Hey there good looking. Wanna hear about some fresh bike products? Wanna get down and dirty on two wheels? Well you're in luck! It's Friday, and round these parts that means 11 new bikes and bits for your velocipedal delectation.
We've got four lovely bicycles for you, some completely new shifty bits from a manufacturer you've probably never heard of, some hard-to-miss clothing, and more. Read on my lovelies, and kill a few more minutes of your working day as the weekend looms large and luscious.
Best new road bikes and gear
Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS Disc eTap
The disc version of Specialized's #aeroiseverything Venge ViAS launched just over a year ago, and this year the bike has been brought bang up to date with SRAM's latest Red eTap HRD groupset — that's the one that combines eTap's brilliant wireless shifting with hydraulic disc brakes.
This range-topping superbike isn't amazingly light at 7.89kg for a 58, but that's because this one is all about being as slippery as possible, with a side-order of stopping power. You'll notice, for example, that instead of running a conventional -6 degree stem, the Venge uses a -17 unit (i.e. horizontal) along with slightly whacky looking riser-drops to bring the bar back up slightly.
There are no gear cables to worry about with eTap, but the hydraulic hoses are almost entirely hidden, and every aspect of the frameset appears smooth and sculpted for minimum drag.
The Venge ViAS's looks are something of an acquired taste, but even the most ardent aero sceptics can't fail to be impressed by the amount of tech squeezed into this bike. And also the price tag. Start saving now, and look out for a review on BikeRadar in the coming months...
£8,500 / US$11,500 / AU$TBC
The Hidden Motor: The Psychology Of Cycling book
Despite the title, this recently-translated volume form Dutch psychologist Martijn Veltkamp isn't about Vivax motors or Femke van den Driessche, but rather it seeks to discover what separates the winners in cycling from the "nearly-men", exploring the psychology of the sport using data from studies, analysis of historical results, and interviews with former professional riders.
It certainly sounds interesting, so much so that we might be prepared to look past the mirrored image of the cyclist on the cover that Veltkamp's publisher has unhelpfully chosen.
Paperback: £11.99 / US$16.99
Genesis Carbon Vapour CX30
There's a new range of cyclocross bikes from British brand Genesis for 2017, in both its trademark material steel as well as carbon. What we have here is Genesis's top-of-the-range carbon model, the Vapour CX30, and it looks incredible.
Designed to be equally at home riding in the woods with friends or letting rip at a national CX race, it's said to have similar ride characteristics to the existing Datum range of carbon-framed adventure bikes. It does get some cross-specific features though, like bridgeless seat stays for maximum mud clearance and increased trail to give better stability on rough terrain.
This particular model gets a full Shimano mechanical 2x11 Ultegra 46-36T drivetrain, 12mm thru-axle front and rear, and stopping duties handled by RS805 hydraulic disc brakes. An Asymmetric Power Transfer bottom bracket (30% wider non drive-side) and boxed chainstays are said to increase stiffness and power transfer for race day.
£2,799 / US$N/A / AU$N/A
DT Swiss PR1400 Dicut Oxic clinchers
Over the past few years wheel manufacturers have tried a variety of ways to combine stealthy, carbon-esque looks with alloy practicality and value for money, with wildly varying degrees of success. Just the other week we took a look at an intriguing ceramic-coated option from AForce, and this week DT Swiss has sent us its latest PR1400 Dicut Oxic clinchers, which use an ostensibly similar process to produce a wonderfully understated set of rims.
Built on beautifully machined hubs with DT's proven star-ratchet internals, the PR1400s weigh 1,472g for the pair on our scales including rim tape. Like all DT's current road offerings, these wheels are tubeless-ready and they ship with valves as standard.
The low-profile rims themselves are, dare we say it, rather conservative in spec, with an internal width of 18mm and an external measurement of 22mm. That's wider than your traditional wheels, but nothing special by current standards. Nevertheless, we're a little bit excited about these — they look incredible and they're not crazy expensive.
US: $1,286 pair
Brooks C13 saddle range
When Brooks launched the Cambium C17 three years ago, it was a radical departure for a brand that's built its reputation on ultra-traditional leather saddles. The new seat was based around a vulcanised natural rubber upper and it looked like a hybrid between new and old technology. The narrower C15 followed, and this year Brooks has been taking on the roadie market with the Cambium C13, which adds clever one-piece carbon rails to the mix.
The C13 was initially available in just one model, but Brooks has just announced a full range of saddles to suit more riders. Three widths are on offer (132mm, 145mm, 158mm) and all are available with the option of a pressure-relieving cut-out, the so-called "Carved" option. Claimed weights range from 250g to 310g.
£150 / US$200 / AU$260
ArroWhere Solid Arrow Reflective Rain Jacket
The nights are beginning to draw in, and soon — in the UK at least — the clocks will go back. Boo. So let's get prepared for that commute with lights, mudguards and appropriate clothing. This is the ArroWhere Solid Arrow Reflective Rain Jacket, and it's claimed to be among the highest of high-vis clothing on the market, visible up to 400m away in low-light situations.
As you may have noticed, it's also got a reflective arrow on the back telling drivers where to go (available in both left and right). The makers claim this makes it safer than existing high-vis products as it helps drivers recognise what's in front of them, and act appropriately, in good time.
Other features include zippered armpit vents, fleece-lined pockets and collar, and an adjustable waist and cuffs. We've also been promised samples of its upcoming ArroWhere Dark range, designed to look low-key during daylight hours but deliver high reflectivity in the dark.
£TBC / US$89 / AU$TBC
Best new mountain bikes and gear
Cannondale Bad Habit 1
This here's the plus-sized version of Cannondale's do-it-all full-suspension trail bike, the Habit. The alloy frame is designed specifically for 27.5+ with room for three-inch tyres for lower pressures and maximum grip. To offset sluggish handling from the increased tyre size, the Bad Habit also has a 55mm (rather than 50mm) fork rake.
We've been sent the higher-end Bad Habit 1, which features a Lefty 2.0 alloy fork, RockShox Monarch RL shock, WTB Scraper i45 rims and 11-speed SRAM GX. Suspension is 120mm front and rear, and it runs on WTB Bridger three-inch tyres as standard. There's also a Bad Habit 2, which gets a Rockshox Reba RL, the same shock, Cannondale's own Beast rims and a 10-speed Deore / SLX mix 2x groupset.
£2,999 / US$3,199 / AU$TBC
German accessories brand BikeYoke hasn't been around very long, but its already made waves with products like a cable conversion kit for hydraulic dropper posts. We visited them at Eurobike and came away with this new device, the Shifty.
What is the Shifty, you ask? Well, it replaces the original plastic pulley on SRAM 1x drivetrains to keep your shifting sweet no matter how muddy the conditions. It's basically an aluminium wheel that rotates around a low-friction sealed ceramic bearing, and comes in two versions: black and gold anodised with a lasered logo finish. Weight is under 7g.
Focus Jam C Factory
Continuing the 27.5" theme is the Focus Jam C Factory, a trail bike with a carbon front triangle and alloy rear. Its biggest draw is probably the patented F.O.L.D. rear suspension design, designed by Focus at its German HQ, which keeps all suspension hardware in the middle of the frame for a lower centre of gravity. This model comes sprung with a RockShox Monarch Plus rear shock and RockShox Yari RC forks, both 150mm.
The idea behind these Factory models is that they're what Focus employees would spec on their own bikes. So elsewhere there's a SRAM GX drivetrain with Descendant carbon cranks, SRAM Guide R brakes and DT Swiss XM 1501 wheels.
Craft Extreme 2.0 base layer
If you like wearing base layers then you've probably heard of Craft. The Swedish company has built a fine reputation on its Extreme base layer, and it's now bringing us the Active Extreme 2.0. It's made of a double-layer fabric featuring CoolMax Air, a new type of performance fibre engineered with – wait for it – a propeller shape.
Why a propeller shape, you ask? Well it's to rapidly drive moisture from the skin, apparently. The fibre surface area is claimed to be bigger than other fabrics, resulting in faster and greater moisture transport, keeping you comfy when working hard. The Craft Extreme 2.0 base layer is 20g lighter than its predecessor and comes in a number of colours, including a fluorescent and reflective version.
£36 / US$79 / AU$N/A
Box Components shifter and rear derailleur
During the maelstrom of Eurobike planning last month, we were contacted by the friendly folks at Box Components, a maker of high-end MTB components based in the USA. Would we like to pop along to its stand and pick up some pre-production samples of Box's new push-push shifters and rear derailleur? The answer, of course, was 'yes, we sure would'. And here they are, fresh from Friedrichshafen.
The shifter's single-lever actuation is operated entirely with your thumb, and the makers claim this makes for super-quick and intuitive gear changes, while freeing your fingers for braking. Push the lever forward to shift down and push the lever inward to shift up to a higher gear. Simple.
It's made from cold-forged aluminium and features a dimpled lever for tactile feel, a removable clamp that includes 10mm of left/right adjustment for precise handlebar placement, and a conventional barrel adjuster.
The Box One 11-speed Rear Derailleur features patent-pending CamClutch technology to reduce chain movement and maintain chain tension, using a one-way friction plate to increase tension as the cage moves forward and releases tension as it moves back. Clever.
With a maximum tooth count of 46, the Box One Rear Derailleur can handle modern gear ratios and wide range cassettes. The inner and outer cages are made of durable cold-forged aluminium and feature jockey wheels with sealed precision pulley bearings.
- US$174 for the Box One Rear Derailleur
- US$74 for the BoxOne PushPush Shifter