It's that time of the week again when BikeRadar staff in various corners of the globe can be found frantically ripping open packages, emptying components from desk drawers and asking photogenic colleagues to get their best model face on and slip into this Lycra please.
Yes, it's Friday and that can only mean 11spd, our round-up of the tastiest cycling kit to land in our laps, this week brought to you as a little slice of Anglo-Australian harmony courtesy of our Bristol and Sydney offices.
New mountain bike gear
Dog and Bone Wetsuit Direct Touch phone case
Waterproof and impact resistant phone cases have been around for a while and in recent years they’ve become much less bulky and easier to use, but they all have the same problem. The current crop have built in screen protectors which are needed to keep water and dust out, but when you’ve got mountain bike gloves on they're damn near impossible to use.
Aussie outfit Dog and Bone has just released the "WORLD'S FIRST (sic) topless waterproof mobile phone case”. Basically this case forgoes the built in screen protector for an o-ring that creates a seal directly on your phone’s screen for ultimate touchscreen sensitivity.
We haven’t tested the waterproofing yet, but Dog and Bone claim the Wetsuit Direct Touch carries an water and dust ingress protection rating of IP68 (the highest on the scale) and can withstand drops to 2m (6.6ft).
Our sample iPhone 6/6s cover weighs 52g and measures a slim 12mm in depth
$79.95 / £45.84 / AU$109.95
Mavic Crossmax SL Ultimate Shoe
Designed for World Cup cross-country racing, Mavic’s Crossmax SL Ultimate shoe combines a feathery weight of 772g (size 45), with a super stiff carbon sole. Mavic’s own Ergo Dial retention system offers small and precise adjustments enabling you to get the fit just right. They're available in this striking yellow, or black for the more subdued and stealthy riders. Look out for a review here on BikeRadar soon.
Krush Bike Wash
Krush is a just-launched Aussie brand with a mission to keep your bikes all shiny. All of Melbourne-based Krush’s products are made in Australia and even though they’re designed with mountain bikes in mind, they’ll bring the sparkle back to the dirtiest of roadies too.
The Premium Bike Wash is a liquid gel concentrate that Krush recommends you mix into a bucket of warm water. It’s also a mild degreaser so you can use it to attack that grimey chain too. Unlike some other products the Premium Bike Wash is suitable for all frame finishes including carbon and anodised surfaces, and won’t damage bearing or suspension seals.
Once the suds have been washed away Krush’s After Wash Bike Spray is designed to be used as a polish, protectant and water dispersant. The silicone formula is designed to displace moisture and create a non stick coating, so basically use it to polish your frame and less mud should stick. A spray into moving parts like derailleur pivots and suspension seals and wipers should also displace any moisture that may have made its way inside. It smells pretty nice too, and is safe to use all over your bike (except rotors and calipers of course).
Krush Premium Bike Wash: $TBC / £TBC / AU$14.95
Krush After Wash Spray: $TBC / £TBC / AU$16.95
Crankbrothers Eggbeater 11
Crankbrothers proudly touts the Eggbeater 11s as the world’s lightest mountain bike pedals. Sporting a premium gold accented look, the titanium pedals comes in at a slender 179g per pair.
The customisable float and release angles along with four points of engagement are geared towards ensuring quick and easy cleat entry when every second matters off the start line, whether you're XCing or CXing.
All levels of the Eggbeater range use consistent parts and spares so if you’re already on the Eggbeater ladder and want to upgrade to the 11s, you won’t find any surprises with proprietary parts when you climb to the top step of the range.
£370 / $450 / AU$TBC
Bontrager Line Pro Pedal
If being clipped in isn't your thing and your preferred riding style involves going flat out with a foot out, then these pedals will be right up your street. Flats are becoming an increasingly popular choice for trail riders as well as those of a more gravity-focussed orientation, thanks to sticky soled shoes and gripper and more supportive pedal designs.
The Line Pro certainly ticks all the boxes it needs too, with a reasonably thin but wide aluminium body with a slightly concave shape. There are 10 steel pins per side, but their party trick is that you can tune both their placement and height to suit your personal preference. At 420g for a pair, they're respectably light too..
They spin on dual sealed cartridge bearings, so hopefully they'll be up to taking a beating and still keep spinning smoothly. Only time will tell what good old British summertime weather (rain, hail, mud) does to them. .
£89.99 / $99.99 / AU$TBC.
New road bike gear
Trek Madone 9.2
About this time last year Trek’s flagship racer received a radical redesign. The all-new Madone 9 was rebuilt from the ground up to be more aero, integrated and comfortable than its predecessor.
The new frame features deep Kammtail Virtual Foil (KVF) tube cross-sections, which the American outfit claims will save 19-watts over a traditional non aero road bike. As part of the new design, Trek has created an aero carbon bar and stem system that allows all of the cables hidden completely inside the frame – all the way from the levers to the derailers and brakes.
The biggest development however is the addition of the IsoSpeed decoupler, a mechanical pivot at the seat tube-top tube junction that allows for more flex under impact than a conventional fixed joint. As aero tubing isn’t prone to flex much, Trek has developed a ‘tube-in-tube’ design which sees the seat mast taper down into a smaller rounded tube inside the outer aero tube in an attempt to maximize comfort.
Made from Trek’s second-tier OCLV 600 carbon, this frame feature's Trek's slightly more relaxed H2 geometry and weighs in at 7.1kg/15.7lbs. Trek has just updated the spec on the Madone 9.2; it now features a full Ultegra mechanical drivetrain, Bontrager Aura 5 TLR wheels, Trek’s integrated carbon bars and stem, and a Bontrager Paradigm SL saddle.
$5,999 / £4,500.00 / AU$6,999
rh+ Speed Cell jersey and bib short
If you like your clothing tight, light and designed for high performance then the rh+ Speed Cell line could be for you.
The jersey is made from Dual Cell, which is claimed to be an ultra light yet breathable fabric, whilst the bib shorts have honeycomb panels down the sides to enhance their aerodynamic qualities. We’ll be putting this sleek kit through its paces both on and off road in the coming months.
- Jersey: £115 / $TBC / AU$TBC
- Bibs: £130 / $TBC / AU$TBC
Velocio Women’s ES Jersey and Bib Short
When we reviewed Velocio’s special edition Lela Rose Zinnia collection last year we were impressed with the way this brand keeps improving on an already excellent product. The company has done it again with the recently released women’s ES kit, aimed at riders who want all the benefits of a pro level fit, paired with a distinctive, eye-catching and (pretty much) logo free design.
The biggest difference between the ES jersey and the Lela Rose jersey is in the materials. The cut remains almost the same with its soft, pro-looking collar, long-ish sleeve length, four rear pockets, and a design that fits so well in a riding position it’s often made us wonder how other brands get it so wrong. The new materials have a stronger feel, while retaining the softness the brand is known for. This has eliminated the waist area rising up when in use, which was our main criticism of the previous design.
The ES bib shorts have a thicker chamois, designed in conjunction with chamois-kings CyTech, and use a thicker, more compressive feeling main fabric. The bib has been redesigned with a flat, wide cross-over back adding stability. It’s a little difficult to position in a hurry, but worth the effort. The width of the mesh on the front is also feels to be better suited to larger chest sizes than before.
There are two colour options for the jersey (navy, shown here, and citrine, which is a greenish-yellow). The bibs cleverly feature both colours in the wide leg bands. Designed for compression and support, while allowing unrestricted movement on the bike, they’re the snuggest bibs from the company yet.
- Jersey: $170 / £100 / €135 / AU$ 230
- Bib short: $209 / £123 / €158 / AU$255
ISM PN 1.1 Saddle
At first ISM saddles look kinda weird, right? Yeah, we thought so too. However when you start digging into the details, the nose-less design starts to make sense.
The PN 1.1’s width allows for more thigh clearance and a greater freedom of movement for riders that tend to move around a lot on the saddle, while the shortened design helps remove pressure from soft tissue areas. The 1.1 saddle comes with satin steel rails while the top of the range 1.0 flaunts CrN/Ti Alloy rails.
ISM does recommend the use of a seat post with 20-25mm of setback to compensate for the non-traditional saddle shape. And no, the 40 doesn’t denote the age you need to be to ride it; it refers to the level of padding with the 1.0 saddle coming in a 25-series foam option.
£110 / $190 / AU$TBC
Topeak MiniRocket iGlow
Extending Topeak’s Rocket pump range, the MiniRocket iGlow integrates a two-function red light for mounting onto your seatpost.
The constant and blinking modes are said to last 50 and 100 hours respectively from the 2 CR2032 batteries. Despite the added electricals, weight is a none-too-chubby 67g.
£25 / $TBC / AU$TBC
Restrap #carryeverything Frame Bag
Straight outta Yorkshire comes this fully waterproof frame bag featuring a 1000D cordura outer allowing for total confidence when the weather gets nasty, something Yorkshire residents are accustomed to on a fairly regular basis.
Though handmade in the UK, we're taking this #carryeverything frame bag across the Pond soon to give it a run for it's money in the Dirty Kanza 200 gravel race – stay tuned for a full write-up in the near future.
Restrap, which started out making pedal straps, now puts its name to a range of cycling accessories that look like well-made, long-lasting items. This recently released wallet, made from Hypalon, a waterproof and supposedly tear resistant material, mixes good looks with practicality.
The slim design allows for jersey pocket use without adding bulk, while the strap keeps your hard earned paper where it needs to be.
- Frame bag: £60 (size large) / $TBC / AU$TBC
- Wallet: £18 / $TBC / AU$TBC