Head to the Internet Movie Database and you can learn that Friday is the day “two homies, Smokey and Craig, smoke a dope dealer’s weed and try to figure a way to get the $200 they owe to the dealer by 10pm that same night. In that time, they smoke more weed, get jacked, and they get shot at in a drive-by”.
If your Friday isn’t proving nearly as interesting as that 1995 film (7.3/10 stars!) sounds, we at BikeRadar have a little something to see you through the remaining hours of your working week. So cue up some Ice Cube, grab a cup of a coffee, and sit back for this week’s round-up of new bikes and kit…
Best new road bike gear
Cinelli Mash Parallax
Remember 2008, when fixie crews roamed the savannah, picking off stragglers from the mainstream herd of cycling? When youths in bars compared gear inches and talked in hushed tones of the god they called ‘NJS’? The attention may have shifted to gravel, fat bikes and ironic cyclocross, but fixed gears certainly haven’t gone away. The Mash Parallax is the latest in a line of collaborations between Italian bike maker Cinelli and San Francisco team-cum-bike-shop MASH, with the latter supplying its graphic design skills.
Sold as a frameset, the Parallax is a “criterium track frame” (think Red Hook or similar), with steep angles, a low-offset fork and a high bottom bracket so you don’t ground a pedal as you lean the bike over. It’s constructed from Columbus Airplane aluminium tubes, and comes with a fork that’s drilled for a front brake, but plugged and painted over so it won’t mess with the aesthetics if you aren’t fitting one.
Keeping with the fixie theme, the achingly trendy amongst you might be interested in this neat little mudguard (fender!) from Ass Saver, the Fendor Bendor. If it looks familiar, it’s because this very same product used to be sold by its inventor, Olaf Wit of Wit Industries, who’s now moved on to other projects.
This guard attaches to the seat tube of your bike with a simple Velcro strap, passing between the seat stays and resting on the rear brake bridge. Like the regular Ass Saver, it won’t be a substitute for full mudguards, but it should keep the worst of the spray out of your butt crack. When you aren’t using it, it folds back down to a small rectangle.
Zinn & The Art of Road Bike Maintenance, 5th edition
Lennard Zinn may work for the enemy, but we’ll be the first to acknowledge his contributions to the dark art of bike fixin’. His bible for the home (and pro) mechanic is now in its fifth edition, with updates covering all the latest tech like thru-axles, disc brakes, press fit bottom brackets, SRAM eTAP and more. There are almost 500 pages in this impressive volume, which is extensively illustrated to help you tackle virtually any bike repair task.
Is wearing full pro kit just not quite enough for you? Thanks to Shimano component brand and Team Sky sponsor PRO, you can now jazz up your bike in your favourite team’s colours too by fitting this special edition cockpit. Beneath the blue stripes lie a standard Vibe 7S bar and stem, weighing in at 276g and 136g respectively. (44cm bar, 110mm stem)
We’ve been using SealSkinz oversocks for a while now and while they aren’t amazingly durable, we’ve been impressed by their water-resisting abilities and their zip-free practicality. They were originally available in black only, but Sealskinz now offers three hi-vis options – pink, yellow, and the orange pictured here. You certainly won’t be missed in these!
The oversocks are constructed just like the standard socks using a waterproof membrane, but with cut-outs for the heel and the cleat. We’ve found that combining the over and under-sock keeps all but the most relentless of deluges on the outside.
Canyon has impressed us again and again with its stunningly good value bikes, but we tend to think of it as a brand for enthusiast cyclists rather than everyday commuters. It makes some very cool urban bikes though, and this latest collaboration with British saddle specialist Brooks is no exception. A true everyday commuter, the Commuter Brooks 150 packs in a host of practical features, including a clean-running belt drive that’s paired with a low-maintenance Shimano Alfine internally-geared hub, dynamo lights, disc brakes, and a clever combined rear rack and mudguard. Naturally Brooks supplies the saddle (a Cambium C15), along with GP1 150 grips and a Land’s End waterproof pannier.
This zesty little number is called the Surplus, and it’s an all-new model from Felt. Rather than jump quickly on the plus bike bandwagon, Felt took its time to work out where fattened-up rubber would work in its range.
Designed to be attractive to beginners and seasoned trail riders alike, the Surplus rolls on 3in Schwalbe Rocket Rons that are matched to 45mm WTB rims. This range-topping model also packs a 120mm RockShox Yari fork, 1×11 Shimano XT drivetrain along with Shimano Deore stoppers and a KS LEV Integra dropper post in a package that tips the scales at 12.4kg/27.34lb.
Got a little time to kill on your lunch break but can’t get out on your bike? This little game from Red Bull should keep you amused for a while.
Play as the likes of Martin Söderström, Darren Berrecloth or Rachel Atherton in enduro, downhill and slopestyle events; you can even upgrade your bike with real world parts. The latest update even adds Red Bull’s own Rampage event to the list of 69 tracks.
In many ways it reminds us of Downhill Domination on the PS2, and the best bit… it’s free to download on iPhone and Android.
The latest signature shoes of Aussie downhiller Sam Hill have just arrived with us. Green highlights aside, these stealthy shoes are based on FiveTen’s regular Impact low, and get the same ultra grippy S1 Stealth rubber that kickstarted Five Ten’s success in the mountain bike world.
Five Ten worked closely with Sam to design a shoe that would perform as well as the original Impacts – shoes that Hill wore to take the Downhill World Championship title five times.
This minimal mudguard from Tacx is particularly clever. Thanks to a subtle quick release attachment that clamps directly to a saddle’s rails, the blade of the guard simply clicks into (or out of) place. It weighs just 94g and is stiff enough to not bob around on rough surfaces yet will bend rather than shatter in the event of a crash. A smaller version of the same design is also available for road bikes.
Here’s the scenario. You’re sitting in the trail centre café, relaxing after a day of fun on the trails, when you glance out of the window and straight at the empty space where your pride and joy used to be resting. It’s a horrible feeling. But the inconvenience of lugging a great big chain around with you over the day isn’t really a great solution.
Enter the FLX from Hiplok. It’s a small wearable lock with a retractable 1m steel cable and a 3 digit combination lock. It’s small enough to pop in pocket, and it also features a clip so you can hook it onto bags and pockets. The integrated red LED light is also handy if you’re caught out after dark and need to ride back along the road to get home.
It’s never going to put off a determined thief, but it’s enough to deter the grab-and-go type of thefts you can get at trail centres and cafés.