Friday Five-a-side: This week’s best new road and MTB gear

Featuring Specialized, Troy Lee Designs, Giro, Belitanner and more

Another Friday in the BikeRadar office, another round-up of the best new bike kit we’ve gotten our hands on this week. Here’s the most exciting mountain bike and road cycling gear that we’ve received in the last few days.

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New mountain bike gear

Rose The Unchained 2 downhill bike

Rose the unchained 2:
Jonny Ashelford / Future Publishing

Rose’s The Unchained 2 is the company’s new top-flight downhill bike. It features an adjustable 200 to 220mm of rear travel, thanks to the Fox DHX RC4-A rear shock, and an adjustable wheelbase, as well as a component spec that reads like a wishlist for any rider looking for the best parts available. This includes a full Shimano Saint transmission and brakes, the stunning Mavic Deemax Ultimate wheels and a Fox 40 RC2 fork, making this a serious machine for serious terrain.

£3302.68 / €3899 / US$N/A

Troy Lee Designs Aaron Gwin D3 helmet

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Jonny Ashelford / Future Publishing

After Aaron Gwin’s stellar start to the 2014 season, with a World Cup win already under his belt, it seems very fitting to feature his signature D3 helmet from Troy Lee Designs. Covering the carbon fibre shell and dual layer shock pad system is this latest design. With everything from bright yellow to orange, blue and verigated chrome with purple detailing, it really stands out from the crowd.

£429.99 / US$450

Troy Lee Designs Sprint kit

Jonny Ashelford / Future Publishing

Designed to meet the specific needs of downhill riders, the new Sprint pants and from TLD feature lightweight materials and a pedal friendly layout. The jersey has micro-mesh arms and lower body to help maintain airflow and the pants feature a three-quarter length mesh liner, two zippered pockets, mesh venting and two-way stretch material in critical areas.

Sprint jersey £54.99 / US$50, Sprint pants £119.99 / US$125

Azonic Wicked pedals

Azonic wicked pedals:
Jonny Ashelford / Future Publishing

Manufactured from extruded and CNC’d 6061 T6 aluminium, the new Azonic Wicked pedals are aimed at all-mountain riders looking for a light (316g claimed), low-profile flat pedal. They spin on sturdy 4130 chromoly spindles with a DU bushing and sealed cartridge bearings to keep things running smoothly, and 18 replaceable pins in each pedal should help keep your feet planted.

£89.99 / US$129.99

Specialized Atlas XC Pro shorts with SWAT technology

Jonny Ashelford / Future Publishing

The Specialized Atlas XC shorts are made using a bonded seam construction and four-way stretch fabric that also helps wick moisture away from the skin. The removable bib liner has Specialized’s unique SWAT technology, which allows you to carry water and other essentials closer to the body in the bib liner’s pockets.

£119.99 / US$150

New road bike gear

Bellitanner New York Cab

Jonny Ashelford / Future Publishing

We first saw the New York Cab at Eurobike 2013 and were impressed by its wacky looks. Now we’ve got one at BikeRadar HQ and can’t wait to try this strange animal about town. The extra triangles at the front and bottom mean Bellitanner have played some geometric trickery with the steel NYC, and it’s got an extremely short wheelbase with no toe clearance issues. That should make it handle a dream in urban traffic. Those wheels look big to you? They should do – they’re 30in. Don’t groan – we’re not expecting another widespread standard just yet – but on an urban bike it should give it a smooth ride with more road contact. A belt drive and hub gearing should make it low maintenance too.

£1,100 / US$1,690

Giro Prolight SLX II shoes*

Giro prolight slx ii: giro prolight slx ii

Giro’s formidable road shoe eschews fancy ratchets in the pursuit of a supreme light weight (claimed 410g for size US 42.5). The base is a super-stiff Easton EC90 SLX ACC carbon sole with a pretty minimal stack height too – just 6.5mm. Usually, ultra light shoes lose out because a flexible mesh upper won’t keep the foot still and it flaps about, wasting power. Not so here: the Evofiber upper feels solid and secure and those velcro straps with offset titanium D-rings look good and chunky. They’re mighty expensive though. (Initial photo was of Giro Factor shoes. We apologize for the error.)

£299.99 / US$350

Hackney GT Samba Velo jersey

Jonny Ashelford / Future Publishing

Looking forward to the Football World Cup in Brazil this summer and also like cycling? Get in the spirit with this Hackney GT Samba Velo jersey. It’s not particularly technical – a rubber grip around the hem is about it – but the design’s right on the money. You’ll probably get admiring comments when you stop at the traffic lights.

£59.99 / US$100 approx, plus shipping

Gironimo, by Tim Moore

Jonny Ashelford / Future Publishing

Remember French Revolutions? The 2002 travelogue by Tim Moore in which, as an endearingly hapless novice, he cycled around race route of 2000. Back then, he drank too much before tackling Mont Ventoux, got into fascinatingly pointless races with old men on butchers’ bikes and generally rode himself into the ground for our entertainment. He’s reprising the formula in his latest book, Gironimo, which charts his efforts to ride the infamous 1914 Giro d’Italia route, which featured tempestuous weather, horrendous 400km stages and a fair amount of cheating. Just eight of the 81 starters finished that year. We’ve not read the last page to see whether he made it…

This time around he went period correct too: a wooden-wheeled bike, and scary welding goggles for sunglasses. Expect mishaps told in Moore’s winning self-deprecating style. It’s published in 1 May.

£14.99 / US$TBC

Elivar sports nutrition

Elivar sports nutrition: elivar sports nutrition
Jonny Ashelford / Future Publishing

Older athletes – those in the 35-plus category – need fine-tuned sports nutrition to hit top performance, claim Elivar. More mature endurance athletes – and there are plenty out there judging by the ultra-competitive Vets categories at races – should steer away from high-octane simple sugars in favour of carbohydrates that are lower on the glycaemic index, apparently. They need more protein to ensure broken muscle fibres are repaired more quickly too. Elivar sports nutrition aims to tick those boxes with its tubs and sachets of Prepare, Endure and Recover.

£24.99 for 12 servings of Prepare or Recover / US$N/A 

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