Happy Friday, folks! It’s officially the longest day of the year here in the UK and the rest of the northern hemisphere, and that means we can all stop enjoying those lovely light evenings and start gearing up for the darkness again. Is it too soon to say ‘winter is coming’?
There’s been a lot of big news this week, particularly in the mountain biking world. Orbea launched the new Occam, which seems to be the most customisable off-the-shelf MTB around. You can read our first ride impressions of the Orbea Occam M10 if you’re curious to hear more too.
But that wasn’t the only big launch this week, with Specialized announcing its new and rowdier Fuse hardtail.
We’ve also got some more long-term review updates for you to enjoy. Joe’s taken us through his first impressions of his Scott Scale 900 WC, while I’ve given my initial thoughts on the Surly Bridge Club.
Now it’s time to grab a cuppa and peruse some of the recent shiny things to have landed on our desks at BikeRadar.
BMC Roadmachine 01 One
It’s so fresh it’s still being built, so here’s a shot from the launch we attended of the BMC Roadmachine 01 One © Jeremie Reuiller/BMC
This one’s hot off the press, with BMC announcing the launch of its all-new Roadmachine just two days ago. The Swiss brand promises the ultimate endurance bike, combining the versatility and compliance of its current endurance category with the performance DNA of its WorldTour winning bikes.
This incorporates BMC’s Tuned Compliance Concept (TCC), an endurance-oriented carbon layup combined with a D-shaped seatpost and dropped seatstays, to deliver what the brand claims to be the ultimate balance between comfort and performance.
Up front there’s BMC’s Integrated Cockpit System (ICS) which is fully customisable. There are 20 stem lengths available from 55–130mm, two angle variations (0 and -12 degrees), as well as high and low top-cone options.
Other features include a top tube mount for bolt-on bags and accessories, an integrated GoPro interface at the cockpit, and there’s enough clearance for 33mm tyres.
The new BMC Roadmachine will be available by the end of this month.
- 895g claimed weight in its lightest finish (54cm)
- £10,999 / €10,499 / $10,999 / AU$13,799
Shimano XT M8100 and M8120 pedals
We’re excited to have our hands on the new Shimano XT pedals Mildred Locke / Immediate Media
Last month Shimano announced its new 12-speed XT and SLX groupsets, which we’ve already taken a comparative look at, but until now we’ve not given much attention to the new pedals.
We’ve now got our hands on the new M8100 XC SPD pedals, as well as the M8120 enduro/trail SPDs, both of which feature trickle-down tech from last year’s 12-speed XTR M9100 groupset.
Shimano XT M8100
The Shimano XT M8100 pedals are more XC oriented Mildred Locke / Immediate Media
Starting with the new cross-country oriented M8100s, their wider edge-to-edge contact area is designed to increase ride stability, while the rounded contact points and off-set bindings should improve mud shedding.
Shimano XT M8120
The Shimano XT M8120 pedals are more for enduro riding Mildred Locke / Immediate Media
The M8120s are geared towards enduro and trail riding, with a wider and longer shoe-to-pedal contact area, and an integrated cage that’s intended to both protect the binding while making it easier to clip-in.
Both models come with a 1mm clear spacer and include SM-SH51 cleats, though they’re also compatible with the SM-SH56 cleats.
The M8100 pedals weigh 341g a pair, while the M8120s weigh 431g.
- £99.99 / $120
- Available from July
Ride Concepts Hellion men’s and women’s shoes
Ride Concepts’ shoes are designed with a gender-specific fit Mildred Locke / Immediate Media
Ride Concepts is relatively new to the MTB footwear scene, having only launched in September 2018, but it’s already making waves with a horde of athletes — from the Athertons to Sam Pilgrim — touting its wares on the trails.
The US brand has three main lines of shoes available: the downhill Launch series, the all-mountain Flow series, and the trail-oriented Session series. The Hellion shoes we’ve got our hands on fall within the latter and are geared towards more casual riding.
The Hellions come with the brand’s DST (dynamic surface technology) six-rating rubber outsole with 12mm hexagonal lugs, claimed to dampen shocks, optimise friction and last a really long time.
The shoes are constructed from a two-panel synthetic upper with a fully gusseted tongue, which should keep a lot of the dirt out, and they generally feel really solid.
Ride Concepts Hellion men’s shoe
The men’s Hellion shoes in grey Mildred Locke / Immediate Media
- Weight: 407g (single shoe size 42)
- Sizes: 40–47
- Price: $130 / International pricing TBC
Ride Concepts Hellion women’s shoe
The women’s Hellion shoes in purple Mildred Locke / Immediate Media
- Weight: 364g (single shoe size 39)
- Sizes: 38–43
- Price: $130 / International pricing TBC
Solestar BLK insoles
The Solestar BLK insoles feature a carbon fibre plate for added stiffness-to-weight Mildred Locke / Immediate Media
Solestar BLK performance insoles are designed for competitive cyclists across various disciplines, including road, cyclocross, cross-country and downhill, as well as triathlon.
Unlike softer material insoles which serve to bed the foot, Solestar claims its carbon core insoles guide the foot into the biomechanically best position for power transfer. The carbon fibre structure is also claimed to increase stiffness without compromising on weight.
The brand is the official supplier of Team Cofidis, while other pros regularly use them while racing, including Philippe Gilbert, Pascal Ackermann and Theo Reinhardt.
Solestar’s cycling insoles come in four models — IP 3, Tour, Kontrol and BLK — and all are rated on their stability, damping and walk-flex qualities. If buying them online, you can use the size calculator to figure out what size you need by inputting the make, model and size of your shoe.
- Weight: 53g (single insole size 42)
- Price: €139 / $139
Hornit Clug MTB XL bike mounts
The Hornit Clug MTB XL is a small bike storage solution that gives your tyre a big old hug Mildred Locke / Immediate Media
Clug bike mounts have been around for a while, but with tyres getting ever wider, indoor storage solutions need to keep up with market trends, do they not?
So you can now get Clug MTB XL mounts, which are rated to hold a bike that weighs up to 20kg and fit tyres between 2.3in and 2.7in. Not quite enough for plus tyres, but certainly up to the job for many of the bikes that pass through our doors.
If you’re not familiar with Clug, it’s a small fitting that comes in multiple colour options, which you screw into your wall (brick or stud only, of course) and ‘plug’ your front tyre into. Clug essentially gives your front wheel a hug and holds it securely upright.
You can also fit it to your floor so your bike can stand horizontal instead.
Clug comes in multiple sizes to suit a variety of bikes, from Clug Roadie (1–1.25in), Hybrid, MTB, MTB XL, to Clug Plus (2.75–3.2in).
Liv Mirage and Signature kit
Alongside the new Avail Advanced range, Liv Cycling also launched two new series of women’s kit this month: the more comfort-oriented Mirage series and the race-ready Signature series.
Liv Mirage jersey and bib shorts
The Liv Mirage kit is designed for all-day riding Mildred Locke / Immediate Media
The Mirage series pairs nicely with the new Avail Advanced because it’s endurance-focused and designed to be comfortable for long days in the saddle.
Liv Signature jersey and bib shorts
The Liv Signature kit is really quite striking Mildred Locke / Immediate Media
Signature is the more aerodynamic race-ready cut, developed with feedback from the many athletes Liv works closely with.
Both the Mirage and Signature kit come in the Liv Race Fit, with perforated TransTextura fabric that apparently uses capillary action to wick away moisture for quick drying and staying cool. Both jerseys have three rear pockets, a full zip and small reflective features.
The bib shorts in both series are highly elastic and are supposed to have excellent recovery characteristics, meaning they should retain their shape through multiple washes.
The chamois is Liv’s own ProComfor, which promises antibacterial protection and moisture control.
- Pricing and availability: TBC.
Fox DropFrame open face helmet
Fox claims the DropFrame provides the most coverage among its open face offerings Mildred Locke / Immediate Media
Released at Sea Otter earlier this year, the new Fox DropFrame is an open-faced enduro helmet that boasts the most complete coverage the brand offers in a helmet of this style. It’s claimed to protect all the essential areas including the mandibular joint, ears and occipital bone at the back of the head.
Further protection comes in the form of the dual-density Varizorb EPS liner, which is claimed to spread forces of impact across a wider area.
The Fox DropFrame open face helmet has a fixed visor Mildred Locke / Immediate Media
Fox says airflow should be in abundance thanks to the eight intake vents and seven exhaust vents, which are optimised by the fixed visor position.
The DropFrame is pretty light at 479g and comes with two pads of varying thickness so the fit can be fully customised. The inner liner is antimicrobial and designed to wick away moisture, while the straps are secured with a Fidlock SNAP buckle.
- Weight: 479g (size M)
- Price: £130 / International TBC
Decathlon Triban Women’s RC 520
The Triban Women’s RC 520 will accompany me on my first 600km audax in September Mildred Locke / Immediate Media
As part of our recent Summer of Cycling competition in partnership with Decathlon, I committed to training for and completing a 600km audax in September. As Decathlon will be doing for our lucky competition winners (soon to be announced), the sports retailer has provided me with a steed for the mission.
The Triban Women’s RC 520 is the upcoming women’s specific version of the Triban 520 Disc, which we reviewed in March
Mating an aluminium frame with a carbon fork, the new Shimano 105 R7000 drivetrain (minus the crankset which is Shimano RS510), TRP HY/RD cable-actuated hydraulic disc brakes and tubeless-ready rims, the Triban Women’s RC 520 is, on the surface, incredible value for money.
The finishing kit is all aluminium to keep the price down and the contact points are designed to be women’s specific. It comes stock with 28mm tyres but there’s definitely clearance for 32mm at least, which would make for further comfort.
What’s more, with a 50/34 chainset and 11–32 cassette, the Triban Women’s RC 520 should fit the bill nicely for an endurance ride like the one I’ve very stupidly signed myself up to.
- Weight: 10.33kg (size XS without pedals)
- Price: £729.99 / $899 / AU$1,100
Availablility: Late summer
WTB Verdict Wet 2.5 tyres
The WTB Verdict Wet 2.5 tyres are designed for the muckiest and slippiest of rides Mildred Locke / Immediate Media
The new WTB Verdict Wet 2.5 tyres were another unveiling at Sea Otter that have now made their way to our HQ.
Optimised for rims ranging from 28–35mm wide, these enduro and gravity-oriented tyres are designed to keep you upright in the loosest, muddiest and most unpredictable conditions you can imagine.
One look at the tread on these tyres and you know they mean business Mildred Locke / Immediate Media
Also available in 27.5in sizing, the ones we’ve got our mitts on are 29×2.5in and feature WTB’s new TriTec compound. That’s three rubber compounds of varying firmness combined to reduce drag and improve traction, according to WTB.
The Verdict tyres also come with two casing options: TCS Light/High Grip with Slash Guard, and TCS Tough/High Grip. We have the latter, which WTB claims can provide unwavering puncture protection and traction, while preventing knob flex.
This means the Verdicts should let you throw all your aggression into that corner without the tyre folding in on itself.
- Weight: 1,344g (single tyre size 29×2.5in)
- Price: $83.95 / International TBC
Giro Imperial shoes
These red Giro Imperial shoes may make you want to click your heels together and chant “There’s no place like home!” Mildred Locke / Immediate Media
Giro’s most expensive shoes to date, the Imperial is the brand’s new premium race shoe and is claimed to be ultralight with a stiffness-to-weight ratio that promises serious power transfer.
These eye-catching shoes are dripping with tech, including Giro’s own Synchwire upper (a composite of thermo-bonded film, non-woven internal sheeting and a mono-filament mesh), which is claimed to result in a second skin that’s breathable while retaining its structural integrity.
This is mated with thermal-welded Teijin TPU for additional structural support, while the outsole contains an Easton EC90 SLX2 carbon plate. Inside you’ll find Giro’s adjustable Super Natural Fit footbed system which promises customisable arch support, and everything is secured in place with twin BOA IP1 dials.
If you want to find out more about these shoes, you can read our full review.
- Weight: 221g (single shoe size 42) –
- Price: £374 / $425 / €429
Outdoor Tech Buckshot Pro Ultra speaker, flashlight and powerbank
The Buckshot Pro Ultra is pretty portable Mildred Locke / Immediate Media
Does your ride need a soundtrack? Do you prefer to pack light, sticking to items that serve multiple purposes? If you answered yes to both, then the Outdoor Research Buckshot Pro Ultra speaker should be right up your street.
In one guise it’s a portable speaker with multiple mounting options that you can strap, screw or clip onto your bike. It promises 10 hours of playback, a hi-fi sound and a surprising amount of bass, as well as an IP6 water and dust/dirt resistance rating.
The Buckshot Pro Ultra speaker will provide the soundtrack to your rides Mildred Locke / Immediate Media
Once you’ve reached your camp for the night, it doubles up as a 100 Lumen LED flashlight. Four lighting modes — high beam, low beam, lantern and SOS/strobe — mean it should be versatile enough to suit most needs.
The Buckshot Pro Ultra doubles up as a 100 Lumen LED flashlight Mildred Locke / Immediate Media
Finally, you’ve settled into your tent or your bivvy bag, but your phone’s battery is about to die and you can’t sleep without tuning out to your favourite podcast. Maybe that’s just me. Whatever. But the Buckshot Pro Ultra has one more trick up its sleeve, serving as a portable 5V/1A powerbank with a 2,600 mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery.