A 3D-printed helmet, an affordable dynamo hub, and the new gravel-ready Trek Domane

Your weekly roundup of the latest kit to land at BikeRadar HQ

  The products mentioned in this article are selected and reviewed independently by our journalists. When you buy through links on our site we may earn an affiliate commission, but this never influences our opinion.
First Look Friday thumbnail image

Autumn’s definitely here now (in the northern hemisphere at least) with the mornings feeling a little more crisp and the evenings getting darker. Time to dig out the gloves, gilets, arm and leg warmers and all those other accessories that help with the awkward weather you get between seasons.

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This week saw our first ride review of the new Shimano GRX 810 Di2, as well as our long-awaited review of Continental’s GP5000 TL tyres. While we’re on the subject, the latest episode of the BikeRadar Tech Talk podcast landed this week, and the topic is wheel diameter and tyre size.

With The Cycle Show still fresh in our minds, we had a good look at the Gocycle GXi with all its innovative proprietary tech, and ask whether this will be the new benchmark for folding electric bikes.

The big announcement this week was the launch of the Orbea WildFS M-Ltd trail 29er, and Tom gave that the first ride treatment as well.

But on to this week’s new arrivals…

Trek Domane SL 7

Trek’s high-performance endurance line gets a new iteration for 2020, and this time it’s all about versatility, better aerodynamics and of course, slaying the grav grav.

With clearance for up to 38c tyres, combined with front and rear IsoSpeed decouplers, the Trek Domane SL 7’s in-built comfort tech means it’s not just designed for smooth tarmac.

The SL 7 features a 2×11 Ultegra Di2 drivetrain, with 50/34t chainrings and an 11-34t cassette. The frame is constructed from 500 series OCLV carbon, and finishing kit includes tubeless-ready Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3V OCLV carbon wheels, a Bontrager IsoZone handlebar and flat-mount hydraulic disc brakes.

Another interesting feature of the Domane SL 7 is its integrated storage compartment in the down tube for stowing away ride essentials. This is hidden beneath the bottle cage mount and contains a slot for your multi-tool, as well as a roll-bag for your tyre levers, inner tube and other small fixtures. The bag just slots inside the down tube. The only kicker is it’s designed specifically for Bontrager tools.

  • Sizes: 47, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62
  • Weight: 8.95kg (58cm)
  • Price: £4,900 / €5,599 / $5,999.99

Hexr custom 3D-printed helmet

Almost a year after Hexr announced the launch the world’s first custom 3D-printed helmet, the final product has finally landed on my desk, and I have to say, it is a thing of beauty.

While it’s not the first 3D-printed helmet, it’s the first of its kind in that it’s designed to fit the exact measurements of the wearer’s head. 

Using a cleverly designed app on an iPad, a full scan is taken to create a digital model of the head. This then helps to map out the exact shape needed for the perfect fit, which is then 3D-printed with Polyamide 11 (PA 11). 

Unlike Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), PA 11 is a conductor of heat, which — thanks to the honeycomb structure of the helmet — spreads the energy generated by an impact over a broader area. Hexr claims the impact control of its helmets are 68 per cent better than the EPS that lines the majority of other lids.

If you want a full, in-depth explanation of how it works, check out our original news story.

Currently, Hexr is only available in the UK. After purchasing online, you’ll receive a 3D scanner in the post, or you can have your head scanned in person at its London HQ. You should receive your custom helmet within five weeks.

As you’d expect, since it’s custom made to the size and shape of my head, I can personally vouch for the fact that it is insanely comfortable.

Surly Moloko handlebar with Moloko bar bag

This unusual set of handlebars has arrived ready to be fitted to my long-termer, the Surly Bridge Club.

They offer plenty of hand positions, while the 34-degree sweep angle should provide a comfortable and reasonably upright position. This alone makes them a great option for all-day riding, not to mention all the mounting space for your lights, GPS device and bikepacking bags if you’re so inclined. 

As with most things Surly, they’re constructed from Chromoly steel and feel pretty solid. Our scales put them at 724g.

The bars come stock at 735mm in width, but there’s an option to cut them down to 685mm if needed, with cut marks provided.

While the Moloko bars will take any kind of dangly bar bag, there’s also a purpose-made bag that nestles snugly into the centre, making it easy to reach while on the go. Surly says it also works with the Jones Loop bar, should that be what you’re running.

With a 2-litre capacity it’s a good size for valuables, a packable waterproof, a slingshot, or those all-important bananas.

It’s made of Urethane-coated nylon canvas that feels pretty sturdy, though bear in mind that it’s not waterproof. It does however have some very nice and well thought-out features, such as the elasticated cord fastening on the top for extra storage.

Also, if you’re using an external battery-powered light, there’s a handy gap in the side of the bag for the cable to run through.

Alpkit Love Mud Juice Boost dynamo hub

Whether it’s an overnighter or the darkness of winter, the last thing you want to be worrying about is whether your lights have enough battery power to get you to your destination. 

A dynamo hub provides a reliable light source and is an essential accessory if you’re planning to ride extensively in the dark. But it can also be a significant investment.

Thankfully online retailer Alpkit has an affordable option in the form of its Love Mud Juice dynamo disc hub. It comes both as a standard 100mm quick-release hub and a Boost version, pictured here.

It’s marketed as a low-drag and highly efficient hub that puts out 6V/3W of unregulated AC power — not recommended for charging electronics without a USB charger, but perfect for keeping your lights going. All you need to do is keep pedalling.

The Love Mud Juice Boost dynamo hub has 32 spoke holes and a 6-bolt disc mount, and is compatible with 110mm, 15mm bolt-thru-axles or QR. On our scales it weighs 486g.

All in all, if you’re in the market for a dynamo hub that doesn’t break the bank, this is a good option for you.

  • Price: £94.99 / €143.99 / $131.99
  • Buy now from Alpkit (£94.99)

WTB Ranger TCS Tough Fast Rolling Plus folding tyres

I’ve ordered these plus tyres in for the Surly Bridge Club, and I’ll be mounting them to WTB’s latest generation rims — KOM Tough TCS 2.0 — which have an internal width of 40mm.

The tough/fast rolling Rangers are constructed with WTB’s dual DNA rubber, a blend of compounds which it claims gives the perfect mix of efficiency, traction and durability. Essentially it boils down to a firm centreline tread pattern flanked by exposed outer knobs composed of a softer and slower-rebounding rubber.

According to WTB, the Rangers are designed to be ridden in a variety of conditions, whether it’s dry, wet, hardpack or loam. The do-it-all nature of the tyres makes them a good option for trail riding and bikepacking alike, and therefore a dead cert for the Bridge Club.

The WTB Rangers are tubeless-ready and available in 26, 27.5 and 29in diameters, paired with either a 2.8 or 3in width. At 1,026g per tyre, they’re pretty hefty, but they’re also available with a light casing, if you’re looking to save a bit of weight.

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  • Price: £42.99 / €53.49