Greetings, BikeRadarians! We have some very interesting items to show off in this week's new gear round-up. We have a dropper lever that puts the competition to shame, a magnetic face shield for cold weather riding / ninja cosplay, and socks made from possums. Read on to find out more.
New mountain bike gear
Pearly’s Possum Socks
You’re probably familiar with the benefits of merino wool, but what about possum?
Yes, those ill-tempered nocturnal marsupials that you often see skittering across the trail during a night ride. It turns out their fur is soft and quite warm, especially when combined with merino wool. While sheep are sheered, these possums meet a less benign fate.
Now for a brief history lesson…
Early settlers introduced the Brushtail Possum to New Zealand from Australia. Then as now, it was prized for its fur. Unfortunately, with no natural predators to keep the population in check, this bushy little critter reproduced at a staggering rate and wreaked havoc on New Zealand’s fragile ecosystem.
Pearly’s Possum Socks are made from possums that have been harvested to keep their population in check.
They come in knee-high version as well as the shorter over-the-ankle length shown here.
- £30 / $38 / AU$50
Wolf Tooth Components ReMote
Wolf Tooth has carved a niche out by manufacturing high quality upgrade components for other companies’ products.
The ReMote dropper seatpost lever is no exception. This US-made ergonomic aluminum lever pivots on a 21mm cartridge bearing for smooth operation. It also offers reach adjust and uses a washer to hold the dropper cable in place, rather than a set screw, which is a surefire way to mangle the wire.
- Pricing is set at £48–55 / $59–69 / AU$78–92, depending on the model.
Specialized 2FO Clip Lite Lace
Specialized has a new lace-up version of its popular clipless enduro shoe. The 2FO Clip Lite Lace uses the same tech as the 2FO Clip Lite minus the double BOA dials.
This simplified clipless shoe has a large “Landing Strip” cleat pocket intended to minimize interference issues between the outsole and pedal while making it easier to clip in. There’s also an extended cleat slot so you can run your cleats further back if you so desire.
The toe box is armored to ward off rock strikes and the tread is soft enough to give plenty of grip while hike-a-biking.
- £90 / $120 / AU$200
Club Ride Shaka Flannel
“Performance flannel” isn’t an oxymoron. The Shaka Flannel has a low-key look, but it has a few techy features that make it trail worthy.
It’s constructed from a quick-drying brushed polyester fabric. Mesh panels concealed under the armpits improve venting and a low-profile pocket sewn into the back of the shirt gives you a secure place to stow your smartphone while riding.
The Shaka is available in the Rincon Blue shown here as well as a more subdued Zuma Grey.
£75 / $90 / AU$125
The Weatherneck System
You probably know of Brian Davis through his Fix It Sticks multi-tools, though he has developed other cycling products as well. His latest venture is the Weatherneck System, a two-piece balaclava designed for cold weather cycling.
Magnets are used to connect the face mask to the cap, making it easy to remove if you start to overheat. The “Mullet Hat” is extra long in the back, so you don’t have to worry about winter creeping in from behind when you’re hunched over the handlebars.
Davis is currently running a Kickstarter for the Weatherneck system.
- Pricing starts at £28 / $35 / AU$48 for the complete system.
New road gear
7Mesh Corsa Softshell Jersey
Is this a jersey or a jacket? Well, it’s a little of both. Using Gore WindStopper material with four-way stretch, the Corsa feels like a stretchy jacket with a tight road cut — and a long, drop tail.
There is a soft, brushed interior around the collar, but otherwise the Corsa feels like a slick jacket on the inside. It's fairly light — 264g in medium — and breathes decently for a water-deflecting piece. I've worn it on a few spirited group rides and didn't feel like I was boiling over.
The two giant pockets are a little confusing. For a winter jersey, large cargo makes sense as you might end up cramming a jacket, gloves or other bulky items in the pockets. But for a shell-like jersey, I'm not sure what bulky thing you'd be wearing over the top that you might want so much storage for. Also, the side-cut pockets billow when descending in a tuck.
- £170 / $225 / AU$TBC
Snēk Merino Winter Cap
Jonny Hintze has been the art director at ENVE Composites for seven years — and now he has his own company that makes winter cycling caps and phone wallets.
The Merino Winter Cap features a microfiber sweatband, a flexible brim and ear flaps that fold up easily.
We appreciate how the brim and ear flaps are cut distinctly from each other — on many winter caps the ear pieces ride up and/or the brim gets pulled down over your ears.
The thin merino hat fits under a helmet without adding much bulk.
- £49 / $62 / AU$TBC
FSE EVO 55C carbon clincher wheels
FSE stands for Filament Spin Evolution. The new company FSE claims its carbon is lighter and stiffer than what is commonly used in wheels, thanks to the way it is woven together under tension. And the consumer-direct wheels are certainly cheaper than similar wheels from brands like Zipp or ENVE.
The UCI-approved EVO 55C carbon clinchers weigh a claimed 1,485g for the pair with the 55mm-tall rims.
FSE has its own hubs and you can also get DT Swiss 240 hubs for an upcharge.
FSE has a two-year warranty and a crash-replacement program.
- £1,369 / $1,699 / AU$TBC
North St Pioneer 9 Hip Pack
North St’s new Pioneer 9 bag doubles as a handlebar bag and hip pack, with removable and adjustable straps to secure it to bike or body. There are also external loops if you want to wear it on a belt.
The bags are made to order in Portland, Oregon, and come in a slew of colors.
The bag has a water-resistant DWR treatment and internal organizing pouches.
The handlebar and waist belt accessories are sold separately for $10 each.
- £31 / $39 / AU$TBC
IRC Serac CX Tubeless
The Japanese-made Serac CX comes in three tubeless cyclocross models. Alongside the file-tread Sand and chunkier Mud models, this Serac CX is the all-around ’cross tire.
Claimed weight is 380g and the tire measures a true 32mm on a 17mm-internal-width rim, like the Bontrager shown here.
- £65 / $85 / AU$TBC
Clif Bar Nut Butter Filled organic snack bars
It’s hard to keep track of all the different Clif Bar flavors. Now the company has a new line of organic, nut butter filled bars.
The new flavors are Coconut Almond Butter, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Chocolate Hazelnut Butter.
The 230-calorie bars are a little smaller than a standard Clif Bar.
With winter approaching in the northern hemisphere, Clif has also rolled out the seasonal flavors Hot Chocolate, Spiced Pumpkin Pie and Iced Gingerbread in bar format.
- £N/A / $21.48 for 12-pack / AU$N/A