11spd: This week’s best new bike gear

Thule VeloCompact, Scott RC shoes, Shimano pedals and more in this week’s roundup

Ah Friday, the day we all love that only occurs once the other six days are done. For us, it means we show you the latest gear to reach our hands, this time coming from our Sydney, Australia offices. From a smart watch to an oval chainring to latex shoe covers, we bring you 11 fresh products. Let’s go!

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New mountain bike gear

Thule 927 VeloCompact towbar mount rack

Holding up to four bikes, thule’s new 927 velocompact towball mount rack is packed with features :

It may come at a premium, but if you own a tow ball and want to carry up to four bikes, you should find years of use in the VeloCompact. Supporting each bike’s weight by the wheels, this rack is well suited to carrying a wide variety of rides, including the most delicate carbon models.

Grabbing the towball with locking jaws that are likely props from Alien vs Predator, the new VeloCompact locks onto a towball unlike anything we’ve seen before. From here, it’ll carry up to 60kg total without flinching.

Fully loaded, the whole rack can be swung downward for boot access :

Once loaded, you can still access the boot without issue

Even the longest 29ers appear to fit fine with sliding wheel trays, while the adjustable arms can be moved to grab onto just about any surface of a bike. Even fully loaded, just step on the back of the rack and the whole thing swings down for boot or rear door access.

With indicators, brake lights and a license plate holder integrated into the base, this one is ready to safely transport you and your mates’ prides and joys.

While we’ll be testing the three-bike version that can be expanded to four bikes, there’s also a smaller (and cheaper) two-bike version available.

www.thule.com

£380 / $N/A / AU$879

Shimano XT M8000 Race pedals

Shimano’s new xt m8000 pedals receive a few updates :

The launch of Shimano’s XT 11-speed groupset also included some subtly updated pedals. We received the M8000 Race version for review, with the pair weighing in at 339g.

Compared with the previous M780 model, the Races offer a .8mm wider pedal body for a claimed 7.7 percent increase in shoe-to-pedal contact. Additionally, the new models are .5mm lower in platform height. Otherwise, it’s pretty much the same proven 25-year old SPD design that remains.

£TBC / $120 / AU$149

www.shimano.com

OneUp Traction ring