It's been a busy week for bike news this week. We've seen plenty of weird and wonderful kit at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, taken a look at the new thru-axle version of the Genesis' Croix de Fer and spotted a very lovely looking track bike from Ridley, the Arena.
Plus Ben Delaney has given his first impressions on the Wahoo Kickr Climb before taking part in a livestream on Zwift's Facebook page this week, where you can see it in action: Friday 23 February (1pm MST / 8pm GMT), Tuesday 27 February (12:50pm MST / 7:50pm GMT) and Wednesday 28 February (6pm MST / 1am GMT).
But now, with the working week soon to be finished and weekend fast approaching, it's time to take a look at 11 of the hottest products to fall into the hands of our writers, videographers and reviewers here at BikeRadar Towers.
Kask Valegro helmet
Developed in collaboration with Team Sky, the Kask Valegro is a lightweight helmet that’s big on breathability but also very weight conscious. No fewer than 37 ventilation holes feature as part of the Valegro’s wind tunnel sculpted shell.
Our formidable scales of truth revealed that this size medium Valegro arrived at exactly the 200g weight the company said it would. In its smallest size the Valegro comes in at just 180g.
The cradle and dial retention system offers all the adjustment you’d expect from a premium lid, and Kask’s signature faux leather strap finishes the whole thing off nicely. This matte black finish is the most subdued of nine different colour options.
While the Valegro isn't available to purchase just yet, some retailers have started listing it ready for pre-orders.
- £169 / €210
LITELOK's Gold portable lock stood up well in our big group test of bike locks last year, and this new, longer version is designed so that a commuter can wear it around their waist.
Made from a patented high-tensile metal and polymer composite, it’s tough enough to achieve a Gold rating from independent testers Sold Secure and even the longest version still comes in at sub-1.5kg.
Its ‘lock stopper’ — a small rubber wedge that sits between the male and female parts of the lock mechanism — allows the LITELOK to be worn without requiring a key to remove it.
Three sizes mean there are lengths to fit most bodies.
- £100 / $140
B’Twin 500 road shoes
Decathlon brand B’Twin has recently revamped its clothing line, and these, the firm’s entry-level road kicks, have received a whole lot of loving.
We reckon you’ll agree that these do a great job of looking considerably more expensive than they are, particularly in this fetching dark blue.
Three straps provide a quick and wide range of adjustment to the soft synthetic upper. They’re lined with a quick drying 3D mesh and feature a scuff resistant surface to prevent damage at the toe for when a rider comes to a stop.
Underneath there’s a vented fibreglass sole with a raised rubberised heel, and at 302g each for a size 43 they’re a reasonable weight to boot.
Torq is no stranger to bringing classic dessert flavours into the pockets of cyclists and it's now expanded its range by added two new gels, Lemon Drizzle and Cherry Bakewell.
While we’ve not tasted these while gasping for breath during a race, we have had a little taste test in the office and they are undeniably the flavours that they say they are.
Each gel has a 2:1 Maltodextrin:Fructose blend for 30g of carbohydrate replenishment.
- £1.60 per gel
Aussie Grit Flint MTB clothing
Keen motorsport fans might recognise ‘Aussie Grit’ as the social media handle of former F1 star Mark Webber. Webber now heads up this startup clothing company and it's sent us three items: shorts, a jersey and a thermal gilet.
Colour range is pretty limited to black with touches of, uh... less black, but there is some nice topographic detailing on the jersey. With its casual cut, this jersey is more designed for general trail riding than anything performance orientated.
The Flint bike shorts come with some interesting features including an elasticated waistband that conforms to your body, while reduced material around the waist reduces heat build up as well as push down the overall weight.
All three garments have reflective trim and dedicated weather protected pockets, so you’ll never run out of places to store your mobile while out riding.
- Jersey: £75
- MTB shorts: £149
- Gilet: £125
Specialized 2FO Flat 1.0 Dynamite Panther shoes
Specialized’s 2FO Flat 1.0 shoes have featured on BikeRadar before, but they haven’t featured in such a wild colour.
Named the Dynamite Panther colourway, it’ll certainly help you stand out from the crowd whether you’re shredding the trails or just putting your feet up at the cafe.
For a trail shoe they’re pretty light coming in at 339 grams per shoe in a size 45. Combine that with the super sticky rubber sole and the internal bootie makes for a shoe which should perform as well as it looks.
- £100 / $110 / AU$NA
Wheels MFG bottom bracket
There seems to be no shortage of bottom bracket standards in the bike industry, and this can sometimes cause issues when you’re trying to switch cranks between bikes.
Thankfully companies like Wheels Manufacturing have done something about this and offer a number of bottom brackets, which convert one standard to another.
This particular model converts a PF30 BB into a GXP style 22/24mm spindle, and doesn’t require any hammering or expensive tools to fit.
Coming from Wheels MFG the quality should be top notch and we’d expect this BB to last a long time.
MT Zoom Tubeless valves
MT Zoom is a company run by passionate riders who race their bikes hard and being a direct sales business, it also aims to make its products more affordable, which is no bad thing.
These tubeless valves show its well thought out and rider focussed approach to products. There’s a spare valve core if you happen to damage one, and a larger compression nut, making installing/removing the valve easier. This could reduce crucial faffing time in a long race or ride when you have a puncture.
They’re available in a variety of different lengths too and will work for both road and mountain bike.
- £13.79 –£19.49 depending on length
Katusha Windblock baselayer
The Katusha cycling team has changed in the last couple of years, going from a nearly all Russian outfit to a decidedly more international team.
To assist with the quest of winning hearts and minds, Katusha now makes cycling clothing without team branding for you and I.There’s a whole range to choose from, but this Windblocker baselayer is what immediately caught our attention.
Designed for chilly rides, it’s got a traditional mesh liner which is paired with windblock material on the front of your body. Obviously, the idea is to keep you dry and cool while still keeping the worst of the wind out.
Bergamont Grandurance Elite
Not ones to miss out on the latest trends in the world of cycling, Begamont has come up with the Grandurance. It's basically one bike, which aims to cover just about all of you road/touring/gravel/commuting needs.
The frame is a subdued grey, but the fork has a colourful rainbow paint scheme, suggesting you’re a committed rider with a wacky side that could break out at any moment and head off on roads (or paths) less travelled.
Jokes aside, it’s an interesting looking bike and one we’ll be learning more about in this year’s Bike Of The Year tests.
MT Zoom dual-sided bottle cage
Another product from MT Zoom is the dual-sided bottle cage. It’s a side entry design, which makes it ideal for tight spaces or smaller frames with minimal clearance.
It can also be reversed depending on which hand you like to grab your bottle.
Being made from carbon makes it pretty light at 36 grams with hardware on the BikeRadar scales of truth.