Happy New Year! Happy New bike kit! Happy new riding plans! Happy New Year's resolutions!
We’re fans, for the most part, of the pairing ‘happy’ and ‘new’. The ‘happy’ part for obvious reasons and the ‘new’ part because it’s always nice to have some shiny new things, right? And for that reason we’ve brought you another dose of shiny new bike kit for your enjoyment.
So, have a look at the goodies below, then get on with the important part about having a happy new year on your bike. Get out there and ride.
- Is 'it's too cold to ride!' a good excuse? Tragically, it seems not
- Best bike: our buyer's guide to which bicycle type you should buy in 2019
Shimano GR7W shoes
We would have taken a photo of these looking shiny and new but Mildred simply couldn’t wait to take them out for a spin in the woods. Tsk.
The Shimano GR7Ws are a women’s specific enduro trail shoe for flat pedals that feature a Michelin rubber outsole, a perforated upper with ventilating mesh panels and a molded toe cap for added protection.
One of the nicest features of these rather fetching looking shoes is the stretch mesh ankle collar, which not only stops those annoying bits of debris making their way down into the shoe (how do they get in there in the first place?), but it also adds a nice bit of extra warmth.
- £99.99 / $130.99 / AU$186.87
Bontrager Foray women's MTB shoe
Built to be durable, the Foray mountain bike shoes have a chunky treat, a Boa retention system combined with a toe strap and protective bumpers on the toe and heel. These are designed to keep the shoes and the feet inside them in good shape.
The men’s version was popular with our very own Joe Norledge, who described them as "good looking XC shoes for a good looking price", and now we’ve got the women’s pair in for a test too.
The vibrant purple might not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s certainly found favour with Aoife Glass who will be testing these fully in the coming months.
- £119.99 / €139.99 / $139.99 / AU$N/A
Schmolke TL0 1K Carbon seatpost
For those who just can’t get enough of the that sleek carbon sheen, not to mention the impressive strength-to-weight ratio, let us showcase the TL0 1K Carbon seatpost for your delectation and delight.
If the company name sounds familiar that’s because we included a rather fine looking handlebar from this German carbon manufacturer a couple of weeks ago. It proved pretty popular so we’ve gone back for more.
There are a variety of options on the Schmolke website for this product, which means you can get one to the diameter and length you need, tailored to the type of riding you do — road or mountain biking — and even to the rider weight.
- From €331.93
Osprey Kitsuma 3 and Siskin 12 hydration packs
Osprey has released a selection of new hydration packs for 2019 and we’ve got a couple to showcase ahead of review.
The Kitsuma 3 is a minimalist pack that’s ideal for short rides in the heat, or those who travel light. It features a mesh back panel and shoulder straps designed to allow airflow to wick away sweat, and comes with a 2.5-litre water reservoir.
The women’s specific Kitsuma, which has a strap design and shape developed around female riders, is the sister product to the men’s specific Katari. Both lines come in 7-, 3- and 1.5-litre versions.
There’s also the chunkier Siskin 12, which isn’t quite up on the Osprey website yet. Designed to allow you to carry the stuff you need for day-long rides, the panels on the front zip open fully so you can get inside the bag quickly, and like the Kitsuma it has a generous 2.5-litre reservoir included.
The sister-pack to the Siskin is the Salida, also available in 8- and 12-litre versions.
- £60 / €70 / $TBC
- Prices and availability TBC
Wizard Works snack bag
No adventure/gravel/off-road-road-bike/etc bike is complete without a quirky handmade bag, and this eyecatching number is a prime example.
Made by Wizard Works in New Zealand, this snack bag has a smart system that allows you to open and close it using just one hand, which is great for anyone who hasn’t yet mastered riding no-handed.
It has a decent volume, enough to pop in snacks, bits of tech or a moderately-sized camera, and comes in a range of colours, but we love this 80’s inspired splatter pattern.
Wizard Works also makes various other pieces of custom luggage, as showcased on its very bright Instagram page!
7Mesh Women’s Oro waterproof jacket
When 7Mesh released the original Oro waterproof jacket in 2017 it was the lightest on the market, beating market leaders Castelli and Gore.
Constructed from a Gore-Tex Active fabric, it’s both light, breathable and has some stretch. 7Mesh has now released a women’s version of the jacket and we can’t wait to test it in the precipitation that the South West of England provides this time of year.
- £250 / $300
Silca Ypsilon Travel Kit
Take the unassuming 3-way wrench tool, apply some Italian style and innovation, add the German translation of the letter Y, and you have the Silca Ypsilon.
Unlike similarly shaped tools, the Ypsilon is fully customisable and adaptable, since the travel kit includes multiple sized attachments.
Silca describes the Ypsilon as lightweight and durable, with a CrV steel spine and composite body. Finished off with ergonomic grips for increased comfort and control, this could be a very handy addition to any workshop, whether that of a professional or avid home mechanic.
- £75 / $99.49 / AU$138.99
Joystick Binary stem
Joystick’s Binary stem is the brand’s race performance-oriented stem for your all-mountain, enduro, gravity, XC or slopestyle needs.
It’s available in 35mm and 50mm lengths (we’ve got our hands on the former), and uses a bar/stem interface that’s compatible with both carbon and alloy bars. It provides zero-rise and has a stack height of 40mm.
Joystick claims to have increased the clamping surface in order to create a stronger and more precise stem, which is designed to be lightweight and stiff for a winning run.
- £89.99 / $94.49 / AU$130.48
Pro Pressure Checker Digital
The Pro Pressure Checker Digital is designed to gauge your tyre pressure within two decimals of accuracy (in bar). It measures from 0–11 bars (up to 160psi) and features a pressure-release button, making it easy to fine-tune to the optimal pressure.
It’s compatible with both Schrader and Presta valves, is small enough to fit in a jersey pocket or even the smallest of small seat packs, and weighs a measly 78g, making it a very handy gadget to take on any ride.
Pricing and availability TBC
Outsider Fox 40 offset crown kit
Reducing the crown offset of your fork improves steering stability, but slows down handling and there’s been a lot of debate about fork offset recently.
Brands are starting to shy away from using longer offset forks in favour of shorter versions to help reduce ‘flop’, frequently experienced on slack head-angled bikes.
Although the big brands offer a choice of offsets, there’s no way to adjust them to suit different tracks, and that’s where Outsider come in.
Available for both Fox’s 40 fork and the RockShox Boxxer, the kit includes two machined crowns, a steerer tube and four sets of inserts. Outsider’s kit lets you adjust, in increments, from +8 to -10mm and for the Fox 40 version weighs 540g, just 6g more than the standard crown set.
These could be perfect for the serious fettler searching for a very specific ride quality or someone who just wants to change their fork’s offset without having to shell out for a new set of forks.
Altor APEX Ti folding lock
We are big fans of Altor’s previous folding lock, the 560g, which has been successfully securing test bikes in one of our lock ups for over a year already.
This new design builds on lessons learned from the last one but sticks to many of its smart principles.
If we had one criticism of the previous lock it would probably be that it was a tad too short for some situations. That’s been addressed with this new design, which is four inches longer and totals 30.5in/775mm at full extension.
Multiple pivots allow the APEX to fold down to just 235mmx55mm, which is considerably smaller than any D-lock.
Like the original, this one is also made from mostly titanium, meaning a total weight of 715g. If you’re not taken by the polished Ti finish on our sample lock then there’s a whole range of colours to choose from.
Four chunky metal keys are supplied with each lock along with a frame mount for easy transportation.