How is it suddenly the last week of August!? With 2018 accelerating rapidly past our eyes and 2019 fast approaching, we’re already being bombarded with new season bikes and kit. Seems like a good time to take a look at what’s new in then, eh?
And if you’re feeling glum about the return to school that September brings, cheer yourself up by following the Vuelta a España live on the telly box or computer while munching on homemade flapjacks.
Roval CLX 32 650b Disc Wheels
Roval’s rather spangly 650b gravel wheelsTom Marvin / Immediate Media
Aero-gravel might now really be a thing with Roval (Specialized‘s in-house wheel division), bringing its CLX 32 aero wheels in to a more road+ / gravel 650b design.
The Roval tick-list includes 32mm deep, 21mm wide fully tubeless-ready carbon rims, comprehensive roadie-friendly freehub body and axle options, DT Swiss aero spokes, centerlock disc interface and über bling CeramicSpeed bearings in the Roval AFD2 hubs.
Plenty of cassette compatibility is offered by RovalTom Marvin / Immediate Media
The wheels cost a fairly high sum, but with a (claimed) weight of 1,290g for the pair, and with included tubeless/axle spares and a padded wheel bag, it’s not as bad as it might seem.
Oval rings split opinion, we’ll see how this one from absoluteBLACK goesTom Marvin / Immediate Media
These rather prettily CNC’d chainrings come from one of the companies at the forefront of oval chainrings, absoluteBLACK.
While there are various options for different cranks, we have a 52t ring for Dura Ace / Ultegra / 105 ready for testing.
The jury might be out as to how ‘good’ oval rings are, but absoluteBLACK has some rather bold claims about their performance: smoother power delivery, ‘rounder’ pedal strokes and an easier feeling on the legs.
The CNC detailing is impressiveTom Marvin / Immediate Media
Compared to other oval rings out there it claims that its rings are stiffer and offer better shifting. Needless to say, we’ll be the judges of that!
Eat Race Win — does what it says on the tin?Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
If you’re serious about riding, training and especially racing, you should probably be serious about eating too — and we don’t just mean smashing a load of calories to get you through the day.
While this rather large hardback book might be pricey (although we have found discounts of up to 40% online), it’s packed with 150 or so rather delicious looking recipes. Written by Hannah Grant (Orica Scott chef) and psychologist Dr Stacy Sims, the recipes are aimed at eeking every ounce of performance out of you year round.
Yeah, we’ll take a few plates of those, thanks!Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
The book looks good, but for more general cycling interest, there’s even a five-part series following Grant’s work with Orica Scott team at the Tour de France streaming on Amazon Prime.
A huuuuuuge platform for your feetTom Marvin / Immediate Media
If you ever want to read perhaps the most in-depth explanation of a flat pedal, head on over to the Pedaling Innovations – it’s clearly working hard to make sure you know everything that needs knowing about its absolutely massive flat pedal.
Their theory is that the much longer platform gives better support to the foot when pushing the pedals, improving efficiency, because both ends of the foot’s arch are supported.
Extra support, Pedaling Innovations says, means that you can get away with flexier, but more comfortable shoes on the bike.
14 pins per side are designed to help keep your feet plantedTom Marvin / Immediate Media
For reference, this monster of a pedal has a 132mm x 95m platform, with 14 pins per side and a weight of 501g / pair.
We’ve also been playing with Fox Live Valve this week – check out our thoughts here!
Intense M29 Elite
Intense’s M29 has to be one of the most lustworthy bikes aroundTom Marvin / Immediate Media
Back in 2010 Intense’s Jeff Steiber wanted to build a 29er downhill bike, and so he welded up an alloy prototype to test the concept.
Back then, 29ers were still a very XC concept, so lacking DH friendly wheels, tyres and suspension the concept stopped there. Fast forward to 2017 with the explosion of 29ers on the DH scene, and the project was reignited, with Intense Factory Racing’s Jack Moir being the star of the development show.
The RockShox Boxxer World Cup is race provenTom Marvin / Immediate Media
And here it is, one of two M29s currently in the UK. We’re lucky enough to be able to ride the bike, and so you’ll have to look out on BikeRadar for a comprehensive overview of the it as soon as we’re done throwing it down some hills!
This not-quite top-spec Elite model comes with a Boxxer World Cup, Super Deluxe coil shock and DT Swiss FR 1950 rimmed wheels wrapped in Maxxis Minions. There’s a SRAM 7-speed drivetrain and it’ll come with the new Shimano XT four-pot brakes.
The Fog City bag fits snugly to the frame, and comes in a range of custom materialsTom Marvin / Immediate Media
Bikes seem to be awash with handy frame bags, built to carry all the little essentials you need on rides where you want to go pack-less. From tiny workshops bringing out bespoke products to the big boys jumping on the game, there’s basically nothing stopping you from riding with the wind on your back.
Fog City is one such small brand, based out of San Francisco. This small frame bag is currently unlisted on its site, but it has a widening range of on-bike storage solutions. Judging by this one, they all should be pretty smart.
A waterproof zip should help keep out the elementsTom Marvin / Immediate Media
One for the cool kids. The Mini Hornit helmet comes with its own (printed) sunglassesAoife Glass / Immediate Media co
Kids are discerning customers, and need a combination of style as well as safety if they’re to be persuaded to wear a cycle helmet. Enter Mini Hornit LIDS and its range of kids’ skate-style helmets.
They come in two sizes: small at 48–53cm and medium at 53–58cm. The fit is adjustable with a dial ratchet at the rear of the head, and the helmets comply with EN1078 and CPSC safety test regulations.
An added dose of safety comes in the form of a rear light that’s attached to the ratchet dial, which increases visibility in dark conditions, though of course we’d still recommend fitting your kid’s bike with a proper front and rear light as well if they’re going to be riding in low light levels.
A light built into the rear helps improve visibilityAoife Glass / Immediate Media co
The design pictured here is called ‘The Wayfarer’ but there are lots of different colours and design options, including one helmet emblazoned with dozens of pug puppy faces!
Watch how Ben, with no real experience gravel racing before, gets on at the Dirty Kanza 200
Pretty much the opposite of boringAoife Glass / Immediate Media co
Say no to boring mudguards! Say no to plastic waste! Say no to both at the same time with Rideguard mudguards!
If you like your mudguards subtle and understated, look away now. If, however, you like them loud, proud and bursting with original illustrations and bold patterns, look closer. No, closer than that. Closer!
Get close enough and you’ll be nose to guard with the post-industrial waste that’s been recycled to create these mudguards, which means plastic that would have ordinarily ended up in landfill gets a new lease of life.
Keep your bum mud-free AND help the environmentAoife Glass / Immediate Media co
Rideguard is keen on encouraging more people and businesses to consider the waste they generate, and one of its environmental mission statements is to “demonstrate that being economically successful shouldn’t be at the cost of the environment.” That’s something we can all get behind!
The range of easy-to-attach guards includes front and rear MTB options, road/CX options and the cutely named Dink and Donk mini mudguard set
The hand-made titanium J.Laverack R J.ACK Disc road bikeAoife Glass / Immediate Media co
Cast your eyes over this hand-made titanium beauty! The R J.ACK Disc from British company J.Laverack Bicycles is designed for speed and comfort, with a range of builds on offer based around a frame that promises ‘precise’ handling and a ‘confidence-inspiring’ ride, according to the product page.
There are five versions of the R J.ACK available starting at £3,650 for the J.ACK I, with Shimano 105 and Hunt 4Season Disc wheels, right up to at least £7,050 for the R J.ACK III with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2.
This model of the R J.ACK comes with a Shimano Dura Ace Di2 groupsetAoife Glass / Immediate Media co
We say ‘at least’ because there are a few upgrades you can pay a bit extra for to make your bike that much more personal. This includes titanium bidon cages, ENVE computer mounts, Brooks saddles, or for something a bit special how about a personalised bead blasted message, pavé finish, bespoke paint job or even custom geometry!
You can even get a titanium bottle cage added for an extra £35Aoife Glass / Immediate Media co
As it is, each bike comes with your choice of crank length, handlebar width, stem length and seatpost diameter.
The glasses have a rather striking appearanceAoife Glass / Immediate Media co
You know that bit in RoboCop where you see what he sees, and it’s all layered up with information on what he’s looking at, what he’s doing, and all that. Haven’t you always wanted something like that for cycling?
Well, that’s what Everysight hopes, because it’s new Raptor glasses offer AR, augmented reality, for cyclists.
Essentially, the glasses will connect wirelessly with your various sensors and display those metrics on a digital display in your field of view. Everysight claims it’s “accessible, non-intrusive, fully see-through” and doesn’t create blind spots.
Packed full of features, but for a high priceAoife Glass / Immediate Media co
The lenses are interchangeable, you can fit an Rx adaptor so you can add your own prescription lenses as an insert, it’s water-resistant and recharges via micro USB. It also takes photos, videos, records sounds, connects to your phone so you can check emails and texts, and has speakers so you can listen to your choons without blocking out environmental noise.
Everysight also claims the glasses are easy to use with an integrated touchpad in the frames, so you can do that old familiar swiping and touching thing we’re used to with smartphones. The glasses also have voice-control options for things such as taking a video or picture, or adjusting brightness… neat!
On the downside, you’ll need to invest a fair bit of dough to get your hands on a pair, and they’re currently only available for Europe, US and Canada.