You made it! Give yourself a pat on the back, for today is Friday and weekend is nigh. Obviously, you'll be working hard throughout today, finishing off those bits and bobs of work so you can embark upon a weekend of riding, unfettered by the weight of outstanding tasks. But it's equally important to take frequent breaks, and we humbly suggest that having a browse through our selection of fresh goods is a productive use of your time, best enjoyed while imbibing your beverage of choice.
This week we have new cycling goodies from the likes of Endura, Bontrager and Gore, plus some products on the quirkier end of the spectrum, like an air pollution monitor for cyclists... perhaps not one for hypochondriac city cyclists.
Talking of covetable kit, the BikeRadar Most Wanted Awards are now live, and it's your chance to vote on the kit, components and bikes that have caught your eye, got you lusting over them or saving your hard earned cash to buy.
New mountain bike gear
Endura MT500 Enduro Backpack
Endura has entered the mountain bike backpack market with the new MT500 rucksack, aimed at the enduro crowd. Apart from the fetching black and yellow visual design, it packs in a number of features. The 15l storage includes a removable tool roll, helmet holder, lightweight mesh straps, waterproof lower panel plus a number of external pockets and straps so you can load it up with everything you need for a long day on the bike.
But the most notable feature of the MT500 Enduro Backpack is probably the integrated back protector. Produced by Koroyed, the EOP 1.0 spine protector is constructed from a sheet of hollow tubes that absorb the energy from low and high velocity impact, and a top sheet that helps spread that energy across the surface of the protector.
The bag is, as you'd expect, compatible with various hydration systems, and you can also buy a Hydrapack version with a 3l bladder and hose included.
£99 / $164.99 / AU$NA
Ride It Clothing ladies Edge jersey
Ride It, a small UK company, has put its money where its mouth is when it comes to women’s cycling, developing this female-specific version of the Edge Jersey with the same features as the men's but a more feminine cut, available in turquoise and purple. It has raglan-cut sleeves, mesh underarm panels, a secure zipped stash pocket and a glasses wipe. Ride It is also sponsoring Air Maiden, a women’s-specific event series in the UK.
We’re looking forward to giving this garment a test. If you're a man reading this, the male version of the Edge jersey is also tasty and comes in blue and green.
Torq Hypotonic rehydration drink
Focusing purely on keeping your electrolyte levels up during short, intense bouts of exercise, Torq Hypotonic is a glucose, fructose and salt drink mix that comes in a range of flavours, and doesn't contain artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners. We couldn't resist sampling the mandarin flavour, and it's is fresh, fruity and natural tasting – yum!
The pack contains six 18g sachets, with one sachet recommended per 500ml water bottle, and it's even packaged up in a handy caddy to keep them all together.
Bontrager Rhythm gloves
Like your gloves low profile but loud? The Bontrager Rhythm gloves combine a panelled synthetic leather palm with a mesh back and pull-on design, making a glove that’s lightweight and breathable for summer riding.
Silicone grip strips on the thumb and forefingers help with traction on the brakes and gear levers. And of course, the obligatory soft nose-wipe fabric on the thumbs of both hands.
£24.99 / $29.99 / AU$44.95
Green Oil Ecogrease
If you're concerned about the impact the various bike products you use have on the environment, then chances are you're already aware of company Green Oil. Green Oil Ecogrease is 100% biodegradable and is PTFE free and doesn't use petrochemical products or palm oil.
This thick formula is ideal for pivots, greasing pedals before attaching them, and – well – all the usual ways you use grease on a bike. It's also grease-gun compatible.
The company is based in the UK, but does ship internationally.
New road bike gear
Do you struggle to abide by the Velominati’s Rule #31, "Spare tubes, multi-tools and repair kits should be stored in jersey pockets"? Step forward the Velo Pouch, designed to fit snugly into a rear pocket and keep everything in one place: mobile phone, keys, cash, puncture repair kit, spare inner tube, multitool and more.
It feels undeniably hefty in the hand when fully loaded, but packs down if you like to travel lighter. If you’re always forgetting crucial items, or – God forbid – using a saddle bag, it might be worth a look. Made from a mix of leather and canvas, with a touchscreen-friendly window for your phone, it’s also claimed to be splash and drop resistant.
£69 / $TBC / AU$TBC
Paul Smith’s Cycling Scrapbook
He may have carved a career as one of Britain’s best-known fashion designers, but Paul Smith originally wanted to be a pro cyclist. Didn’t we all. A leg injury in his teenage years thwarted those dreams, but cycling is still a passion and inspiration for him. His love for the sport shines through in this new scrapbook that brings together the cycling memorabilia and projects that he’s worked on over his life.
Put together with help from a friend, sports journalist Richard Williams, it’s a fascinating look at how the sport’s sense of style has evolved, in 400 pics. Smith’s cycling heroes like Fasto Coppi and Jacques Anquetil get a mention, and so do his collaborations with bike brands like Pinarello and Mercian. It also includes his design of the Giro d’Italia’s legendary maglia rosa and lots more classic cycling style.
Gore Oxygen Windstopper Soft Shell Jersey
Dubbed the brand's most versatile jersey, Gore Bike Wear’s Oxygen Windstopper Soft Shell Jersey is designed to protect your core from the elements when riding in unpredictable weather. It’ll work with or without a base layer, and features Windstopper inserts on the front, shoulders and sleeves – exactly where you want them.
Our sample came in a pleasing aqua blue, and includes some nicely thought-out features such as a small secure zip pocket for your valuables on the back, two side mesh pockets, reflective details in the front, back, shoulders and sleeves, and mesh on the underarms for ventilation.
We were also sent these Windstopper Arm Warmers, again made of windproof fabric and with reflective detailing. They’ve got pre-shaped elbows for maximum comfort, and gripper elastic on the top edge to keep them firmly in place.
- Windstopper Soft Shell Jersey: £109 / $149 / AU$TBC
- Windstopper Arm Warmers: £39 / $59 / AU$ TBC
What do we have here? Only a new type of bike computer that works by harnessing the Earth’s magnetic pole. It’s 100% science fact. The Canadian company behind it says that the VeloComputer Smart Sensor can measure your distance travelled with 25mm precision. It’ll connect to your bike computer via Bluetooth Smart or ANT+, uses very little power (it’s powered by tiny watch batteries), and accuracy is not affected by vibrations.
The device basically works like a compass – when a compass is turned the arrow is following the North Pole, and when the sensor is attached to an arm, leg or any object it measures the pivotal motion relative to the North Pole. It can be fitted to a bike hub to measure speed and distance, or to a crankset to measure cadence. Could this be one sensor to rule them all?
CleanSpace Air Monitor Sensor
How clean is the air you breathe on your commute? Now you can find out with the CleanSpace Air Monitor Sensor. It’s roughly the size of an iPhone 6, connects to your smartphone via the dedicated app, and will show you on a map how much pollution there is in the air around you. It may not make for pretty reading, but it could help you avoid hotspots and plan cleaner routes.
It weighs just 51g and is powered by clever self-charging technology called Freevolt, which apparently "harvests wasted energy in wireless networks such as mobile and Wi-Fi" – no, we don’t understand that bit either. Inside is an integrated carbon monoxide sensor, temperature sensor, and a small notification LED.
Michaux Club Bar Tape
If you want to add a touch of class to your road bike, or a dash of vintage glamour, then take a gander at the Michaux Club bar tape range. Made in the Britain, the tape is made from beautiful, soft leather and comes in tan, black or even gold, for those who like a little more bling on the bike.
The tape also has a little surprise up it’s sleeve: a reflective backing, which is visible through the holes punched in the leather. It's subtle in normal light, but bright enough to stand out when hit by headlights.
Michaux Club also produces multifunction bags that look the least like cycle specific luggage we’ve ever seen, all designed to work on the bike and blend in seamlessly to the non-Lycra world off the bike, and most featuring reflective detailing.