Friday Five-a-side: this week's best new bike gear
It’s Friday, and that means only one thing in the BikeRadar office – it’s time for our Friday Five-a-side round up of the most interesting bits and pieces of road cycling kit and mountain biking gear that have arrived on the post van this week…
New road cycling gear
Rolf Prima Vigor Alpha wheels
Rolf prima vigor alpha wheels:Jonny Ashelford / Future Publishing
The president of Rolf Prima dropped in to show us one of his top sellers – the Vigor Alpha clincher. It’s a 22mm-width rim wheel that’s been handbuilt not once, not twice, but three times at the company HQ in Oregon. On each build, the spokes’ stretch and the tension can be increased. And we’ll attest that those spokes (14 on the front wheel, 16 in the back) are ridiculously tight. They’re light, too – a pair of Vigor Alpha wheels adds 1,450g to a bike build, thanks to quality component use such as a titanium freehub body, Sapim CX-Ray bladed spokes and 33mm rims. There’s a disc-brake version available as well.
Urban bike clothing brand Swrve’s Deck Jacket is lightweight and well-made – there isn’t a loose thread to be seen anywhere. It features some classy styling too. We’re particularly taken with the hidden zips to the two back pockets which keeps the fit neat and tidy. The wind- and rain-resistant Deck Jacket comes in six earthy colours, including this burnt orange offering.
Tailored with a natural handle-bar gripping curl, the Diluvio Deluxe is Castelli’s neoprene glove for chilly, slightly damp conditions. The glove’s cuff reaches well up the forearm and has a snot wipe strip up each thumb. It’s that pre-curl, though, that gives the gloves distinction. It stops material bunching under the fingers, but it also naturally holds the fingers in a claw position. If only we’d had them for Hallowe’en…
These pedals’ steel axles are house in a carbon body and are built, say Mavic, for the most powerful riders. Look familiar? Of course they do: the Zxelliums are part of a partnership agreement with French component maker and pedal specialist Time.
Praxis works leva time chainrings:Jonny Ashelford / Future Publishing
Cold forged aluminium chainrings will last longer than machined ones, says Praxis Works who sent us this compact 52-36 set with a 110 bolt circle diameter (BCD). Compatibility is fairly good – these rings will fit most cranks, but not asymmetric designs such as Shimano Dura-Ace 9000, Campagnolo cranks or SRAM Exogram models.
Italian suspension maestros Marzocchi have been busy developing the all-new 380 C2RC Titanium downhill fork. With weight saving at the core of the redesign, the new 2.84kg 200mm travel fork contains both a titanium coil spring and the new Dynamic Bleed Cartridge, which combines a sealed cartridge with an open bath system. Other notable upgrades include nickel coated 38mm stanchions and a flat black paintjob.
There’s nothing worse than losing signal, especially when you really need it, so having access to something that can retain contact is advantageous to those who tend to venture off the beaten track. The SPOT Gen3 messenger allows you to remain in touch via satellite, whether it’s allowing your loved ones to track you on the move or to send an emergency message when things go wrong.
Mountain biking can take us to the middle of nowhere and even when we’re not that far from civilisation, regular cellular networks aren’t the best at keeping us connected. Enter the satellite phone – the GSP-1700 gives you the power of communicating with those that matter when your regular mobile phone says no.
Maia mx2200 high power lights:Jonny Ashelford / Future Publishing
Riding at night can be as hazardous as it is fun, but equipping yourself with some quality illumination helps the fun factor no end. While quality lights for off-road adventures have been with us for some time, so have inherently high prices. The Maia MX2200 lights not only come in at an affordable price, they’re also packed with great features, such as a lightweight aircraft grade casing, 2200-lumen output with 120 hours of battery life and coming with both helmet and handlebar mounts and a charger in the box.
Platform pedals are a lot of fun, especially with the trails being especially greasy at the moment and if you’re partial to keeping the weight down and the stoke factor high, take a look at these numbers from RaceFace. Featuring a lightweight (360g) T6 aluminium body with a concave shape containing 20 pins and rolling on cartridge bearings and DU bushings, these new pedals look perfect for trail riding where the extra grip from gravity specific pedals is just too much.