11spd: This week's best new bike gear

New products to lust over from Cab9, Vélobici, Ohlins, Assos and more

It's that time of year again. Lycra-clad pain addicts have started their epic three-week race, demonstrating just how much it's possible to put the human body through and still keep riding, including but not limited to inclement weather, crashes, broken bones, endless climbs and days and days of back-to-back exertion. Inspiring, right? Although it makes us tired just watching them. 

And of course get ready for endless discussions over Cav's latest stage win, whether Tinkoff are in crisis, and who's going to take the overall victory. If you want to sound extra knowledgeable in those conversations, check out our various Tour de France pro bike features so you can add those 'I know more than you' details when conversing on who's riding what and why. 

That said, things would get a little dull if we all only talked about other people riding, and didn't focus on ourselves a little. So get ready for a little bike bling in the shape of this week's 11spd, with some fresh goods to lust over and give you a little distraction from all the Tour chat. 

New road bike gear

Cab9 sunglasses

With good looks, a rugged design and appealing price, there's a lot to like about these Cab9 glasses
With good looks, a rugged design and appealing price, there's a lot to like about these Cab9 glasses

New eyewear brand Cab9 says it’s got a simple aim – to make great sunglasses at an affordable price. With summer finally here in the northern hemisphere, that’s a mission we like. Our sample here is the Stealth model with ‘Blue Revo’ polarised lenses, with similar looks to Ray-Ban’s enduringly popular Wayfarer design.

Pretty smooth…
Pretty smooth…

Highlights include tough corrosion-proof hinges and robust-yet-lightweight frames, ready to take a few knocks. Plus those polarised lenses, which block glare reflected off surfaces and deliver 100% full-spectrum UV protection, including UVA, UVB and UV400.

£24 / €30

www.cab9eyewear.com

Castelli Idro jacket

Castelli's Idro jacket is made from the new Gore-Tex Active fabric, and weighs just 123g
Castelli's Idro jacket is made from the new Gore-Tex Active fabric, and weighs just 123g

Summer is here, and with it come dreams of sun-dappled rides in the mountains and cool sea breezes. But we're all familiar with the sudden unexpected downpours it can also bring. Enter Castelli's new Idro rain jacket, made from a very clever fabric indeed – the new Gore-Tex Active.

It's very, very light – just 123g for a size large – and packs down so small it'll fit in half a jersey pocket. It still has that famous Gore-Tex water resistance and breathability though, with a new permanent beading surface and two-layer construction. Functional details include an easy-sliding waterproof zipper, elastic bindings on the cuffs and hem, and a zipped opening on the back for accessing jersey pockets.

€269

www.castelli-cycling.com

Change Bike DF-611 folding bike

Change Bike makes folders that look like regular rides
Change Bike makes folders that look like regular rides

What have we got here? A folding hybrid with full-size wheels. Made by Taiwanese company Change Bike, it features a double-butted alloy frame that folds by pivoting around the seat tube, a rigid carbon fork, 27-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain, cable disc brakes and 700c wheels. Total weight is 10.5kg, which is impressive for a full-size folding bike.

This one has 26in wheels
This one has 26in wheels

The look is reassuringly conventional – the frame has that classic diamond shape – and you won’t need tools to fold it down. Obviously it won’t pack down as small as a bike like the Brompton, which has much smaller 16in hoops, but we think this might be just the job for apartment dwellers and those short of space.

£999

www.changebike.co.uk

Vélobici Verne jersey and bib shorts

Vélobici's Verne jersey and bibs have classic, clean looks
Vélobici's Verne jersey and bibs have classic, clean looks

Made in the UK’s textile manufacturing heartland of Leicestershire, this is the new premium short-sleeve jersey and bib shorts from UK brand Vélobici. The jersey is made from their top-flight VB/Pro-VR1 fabric, and combines classic looks with some modern details like silicone grippers on the sleeves and a zippered pocket on the rear for cash, keys and other valuables.

You're not going to be missed in this jersey, either
You're not going to be missed in this jersey, either

The bib shorts again combine retro looks with modern technology: there’s a retro woollen VB logo on the thigh, and ‘Verne’ embroidered into the rear. A lot of effort has gone into the padding too, with something called Foam Carving Technology used to eliminate any unnecessary padding. Plus there are flatlock seams throughout, soft silicone grippers, and a low-cut front to make it easier to take ‘comfort breaks’.

£255 for the pair

www.velobici.cc

Turbospoke Bicycle Exhaust System

Turbospoke Exhaust will appeal to the little hooligan in your life
Turbospoke Exhaust will appeal to the little hooligan in your life

Perfect for the little hooligan in your life (that may or may not mean a child), this is a definite upgrade on the old ‘playing card in your spokes’ trick that we all did as kids to pretend we were motorbike riders. Didn’t we? 

It's even got a tuning system, which doesn't need batteries
It's even got a tuning system, which doesn't need batteries

It’s even got a “tuning system” – you get three different cards to fit into the exhaust, to give different sounds – and doesn’t require any batteries. It’ll fit any bike with wheels 14in to 24in, and you can even fit two of them to your bike if you like. Big fun.

£15 / $24

www.halfords.com

Yellow Jersey coffee

Coffee and cycling – they go together perfectly
Coffee and cycling – they go together perfectly

Coffee and cycling go together brilliantly, so two lifelong friends and cyclists from Wales have set up a company to combine the two. Yellow Jersey Coffee offers different blends themed around road cycling’s most famous jerseys, including the maillot jaune of the Tour de France’s General Classification leader, the green jersey beloved of sprinters, King of the Mountains blend, and more.

We’ve been sent the signature yellow jersey blend, which apparently has “a complex juicy body with great sweetness throughout and subtle notes of dark chocolate in the finish”, and the green jersey blend, which is a medium dark espresso roast that “mimics a sprinter's personality with a bold and energized body”. We’re looking forward to trying it.

£1.99 for 100g

www.yellowjerseycofee.com

New mountain bike gear

Tiger Tail foam roller

The Tiger Tail roller – painful, but worth it (probably)
The Tiger Tail roller – painful, but worth it (probably)

Foam rollers are brilliant for sorting out those tight post-ride muscles, but they’re also bulky and involve flailing around on the floor like an octopus with a cramp. The Tiger Tail Foam Roller is a narrow roller with a handle at each end, making it possible to iron our those knots without lying down, and it’s smaller size make it handier for travelling. Think of it as a portable but strangely pleasurable torture device.

£29.99 / $34.95

www.tigertailusa.com

Assos Women’s T.Rally S_7 bib shorts

The new Assos T.Rally S_7 shorts, designed for mountain biking
The new Assos T.Rally S_7 shorts, designed for mountain biking

Swiss brand Assos have developed a women’s specific version of its Rally shorts in the form of the new T.Rally S_7 Lady bib shorts. They feature a crossover back and a Y-shaped front strap with a clip that allows the shorts to be easily pulled down for comfort breaks. An initial try on suggests the Lycra is firm and supportive, and the shorts match up with the SS.Laalalaijersey_Evo7. 

The Assos shorts feature a front clasp with a magnetic fastening
The Assos shorts feature a front clasp with a magnetic fastening

£265 / $419  / AU$510

assos.com

e*thirteen TRS+ tyres

The new TRS+ tyres from e*thirteen
The new TRS+ tyres from e*thirteen

The new rubbery offerings from e*Thirteen components have certainly been getting the column inches lately! The small but perfectly formed collection consists of 29er and 27.5in tyres in a 2.35in width, and each available as TRS Plus, with a race-focused triple-compound, or the TRS+ (pictured) with a tacky dual compound. There are different tyres for front and rear, with the front a little stickier, and they’re designed for grip, traction and control. So enduro!

£56.95  / $56.95 / AU$TBC

bythehive.com

e*Thirteen at Silverfish

Bontrager Ajna Elite women's saddle

Bontrager says the Ajna Elite saddle will be equally at home on road or mountain bikes
Bontrager says the Ajna Elite saddle will be equally at home on road or mountain bikes

'Edge out your competition' - that's the strap Bontrager uses to describe the Ajna Elite saddle.It features a shaped nose, a long central cutaway to relieve pressure on the delicate soft tissue of your undercarriage, and size-specific curvature. While we've stuck in this week's MTB kit lineup, Bontrager says the Ajna is suitable for roadies too – a multitasker if ever we saw one.

£89.99  / $129.99 / AU$179

bontrager.com

Ohlins RXF 36 fork

We're looking forward to giving Ohlins' RXF 36 some punishment
We're looking forward to giving Ohlins' RXF 36 some punishment

Ohlins has gone stiffer and wider and we like it. We've just got our grubby mitts on the new Ohlins RXF 36 fork, a new product the company developed after the popularity of the RXF 34 released in 2015. It's cross-compatible with Boost 29er and 650b/27.5+ frames, and a few 650b frames too according to the Swedish company. We weighed it at 2.076kg, and it's available in 120mm, 140mm, 150mm, 160mm travel options.

Price to be confirmed – watch this space, we'll update it when we have the info!

www.ohlins.com

Jamie Beach

Deputy Editor, UK
Jamie's been addicted to bikes from the moment his stabilisers came off. Earliest cycling memory is the chipboard-ramp-on-bricks, but happiest one is bombing down a Mallorcan mountain pass that seemed it might never end. Always on the hunt for the perfect rain jacket, a keen collector of hats.
  • Discipline: Road, gravel
  • Preferred Terrain: Big mountains with long climbs, equally long and fast descents, the chance to get above the treeline.
  • Current Bikes: Genesis Croix de Fer, Brompton M3L
  • Dream Bike: BMC TeamMachine SLR01, Moots Routt
  • Beer of Choice: Augustiner
  • Location: Bath, Somerset, UK

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