11spd: This week’s best new bikes and gear

A titanium road bike, a folding workstand, some electric bike-approved tyres and more

11spd collage, showing a bike, some tyres, pedals and mudguards

This week there’s been some whispering about this small thing we did… Bike of the Year? You may have heard of it.

Advertisement

We’ve announced all the winners now, so if you haven’t caught up on all the wonderful bikes we reviewed in this huge undertaking, you’re missing out. But don’t worry, as always we’ve got you covered:

We also brought you the latest news, and a full review, of Rotor’s latest exciting innovation, a 1×13 groupset, Alex got to ride the new Orange Five Factory out in Punta Ala, Italy, a revamp of the ever-popular Five, plus Rob has been riding SRAM’s new G2 brakes, which were announced yesterday, and has a full review of this evolution of the popular Ultimate mountain bike brake.

Finally, with the Spring Classics well underway, we’ve got all the information you need on how to watch them live on TV — the E3 Binckbank Classic and Gent-Wevelgem take place today and Sunday, respectively.

Mucky Nutz MugGuards

Mucky Nutz MugGuards
These MugGuards are Mucky Nutz’s first foray into the 3D fender world
Mildred Locke / Immediate Media Co

This is the first of two sets of mudguards we’re featuring this week: with April and its associated showers on the horizon, we wanted to make sure you’ve got plenty of options to prevent your bottoms getting soggy.

These brand new MugGuards from Mucky Nutz are the brand’s first venture into the 3D fender market. They come in two sizes and are constructed from customised PP polymer with a UV additive, which should mean maximum durability.

They have some well thought-out features, including a forward lip to minimise spray, a recessed bridge area to increase tyre clearance, a wide upper-arm profile to protect seals and stanchions from mud and grit, six fastenings to prevent rattling, and a gloss finish on the underside for easy cleaning.

Both sizes are compatible with 26, 27.5 and 29in wheels, and should fit most standard and boost-suspension fork/tyre combos up to three inches wide.

The short guard measures 400mm and weighs 83g, and is generally recommended as a year-round option. The long guard is 600mm, weighs 112g and would make a great option in winter or really rough conditions.

  • MugGuard Long £24.99 / $33.20 / AU$N/A
  • MugGuard Short £19.99 / $26.56 / AU$N/A

Thule UpTake 8L hydration pack

Thule UpTake 8L hydration pack - front
The Thule UpTake hydration pack has room enough for 2.5 litres of water and all the essentials you’d need to take with you
Mildred Locke / Immediate Media Co

The UpTake is Thule’s versatile hydration pack, which features a magnetic hands-free return hose, convenient pockets and a clean, streamlined design.

The 8L pack comes with a 2.5L water bladder with a slide closure for easy cleaning, as well as a locking bite valve to prevent leakage.

The size is pretty decent, allowing for plenty of water while also providing space to pack a pump, tools, extra layers and those all-important snacks.

There’s an external zipped pocket to hold valuables in case you need easy access to your phone or keys, and a reflective trim should help you stay visible in low light.

The bag features a perforated foam harness and back panel, as well as articulating shoulder straps to help you stay cool, and the integrated waist strap should add extra stability.

  • £90 / $99.95 / AU$TBC

Genesis Day One 20

Genesis Day One 20 2019
The Genesis Day One 20 is quite a looker, with a reflective geometric pattern to keep riders more visible in low light
Mildred Locke / Immediate Media Co

Chunky tyres? Check. 35mm, to be precise. Steel frameset? Of course! In the form of Genesis’ double-butted chromoly steel named after Mjölnir (Thor’s Hammer – Chris Hemsworth not included) and chromoly fork. Room for mudguards too? Way ahead of you.

The drivetrain is a super-simple single chainring and eight-speed Shimano Nexus hub, for minimal maintenance, y’know? This delivers a gear range of about 30-92 inches (roughly the same as 50/34 and 14-29), though for full-on touring you could easily fit a bigger sprocket.

The Day One 20 may look fairly muted, but don’t be fooled: the geometric pattern is reflective for added night-time safety.

Front and rear rack mounts, cable disc brakes and Genesis-branded stem, bar, seatpost and saddle round out the package for this well-priced steel commuter-y all-rounder.

  • £999.99 / UK only

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyTsFNAKMcc

Surly 8-pack front rack

Surly 8-pack front rack
Surly’s 8-pack front rack is a great option for smaller bikes so as not to make them appear overloaded
Mildred Locke / Immediate Media Co

Some of you may remember me showing off my long-term test bike, the Surly Bridge Club. I’ll be updating the site soon with what I’ve been up to with it, but for now here’s a little something I’ve called in to add to it.

Surly’s 8-pack rack is so named because it’s perfect for transporting ‘a sixer from the beer store’ — it’s oh so American and I love it.

At 270x160mm, the platform is large enough to carry various cargo, but small enough to avoid overloading your front end. This is especially important if, like me, you’re a smaller rider and your iddy biddy XS bike would just look weird with more of a ‘butcher’s bike’ vibe going on.

With this front rack, Surly promises its characteristic durability, versatility and repairability. Its many barrel braze-ons allow for as much bungee cording as your heart desires, or simply bolting on all the lights you can get your hands on.

The 8-pack rack is available in black and silver, constructed from tubular 4130 chromoly and weighs 505kg.

It’s compatible with disc brakes, up to 29in wheels and has a weight limit of 13.6kg (30lb).

  • £129.99 / $125 / AU$241.15

Ritchey WCS Carbon Echelon pedals

Ritchey WCS Carbon Echelon pedals
Ritchey’s Echelon pedals have had a carbon update, bringing their overall weight down to 222g a pair
Mildred Locke / Immediate Media Co

Ritchey’s Echelon pedals have recently been updated to include a carbon fibre body, reducing their weight to just 222g a pair. While they’re not the lightest road pedals on the market, they’re certainly up there with the main contenders.

They’re compatible with Ritchey and Look Keo cleats, and feature a combination of bushings and bearings to extend their lifespan, which is further supported by the sealed cartridge outer bearing.

They also have an adjustable spring tension, composite body with carbon claw, and low-profile cleat-to-pedal interface to maximise pedalling efficiency.

Ritchey also claims that the adjustable tension features extra-strong springs for powerful riders, so let’s hope someone here at BikeRadar HQ can give them a real hammering to put them to the test.

  • £141.51 / $149.95 / AU$TBC

Enigma Etape Disc

Enigma Etape Disc 2019
The Enigma Etape Disc is delightfully versatile and indulgent all at once
Mildred Locke / Immediate Media Co

Remember when titanium was the future? Before carbon became king? Well, for Sussex-based Enigma the still-exotic metal is its material of choice, including for the new disc-braked version of its decade-old Etape, now with thru-axles and flat-mount brakes.

It’s designed for maximum versatility. The geometry is endurance road but rack and mudguard mounts and bags of tyre clearance mean you could easily be more adventurous.

Loads of custom kit and paint options are available (paint? Titanium? Are you mad?!) but we went for the standard brushed ti finish, full Shimano Ultegra with IceTech Freeza rotors and tubeless-ready Grave Disc wheels from fellow Sussex outfit Hunt.

  • Frameset: £2,155.99 / international pricing TBC
  • Frame: £1,799 / international pricing TBC
  • Complete, Ultegra build: £3,999 / international pricing TBC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mo4DDoej-M

Schwalbe Super Moto-X tyres

Schwalbe Super Moto-X tyres
Schwalbe’s Super Moto-X tyres are a great option if you commute on a mountain bike
Mildred Locke / Immediate Media Co

Another addition to the Surly Bridge Club, these Schwalbe Super Moto-X tyres are beefy and sit comfortably in the middle of the road-MTB spectrum. At 2.4in wide with a shallow — perhaps even slick — tread, they’re designed for maximum comfort and minimum rolling resistance. This makes them the perfect option for anyone using a mountain bike to commute.

They’re constructed with Schwalbe’s Greenguard 3mm puncture protection and reinforced sidewalls, and they feel extremely sturdy. They’re certainly heavier than many other commuting tyres, weighing in at 1.14kg each, but considering the versatility they offer — they’re even e-bike approved — a bit of bulk is to be expected.

Schwalbe Super Moto-X tyres - tread closeup
The shallow tread makes them more road-efficient, while the 2.4in width cushions many of the road’s blows
Mildred Locke / Immediate Media Co

The Super Moto-X tyres are marketed for tarmac or trail, and while I certainly wouldn’t go crazy cornering them off road, or plunging headfirst into a boggy trail after days of rain, I reckon they’re going to retain a fair amount of grip on loose gravel, dirt and reasonably tame trails.

  • £23.99 / international pricing TBC

Supacaz Super Sticky Kush bartape

Supacaz Super Sticky Kush bar tape
The Supacaz Super Sticky Kush bartape is notably used by Peter Sagan
Mildred Locke / Immediate Media Co

The bartape of choice for Peter Sagan, Supacaz Super Sticky Kush bartape claims to fuse performance and style, and is available in a variety of eye-catching colours engraved with the brand’s Supacaz geometric pattern to make your steed stand out.

It’s made up of three layers, with the uppermost constructed from advanced polyurethane designed to remain sticky in wet conditions, and the middle ‘Kush foam’ — a compound exclusive to the brand — which it’s claimed has shock-absorbing qualities while remaining as thin as possible.

The bartape comes with aluminium bar plugs that can be either anodised or powder coated, complete with laser-etched logos. It’s 30mm wide, 3mm thick and 2,160mm long.

  • £32.99 / $40 / AU$64.49

Park Tool PCS-10.2 Home Repair Stand

Park Tool PCS-10.2 Home Repair Stand
A stock photo is better than bits in a box – this is what the Park Tool PCS-10.2 work stand will look like when I get around to building it
Park Tool

The updated version of Park Tool’s previous PCS-10 workstand, the PCS-10.2 features brand new folding support struts on its three-point leg system for what should lead to increased stability. Much like the previous version, the workstand spreads weight over three contact points, with a particular focus on the two front folding legs.

Similarly to its predecessor, the PCS-10.2 can hold bikes that weigh up to 36kg, making it suitable for working on most e-bikes as well.

Many other features remain the same, including the quick-release height adjustment from 39–57 inches (99–145cm), and the micro-adjustable clamp for quick entry and exit, which fits 1–3in (25–76mm) diameter tubes and seatposts and is suitable for all shapes and materials.

The stand comes complete with a height-adjustable compact tray for holding small parts and the PTH-1 Paper Towel Holder as an optional extra.

  • £151.46 / $199.95 / AU$281.51

Giant Tubeless Tyre Installation Tool

Giant Tubeless Tyre Installation Tool
Sore thumbs? Pick me
BikeRadar

Are your thumbs tired of installing tubeless tyres? It’s Giant to the rescue with this neat little solution.

Simply get the tyre on as far as you can before switching to this nylon aid which should make completing the task a doddle. It’s safe for use on carbon rims and the felt-tipped edges should prevent any scratching.

We are looking forward to trying it out on some hateful tyre/rim combos and will follow things up with a full review.

  • £22.99 / $29

Buy the Giant Tubeless Tyre Installation Tool from Cyclestore

SKS Bluemels 75 U mudguards

SKS Bluemels 75 U mudguards
SKS Bluemels 75 U mudguards are compatible with a multitude of wheel and tyre sizes
Mildred Locke / Immediate Media Co

The second of today’s mudguard instalment is another addition to the Surly Bridge Club that will be making an appearance soon.

The SKS Bluemels 75 U mudguards cover tyre widths up to 65mm / 2.5 inches on both 27.5 and 29in wheels, making them a great option for the Bridge Club, and for anyone running wider than usual tyres. They’re marketed as all-road and mountain-specific, so they’re pretty versatile.

They’re constructed from super-fine aluminium strips embedded within a matte black plastic coating, meaning they should be pretty durable and UV damage-resistant.

The front guard measures 680mm and weighs 252g, while the rear is 920mm and 402g.

I haven’t fitted them yet so can’t comment on how easy they are to install, but the general advice is to stick to a minimum distance of 15mm between the tyre and frame. If your forks don’t have mounts, you can use SKS’ clip set to attach them instead.

  • £39.99 / $44.10 / AU$68.24
Advertisement