In another fun-filled week here at BikeRadar we've riled the purists by questioning the feasibility of fitting fairings to our bicycles. We also caught up with ex-pro Phil Gaimon whose targeting Strava KOMs with one very funky bike.
Another story that got people talking was Jack Luke's experiments with mismatched wheel sizes for gravel riding. That's enough news, here's some shiny stuff.
K-Edge Race mount
Out-in-front mounts seem to be the preferred choice of most riders nowadays, and K-Edge’s anodised alloy mounts are as sturdy as they come.
Weighing just 32g by our scales, the low profile mount comes in black, red, blue and red/blue and is available with Wahoo and Garmin inserts — the Edge 1000 won’t fit.
The inserts are designed to break away in a crash as to not damage the mounting wings on the back of the computer, and replacements are available for £5 / $5 / AU$10.
We’ve got the Wahoo version and as you can see, it doesn’t quite integrate with the new Bolt as cleanly as the brand's own plastic mount does, but it definitely looks better from the top in our opinion
- £55 / €TBC / $55 / AU$77
Madison 77 limited edition cycling kit
Believe it or not, Madison has been making cycling clothing for 40 years and it is celebrating this with a limited edition kit for both MTB and road. We’ve got our hands on the MTB series, which is based on its Flux collection.
This is its highly breathable, ultra-light fabric range designed for hot days in the saddle.
For mountain bike kit we think it strikes a nice balance between race pyjamas and a more subtle, paired down design. Prices aren’t available yet, but being Madison it should represent good value for money.
- £N/A / $N/A / AU$N/A
Michelin Force XC tyre
Tyre giant Michelin has recently revamped its whole off-road range with a variety of new acronyms and phrases, such as Gum – X3D and Cross Shield Technology.
This Force XC model is a mixed terrain intermediate XC tyre, so is designed to handle a wide range of conditions bar deep mud.
It comes in a relatively wide 2.25 and weighs 698g on the BikeRadar scales of truth. In an ideal world we'd like to see a 2.35 size as well, but you can't have everything.
The Cross Shield protection on the sidewall feels tough, so we’re hoping they will be durable as well as fast.
- £33.99 / $N/A / AU$N/A
Syncros Trail Fender
The Syncros Trail Fender is one of those neat little mudguards that fits on to the back of your forks. What makes it stand out is that it’s direct mount via two bolts.
This means easy removal and none of those ungainly zip ties to worry about.
Like every other cycling product on the planet, it’s made form a material that balances stiffness and durability. Unfortunately it will only fit Fox 34 and 36 Boost forks, but here’s hoping for some new sizes soon.
- £TBC / $TBC / AU$TBC
Blackburn Outpost Seat Pack
Designed in collaboration with its squad of rangers, Blackburn created the Outpost seat pack, which can carry up to 10.5l and 4.5kg of stuff.
The bag itself is a dry bag and holster system, the size of which can be adjusted depending on how much gear you’re bringing with you and your mastery of Tetris.
Attaching the bag to the bike utilises two hook and loop straps that attach to the seatpost and a pretty standard saddle rail attachment.
The dry bag itself is about medium weight and should stand up to some abuse. It’s tapered to fit nicely in the holster and sees a plastic D-Ring on the buckle closure should you want to use it as a bear bag. You can also use a third party dry bag should you choose.
At the back, the Outpost pack sees two rows of daisy chains should you want to attach a rear light or something else to the bag.
- £70 / €TBC / $120 / AU$150
Melbourne-based outfit, Pedla has just sent over the latest edition to its Full Gas jersey range, the Pedla Full Gas LunaAIR / Core Jersey
The bulk of the jersey is made from what Pedla calls LunaAir fabric, which is extremely lightweight, perforated, soft to the touch, and quite stretchy.
The sleeves are made from lightweight mesh and almost reach your elbow.
Both fabrics are said to offer UV 50+ protection, so there shouldn't be any embarrassing sunburns a la Chris Froome.
There are also three reinforced rear pockets, a reflective rear stripe, and a full-length YKK zipper.
Pedla has also sent over its SuperFIT G+ bibshorts.
With a seamless non-stitched cuff, the gripper is embedded into the fabric and the shorts also see a CYTECH Carbonium Road Performance Chamois.
For these bibs, Pedla has opted for ‘Race Fit’ sizing, and recommends sizing up. I usually fit comfortably in a size small in Pedla's shorts, however, our test sample is a size medium.
- Pedla Full Gas LunaAIR: £117 / €135 / $151 / AU$198
- SuperFIT G+ bibshorts: £187 / €212 / $238 / AU$312
Fouriers Oversized Derailleur Cage
Oversized derailleur cages might look funky but they supposedly have some benefits.
A larger jockey wheel (in the case of this Fouriers model, a 12t upper and a 16t lower) turns less than a regular sized jockey wheel, which in turn causes less drag and therefore increases the lifespan of your chain. Not a terrible side effect by any means.
However, at a pretty hefty price tag, you definitely have to question whether it’s worth it. If saving single digit wattage could mean finishing on the top step or the next one down, then maybe it is.
This model from Fouriers weighs 63g and comes with full ceramic bearings. The cages are a mix of carbon and 6061 aluminium.
- $228 / £N/A / AU$N/A
Ridley Helium SLX
Ridley's approach to the Helium has always been to create a bike that’s a great all rounder, aiming to perfectly marry the stiffness to weight ratio. So it won’t be the lightest bike on the market, nor the stiffest, but is aimed to find an ideal middle ground between the two.
The frame itself is claimed to weigh 750g, and the Belgian brand has completely changed the tube shapes and layups — claiming the new frame to be 15 percent laterally stiffer end to end.
The Helium SLX also gets a new fork, with narrower and straighter blades than its predecessor — it's also said to be stiffer and 300g lighter too.
The new frame also sees internal cable routeing and is said to only take a 25mm tire, but we think a 28 would fit in there with no trouble.
Weighing just 6.65kg, without bottle cages or pedals, this Helium SLX is dressed to the nines with a full Shimano Dura-Ace R9170 groupset, Corima Carbon 32 rolling stock and Conti Grand-Prix 4000 II rubber.
When this bike was launched at the 2017 Tour Down Under, Adam Hansen said point blank: “the new Helium (SLX) is the best bike I have ever ridden."
Coming from a guy who makes his own shoes and develops software in his free time, that’s a big call. Luckily this bike is a long term tester so we’ve got plenty of time to make up our minds.
- £TBC / $TBC / AU$12,999
Stans No Tubes Arch S1 Wheelset
Stan’s No Tubes’ S1 wheelset range slots into its line up as the more affordable but more durable option for riders wanting the #tubelesslifestyle.
The range accommodates tyres from the narrow 2.00" all the way up to 3.50", and with familiar model names: Crest, Arch, Flow. But the range now also includes the Sentry, Baron and Major for the bigger volume plus sized tyres.
The Arch S1’s are designed for general trail riding edging into enduro.
All S1 wheelsets come built with Stan’s own Neo hubs (compatible with Boost and most axle standards), Sapim spokes and Secure Lock brass nipples.
Made from 6061 aluminium, the Arch S1’s aren’t a lightweight option but certainly feel like they’d be able to withstand a bit of a beating.
They have a claimed weight of 1,974g, but on our scales they came up at 1,960g — 922g front and 1,038g rear (XD driver but no cassette) with tubeless tape and valves in each.
- $479 / £350 / AUD$510
We’re sure you’re aware that Pirelli is a huge name in the world of car tyres, but luckily for us cyclists, Pirelli is causing quite a stir by deciding to get into the high-end bicycle tyre game as well.
Our glorious deputy editor Oli Woodman has already been out to Italy for a first ride, and initial impressions are good in the 25mm PZero Velo model he tested. But one ride never tells the whole story and we’ll be putting some serious miles on these tyres in the coming months, so keep your eyes peeled for a full review on BikeRadar.
- £N/A / €43 / $N/A / AU$N/A
Camden x KPP cycling watch
The No.88 Camden x KPP Club Kit watch comes from a collaboration between the Camden Watch Company and cyclist Kitty Pemberton-Platt.
It features cycling design cues such as a wheel spoke motif in the centre of the dial, jersey-style numbers on the face and a leather strap in vintage handlebar colours. It also comes with an extra black nylon strap to go alongside the leather one.
If you decide to go Bog Snorkelling with this watch (trust us, look this up) you’ll be glad to know it’s water resistant up to 50 metres.
Apart from that there’s not much else to say; the watch looks great, the quality seems spot on, and coming in at £169 it doesn’t cost the earth.
- £169 / $N/A / AU$N/A