This week we've delved into one of Shimano's more outlandish projects with a dynamo built into a jockey wheel and we've marvelled at the possible performance benefits of dynamic wheel weighting.
Plus, Lightweight dropped a €4,950 wheelset, while the 2018 Specialized Tarmac Pro wowed us with its stunning paintjob.
- This anonymous anti-disc zealot wants to 'Save the Rim Brake'
- Hardtail vs. CX vs. singlespeed — what's best on UK gravel?
It's Friday, and that means we've got 11 fresh products for your enjoyment. Read on for the latest kit and bikes to land at BikeRadar headquarters.
Shimano GR9 shoes
Whether you like your pedals flat and spiky, or small and clippy, Shimano has a set of slippers that’ll probably fit your bill. The new GR9 are its latest flat pedal, gravity inspired shoes and are apparently ideal for enduro and DH — though we’ll be the judge of that when we review them!
Much like the Shimano ME7s we reviewed recently, they feature a Michelin rubber sole, though this one is obviously tuned to work better with flat pedals. Up top there’s a perforated upper which is made from less water absorbent materials than previous Shimano flat shoes which, er, could probably irrigate the Sahel after a wet ride…
There’s toe protection too, as well as a lace cover to give additional splash protection and to stop the speed-lacing system from getting claggy.
Finally, the shoes have the raised ankle protection to stop that wince inducing pain when you knock your ankle bone on your chainstays.
It seems that the GR9 is only just starting to become available, but at BikeRadar we've got our mitts on an early set!
- £120 / $TBC / AU$TBC
Endura MT500 Waterproof Pullover
We don’t see many pullovers here on BikeRadar, unless our Jack Luke is wearing something particularly niche, but it seems like winter 17/18 is the year of interesting waterproofs (and who can forget that waterproof onesie from a few weeks ago?!).
Anyway, eschewing the usual full length zip at the front, Endura has built its waterproof pullover from what on paper looks like incredibly breathable material — boasting a waterproof rating of 18,000mm and breathability of 64,000. Impressive figures.
There’s a zipped kangaroo pocket up front, which doubles as a way to let some air flow through the jacket, a hood, further vents at the side/back, and stretch panels to aid fit.
The pullover nature of the garment might make it a bit more of a faff to put on and pull off, but there's less zipper to get clogged with mud and better protection from a chilly wind.
- £190 / $285 / AU$TBC
Transition Patrol SBG NX
Can we make a quick suggestion? In a new tab, open up the Transition Bikes Vimeo Page and watch some of its videos (and then come straight back to 11spd, obvs). Don’t you just want to go ride bikes now, huh?
Gracing our presence this week is the new Patrol, its long travel trail bike: 160mm out back, 170mm up front.
From experience we know the GiddyUp 2.0H suspension is a riot to ride, and the frame features are nailed, it’s the Speed Balanced Geometry that interests us most with the new Patrol.
Basically you get a slacker head angle, with a shorter fork offset (how far ahead of the steering axis the hub’s axle sits). In theory this gives you the stability of a slack bike with the reactions of a steeper one.
It’s kinda un-intuitive, but now you’ve closed Transition’s Vimeo page, open up our Seb’s rather extensive look at fork offset to learn more.
Anyway, the bike we have looks pretty tasty and we can confirm that we’re already rock-paper-scissoring to work out who gets to ride it first.
- £3,000 / $2,999 / AU$TBC
Manitou Mastodon Pro
We all know someone, someone who feels the need to ride across perfectly accessible terrain on a bicycle with tyres more suited to a tractor. Yep, we all know a fat-biker.
And that’s okay. We’re not judging.
Nor will we judge them should they wish to add extra squish to the front of their bike in the form of a suspension fork for said fat bike.
While RockShox has had the Bluto out since 2014, the fat bike suspension market has been pretty limited in options — there’s the Lauf Carbonara, and, er, that’s pretty much it. Oh, and there’s the Manitou Mastodon too, which we’ve now got in our hands for our fat biking friend on MBUK magazine Matt (tattoos and beard present and correct).
The Dorado air spring is borrowed from the Dorado DH fork, while the TPC damping cartridge has been engineered to withstand the rigours of fat biking. Basically, it should work when the temperature drops really low.
The 150mm hub spacing is huge, as is the tyre clearance, of course, and there’s both 100mm and 120mm versions available.
- £750 / $850 / AU$TBC
Bentley Loading Components Carbo Loading Tools
Rest, recovery and recuperation are vital activities for the discerning cyclist, and, as it’s Friday, a carb-packed drink of choice is a fair thing to drink at your desk before you go home (though, please don’t drink and drive/cycle/unicycle/horseride/whatever, mmmkay?)
Bentley Components make some rather lovely little bits and pieces, from dropper post protectors, to dropouts and stem top caps. But it’s the Carb Loading Tools that caught our eyes.
Neatly designed, beautifully finished, and packaged in a rather nifty pop-out holder, rest assured we’re already well in to testing the effectiveness of their operation.
- From £7.50
- Check it all out at bentleycomponents.co.uk
We love cheerfully versatile bikes and the Rag+ from NS certainly looks the part. This slightly lairy alloy machine weighs a hair under 10kg in an XL and comes specced with SRAM Apex 1x gearing, including a monster 11-42t cassette out back.
The frame has a radically dropped driveside chainstay to create clearance, and we're pleased to see it being taken advantage of with 40mm Panaracer Gravel King tyres fitted as standard.
Would you rag it?
- £1,649 / $2,399 / AU$TBC / €1,899
Velogical Rim Dynamo
Remember those awful bottle dynamos that ran against the tyre and powered your awful pre-LED lights? This is not one of those.
The Velogical is a delightful little gadget which runs against the rim of one of your wheels, producing enough power to run both front and rear lights.
It weighs just 62g as pictured with about 20cm of cabling (mounting hardware will add a few more grams), and resembles an outrunner brushless motor of the kind used to power radio-controlled models and drones.
Unsurprisingly, our resident touring and gadget nerd Jack Luke is planning to test this one, watch this space.
- €150 (€126 without VAT for non-EU buyers)
Ekoi Morfo one-size bib shorts
Getting the right sized shorts can be a right pain, one that might never trouble you again with these unique bib shorts.
The Morfos claim to be a true one-size product which, thanks to some very stretchy material are suitable for riders between 4’ 6” and 6’ 4” tall or weighing between 7 ½ and 15 stone. (That’s 138cm to 194cm tall, or 48kg to 95kg/105lbs to 210lbs.)
The shorts also have a chamois that forms part of the shorts rather than simply being sewn to the inside, a design which is supposed to reduce friction and irritation.
We’ve been trying these out on a range of body types already and will be reviewing them in the near future.
- €169.99 / £150 / $201
Giro Vanquish MIPS helmet
Giro's latest and greatest aero road helmet claims to offer the best of all worlds, with wind tunnel-friendly design and good ventilation.
The Vanquish features a removable Zeiss 'shield', which is to say a visor, so you won't need to wear sunglasses with this one.
So called Roc Loc Air MIPS combines the now-ubiquitous MIPS cradles with generous channels and vents so you can be safer and cooler at the same time.
This size large helmet weighs 424g on our scales including its visor.
- £239.99 / $275
Draper Expert spanner set and hex keys
As cyclists we have a tendency to buy tools that claim to be bike-specific (and blue), but there’s a whole world out there of good quality, general-purpose tools that are suitable for bicycle fettling.
These Draper Expert spanners and hex keys come in a delightful rainbow of colours, which will make it easier to pick up the right size every time.
The 13-piece combination spanner set includes sizes from 6 to 19mm and features a tough chrome vanadium finish, while the nine-piece hex key set ranges from 1.5 to 10mm and has ball-ends for those trickier-to-access fasteners.
We’ll be taking a more in-depth look at these in the coming days.
Giro Empire E70 W Knit shoes
These shoes caused a flurry of admiration when we popped them up on Instagram, and no wonder — they’re certainly different looking.
The vibrant pink knit fabric is the first time the technology, which has been seen in athletic shoes for years, makes an appearance in cycling footwear. The idea is the knit material hugs your foot providing you support with movement when and where you need it, and an internal skeleton provides stiffness in the necessary areas.
We’re interested to see how it holds up in wet weather — it’s DWR treated — but they look so swish we don’t really want to cover them in road crud.
The outsole is composed of Easton EC70 carbon composite with replaceable heel pads, and this women’s version is available in two colourways: berry/bright pink and grey/glacier.
Our pair of size 41 shoes weighed in at 446g without cleats, which is a touch lighter than the 230g per shoe Giro claims for the size 39.
- £199.99 / $200