at Eurobike, Lazer and LifeBEAM teamed up to create a DIY helmet upgrade for their Z1, Magma, Blade and other lids. First developed to monitor the vital signs of pilots and astronauts, the Belgian helmet maker is the first company to implement LifeBEAM into cycling helmets.

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 new (this is a pre-production sample) lazer lifebeam 2.0 diy kit installed on a lazer z1 helmet :
The LifeBEAM 2.0 installed on a Lazer Z1

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)

www.lazerhelmets.com / www.bikesportz.com.au (Australia distributor)

Cuore custom Silver jersey and bibs