As weekend freedom moves from a distant possibility to being so close that you can taste it, once again we’ve searched the cavernous treasure halls of BikeRadar for the newest and shiniest bikes and bits of kit for your delectation. Cast aside that work you were (possibly) doing and come and have a virtual fondle of this week’s winnings…
New mountain bike gear
Norco Range C9.2
While it’s a distinct possibility that your weekend plans might involve the sort of optic that dispenses alcoholic relaxation, we’ll be spending ours riding this rather green Optic C9.2 to joyous oblivion. We covered the launch of the new Norco Optic a while back and if you’re curious enough to click that link you’ll find that this Optic is also capable of giving you double vision, with both 29er and 650b variants available.
The bike pictured here is the big wheeler, sporting 120mm of travel up front matched to 110mm from the four-bar rear end. As befits a modern bike, it’s got Boost hub spacing from and rear, while the carbon front triangle has loads of clever touches such as tubing that increases in diameter as you go up the sizes to keep the ride feel the same for heavier riders. It’s got a thoroughly on-trend stumpy 50mm stem and decently wide bars paired to reasonably long and relaxed geometry, so we’re optimistic that the handling won’t have us falling on the floor. Trebles all round!
£3,299 / $4,699 / AU$ TBC
Mondraker e-Prime Carbon RR+
If such things as narrow tyres and having to rely solely on the power of your muscles while cycling seem like terribly dated concepts, then this will be right up your street. Yes, this is the brand spanking new, tippety-top end e-MTB from Spanish long bike fans Mondraker.
Sporting up to 250W of assistance from the Bosch pedelec motor, the e-Prime also uses nice fat 2.8in Maxxis rubber on 30mm DT Swiss rims to help boost grip. The carbon frame also gets flattened seatstays to add a touch of compliance and Boost hub spacing to help improve stiffness, though the 120mm RockShox RS-1 fork fitted up front isn’t the most, ahem, directionally exacting of units. It does look hella cool however. At a claimed 18.8kg/41.4lbs, it’s also a delicate lightweight flower when it comes to the chunky world of battery-powered bicycles. We’re off to gather KOMs and spittle-flecked hatred on it.
£TBC / $TBC / AU$ TBC
Therm-ic Shoe Warmer
Despite looking rather suggestive, the Therm-ic Warmer is actually designed to bring pleasure in a very different way, especially to denizens of nations where summer consists of the rain stopping once or twice, namely Britain. It splits into two halves that can then be inserted into your sodden shoes, plugged in and hopefully you’ll find them dry and warm a short while later. Happy days.
Pedaling Innovations Catalyst pedals
Much as the brand name sticks two fingers up at niceties such as spelling (unless you're in the US of course), these super-sized pedals also tell flat pedal design convention to go take a running jump. Actually a running jump is the last thing that these pedals are about, according to their designer. He noticed that while convention says that the ball of your foot should be over the pedal spindle, when deadlifting weights – an action more similar to a pedalling action than running or jumping – you actually keep your foot flat on the ground with your weight balanced between the ball and heel. The 130mm long platform aims to allow you to do that. Nice theory, but does it work in practise? That’s exactly what we’re here to find out, so check back soon.
For Goodness Shakes Protein Water
Hey, you there! What’s that in that glass you’re drinking? Water? Spit that filth out at once. Instead get yourself buffed up while slaking your thirst post exercise with this new low-calorie, high protein water. It’s got 20g of Whey Isolate protein to deliver a heady 4,050mg of branched chain amino acids that’ll help you grow lovely muscle mass. It’s only marginally more nutritious than boring old water as it contains no sugar or fat and just 86 calories per serving. It comes in blackcurrant or orange and mango flavour, so it’s definitely more flavourful than plain H2O.
£2.75 per bottle
Bikemonger’s Happy Bottom Bum Butter
Winning the prize for the most alliterative product this week is this chammy cream from niche bike specialist Charlie the Bikemonger. Using an all-natural mixture that includes clove oil, tea tree oil and Egyptian geramium oil, it smells good enough to eat and should you wish to it’s also 100% vegan friendly. Please don’t attempt to eat it though, that would be bad. That said, if you’re wondering how to apply it, rather blunt instructions on just what to do are printed on the tub.
New road bike gear
Specialized S-Works Tarmac
Specialized’s Tarmac has always scored highly with us, and the all-singing, all-dancing S-Works model is an object of lust for roadies the world over. (It's somewhat more luminous in the flesh than this photo would suggest, incidentally.) This 6.5kg superbike sports a full Dura-Ace mechanical groupset (apart from those tasty S-Works carbon cranks) along with Specialized's own Roval CLX 40 carbon clinchers, which are fitted with premium Turbo Cotton tyres.
Why is it perched on a hillside we hear you ask? This lovely machine features in our sister magazine Cycling Plus's forthcoming group test of Tour de France bikes and we've been taking photos of it in Wales…
£5500 / $8000 / AU$9499 (colours vary between markets)
Canyon Aeroad CF SLX Katusha
In for the same test (it's a good 'un!), this gloriously futuristic machine from Canyon is one the most eye-catching bikes we've ever had in the BikeRadar office. It's based on a lovely team Katusha version of the Aeroad CF SLX frameset – which unfortunately is now sold out. To rub salt in the wound further, this particular bike has a full SRAM eTap groupset, a build which you can't actually buy from Canyon right now, although we suspect one will be available in the not-too-distant future.
We've already made a little video about this two-wheeled projectile, and by golly it's an exciting thing to ride.
Approx £6,700 / $NA / AU$12,000 (except you can't buy it, sorry)
Rapha Pro Team Flyweight glasses
We've already talked about Rapha's new shades, but now we've got our hot little hands on them and we're going to have to decide if we're okay with a return to the excesses of the eighties and nineties. Is this aesthetically acceptable? Do we all have to wear shoulder pads and mainline EPO? We're not sure.
The Flyweights are available in four frame colours, with three alternative lens options sold separately.
£140 / $220 / AU$250
Extra lenses: £80 / $120 / AU$150
Sweaty Betty Acceleration Top and Chase Cycle Shorts
The Acceleration Top and Chase Cycle Shorts, produced by UK fitness brand Sweaty Betty, are loud with a capital L. The brand claims the tropical pattern is inspired by Brazil – timely given the major sporting event that’s about to happen over there. Plain black panels and fluoro yellow cuffs and hem complement the bold pattern and add a hi-vis element to the garments. Don't expect to blend into the background unless you happen to be standing in front of a very large piece of modern art.
One thing we noticed immediately trying this kit on is the length: taller women are going to really appreciate the jersey and shorts, with the hem of the former coming down over the hips of our 5ft 8in model.
- Sweaty Betty Acceleration top: £85 / $150 / AU$155
- Sweaty Betty Chase cycle shorts: £65 / $115 / AU$115
Dexshell waterproof socks
Ahh, yet another staple of the summertime for those unfortunate enough to live in what can only be described as ‘humid’ climates (hello again Britain!). Yup, keeping your feet warm and dry is an essential bit of riding unless you’re blessed with proper weather, so here we have the Dexshell waterproof sock range. Ranging from right to left we’ve got the heavier duty Coolvent items, the Ultralite Bamboo socks and the Ultralite Biking socks. They all use a waterproof and breathable Porelle membrane allied to various degrees of warmth and eye-catching colours, so even when it’s soggy yet somehow warm, your tootsies will still be comfortable.
- Dexshell Coolvent socks: £25.95
- Dexshell Ultralite socks: £18.95
- Dexshell Ultralite socks: £19.95