Remember when Christmas was so exciting that you ruptured all your internal organs in greedy anticipation of gifts you definitely didn’t deserve? It’s hard to reproduce that degree of excitement in adult life, but you can take solace in buying expensive things to adorn your bicycles and to distract you from the relentless march of time. Yes, ladies and gents, it’s our penultimate pre-Yule 11spd, and we’ve got all sorts of lovely new things that won’t fit in your Christmas stocking unless you have feet like Canadian canoes…
New mountain bikes* and kit
Specialized CruX Elite X1
*No, this isn’t a mountain bike. Deal with it.
Most cyclocross fans will already be familiar with Specialized’s popular Crux range of bikes. This one, the Elite X1, sits dead in the middle of the 2017 line up. Its carbon frame uses the same World Championship-winning geometry as its spendier S-Works sibling and wears a similar double dip paint job as the 2016 Crux line. Definitely worthy of a mention is the142x12mm rear axle, marking a move from Specialized’s unpopular choice to fit a narrower thru-axle to last year’s frame.
The Crux Elite X1 is a great looking bike Oliver Woodman/Immediate Media
Spec highlights include SRAM’s Rival X1 groupset and hydraulic discs, DT Swiss’ popular R460 thru-axle wheels and plenty of own-brand finishing kit from the big S. Just take a minute to enjoy the look of this thing. We love the green and red contrast and the double dip paintwork that’s been carried over from last year’s bike.
It’s already done the rounds with one of our testers so keep your eyes peeled for a full review soon on BikeRadar.
- £2,300 / $2,900 / AU$4,200
Bontrager Foray shoes
Bontrager’s Foray shoes are also available in other colours Oliver Woodman/Immediate Media
In for a forthcoming shoe group test are these shiny kicks from Bontrager. The Foray aims to be a reliable trail shoe that won’t cost the earth.
Bontrager promises a stiff sole and durable upper to the Forays, while textured sections at the toes and heels should protect from any rogue trail debris. Underneath there’s plenty of deep tread as well as space for studs, while BOA dials make for fast and proven adjustment to keep your feet exactly where they need to be.
These will soon be on the feet of our tame cross-country rider Joe Norledge, so expect a full review soon. Our UK size 11, Euro 45 test samples tipped the scales at 753g.
- £129.99 / $159.99 / AU$TBC
Effetto Mariposa Giustaforza II 2-16 Pro Deluxe Torque Wrench (Anniversary Edition)
This limited edition Giustaforza torque wrench marks 10 years of this tool’s production Oliver Woodman/Immediate Media
Fed up of guessing the disturbingly low torque values on your expensive, lightweight components? Perhaps you’ve already paid the price of your arm’s lack of torque calibration? If you said yes to either of the above then this one’s for you.
The Giustaforza is a bicycle-specific adjustable torque wrench that’ll switch between 2-16Nm. The original Giustaforza torque wrench was actually the first product sold by the company, hence this limited edition gunmetal grey version.
Inside the practical hard case is the tool itself plus a lovely greeting from Italy along with a conversion chart and all of the tool bits (and likely more) that you’d require for torqueing up most bicycle bits. This one will take pride of place in our toolbox.
Wheels Manufacturing Universal Bottom Bracket Press
The Wheels Manufacturing bearing press is here to make light work of installing new bottom bracket bearings to your press-fit frame Oliver Woodman/Immediate Media
Even if you’re not a tool nerd, it’s hard to deny the beauty of this particular workshop wonder. Finished to the usual Wheels MFG standard, it’s beautifully machined in the company’s signature red anodising.
Consisting of two drifts, a pair of machined aluminium handles and a half inch threaded bar; it’s all you need to fit a whole host of press-fit style bottom brackets.
From Trek’s narrow-eyed BB90/BB95 shells all the way up to the 46mm parts used on PF30 and many other designs, it’ll also accommodate for 22mm, 24mm and 30mm spindles.
The steps of each drift are laser-etched with dimensions meaning the tool also doubles as a bottom bracket shell sizing guide.
Lazer Revolution full face kit
Hot from Lazer’s Belgium HQ, this kit converts the Revolution helmet into a fully certified full-face lid Oliver Woodman/Immediate Media
You may well remember Lazer’s Revolution helmet (should you not, here’s a recap). Introduced late last year. It was pitched as a direct competitor to the likes of Bell’s Super 2R thanks to its ability to switch to and from a full-face lid. In reality, the chinguard wasn’t ready for production and it’s since taken a little while for it to appear.
Now, hot off the back of a Lazer press trip we’ve secured a sample of the kit required to change the Revolution from an open to full-face lid. Six flathead screws have to be positioned and tightened to fit the chinguard so it’s not the clip on/clip off affair of some of its competition, but there’s a flipside to that inconvenience — with its chinguard in place, the Revolution will pass the full ASTM safety standard for full-face helmets, something that the Bell does not do.
Also included with the Lazer kit is an additional, larger visor. This has been included to balance the Revolution’s proportions once the chinguard is in place.
- £75 / international pricing TBC
New road bikes and kit
Giant Road-E+ 1
The Giant Road-E+ 1 Matthew Allen / Immediate Media
Giant’s e-road bike (road e-bike?) made quite an impression at its launch back in July and now we’ve got hold of one to have some fun with back at base. The 1 is the higher-specced of the two available models, with RS685 levers and Ultegra derailleurs in addition to the nominally 250W Yamaha SyncDrive motor unit found on all of Giant’s latest e-bikes.
The Giant Road-E+ 1 Matthew Allen / Immediate Media
Assisted road bikes remain something of a niche, but we’re looking forward to finding out what the Road-E+ is like to live with and whether it can coexist with ‘normal’ bikes without causing undue friction.
IRC road tubeless tyres
Now available in the UK, IRC offers some useful-looking road tubeless options Jack Luke / Immediate Media
Road tubeless is like Half-Life 3 in that it’s always coming, but seemingly never quite here. Leaving aside the pros and cons, the biggest hurdle to overcome has simply been the availability and choice of tyres, but that’s now changing with more and more brands coming on board.
IRC tyres have been around for decades but the brand had, until recently, disappeared entirely from the UK market. Now they’re back thanks to Malcolm Borg (yes, that chap on the forum who builds wheels) at The Cycle Clinic/Velo Distribution , and included in the line-up are a number of tubeless road options.
The Roadlite Tubeless and Formula X-Guard are both tough, all purpose road tyres, with the former weighing 338g and offering a butyl inner coating for maximum air retention, and the latter coming in at 292g with a mesh puncture-resistant layer. There are lighter road options in the range too, along with the Serac CX tyre which is available with mud-friendly tread that looks promising for UK conditions
- Roadlite Tubeless 23/25mm: £45 / $TBC / AU$TBC
- Formula X-Guard: £40 / $TBC / AU$TBC
Just a smidge of metal where it matters Jack Luke / Immediate Media
Carbon-Ti is another brand that the afore-mentioned Mr Borg is bringing to these shores so you can pimp your ride nineties-style with lashings of carbon, anodised aluminium and yes, Ti. For your delectation, how about some carbon chainrings weighing just 92g for a 52t or 32g for a 36t?
Or perhaps 38g of Ti skewers? 13g of fork expander? There’s even a carbon top cap for crying out loud, weighing just 6g including the bolt! All this and more could be yours…
Carbon-Ti has got your ano needs covered Jack Luke / Immediate Media
- Skewers: £76
- Fork expander: £22.24
- Chainring 36t: £182.71
- Chainring 52t: £208.71
- (Pricing in other markets TBC)
GoPro Pro Handlebar / Seatpost / Pole Mount
The GoPro Pro Handlebar / Seatpost / Pole Mount Jack Luke / Immediate Media
Someone fire the person in charge of product names at GoPro, seriously. They’ve gone and put so much information in this one that there’s almost nothing left to say. Yes, it’s a mount for your GoPro that fits bars, seatposts or other round pole-like objects. Yes, those of us in the UK get thoroughly shafted on price compared to other markets — this is not cheap. But according to the BikeRadar video team, this is the mount to have for Serious Work.
It’s made from aluminium, weighs 37g and lets you pan and tilt to your heart’s content before locking the camera securely in place with an Allen key. Grippy rubber shims mean that unlike other metal mounts, this one actually stays put during use. What more could you want?
- £64.99 / $59.99 / AU$94.95
Flaer Revo Via
The Flaer Revo Via promises to keep you lubricated Jack Luke / Immediate Media
Do you ride in really terrible conditions? Are you chronically lazy? If you answered yes to either or both of those questions the Flaer Revo Via might be for you. It’s an on-board chain-oiling device that promises to keep your drivetrain running as efficiently as possible by drizzling slippery stuff where it’s needed most. Think of it as a sort of electronic gland secreting lubricant on your moving parts as your ride; a benevolent, friction-killing tumour for your bicycle.
If this all sounds very familiar it’s probably because we’ve actually seen a variant of the Revo Via before — we reported on the Scottoiler Cycle S1 last year. We’re waiting to hear back about any updates to the design, but the principle remains the same: lube is stored in a small reservoir that sits on the downtube or seat tube and is pumped at intervals onto your chain via a small tube connected to a nozzle on your lower jockey wheel.
Professional journalist, do not attempt Jack Luke / Immediate Media
Flaer claims power savings of up to 12W and the LR1 lithium batteries are supposed to last for at least 150 hours of riding. The device weighs 130g (dry) including hardware. Is this the next big thing in drivetrain efficiency or the answer to a question nobody was asking? Watch this space.
- £250 / $310 / AU$422 (converted amounts)
Silca T-Handle Folio
The Silca T-Hande Folio Jack Luke / Immediate Media
There are tools, and there are tools. The T-Handle Folio is a set of nice wrenches in the same way that Beethoven’s Fifth is a decent tune — the description doesn’t really do it justice. Covering all the important sizes of Allen keys (from 2 to 10mm) along with T25 and T30 Torx, these are some of the loveliest pieces of workshop bling we’ve ever laid hands on.
Just look at them. LOOK AT THEM Jack Luke / Immediate Media
They are beautifully finished with the forged main shaft perfectly mated to a smoothly-sliding cross-member that centres on a firm but subtle detent. Because this is Silca, these wrenches come in a lovely ‘waxed duck canvas’ folder that can be draped artfully over a workstand or top tube. Christmas present? Sorted.