11spd: This week's best new bike gear

Hot new bikes from Focus and Kinesis, plus kit from Crank Bros, SmartHalo and more...

Time flies when you're having fun, or at least it does when you're elbow deep in yet another week of stellar content creation for the World's Premier Bicycling Website (er, that's us, yeah?). And so yet again #Friyay is back again and so is our round-up of the best bits that have landed in the BikeRadar office. 

This week we've crowned our MTB Superbike of the Year, we've seen a Bluetooth mini-pump come to market, and it's been BikeRadar Women's week. Steve Williams entertained us with his curious brand of anti-motivation, tech ed Tom rhapsodised about his favourite kit and Shimano teased us with a crafty 105 upgrade. And now, without further ado, here's 11spd

Crank Bros Stamp 3 Danny Mac Ltd Edition

We brought you the news that there are some new flat pedals from Crank Bros earlier this week, and here we have the mid-range Stamp 3 in super special silver with Danny MacAskill's seal of approval.

We reckon when Danny gets his hands on these, they won't stay shiny for long
We reckon when Danny gets his hands on these, they won't stay shiny for long

The Stamp 3 has a forged alloy body (the cheaper Stamp 2 is die-cast) and the same internals as the Mallet and Candy pedals — in recent years their reliability has been improving, so we're not sorry to see it here.

The body has no concavity, which usually we're a fan of, but the inner screws are screwed deeper in to the pedal compared to the outer to improve grip. 

At 114x111mm and 16mm thick these are some meaty pedals, but at 465g their weight doesn't reflect this — they're only a touch heavier than our favourites, the DMR Vault.

  • £90 / €99 / $99

Slime Tubeless Premium Sealant

Stan's might think that it's got the market sealed up, but there are plenty of other tubeless sealants out there. One thing virtually all of them have in common though is a drying-out lifespan and a dislike of CO2 cartridges.

No stress leaving this in your tyres for months on end, nor using CO2 — sounds good on paper
No stress leaving this in your tyres for months on end, nor using CO2 — sounds good on paper

So when we spotted that Slime had a new sealant, which (so it says) has a longer lifespan and doesn't freeze when CO2 is blasted in to the tyre, we figured we'd have to see what all the fuss was about.

If the above doesn't quite cover what Slime claims, here we go...

'Web Tech' is the hole-fixing part of it all — we presume it's a standard latex type sealant, which forms something akin to a spider's web of latex to fill bigger holes and splits.

'Flow Motion' seems to refer to its long-lasting properties — maybe we'll be able to get away with fitting and forgetting this over the lifespan of a tyre? Slime says it's impervious to CO2 freezing, so those quick trail-side repairs can be done while still benefiting from the Slime.

Finally, Slime reckons it disperses over the tyre's inside surface evenly for better coverage. Sounds good to us. Oh, and you can use it in your wheelbarrow tyres, too.

Slime has a full range of tubeless accessories: valves, spare valve cores (because ultimately they always get clogged up), rim tape and valve core removal tools (with space for spare cores inside). 3oz, 8oz, 16oz, 32oz and 1 gallon options are available.

  • 8oz: £10 / $10.99

Scott MTB AR Boa Clip

The new AR — All Round in Scott parlance — Clip shoe has just arrived here for shoe aficionado Seb Stott. As the name suggests, it's a shoe built to do pretty much everything, much like our Seb. 

New Scott kicks, built to do everything, apparently
New Scott kicks, built to do everything, apparently

The sole looks pretty thick, and not in a bad way. There's a rubbery compound on the bottom, with a softer EVA foam in the middle. The insole has some shaping, so combined with the sole's construction they look like they should be pretty comfortable all day long. The upper is pretty thin, and while it's not got masses of ventilation, there is a fair bit of protection, so we're hoping Seb's toes will remain intact. 

A double Boa closure system should provide plenty of adjustment. It's your call on whether the grey camo / fluro yellow look is good or not though — we rather like it!

Laced and non-clip versions will also be available for a bit less money.

  • £150 / $TBC

Focus JAM² Factory

It can only be a couple of years until e-bikes are nigh-on indistinguishable from 'normal' bikes, such is the progression in battery and motor integration, right?

The JAM² from Focus is one of the neatest looking e-bikes out there, and if its Project Y stuff is anything to go by, it's working on the next gen already... 

Neatly integrated — you could almost be forgiven for thinking it's a normal bike!
Neatly integrated — you could almost be forgiven for thinking it's a normal bike!

This mid-range model has a decent, if not groundbreaking spec: a Shimano Steps motor (our current favourite), a Yari RC fork (plenty stiff enough), Schwalbe Nobby Nic plus tyres (grippy...), SRAM NX gears (reasonable) and its own dropper (seems okay, at the moment).

Speaking of suspension, it's based on the platform we saw last year, the F.O.L.D. linkage design. Basically, the suspension has a digressive (to the sag point) then progressive suspension curve, which Focus says maximises both grip and control via its multi-link design.

Focus' F.O.L.D. suspension has performed well in previous tests — we'll see what it's like when there's a battery and motor thrown into the mix
Focus' F.O.L.D. suspension has performed well in previous tests — we'll see what it's like when there's a battery and motor thrown into the mix

The root beer colour might not photograph well, but it certainly looks good in the flesh!

  • £4,399 — currently not available in the US

Selle Royal eZONE saddle

The Selle Royal eZone is an e-bike specific saddle
The Selle Royal eZone is an e-bike specific saddle

You wot mate? A saddle, for e-bikes? What has the world come to?

Yep, that's right, there's a new niche in town, and it comes in the form of the eZONE saddle from Selle Royal.

To be fair to Selle Royal, it's not the first time we've seen saddles for a particular niche — back in 2013 for example, Fizik brought out the Thar, a saddle built for the rigours of 29ers...

So what makes the eZONE different to any other perch? At the back, the tail is elevated - much like a race car where the acceleration squashes you into the back of the seat, apparently on ebikes you're more prone to slipping off the back of the saddle when the 250W kicks in from the lights.

Gimmick or important e-bike upgrade? Watch this space
Gimmick or important e-bike upgrade? Watch this space

This back-end, along with the sculpted side wings apparently help you use your body weight to move the bike around — perhaps rather handy with the additional weight of an e-bike.

Finally (and this we think is great), there's a handle at the back of the saddle to help when you're lugging your bike around. We've already got it on a bike to see how good it really is...

  • £80 / $105

Burley Minnow

The Burly Minnow is a smart little single-seat trailer for kids
The Burly Minnow is a smart little single-seat trailer for kids

Timed perfectly to coincide with the birth of our workshop manager Jonny's second son, the new Minnow from Burley is a lightweight, alloy framed child trailer.

The Minnow has a lightweight alloy frame and 20in wheels
The Minnow has a lightweight alloy frame and 20in wheels

The Minnow is easily assembled with click-on 20in wheels and a nifty rear dropout attachment, which means it fits some bikes with thru-axles as well as those with standard skewers. 

The Minnow attaches at the rear dropout
The Minnow attaches at the rear dropout

So far Jonny has only ferried a heavy camera bag and assorted office items the 15 miles home from the office, but with the long weekend looming, it's sure to get a lot of use.

  • £TBC / $269 / AU$TBC

Kinesis Aithein Evo

The Kinesis Aithein Evo is one pretty machine
The Kinesis Aithein Evo is one pretty machine

This luscious red beauty from Kinesis is one of the best looking alloy road bikes we’ve seen in a while.

Sold as a frameset, the Aithein Evo is designed for fast road riding, and this latest version has improved internal cable routing, a slightly slacker head angle and clearance for at least a 28mm tyre.

The candy red paintjob sparkles expensively in the sun
The candy red paintjob sparkles expensively in the sun

The frame alone weighs a claimed 1,430g for a 53cm, and this 59cm bike comes in at 7.8kg with a choice build featuring SRAM Red, Reynolds Assault carbon clinchers and carbon Ritchey WCS finishing kit.

Gorgeous skinwall Challenge Paris Roubaix tyres are the icing on the cake — what’s not to like?

The frame has some tidy looking tube profiles, but keeps things simple with a threaded bottom bracket
The frame has some tidy looking tube profiles, but keeps things simple with a threaded bottom bracket

  • Frameset: £729.99 / $933 / AU$1,182

Ostrich F-702 randonneur bag

The Ostrich F-107 is its biggest rando' bag
The Ostrich F-107 is its biggest rando' bag

Ostrich is a small workshop that has been making a huge range of cycling bags in Kurihara, Tokyo since 1968.

Looking through Ostrich’s charmingly old school, Flash-heavy catalogue from 2011, we decided to try out the F-702 — a boxy, water resistant randonneur bag that is designed for all day riding.

Ostrich makes lots of handsome waxed cotton bags, but we decided to go for simple black nylon
Ostrich makes lots of handsome waxed cotton bags, but we decided to go for simple black nylon

While we could have opted for one of Ostrich’s more old-school styled, waxed cotton bags, we decided to go for this slightly more austere black nylon option.

The bag is stiffened with three plastic baffles
The bag is stiffened with three plastic baffles

The bag is stiffened by three internal plastic baffles and measures 20cm deep, 25cm wide and 25cm tall, giving roughly 12.5l of storage — more than enough for any audax/randonneur adventure, or perhaps when combined with a saddle pack, even a short overnight trip.

The back can be attached with a decaleur or the included cinch straps
The back can be attached with a decaleur or the included cinch straps

When attached to a bike using a small front supporting rack and decaleur — we’re going to be attaching the F-702 to a Velo Orange rando’ rack — the bag is totally solid.

The map case is removable
The map case is removable

Using a decaleur also means you can quickly remove the bag from the bike, allowing you to take your carefully curated sandwiches and Instagram accessories with you.

Ostrich is exported from Japan by Interjet — who also handles the Double 2WD mountain bike we featured last week — with lots of individual importers including Bike Touring News and Soma importing the bag to the US.

The bag is also available via Amazon.jp for international customers.

  • $130, international pricing unavailable

Crane E-NE

The Crane E-NE looks a little like another well known bell, but costs half as much
The Crane E-NE looks a little like another well known bell, but costs half as much

Interjet also sent us through this lovely little bell from Crane.

There’s no denying that the E-NE (pronounced ee-nay) does look an awful lot like a popular bell we reviewed recently, but it’s considerably cheaper at £25 /$34 / AU$N/A.

The E-NE uses the same hammer design as Crane’s other bells — a design we’ve found to give a decisive and long lasting ‘ding’ — and is available in a range of colours, though we’re particularly fond of this polished copper finish.

  • £25 /$34 / AU$N/A.

SmartHalo

The SmartHalo is your all-in-one navigation, security and lighting system
The SmartHalo is your all-in-one navigation, security and lighting system

We get sent a lot of dumb Kickstarter electronics for bikes so we’re naturally wary of anything that promises to revolutionise urban cycling as we know it, but the SmartHalo actually seems like a pretty sound concept.

Designed to address your navigation and security needs, the SmartHalo attaches to the middle of your bike’s handlebars and can be left on the bike permanently.

The SmartHalo pairs with a mobile app to offer navigation, giving instructions with simple light cues from the disc on top, which houses 25 multi-coloured LEDs.

The device also acts as a motion-sensitive light and anti-theft alarm, and can be set up to act as a speedometer, track “goals” and alert the rider to incoming texts or calls.

The SmartHalo is removed from your bike using a clever little magnetic key
The SmartHalo is removed from your bike using a clever little magnetic key

While the SmartHalo can be left on the bike, it’s designed to be removed in a matter of seconds using a neat little magnetic key.

  • £117 / $149 / AU$242

SunSense Sport Mist and Sport Gel

SunSense sunscreen is an appealing alternative to conventional creams
SunSense sunscreen is an appealing alternative to conventional creams

Sunscreen isn’t the most alluring or exciting of products, but it’s an absolute necessity when you’re spending hours outside every week.

Hailing from Australia (where we’re told it’s quite sunny), SunSense’s sport range offers SPF50 protection that’s designed to withstand “the most vigorous of activities” for up to four hours after application.

SunSense Sport comes in both gel and spray forms, and on first impression it feels a lot less oily and sticky then a conventional cream, and smells rather pleasant too. Certainly worth a try...

  • Sport Mist 200ml: £22.99 / $TBC / AU$17.98
  • Sport Gel 125ml: £15.99 / $TBC / AU$11.95
Matthew Allen

Senior Technical Writer, UK
Former bike mechanic, builder of wheels, hub fetishist and lover of shiny things. Likes climbing a lot, but not as good at it as he looks.
  • Discipline: Road, with occasional MTB dalliances
  • Preferred Terrain: Long mountain climbs followed by high-speed descents (that he doesn't get to do nearly often enough), plus scaring himself off-road when he outruns his skill set.
  • Current Bikes: Scott Addict R3 2014, Focus Cayo Disc 2015, Niner RLT 9
  • Dream Bike: Something hideously expensive and custom with external cables and a threaded bottom bracket because screw you bike industry.
  • Beer of Choice: Cider, please. Thistly Cross from Scotland
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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