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DT’s HX 1700 Spline wheels, a third hand from CushCore, PWN Range pedals and EVOC’s Hip Pack Pro

This week's hot new products, plus all the latest news and reviews

First Look Friday thumbnail image.

Last weekend marked the announcement of our 2022 Bike of the Year winners across all our road, gravel and mountain bike categories, with reviews of the contenders still being published daily on the site.

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Giant’s Revolt Pro 0 snatched the top spot in both the Gravel and Road Bike of the Year categories.

On the mountain bike side, the Trek Top Fuel 8 was awarded our Trail Bike of the Year title, while the Nukeproof Giga 297 Carbon Elite was our Enduro Bike of the Year winner, and, from the same brand, the Megawatt 297 Factory won our inaugural eMTB Bike of the Year award.

Of course, the world doesn’t stop turning for our Bike of the Year awards, and the site has been jam-packed with incredible additional content.

We’ve had two Garmin-related stories on the site this week. First was Stan Portus’ review of the Fenix 7 Sapphire Solar smartwatch, where he said that despite it being a top bit of kit, it probably won’t replace a dedicated bike computer.

Next, we got news of Garmin’s Varia RCT715 rear light and camera, that can alert you to approaching vehicles and records any incidents, using similar tech to that seen on the Cannondale Synapse.

Our mountain bike testers and experts – me included – chimed in on whether we think longer, slacker and lower geometry is always better. We’ve also come up with our list of the best mountain bike upgrades, a selection that features everything from dropper posts and forks to handlebar grips and mudguards.

Eagle-eyed editor-in-chief George Scott spotted an all-new aero Cube road bike at the 2022 Giro d’Italia. He’s broken down why he thinks this is Cube’s newest aero racer. We look forward to the official launch and getting one in to test, if indeed it turns out to be the brand’s next bike.

Between all of that, we’ve managed to spend some time on the Wilier Rave SLR Ekar gravel bike. Expect more go-fast gravel bike reviews in the coming days.

Product and accessory manufacturer Ere announced its new Genus CCX tyres, claimed to lower rolling resistance by two watts, reduce punctures and increase grip. The brand claims it has done this by using an all-new CarbonX compound. We’ll try to get a pair in to review to see if the claims are true.

DT Swiss HX 1700 Spline wheels

Our HX 1700 wheels are mixed sizes, with the front featuring a 29in diameter and 30mm internal width, while the rear has a 27.5in diameter and a 35mm width.
Alex Evans / Our Media

The HX 1700 is DT’s ebike-specific version of the aluminium EX 1700 wheels I reviewed when they were first announced in 2020.

The HX version is claimed to build on the performance of the EX wheels with details making them more suitable for the increased speeds, loads and harder riding associated with electric mountain bikes.

First up, the 350 hubs have larger bodies that house reinforced and larger bearings to handle the additional forces created by the motor. The hub is matched to a steel-hardened freehub body instead of the aluminium ones used on the brand’s other wheels.

Like all the brand’s hubs, the 350s use the revered Ratchet freehub technology with 24 points of engagement instead of a spring and pawl system, which is claimed to further improve longevity.

These hubs are laced to their rims using thicker spokes to create a stronger, longer-lasting wheel. This reinforcement, at the spoke’s head, makes Hybrid spokes 30 per cent more resistant to tensile forces than regular ones.

Laced to HX 531 or HX 581 rims, the front and rear wheels in the HX 1700 range are available in both 27.5in and 29in diameters, and 30mm and 35mm internal widths to cater to a wide range of needs. These, DT Swiss claims, have a maximum system weight of 150kg.

My pair of HX 1700 Spline wheels weighed 2,182g, where the front 29in, 30mm-wide wheel tipped the scales at 1,019g, and the rear 27.5in, 35mm-wide wheel weighed 1,163g.

  • £749.98 / $1,057

CushCore Bead Bro

The Bead Bro clamps to the rim’s hook.
Alex Evans / Our Media

This intriguing-looking device is, according to CushCore, like having a third hand.

The tyre insert manufacturer made the Bead Bro to assist with tyre installation, where the final bit of the bead is reluctant to stretch over the rim’s sidewall.

During tyre installation, you can end up ‘chasing’ the section of uninstalled tyre around the rim, as the un-tensioned part pops out.

Enter the Bead Bro.