We've learned a lot on BikeRadar this week. We've talked about The Dominator, the bike that really does do it all, discovered that the Taipei Cycle Show has a huge amount of interesting gravel bike tech, and found out about a fascinating invention that aims to solve that problem we've all encountered: trying to work out where on the tube the damn puncture is.
- The Dominator is the greatest bike ever made
- How to inspect and care for your helmet
- Newly approved UCI frames give us a taste of the future
We've also had some lush new kit in from the likes of Rapha, EVIL, Magura and Sportful, and it seems a shame to keep the bike lust to ourselves. Have a scroll, have a drool, and enjoy your weekend!
Road bike kit
Airofin Alpha Cycling Kit
This eyecatching kit comes from new brand Airofin and is part of a larger range of men and women’s road clothing.
The jersey is built with a four-way stretch fabric and features side ventilation panels and a full-length zip. There are four pockets at the rear, one being zipped.
The shorts are unusual in that they aren’t bibs and rely on a drawstring waist to stay put. Inside there’s flatlock stitching and a chamois that Airofin states is perfect for short and long rides.
Any women looking and liking this design might be pleased to learn a very similar design is available from the women’s section on the Airofin site.
Airofin is based in the UK, but will ship internationally with shipping free for orders over £150.
- Price: £129.99 / $156 / $TBC
Sportful Stelvio jersey
Two years in development with the Tinkoff pro team, the Stelvio jacket from Italian brand Sportful promises a ‘class leading’ breathability and water protection combination. Striking this balance between waterproofing and at the same time reducing condensation from the body is frequently an issue with wet weather jackets, however Sportful claims to have found a material that will outperform the competition.
An athletic fit on the body prevents any unwanted flapping in the wind, while a second elastic insert on the forearm and tailored sleeve keeps the jacket material down.
A longer cut to the rear of the jacket helps to keep any road spray off the body, while the jacket weighs in at just 165 grams (about the same as a short sleeved summer jersey).
The race cut has already been approved by John Degenkolb who sprinted to second place in the jacket at Paris-Nice a few weeks ago. Usually any other jacket would have been dropped to the team car long before any potential sprint in a race.
At £240 the Stelvio jacket is not a purchase to take lightly, but Sportful’s performance claims have caught our interest and we’re looking forward to testing it out in the glorious British weather.
Available in Fluro Yellow or Anthracite (pictured).
- Price: £240 / $TBC / AU$TBC
Effetto Mariposa Shelter wheel kit
Looking slightly like the underside of your bath mat, these stick-on transparent washers have a couple of uses — including one you may never have thought of.
Arriving with a presta valve sized whole in the centre, these are placed externally at the valve holes of a rim, stopping any rattling in the process. But that’s not the reason that you’ll find 35 of these in a pack, that’s for the purpose of wheel balancing — yes you read that correctly — wheel balancing.
The idea is to cancel any unwanted vibrations caused by imperfect balance. In fact, they're used in exactly the same way that wheel weights are on cars.
Effetto Mariposa reckons that wheels typically hold an imbalance of between 4 and 12 grams — that's four to 12 of its 1g washers, now you see why there are 35 in a pack!
The company even gives info on how to perfectly balance your wheels using nothing more than this kit and a wheel truing stand (or simply an upturned bike should you not have the latter).
- Price: £25 / $34.95 / AU$44.95
Craft Glow glove
The foam padding on the palm of these Craft Glow mitts has shock absorbing properties and is formed to provide plenty of movement and flexibility sitting as it does on a stretch mesh panel that extends from the heel of the palm to the fingers.
On the back side, a smooth lycra cuff is designed to help keep the mitts secure and a terry fabric for wiping noses or glasses sits on the thumb.
Little silicone-edge tabs on the middle fingers make removing these gloves nice and simple, and while we have them in black, you can also get them in blue and purple and from size XXS to XXL.
- Price: £25 / $39.99 / AU$TBC
Genesis Datum W
The Genesis Datum adventure bike is now available for women. The Datum W's carbon frame is sold in three sizes: 46cm, 49cm and 52cm with spec highlights including Shimano's Tiagro 4700 groupset along with flat-mount Shimano hydraulic discs and plush 32c Clement Strada tyres.
This one will be staying with us as a long-term bike for BikeRadar's Helen Cousins, so stay tuned for more.
- Price: £1,899.99 / $TBC / AU$TBC (available from some local stockists, price information unavailable at this time)
Rapha Souplesse II bib shorts
The upper section has been redesigned and is constructed from a very stretchy mesh fabric, with flat bonded seams incorporated to reduce the chances of chaffing or hot-spots. Other updates include a new gripper on the leg designed to give support but not sit too tightly; security but not sausage-leg is the aim of the game here.
The Souplesse II shorts are available in black with either a white or pink upper, and from size XXS to XL.
- Price: £175 / $265 / AU$320
Mountain bike kit
Velo 21 cleaning
Another week and another extra fancy bicycle cleaning solution, this time from Velo 21.
First up is Velo 21's matt frame cleaner, which is simply sprayed on and buffed off. It's marketed as a water-less bike wash and should do the trick for those looking to clean while short on time (or water).
Also sent was Velo 21's bike frame wax sealant. Designed to provide a long lasting sealed-in shine to your paintwork, it's carnauba wax formula is similar to products more commonly used in the world of car detailing. It smells nothing short of incredible and we're looking forward to trying it out.
- Frame cleaner (500ml bottle) £7/ International pricing N/A
- Sealant wax (70ml tin) £18 / International pricing N/A
Evil The Calling
The Calling is Evil’s shortest travel 650B full-sus, with 131mm out back and a 140mm fork. It's a close relative to Evil’s 29ers, The Wreckoning and The Following, and practically a doppelgänger of the company’s 150mm Insurgent.
The Calling's carbon frame features the same DELTA suspension system as the other bikes mentioned above but uses hardware that's now designed around Rockshox' trunnion mount Super Deluxe Debonair shock.
The lowest, slackest of two geometry settings sees The Calling sit with a head angle of 65.8 degrees, while its taller setting steepens the bike by 0.6 degrees and raises the bottom bracket by 8mm.
It looks like just the ticket for pinners who love the response of a shorter travel bike.This example is finished in what Evil calls ‘Angry Dolphin’ and the frame alone will currently set you back £3,199 in the UK.
- Price: Frame only: £3,199 / $2,899 / AU$TBC
Magura MT Trail carbon brakes
We've got our grubby little mitts on the new Magura MT Trail carbon brakes. Designed to produce the optimal stopping power for trail riding, the new and nattily named brakes are based on the know-how and tech from two other brakes in its series, the MT7 and MT8, plus additional research and development to dial in the performance specifically for the needs of trail riding.
The brakes feature carbon levers and a four-piston front brake set up with a two piston rear brake. The former produces maximum stopping power, with the rear allowing modulation. The front four-piston caliper does take four separate brake pads, so you'll need to up your brake pad purchasing plans,
- Price: €579 / £492 / $TBC / AU$TBC
Fidlock Bottle Twist
The Fidlock Bottle Twist bottle does away with the need for chunky bottle cages, instead it fixes to a small attachment with a combination of magnetic and mechanical catches.
The magnets are incorporated to both help draw the bottle to the right point on the frame and also make securing the bottle simple and intuitive, without the need to look down and find the cage opening when riding. Likewise, to release the bottle an anticlockwise twist detaches it.
It sounds like a solid idea, though we're intrigued to find out whether those magnets are strong enough to hold up in the face of British potholed roads or cobbled sections.
- Price: TBC
Mons Royale Phoenix 3/4 raglan jersey
Like your bike kit a little bit more natural feeling? You might want to give merino a go. No longer just for warmth in winter, new lightweight and fine-knit tops and jerseys bring the soft handfeel and antibacterial properties of this popular material to the world of summer riding too.
Kiwi brand and purveyor of fine merino sports garments Mons Royale already has a strong following in the snowsports industry, but it also produces active wear and bike wear, and the Phoenix jersey is part of its new line for 2017.
The yarn used to make a fabric is a knit that Mons Royale call 'merino air-con', and it claims it's 60 percent stronger than regular merino at 140gsm, and also features mesh panels constructed from merino mesh.
The range was developed with New Zealand racer Conor Macfarlane who knows a thing or two about riding hard.
- Price: €90 / £TBC / $100 / AU$TBC