11spd: This week's best new bike gear

Bikes from Wilier and Canyon, fresh MTB rubber, a really loud bell and more...

Hooray! It's Friday, and this weekend sees the culmination of three weeks of riding and racing at the Tour de France as well as the conclusion to this year's revamped La Course. The Tour has brought us plenty of pro tech and gear to check out, and this week we've taken a look at the devilish details of Froome's different Tour de France Pinarellos and performed a pro bike check on Nairo Quintana'a XS Canyon, which has some surprising measurements.

We've also chatted with Greg Callaghan ahead of next weekend's round of the Enduro World Series in Aspen, USA, and dipped our toe into the pool of opinion with our video looking at arguments in the world of cycling that refuse to go away. Plus, if you're looking for a bit of self improvement this weekend why not check out our guide to shaving your legs, if of course that's your thing.

Wilier 803 TRB Pro

Slap an angle set in and it should make mincemeat of climbs and descents
Slap an angle set in and it should make mincemeat of climbs and descents

Back in February we popped over to Northern Italy for a sneak peak at Wilier’s new e-mountain bike. What did we find? Well it was rather surprising as we were, perhaps unfairly, a little skeptical. It was pretty good, on first impressions.

The geometry and suspension are very similar to a Mondraker (no bad thing), and it has a Shimano Steps motor — no complaints there.

The 140mm bike's spec list isn't going to set hearts racing, but it's all pretty solid kit. The motor was a particular highlight, and if industry whispers are to be believed, we're going to see a lot more of the Shimano Steps motor in 2018.

Wilier is going to send us an angle-set — our main complaint was the head angle — so once this arrives we’re going shredding…

  • Price: £4,999 / $TBC / AU$TBC

Flare Clothing

Clothing with flare, from Flare Clothing. Natch
Clothing with flare, from Flare Clothing. Natch

Flare is a small rider-led UK clothing brand that started off with women’s jerseys and has grown since to include men’s and casual threads.

We’ve snaffled a Roost DH Jersey and solar Technical T-Shirt, along with a matching Roost shorts to go pulling skids and wheelies with in the woods. Needless to say, we’ll be doing that with a little less flare than their designers have shown.

The tops are made from what feels like a pretty light-weight material, which will hopefully keep sweat at bay in the coming warm months. The short's construction is heavier duty, as you might expect from a short designed for DH use. There's a poppered and zipped closure at the front, along with Velcro tabs to aid fit. Stretchy panels in the right places should aid comfort on the bike.

  • Price: £50 / £40 / £80 respectively

Deity components

Deity's bar, grips and saddle should find a home pretty swift in our test fleet
Deity's bar, grips and saddle should find a home pretty swift in our test fleet

What have we here? A holy alliance of Deity components, that’s what.

First off is the Skyline 787 bar — no prizes for guessing how wide this alloy bar is! It’s its lightest alloy bar and has been heat treated for a reported extra 20 percent strength. This is the 25mm rise version, there’s a 15mm version too.

Standing out from the crowd is the Waypoint grip (non-orange colours are available too for the more subtle consumer). There’s a single lock-on clamp at the inside end, while the inside sleeve tapers towards the outside, which should mean plenty of bar traction. The diamond texture extends all the way to the edge too, which we rather like.

Finally, there’s the Speedtrap Ti saddle with titanium rails, a wide nose, flat profile and tough edges. Deity has worked with saddle aficionados SDG on this perch, so it should be good.

  • Bar: £TBC/ $85 / AU$130
  • Grips: £TBC / $22 / AU$40
  • Saddle: £TBC / $129 / AU$210

Hiplok Gold: Superbright

A hip Hiplok around Aoife's hips
A hip Hiplok around Aoife's hips

Hiplok, the makers of the (allegedly) hippest locks in town has fired this bad-boy in for test.

The 10mm steel chain is surrounded by a washable reflective cover, while the locking mechanism also has a plastic clasp on an adjustable strap. So you can sling it round your waist as you scoot from coffee shop to coffee shop, via your favourite barber shop. Because that’s what hipsters do, right?

  • Price: £90 / $120 / AU$TBC

Specialized Butcher / Slaughter Grid 2.8

Butcher, ready to make a killing of those sketchy descents
Butcher, ready to make a killing of those sketchy descents

These whopping 2.8” plus tyres should have epic levels of grip to match, thanks to Specialized pulling its Gripton compound over from the road side and into the mountain bike market.

We’re already big fans of Specialized tyres, especially considering their not-so plus-sized pricing. With a Butcher up front and Slaughter at the back, this should be a pretty killer tyre combo for those rocking the plus-size bicycle wave.

The Slaughter, slightly faster rolling than the Butcher
The Slaughter, slightly faster rolling than the Butcher

  • Price: £50 / $60 / AU$TBC

Canyon Ultimate WMN CF SLX Disc 8.0 Team CSR

The Canyon Ultimate WMN CF SLX Disc 8.0 Team CSR is a lot of bike with a lot of name
The Canyon Ultimate WMN CF SLX Disc 8.0 Team CSR is a lot of bike with a lot of name

Ah, Canyon. You came, you saw, you conquered our hearts with silly low prices and surprisingly excellent bikes.

The Ultimate WMN CF SLX Disc 8.0 Team CSR has an absurdly long name and rather lovely paint job courtesy of the Canyon//SRAM team.

With a SRAM Force 22 Disc groupset and DT Swiss PR 1600 Spline Db wheels, this ladies’ racer weighs a very respectable 7.3kg in size small.

The wheels and tyres are both tubeless-ready, and while this bike gets regular 700c hoops, one of the notable features of the ladies’ Ultimate is that its two smallest sizes get more proportionate 650b wheels, meaning fewer compromises on geometry.

The Canyon comes with tubeless-ready wheels and tyres as standard
The Canyon comes with tubeless-ready wheels and tyres as standard

For a full first ride on the top-spec version of this bike, read Aoife Glass’ first ride review.

  • Price: £2,649 / $TBC / AU$4,299

Abus GameChanger helmet

Will the Abus GameChanger change your game?
Will the Abus GameChanger change your game?

Tired of the game being the same? Well Abus is changing it, allegedly. The GameChanger is the German brand’s first proper aero lid, and it certainly looks the part.

There aren’t any specific claims about the aero properties of the GameChanger, but it bears obvious similarities to existing designs.

Ventilation is courtesy of what Abus calls “Forced Air Cooling Technology”, which seems to be a fancy way of describing the channels that route air past your head.

This size medium weighs in at 267g on our scales.

  • Pricing is TBC.

Bobbin Brass Ding Dong bell

The Bobbin Ding Dong is a big shiny bell
The Bobbin Ding Dong is a big shiny bell

Want to announce your approach with the most possible gravitas? Bobbin’s massive brass bell might be your jam.

Measuring 66mm in diameter and weighing an assertive 158g, this is a bell that’s seen as well as heard. It’s big and shiny and well suited to classic Dutch bikes or similar.

Operating the lever elicits a satisfying ding-dong as the name suggests. What more could you want?

  • Price: £14.99 / $N/A / AU$N/A

The Descent – Thomas Dekker memoir

Thomas Dekker's The Descent sounds pretty brutal
Thomas Dekker's The Descent sounds pretty brutal

Pro cycling’s dark side is hardly a secret, but the realities of doping can still shock. The Descent is Dutch pro Thomas Dekker’s account of his chequered career, and at first glance it looks like a page turner.

Dekker received a two-year ban for EPO use in 2009 and this memoir describes his “journey from youthful idealism to a sordid path of excess and doping."

Sounds good, eh? This book weighs 242g, which is lighter than some other memoirs on the market.

It sounds like an uncomfortable read however, so it’s possible that Dekker has traded compliance for outright honesty.

  • £12.99 / $17 / AU$22
  • Available from major bookshops including Amazon.co.uk, where it is currently discounted to £7.79.

Smoove Universal Chain Lube

Smoove lube claims to be hard-wearing and super slippery
Smoove lube claims to be hard-wearing and super slippery

Everyone loves a good slippery lube, and Smoove is the latest to stake its claim to being the best.

Pitched as the “hardest wearing wax-based chain lube on the market,” Smoove claims to be good for hundreds of miles between applications thanks to the way it forms a “hard-wearing base layer” on application.

  • 125ml bottle: £13.99 / $14.95 / AU$25

Liv Cycling Paradiso jacket

The new Paradiso waterproof jacket from Liv Cycling
The new Paradiso waterproof jacket from Liv Cycling

The purveyor of rather nice women's road and mountain bikes (including the recently released Langma, Hail and Pique) has recently teamed up with Spanish cycling garment manufacturer Etxeondo to produce a range of women's kit. 

The eye-catching design coordinates with a range of yet-to-be-released other products
The eye-catching design coordinates with a range of yet-to-be-released other products

While the rest of the kit isn't released until September (and we'll be bringing you a range overview when that gets launched) we do have a tantalising taste of what's to come in the form of the Paradiso Jacket.

This waterproof number is inspired by the Bird of Paradise plant, and is a form-fitting jacket with internal cuffs to keep the sleeves secure, in place and draft free. The Paradiso range also includes shorts, bib shorts, jersey and gilet, and there are two more ranges within the garment line too. 

Sadly, we don't have prices yet, but watch this space for the full reveal in a few month's time!

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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