As always, we've had a fun and busy week here at BikeRadar. If you like dogs check out our Poppy the trail dog review, "the compact, short-travel enduro hound". Elsewhere we've had Instagram takeovers by pro cyclist Tiffany Cromwell and Hope Tech brand manager Racheal Walker, to help promote International Women's Day. And of course there's been lots of shiny new road and mountain products arriving, so sit back, grab a cup of tea and have a look through out weekly 11-speed.
New mountain bike products
Burgtec Ride Wide Carbon Trail handlebars
What do you need in a decent trail handlebar? It needs to be fairly wide, light-ish and have a comfortable amount of sweep.
Burgtec’s Ride Wide Carbon Trail handlebars fit the bill perfectly; 760mm wide, 20mm rise, 9-degree backsweep and 5-degree upsweep. They’re fairly light at 216g too and look the part with a rather tasty carbon finish.
There's no pricing yet for this bar on the Burgtec website, but if they're anything like Burgtec's other carbon bars they should represent decent value for money.
Specialized Butcher 2.6 tyre
Trends come and go in mountain biking, but one trend that we don’t see fading away is wider tyres. It looks like Specialized agrees as we’ve just got our hands on this 2.6 inch version of its popular Butcher tyre.
The tyre sits between a 3-inch plus tyre and a 2.4-inch regular tyre, so should hopefully provide some benefits of both standards. It weighs a competitive 980g and if it’s anything like the smaller Butcher tyres it shouldn’t be too pricey.
- £N/A / $N/A / AU$N/A
Burgtec – The Cloud Saddle
In the age of social media, riders are all about doing big epic rides, then uploading them to Instagram for the all-important likes. So Burgtec has designed a saddle to meet those demands and it’s called the cloud — we suspect referencing the fact that riding one will feel like floating on said cloud.
This model features Cromo rails and a plastic base, so shouldn’t be too hard on the wallet. Weighing in at 261g it’s pretty light too.
- £N/A / $N/A / AU$N/A
Kitsbow Adjustable A/M Shorts
Mountain biking isn’t always about gaudy kits, and California-based Kitsbow has made it its mission to bring some style to your riding wardrobe.
The Adjustable A/M shorts are made from thin Schoeller-shape softshell fabric with a tailored cut that’s designed more for XC and general trail riding than out-right downhill shredding.
The shorts have a bunch of neat features including a RiRi Slider Snap buckle, magnetic snap enclosures on the rear pockets and almost hidden zippers that keep the shorts looking clean.
The shorts also include buckles on each side of the hip that allow for an inch of adjustment to dial in the perfect fit.
The style, comfort and performance trifecta usually come at a price and these aren’t an exception. Though the obvious attention to detail from Kitsbow might make the price tag a little less difficult to swallow. Maybe.
- $285 / €253.65 / £N/A / AUS$N/A
What looks like a buoyancy aid for learning to swim is in actual fact an inner-tyre suspension system designed to act as a two-part means of getting more performance from your tyres.
The CushCore foam inserts act as a damper that claims to dissipate energy on the bigger hits while also helping maintain tyre shape through cornering and thus eliminating tyre burps. Other claimed benefits are flat prevention, rim protection and lower rolling resistance.
While the entire system is compatible with a tubeless set up, CushCore comes with its own proprietary valves.
Each foam insert weighed in, on our scales, at 249g in the 27.5 sizing.
- $149 (international shipping is $52) / £N/A / AUS$N/A
New road bike products
Cateye Rapid X2 and X3
Here in Australia, those early morning and après work rides are becoming increasingly darker, and with more time spent on the road at dawn and dusk, getting drivers attention is paramount.
Cateye’s Rapid X2 and X3 front lights utilize strip LEDs, six brightness and flashing modes, and a wide beam shape to provide visibility both day and night. The Radix X2 features one strip LED and is rated to 100 lumens while the X3 features two strip LEDs and is rated to 200 lumens.
Quite cool, the LEDs on the X3 are independent of each other meaning you can have one set to high and the other to one of the flashing modes, or both set to different flashing modes if you’re going for the full dance party effect.
Both lights run off of USB rechargeable Lithium Ion batteries and are claimed to last up to 30 hours.
The Rapid X lights come with two rubber band mounts and are said to fit bars, fork blades and head tubes up to 32 mm.
- Rapid X2: £45 / $50 / AU$90
- Rapid X3: £60 / $60 / AU$80
Yanco Pads Bike Bags
Bikes bags are cool but custom bike bags are cooler and none come much cooler than Yanco Bags.
One-man-band bag builder Yanco Javier sent us this trio of a handlebar bag, bottle bag and a phone pouch all in what this writer thinks (mostly because I chose it) is an awesome digital camo-style Cordura fabric.
Yanco has collaborated with some stylish companies including Silca, The Radavist and The Athletic and accommodates custom requests if your portable storage requirements nudge over into something a little different.
We’ve got some adventurous days out planned for these bags so stay tuned for a full review.
- Bar bags: £N/A / $100 / AU$N/A
- Bottle bags: £N/A / $65 / AU$N/A
- Pouch: £N/A / $35 / AU$N/A
Whitstable T-Shirt Company – T-shirts
Whitstable T-Shirt Company handprints its T-shirts in…. you guessed it, the seaside town of Whitstable, United Kingdom.
Its tasteful (for cycling T-shirts) designs are based around cycling with a nod towards famous races and monuments of the sport. The quality feels great and at £22.99 per T-shirt, don’t cost an arm and a leg.
Whitstable ship internationally and offer good discounts if you order more than one product.
- £22.99/ $N/A / AU$N/A
Blackburn Click USB
Blackburn’s click USB is about as simple as it gets when it comes to small tail lights.
Tipping our scales at 18g the light is controlled by physically pressing on the lens of the light to turn it on or off and to move through the two flashing modes, high and flash. Despite the name, our test sample doesn’t actually ‘click’ when you push on the lens.
The light’s dual LEDs are rated at 20 lumens and powered by a micro-USB rechargeable lithium polymer battery that’s claimed to last 1.5 hours on high mode and three hours on flash. Blackburn also says it has built-in design features to channel a bright hit of light to each side for enhanced side-on visibility too.
It’s rated waterproof to an IP-65 standard and utilizes a rubber band mount that is compatible with any round seatpost.
- £18 / $18 / AU$35
Cycliq, the makers of front and rear HD camera light combos, has sent over the production version of its latest Duo mount which was successfully funded on Kickstarter back in December.
We previously looked at the prototype mount, but the production version sees a new ‘quick bolt’ and the tolerances on the camera/light mounting legs seem to have been loosened slightly, which makes it considerably easier to attach the Fly12 or other lights and cameras with a GoPro Style mounting interface.
The mount itself is made from 7075 aluminium and comes with interchangeable computer mounting caps for Garmin, Wahoo, Polar, Cateye and Mio/Magellan units.
- £55 / $64 / AU$89
Mindshift rotation180 Horizon 34l
Here at BikeRadar we’re always toting camera gear into the woods or up winding climbs to grab shots of the gear we are testing in action. The trouble is, with the majority of camera bags, whether they be rear or side access, is you have to take them off to get to your camera.
Mindshift, the outdoor and adventure division of camera bag brand Think Tank, has come up with an interesting solution to this problem with its rotation180 packs.
For these bags, the camera insert is actually attached to the hip belt, which as the name suggests, rotates around your waist — the process takes all of 15 seconds and means you don’t have to take your pack off to access your camera.
To prevent the insert from slipping out of the bag at inopportune moments, there is a flap governed by a magnetic flap affectionately called the Fiddlock.
The trade off is that the camera insert itself is quite small, but there is still enough room for a Canon 5D MKIII with a short zoom lens attached, like the Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8, as well as a second similarly sized zoom or prime lens.
There is also a dedicated hydration bladder pocket complete with routing for the tube as well as attachment points galore for things like tripods and a good chunk of storage in the top of the bag for extra layers, snacks and more.
- £229 / $260 / AU$340