11spd: This week's best new bikes and gear

The shopping channel e-bike, new kit from ASSOS and Meander, and more...

Reviews galore! Seriously, if you've been looking for a new bike, new wheels, new anything and wanted to check a review first, now's the time to do it.

We've just finished publishing the bazillion (slight exageration) reviews from this year's Bike of the Year awards, so if you want to know which bike is best for your budget and, more importantly, how it stacks up agains the competition, we've got you covered.

The same holds true of the women's side of Bike of the Year, with both our list of the best women's mountain bikes and best women's road bikes of 2018 both given a total refresh with plenty of new bikes to choose from.

New tyres, new jerseys and new training plans from Zwift. New everything!

There's also been a few things that are a little more... unusual. Zip on tyres, anyone?

Crank Brothers Klic Digital and Burst tank

Plenty of fascinating details on this digital floor pump from Crank Brothers
Plenty of fascinating details on this digital floor pump from Crank Brothers

While aesthetics may not be everything, we have to say this is a rather nice looking pump.

In typical Crank Brothers fashion there's a range of nifty elements to this pump, many including magnets.

The digital pressure guage pops out of its housing on the top of the pump and magnetically clicks into place on the valve of the side of the pump; likewise the hose hidden in the pump shaft.

One features that that stands out is the detachable burst tank. Pump it full of air and it's perferct for the fast inflation of tubeless tyres. However, lugging a heavy track pump with a heavier burst tank around may be fairly inconvenient, so being able to detach that makes it much more portable.

It's all rather pleasing - but of course it needs to actually work too and we'll be testing it and feeding back with a full review, rest assured.

  • £209.99

Abus Montrailer Ace MIPS helmet

Plenty of protective features on the new ABUS helmets
Plenty of protective features on the new ABUS helmets

The new Montrailer Ace from ABUS is a top-of-the-range trail lid with the added protection of MIPS. It's a trail lid with a hight adjustable visor that just so happens to be 'semi-transparent' to allow greater peripheral vision.

If we're honest, the combination of black and white colouring with translucent visor does remind us a little of police cycling helmets; it's going to be hard resist yelling 'nee-naw!' as we ride the trails wearing this.

ABUS have packed in the features, including 'GoggFit' - a google retension system plus a buckle with a magnetic fastening which makes popping it on and off wearing gloves a doddle. It comes with a light/camera mount, and the size 55cm - 58cm we tested weighs in at a relatively chunky 435g.

That said, safety features are also abundant. As well as MIPS, it has an internal composite cage embeded in the body of the helmet which is designed to keep the helmet together, plus not one, not two, but five interlocking polycarbonate shells cover and protect the exposed surface. And your head of course.

And it's also ponytail friendly.

  • £149.99 / €199.99

Vans RockShox

How would you describe these? Because the words loud and offensively loud have been mentioned
How would you describe these? Because the words loud and offensively loud have been mentioned

Do you want the good news or the bad news?

The good news is that RockShox and Vans fans have a new niche product to lust after with these special edition custom Vans shoes. They're designed as an ode to a leather jacket made by RockShox back in the 90s - and if anyone has this jacket we'd LOVE to see the pictures!

The bad news? You can't buy them. They've been sent out to a few select individuals including ones of the guys on our Sports Technical Hub. Everyone else is jealous.

  • Priceless. If you're a Vans or RockShox uber fan...

Mint Sauce limited edition enamel mug and T-shirt

Get your limited edition Mint Sauce mug and t-shirt at the Fort William DH World Cup
Get your limited edition Mint Sauce mug and t-shirt at the Fort William DH World Cup

If you're a little sad about not being able to get your hands on the mountain biking memorabilia above, fret not! You can get your hands on a special, limited edition Mint Sauce x MBUK enamel mug plus a coordinating Mint Sauce t-shirt!

For those unfamiliar with the concept of the mountain biking sheep Mint Sauce, it's a hugely popular comic strip in Mountain BIking UK magazine with a rather large fanbase.

The slight limiting factor to all of this is that you have to visit the MBUK stand at the Fort William World Cup this weekend to purchase one. But it'll be totally worth it. Incidentally, there'll be a few other bits and pieces of merch covering the gamut of weather you're likely to encounter in Scotland; sunglasses and umbrellas.

  • Mug £12 and T-shirt £15

ASSOS XC jersey and bib shorts

The new XC range from ASSOS
The new XC range from ASSOS

If you like your cross-country mountain bike kit with a strong shot of Italian style, the XC bib shorts and jersey from ASSOS will be right up your street.

The jersey is constructed from a number of panelled premium fabrics, with mesh on the underside of the sleeves and around the armpit area for ventilation, and a thicker, wicking mesh on the back. There are 3 main storage pockets plus one zipped pocket for valuables.

A reinforced fabric on the side panels helps protect rider and shorts in the event of a crash
A reinforced fabric on the side panels helps protect rider and shorts in the event of a crash

On the shorts side of things, ASSOS has used a fabric called dyneRope which is, it claims, ripstop, abrasion-resistant and breathable. The chamois insert is also designed for MTB use, sitting slightly further forward in position than in ASSOS' road shorts.

Mesh on the underarms will be very welcome on hot rides
Mesh on the underarms will be very welcome on hot rides

Men's and women's versions available.

  • ASSOS XC jersey price TBC
  • ASSOS XC bib shorts £175 / €200 / $229

Megmeister Drynamo vest base layer

Constructed from an almost seamless knit polypropolene fabric, this baselayer claims to be comfy and effective
Constructed from an almost seamless knit polypropolene fabric, this baselayer claims to be comfy and effective

A good baselayer is one of those quiet bits of kit that doesn't get the attention, but that most riders can't do without. That's certainly the idea behind the Drynamo vest from Dutch company Megmeister, and we'll be giving it a test in the future to see if it lives up to its claims.

The vest, like the other products in the lineup, is constructed from an almost seam-free, lightweight knit which is cunningly constructed to act as a vetilating mesh in key areas. The polypropelene knit is, according to Megmeister, thermo-regulating, hypoallergenic, highly breathable and antibacterial.

Team Sky themselves have tested the Drynamo vest and have, according to the product creator Jos Ruiterman, been rather impressed with its performance.

While the brand may be relatively new, Ruiterman has extensive experience in this field with 20 years as a product developer for a garment manufacturer behind him. 2 years ago, he set out and formed his own company to create the best base layer possible using some interesting new techniques and fabrics, including the knit process used to ensure garments are almost seamless.

"We named our invention: “Drynamo”, a truly seamless garment and we used innovative yarns with great wicking capabilities that are skin friendly and do not smell." he comments.

  • £49.95

Gtech e-bike Sports

The Gtech is an appealingly simple e-bike
The Gtech is an appealingly simple e-bike

If this looks familiar then you’re probably a fan of daytime TV. Gtech advertises its bikes extensively on the likes of shopping channel Ideal World, promising effortless cycling to the non-enthusiast public.

The Gtech is available with a step-through frame (the “City”) or this standard one (the “Sports”). It’s an appealing simple thing with an aluminium frame, motorised rear hub, a belt drive, and a tidy down tube-mounted battery.

The Gtech uses a hub motor
The Gtech uses a hub motor

Unlike most e-bikes, there’s no head unit or anything attached to the cockpit, so you could quite easily forget that you’re on an e-bike.

The battery unit has a simple display that tells you how much charge is remaining, and you can switch it between Eco and Power modes.

A simple display on the battery pack tells you how much charge remains
A simple display on the battery pack tells you how much charge remains

The bike is available in one size only (we’d describe it as medium-ish), and it weighs 16.8kg on our scales.

  • £995.99

Premax creams from Madison

Premax offers a whole range of rider care products
Premax offers a whole range of rider care products

Fresh from the good people at distributor Madison, Australian brand Premax offers an extensive range of creams and unguents to make great bike ride, ranging from staples like suncream to more niche fare such as Weather Protection Facial Cream, for when you’re gritting your teeth into the face of a storm.

This Arnica massage creams includes beeswax and aloe vera amongst other delights
This Arnica massage creams includes beeswax and aloe vera amongst other delights

While these are ostensibly quite expensive, Premax notes that its prices compare favourably to products of equivalent quality, meaning ones with similar proportions of expensive raw ingredients like essential oils.

  • Arnica Massage Cream: 100g £16.90 / AU$14.90
  • Anti-Friction Cream 50ml: £8.90 / AU$12.90 or 200ml £17.90 / AU$26.90
  • Women’s Anti-Friction Cream 50ml: £8.90 / AU$12.90 or 200ml £17.90 / AU$26.90
  • Sport Sunscreen 50ml: £7.90 / AU$9.90 or 200ml £16.90 / AU$18.90
  • Weather Protection Facial Cream 50ml: £17.90 / AU$23.90

Secret Training Stealth Juice Bars

Stealth Juice Bars are a bit like gels, but less disgusting
Stealth Juice Bars are a bit like gels, but less disgusting

What is neither an energy bar nor a gel? A juice bar! Despite initial reservations about the curious, lip balm-like texture of these, the consensus in the BikeRadar office is that they’re actually rather nice, with the fruitiness of a good gel (if there is such a thing as a good gel) and the palatability of a more conventional bar.

Juice Bars are available in two flavours: apple and blackcurrant or orange and pineapple.

  • £1.70 each
  • Box of 16 £25

Spiuk Hiri helmet

The Spiuk Hiri is a tasteful urban lid
The Spiuk Hiri is a tasteful urban lid

You know the old saying “teal is real”, right? Have we got that wrong? Anyway, the Hiri is a nice looking urban helmet with generous vents and a very reasonable price tag.

Better yet, it comes with a built-in rear light, although we think Spiuk might have missed a trick by powering it with CR-2032 button cells rather than a USB-rechargeable battery.

A built-in rear light is always handy
A built-in rear light is always handy

The Hiri weighs 293g in size M-L on our scales, which is designed to accommodate heads measuring 58 to 61cm.

  • £49.99 / €49.90

Meander Jacket

The Meander Jacket is aimed at the urban cyclist
The Meander Jacket is aimed at the urban cyclist

Meander is a new brand based in Edinburgh that’s aiming to make the ultimate urban do-it-all cycling jacket.

The garment in question claims to be waterproof thanks to taped seams and has a number of cycling-specific features including a large rear pocket and reflectives on the cuffs and rear that can be folded away for a more discreet look.

A large rear pocket, waterproof seams, and a hood all speak to practicality
A large rear pocket, waterproof seams, and a hood all speak to practicality

It also converts into a roll-style saddle bag, a messenger bag, or a sort of backpack.

These reflective cuffs fold away for a more stylish look
These reflective cuffs fold away for a more stylish look

If you like the look of the Meander jacket, the brand is fundraising on Indiegogo now.

  • From £189
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Aoife Glass

Women's Cycling Editor
A mountain biker at heart, also drawn to the open road. Likes big long adventures in the mountains. Usually to be found in the Mendip Hills or the Somerset Levels in the UK. Passionate about women's cycling at all levels.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Rocky, rough and a long way from anywhere.
  • Current Bikes: Liv Avail Advanced Pro 2015, Juliana Furtado 2013, Canyon Roadlite AL
  • Dream Bike: Juliana Roubion, Liv Avail Advanced SL
  • Beer of Choice: Red wine for the win!
  • Location: Weston Super Mare, Somerset, UK

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