Sorry to disappoint, but it looks like it’ll be a few days before you return to work again. While you wait, you may as well get on your bike and try to enjoy yourself.
To help settle you into your weekend, we’ve got 11 new products from around the globe to check out. And yes, we’re aware of the irony in having three bikes, none of them have 11-speed drivetrains, in a feature called 11spd. Please forgive us.
New road cycling gear
Specialized Allez E5 Sport
The frame features strikingly shaped E5 Premium tubing, with the welds smoothed off at key places. Shimano Sora nine-speed shifters and derailleurs handle the shifting duties across the wide-range 11-32t cassette, with 50/34t compact chainrings up front.
The Specialized Body Geometry Toupe Sport is a proven saddle that many owners of other bike brands would potentially swap to, while the Espoir Sport 25c rubber they’re wrapped in appears to have a decent level of puncture resistance.
Our Aussie team have just begun testing this, along with five comparable rides to find who’s offering the best budget road bike at the mo.
$970 / £TBC / AU$1,399
Shimano WR-84 women’s road shoes
From afar, the shoe looks just like Shimano’s new RP9 shoe, including its ‘Surround’ upper design featuring a reversed buckle design that helps to use the shoe’s upper for greater foot support.
Designed for any three-bolt cleat system (Shimano SPD-SL, Look, Time, etc), the carbon sole is built with pedaling efficiency and low weight in mind. Our sample pair weighs 480g (size 38).
Where the WR-84 is different to comparable men’s shoes is in its fit. With this, the last features a narrower heel cup, narrower volume, lower volume toe box and added support at the arch.
$200 / £TBC / AU$259
Nike Show X1 and Skylon Ace XV cycling eyewear
The ‘Max Optics’ lenses in Nike’s eyewear are said to be completely UV protected, distortion free and impact resistant. Additionally, the lenses feature a hydrophobic coating for a scratch-resistant surface that repels water, dust, sweat and other stuff you don’t want in your vision.
With a large shield lens, the Show X1 is claimed to offer wide peripheral vision, adjustable and rubber-wrapped temple arms, ventilated rubber nose-bridge and interchangeable lenses.
The Skylon Ace XV features separate interchangeable lenses. Compared with previous models, the new version features a vented nosepiece, a deeper and wider lens shape and a reduction in weight. Our sample weighs 25g.
- Show X1: $196 / £N/A / AU$TBC
- Skylon Ace XV: $116 / £N/A / AU$TBC
SpinCycle Season 3 Featherlight kit
The jersey is made of a lightweight MITI Spa fabric that offers a soft feel to the skin and with plenty of breathability. Our sample is the ‘half sleeve’ version, which reaches past the biceps (a growing trend) – and there’s a full sleeve version too. The YKK full-length zipper adds further quality to this garment. Out back, there are generous rear pockets and a large reflective tag.
Matched in navy blue style, the bibs feature a MITI Spa compression fabric that offers 50+ UPF factor sun protection for use in the heat of summer. A chamois sourced from Elastic Interface appears to be generous in its padding without being too thick to move with you. The bib straps themselves are a Lycra-like material, with a wide and flat fit. Lastly, the 8cm compression gripper at the leg feels to be without any silicone or similar grippers that can wear.
- Half sleeve kit: $220 / £150 / AU$310
- Full sleeve kit: $240 / £160 / AU$330
VeloToze toe covers
Where we’ve found the shoe covers to be a real fiddle to get on, the toe covers are quite simple and won’t have you missing the start of a group ride. Our review on these and the full-length shoe covers isn’t far away.
$13 / £TBC / AU$TBC
New mountain bike gear
IceToolz Ocarina torque wrench
Stored within its handle, the tool includes 3, 4, 5 and 6mm fittings with Torx-25 bits. Its ‘Ocarina’ name comes from its shape, which bears resemblance to an ancient wind music instrument.
$TBC / £TBC / AU$TBC
Reid Ares fat bike
As of October, Reid now offers a range of value-orientated fat bikes, with the Ares providing a good example. Although the low price might suggest otherwise, the Ares is designed for off-road and adventure use.
Marking out its fat bike credentials, the alloy hydroformed frame and fork fit Kenda Juggernaut 26x4in tyres with spare room for packed snow. The 80mm wide rims are drilled for weight savings, while the Shimano Deore 2×10 drivetrain and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes are extremely unexpected for the money.
Of course, something has to give at this price, and that’s reflected in the 15.33kg weight of our 17in-sized sample.
While right now there’s just a 17in frame option, come January 2016, Reid will offer its fat bikes in a range of four frame sizes. That’s a key difference compared with other low budget fat bikes we’ve seen lately. It’s worth noting that the brand is sold through distributors outside of Australia, and while still high in value in other regions, it doesn’t deliver quite the same market-spanking prices that the Aussies enjoy.
$1060 / £TBC / AU$799
Nukeproof Pulse Team DH bike 2016
The 2016 Medium is similar to a 2015 Large, and so on, up to the generously roomy XL size, which sports a tall-person-friendly 465mm reach figure. It’s also been lightened; our Medium sample weighed in at 36lb (16.3kg). This team build comes complete with the familiar SRAM suspension, gearing and braking equipment; Mavic wheels, Nukeproof finishing kit and Schwalbe tyres (they’re the proper Vertstar ones too) that the pro team uses. There are also the Sam Hill signature grips and extra-grippy saddle to remind you of the bike’s racing pedigree. Not that this bike is identical to Sam’s, of course, but it’s pretty close. Good luck matching his race-pace, though!
£5000 (international pricing N/A)
Adidas Terrex Trail Cross shoes
£95 / €130 / $140.00 / AU$TBC
New commuter gear
Levi’s Commuter 511 slim fit jeans
Compared with a standard pair of slim-fit 511 jeans, this cycle-friendly version features a double layered seat and back pockets; a dirt- and water-repellent coating; D-lock holder; reflective details at the legs and a higher back rise to prevent the dreaded plumber’s crack while riding. Many of these features remain hidden to the casual onlooker, and so to them you’re just wearing a casual pair of jeans.