Greetings, BikeRadar readers. Summer is winding down at our Colorado offices and we’re trying to get as much time as possible on the road and trails before the days grow short and the temperature drops. Here’s a look at some of the latest items we’ve got in for test.
- Find out how titanium specialist Moots handcrafts its beautiful bicycles
- Bell's new Zephyr, Stratus helmets integrate MIPS into fit system
New mountain bike gear
The Mountaineer is without a doubt the most lust-worthy bikepacking rig we’ve come across, and yes, this US-made titanium mountain bike has a price tag to match.
The combination of high volume 27.5x3in tires and Moots' own YBB soft tail rear end allow the Mountaineer to tackle rough trails. It is also compatible with 29in wheels and tires, if you prefer speed over traction.
Moots offers the Mountaineer as a frame or a complete bike with a 2x11 Shimano XT kit with a 120mm Fox 34 fork.
US$7,899 / £6,000 / AU$10,500
Praxis Works Lyft Crankset
The Lyft is Praxis’ first carbon mountain bike crankset. It has hollow carbon crankarms and uses the same splined three-bolt interface as SRAM for direct-mount chainrings.
Praxis has licensed MRP’s Wave Ring design for the 32t chainring we’ll be testing alongside with Lyft.
The weight for the Lyft crankarms is 400g. Add in another 60g for the 32t direct-mount chaining and you have a very competitive offering at 460g.
The Lyft uses a 30mm aluminum spindle and is designed to work with Praxis’ wide range of M30 bottom bracket systems, including BSA threaded, Press Fit 30 and BB 92.
Praxis offers the Lyft in 170 and 175mm versions.
US$500 / £TBC / AU$700
Bontrager Rhythm Tech Tee
Less is often more, and that’s always the case with mountain bike jerseys.
The Rhythm Tech Tee isn’t loaded with superfluous features. It’s constructed from a quick-drying Profila fabric with a relaxed MTB cut.
Bontrager offers the Rhythm Tech Tee in a wide range of colors, including the throwback Rasta Tie Die patterns shown here.
US$55 / £40 / AU$74
Gore Rescue Jacket
Shoulder season means quickly changing weather patterns are on the horizon. Gore’s light and highly packable Rescue Jacket is made to be stowed in your pack in case you get caught in a downpour or end up being on the trail later than expected.
The Rescue Jacket is constructed from Gore’s Windstopper fabric with fused seams. It’s completely windproof and highly water-resistant.
This jacket as a slim fit with a hood designed to fit under a helmet and a single breast pocket that it packs down into. The partial zipper means it has to be pulled over your shoulders, but it also keeps the weight down to just 120g and allows it to pack down to the size of an inner tube.
$200 / £155 / AU$270
Pearl Izumi Divide Short
The Divide Short is designed for cross-country riders who want more coverage than Lycra with a fitted look and feel. If you’re looking for baggies to wear with bulky knee pads, these are not for you, as the legs are tapered with a 13in inseam.
The Divide is constructed from four-way stretch fabric with pockets on each thigh and an additional padded rear pocket.
US$85 / £65 / AU$115
New road bike gear
BMC Roadmachine 01
Sandwiched between the Swiss company’s Teammachine race rig and the Granfondo endurance bike, the Roadmachine seeks to be the Goldilocks for riders who want the happy medium.
The integrated stem tidies up the hydraulic hose routing (a cover bolts on from underneath), and the bike’s distinctive lines are classic BMC: low-angle seatstays, angular tube profiles and tapered chainstays.
In testing, the bike rides exceptionally well: those stout chainstays gratify even small accelerations, handling is confident but not sleepy, and Continental GP4000S II tires are always enjoyable to ride.
The 50/34 compact paired to a massive 11-32 cassette makes molehills out of mountains on the way up, and the Shimano hydraulics make for confident descending.
While this bike comes with 25s, it has room for up to 30mm tires. Just note that you’ll need a 5mm to remove the front wheel. Delaney didn’t — and got caught out like an amateur with a flat by the roadside until a friendly stranger stopped to help.
US$5,200 / £4,099 / AU$TBC
Clement Strada USH
This 32mm tubeless tire is the third in the company’s X’PLOR adventure/gravel series, boasting a fast-rolling center and soft, grippy shoulders.
The new Strada USH is a combination of Clement’s Strada LGG road tire and the company’s X’PLOR commuter, the USH.
Clement names its tires by airport codes, associating certain types of riding with certain regions of the world. USH is the airport code of Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, where the Trans-American Highway ends and, according to Clement, the real adventure riding begins.
US$75 / £N/A / AU$TBC
Panache Cyclewear Speed kit
Panache is a clothing company out of Boulder, Colorado. The Speed kit is lightweight, wicking and cut for going fast.
The Speed jersey fits almost like a skinsuit, with skin-hugging aero sleeves and an on-the-bike pattern.
The Speed bib shorts use Panache’s well-constructed chamois, compression legs and laser-cut bands like the jersey for a svelte finish.
The Speed clothing comes in a variety of styles; the Pinstripe in blue is shown here.
US$140 jersey, US$210 bib short / £N/A / AU$N/A
Bryton Rider 530
The new GPS computer from Bryton packs a ton (okay, 72) of features into a very reasonably priced unit that has WiFi, ANT+ and Bluetooth 4.0.
The auto-upload can be paired to Strava, and will work off of either your home WiFi or your phone (when tethered on Bluetooth and using Bryton’s app) to zap your ride online as soon as you’re finished.
The easy-to-read screen can be configured on the unit itself, or on Bryton’s website, which is easy to navigate and operate without instructions.
As with most GPS computers these days, you can set the number of data screens, the numbers of fields on each screen, and then pick from deep menus for the types of data you see in all the standard metric variances.
For navigation, you can follow a track — although there is no basemap — or use turn-by-turn instructions.
Battery life is a claimed 33 hours.
US$179 / £145 / AU$TBC
The MIPS rotational protection system is gaining traction among helmet makers, and Bell has taken the integration perhaps the furthest with its new Zephyr helmet, where the Float Fit retention system is built into the plastic liner.
Bell's Float Fit Race retention system features a dial that is somewhat suspended off the back of the head. In addition to micro-adjustments for tightening, the Float Fit Race also has four vertical settings (instead of the traditional three) for 22mm of adjustment, and the width of the occipital pads can be adjusted, too.
Tech talk aside, the helmet just looks good, the colored MIPS liners match to the shells, or other structural elements.
US$230 / £200 / AU$TBC
Smash Pack fruit and protein pouches
SmashPack is shelf-stable food that combines real fruits and whey protein.
Each 180-calorie pack has 14g of protein, 5g of fat and the ingredients are things you can read, like orange juice and not weird chemicals.
It comes in three flavors: Mixed Berry, Orange Peach and Tropical Fruit.
US$2 / £N/A / AU$N/A