11spd: This week's best bike gear

New gear from Shimano, Bontrager, Vittoria and more

Think all helmets are the same? This week we saw an American university produce a detailed test on 30 helmets, ranking each of them for safety and concussion prevention with a six-point, two-speed impact test. We published a number of reviews, including the Garmin Edge 520 Plus, the Specialized Stumpjumper Comp Carbon 29 and the Whyte 905, among others. 

But now, check out the latest and greatest to arrive in our Colorado offices.  

Moots Vamoots Disc RSL

The Moots Vamoots RSL Disc
The Moots Vamoots RSL Disc

Made in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the titanium Moots Vamoots Disc RSL comes with all manner of options. Beyond the nine sizes with their own tube diameters and wall thicknesses, the Vamoots RSL Disc can also be built with an additional 1cm height on the head tube, a pump peg, a chain hanger, an engraved head tube and internal brake routing. Oh? And custom builds? Moots can of course do that, too.

With race geometry, the Vamoots Disc RSL can handle up to 30mm tires.

3D printed dropout — not something you'd find on an old-school ti bike
3D printed dropout — not something you'd find on an old-school ti bike

A 58cm frame weighs 1,360g.

  • Complete bikes start at £6,800 / $9,000

Julbo Aerospeed Zebra sunglasses

Julbo Aerospeed Zebra sunglasses have a photochromic lens
Julbo Aerospeed Zebra sunglasses have a photochromic lens

Two main things to note here: one, the photochromic lenses darken when exposed to bright light. And two, the arms have something Julbo calls its "Air Link temple system", which is basically a little rubbery suspension for where the arms sit behind your ears.

The big brown lens has an anti-fog coating.

An S-Sphyre and the Julbo at their lightest (above) and darkest, after sitting in the sun
An S-Sphyre and the Julbo at their lightest (above) and darkest, after sitting in the sun

The nose piece has an adjustable fit with rubber similar to that on the arms.

With so much give, the earpieces are pretty comfortable
With so much give, the earpieces are pretty comfortable

  • £135 / $189

eeBrakes G4

Cane Creek's eeBrake is now in its fourth generation
Cane Creek's eeBrake is now in its fourth generation

Weight weenies, here is one for you: an 89g rim-brake caliper. A Shimano Dura-Ace caliper is about twice that weight.

This fourth generation caliper has been redesigned to work with wider rims (19–28mm), and pops open to work with tires up to 31mm wide.

The eeBrake also comes in a direct-mount model, which weighs a claimed 78g.

This is how the quick release works, allowing tires as wide as 31mm to slide out
This is how the quick release works, allowing tires as wide as 31mm to slide out

The brakes will also lighten up your wallet.

  • £599  / $650 for a set

F3 Phone Mount

The F3 Phone Mount works with magnets
The F3 Phone Mount works with magnets

If you like to use your phone as a cycling computer — or just have it within view — the F3 Phone Mount puts it above your stem with a strong magnet-based system.

The F3 mount attaches at your stem, replacing your stem cap.

3M tape secures the backing to your phone case
3M tape secures the backing to your phone case

You have to attach a magnetic base to the back of your phone or phone case, and then you can pop your phone on, and — with a bit of effort — twist it off.

F3's Phone Mount compared to the Quad Lock Bike Mount at left, which requires a phone-specific case
F3's Phone Mount compared to the Quad Lock Bike Mount at left, which requires a phone-specific case

  • £45 / $59

Clif Energy Granola

Clif is a lot more than just bars these days. Clif Granola comes in a variety of flavors
Clif is a lot more than just bars these days. Clif Granola comes in a variety of flavors

Made with organic oats, almonds, cashews, seeds and dried fruit, Clif's new gluten-free granola comes in four flavors: Blueberry Crisp, Cinnamon Almond, Cocoa Almond and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut.

  • £4.15 / $5.49

PRO Mini Tool 22

The PRO 22 Mini Tool
The PRO 22 Mini Tool

Shimano’s accessory company, PRO, not only covers cockpit components but also tools and other essentials.

The PRO 22 splits into two halves
The PRO 22 splits into two halves

The Mini Tool 22 is the go-to item for your trail or roadside repair needs. It features 2, 2.3, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm hex bits as well as T10 and T25 Torx bits.

It also has an integrated chain tool, tire lever, brake pad spreader, four spoke tools and it even has a small wire chain holder to keep your chain together when replacing a link.

  • £34.99 / $49.99 / AU$TBC

Vittoria Martello G+ TNT 29x2.35

Vittoria's Martello in a 29x2.35 flavor
Vittoria's Martello in a 29x2.35 flavor

This version of Vittoria’s gravity-inspired Martello is designed for enduro racing and aggressive trail riding.

It features a 120tpi casing, a 4C compound and plenty of square blocks with progressive siping to help the rider ease into turns.

The Martello gets its grip from rows of sturdy blocks with progressive siping
The Martello gets its grip from rows of sturdy blocks with progressive siping

Our pair weighed in at approximately 930g per tire.

  • £49.99 / $69.99 / AU$TBC

Vittoria Air-Liner tire inserts

Vittoria's new Air-Liner tire inserts are cut to length and secured around the rim with a zip-tie
Vittoria's new Air-Liner tire inserts are cut to length and secured around the rim with a zip-tie

Next up from Vittoria are the new Air-Liners.

These tire inserts are designed to reduce the risk of pinch flatting tubeless tires and denting and cracking rims. Vittoria also claims the Air-Liners improve ride quality by damping impacts and can increase traction, since riders are able to run lower pressures without fear of damage to tires and rims.

These lime green inserts are constructed from a closed-cell EVA foam that won’t soak up sealant. Vittoria offers the Air-Liners in four sizes to cover cross-country, enduro, plus and fat bikes.

We’ll be testing the medium width, suitable for 2.2 to 2.5in tires, with Vittoria’s 29x2.3 Martello tires. Stay tuned for ride impressions.

Air-Liner sizing and pricing per wheel:

  • Small: 1.9–2.2in, $85
  • Medium: 2.2–2.5in, $90
  • Large: 2.5–2.7in, $93
  • XL: 2.7–4.0in, $95

(UK and Australian pricing TBC)

Shimano S-Phyre XC9 mountain bike shoes

Shimano has updated its flagship cross-country shoe, the S-Phyre XC9, for 2019
Shimano has updated its flagship cross-country shoe, the S-Phyre XC9, for 2019

Shimano has updated its premium mountain bike shoes. The new S-Phyre XC9 builds on the already stellar version introduced last season with a new synthetic upper. This race shoe also receives reinforcements around the toe box to shrug off impacts.

The updated XC9 has a new more breathable, perforated microfiber upper
The updated XC9 has a new more breathable, perforated microfiber upper

Like past versions, this top-end cross-country race shoe is built on a rigid carbon sole that goes all the way to 11 on Shimano’s stiffness scale. Grippy Michelin rubber covers the outsole to provide off-the bike traction.

As you can see, these shoes went straight from the box to the trail. Stay tuned for a full review.

  • £TBC / $400 / AU$TBC
  • These speedy new shoes will be available at Shimano retailers this fall.

Dakine Hot Laps 5L

Dakine's Hot Laps 5L
Dakine's Hot Laps 5L

If you’re not quite a minimalist, but want to free yourself from the shackles of hydration packs, the Hot Laps 5L could be for you.

Dakine offsets the waist buckle to improve comfort and added rubberized mesh on the back and hip panels to promote airflow while keeping the pack in place.

A magnetic buckle holds the hose in place
A magnetic buckle holds the hose in place

This feature-filled hip pack comes with a 2-liter Hydrapack reservoir with a magnetic buckle to keep the hose secure and plenty of internal organization to hold ride essentials.

If you need to bring a bit more gear, a pair of external loops can carry kneepads or a rain shell.

  • £66 / $70 / AU$85

Bontrager Line Dropper Seatpost

Bontrager has updated its dropper seatpost
Bontrager has updated its dropper seatpost

Bontrager has updated its dropper seatpost. The new Line is an evolved version of the Drop Line seatpost. It has been redesigned to be easier to install and service with fewer moving parts and more seals. Best of all, it’s more affordable than its predecessor.

Riders can now fine-tune the amount of drop they want through the use of 10 and 30mm spacers.

Shown here is the 150mm version. It has a total length of 445mm and a complete weight with remote of 624g.

  • £239.99 / $249.99 / AU$249.99
Josh has been riding and racing mountain bikes since 1998. Being stubborn, endurance racing was a natural fit. Josh bankrolled his two-wheeled addiction by wrenching at various bike shops across the US for 10 years and even tried his hand at frame building. These days Josh spends most of his time riding the trails around his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • Discipline: Mountain, cyclocross, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Anywhere with rock- and root-infested technical singletrack. He also enjoys unnecessarily long gravel races.
  • Current Bikes: Trek Remedy 29 9.9, Yeti ASRc, Specialized CruX, Spot singlespeed, Trek District 9
  • Dream Bike: Evil The Following, a custom Moots 27.5+ for bikepacking adventures
  • Beer of Choice: PBR
  • Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA

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