My oh my, doesn’t time just fly? Is anyone feeling festive yet, or do you, like me, still think your brain is stuck somewhere in mid-June 2020?
Either way, bikes are still an exceptional gateway to the cerebral (and physical) Neverlands of skids, wheelies, speed tucks and watts, providing a welcome distraction from real life – at either breakneck speed or as a gentle cruise.
I certainly hope that BikeRadar has been a great place to get your two-wheeled fix, and we’ve had a bumper week to boot.
Road technical editor Warren Rossiter has published four reviews of affordable, lightweight commuter electric bikes: the Mycle Classic, the Revolutionworks Whippet, the Pure Electric Flux One, and the Carerra Impel IM-2.
We’ve also explained the history of the 700c wheel, which has become the go-to size for road bikes.
Cycling Plus editor Matt Baird tackled the UK’s toughest sportive, the Fred Whitton Challenge. Read his account to learn about an adventurous ride that included 33 per cent gradients!
In the world of fat tyres, I covered the launch of the all-new Specialized Turbo Levo Alloy, the brand’s more affordable version of the S-Works Turbo Levo electric mountain bike I reviewed earlier this year.
Focus also launched a new Jam2, its biggest-hitting ebike.
And because it’s the season, take a look at my seven best tips for riding your mountain bike at night.
Keep scrolling for this week’s selection of top-tier kit!
POC Consort MTB dungaree
The Consort MTB dungaree from POC is ludicrous-looking and insanely costly.
But there’s method to the Swedish brand’s madness and if the Consort’s features are anything to go by, it’s going to become the go-to style of riding trouser in the future.
Made from a super-tough stretchy and reinforced Cordura three-layer waterproof material with a 15,000mm water column rating, coated with a PFC-free DWR treatment, there’s little that should be able to penetrate the Consort.
To boot, it has a 30,000gsm/24hr breathability rating, and also features two thigh-length ventilation ports to help regulate temperature.
There are four zipped pockets: one on each thigh, a chest pocket big enough to store a mobile phone, and a small card pocket.
There’s an adjustable waist strap, and the elasticated suspenders can be used to regulate height with Velcro tabs.
There’s enough space in the knees for knee pads, and the ankles are elasticated to stop water heading up the legs from splashes.
- £450 / $500 / €490
- Buy the Consort MTB dungaree direct from POC
e*thirteen TRS Plus chain guide
Lightweight chain retention and protection complements a narrow-wide chainring well. Although the profiled teeth on narrow-wide chainrings used for 1x drivetrains arguably made chain devices redundant, there are still times when a bit of extra protection from dropping a chain is handy.
This super-light chain guide (96g) should not only keep your chain on its ring over even the choppiest of terrain, but thanks to its removable bash guard, it should also be protected from damage caused by ground strikes.
Two bash guards are included with the device – a smaller and larger one – and the ISCG spacers are all-in-one tabs, rather than individual washers, which makes setup easier.
PINND CS2 flat pedals
PINND’s CS2 pedals have been designed and engineered in Scotland to withstand some of the worst conditions on the planet.
Each pedal has a HK1015 needle roller bearing and two cartridge bearings, spinning on a grade-5 titanium axle, all protected from the elements by oil seals.
There are 13 pins per side, and each pin is sharpened thanks to a tapered conical design to provide loads of grip. The stock pins are made from steel, but aluminium and titanium ones are also available.
The pedal’s 7075-T6 anodised aluminium body has been CNC machined to have a concave shape and chamfered edges.
On my scales, the silver-coloured pedals with steep pins weighed 416g a pair.
PNW Components Rover Hip Pack
PNW Components is new to the clothing and accessories domain, having previously been famed for its aftermarket dropper post levers.
But the brand has recently launched a host of clothing lines, including a jacket, shorts and a riding jersey.
In my opinion, the most interesting addition is the Rover Hip Pack.
It’s got four YKK PU-coated zip pockets, one on each hip strap, plus two on the pack’s body. Internally, there’s a mesh compartment in the main pocket, and a neoprene-padded smartphone pocket.
It’s made from a 100 per cent recycled polyester three-layer sailcloth fabric with a DWR coating.
The adjustable waistband can span from 24in to 48in, and has wing adjusters to fine-tune fit.
It has a removable water bottle pocket that attaches to the side straps using poppers.
On my scales, the Rover Hip Pack weighed 370g.
To boot, it has a lifetime warranty, like all PWN components.
Misspent Summers mountain bike yearbooks
Throughout the last two pandemic-stricken years, mountain bike racing has been a staple release for fans of the sport.
And Misspent Summers has been busy producing its annual enduro and downhill world cup yearbooks so you can relive the highs and lows of the dramatic, explosive and captivating 2021 race season.
Along with epic storytelling, the yearbooks are stacked with features and opinion from some of the industry’s leading people.
On top of that, they’re printed on gorgeous high-quality FSC-certified paper.
At BikeRadar, we love seeing the world of mountain biking documented in print, and Misspent Summers’ books do the job amazingly.
- The World Stage 4: 2021: £17
- Hurly Burly 5: 2021: £17