However, there’s no getting around the fact that when it comes to tyre clearances, disc-equipped bikes have the upper hand when compared to bikes fitted with modern dual pivot calipers.
The super chunky brakes are said to be very stiffJack Luke / Immediate Media
These chunky, long drop brakes from Grand Cru, Velo Orange’s house component brand, aims to bring back a bit of fat-tyred versatility to the rim-braked road bike, with the capacious calipers offering clearances for tyres up to 37mm wide.
The chunky brake arms are said to be super stiff and we’re really looking forward to trying these out.
The brakes have tonnes of clearanceJack Luke / Immediate Media
Like much of Velo Orange’s offerings, the brakes are available in either black or silver finishes.
The Zero 29 is Bird’s first 29erMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Bird is best known for its 650b bikes, only moving into 29er territory late last year. The Zero 29 is the brand’s first 29er hardtail, and it comes with a pretty interesting spec.
Its geometry is aggressive: long, low and slack, with a slammed 301mm height bottom bracket and a 63.9-degree head angle combined with short (42–44mm) offset forks.
Throw in some short chainstays (435–440mm) and a Boost-width rear end held together by a 148x12mm SRAM Rear Maxle, and you’ve got a super playful and robust trail hardtail.
There are plenty of other things to talk about with this bike, like the Hope Pro4 hubs that come as standard, and the inclusion of a Charger RC damper at the entry-level. Stay tuned for a full first-look coming to BikeRadar soon.
PRO’s cable routing kit looks like a multi-tool but separates into its component partsMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Routing internal cables and hoses ranks pretty low on most people’s lists of fun things to do, so anything that makes the task less of a headache is certainly welcome.
PRO’s handy little tool set looks like a multi-tool, but it’s actually a cable routing kit designed for workshop use. The individual parts of the kit detach from the assembly, catering to regular cable housings, electronic groupset wiring, and hydraulic hoses.
NamedSport’s energy drink mix is pretty reasonably priced and will appeal to those looking to avoid additivesMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
NamedSport is the rapidly growing Italian brand that uses its roots in natural medicine to create sports nutrition products from the best ingredients available.
Thanks to its founding partnership with Named Spa, the brand focuses on creating products that not only aid performance but are also free of the usual nasties that can be found in many highly processed foods.
The HydraFit electrolyte energy drink mix aims to provide 35g of carbohydrates for an instant energy fix, while also giving you a dose of nine vitamins to keep you going. These include magnesium and potassium to aid muscle function, vitamin C to reduce fatigue, and vitamin B6 to increase the metabolism.
For health-conscious cyclists who need an extra boost without overly-processed ingredients, the HydraFit electrolyte drink is free of aspartame, acesulfame lactose and gluten.
A 400g tub contains 20 servings and comes with a free, limited edition Giro Elite 500ml sports bottle.
The Beryl Burner is a brake light for bikesMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Designed for city cycling, the Burner Brake is an interesting wee item.
Firstly, it’s pretty damn bright with 200 lumens and a daylight flash mode. Secondly, it’s compact and has a quick release rubber strap attachment so it can clip on to pretty much any seatpost. Thirdly, it’s USB rechargeable.
The biggest two features however are the fact that it’s waterproof and that it can detect when you’re slowing down. Yes, you heard right. It’s really is a brake light for cyclists.
The manufacturer, Beryl, states that a braking algorithm and, presumably, an internal accelerometer, detect when you’re slowing down and dial up the brightness, which sounds like a great idea. It also has five flashing modes.
Externally, the Coros SafeSound looks more or less like any other road helmetMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Available in Road, Mountain and Urban variants, the SafeSound is Coros’s new range of helmets which incorporate Bluetooth audio, accident detection and a rear light.
A bar-mounted remote controls the Coros’ functionsMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
As the name implies, safety is a priority and the Ear Opening Sound System works by essentially squirting audio at your earholes from small speakers attached to the straps, but not blocking them like conventional headphones.
The helmet’s functions are controlled by a small bar-mounted remote and it links to your phone via Bluetooth. Battery life is claimed to be up to 10 hours.
Tiny speakers on the straps direct sound into your ears, while a microphone is tucked out of the wind at the front of the helmetMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
The SafeSound Road manages to do a good job of looking like a normal helmet. This size large weighs 364g, which is heavier than a standard lid, but by no means ridiculous.
The Rudy Project Defender is one swish set of shadesJosh Evans / Immediate Media
Vincenzo Nibali and his Bahrain-Merida teammates first started racing in Rudy Project’s latest sunglasses during the Vuelta a España earlier this year. Rudy Project says the Defender sunglasses are a blend of “innate racing attitude with the most advanced eyewear technology” which results in a pair of sunglasses packed with features and adjustability.
Available in an array of colour and lens choices, the Defender features an adjustable nose pad and temple tips to ensure a secure fit for an array of face and head shapes. Photographed here is the light adaptive ImpactX Photochromic lenses, also available is the RP Optics lenses.
By removing the lower section, or bumpers, of the frame, lenses can be swapped out between low and bright light conditions. The bumpers can also be changed for alternative colours should you scratch the frame or fancy a different look. The temple tips and Rudy Project logos are also interchangeable.
Multiple vents should mean minimal foggingJosh Evans / Immediate Media
Multiple vents around the frame and the ergonomic design aims to improve airflow between the glasses and face to prevent any fogging.
Defender with smoke black lenses: from £129.99 / $199 / AU$279