It’s been another busy week of launches in the world of bikes. This week we’ve lifted embargoes on an electric version of Canyon’s Grail gravel bike, saw a reissue of a classic Raleigh team road bike and two flash new enduro mountain bike builds from YT.
In terms of reviews, Carrera’s Titan X – a full-sus mountain bike with 12-speed gearing and a dropper post for just £850 – came away with four out of a possible five stars. Strong praise also came in for Shimano’s mid-level RC5 road shoes.
Anyone looking for a new climbing bike will now have a comprehensive list of our favourites to reference, and our Bike of the Week feature returned in style with a fancy, ferrous, all-roader from Mason Cycles.
Now for this week’s fresh arrivals…
Schwalbe Century tyres
The raised lettering on the sidewalls is a nice touch. Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media
Oli stumbled across these tyres from Schwalbe when seeking a simple replacement for the worn originals on his pub bike. They’re designed as a commuting tyre for the likes of hybrids, fixies or Dutch bikes that may not suit the look of modern tyres.
An unusual profile and raised lettering on the sidewalls make these reminiscent of tyres of old. Even in this most subtle black on black variant, they’re definitely more fun to look at than most commuting rubber.
Anyone really going after that retro look should probably seek the cream sidewall versions though, or at least those with the raised sidewall lettering painted in white. There’s even a version with green tread if that’s your thing.
The wide, flat centre-profile of these tyres is not particularly common nowadays. Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media
Technical highlights include a reflective strip and Schwalbe’s K-Guard puncture protection technology, which uses Kevlar fibres to improve resistance to punctures.
The Centurys use a wire bead and are produced using Schwalbe’s workhorse SBC rubber compound. It’s safe to say we aren’t expecting fabulous grip or minimal rolling resistance, but hopefully these will be dependable tyres that are ideal for the application.
You probably won’t end up buying them at full price either, with most shops selling them at a hefty chunk below their recommended retail price.
SRM X-Power power meter pedals
SRM’s X-Power pedals could start something of a trend for pedal-based power meters on mountain bikes. Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
Here we have the first pedal-based power meter system for mountain bikers – or rather the first that’s dedicated to Shimano’s SPD system – meaning these will more than likely appeal to gravel and cyclocross crowds too.
SRM claims an accuracy of ±2 per cent for these remarkably ordinary looking pair of pedals that total 345g on our scales. The use of internal gyros and accelerometers means SRM can boast of a tool-free setup process and easy calibration – something that definitely can’t be said for some pedal-based power meters.
The electronics and batteries of the dual-sided power meter are housed inside the pedal spindles to give them the best chance for what’s likely to be a pretty tough life. Swapping the pedal bodies is simple thanks to a modular construction.
Mountain bike pedals get a tough life, so these will have to be built tough. Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
The X-Power pedals use ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart protocols, so are compatible with most computers, head units, training apps and wearables.
When we first reported on these last year their claimed battery life was said to be 80 to 90 hours, though the current SRM X-Power product page has taken that figure down significantly to 30 hours between charges.
They’re now with tester Tom Marvin who will be reviewing them for us as soon as he can.
Fenwick’s Professional Chain Lube
The Professional lube holds quite a premium over Fenwick’s regular chain lube. Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media
Fenwick’s says its Professional Lube (formerly Fenwick’s Stealth) is unlike any other out there and gives very little away about what’s actually inside the 100ml container.
The gloopy metallic substance claims to be for both dry and wet conditions while the bottle states it’s ‘extremely efficient’ and ‘silent running’.
For best results, Fenwick’s recommends the lube is applied to a clean chain and then left to cure for 3 to 4 hours before its first use.
It’s also worth mentioning that the lube should be at between 8 and 20 degrees Celsius when applied – something that might not be so easy to do during cold, winter months.
We are hoping for many, many miles of smooth running and will keep you posted on how we get along.
Levi’s reusable cotton face mask
Being considerate, being fashionable. Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media
It was only today that face coverings became mandatory for shoppers in England, so those of us who aren’t especially organised will likely be shopping for one in the near future.
These reusable cotton masks come from denim giant Levi’s and can be considered a more environmentally friendly alternative to the one-time-use plastic masks out there.
They’re sold in packs of three in this non-reversible Paisley design (though reversible versions are also available in different colours).
Hiding the Levi’s label does seem like a bit of an odd choice. Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media
They use elastic ear loops for a secure, comfortable fit and are machine washable. They’re sold in small and large sizes, with large being appropriate for most adult faces.
Fashionistas might be a little peeved to see the signature Levi’s red label sits against the face, at least on the Paisley versions.