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

Featuring Norco, Factor, ODI, Howies and more

It’s that time again! Yes, it’s Friday and in the BikeRadar office that means just one thing – it’s time for our Friday Five-a-side round up of the week’s best new bike gear. Here’s this week’s selection of the most interesting bikes and gear to arrive at our post room this week.


New mountain bike gear

Norco Sight Carbon 7 1.5

Norco sight carbon 7 1.5:
Jonathan Ashelford/Future Publishing
We’ve always been fond of Norco’s Sight. In 2012 the original 26in wheeled Sight took What Mountain Bike’s Trail Bike of the Year award, and since then the bike has been offered in several 650B ‘Killer-B’ variations, but this is the fresh-for-2014 Sight Carbon model.That means an all-new carbon fibre frame, which is a bold move for Norco and marks the first time the Canadian firm has combined carbon fibre and full suspension. This example is the cheaper of two Sight Carbon models as secured by UK retailer Evans Cycles. Its build consists mostly of Shimano SLX componentry, with Fox bounce at either end. The complete claimed weight is 12.25kg (27lb). 

£3,100 / US$4,165 /

Stanton 4X frame

Stanton 4x frame:
Jonathan Ashelford/Future Publishing
We took a look at Stanton’s 4X frame earlier this year, but are now pleased to have one in to test. Developed with UK national 4X champion and Stanton-sponsored rider Luke Limbrick, the 4X is a true race-bred ripper. We think the raw, clear-coat finish adds to an already great looking frame, but if it’s not to your taste there’s a black option.

£375 / US$N/A

Leatt Fusion 2.0 Junior Protector

Leatt fusion 2.0:
Jonathan Ashelford/Future Publishing
Leatt’s Fusion 2.0 provides combined neck and torso protection for little rippers. Designed primarily for use in motocross, the Fusion 2.0 is also a great choice for junior downhill riders. Two sizes are available, the smaller of the two being for a height range of 3ft 5in to 4ft 1in and the larger covering a range of 4ft 1in to 4ft 11in. The shoulder sections are easily removable for a less restrictive feel and there are a few different colour options available.

£199 / US$249

Dirty Squod Team saddle

Dirty squod team saddle:
Jonathan Ashelford/Future Publishing
‘Dirty’ is a range of saddles produced by well known Italian manufacturer San Marco. The Squod Team is a 229g, manganese-railed trail perch that appears to strike a good balance between weight and strength. It’s also available in blue or red.

€69.90 (approx £58.23 / US$95.11)

Howies Beemer 3M reflective shirt

Howies beemer shirt:
Jonathan Ashelford/Future Publishing
Here’s something for the safety and fashion conscious individual, the Beemer shirt from Howies. Woven into this casual looking Nylon shirt are 3M Scotchlite strips, meaning you’ll be visible at night and won’t even have to change your shirt before a pub visit… Makes perfect sense to us!

£69 / US$N/A

New road cycling kit

G8 Performance IGNITE insoles

G8 performance ignite insoles:
Jonathan Ashelford/Future Publishing
These IGNITE heat mouldable Insoles from G8 Performance will adjust to the exact profile of their owner’s relaxed foot. No messing about with the oven here, a quick blow over with a hairdryer should do the trick. They’re also remouldable and they’ll even go through the washing machine with no hassle.

£50 / US$77 / AUS$85

Factor Power Cranks

Factor power cranks:
Jonathan Ashelford/Future Publishing
Factor visited the BikeRadar towers last week and introduced us to the new Ultegra Di2 Vis Vires road bike along with these power meter cranks, which are available on the current Vis Vires road bike as a £2,000 option. They provide the rider with a staggering amount of data. As standard they’re compatible with any ANT+ compatible bicycle computer, but upgrade to Factor’s own logger system and you can make the most of their high speed data mode, which samples internally at rate of 192Hz comapred to the 90Hz limit of ANT+ mode. Look out for a full test on BikeRadar soon.

£2,000 / $3,269

ODI Hudz

ODI hudz:
Jonathan Ashelford/Future Publishing
ODI is best known for its lock-on mountain bike grips, but they actually produce grips for everything from watercraft and snowmobiles to quads and motorcross bikes. These HUDZ add extra material to key areas of hoods in order to improve comfort and ergonomics and are also designed to stop debris from clogging the shift mechanism. Available for Shimano, SRAM and Campag systems they’re also available in a whole array of colours and a choice of two compounds.

£19.99 / $24.95

Cactus Tongue wall bracket

Cactus tongue wall bracket:
Jonathan Ashelford/Future Publishing
If you’re looking for a smart looking storage solution then the Cactus Tongue wall bracket might be of interest. Simply fit the stainless steel storage bracket to a wall of your choice and it’ll be ready to accept your ride – either horizontally by the top tube or vertically by the handlebars. Protective pads at the contact points should keep your pride and joy from scratches, but be aware that there is a 15kg (33lb) weight limit with this solution.

£49.99 / US – contact for pricing and delivery options

Raleigh Militis Team

Raleigh militis team :
Jonathan Ashelford/Future Publishing

It’s fair to say that the Raleigh brand does, and probably always will, bring a mix of emotions. But chuck your preconceptions out of the window with this one. Introducing the Militis Team, a 6.9kg ready-to-race road ride. The 880g frame pairs with SRAM’s Red 22 group and rolls on Cole C38 carbon clinchers. Elsewhere a spattering of high-end kit ensures the Raleigh is taken seriously. Keep an eye on Cycling Plus magazine to see how the Raleigh fares during testing.

£5,000 / US$N/A