This has been something of a weird news week, and the cycling world is no different.
We've had the news that Strava users may have been accidentally giving away the location of secret military bases, heard about the gravel bike that isn't really a gravel bike, and that heavy-duty automotive degreaser can be used on bikes (provided you are a pro mechanic with access to plenty of spare parts). Also in the news were nose magnets and a bike we just weren't expecting from an established Italian brand.
- The Sufferfest Training Centre App review
- 11 clever hacks of WorldTour race mechanics
- Canyon Spectral AL 6.0 first look
And the weirdness isn't confined to the news. For example, would you ride a bike with a stem attached to the forks?
To be honest, it's making us want to get away from it all and ride our bikes somewhere in solitude and peace. Apparently there's no place like Wales for this... but you need to watch out for the sheep.
So roll on the weekend and, in the meantime, take a break from the strangeness of modern life to peruse this week's selection of new bike goods.
We’ve already had a look at Colnago’s new hybrid e-bike, but the brand also recently released its E2.01 e-hardtail.
The incredibly chunky alloy frame looks pretty damn unique, with a head and down tube chunkier than nearly anything we’ve seen before.
The bike has a Shimano XT M8000 drivetrain and Bosch Performance CX motor, but we can’t help but feel the skinny Reba fork up front is a bit of an odd choice given the heft of the bike.
- £4,699.95, international pricing and availability TBC
Race Face Cinch power meter spindle
Training, racing and riding with power — it's already well established in the world of skinny rubber, and it's creeping into the knobbly rubber world too. The CINCH power meter spindle from Race Face has been designed for XC and enduro racing and boasts a claimed accuracy of +/- 2 percent.
It offers cadence and pedal efficiency data, has Bluetooth and ANT+, a claimed battery life of 400 hours plus, a paired app suitable for iPhone and Android systems and is USB rechargeable.
We're looking forward to seeing how it performs... watch this space!
- £759 / $599 / AU$TBC
- Buy the Race Face Cinch power meter spindle from Jenson USA
Funn Ripper MTB pedals
Newly landed on the BikeRadar desks are these pedals from Funn. The Ripper pedals are dual-sided cleat pedals with a large platform (93mm x 100mm x 21mm) and optional pins.
The Rippers have a spring-loaded engagement system which, Funn says, improves the smoothness of SPD cleat engagement action.
A CroMo axle forms the base with sleeve bushing and cartridge bearings, and there's a CNC-machined aluminium body. We measured them at 557g per pair, minus studs.
You can pop your studs in to suit your riding preference (eight per pedal, four per side), and there are six colours to choose from including this rather sunny orange shade.
- £TBC / $149 / AU$TBC
Evoc Stage 3L rucksack
If you like your rucksacks minimalist, and just big enough to carry water and a few essentials, then the compact Stage 3L rucksack is a rather good-looking option.
Available in new colours including dark grey and green, yellow and khaki or good-old plain black, it comes with a 2-litre water reservoir.
Evoc says that this bag is aimed at riders who race in intense or hot conditions, and it has a number of features designed to keep you as cool and comfortable as possible.
The back of the bag has shaped foam panels underneath a mesh panel that sits in contact with the rider's back. Both features are designed to keep the main body of the rucksack away from the body to allow airflow, and to provide cushioning and comfort.
Shoulder straps feature a 'brace-link', which is a connection that allows the top of the strap to move independently from the bag — again to optimise comfort.
- £104.95 / $130 / AU$TBC
Liv Langma Advanced Pro Disc
This new disc brake version was released after the Adanced SL 0 and sits at the mid-range point in terms of price. It features the same geometry and a slightly lower-priced carbon Advanced frame.
While disc brakes are increasingly popular, not least because of their excellent stopping power, one downside is that the hoods tend to be on the chunky side, as is the case here, which can be uncomfortable for some riders with smaller hands
While the Langma Advanced SL 0 weighs an extraordinarily light 6.48kg for the medium sized bike, the Advanced Pro Disc weighs heavier at 7.84kg due in part to the increased weight of those disc brakes. It comes with Shimano Ultegra, flat mounted hydraulic disc brakes and Giant finishing kit, including the SLR 1 wheelset.
Incidentally, it's part of our women's Bike of the Year test, so keep your eyes peeled for updates!
- £2,999 / £3,315 / AU$4,699
Ashmei women's road cycling kit
For riders who prefer a natural-feeling fabric next to the skin, the soft Merino of the Ashmei Classic Jersey will be right up their street.
The British-based company produces cycling and running kit for women and men and was launched six years ago by a keen cyclist and runner with extensive experience as a product designer for brands such as Rapha and The North Face.
The look of the range is smart and understated. Ashmei has several new women's specific items currently in development too with plans to expand its offering.
Spot the price point and you'll see that Ashmei gear is not a budget option, but with the tagline "outperforming the best" the focus here is clearly on performance and premium technical fabrics. That's a strong claim that we're definitely going to put to the test!
The Classic Jersey is constructed from a technical Merino fabric that's woven with carbon, which is designed to aid the wicking and breathability properties of the material.
The jersey features a full-length zip opening with a soft jacket at the top to prevent chaffing on the neck or chin, raglan-cut short sleeves and a drop tail with a reflective strip around the seam, and silicone gripper dots inside to help keep things in place.
At the rear there are two large pockets, one narrow pocket for a pump, and a zipped pocket for valuables, plus a little hook for keeping headphones or a race radio cable in place.
Ashmei also produces a range of accessories including a long, soft neck gaiter and some cosy socks, made from the same Merino/carbon mix fabric as the jersey. These are available in colours designed to coordinate, mix and match across the range.
- Classic jersey: £119
- Chequered Merino sock: £15
- Neck gaiter: £30
Renthal Fatbar Lite... now in black
For fans of Renthal bars who prefer all black everything, rejoice, for the company has just released a black version of its popular Fatbar Lite. While carbon handlebars were offered in both black and the traditional Renthal gold, this is a new addition to the alloy bar lineup.
There are a few different width and rise options, and the bars we've got our grubby little mitts on are 760mm wide with a 20mm rise, 5-degree upsweep and 7-degree back sweep.
Renthal claims the bars weigh in at 280g, and we got 279g when we popped them on the scales — so pretty damn good.
We're waiting on the prices and availability on the new black bars, but rest assured we'll be putting them through their paces!
- International pricing TBC
FHOSS Illuminated Signalling saddle bag
Imagine the scenario: you're cycling down the street in an urban environment, and you need to indicate that you're about to turn right. You can (and should) use the appropriate hand signals, but if you want something akin to an indicator designed for bikes, FHOSS has your back.
The company has developed a saddle bag in a bright orange shade with a handy additional feature: a lighting panel on the back that, with the flick of a handlebar-mounted control switch, will display a left or right arrow, as well as a forward arrow and an exclamation point stop sign.
One problem that's sprung immediately to mind is that the controller doesn't give you any sign of what the light on the bag is actually doing, so you have to assume you've pressed the right button, and that you've remembered to switch it off again once you're done indicating.
The buttons are also fairly small and require reaching with one hand or the other, which may make hand signalling tricky to coordinate.
But, if you're all for more lights combined with what's actually a rather spacious saddle bag, this could be just the ticket.
- £39.99 (currently only available in the UK)
Lake MXZ 200 clipless mountain bike walking boots
These boots from Lake, which combine the features of a rugged outdoor walking boot, the insulation of a cold weather boot, and the two-bolt cleat system of a mountain bike shoe, are a fairly niche product. But the chances are that a few of you out there are thinking 'yes! This is just what I've been looking for!'
Aesthetically they look like a fairly traditional pair of walking boots, with a waterproof leather last that's designed to be big enough to accommodate thick socks without affecting circulation, and a Thinsulate insulating layer to help keep the heat in when out in the cold. There's a chunky Vibram sole too.
- £TBC / $249.99 / AU$TBC
The Safety Pizza
We featured the Safety Pizza a few months back and have finally got one in to try out.
Jack has been bouncing around on his Surly Steamroller test bike with the shiny ‘za in tow for a few weeks now and has received no end of abuse/compliments about this unique addition.
Even if it does look completely ridiculous, there’s no doubt it improves visibility and we think that’s never a bad thing.
Cane Creek Ergo bar ends
We continue to be baffled by how large a portion of our audience exudes unbridled enthusiasm for bar ends.
Bafflement aside, we’re ultimately here to serve you, dear reader, so you’ll be delighted to hear that Cane Creek recently sent us a set of its newly re-introduced Egrogrip II bar ends.
The legendary Ergogrip bar ends have been out of production for a few years now, but have been brought back due to popular demand.
They’ve lost the distinctive signature Cane Creek Lizard pattern, but retain the classic stubby shape of the previous generation.
- Pricing and availability TBC