It’s the end of yet another week – and that means it’s time for another installment of our Friday Five-a-side round up of the most interesting bits and pieces of road cycling and mountain biking gear that have recently rolled into our Australian BikeRadar offices.
Take a closer look at what we’ll be testing in the upcoming weeks and months.
New mountain bike gear
Niner Jet 9 RDO frame
With 100mm of travel, this full-carbon 29er dual-suspension frame is designed with endurance mountain bike racing in mind – and that’s exactly what we plan to do on ours.
The CVA suspension system pivots on Enduro Magnetite Black sealed cartridge bearings, which should prove durable and smooth. Other details include improved internal cable routing and a 142 x 12mm rear axle.
This new RDO version drops 70g through a new carbon compaction manufacturing process, which is said to also enhance the ride quality, strength and durability of the frame. We weighed our medium frame at 2.38kg (as pictured).
£2,899 / US$2,899 / AU$3,590
Shimano XC90 shoes
The XC90 shoes sit at the top of Shimano’s off-road shoe range, one above the XC70s we recently reviewed. With a stiff carbon sole, open studded tread design and a 736g total weight (for a size 43EU pair), these are ready for cyclocross or mountain bike races.
The strap layout pulls from both directions, and the uppers and foot beds are heat-mouldable, which should provide a connected fit.
£TBC / US$370 / AU$459
Bontrager XXX MTB shoes
Coming soon for 2015 are these 644g (42EU pair) off-road, World Cup ready XXX MTB kicks from Bontrager. Featuring two Boa dials per shoe, grippy Tachyon rubber tread, Clarino microfiber upper and Bontrager’s stiffest carbon sole, these will be Bontrager’s lightest and highest-end mountain bike shoes to date.
£259.99 / US$399.99 / AU$449
FOX Heritage fork and shock decal kit
These new decal kits will work with all Fox front and rear shocks to let you colourmatch your suspension to your bike. With seven colours to choose from, there’s a good chance that you’ll find your own personal style. We’ll be putting this orange kit on a new Trek Fuel EX 9 27.5 soon.
£TBC / US$TBC / AU$49.95
Featuring a 6061-T6 aluminium frame and chrome vanadium tool bits, this new range of multi-tools offers high-end features at low-end pricing.
There are four models to choose from, starting with the 6, which has 2, 3, 4 and 5mm Allen keys, a T25 tool and a Phillips screwdriver. The 10 and 13 models come next, and the range finishes at the 20, which has 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm Allen keys, three screwdrivers, T10 and T25 tools, a chain breaker, six spoke keys, including one for Mavic wheels, and, of course, a bottle-opener.
Pricing starts from £TBC / US$TBC / AU$17.99
New road bike gear
Bontrager Travel Charger pump
Designed for the traveling cyclist, this compact metal unit folds out into a small, but functional floor pump. The valve head works with both Schrader and Presta valves and offers a basic pressure reading. All up, it weighs 332g, including the provided carry case.
£44.99 / US$59.99 / AU$84.95
JetBlack carbon bottle cages
These two new full-carbon bottle cages are only available in black, with subtle logos, and claim to offer a secure hold on the bottle. The carbon ARC is a right-access side cage that weighs just 23g. The more commonly top-loading carbon Pro is 22g. Like most things from JetBlack, they should prove extremely price competitive.
£TBC / US$TBC / AU$59 each
Cell Brunswick cyclocross bike
Although only available in Australia, we’re amazed by the value of this dealer-direct model from Cell Bikes, with its triple-butted aluminium frame and full-carbon fork. Although geared and ready for the local cyclocross race, it’s full of commuter details too, such as pannier rack and fender mounts, reflective decals, bidon cage mounts and full-length cable housing.
Finishing off the 9.45kg (20.80lb) build is a SRAM Apex/Rival 10-speed drivetrain, Avid BB5 mechanic disc brakes and tubeless ready A-Class wheels. We’re calling it a full-time commuter, part-time racer.
£N/A / US$N/A / AU$1,399
4Shaw Rennen gloves
The 4Shaw Rennen is a short-fingered version of the new gloves we previously showcased. At 22g, these gloves barely exist and with the ICE mesh backing and Gossamer Diamond non-padded palm, they’re perfect for those who want the minimalist feel. There’s also hidden finger pulls and a silicone gripper at the thumb webbing for a confident grip.
£TBC / US$TBC / AU$40
Astute SkyCarb saddle
Sharing the same shape and memory foam padding as the Astute Skylite saddle we reviewed previously, the SkyCarb is the Italian brand’s top-dog, featuring a stunning full carbon shell and rail that brings the weight of this generously-padded saddle down to a barely-there 155g.
£289.99 / US$480 / AU$499