With more than a quarter of my advent calendar already disappeared and absolutely none of my Christmas shopping completed, we’re a week deep into December.
And it’s been a week that’s seen yet another waterproof onesie reviewed, an updated Santa Cruz V10, a look into the depths of the Mountain Bike Museum in Marin and a whole host of cycling related Christmas gift ideas — a few listed handily below!
But aside from all this festive cheer, we still have 11spd ready and waiting, and so without further ado, here are 11 of the most interesting bits and pieces to land at our HQ this week.
Latest cycling kit and bikes at BikeRadar
The RXF34 is a burly trail fork Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
We can’t yet show you the bike that these forks will be fitted to (mainly because the frame and groupset haven’t arrived yet…) but needless to say, these 120mm 29er forks, with a fairly stiff chassis, will be the perfect pairing for what’s to come.
They feature a one-piece steerer and crown (which Öhlins claim is competitive with 36mm stanchion forks), Öhlins’ TTX twin tube damping and a three air chamber air spring: positive, negative and a ramp-control system, for perfect (in theory) tuneability.
All the necessary adjustment is there Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
Finishing details include high and low speed compression adjustment, low-friction seals and a bolt-thru-axle secured by a single non-disc-side clamping bolt. At 2,055g they aren’t light, but we’ll see how they perform on the trail.
Renthal Fatbar Lite Carbon Zero and Fatbar Lite Zero
Zero rise, 780mm width – the new bars from Renthal Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
In the mountain bike world, Renthal is likely best known for its handlebars, which adorn many, many pros bike across the DH and EWS circuit.
With the rise (ha, ha) of longer travel 29ers especially, front ends are getting higher, and there’s always been a demand from XC and trail riders to keep front ends a touch lower — this is Renthal’s response.
They’re designed to give the same ride feel as Renthal’s riser bars Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
Renthal’s new flat bars come, obviously, with zero rise, and a 9-degree backsweep. They’re 780mm wide and are available in both carbon and alloy versions, with a regular 31.8mm diameter clamp. Renthal says that they’ve been designed to keep the same feel as its regular riser Fatbar Lites.
There’s a textured centre for better stem grip, as well as cut-down marks and a set-up grid. We’ve weighed them at 266g for the alloy and 188g for the carbon. More details can be found here.
Carbon: £130 / $165
Alloy: £70 / $85
Shimano MW7 waterproof boots
The MW7 is a serious winter trail-riding boot Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
With winter set in and our 2019 Trail Bike of the Year testing already underway, it was time for me to find some warm, waterproof boots to get me through the winter with my toes intact.
Shimano shoes have always fitted me well, and with aesthetics similar to the ME7, the MW7 seems like the obvious option.
Waterproofing comes from Gore-Tex, security from a BOA dial, snugness from the extended neoprene cuff and the sole from Michelin. These should, in theory, be a great addition to my winter wardrobe, and I’ll be sure to let you know how I’m getting on with them.
Adidas Climaheat Jacket
Adidas is making waves in the action sport arena with its Terrex range Jonny Ashelford / Immediate Media
Adidas’s action-sport Terrex range Climaheat jacket is a down jacket for the chillier months. The jacket is constructed from Pertex Quantum GL rip-stop fabric and has a 90 percent goose down fill.
There’s an insulated hood and the jacket packs into its own pocket. The hem has an elastic drawstring and there’s a stretchy baffle at the end of the arms to keep the cold out.
Baffles by the wrists keep warmth in Jonny Ashelford / Immediate Media
At £300 in the UK, it’s not a cheap down jacket, but we’ll be testing it to see if it lives up to its price tag.
Gore C5 Windstopper Insulated Shorts
Insulated shorts — potential winter genius Jonny Ashelford / Immediate Media
Insulated shorts? That’s madness, right? Well this winter, I’m going to find out.
Much like waterproof shorts, I suspect these could be far better in reality than in my imagination. Your thighs are large, and quite likely are responsible for a fair bit of cooling down in cold temperatures, so why not keep them warm?
Zips up the side make getting them on and off easier Jonny Ashelford / Immediate Media
Insulation is provided by Primaloft Silver fabrics, while the Windstopper fabric should keep the wind out. The rear is splashproof, to hopefully keep them puddle-proof, and there are zips running all the way up to the waist to make getting them on and off easier — althoug there’s no fly or popper for the waist.
Gore Windstopper Baselayer
Windstopper fabric should help prevent biting winds ruining your day Jonny Ashelford / Immediate Media
While air temperature makes a vast difference to how cold it feels, I reckon it’s the wind that makes the biggest difference, and so a Windstopper baselayer makes a whole heap of sense to me.
The front, sleeves, kidneys and shoulders are all protected from the chill by Windstopper fabric, while there’s a breathable mesh panel at the back to let any excess warmth out. It’s obviously not as stretchy as a traditional baselayer, so getting the right fit will be important.
A breathable mesh back helps regulate temperature Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
Feedback Sports Chain Keeper
Make maintenance and cleaning easier with the Feedback Sports chain keeper Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
This is one of those ‘lovely to have, but not entirely necessary’ items that could be the answer to all your ‘what should I get them for Christmas’ quandaries.
Designed to clamp into your rear dropout (either QR or 12mm thru), the CNC’d alloy chain keeper holds the plastic roller to let your chain, er, roll nicely over it during basic maintenance and cleaning, or to keep the chain tidy during travel.
There’s not a lot more to say about it, really, other than it’s heavier than you’d imagine, which probably is no bad thing.
Silca Sicuro Titanium Bottle Cage
Titanium loveliness to adorn your bike and carry your bottles Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
Silca’s products are undoubtedly high-end, and the description of how the cage is made is very impressive, to say the least.
The titanium tubing is bent into shape and secured with Silca’s laser welder — the first in the bicycle industry, it claims. Once welded up, the 31g bottle cage is hand polished, sealed and then stamped with the Silca logo.
The bolts, too, are of note. Again titanium, they’re machined as a single piece on Silca’s lathe, with the low-profile flange said to distribute load over three times the area of a traditional bolt.
A 25 year warranty is impressive for a water bottle cage! Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
All this adds up to a tasty price, but also a 25 year warranty.
Pinarello Dogma F10 Disc
Red IS the fastest colour, right? Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
Love ‘em or loath ‘em, Pinarello makes some rather beautiful bikes, in our eyes at least, and this Dogma F10 Disc is one such machine.
The Dogma is designed (so says Pinarello) to be aero without compromising ride quality and feel.
With the down tube responsible for a fair amount of drag, Pinarello has created a concave-shaped tube, giving a 12 percent reported reduction in drag. The fork has little wings behind the dropouts, again to save watts, while the bottom bracket area is beefed up on the driveside for stiffness and pared down for weight on the non.
Sculpted chainstays save watts Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
This Shimano Dura Ace Di2 equipped F10 with carbon Mavic Comete wheels is guaranteed to come in at an eye-watering price — the frame alone is £4,699!
Frame: £4,699 / $6,000 / €4,990
Specialized S-Works Evade II helmet with MIPS SL and ANGi
Specialized’s new helmet is packed with safety features Jonny Ashelford / Immediate Media
When you go fast enough to warrant a smooth, sleek, aero helmet such as the Evade II, you may want to consider a little extra protection for that noggin of yours too, just in case.
The new Evade has not one but two new protective elements.
First up is the new MIPS SL, designed specifically for Specialized. It’s got all the protection offered by MIPS but with a much lighter design so it won’t add weight.
Secondly, it comes with Specialized’s new ANGi sensor which tracks your movements and detects if you’ve had a crash, alerting key contacts and letting them know your position.
A new Specialized-only MIPS system saves weight while maintaining safety Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
There’s a lot more info on the new tech, so if you’re interested then check out the full run-down of the features in our recent news story.
Apidura Racing Series bike packs
Apidura’s frame bag is definitely weatherproof Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
This British bike bag company has pedigree when it comes to creating great quality bags for the adventurous cyclist, and the new Racing Series is aimed at those who want to travel super-light.
Specifically, the range comprises a frame pack, saddle pack and aero-extension handlebar pack, all constructed from a waterproof laminate called Hexalon, which was made specifically for Apidura.
Run aero-extenders? This bag solves your bar bag carrying dilemma Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
The range is aimed at audax riders and ultra-distance racers, so while the packs aren’t massive (for obvious reasons) there are a number of nifty features that those riders will favour.
These include a little mesh pocket on the handlebar pack to pop in your tracker, plus two side pockets that have rain-protective covers for storing food, water or your phone, and a little cable port on the frame pack for recharging as you go.
The saddle bag sits nicely behind the seat, with a fair amount of storage Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
Our intrepid audaxers will be putting this kit to the test, so keep your eyes peeled on BikeRadar for reviews in the near future!
Apidura Racing Series Saddle Pack (194g): £125 / $167
Apidura Racing Series Frame Pack (155g): £90 / $120
Apidura Racing Series Handlebar Pack (269g): £115 / $154