The darling buds of May have sprung forth, and the cycling world has also sprung forth into a new season of racing, riding and generally going around on bikes.
- Bike of the Year 2018 contenders and category winners
- Time-trial tech gallery from the Tour of California
This time of year is always encouraging. For the southern hemisphere, it promises welcome relief from the heat of summer, and for the north, the hope that there might actually be a summer at some point in 2018.
This week, as well as the usual carbon-rich pickings, there are one or two slightly more whimsical offerings. So, if this tickles your fancy, why not relax with a cup of the hot beverage of your choice for a few minutes.
Shimano Dura-Ace R9170 wheelset
Shimano promises 'pro-tour confidence and performance' with its Dura-Ace wheelset, or to give it it's full name, the Dura-Ace WH R9170 C40 TL F12 wheelset... but we're just going to refer to it as 'the wheelset' for today.
The set features full carbon rims with a 12mm thru-axle and takes centre-lock disc brakes. It's also tubeless-ready and can take between a 23mm and a chunky 32mm tyre.
- Pricing is currently TBC
Electra custom bell
Life is too short for boring bells, so here’s one that’s peppered with colourful hearts, a sassy unicorn and metallic sparkles.
This glistening accessory not only looks the part, but will alert other riders of your presence with a single swipe of the thumb.
- £8.99 / $11.99
Pedal Plate Adapter
Clipless road pedals sure work great, but they’re not always ideal for inexperienced riders or more casual rides.
Enter the 42g Pedal Player adapters, which convert SPD-SL or Look pedals into a small pair of flats.
These definitely aren’t for everyone, but could be ideal for when you want to leave your cycling shoes at home, or if someone has to borrow your bike at short notice.
The Pedal Plates have been revised since the mk1 versions we saw last summer, with claimed improvements to grip and a lifetime guarantee. They’re also made from 100 percent recycled material.
Dakine Hot Laps 5L lumbar pack
The days of heavy, sweaty and uncomfortable packs could well be behind us thanks to an increase in nifty lumbar packs such as this one.
This is the largest of the four-bag Hot Laps range from Dakine, making it ideal for those who are switching from a larger bag.
Inside there’s a 2-litre Hydrapak reservoir included, as well as enough room to carry all of your trail essentials in a particularly organised fashion.
The front straps will happily secure knee pads or an outer layer but cinch up discretely when not in use. Similarly, the side straps mean the bag still sits close when you’re carrying less gear or fluid.
Clever touches like the magnetic hose buckle, fleece-lined protective phone pocket and light strap really set this apart from similar packs.
- £55 / $70
Chrome DIMA 2.0 shoes
Have you ever seen cycling shoes that look quite this casual? No, we hadn’t either.
The DIMA 2s from Chrome Industries aren’t particularly stiff at the sole, and they definitely won’t mould to your feet if you pop them in the oven, but they do a good job of pretending to not be a shoe for pedal pushers. In fact, aside from the tiny reflective tab at the back, there’s no giving away their cycling origins.
Our homegrown fashionista Jack Luke will soon be taking these puppies for a walk on the streets of BS1, so don’t be surprised if stock becomes scarce.
Blackburn Outpost Rear Pannier Rack
Created using Easton scandium tubing, the 653g Outpost is one of the lightest racks of its kind.
Low and high rails give you a choice of where to hang your panniers, while a light/reflector loop at the back aids integration. Despite its lack of heft, it’s good for hauling 25kg/55lbs of luggage.
Unfortunately our test rack did arrive with something rattling around inside its tubes, which is something that really should’ve been picked up by Blackburn’s quality control — thankfully this one is destined on the back of Jack Luke’s tandem, meaning its tormenting rattles will be placed out of earshot.
- £110 / $125
Kask Utopia Team Sky edition
Our 256g size medium sample came in at 4g under its claimed weight, putting it ahead of the Specialized S-Works Evade II in terms of weight, but the Utopia still holds a weight penalty over MET's Trenta 3K and the POC Octal.
For more information on this helmet check out our earlier news article.
- Price is TBA
Endura Triangulate limited edition kit
This funky triangulate kit is part of a special edition “break the pattern” range from Endura. If coloured triangles are your thing then nothing else is going to come close.
Colours aside, this kit features the same athletic cut and rapid wicking Italian fabrics that Endura uses for its Movistar and Cervélo Bigla WorldTour teams. A similar women’s version is also available.
- Endura men's Triangulate jersey: £69.99 buy it now from Evans Cycles
- Endura men's Triangulate bib short: £84.99 buy it now from Evans Cycles
- Endura men's Triangulate socks: £12.99 buy it now from Evans Cycles
Keo Blade Carbon André Greipel signature series pedals
If you like your pedals with an added dose of pro cyclist, then these Keo Blade Carbon pedals from Look, emblazoned with the ferocious logo of pro rider André Greipel, will certainly catch your eye and may well motivate your riding.
The pedal has been redesigned to improve aerodynamics and reduce drag, and Look claims its has the best power to weight ration of any pedal in its class.
The Keo Blade Carbon pedals come with two spindle options. The Titanium spindle version has a claimed weight of 95g per pedal, while the CroMo version we have here has a claimed weight of 110g per pedal, though on our scales they came up slightly heavier at 117g per pedal.
- £167.99 / 149.95
- Buy the Look Keo Blade Carbon Andre Greipel pedals from Merlin Cycles
- Buy the Look Keo Blade Carbon Andre Greipel pedals from Cycles Et Sports
Orange Stage 6 Factory mountain bike
Oh hello, shiny new Orange Stage 6 Factory.
The test team are getting ready to take this Hope-bedecked, enduro-ready 29er with 160/150mm of travel and single-pivot efficiency out for a thorough testing.
If you're not a fan of the black and orange version pictured here, fret not... there are a whopping 10 frame colour options.
Easton EC90 Aero handlebars and EC90 SL stem
Smooth, silky carbon, engineered aerodynamic shape. For the fans of fast and light out there, say hello to the new EC90 Aero handlebars and EC90 SL stem from Easton.
The handlebars come in three widths: 40cm, 42cm and 44cm, with an 80mm reach and a 125mm drop. Easton says it has improved the wing top section for better comfort and flared bar-ends to give clearance for sprinting.
On the stem side of things, Easton claims that the EC90 SL stem, which combines carbon with titanium hardware, is strong enough to stand up to cyclocross and mountain bike racing as well as the rigours of multi-day stage races.
As the bars and stem are partly set, and are about to head out on a test, we weighed them together, which came in at 371g for the pair.
- EC90 Aero handlebars: £259.99
- EC90 SL Stem: £229.99
- Buy the EC90 SL Stem from Wiggle or Chain Reaction Cycles
- Buy the Easton EC90 Aero handlebars from Silverfish