Friday Five-a-side: this week's best new bike gear
It’s Friday, which now means one thing: it’s Five-a-side time! We don’t want to sound boastful, but BikeRadar HQ has some stellar products to share this week. Here’s the mountain bike gear and road cycling kit that caught our magpie eye.
New mountain bike gear
One Industries Vapor DH kit and Stratum gloves
One industries vapor dh kit and stratum gloves:Jonny Ashelford / Future Publishing
Downhill mountain biking kit and motocross kit can often look pretty similar, and for good reason. But while aesthetics can comfortably cross over, moto kit is often a bit too heavy and over-engineered for bicycle use. Enter the Vapor DH kit and Stratum gloves from One Industries. They’re specifically engineered for the demands of riding bicycles down dirty great hillsides. Lightweight polyester construction designed to pedal in, this could well be the kit to be seen in at the lift queue next season.
Joining a stable of bikes renowned for both form and function, the all-new Mojo HDR 650B is every bit the Ibis we’ve come to know and love. The DW-equipped 130mm travel stunner is available in two colours and while it looks a lot like its siblings, the new HDR 650b has a low-slung 13.5in bottom bracket, ISCG 05 tabs and increased clearance for 11-speed drivetrains. Talk about ready to rip!
This sub-600g dropper post from Raleigh looks set to make a significant splash in the affordable dropper post market. With a hardtail friendly 27.2mm diameter and a three-stage drop covering 100mm of travel and in a single length of 360mm, the Plummet should be spot on for many bikes and riders.
The Maxxis Beaver is now available in a larger volume 2.25in for 29ers. This is great news for those who wanted the Beaver’s wet weather capabilities, but found the 2.0in offering too narrow. Maxxis have also added dual compound capabilities, enhancing grip when cornering while still reducing drag and EXO protection, and delivered it in a lightweight Kevlar 60TPI build.
Ergon sme3 series saddle:Jonny Ashelford / Future Publishing
Ergon have delivered the SME3 Series of saddles, which are focussed specifically on gravity riding. The SME3 offers a uniquely flat platform that allows the rider to quickly and easily reposition themselves according to the trail and conditions. Adding to that the EVA padding and extended rails to help deflect impacts, the SME3 looks set to make a splash in the rapidly growing gravity and enduro market.
Mark cavendish: at speed:Jonny Ashelford / Future Publishing
Mark Cavendish’s second autobiography opens with a bravura scene setter, a dissection of the execution of the Manx Missile’s greatest triumph – victory at the 2011 World Championships. The prologue’s crisply written and studded with the f-word, meaning it reads like Cavendish speaks. It opens a window on his famed photographic memory too. (ISBN: 978-0-091933-40-1)
These carbon-bodied Shimano 105s are all about democratising the technology from pedals further up the range. As such, they share the same broad platform, a similar metal protection plate and adjustable release tensions you’d expect on Dura-Ace or Ultegra models. The penalty for similar performance is a little extra flab – these carbon versions weigh a claimed 285g. Still, we like them a lot.
Challenge strada bianca open clincher tyres:Jonny Ashelford / Future Publishing
The beige walls and the name all point one way – these wireless clincher tyres are for the gravel bike crew. The 700x30c tyres take a bigger volume of air to give a plusher ride on graded roads. They continue with the rich retro theme thanks to the herringbone grip pattern. While we received the retro tan walled tyres, there’s an all-black version of the Italian handmade version.
Spiuk’s range-topping, do-all helmet isn’t especially light – our scales say 273g for the medium/large. But if you want it well-ventilated or aero, it obliges with its clip-on cover. The fit has a well-planted feel. The lid sits good and low on the head with a ratchet at the back to dial up a snug fit.
An all-carbon saddle for less than £100 is hard to find, but Genetic have one and it weighs a fairly respectable 160g. The padding up top is flattened and curved to reduce pressure on the perineum. In fact, the design looks pretty similar to the high performance Bontrager Affinity RXL Carbon and weighs about the same too.