Nothing of note has happened this week so we’re feeling pretty chilled in the BikeRadar office, just tweaking our Christmas lists and doing the occasional pumpkin-spice fart to pass the time. The working week is nearly at an end so to get you through those final, gaseous hours, here are 11 bits of bikery for your perusal. It’s 11spd, folks…
- Best mountain bike: how to choose the right one for you
- Best women’s road bike: a guide to help you get the right bike for you
- How to get your road bike winter-ready
New mountain bikes and gear
Merida Big Nine Team 2017
A wider bar plus a shift to SRAM’s top-drawer XX1 Eagle 12-speed drivetrain combined with the ability to take on a dropper post reflect the progressively gnarly path that cross-country racing finds itself on.
We’ve already handed it across to our lean, mean cross-country machine Joe ‘mountain goat’ Norledge, who will keep you updated.
£5,500 / €5,699
Mudhugger The Left One front mudguard for Lefty forks
To fit the guard it’s necessary to fit a starnut to the bottom of the fork’s steerer, along with a spacer, washer and bolt. Installation is a faff that is made endlessly easier by the fact this additional hardware comes pre-packaged with each Lefty Mudhugger. A useful YouTube tutorial vid has been made for anyone looking to take this task on. The complete kit tipped our scales at exactly 135g.
£35 / international pricing TBC (international shipping available)
Scicon Race Rain kit bag
Split into separate labeled sections, there are dedicated compartments for your jersey and shorts, jackets and vests plus shoes, gloves and any warmers you may be carrying too. The central shoe section is large enough to easily swallow a pair of UK size 12s and there’s a zipped side pocket for any additional items you may want to carry.
Two carry handles mean you can lug it around in a few different ways but some will probably be disappointed by the lack of shoulder strap. Usefully, when empty, the Race Rain Bag packs down totally flat. Although sold with the roadie in mind, we think it’s a good pick for ‘cross riders too.
Oh, and don’t worry, you don’t have to be a Brit called O. Woodman either, Scicon will customise the bag with your name and national flag at no extra cost. Limited edition versions are available from teams such as Etixx Quick-Step, Wiggle High5 and Tinkoff.
£95 / US$140 / €120 / AU$TBC
Maxxis Minion DHR II Wide Trail tyre
These are also tubeless ready (TR) and use the firm’s 3C Maxx Terra and feature Maxxis’ EXO protection sidewalls, meaning boosted abrasion and cut resistance comes as standard. Currently they’re available for 26in, 650b and 29in wheels in a choice of two compounds. We’ve passed them over to MBUK for a good hard thrashing.
£60 / US$79 / AU$TBC
FitBark Dog Activity Monitor
Poppy the dog, BikeRadar’s Editor of Chewing Things, Chasing Stuff and Sniffing, has stepped up to the challenge of testing the device, which comes in a number of colours. She’s obviously opted for pink, which matches her delicate, almost flower-like nature. She’ll be passing her feedback to us in due course.
£59.95 / US$69.95 / AU$TBC
New road bikes and kit
Focus Paralane AL 105
Here at BikeRadar we love versatile bikes and the announcement of the Paralane all-roader early this year certainly piqued our interest. We’ve now got our hands on the aluminium version of this fat-tyred disc road bike, kitted out with Shimano 105 components, RS505 hydraulic levers, and DT Swiss-rimmed alloy clinchers. 28mm tyres and mudguards (fenders!) come as standard, and geometry is very much at the endurance end of the spectrum, with a 165mm head tube on this 54cm bike.The Paralane’s frameset is built for compliance with a wide, flattened top tube, similarly-profiled seat stays, and a super skinny 25.4mm seatpost. It sports 12mm thru-axles that use Focus’ RAT quick-release design, and at the dropouts it neatly swallows the mudguard stays, securing them with grub screws (there are conventional threaded bosses as well).