Like the renegade master we are back once again, although our ill behaviour is limited to photographing and describing eleven of the hottest happenings in bikes right now. It's been a busy week too, with our writers out testing Shimano's latest Dura-Ace 9170 Di2 group, rummaging through the shiny stuff at the Tour Down Under and giving you the low down on Garmin's popular Edge 820 computer.
DJ, run the track…
New mountain bike gear
Park Tool GG-1 grease gun
Most things sound a lot better in French, the word grease gun being a prime example. Going with that, this pistolet à graisse is the same part that you’ll find in many bike shops, but it’s ideal for the keen home mechanic too.
Grease can either be delivered through the included canister (though there’s no grease inside) or directly from a compatible grease/anti-seize or assembly compound tube. A spring-loaded plunger that sits in your palm can then accurately control its flow.
We've handed it over to our workshop manager Jonny Ashelford, who will subject it to frequent use along with exposure to heavy metal music.
- £19.99 / $19.99 / AU$TBC
Giro Cartelle MIPS
The Cartelle is essentially the women’s version of Giro’s Chronicle trail helmet. Sitting below the brand’s more spendy Montara, the Cartelle packs much of the same technology at a far friendlier price.
At the rear, a height adjustable cradle houses a retention dial. The straps, liner and buckles co-ordinate perfectly with the lid’s colour scheme too – and if this teal/turquoise doesn’t work for you then you’ll be pleased to know there are three other colour options.
The in-mold shell with its 13 vents also features an adjustable visor and has been designed to play nicely with goggles. Inside there’s MIPS technology as standard, which allows your head to twist slightly in an accident, lessening the extent of serious injury in some circumstances.
The MIPS liner does make things noticeably smaller though, so if you normally sit between sizes in Giro helmets then we’d suggest sizing up. Our medium test lid weighs 351g.
- £99.95 / $99.95 / AU$169.99
BikeYoke Revive dropper seatpost
We’ve spoken about the Revive dropper post from BikeYoke a couple of times already here at BikeRadar. You may remember it for its unique design that goes without an IFP (internal floating piston), something that its creators said made it “basically maintenance free”.
You may also remember the fact it could be bled at the push of a button. Well, it used to be a button, but now refinements to the design have seen BikeYoke replace it with a single 4mm ‘reset bolt’ that performs the same function.
Releasing any air from the hydraulic-lockout circuit is as simple as releasing the 4mm Allen key shown below, the post must then be pushed downwards through its travel. Then, simply release the Allen key and push the remote lever.
This version features a 160mm drop and is sold in 30.9mm or 31.6mm diameters and comes bundled with the firm’s own Triggy lever.
Bold claims mean our expectations are high for this one, we’ve handed it across to Tom from What Mountain Bike, a renowned dropper stopper and the perfect test pilot for this part. Ours weighs in at 524g without a lever.
- From €310 (international delivery available)
Fabric Scoop Shallow Elite
The Scoop’s sleek design, modest pricing and wide range of options mean that it remains one of the more popular saddles out there.
Its shape pays homage to Charge’s excellent Spoon saddle, though a clever three-piece construction means that there’s no nasty stitching, staples or joins to snag or come apart.
When we first tested the Scoop way back in 2013 we loved its comfort and how its slick profile was dead easy to clean. Since then, the price has come down and the options list now includes three shapes along with the choice of a carbon fibre base and titanium rails — oh, and plenty of colours too.
Our all-black test model is the shallow profile with regular chromoly rails, and at 262g it comes in at slightly under its claimed weight.
- £44.99 / €64.90 / $74.99
OTE Cocoa Nibs Anytime Bar
We're suckers for oats here at BikeRadar and although we prefer to make our own trailside snacks, sometimes that's just not practical. If you're short on time but fancy a quick chocolatey fix then these new flapjacks may just be for you.
Despite being barely larger than a credit card these oat-based, cocoa nib-loaded rectangles are seriously dense at 62g. Described as 100 percent natural, the ingredients list boasts nothing we wouldn't want to see in our cupboards at home, and there are no artificial sweeteners, colours, flavourings or preservatives either. We are slowly making our way through a very big box of them and have yet to come across a person who doesn't consider these delicious.
- £1.30 per bar or £31.20 for a box of 24, international orders also available
New road bike gear
Mavic Cosmic Pro helmet
Mavic does love its yellow, but you can also get the Cosmic Pro with black or red straps.
The Cosmic Pro is the mid-range helmet in Mavic's line, with a memory foam in between the front of the helmet and the 37.5 pads.
A size medium weighs just 230g.
- £135 / $169
Velocio Wind Vest
This Italian-made vest stands out for more than just the colour options (red, light blue or light gray). The front of the shoulders are aggressively cut for the on-bike position and three pockets and two zippers make it easy to stash and access your stuff.
The front is windproof and the rear is four-way-stretch mesh.
- £N/A / €70 / $85 / AU$115
Lezyne Micro GPS
The Micro GPS is small in stature and relatively small in price, but huge on features. Weighing a mere 29g, the Micro GPS packs these features and more:
- ANT+ and Bluetooth
- Di2 integration
- Strava Segments
- Incoming texts and call notifications
- Ride upload via Bluetooth (and your phone) to Lezyne's site and Strava
- Hi-res screen with backlight
- GPS, barometer and accelerometer
- Claimed 14 hours of runtime
- Customizable fields, including speed, power, heart rate, distance, time and more
In addition to giving you data from peripherals like your heart rate strap or your phone, the Micro GPS also gives you battery-life percentages of each of them.
- £129 / $129
Selle SMP Drakon
Selle SMP has more than a dozen versions of its distinctive curved saddle. The variations are primarily different widths and padding levels. The concept is the same throughout the line; the pelvis should be cradled in place, with a substantial central cutout allowing normal blood flow, regardless of how you roll your hips.
The Drakon is a wider, more padded model.
Although SMPs look funny, they can be a great fit for many riders provided that you get the right fit. With most saddles, you can slide forward or back to get the width right; with SMP, there really is no sliding because of the cradle shape.
- £195 / $260
Volar Active socks
Volar Active does custom designs on DeFeet's polyester and wool socks. Being a Los Angeles company, many of the designs are inspired by local rides.
- £N/A / $15
Zevlin custom bar tape
Everybody has flashy socks these days. But how many of your friends have their own bar tape?
Zevlin offers custom padded tape in a variety of colors. If you don't want to design your own, Zevlin already has a fair amount of bold graphic styles.
- Prices vary based on quantity.