The Lazer Bullet lets you choose between more aero and more ventilationMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
While designs are ever-improving, helmet choice can often come down to better aero or better ventilation, but not both.
The Lazer Bullet addresses this by allowing riders to shift the balance on the fly, thanks to a clever closable vent that works a bit like a Venetian blind, and which sits behind a sliding plastic grille.
There’s a closable vent behind that grilleMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
The Nello bell is silly but funMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
This isn’t a new product, but a Nello showed up at the office and it’s too amusing not to feature here.
This little spherical ‘bell’ runs on button cells and mounts to your bars with a simple magnetic strap. It’s available in four colours and it weighs 35g.
Pressing down on the top of the sphere produces a surprisingly loud sound, and each time you remove and re-mount the bell, it changes. There are three different sound effects: a traditional tring-tring, a piercing whistle, and an old-timey parp-parp.
The bell changes its sound every time you mount itMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Is it a bit of novelty? Definitely. Is having to remove your bell when you lock up your bike irritating? Perhaps, but the Nello doesn’t cost more than a decent mechanical bell, and it’s making us smile.
Spurcycle’s Tool is a compact, T-handled multi-tool with replaceable bits
If you’re already familiar with Spurcycle, the odds are it’s probably because of the company’s pricey yet near-perfect bicycle bell.
And this time, a minimalist multi-tool is the company’s latest boutique offering. The tool is constructed from titanium and comes with 10 chromed-steel bits, which comprise: 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm hex bits; T10 and T25 torx; and a #2 Philips.
The tool can slide along the T-handle for more leverage or to fit into tight quarters
The T-handle tool and bits fit inside a small pouch, which, in turn, fits nicely in your saddlebag or jersey pocket.
We’ve already used it for some minor fit adjustments while testing bikes. The fit and finish of the sliding T-handle tool is excellent. This shouldn’t come as much of a revelation, though, since the frame component experts at Paragon Machine Works manufacture these tools.
Now Bontrager is offering the same proven tread pattern with its lighter weight ‘XR’ casing. Perfect, it says, for slippery conditions where you want a fast and light setup but don’t need masses of puncture-resistance. While the SE5 weighed 995g in 29×2.3in, these XR5 tyres weigh 847g on our scales. That’s a similar weight to a Maxxis High Roller 2 EXO 29×2.3in.
We found the SE5 to be relatively puncture prone, so we’re keen to see how long these lighter tyres last. We’ll let you know.
£350 still gets you a remarkable amount of bikeOliver Woodman / Immediate Media
Picture a £350 mountain bike from Halfords. Now, you’ve probably got something in mind that’d make you wince at the mere thought of riding it off road. The stuff of nightmares, isn’t it?
Well that shouldn’t be the case with this machine. Thanks to relatively modern trail-bike geometry (including a 68-degree head angle, 740mm bars and 60mm stem) along with grippy, forgiving plus tyres and a fork that actually works, the Vendetta seriously impressed us when we tested it last summer.
It’s not light at 15.5kg, but that needn’t matter if you’re looking to have fun off road and sharpen your MTB skills.
The new bike isn’t much different to the one we reviewed last year, apart from the paint scheme. But given how it rode that’s no bad thing. The good news is the online price for the new bike is just £350 — the old bike was £500 when that review was written. Even better, you can now pick up the ‘old’ bike for £270.
The Shan No 5 is a proper enduro bike made from steelOliver Woodman / Immediate Media
This single-pivot trail/enduro bike is designed and built in Andorra using high-quality in-house steel tubing made from Japanese 4130 chromoly steel. Production Privée claims this offers superior fatigue resistance and a compliant, traction-rich ride.
The suspension offers 140mm of travel via a custom-tuned Fox Float DPS shock, driven by a shock extender which in turn articulates on bearings. This removes the need for the shock eyelet bushings to rotate, which should reduce friction in the suspension.
There are four sizes from S/M to XXL. It’s available in a range of frame options and complete bikes. This complete bike weighs in at 14.7kg. Expect a review in the next few months.
Fizik’s Artica is built for proper coldTom Marvin / Immediate Media
As the name may suggest, these MTB shoes are designed for cold, wet conditions. The upper is claimed to be fully waterproof and yet breathable, thanks to its “Microtex” shell. Fizik’s “speed lacing system” sits under a waterproof zipped cover to keep the weather out.
The sole is carbon-reinforced Nylon (basically plastic reinforced with carbon) and the claimed weight is 463g for an EU size 42.5.
Divide and conquer with the Fassa separatorTom Marvin / Immediate Media
If you want to put your beloved bike(s) in the back of your car or van without them getting scratched or damaged, these could be worth a look.
The fork travel bag protects your dropouts and caliperTom Marvin / Immediate Media
Fassa’s padded bike separator fixes to the seatpost and handlebars using Velcro straps, and shields one side of your bike with robust rectangular pads. They’ll also sell you two pads for a small discount of £110 (one pad is £60) so it’s protected from both sides.
You can then wheel the bike in and out of your car/house/van/garage with the pads fitted, and be safe in the knowledge that it (hopefully) won’t then get damaged when stacked between other bikes in transit.
The drivetrain protector separates an oily drivetrain from everything you don’t want it to touchTom Marvin / Immediate Media