11spd: This week's best new bike bits

Featuring bags, bikes, cleaners and a load of clothing

Autumn has well and truly landed at BikeRadar HQ, and with leaves on the tracks, muddy trails and deep puddles hiding freshly dug potholes in the road, we say a fond farewell to Summer 2018 — you really were a classic.

But, while summer may be over, the quality-content creators at BikeRadar have still been cracking on with things, and this week we've seen some truly bonkers visions of the future, how easy it is now to buy a Brompton, new sunnies from Sagan, and yet another non-UCI friendly triathlon bike from Pinarello.

Chrome Urban Ex Gas Can 22L

Super-waterproof construction should mean your kit stays dry in even the worst conditions
Super-waterproof construction should mean your kit stays dry in even the worst conditions

Chrome certainly knows how to put together a cool-looking bag. And, the Gas Can takes those good looks and adds in some tech to the build, too. 

The ultra-lightweight fully waterproof fabric is sonically bonded together for a completely seam-free construction with no potential leak points. At these bonds Chrome overlays more material than you would normally find on traditional bonds to ensure the strength and that all-important waterproofing. 

There is also a storm zip that runs the full circumference of the top opening, keeping the valuables/key pocket protected too. 

The fuss-free internals make the most of the space with nothing to snag or catch. The tough bottom section, welded in high-density memory foam pads and (typically Chrome) tough strap-system, looks like it’ll last. The Gas Can is also backed up with a lifetime guarantee.

  • £134.95 / $150

Northwave Himalaya winter boots

Woz won't be getting chilly feet this winter
Woz won't be getting chilly feet this winter

Northwave has one of the biggest range of winter boots around, and the new 2019 Himalaya is pretty much its most extreme. 

The leather upper is complemented by fully waterproof coating, which is combined with the GTX membrane sandwiched between the outer and quilted Thinsulate lining. 

To keep your feet even warmer, the Artic GTX footbed comprises a four-layer sandwich of fleece and aluminium. The upper has a whole bunch of rubberised protectors and reflective inserts and this all sits on top of a sole from Michelin that uses its Rock’R dual compound material.

A snug fit should be possible with the concealed rapid lacing
A snug fit should be possible with the concealed rapid lacing

We like the double-wrap closure on the cuff and the gaiter loop on the toe box, as it means you’ll keep dry even when trudging through long wet grass or boot-high snow. 

We’re looking forward to trying these out, at the same time as hoping it won’t get cold enough to do so!

  • £229.99 / €224.95

Nukeproof ARD tyre insert

The ARD installs easily on the rim, and then shrinks under pressure for an even snugger fit
The ARD installs easily on the rim, and then shrinks under pressure for an even snugger fit

Rim inserts, if you’ve never seen one, promise to protect your rims from dings and your tyres from pinches. Meanwhile, others claim they secure tyres in the rim’s beads too, reducing the risk of burping air under heavy loads.

They might look like a swimming pool flotation device, but if the guys at Nukeproof are to be believed (and yes, they tested swimming-float foam), the slower rebounding material, cut from a block, is nothing like what you’ll find at the pool.

The cross-section of the ARD – some bump-stop protection and enough to protect your tyres too
The cross-section of the ARD – some bump-stop protection and enough to protect your tyres too

This one has a slightly narrower profile than some, but is said to work as an effective bump stop, with the slower rebounding foam offering better ride properties.

It’s also a fair chunk lighter than most, at 144g (per wheel) for our 29er insert, and is only £50 including special valves, pitching it well below some competitors.

  • £50

Smith Flywheel sunglasses

The semi-frameless design keeps the Smith glasses pretty light
The semi-frameless design keeps the Smith glasses pretty light

Smith claims the Flywheel ‘unleashes a new era for outdoor enthusiasts with avant-garde sunglass style'. Okay then.

Regardless of the marketing spiel, these semi-frameless sunglasses are nice and light, with an adjustable ‘megol nose pad’. 

The lenses are the excellent ChromaPop, which bring out the right colours for optimal trail definition without being too bright to wear. 

Look carefully and you'll see me in the frame…
Look carefully and you'll see me in the frame…

They’re also treated with a hydrophobic coating to keep them as clear as possible on wet days.

  • £130 / $139 / €139

Land Rover Explore phone

It's like a regular smartphone, but stronger!
It's like a regular smartphone, but stronger!

Yep, this is a Land Rover branded Android smartphone. Why? Well, because it’s rugged, and packed full of features that make it ideal for any mountain biker who’s constantly breaking regular phones.

It has a large 4000mAh battery, 5in screen, IP68 splash, water and dust resistance, and is drop-proof to 1.8m. Premium ViewRanger mapping comes ready to go, powered by the Deca-core 2.6GHz 64-bit chip and the 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM storage.

The touchscreen works with wet fingers, there’s a 16MP rear and 8MP front camera and night-friendly screen. Still with me?

And, with the added battery pack, it's bulkier (but with waaaaaay more battery capacity and a better GPS)
And, with the added battery pack, it's bulkier (but with waaaaaay more battery capacity and a better GPS)

Then there’s the Adventure Pack. This adds an extra 3620mAh battery on the back along with an improved GPS antenna, and the ability to bar-mount the phone.

Out geekiest team will be putting it through its paces.

  • £599 / $800 / AU$1,040 
  • Available on contracts too

Duck Smart Bike Ezee cleaner

Spray on, wipe off – Ezee!
Spray on, wipe off – Ezee!

Much like the Muc-Off e-bike cleaner we saw last week, the Bike Ezee from Duck Smart is a waterless wash for your bike — just spray it on, and wipe off with a microfibre cloth.

The formula is designed to lift grease and grime from your frame before leaving a polished-looking finish that even the most dedicated frame detailer should be pleased with.

As a bonus, dessert fans will be pleased to know there’s a chocolate and banana scent — sounds divine.

  • £6.99
Seen the new GoPro HERO7 yet?

Endura MT500 waterproof suit

Oh Seb... The onesie from Endura is pricey but its kit generally impresses (and incites menswear-catalogue poses)
Oh Seb... The onesie from Endura is pricey but its kit generally impresses (and incites menswear-catalogue poses)

As soon as this was announced I was rubbing my hands with glee. Yes, I'm an aficionado of the waterproof onesie, and this is the fourth I've added to the testing collection (joining the Dirtsuit from Dirtlej, a simpler suit from Vaude and the soon-to-be-on-test Raynsie).

The MT500 is slightly different from the others though, because it's essentially a waterproof jacket and waterproof trousers (which zip off around the knee) joined at the back, rather than the more traditional onesie design.

Unlike others, the front fully opens like a regular jacket, but it's attached at the back
Unlike others, the front fully opens like a regular jacket, but it's attached at the back

Endura uses its ExoShell 360 fabric that has impressive breathability, backed up by long armpit and thigh zips for added breeze. There are pockets, a hood and zippered fly, too.

  • £400 / $550 / €460

7Mesh Callaghan Merino Hoody

The Callaghan jersey is made from a soft, comfortable Merino
The Callaghan jersey is made from a soft, comfortable Merino

While 7Mesh says the Callaghan is perfect for chilly trail sessions and post-ride chill-out, I don't think I'll be going on too many muddy rides with the Callaghan, it's a piece of clothing way too nice to get slopped on and shredded.

The Merino wool is combined with polyester for the best of both worlds. There are two front pockets, one of which has a phone compartment. 

Meanwhile, the hood is just about snug enough to get under a bike helmet, too, if that's your bag. 

  • £165 / $200

Specialized Deflect H2O mountain jacket

Specialized's relatively lightweight waterproof looks ideal for stuffing in a pack
Specialized's relatively lightweight waterproof looks ideal for stuffing in a pack

The Deflect H2O jacket uses Specialized's own triple-layer Deflect fabric, which it claims balances waterproofing and wind resistance, as well as protecting you from UV rays.

There's a zip-garage at the top to keep your chin comfortable, and the zip is waterproof too. A chest pocket and adjustable wrists will also keep rain from seeping up your arms. 

It's a single-skin fabric, with taped seams
It's a single-skin fabric, with taped seams

The fit doesn't seem too tight, so you should be able to squeeze a little body armour under there, if you wish. Meanwhile, Specialized says the hood will also sneak in under a bike helmet.

  • £175 / $225 

Scott 60th Anniversary Sport Shields

Anniversary specs from Scott
Anniversary specs from Scott

The original Sport Shields hail from 1989, when LeMond won the tour (using Scott tri-bars, but Oakley glasses) and, to celebrate Scott’s 60th anniversary as a brand, the Sport Shields are back in this rather fancy limited edition.

The eagle-eyed among you would have noticed Simon Yates wearing the oversized glasses on his way to victory in the Vuelta this year. 

Scott has made the Shields available with a classic look, but with a new modern red-chrome finished CAT3 lens and adjustable nosepiece, as well a lighter frame (35g) to bring them bang up to modern standards.

  • £60 / €70

Santa Cruz 5010 CC X01 Reserve

A new chassis for the 5010 this year, along with a rather lovely grape-coloured paintjob
A new chassis for the 5010 this year, along with a rather lovely grape-coloured paintjob

The 5010 was relaunched this year, and I was lucky enough to travel to the Scottish Borders to go ride the bike — a 130mm trail bike, which uses Santa Cruz's signature VPP linkage.

While there's the usual (slightly) longer and slacker geometry that virtually all new bikes get, it's also had a bit of work done by the bottom bracket to boost structural rigidity.

The VPP upper link suspension remains, but there's extra stiffness built in around the bottom bracket
The VPP upper link suspension remains, but there's extra stiffness built in around the bottom bracket

This CC frame (it's the top-level carbon offered by Santa Cruz) gets a SRAM X01 drivetrain and Santa Cruz's own Reserve 27 wheelset  — they're carbon, and have a 27mm internal rim width.

No, it's not a cheap bike, at all, but nobody buys a Santa Cruz for the value for money — you buy one because you want the cachet of the brand, the back-up and the performance.

  • £7,299 / $7,999
Tom Marvin

Technical Editor, Tech Hub, UK
Tom's been riding for 15 years, and has always chopped and changed bikes as soon as his budget allowed. He's most at home in the big mountains, having spent nigh on 30 weeks riding the Alps, as well as having lived a stone's throw from the Scottish Highlands for four years. Tom also enjoys racing events like the Strathpuffer and the Trans Nepal.
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Steep and super tech or fast and flowy
  • Current Bikes: Canyon Spectral, Pivot Mach 429SL, Mondraker Vantage R +
  • Dream Bike: Transition Scout
  • Beer of Choice: Gin & tonic
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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