It’s the end of yet another week – and that means it’s time for another installment of our Friday Five-a-side round up of the most interesting bits and pieces of road cycling and mountain biking gear that have recently landed on our doorstep.
Take a closer look at what we’ll be testing in the upcoming weeks and months.
New mountain bike gear
ENVE Carbon Mountain fork
Riders interested in building up an lightweight rigid singlespeed or short-track race demon take note: ENVE’s all-carbon mountain bike fork is now available.
The rigid fork, intended for 29ers, has a 470mm axle to crown measurement and features a tapered 1.5 to 1.25in carbon steerer and carbon legs.
A 15mm axle threads into aluminium inserts in the legs. The orientation of these inserts can be flipped to adjust the fork’s offset from 44 to 52mm to provide the preferred amount of trail.
ENVE also developed a trick removable carbon fender that doubles as the guide for the front brake line. The weight of the fork with the compression plug and fender is 730g (690g without the fender) according to our scales.
US$625 (UK and AU pricing TBA)
Specialized S-Works Phenom saddle
Specialized redesigned its flagship mountain bike saddle for 2015. The central channel as been widened for improved blood flow and the nose is 1cm shorter than previous versions. The side panels are welded, rather than stitched, to the upper to reduce friction and ease transitions on and off the saddle.
The S-Works Phenom is available in 143mm and 155mm-wide versions and features a carbon shell and carbon rails that keep the weight down to just 150g (for the 143mm version).
US$300 (UK and AU pricing TBA)
Cane Creek DB Inline shock
The new Cane Creek DB Inline is a slimmed-down shock that will fit a wider range of frames than the company’s piggyback models, while still offering the same massive range of adjustment.
The DB Inline is a shock tuners dream, featuring independent adjustments for high and low-speed compression damping, as well as high and low-speed rebound.
Cane Creek’s Climb Switch, introduced last year on the DBair CS, is also present, and allows the rider to increase platform the pedaling platform and slow down the shock’s rebound to make climbing easier with a flip of the switch.
US$495 / AU$549 (UK pricing TBA)
Scosche Rhythm+ heart rate monitor
If you’re not fond of chest straps (and don’t mind having another strange tan line) the Scosche forarm heart rate monitor might be the ticket. It works with Bluetooth as well as ANT+ sensors to deliver heart rate date from up to 100ft away from your device.
The Rhythm+ is waterproof and has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery good for up to eight hours of exercise.
US$79.99 / £74.99 / AUS$129
Sport RX prescription eyewear
Sport RX specialises in creating prescription eyewear for active individuals. While many eyewear companies offer prescription versions of their shades, there are times when certain prescriptions, particularly very strong ones, fall outside of what most companies can package into frames. This is Sport RX’s specialty — designing custom lens solutions for brands such as Rudy Project (shown here), Oakley, Smith and more.
Price varies by model and lens choice.
New road bike gear
Smith Overtake helmet
Following on from the Forefront all-mountain helmet, Smith’s new Overtake road helmet uses the same honeycomb Koroyd design. Smith claims that the use of Koroyd material allowed the company to make the helmet substantially slimmer, and therefore more aero than the Giro Air Attack, among some others. EPS foam is also used in the helmet.
US$250 (UK and AU pricing TBA)
MOXY Muscle Oxygen Sensor
Although more of an instrument for a coach or training lab than an individual rider, the Moxy Sensor measures oxygen in the muscles with light-emitting diodes and photo detectors. Coaches or physiologist can use the Moxy Sensor to measure effort in real time outside of a lab. For cycling, the Sensor can be worn on the thigh underneath cycling shorts. It transmits on ANT+ and recharges via micro USB.
US$1,200 (UK and AU pricing not available)
Bell Star Pro helmet
The Star Pro is a convertible aero helmet – the rider can slide an internal cover open or closed with a finger. Bell claims that with the shell closed, the helmet is faster in the wind tunnel than the Specialized Evade and Giro Air Attack.
The Star Pro uses a magnetic Zeiss Shield on some models. Attaching with magnets, the shield can be removed and attached just above the brow if a rider wants to take it off while riding.
US$240 / ￡169 alone or US$280 / ￡199 with shield (AU pricing not available)
Boardman AiR TT 9.4 Di2
The Air TT carbon frame features tidy internal routing and integrated brakes for aero performance, while the four-bolt seatpost upper offers a huge range of adjustment for getting the ideal body position.
The 9.4 Di2 model features an Shimano Ultegra Di2 11-speed drivetrain with TRP integrated brakes. The Shimano RS31 wheels are great for everyday training, and the Continental Grand Prix 4000 clinchers are best in class.
£3,499 / US$5,500 (AU pricing TBA)
Giro Base Pockets base layer
With its so-called Skeletal Pocket Construction, Giro’s new base layer can hold a tube, tools or other items without sagging, should you want to wear it underneath a casual shirt while riding around.
US$50 / (UK and AU pricing TBA)