You're almost there! It's nearly time to back away from the computer, sprint away from the office and hop on your bike. At least we hope that's your game plan, because that's our next move.
Before you make a hasty exit from work, take a look at some of the latest gear to land at the BikeRadar offices for testing.
New mountain bike gear
Ergon IP3 Solestar insoles
As a company focused on improving the ergonomics of bicycle contact points, it should come as no surprise that insoles are Ergon’s latest venture.
Ergon teamed up with insole manufacturer Solestar to develop a footbed designed to support the foot and to stabilize riders’ legs as they pedal.
- £TBC / $60 / AU$TBC
Reynolds 27.5 Plus wheelset
One undeniable downside to plus bikes is the additional rotating mass. If you’re looking to shed weight from your wheels, while simultaneously putting your bank account on a diet, this Reynolds 27.5 Plus wheelset will surely do it.
The carbon rims have a hookless profile and an internal width of 40mm. The rims are laced to the hubs, which feature Industry Nine’s internals and a speedy Torch freehub, with 28 bladed straight-pull spokes.
The actual weight with rim strips and valves installed is 840g for the front wheels and 990g for the rear for a total wheelset weight of 1,830g.
- £TBC / $2,600 / AU$TBC
WTB Ranger 29x2.29 tires
All this talk of plus-sized treads has overshadowed some very promising new mid-width tires.
WTB has been on the forefront of developing plus tires, though the company hasn’t forgotten that most mountain bikers still roll on tires in the 2.25-2.5in range.
The new WTB Ranger is a fast-rolling cross-country tire designed for hardpacked to medium conditions. It features WTB’s TCS light casing for tubeless-compatibility and weighs in at 695g.
- £39.99 / $70 / AU$TBC
Bontrager Rapid Pack
Hip packs are still in, kids.
Bontrager is stepping up with the Rapid, a hip-pack with two zippered pockets large enough to hold ride essentials such as a tube, CO2 canister and multi-tool, along with your smartphone and keys.
The water bottle is stowed between the side pockets to keep the weight evenly distributed while riding.
- £40 / $60 / AU$TBC
e*thirteen TRS+ dropper seatpost
We first spotted e*thirteen’s prototype dropper seatpost at Eurobike last summer. Now this promising seatpost is ready for its close-up.
When the TRS+ dropper becomes available next month it will be offered in 30.9 and 31.6mm versions with 125 or 150mm (shown) of infinite travel.
We’re getting ready to install this post for testing and it’s already clear there’s a lot to like about it.
First off, the lever is chocked full of features. The lever position is adjustable and the paddle has a layer of grip tape for a positive feel. Like Wolf Tooth’s ReMote, the TRS+ lever uses a plate, rather than a set screw to secure the cable without mangling it.
Moving on to the post, a tried and true two-bolt head handles saddle adjustments. That’s not a barrel adjuster at the base of the seatpost, that’s an adjustable collar designed to clamp and hold the cable housing in place.
Last but not least, the TRS+ dropper is an all-mechanical affair that can be rebuilt using common bike tools.
Stay tuned for a review of this seatpost.
- £TBC / $280 / AU$TBC
New road bike products
DMT R1 Summer road shoes
DMT's R1 shoe features a thin carbon sole that wraps up a little higher around the insole than many other brands and the fit suits wider feet well.
Robin Wilmott reviewed the DMT R1 last year and praised many elements, but found the breathability lacking. Well, enter the R1 Summer, which has mesh sections integrated into the upper for better ventilation.
We weighed a size 45 shoe at 300g.
- £TBC / $339 / AU$TBC
Giro Knit Merino Glove
Made from a one-piece knit of merino and polyester, these Giro gloves play nice with your smartphone, thanks to silver fibers in the thumb and index finger.
Silicone dots add grip and the gloves are insulating, but not windproof.
They also come in gray/black and red/blue.
- £TBC / $28 / AU$TBC
Grip Grab Race Aqua waterproof booties
These redesigned Race Aqua booties are waterproof, thin, stretchy and light — and yet appear to be durable with features like reinforced heel and cleat openings, fully taped seams and YKK zippers.
These are not insulated neoprene booties. The nylon/polyurethane/polyester/elastane mix is designed to keep the wind and the rain out, the fit snug and the weight to a minimum.
They come in six sizes, from 38-49 shoes.
- £34 / $44 / AU$TBC
ENVE carbon water bottle cage
ENVE says it's 21g; we weighed the cage at 19g. In any event — it's a light cage. In initial testing, the cage holds bottles snugly, despite the low-wrap design.
The German brand Lightweight has a carbon cage that comes in a claimed 18g — but at twice the price.
- £TBC / $70 / AU$TBC
What's a trailnugget? Well, just food, basically.
The ingredients are straightforward: dates, nuts, fruit, oils.
The bars are gluten-free, vegan, natural and kosher. Also, they're tasty.
There are three flavors: Just Beet It, Peanut CoCo Apocalypse and Lemon Almond Hot Date.
- £N/A / $29 / AU$TBC for 12
Abloc water bottle
We’ve just received these cool little bottles from Abloc, which are said to reflect “visual harmony and motion, capturing the essence of cycling."
While we can’t comment on whether the design of the bottles infers some kind of expression of speed, we do like the groovy colour options.
The shape of the Abloc is quite unique, tapering sharply towards the base of the bottle around two-thirds of the way down. This is said to ease retrieving and replacing it from bottle cages and jersey pockets.
Unlike bottles like Specialized’s Purist, which use a coating to prevent the build of funk, the Abloc is made from a material that actively resists the growth of mould, bacteria and smells, so it’ll never wear off.
And as you’d hope, the bottle is also dishwasher safe, so if the Abloc should develop a bit of a stink, you can always bung it in the wash and it’ll come out smelling fresh.
- Abloc small: £14 / $15 / AU$15
- Abloc large: £17 / $17 / AU$17