First off, happy holidays from all here at BikeRadar! We hope that Santa brought you all the cycling goodies you could have wished for this year.
But, if ol’ man Noel didn’t deliver on the cycling swag, fret not — here are 11 of the freshest bicycling delights to land at BikeRadar, some of which are pricey enough to set your Christmas-drained wallet into a true panic.
Before we get started, let’s recap on the best of what went up on BikeRadar over the festive break. To start, check out these limited-run Colnago-branded Adidas kicks, this high-performing miniature GPS from Lezyne or, if you’re in the mood for some light entertainment peppered with some hard training, why not check out our latest episode of BikeRadar Diaries.
Also, be sure to check out Alex Evans’ roundup of his top picks of 2018 and keep an eye on our Gear of the Year page throughout this week for more roundups of the team’s favourite kit from the year.
Halo Fibre-Tech tubeless sealant
This new sealant from Halo claims to use microfibre technology Jack Luke / Immediate Media
Halo’s tubeless sealant is an interesting synthetic-latex-based sealant that is claimed to be filled to the brim with “micro-fibre technology”. This is said to be able to seal punctures up to 6mm wide.
Unlike many other sealants, it also claims not to coagulate in the bottom of the tyre when it dries. The sealant is available in 250ml bottles at £7.99 a pop.
- £7.99 / international pricing TBC
Silca SuperPista digital floor pump
Expensive, yes. Lovely? Also yes. Aoife Glass / Immediate Media
We’ll never tire of ogling at Silca’s high-end track pumps — sure, they’re expensive (this model coming in at a heady $275), but they’ll last a lifetime and are totally rebuildable should anything go awry.
Previous models have relied on a mechanical gauge for pressure readouts, which although rather handsome, isn’t the most practical option for day-to-day use.
The new pump features a digital gauge located close to the top of the pump for improved visibility. The chuck is also stored here to save you from bending down to retrieve it — a subtle but much-appreciated touch at the end of a long day in the workshop.
As with Silca’s other high-end pumps, the SuperPista Digital uses its much-loved and oh-so-lovely Hiro chuck for valve grasping duties.
Silca Sicuro bottle cages
We never expected to describe a set of bottle cages as ‘heirloom quality’ Jack Luke / Immediate Media
We have a double whammy of Silca loveliness to share with you this week.Here is a pair of the brand’s new titanium bottle-cages, which are destined to live on Jack’s All-City Mr Pink test bike.
While titanium makes for reasonably light cages, with each cage coming in at just 31g, the real attraction is durability — these are heirloom-quality bottle-cages (with an heirloom-quality price) that will likely last the rest of your riding career.
Shimano GR5 flat pedal shoe
The GR5 is a mid-range flat pedal shoe Aoife Glass / Immediate Media
Shimano has been expanding its gravity range — ie, downhill, enduro — of pedals and shoes over the past few years.
The GR5 is the mid-priced flat-specific shoe from that range.
It features a tacky pin-friendly sole, a fully synthetic upper and a traditional lace-up closure. The shoes are available in grey or navy.
- £79.99 / international pricing TBC
Vitus Escarpe VR 27.5 and 29er
We spent three days in Northern Ireland trying out both the 27.5 and 29er version of the Escarpe Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
Jack and Oli spent last week sampling the best trails Northern Ireland has to offer aboard the 27.5″ and 29” version of the Vitus Escarpe, the brand’s recently updated mid-travel alloy trail bike.
Getting to ride the two back-to-back threw up some interesting points — expect a review of the bikes in the new year.
- £1,999, international postage available
Le Col Pro Carbon road shoe
Le Col has just launched its first road shoe Aoife Glass / Immediate Media
Le Col launched its new carbon road shoe just two weeks ago and we already have a sample in for testing. Will the shoes deliver performance as speedy as the fine work of the Royal Mail? Only time will tell.
- £250 / $316 / €278 / AU$438
Kali Therapy road helmet
Kali also makes a range of road helmets Aoife Glass / Immediate Media
Kali is better known for its mountain bike helmets and protection, but it also has a well-rounded selection of road helmets in its range.
The Therapy — which is claimed to let you “slay your inner demons as you log some serious miles” — is available in a delightful range of hues and comes in at 317g for our size L/XL test model. The helmet is also rated for cross-country riding.
- £87.99 / international pricing TBC
Bluegrass Legit Carbon
The Legit is Bluegrass’ top-end full-face lid Aoife Glass / Immediate Media
Sticking with the helmet theme, we have the Legit — Bluegrass’ top-end full-face helmet designed for enduro and downhill racing.The helmet features an EPS liner and a full-carbon outer shell that is said to exceed standards for both enduro and downhill riding. Our size Large comes in at 1,202g, which is fairly competitive for the world of full-face helmets.
- £400 / €450 / international pricing TBC
US Pro Tools tool chest
A tool chest is a great investment US Pro Tools
Fed up with maintenance miscellany strewn about your home? Fear not, a full-sized tool cabinet is an ideal way to bring order to your spare-parts and tools chaos.The price range for a tool cabinet is pretty much limitless, but for those looking for something simple and affordable, it’s hard to pass up these generic chests from US Pro Tools.
This is a UK-based seller on eBay, but countless re-badged alternatives exist worldwide.
Muc-Off tubeless valves
The fanciest valves around Jack Luke / Immediate Media
These premium tubeless valves from Muc-Off are probably the most feature-rich valve on the market, which is quite a feat given they are… well, a mere humble valve.The base of the valve features a 4mm allen head, which should make fitting and removing that little bit easier. Likewise, the lockring has flats machined in to aid fitting.
According to the press release, the core remover in the valve cap is not just integrated but it’s “lovingly” integrated. Aww, impressive.
The alloy valves are available in 60 and 44mm lengths and eight delightfully garish hues.
- £22.50 / €22.99, international pricing TBC
Zipp Service Course SL-80 Ergo handlebars and Service Course SL stem
It’s hard to find fault with Zipp’s Service Course finishing kit Jack Luke / Immediate Media
It’s impossible to go wrong with subtle black finishing kit and it doesn’t come much more subtle than Zipp’s Service Course range.
The SL-80 Ergo handlebars have a relatively traditional shape paired with a touch of backsweep on the flattened tops, and our experiences with the beefy SL stem have always been positive.
If you’re building up a new bike and need some finishing kit, you’re unlikely to be disappointed by this.