If you're a millennial yoof you may know today as Friyay, the start to a weekend of joviality and good times. However, to the cycling fraternity, today is of course the day that 11spd — our weekly roundup of the finest road and mountain bike spoils to have landed at BikeRadar HQ — takes up half hour of your day, whetting your appetite for a weekend of riding ahead.
If a mere half hour isn't enough distraction for you, highlights from this busy week include the news that Zwift is on the hunt for a new rider to join Dimension Data, the Spurcycle Bell may just be the best ring-a-dinger out there, and tried out Colnago's newest go-fast bike..
- Watch this bike live its best life as a two-wheeled cup holder
- 5 more things we learned about gravel racing at Grinduro UK
Replacement Boa dials
We thought it would be interesting to highlight these replacement Boa dials. We've got them in to replace a bust fastener on a pair of shoes that have been in for test for the last few months.
Few realise that Boa actually offers a full range of replacement parts — many of which can be replaced via its lifetime guarantee — for a seriously reasonable price.
Had these particular dials not been replaced under warranty, they would have cost all of $6 for each shoe, which is hardly more than a pair of decent laces.
We’ve also decided to take replacing these dials as an ideal opportunity to jazz up the austere, all black Fizik M3B shoes they’re destined for — unable to choose between green or red, we’re guessing Jack will probably opt for a mix of both.
- $6, UK and Aus pricing unavailable
Sena X1 Bluetooth integrated smart helmet
There’s been a whole host of attempts to try and effectively crack the difficult task of improving communication between distant riders over the years, but few have been as neatly executed as this integrated walkie-talkie system from Sena.
Better known for its large range of ‘connected’ motorbike helmets, the Sena X1 borrows its intercom technology from that line.
The in-mould constructed road helmet features a well-rounded shape that is not dissimilar to many of today’s aero lids.
The X1’s inbuilt walkie-talkie unit is said to be good for distances up to 900m, with a claimed talk time of up to 16 hours.
As well as offering intercom between up to three riders at once, the Sena X1 also boasts FM radio, music sharing and remote control functionalities.
The dedicated Sena app also allows you to connect to a “virtually limitless number of riders across any distance through your cellular network.” The X1 Pro, which includes an inbuilt front-facing camera, is also available.
Like most helmets with integrated tech, there’s a slight weight penalty to pay with the Sena X1, with our size large test sample weighing in at 425g.
While the appeal of such a product is always likely to be limited, we’re going to spent plenty time playing with this helmet — likely hiding and cupboards and whispering sweet nothings into the ears of our colleagues around the office — so keep your eyes peeled for a first look in the next few weeks.
- $199 / €229 UK and Aus pricing unavailable
Lake CX301 shoes
Joe Norledge has just received these featherweight kicks from Lake as part of his attempts to lighten both himself and his kit in the run-up to this year’s hill climb season.
The shoes are stupendously light, coming in at 192g for a size 45. That’s a mere 5g more than the Giro Prolight Techlace shoes that Ben Delaney recently tested in the same size.
Where you will make considerable savings with the Lake CX301 shoes is on the price — Giro’s very lightest cycling kicks come in at a slightly eye watering $400, while the Lake’s cost a (marginally) more affordable $329.99.
A cursory bend-them-over-your-knee-to-make-sure-they’re-stiff-test confirms that they are indeed stiff, but perhaps not the stiffest out there. Hardly surprising given their low weight.
- €280.92 / $329.99, UK and Aus pricing unavailable
Giro Blok MTB goggles
If you’re going to go #FullEnduro, we reckon you should commit and go as loud as possible and these rather large goggles from Giro should go some way to completing the look.
The goggles feature a radioactive yellow-green frame and highly reflective lenses — which have a pleasing purple-rose-ish tint that we reckon will be great at brightening up murky Welsh forests — and are bound to garner comments/gentle abuse on the trails.
The inside of the goggles is treated with an anti-fog coating, which should go some way to keeping stray hot breath at bay.
They also feature triple density “face foam” that should help to keep things snug yet comfortable against your gurning trail face. Wide, silicone-infused straps should help keep everything in place, too.
For the less lairy among you the Blok MTB goggles are also available in a range of more austere tones.
- £69.99 / $94.99 / AU$119.49
Orro Gold STC with new Ultegra
We’ll keep this short as we’ve already had a thorough fumble with the newest iteration of Shimano’s second-tier groupset, however this is the first time we’ve had a chance to ride it.
- Shimano Ultegra R8000 and Ultegra Di2 R8070: all you need to know
- Hands on with Ultegra R8000: exclusive first look video
The groupset is fitted to Orro’s Gold STC, the brand’s top-end rim brake road frame, and is finished off with a smattering of lovely parts from 3T and Fulcrum — a perfect test bed for us to try out the new groupset.
Our first around-the-block impressions are positive and, by the time this goes live, we hope to have clocked a few hundred miles on the new group. Keep your eyes peeled.
- £1,999.99, UK and Aus pricing unavailable
Cane Creek/EE Cycleworks 'regular mount' brakes
Cane Creek recently partnered with EE Cycleworks, which produces one of the lightest rim brakes on the planet. How light you ask? These standard mount calipers weigh just 164g for the pair without pads. That's lighter than many single brake calipers.
Obviously brakes are no good if they don't perform well, and EE claims a high overall stiffness with better modulation and power than its competitors.
They also work with rim widths from 18mm all the way up to 28mm.
But, as ever, the proof is in the riding, and our aforementioned hill climb fanatic Joe Norledge will be fitting these to his super-light long-term Fuji SL for the 2017 hill climb season.
With the amount of hill reps he'll be doing in training, they're sure to get a thorough workout on the way back down.
- £559 / $630 / AU$ N/A
All Good body care products
Who doesn't need some extra lip balm in their lives? After all, those little tubes always roll off into the abyss. Square tube lip balm! Like a carpenter's pencil. That's a good idea.
Anyway, in addition to the lip balm, All Good makes sunscreen, lotions and healing salves. My wife was pretty stoked on the odor-free deodorant the other morning when late for work and ripped the packaging off.
All of All Good's products are organic and contain none of that nasty stuff with hard to pronounce ingredients.
- $3.50 lip balm, $8.99 deodorant — UK and Aus pricing unavailable
Kali Protectives Venture gloves
Some mountain bikers 'choke up' on their handlebars, meaning they move their hands towards the center. Other riders, like me, tend to ride the outer edge of the grips. I chalk it up to having long, gangly arms and big hands.
What does this have to do with gloves? Everything, duh. On any given day, my pinky fingers and knuckles can be found in some sorry state of scratch, bruise or scab, so when I come across gloves with a bit of protection on the pinky area, I take notice.
Kali's Venture gloves have a TPR protection on the ring, pinky finger and knuckle. They also feature all the other standard glove fare, but you know where my interests lie.
- $40, UK and Aus pricing unavailable
Mountain bike tires have ridden the technology bandwagon along with dang near everything else in the off-road world. Tubeless beads, crazy casings, multiple rubber compounds, you name it, tire manufacturers are trying to squeeze every bit of performance out of the kinda comical (when you think about it) few inches of contact patch.
WTB is certainly right there. In an unprecedented move, the folks at WTB realize that the jobs of front and rear tires are vastly different. To maximize front-end business, WTB's Light casing is (can you guess?) lighter, but also wrapped with a softer, stickier, more corner happy rubber.
In contrast out back, the Tough casing is more capable at plowing through the rocks when your line choices aren't much of a choice. The rubber is also a bit firmer for better rolling and longer durability.
Of course, if your trails are mellow, or you float on the bike, you can run Light casings front and rear and vice versa.
- Trail Boss tire: from $34.95, UK and Aus pricing unavailable
- Vigilante tire: from $34.95, UK and Aus pricing unavailable
Magura MT7 disc brakes
Hailing from the land where they know a thing or two about engineering and cars that go very, very fast in a very stoic manner comes Magura.
Its MT7 disc brake was engineered, designed and manufactured in the land of subdued speed.
These four piston brakes are descendants of the crazy powerful Gustav M disc brakes and like their forefathers are built for gravity riding and/or heavy riders.
The MT7s feature four separate pads per caliper so finding your specific Goldilocks formula with organic and metallic pad combos is easy.
The levers feature reach adjust and a bite point adjust, but if that's not enough, Magura offers entirely different lever blades that are easily swappable.
The master cylinder is crafted from what Magura calls Carbotecture. It's a carbon-enhanced, injection molded thermoplastic that's claimed to be super light and seriously strong.
- €219.90, UK, US and Aus pricing unavailable
Forza R45 wheels
Never having been over to China, I have a vision that on every street corner there are two vendor carts, one selling some food that I wouldn't recognize and the other selling carbon rims. With the amount of new carbon wheel companies in the last few years it's not entirely unbelievable.
So in the world of open-source molds, what's the best way to make a rim better? Remove the potential for error. How do you do that? Remove the human laying up the carbon plies.
Forza has done just that with its new R45 and R30 wheels. The carbon is machine woven, not laid up by hand, so excess is eliminated and better consistency achieved. At least that's the story.
The wheels we have in are 45mm deep and 19mm wide internally with a claimed weight of 1,412 grams. They're spinning on DT Swiss 350 hubs with Centerlock disc mounting.
The rims are constructed in Europe and the wheels are built in Europe with DT Swiss hubs and Sapim spokes, and should be available after Eurobike in September.
- €1,699, UK and Aus pricing unavailable