With more than a quarter of my advent calendar already disappeared and absolutely none of my Christmas shopping completed, we’re a week deep into December.
And it's been a week that’s seen yet another waterproof onesie reviewed, an updated Santa Cruz V10, a look into the depths of the Mountain Bike Museum in Marin and a whole host of cycling related Christmas gift ideas — a few listed handily below!
- The ultimate Christmas gift guide for cyclists
- The best tacky Christmas jerseys
- The best Christmas gifts for gravel and adventure cyclists
- The best Christmas gifts for the cyclist who has everything
- The best Christmas gifts for road cyclists
- The best Christmas stocking stuffers for cyclists
But aside from all this festive cheer, we still have 11spd ready and waiting, and so without further ado, here are 11 of the most interesting bits and pieces to land at our HQ this week.
Latest cycling kit and bikes at BikeRadar
We can’t yet show you the bike that these forks will be fitted to (mainly because the frame and groupset haven’t arrived yet…) but needless to say, these 120mm 29er forks, with a fairly stiff chassis, will be the perfect pairing for what’s to come.
They feature a one-piece steerer and crown (which Öhlins claim is competitive with 36mm stanchion forks), Öhlins’ TTX twin tube damping and a three air chamber air spring: positive, negative and a ramp-control system, for perfect (in theory) tuneability.
Finishing details include high and low speed compression adjustment, low-friction seals and a bolt-thru-axle secured by a single non-disc-side clamping bolt. At 2,055g they aren’t light, but we’ll see how they perform on the trail.
- £895 / $900 / €1,065
Renthal Fatbar Lite Carbon Zero and Fatbar Lite Zero
In the mountain bike world, Renthal is likely best known for its handlebars, which adorn many, many pros bike across the DH and EWS circuit.
With the rise (ha, ha) of longer travel 29ers especially, front ends are getting higher, and there’s always been a demand from XC and trail riders to keep front ends a touch lower — this is Renthal’s response.
Renthal’s new flat bars come, obviously, with zero rise, and a 9-degree backsweep. They’re 780mm wide and are available in both carbon and alloy versions, with a regular 31.8mm diameter clamp. Renthal says that they’ve been designed to keep the same feel as its regular riser Fatbar Lites.
There’s a textured centre for better stem grip, as well as cut-down marks and a set-up grid. We’ve weighed them at 266g for the alloy and 188g for the carbon. More details can be found here.
- Carbon: £130 / $165
- Alloy: £70 / $85
Shimano MW7 waterproof boots
With winter set in and our 2019 Trail Bike of the Year testing already underway, it was time for me to find some warm, waterproof boots to get me through the winter with my toes intact.
Waterproofing comes from Gore-Tex, security from a BOA dial, snugness from the extended neoprene cuff and the sole from Michelin. These should, in theory, be a great addition to my winter wardrobe, and I’ll be sure to let you know how I’m getting on with them.
- £190 / $275 / €240
Adidas Climaheat Jacket
Adidas’s action-sport Terrex range Climaheat jacket is a down jacket for the chillier months. The jacket is constructed from Pertex Quantum GL rip-stop fabric and has a 90 percent goose down fill.
There’s an insulated hood and the jacket packs into its own pocket. The hem has an elastic drawstring and there’s a stretchy baffle at the end of the arms to keep the cold out.
At £300 in the UK, it’s not a cheap down jacket, but we’ll be testing it to see if it lives up to its price tag.
- £300 / $350 / €350
Gore C5 Windstopper Insulated Shorts
Insulated shorts? That’s madness, right? Well this winter, I’m going to find out.
Much like waterproof shorts, I suspect these could be far better in reality than in my imagination. Your thighs are large, and quite likely are responsible for a fair bit of cooling down in cold temperatures, so why not keep them warm?
Insulation is provided by Primaloft Silver fabrics, while the Windstopper fabric should keep the wind out. The rear is splashproof, to hopefully keep them puddle-proof, and there are zips running all the way up to the waist to make getting them on and off easier — althoug there’s no fly or popper for the waist.
- £125 / $150 / €140
Gore Windstopper Baselayer
While air temperature makes a vast difference to how cold it feels, I reckon it’s the wind that makes the biggest difference, and so a Windstopper baselayer makes a whole heap of sense to me.
The front, sleeves, kidneys and shoulders are all protected from the chill by Windstopper fabric, while there’s a breathable mesh panel at the back to let any excess warmth out. It’s obviously not as stretchy as a traditional baselayer, so getting the right fit will be important.
- £65 / $80 / €69
Feedback Sports Chain Keeper
This is one of those ‘lovely to have, but not entirely necessary’ items that could be the answer to all your ‘what should I get them for Christmas’ quandaries.
Designed to clamp into your rear dropout (either QR or 12mm thru), the CNC’d alloy chain keeper holds the plastic roller to let your chain, er, roll nicely over it during basic maintenance and cleaning, or to keep the chain tidy during travel.
There’s not a lot more to say about it, really, other than it's heavier than you’d imagine, which probably is no bad thing.
- $40 / £50
Silca Sicuro Titanium Bottle Cage
Silca’s products are undoubtedly high-end, and the description of how the cage is made is very impressive, to say the least.
The titanium tubing is bent into shape and secured with Silca’s laser welder — the first in the bicycle industry, it claims. Once welded up, the 31g bottle cage is hand polished, sealed and then stamped with the Silca logo.
The bolts, too, are of note. Again titanium, they’re machined as a single piece on Silca's lathe, with the low-profile flange said to distribute load over three times the area of a traditional bolt.
All this adds up to a tasty price, but also a 25 year warranty.
- £55 / $70 / €62
Pinarello Dogma F10 Disc
Love ‘em or loath ‘em, Pinarello makes some rather beautiful bikes, in our eyes at least, and this Dogma F10 Disc is one such machine.
The Dogma is designed (so says Pinarello) to be aero without compromising ride quality and feel.
With the down tube responsible for a fair amount of drag, Pinarello has created a concave-shaped tube, giving a 12 percent reported reduction in drag. The fork has little wings behind the dropouts, again to save watts, while the bottom bracket area is beefed up on the driveside for stiffness and pared down for weight on the non.
- Frame: £4,699 / $6,000 / €4,990
Specialized S-Works Evade II helmet with MIPS SL and ANGi
When you go fast enough to warrant a smooth, sleek, aero helmet such as the Evade II, you may want to consider a little extra protection for that noggin of yours too, just in case.
The new Evade has not one but two new protective elements.
First up is the new MIPS SL, designed specifically for Specialized. It’s got all the protection offered by MIPS but with a much lighter design so it won’t add weight.
Secondly, it comes with Specialized’s new ANGi sensor which tracks your movements and detects if you’ve had a crash, alerting key contacts and letting them know your position.
There’s a lot more info on the new tech, so if you’re interested then check out the full run-down of the features in our recent news story.
- £230 / $275 / AU$400
Apidura Racing Series bike packs
This British bike bag company has pedigree when it comes to creating great quality bags for the adventurous cyclist, and the new Racing Series is aimed at those who want to travel super-light.
Specifically, the range comprises a frame pack, saddle pack and aero-extension handlebar pack, all constructed from a waterproof laminate called Hexalon, which was made specifically for Apidura.
The range is aimed at audax riders and ultra-distance racers, so while the packs aren’t massive (for obvious reasons) there are a number of nifty features that those riders will favour.
These include a little mesh pocket on the handlebar pack to pop in your tracker, plus two side pockets that have rain-protective covers for storing food, water or your phone, and a little cable port on the frame pack for recharging as you go.
Our intrepid audaxers will be putting this kit to the test, so keep your eyes peeled on BikeRadar for reviews in the near future!
- Apidura Racing Series Saddle Pack (194g): £125 / $167
- Apidura Racing Series Frame Pack (155g): £90 / $120
- Apidura Racing Series Handlebar Pack (269g): £115 / $154