With yet another working week drawing to a close (luckily a short one in many parts of the world), it’s time for Friday Five-a-side. Here’s a choice selection of gear that’s rolled onto the plush carpets of BikeRadar’s Sydney-based Australian offices.
New road bike gear
Café du Cycliste clothing
Using naturally breathable, wicking and stink-resistant merino-infused fabric, this jersey has a comfortable feel and generous stretch. Little details include reinforced rear pockets (which hold heaps of stuff) to prevent sagging, a full-length zipper, silicone gripper at the waist and plenty of reflective panels.
€125.00 / £105 / US$TBC / AU$TBC
Abbey Bike Tools pedal wrench
Built for the professional, the Abbey Bike Tools pedal wrench combines all three commonly needed tools into one glorious item. Featuring a stained American white oak wood handle and hardened steel bits, it’s comfortable in the hand and built to last. The 12in length isn’t quite as long as a workshop pedal wrench, but it’s certainly the longest hex wrench going.
A further neat touch is the swivelling hex bits, which let you break the pedal free and then quickly spin it loose without interference.
£TBC / US$130 / AU$TBC
Catlike Mixino helmet
The outer shell of the helmet is reinforced with graphene, a super strong and lightweight composite material derived from graphite. Keeping the EPS foam together beneath the shell is an internal Aramid Roll cage.
Since we last reviewed this helmet, manufacturing has returned to Spain, with the central channel also being reinforced and the padding improved. Our Australian standards large sample weighs 275g.
£170 / US$300 / AU$329
Birzman Shimano bottom bracket adaptor tool
Shimano recently threw a spanner (or two) in the works with its smaller Dura-Ace standard (BB9000) and, for unknown reasons, yet another standard with Ultegra 6800 (BBR60). This little machined steel tool from Birzman simply slots inside your current bottom bracket wrench (or socket) and fits both of Shimano’s new sizes. Genius.
£12 / US$20 / AU$TBC
Wheel Life: Cycling Recollections of the 1950s and 1960s
In this self-published work, Schofield lets his 14 interviewees tell their stories. With the inclusion of numerous black and white photographs alongside newspaper clippings and race programme covers, Wheel Life resembles a personal scrapbook that brings together the period’s personalities and defining moments.
£N/A / US$N/A / AU$30
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New mountain bike gear
Polar V650 with heart rate sensor
This solid unit features a large 2.8in colour touchscreen, route guided mapping, Bluetooth Smart (4.0) connectivity and a neat automatic LED backlight.
With more and more brands offering power meters with Bluetooth compatibility, the lack of ANT+ connectivity may not be as big of a deal as it once was. Look out for a review of this new GPS computer soon.
£210 / US$319 / AU$449
Merida Big Seven XT-Edition
The Big Seven XT Edition features a mix of 2×10 Shimano XT and Deore componentry, and a RockShox Recon fork with remote lockout. We’re not simply planning to review this bike as normal – we’ve got special plans for testing it out.
£N/A / US$N/A / AU$1,949
Birzman Zacoo Macht shock pump
There’s a maximum pressure of 300psi visible on a 1in gauge that hides a pressure bleed button on the back. A shortened hose features Birzman’s Air-Lock valve and the rest of the pump is made of shiny aluminium.
£35 / US$50 / AU$TBC
Abbey Bike Tools Stu stick
£TBC / US$22 / AU$TBC
Race Face DIY women’s gloves
While the ladies’ fit comes in on the small side and the choice is limited to black or black, these lightweight mountain biking gloves from Race Face are still nicely thought out.
Padding at the palm is marginal, something that’s been done for greater bar feel. An ultra-light stretchable mesh backing meets the velcro cuff with a pull to help you get the glove on. A touchscreen compatible middle finger and soft microfibre surface on the back of the thumb complete the feature list.
£35 / US$40 / AU$45