Friday hath dawned and that means new bikes and gear at BikeRadar HQ. Oh yes.
This week we’ve got shiny forks, a less shiny car, some excellent modelling poses and some top class reading matter to ease you into the weekend.
So sit back, relax and get ready for 48 hours of fun!
- Best cycling cities | Different locations ranked on crime, safety and even the weather
- Women Shred festival celebrates women in mountain biking
- Parenting done right | Danny MacAskill’s latest video will fill you with terror
Oh, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you HAVE to take a look at Danny MacAskill’s latest video. File it under ‘things you should never do with a kid’s bike trailer!’
Rockshox Pike Ultimate fork
The Pike is a benchmark for trail forks and every year it gets a little bit more refined. The 2020 Pike Ultimate features the latest Charge 2.1 damper which is designed to offer a host of improvements including more comfortable high-speed damping, better low-speed support, reduced seal friction and more.
For a deeper dive into Rockshox’s latest forks, head over to our detailed first look.
This 150mm, 27.5in version weighs 1,883g with its Maxle and an uncut steerer.
- £920 / €1,030 / $929
- Buy now from Tredz
dhb Aeron Ultra bib shorts and jersey
dhb has upped its game in recent years, offering kit that rivals expensive name brands at comparatively tempting prices.
The Aeron Ultra kit is aimed at long-distance riding, which is exactly what young Felix is planning to use it for — he’s tackling the The TransAtlanticWay this year, a 2,500km unsupported ride across Ireland.
The Aeron Ultra jersey has two useful side pockets — one of which is zippered — in addition to the usual three at the back.
It’s made from a combination of lightweight fabrics, including sections of Coldblack, which is designed to heat up less than conventional materials, even in direct sunlight.
The bib shorts are similarly practical, with a leg pocket and soft fabric designed for long distance comfort.
- dhb Aeron Ultra Short Sleeve Jersey: £80 — Buy now from Wiggle
- dhb Aeron Ultra Bib Shorts: £90 — Buy now from Wiggle
Problem Solvers Bow Tie Strap Anchors
Do you love strapping things to your bike? These neat little brackets attach to your frame or fork bosses as a more versatile alternative to conventional cages.
Made from lightweight aluminium, they look ideal for bikepacking, and are fairly unobtrusive when not in use.
- Buy now from SJS Cycles
Mio Cyclo 405
Garmin has been the default brand for bike GPSs for a while, but more and more potentially viable competitors are hitting the market these days. The Mio Cyclo 405 is a heavy duty do-it-all computer in a similar vein to the Garmin Edge 1030.
It offers OpenStreetMap based navigation, all the usual performance metrics and connectivity you’re likely to want.
It’s quite a chunky unit at 187g (plus mount) and it’s not small at roughly 130×72×20mm, but if it lives up to its claimed 15 hour battery life then it could be an appealing option for long-distance riding.
- £233 or £311 including HRM
- Buy now from Amazon
If your mountain bike kit preference is lairy, loud and Lycra, look away now. If, however, you favour earthy tones, loose fit jerseys and shorts, and of course the compulsory check shirt, Dakine has kit that’ll catch your eye. And it’s all rather reasonably priced too.
While Dakine might have started out life in Hawaii in the 1970s with a focus on surf products, then moving to windsurfing and snow sports, it then shifted its base to Oregon where it was perfectly placed for the explosion of the riding scene around the Hood River. So, naturally, it started to develop riding bags and clothing.
The forest and night-sky inspired Stargazer colourway means you can mix and match between the baggy shorts, loose-fitting Noella shirt and practical windbreaker, though there are of course other (brighter) colourways available.
We love the stealth wolf image on the gloves and Xena jersey, the latter of which has a generous fit and length (tall women rejoice!), and although it’s made from a four-way stretch polyester fabric, it has the handfeel of a soft, stretchy cotton T-shirt.
The fit seems generous on all the garments and the sizes range from XS to XL. We’ve had a quick try of the size XL kit and it fits with room to spare on a size UK16 / US12 person.
Chances are we’ll be wearing some of this kit off the bike as well as on it.
Dakine Women’s Reserve Windbreaker Jacket
- £85 / € 100 / $TBC / AU$TBC
- Buy now from Bike21.com
Dakine Women’s Xena Short Sleeve Bike Jersey
- £30 / €40 / $TBC / AU$TBC
- Buy now from Flow MTB
Dakine Women’s Xena Bike Short
- £65 / €80 / $85 / AU$TBC
- Buy now from Flow MTB
Dakine Women’s Aura Bike Glove
- £30 / €35 / $35 / AU$TBC
- Buy now from Flow MTB
Dakine Women’s Noella Tech Flannel Shirt
- £65 / €75 / $75 / AU$TBC
- Buy now from Flow MTB
BMC Teammachine SLR01 DISC ONE
We’ve been featuring a lot of chunky, versatile gravel bikes lately but sometimes we still just want to lust after a proper pew-pew race bike. The SLR01 is about as pure an expression of the genre you’ll find.
It’s almost offensively expensive and sports Shimano’s flagship Dura-Ace R9170 Di2 groupset, along with tasteful mid-section DT Swiss carbon clinchers wearing lovely tan-wall tyres.
This lovely thing weighs 6.9kg (size 54) and will doubtless make you slightly faster and much poorer.
- Buy now from Evans Cycles
Back in the Frame by Jools Walker (AKA Lady Vélo)
Sometimes a book comes along that brings those early, joyful, childhood bike rides right back into the front of your mind. The sheer exhileration of riding a bike, the sense of freedom, the friendships made, the adventures shared. Back in the Frame by Jools Walker is just such a book.
Walker might be more familiar to you by her online moniker Lady Vélo, a well-known writer, blogger and all-round trailblazer in the UK cycling scene (and if you aren’t familiar with her we strongly suggest you go check out VeloCityGirl).
Part memoir, part guiding hand, Back in the Frame charts Walker’s childhood riding antics and the influence on her older siblings through to her rediscovery of cycling in her late 20s and how it’s helped her manage depression and her recovery from a mini-stroke.
Along the way, Walker has met many other women who each add their experience, views and passions to the rich mixture; racers, advocates, activists, explorers and general bad-asses, the full gamut.
Walker is inspirational in the truest sense of the word. She conveys the joy of cycling in its simplest, purest form and reminds us that it doesn’t matter what kind of bike we ride, where we ride it, or how fast we go, at its core the important thing is that we ride.
- £14.99 / $21.99
- Available from Amazon
Whisky No.9 CX Disc fork
This simple yet practical fork by Whisky Parts Co. is designed around a 12mm×100mm axle, and although this model is called No.9 CX Disc, it would also suit more endurance focused road bikes with frame clearance for tyres up to 700c×42mm or 650b×50mm.
The No.9 is a full carbon fork with a smart matt finish and a lovely subtle Whisky logo on the inside leg.
It has mounts for proper mudguards (or rather, threads to accept eyelets) and it takes a flat-mount caliper for maximum neatness.
On our scales, it weighs 485g with its axle and an un-cut steerer.
Orbea R 10 MIPS helmet
You probably think of Orbea more as a bike maker, but it sells various kit and accessories too. The R 10 is an all-rounder road helmet with the option to go full aero with an add-on shell.
It’s generously vented and in its MIPS incarnation it weighs 270g for a size 59-61cm, or 316g with the shell.
The aero look is a bit of an acquired taste, but as ever with such shells it could be useful in wet weather, even leaving aside potential aero gains.
- £176 / €199
- Buy now from Bikester.co.uk
The World’s Fastest Man, The Extraordinary Life of Cyclist Major Taylor by Michael Kranish
At the end of the 19th century, when the Southern US was still deeply segregated under the Jim Crow laws, African American rider Marshall “Major” Taylor rose to prominence as one of the greatest riders of his generation, winning the 1899 track sprint world championship title and setting multiple world records.
This biography by investigative journalist Michael Kranish charts his rise to fame in the face of considerable adversity, his career as a racer and his death in poverty at the age of just 53 in 1932.
It doesn’t sound like the cheeriest of tales, but it’s an important one from an era of cycling that’s largely been forgotten.
Oli’s new old Volkswagen Golf estate
It’s common among riders to have a car that’s worth only a fraction as much as their bike(s) and BikeRadar’s Oli Woodman is not bucking that trend. That’s thanks to an all-new arrival in the form of this Mk4 VW Golf Estate.
Snapped up for a modest sum from the classifieds only a few miles from his home in Bristol, it’s fair to say the black wagon hasn’t had the easiest of lives since its creation in 2004.
The spacious boot area is not only ideal for bike transportation but is currently embedded with years of accumulated spaniel hair and general grossness. The ongoing clean-up operation for this has already involved two vacuum cleaners and one entire roll of masking tape.
Still, with a full year’s MOT and all the oily bits having been looked after, the Golf looks set to provide many happy miles. At least that’s the plan.
- £less than your bike
- Get your own Volkswagen Golf TDI estate on eBay