Friday Five-a-side: this week's new bike gear 12/12/14
Friday in the BikeRadar office means one thing: new stuff! This week we’ve taken delivery of a couple of two-wheeled stunners, more SRAM kit than you can shake a dropper post at, some handy last-minute Christmas stocking fillers, and more…
New road gear
Look 795 Light
Look 795:Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media
Purveyor of pedals Look never disappoints with its outlandishly beautiful bikes. The 795 Light is no exception, with its trademark integrated stem and a host of other unique features. This is the ‘cheap’ version with the slightly more practical conventional brake calipers. If you want to go the whole hog, the 795 Aerolight is a mere £1000 (US$1,600) more.
Cycling souvenirs gifts:Matthew Allen / Immediate Media
Gift shop Cycling Souvenirs is a perennial favourite at BikeRadar, an endless useful source of gifts for your favourite cyclist. We’re not sure we’ve got the chutzpah to wear the World Champion stripe cuff links, but who are we to judge? The Ventoux mug is a safe bet in any case – head over to their website for lots more stocking fillers.
Lezyne Micro Floor and Steel Travel Floor Drive pumps
Travel pumps from lezyne:Matthew Allen / Immediate Media
Planning a trip? Need a new pump? Shiny inflater maker Lezyne sent us these. The Micro Floor is small enough to mount on the bike, but includes a track-style foot to keep it planted, as well as an inline pressure gauge. The Travel Floor Drive is a fun-sized track pump – it’s shorter than a standard one, and takes up a lot less space in your suitcase thanks to its flat profile when laid flat.
Flandria name decals:Matthew Allen / Immediate Media
Another ideal stocking filler, these name decals from Flandria Bikes give your bike a bit of a personal touch. Numerous styles and designs are available, including (naturally) your choice of national colours.
Scottish manufacturer Endura knows a thing or two about cool breezes, so they’ve put their expertise to good use with this generously vented road lid. At 269g for a medium/large on our scales, it looks promising for the money – look out for a full review in the coming months.
Mondraker’s Forward Geometry concept has been a huge hit with our testers, with the company’s full suspension Foxy winning What Mountain Bike‘s Trail Bike of the Year 2014, among other plaudits. The radical looking Vantage RR applies the same long reach/short stem philosophy to a hardtail. The look won’t be for all, but we love it, and we’re looking forward to thrashing the bike mercilessly to see how it compares to its bouncy big brother.
The Rockshox Reba has long offered a great trade-off between value and performance, and we’ve every reason to think the latest incarnation will be just as good. Not a lot has changed, except now it’s got that sexy Fast Black coating on the stanchions. We’ve heard black is the new black – you know you want them.
Santa cruz highball:Matthew Allen / Immediate Media
Santa Cruz bikes always score highly for style, and we think the latest version of its Highball 29er frame is just gorgeous. In addition to being painted the best shade of blue ever, it’s also now got 142x12mm rear axle spacing – no more QR. It’s also got a sensible threaded bottom bracket shell, so there’ll be no creaky press-fit worries. Lovely…
Bontrager Line Elite and Rhythm Elite 27.5in wheels
Bontrager line elite and rhythm elite wheels:Tom Ballard / Immediate Media
Wide rims are practically obligatory these days, so with a huge internal width of 28mm and a claimed weight of 1,760g the pair, the Line Elites from Bontrager are an appealing prospect if you’re enduro-inclined. And frankly, who isn’t these days?
Alternatively, for an all-rounder trail option, the Rhythm Elites are a more conventional 21mm internal, and have rather neat reinforced nipple areas. (Oo-er, etc.) Both wheelsets convert to tubeless with ease using the supplied TLR plastic rim strips.
A big ol’ pile o’ sram: a big ol’ pile o’ sramOliver Woodman/Immediate Media
Sometimes Christmas comes early, and this week the chaps from SRAM dropped by with a huge box of bits for us to play with. I say us, but we’re unlikely to get to play with any of this, because What Mountain Bikeeditor Jon Woodhouse has some sort of cunning plan up his sleeve, something about proving that he can build a better bike than, well, anyone. What’s he on about? No one’s sure, but a leaked geometry chart suggests it’s going to be longer than a really long thing, and slacker than a pair of slacks. Watch this space, by which we mean, consider investing in a subscription to What Mountain Bike.
Matthew is an expert on bike tech and a lover of practical, beautifully-engineered things. Originally a roadie, he dabbles in all disciplines and has tested a huge variety of bikes and gear over the years.