It's been another busy week here at BikeRadar, we've released the results of our scientific road tyre test, which compared rolling resistance data for different tyres and different air pressures. Our five reasonably priced upgrades for roadies article went down well with those looking to spend money where it really matters and our coverage of Nokia's all-new 3310 made us question the real intelligence of having a smartphone in our pockets.
We've not been too busy to fail to round up the finest in road and mountain bike kit though, and here it is.
New mountain bike products
Troy Lee Designs A2 helmet
JPS branded Formula 1 cars, that’s what we think of when we see this fetching new lid from Troy Lee.
The A2 was launched at the start of this week as a refinement over the company’s extremely successful A1 lid. Ventilation improvements are said to feed 25 percent more air to the head when compared with the A1, while a couple of major changes should make this a safer option too.
The A2’s shell uses a mixture of EPP (expanded polypropylene) and EPS (expanded polystyrene) foams to better absorb impacts, while the addition of a MIPS liner means the damaging twisting forces that occur in certain crashes should also be lessened.
Our M/L sample tipped the scales at 374g.
- £140 / $169 / AU$TBC
Fox Proframe full-face helmet
The new Proframe from Fox is a lightweight full face that looks perfect for the needs of enduro racers. Its non-removable chin bar is fully ASTM downhill certified despite featuring gaping holes.
In fact, take a look at the rest of the Proframe’s in-mold EPS shell with its numerous large vents and you’ll see that ventilation was clearly a big priority for Fox.
Cutting weight was also a big deal and Fox has worked some magic here, with our 56-58cm test lid tipping the scales at just 738g. That’s lighter than Bell’s Super 3R and Giro’s Switchblade.
It’s a great looking lid too, with a fixed visor that looks perfectly in proportion with the rest of the lid. Inside there’s a MIPS liner, which is designed to help with the twisting forces frequently encountered with common head injuries.
These are available in numerous colourways and in four sizes.
- £215 / international pricing TBC
Park Tool CM-25 professional chain scrubber
If you’re a fan of a clean drivetrain and give your chain scrubber plenty of abuse then perhaps it’s time you upgraded to something longer lasting. Park’s CM-25 could be just the ticket.
The CM-25 is a hardy workshop-standard alternative to Park’s plastic Cyclone chain cleaner.
The tool’s hardy die-cast aluminium casing and removable handle are built for years of abuse, while the easily replaceable brush/sponge cartridge means the CM-25 is 100 percent serviceable.
- £79.99 / $98.95 / AU$TBC
Black Mamba industrial strength workshop gloves
Ever finish a workshop job with dirty hands despite wearing gloves? Cheaper disposable gloves have a nasty habit of leaving you exposed at the most difficult of times.
For those willing to spend the cash, these nitrile gloves promise durable protection for the hands. In fact, Black Mamba designed these specifically to be the "toughest disposable glove on the market today."
To achieve this, Black Mamba has made these three times as thick as regular disposable gloves. They’re also textured to provide additional grip.
We’ll keep you posted on how we get on with them.
- £3.99 for pack of 8 / international pricing TBC
Porcelain Rocket Albert seatpack
The 450g Albert from Porcelain Rocket is a dropper post-specific seatpack system. Arriving with most of the hardware required to fit to the majority of dropper posts out there, it’s also ideal for those who run a suspension post or don’t have the clearance for most conventional seatpacks.
The Albert’s waterproof drybag offers nine litres of storage but has a weight limit of 2.25kg / 5l. it’s also easily removed should you want to separate it from the Albert’s chromoly mini-rack.
If tartan isn’t your thing then several other fabric finishes are available.
- CAD$225/ international pricing TBC
New road bike products
Remember graphene, the wonder material that promised to revolutionise... everything? Well, someone has finally built a bike using it.
The Interceptor is made in the
Built up with Campagnolo Super Record EPS and Bora One 50mm carbon clinchers, this particular bike weighs 7.05kg on our scales.
Just 25 Interceptors are being made and all but seven have already been sold at the time of writing. The bike is expected to pave the way for larger scale production of frames and Dassi CEO Stuart Abbott is something of an evangelist for graphene, believing that he's within sight of a 500g aero frame using the stuff.
Dassi is also experimenting with more elaborate applications for graphene, exploiting its many interesting properties (extreme conductivity, hydrophobia...) to produce truly futuristic bikes.
- Frameset: £5,995 / $7,358 / AU$9,714
Mr. Men cycling
Are you best known for your terrible personality? Does your family need a gift idea? Featuring perhaps the least likeable of author Roger Hargreaves' Mr. Men characters, this summer cycling jersey has the regulation three rear pockets, plus one with a zip for your keys.
If cantankerousness is not your defining personality trait, other characters are available too, as is a range of Little Miss clothing for the ladies.
- £39.95 / $49 / AU$65
Silca Italian Army Knife Nove multitool
The only two rules we have about tools are that 1) you can never have too many of them and 2) you'll never regret buying good quality ones.
Reanimated brand Silca has impressed us over and over with its extremely high quality workshop equipment (remember that hideously expensive pump?) and the Italian Army Knife Nove looks to be a really nice little tool.
Measuring roughly 73x34x12mm, it includes the most common Allen keys (2/3/4/5/6/8mm) along with a T25 Torx, a Phillips PH2 and a flat-bladed screwdriver. The lovely machined side plates include magnetic missing-link holders and the tool weighs 79g.
- £30 / $26 / AU$TBC
Xplova X5 GPS computer
It's now the norm for cyclists to record their rides using GPS computers and the range of units on offer has exploded.
Taiwanese manufacturer Xplova has come to the party with the X5, a versatile device with a colour touchscreen that offers all the usual metrics along with navigation. More unusually, there's a forward-facing, wide-angle video camera integrated into the unit that's designed to record clips of up to a maximum of nine seconds in length.
The unit can be configured to film when certain conditions are met (e.g. passing a heart rate threshold), the idea being to compile a sort of video story of your ride, rather than simply to record the whole thing.
It doesn't end there however, as 3G connectivity (with a sim card) adds the ability to connect to other riders' devices or upload rides directly to Xplova's own logging service. (We're pretty sure it'll work with Strava and other services too, but are in the process of ironing out technical issues to achieve this...)
The unit weighs 120g, plus a handful for the included Garmin-style out-front mount, and it measures roughly 110x61x22mm (including the protruding section that engages with the mount).
- £429/ $500 / AU$TBC
Ever find yourself in a situation where you want to carry a drink, but not the empty bottle when you're done with it? The Quick Stow Flask is what you need. This 500ml bladder-cum-bottle rolls up to a fraction of its filled size once it's empty and it weighs just 39g.
The nozzle looks like a hybrid between the proven 'Jet Valve' of the universally popular Podium and the bite valves found on the company's hydration packs. An insulated 'Chill' version will also available.
- Price TBC
- www.camelbak.com (not yet on website)
Elite Turacio insulated water bottle
Keeping with the hydration theme, if you’re not the type of rider to be thwarted by frigid winter weather the Elite Turacio water bottle might be for you.
This double-walled bottle uses a layer of natural cork to provide flexible insulation that will keep the contents from freezing for up to three hours.
The Turacio has a 500ml capacity and uses a lid with an on-off valve to prevent spillage.
- £15 / $22 / AU$ 30