11spd: This week's best new bike bits

Featuring BTR, Fara, Dissent 133, Disco and more...

As the big clock in the sky continues its relentless march forwards towards the weekend, unstoppable in its quest to get us to Saturday, it's time to see what wonderful (and maybe not quite so wonderful) items have landed in our hands this week.

And what a week it has been (before we crack on with the new kit...). With the Road World Championships having taken place last weekend we got some tips on How to corner like Peter Sagan, while Jack had a go on the new Orbea Gain — did the motor give him World Champ level speed? And if weight shaving's your thing we don't suggest you go to these lengths...

If you like your bikes more muddy there was a 13-speed groupset (no, we're not planning on changing 11spd to 13spd any time soon), new packs from CamelBak with added spine protection and we rounded up the six of the best tubeless sealants on the market.

Finally, with Interbike done and dusted, here's are weird and wonderful round-up from Vegas.

Disco brake pads

As mountain bike sundries go, it's difficult to get too excited about brake pads. Once you've slipped them in your calipers you're unlikely to notice them until something starts to go wrong (either through contamination or wear).

With winter round the corner though we at BikeRadar take our job very seriously, so we really do get excited about brake pads — we promise.

Disco Brake Pads has fired through a selection of pads from its range to fit a couple of pairs of Formula Cura brakes we have on test at the moment. There's the standard Kevlar and Sintered varieties, but also a copper free one.

Disco Brake Pads make pads for virtually every brake in a wide range of compounds
Disco Brake Pads make pads for virtually every brake in a wide range of compounds

This, it says, is the most environmentally friendly pad compound around, with fewer heavy metals ending up in water courses.

It's also meant to be just as powerful, long-lasting and quiet as any other compound. Oh, and if that's not enough, it's Cedric Gracia's 'signature' brake pad — yep, such a thing exists.

  • Kevlar single pair: £7.68 / $9.68 / AU$12.83
  • Kevlar four pairs: £23.09 / $29.89 / AU$38.72
  • Semi-metallic single pair: £6.75 / $9.71 / AU$11.47
  • Semi-metallic four pairs: £19.49 / $23.99 / AU$32.55
  • Copper free single pair: £9.66 / $11.61 / AU$15.99
  • Copper free four pairs: £28.81 / $32.79 / AU$49.14

Squirt Bio-Bike Cleaner, 500ml concentrate

Clean bikes (generally) last longer, look better and need less maintenance, so keeping on top of it is rarely a bad thing.

Unless you go down the pure water route, there are plenty of cleaning products out there that help remove grime from your ride. But what happens to it when it flows down the drain?

Environmentally safe bike wash concentrate
Environmentally safe bike wash concentrate

The water based cleaner comes in a concentrated form (dilute up to 1:25) and can be used as a degreaser too (dilute 1:3), and Squirt says it's non-caustic and non corrosive, so should be fine all over your bike (rinse well, obviously).

With a northern-hemisphere winter round the corner, we're sure this is going to get a lot of use...

  • £7.30 / $20 / AU$18

Syncros Matchbox Tailor Cage

Given that we're #soenduro here at BikeRadar it's no surprise that anything that keeps bits and pieces off our backs is keenly ridden.

Even though this only arrived this week it's already got one muddy ride under its belt (sorry fans of pristine pictures).

Yep, I used it before I photographed it #sorrynotsorry
Yep, I used it before I photographed it #sorrynotsorry

Obviously it's a bottle cage, but underneath there's a smart little bracket that holds a set of hex/torq keys, a chain-breaker, chain holder and spoke keys.

Both left and right side-entry options are available, which is ideal when fitting it in a front triangle where there's a shock sharing the space.

Hidden below the cage is a box containing tools
Hidden below the cage is a box containing tools

There are also a number of options for attaching a pump.

  • £40 / $TBC / AU$TBC

Fabric Accubar

This isn't the first pressure gauge we've had in 11spd, and it's unlikely to be the last, but we're suckers for getting our rubber sorted just-so, so here's the Fabric Accubar.

Tyre pressure geekery packaged very nicely
Tyre pressure geekery packaged very nicely

Fabric is well known for its clean, stylish design and we reckon the Accubar looks pretty darn smart.

Fabric says it's optimised for low pressure, high volume tyres, and gives 0.5psi increments. While it's pretty bulky as a stand-alone pressure gauge, it can be added in-line with a pump for accurate tyre inflation.

  • £35 / $45 / AU$TBC

BTR Fabrications Burf Edition Pinner Frame

If you don't know BTR, then we're not overly surprised. BTR is a small, independent frame manufacturer from the South West of the UK, and as you can see, the brand doesn't naturally conform to MTB standard manufacturing, and the Pinner is one unique bike.

Hand-welded frames are always a bit of a work of art
Hand-welded frames are always a bit of a work of art

With 130.4mm of travel (for the 650b version) it looks like a trail bike on paper, but BTR says that this is a bike designed to ride any trail, any time, without having to worry about snapping it — basically it's a bike with the strength of a DH bike but the pedal-ability of a trail bike.

The Burf edition (named after BTR's top frame builder) comes with the rather fancy Storia coil shock, though you can save a few pennies (not all that many mind) with the Tam edition (Tam designs the bikes...), which comes with a Cane Creek DBcoil.

Multi-linkage rear end gives just over 130mm of travel
Multi-linkage rear end gives just over 130mm of travel

We could write an essay on this bike, but we'll let the pictures do the talking, and you can check out BTR's website to learn more about the bike, the guys and their other projects — it's worth a read!

And the winner of the prettiest internal cable routing is?
And the winner of the prettiest internal cable routing is?

  • Burf Edition frame: £2,800 – £2,950
  • Tam Edition frame: £2,650 – £2,800

Fara F Road

The Fara F Road
The Fara F Road

Norwegian brand Fara is a newcomer to the market promising "a breath of fresh air for the cycling industry" and "clean, minimalist" design.

Fara intends to focus on custom builds and direct interaction with its customers. The F Road is one of three models offered and it's pitched as a semi-aero racer with a (slightly) relaxed position — this 51cm bike has 369mm of reach and 530mm of stack. 

Fara sent us this wonderfully over-specced test bike with Dura-Ace R9150 Di2 and Zipp 454 NSW clinchers, a build which weighs in at just over 7kg.

Fara also offers a disc version of the F Road and a gravel bike version.

Zipp 454 NSWs? Yes please
Zipp 454 NSWs? Yes please

  • F Road Base (Ultegra R8050 Di2, 3T Orbis wheels): £2,718 / $3,649 / AU$4,663
  • F Road as pictured: £lots / $more / AU$oh god so many

Carradice Super C Saddlebag and Bagman Expedition rack

The Carradice Super C is for riders with serious baggage
The Carradice Super C is for riders with serious baggage

Bikepacking seatpacks are achingly trendy these days, but the more traditional option of a saddlebag still has its place for the schlepping of things.

Made from ‘waxed cotton duck’ fabric, Carradice’s Super C measures 35×28×17cm and has a nominal capacity of 23 litres.

An internal organiser with a zipped pocket makes keeping track of small items easy, while two side pockets are easily accessed on the go.

The plastic quick-release buckles aren’t as pretty as the old-school leather strap/buckle combo that some of Carradice’s other bags still use, but it’s likely a good deal more practical.

The Bagman rack mounts to your saddle rails and keeps your bag in check
The Bagman rack mounts to your saddle rails and keeps your bag in check

Such a capacious piece of luggage needs support, and that’s where the Bagman rack comes in.

The Bagman mounts to your saddle rails, and this quick-release variant makes loading and unloading your bike a cinch.

The quick release mechanism is simple but effective
The quick release mechanism is simple but effective

  • Super C Saddlebag: £80 / $145 / AU$TBC
  • Bagman Expedition QR rack: £45 / $95 / AU$TBC

Dissent 133 cycling glove system

Dissent 133's 'glove system' is ready for any weather
Dissent 133's 'glove system' is ready for any weather

The Rider Firm has launched a new sub-brand called Dissent 133, which focusses on kit for rubbish weather, and its first product is a ‘layered cycling glove system’.

133 refers to the average number of days it rains or snows in the UK every year and the range caters for everything from mild autumn to freezing winter conditions.

The gloves are available as individual pairs or as a complete Ultimate Pack, which includes Outdry Lite waterproof gloves, Showerlite windproof gloves, Defeet Duraglove E-Touch thermal gloves, a set of silk liners, a carry case, and some metal glove hangers because why not? (They could be useful for drying wet gloves, actually.)

The gloves can be worn in any number of combinations to suit the weather and riders’ individual needs, and the Outdry Lite and Showerlite gloves are designed to pack down small enough that on-the-fly wardrobe adjustments are entirely practical. Smart, eh?

  • Outdry Lite gloves: £55 / $74 / AU$94
  • Showerlite gloves: £30 / $40 / AU$51
  • Defeet Duraglove E-Touch gloves: £23 / $31 / AU$39
  • Silk liner gloves: £13 / $17 / AU$22
  • Ultimate pack: £95 / $127 / AU$163

Hunt Sprint Aero Wide wheels

The Hunt Sprint Aero Wide wheels are respectability light and have a promising spec
The Hunt Sprint Aero Wide wheels are respectability light and have a promising spec

Another Rider Firm brand, Hunt produces some appealingly-specced wheelsets, also conceived very much with UK riding in mind.

The Sprint hubs are very tidy looking things
The Sprint hubs are very tidy looking things

Hunt has updated its lightweight all-rounder option with the Sprint Aero Wide (Polished Silver), which gets the brand’s latest fast-engaging (and dashingly handsome) Sprint hubs along with a shiny-finish version of the existing Aero Wide rim.

The polished silver finish is eye-catching in a good way
The polished silver finish is eye-catching in a good way

The Aero Wide is 31mm deep and features a useful 19mm internal width, perfect for slightly wider tyres.

Like all Hunt wheels, these are tubeless-ready out of the box and valves are included. Actual weight for this set including rim tape is 1,538g.

  • £449 / $602 / AU$771

dhb Aeron Carbon road shoes

The Aeron Carbon is one of the cheaper carbon-soled road shoes on the market
The Aeron Carbon is one of the cheaper carbon-soled road shoes on the market

Carbon-soled road shoes used to be for fancy folk only, but no more.

dhb is one of a number of brands bringing the good stuff to the masses, and the Aeron shares features with shoes costing twice as much.

Atop dials offer Boa-esque tightening, while perforations and sole vents add airflow.

The Aeron Carbons have stiff, vented soles
The Aeron Carbons have stiff, vented soles

The fit is designed to be flat and neutral to work well with rider-specific insoles if desired, and weight is respectable at 525g for this size 42 pair.

  • £120 / $154.95 / AU$199.94

Ion8 Quench water bottle

The Ion8 Quench is one tall water bottle
The Ion8 Quench is one tall water bottle

Are you thirsty? Like, really, really thirsty? Sounds like you need the Quench bottle from Ion8.

At one thousand whole millilitres, this tower of hydration is massive by cycling standards but it will fit in a bottle cage, assuming there’s room inside your frame.

It’s likely overkill for most of us, but we can certainly imagine scenarios where we need to carry particularly large amounts of water, and it could be of use on frames (e.g. certain e-bikes) that only have one set of bottle bosses.

The Quench has a pleasant soft-touch frosted exterior and ticks the boxes with BPA and phthalate-free construction.

The handy flip-lid keeps dirt off the nozzle
The handy flip-lid keeps dirt off the nozzle

A lockable flip-open lid keeps the muck of the nozzle, and there’s a (removable) hand strap too.

  • £16.99 / $23 / AU$29
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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