Give yourself a pat on the back, because you made it through another work week. Friday is here and before you hit the road (or trail), feast your eyes on some of the latest gear to land at our BikeRadar USA headquarters.
New mountain bike gear
Wolf Tooth 44t GCX cog
Need a bit of a boost for your 1×11 drivetrain? Wolftooth has developed an aftermarket solution to boost the range of SRAM’s 10-24t XX1 and XO1 cassettes. The Wolf ToothGCX sprocket replaces the 42t ring on XX1 and XO1 cassettes (not X1).
Installation requires the user to remove the stock 42t cog by carefully prying it from the rest of the cassette body before aligning the cutouts on the 44t ring and using a pair of channel-lock pliers to press the cog back onto the 18 pins that hold the granny gear in place. (It goes without saying that this low-gearing upgrade will void your SRAM cassette’s warranty.)
Wolf Tooth offers the GCX cog in 42 and 44t versions in blue, black, red, silver, and will soon offer green as well
US$89.99 / £57.60 / AUS$117.60
SRAM Guide Ultimate brakes
The Guide RSC brakes introduced last year were a huge leap forward for the company. The Guide Ultimate uses the same lever body and master cylinder as the current Guide brakes and features the reach adjust, Swinglink and contact point adjustment present in the Guide RSC.
This premium brakeset also gets a redesigned caliper, intended to make them run cooler. Another welcome change is a repositioned bleed port at the bottom of the caliper. SRAM also developed a clever locking bleed port to make bleeding even easier.
We’ll be logging miles on these stoppers shortly, so stay tuned.
- Brake lever, hose and caliper US$288 / £229 / AU$390 (price per wheel)
- 140-160mm rotors US$72 / £57 / AU$90
- 180mm rotor US$78 / £62 / AU$95
TOGS stands for Thumb Over Grip System. They’re kinda like bar ends, but mount inboard of your grips, allowing your thumbs to have a place to rest during long climbs and sustained flat stretches of road or trail.
TOGS are compatible with nearly any grip and shifter combinations, except for Grip Shift. Best of all, they hardly weigh anything — just 18g per pair.
We highlighted the thermoplastic version last year. TOGS has since added this carbon model. The weight is the same, at 18g per pair, but some folks just have to have carbon.
US$35 / £TBA / AU$TBA
Bontrager Line Elite TLR Disc 29 wheelset
Designed for aggressive trail riding, the Line Elite TLR Disc wheelset features wide rims, tubeless-compatibility and a quick-engaging freehub.
The tubeless-ready 6061 alloy rims have a generous internal width of 28mm and feature an offset spoke bed to increase wheel stiffness. The rims are laced with 28 double-butted spokes to Bontrager’s oversized hubs. The rear hub features Bontrager’s Rapid Drive freehub with a 54-tooth ratchet ring that delivers a speedy 6.67 degrees of engagement.
Bontrager offers the Line Elite TLR Disc 29 in Boost and standard versions (we’re testing the Boosted version)
The front wheel weighs 882g, while the rear comes in at 1012g for a grand total of 1,894g.
- Bontrager Line Elite TLR Disc 29 front wheel: US $462 / £340 / AU$650
- Bontrager Line Elite TLR Disc 29 rear wheel: US $538 / £360 / AU$750
Bontrager SE 5 Team issue
Mounted to our Line Elite TLR Disc 29 wheelset are Bontrager’s new SE5 Team Issue treads. These treads are a lightened version of the company’s G5 downhill model and are intended for enduro use.
While these shed some grams compared to the gravity-focused G5 this is still a burly rubber, with reinforced sidewalls, a 60tpi casing and plenty of meaty knob intended to excel in lose, rocky and wet conditions.
The 29×2.3 version we’re testing weighs in at 990g per piece.
US$75 / £TBA / AU$99
New road and cyclocross gear
Shimano Dura-Ace 12-28 cassette
This is one tooth shy of our favorite cassette, the 11-28, which offers an excellent range for up and down hills, especially when paired with a semi-compact 52/36 crank. Shimano uses two materials for the 11-speed cogs: titanium for the largest (and normally heaviest) four cogs, then steel for the smaller ones. If the past years of Dura-Ace cassettes are any indication, this should deliver smooth shifting for many years as long as the chain is replaced when it should.
US$279 / £170 / AU$TBA
Effetto Mariposa Carogna Double-adhesive tubular tape
If gluing tubulars seems like a nightmare you’d rather avoid, the Carogna tape might be your solution. To use, you wrap the double-sided tape around a clean rim while keeping the protective liner on the top, tubular-facing side. Then you mount the tubular, inflate to 30psi, and straighten. Only then do you remove the liner by pulling it out from underneath. Then you pump the tubular to its maximum pressure and let set for 24 hours.
Effetto Mariposa claims the tape is not temperature sensitive once setup, but that you need to install between 21c/70f and 38c/100f for proper adhesion. Carogna comes in two widths, for rims with external widths of less than and greater than 21mm.
- 16.5 mm x 2 meters $20 / £9.99 / AU$TBA
- 25 mm x 2 meter $25 / £12.99 /AU$TBA
Clement LAS cyclocross tubular
Named for the all-grass UCI cyclocross course in Las Vegas, the LAS is a fast, filed-tred cyclocross tubular with side knobs for cornering traction.
US$129 / £79 / AU$164
Vee Apache clincher
Vee Tires’ new Apache clincher is made with new woven casing material Vee calls Synthesis. The lightweight 180tpi Synthesis is used for puncture protection in the single-compund model, which comes in 23, 25 and 28mm widths.
Vee claims this rubber is well suited for riding dirt and gravel roads as well as standard tarmac.
US$50 / £33 / AU$TBA
Park Tool Torque Drivers
The Park Tool Torque Drivers come in colour-coded 4, 5 and 6Nm models, with 1/4in bits stored within the handle. The included bits are 3, 4 and 5 hex, plus T25.
Park Tool already had click and beam-style torque wrenches in its range, but has now added some smaller 1/4in magnetic-bit models in order to compete with the likes of the Ritchey Multi-Torqkey and the CDI Preset wrenches.
US$45 / £NA / AU$TBA