Friday Five-a-side: this week’s best new bike gear

Featuring Commencal, Kenesis, Castelli, Troy Lee Designs and more...

In the second installment of Friday five-a-side, BikeRadar are once again bringing you a selection of spangly kit that’s well worth a look. Why five-a-side, you may ask? Five picks for road riders and five picks for mountain bikers! Simples.


New road bike gear

Kinesis Tripster ATR frame

Kinesis tripster atr frameset: kinesis tripster atr frameset
Future Publishing
One bike does all – that’s the idea behind the titanium Kenesis Tripster ATR (ATR stands for adventure, tour, race, if you were wondering). Whether it’s adventure cycling, distance racing, touring, sportives or cyclocross, the Tripster will give it a crack. The frame and fork combo are both disc brake ready and there’s room for up to 40mm tyres and full 45mm mudguards. It’s available in five sizes ranging from 48 to 60cm.

  £1,499 / US$N/A

Castelli Elemento jacket

Castelli elemento jacket : castelli elemento jacket
Jonathan Ashelford/Future Publishing
The Castelli Elemento is a windproof and breathable jacket that comes with a few nifty features to aid your winter training. Beneath the figure hugging aero-fit there’s a full fleece lining. Storage isn’t an issue, with five pockets, two of which are zipped, and you’ll also find zips on each cuff to allow for extra ventilation and easy closure over gloves. The Elemento is optimised for temperatures between 0 and 12 degrees, ideal for the UK winter. You had better start saving though, it does not come cheap!

£275 / US$457.99

33 Shake Chia energy gel

33 shake chia energy gel: 33 shake chia energy gel
Jonathan Ashelford/Future Publishing
This is an energy gel with a difference! The 33 Shake Chia gel is made from all natural ingredients. It arrives in dry form, and you need to crack open the lid of the packet and fill it with water, coconut water or fruit juice. Reseal the lid, shake it up and wait for 10 minutes until it’s ready to use. The gel contains carbs, omega-3 and nine amino acids, all tailored for extreme endurance. 33 Shake claim the fuel gives a constant boost, has anti-inflammatory benefits and won’t upset your stomach. Like all of 33 Shake’s products, the Chia energy gel is suitable for vegetarians and is gluten free.

£1.99 per gel / US$N/A

FFWD F6D wheelset

FFWD f6d wheelset: ffwd f6d wheelset
Jonathan Ashelford/Future Publishing
These carbon tubulars from Fast Forward use an already-proven 60mm carbon rim design and combine it with DT’s 240 disc hubs. There’s no braking surface so these are truly a disc-specific wheelset. The DT hubs use Shimano’s center-lock disc standard (though there are adaptors for using a six-bolt disc) and there are 28 spokes front and rear. They’re hand-built in the Netherlands, and the claimed weight for the pair is 1,465g.

£1,498 / $2,199

Selle San Marco Aspide Carbon FX saddle

Selle san marco aspide carbon fx: selle san marco aspide carbon fx
Jonathan Ashelford/Future Publishing
Selle San Marco have taken their popular Aspide saddle back to the drawing board and it’s now available in nine different models. The one you see here is the Aspide Carbon FX and it tips our scales at just 121g. This is down to its new shape and lighter, more elastic foam material. One-piece carbon rails cross and knot over at the nose end of the saddle, adding strength without excessive additional weight. For more on the Aspide Carbon FX and the rest of Selle San Marco’s 2014 Aspide road saddles, see our First Look here.

New mountain bike gear

Commencal Meta Hip Hop 2

Commencal meta hip hop 2: commencal meta hip hop 2
Jonathan Ashelford/Future Publishing
The Meta Hip Hop 2 is a new addition to the Commencal line-up for 2014 and is the second, cheaper spec of two Hip Hop builds available. Like a little brother to the Meta SX, the Hip Hop 2 gets 120mm of travel at the rear wheel but uses a 140mm Fox 32 fork up front. Yes, suspension travel is down, but take a closer look at the Hip Hop and you’ll realise this is not your typical 120mm travel machine.  With through-axles at each end, seriously slack geometry and a flap-free transmission as standard, the Hip Hop 2 is clearly geared towards fun on the descents. The standard cockpit comprises a wideboy 780mm bar and a stubby 50mm stem. The Hip Hop 2 keeps it real by dodging the wheelsize debate and opting for 26in hoops – could this be the last of the 26in rippers?

£2,699 / $4,495


X-Fusion RV1 DH fork

X-Fusion rv1 fork: x-fusion rv1 fork
Jonathan Ashelford/Future Publishing
Last month we were lucky enough to spend time on X-Fusion’s all-new RV1 dual-crown downhill fork. First impressions were good, but now we’ve now secured a set for a thorough test in the UK. Look out for a full review in issue 304 of Mountain Biking UK magazine.

£TBA / $1,499

Troy Lee Designs D3 Carbon Sam Hill helmet

Troy lee d3 carbon sam hill helmet: troy lee d3 carbon sam hill helmet
Jonathan Ashelford/Future Publishing
Downhill protection doesn’t get much better looking than this. Pinstripes, glitter and roses somehow manage to avoid clashing on this Sam Hill signature carbon full face lid. It’s as close as you’ll get to wearing the one off Troy Lee masterpiece created for the Chain Reaction/Nukeproof team rider himself.

£429.99 / $450

Scott Grafter Protec backpack

scott grafter protec backpack: scott grafter protec backpack
Jonathan Ashelford/Future Publishing
This 16-litre all-mountain/enduro backpack includes a removable back protector, and can accommodate both full-face and regular helmets. It’s designed to hold kneepads too. It doesn’t come with a bladder, but does include a designated bladder compartment. There’s ample room for your tools and a hard case is provided to store sunglasses. If you aren’t into the colour, you’ll have to deal with it, there aren’t any more options!

€139,95 / UK and US pricing TBA

Tifosi Podium XC glasses

Tifosi podium xc glasses : tifosi podium xc glasses
Jonathan Ashelford/Future Publishing

If you’re in the market for a frameless set of glasses with a trick lens, then the Tifosi Podium XCs are well worth a shout. The nose and ear pieces are adjustable and are made from hydrophilic rubber, for a slip-free fit even on sweaty skin. The matching blue lenses are mirrored and use a special coating to repel water and perspiration. For a full review of these check out issue 297 of Mountain Biking UK magazine, on sale 15 November.

£69.99 / $79.95