11spd: This week's best new bike bits

New bikes and kit from Shimano, NS, Endura, Ekoi and more

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.

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

Shimano's GR9 shoes should be good on the trail
Shimano's GR9 shoes should be good on the trail

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

Getting a bit UK Grime down in our garage
Getting a bit UK Grime down in our garage

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.

Kangaroo pouch - handy storage, or is stuff just gonna flop around?
Kangaroo pouch - handy storage, or is stuff just gonna flop around?

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

Transition's Patrol might look understated, but we're pretty sure the ride will be wild
Transition's Patrol might look understated, but we're pretty sure the ride will be wild

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.

The GiddyUp suspension linkage is a 4-bar with plenty of pop
The GiddyUp suspension linkage is a 4-bar with plenty of pop

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.

That's the magic short offset RockShox fork that may make all the difference
That's the magic short offset RockShox fork that may make all the difference

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

The Mastodon — it's bloody massive
The Mastodon — it's bloody massive

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).

Adjustability is key on any suspension fork, especially when there's a 5
Adjustability is key on any suspension fork, especially when there's a 5

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

Neat as you like. We like
Neat as you like. We like

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.

Handy holder for your new bottle opener
Handy holder for your new bottle opener

  • From £7.50

NS Rag+

The NS Rag+ looks to be a cheerful do-it-all bike
The NS Rag+ looks to be a cheerful do-it-all bike

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. 

Is this lairy enough for you?
Is this lairy enough for you?
 

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.

That's one radically dropped chainstay — look at the angle of the bridge!
That's one radically dropped chainstay — look at the angle of the bridge!

Would you rag it?

  • £1,649 / $2,399 / AU$TBC / €1,899

Velogical Rim Dynamo

The Velogical rim dynamo is a nifty little device, a far cry from bottle dynamos of old
The Velogical rim dynamo is a nifty little device, a far cry from bottle dynamos of old

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

Ekoi's one-size bib shorts sound outlandish, but first impressions are favourable
Ekoi's one-size bib shorts sound outlandish, but first impressions are favourable

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 claims its new Vanquish helmet is the most aerodynamic it's ever produced for the road
Giro claims its new Vanquish helmet is the most aerodynamic it's ever produced for the road

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 magnetic shield visor has optics by Zeiss
The magnetic shield visor has optics by Zeiss

The Vanquish features a removable Zeiss 'shield', which is to say a visor, so you won't need to wear sunglasses with this one. 

The MIPS cradle is designed specifically for the Vanquish, you can also see the internally channeling to help keep your head cool
The MIPS cradle is designed specifically for the Vanquish, you can also see the internally channeling to help keep your head cool

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

Draper's many-hued spanners are a delight
Draper's many-hued spanners are a delight

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.

You'll never pick up the wrong size again
You'll never pick up the wrong size again

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

The Giro Empire E70 W Knit shoes have a fairly unique texture
The Giro Empire E70 W Knit shoes have a fairly unique texture

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
Matthew Allen

Senior Technical Writer, UK
Former bike mechanic, builder of wheels, hub fetishist and lover of shiny things. Likes climbing a lot, but not as good at it as he looks.
  • Discipline: Road, with occasional MTB dalliances
  • Preferred Terrain: Long mountain climbs followed by high-speed descents (that he doesn't get to do nearly often enough), plus scaring himself off-road when he outruns his skill set.
  • Current Bikes: Scott Addict R3 2014, Focus Cayo Disc 2015, Niner RLT 9
  • Dream Bike: Something hideously expensive and custom with external cables and a threaded bottom bracket because screw you bike industry.
  • Beer of Choice: Cider, please. Thistly Cross from Scotland
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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