Oh, hello Friday! You've been a long while coming. Nevermind, we forgive you. Just bless us with perfect riding conditions this weekend, a tail wind, cracking trails, good coffee, great company and strong legs.
- Best road bikes under £2,500 for 2018
- Should I wear underwear under my padded cycling shorts
- Tour de Suisse massive race tech gallery
If you've had a tough week, why not ease yourself into the weekend with a little whimsy and nostalgia. Ahh, those golden early years of cycling — mountain bikes with cantilever brakes, road bikes with shifters on the down tube, garish 80s colours and sun-kissed steel. Peruse to your heart's content our gallery of retro mountain bikes from the Malvern's festival.
And once you're done reminiscing, bring yourself back to the present with a selection of the newest bikes, clothes and kit to hit the BikeRadar office this week. Steel may be real, but we're forever grateful for hydraulic disc brakes.
Time Speciale Dark Grey enduro mountain bike pedals
Time describes these pedals as ‘the ultimate balance between aesthetics and performance’, and combine a 6106-T6 aluminium platform with Time’s patent-pending ATAC engagement system. The platform also takes eight pins, at each corner of the pedal, for added grip. New for these pedals is the ability to adjust the spring tension to suit your own preferences.
Time claims a weight of 202g per pedal, though we measured them in a smidge over at 204g.
This pedal is available in other colours, and should you wish for something brighter to adorn your bike, you can also choose from vibrant blue or striking red.
Cube Axial WS C:62 SL Disc Ultegra Disc women's road bike
The Ultegra-equipped (though with 105 cassette) Cube Axial is a carbon-framed, race-ready road bike designed for female riders.
Replete with aero profiling on frame tubes, flat-mounted disk brakes, Mavic Cosmic Elite wheelset and carbon finishing kit, it’s a well-put-together package for the price and comes in four sizes: 47cm, 50cm, 53cm and 56cm.
PONY Stars Collection cycling kit
PONY's new star-emblazoned range of jerseys and bib-shorts comes in four versions with two men’s outfits and two women’s outfits on offer. There's a brighter version and a darker version of each, named ‘Star Light’ and ‘Star Dark’ – see what they did there?
While $299 might seem like a lot, that covers the jersey as well as the coordinating bib shorts.
All are cut with a race fit, designed to sit close to the skin and support the muscles.
Shimano Ultegra RD+ RX800 derailleur
Feel the call of the wild? Does tarmac no longer tickle your fancy? Longing for a bit of rough?
We’ve got a piece of equipment you’re going to love.
Well, maybe. It’s the new Shimano Ultegra RX derailleur, designed for those with a penchant for gravel and adventure. It features a mechanism that stops the chain bouncing around when you ride over uneven surfaces, which will already be familiar to many mountain bikers.
Does it work? Well, as it happens two members of the BikeRadar US team gave it a thorough test at the 2018 edition of the Dirty Kanza.
Interestingly Shimano claim a weight of 248g, but we had a significantly lower weight of 223g.
- £89.99 / $109.99
- Buy now from Sigma Sports
Ere Research Genus tubeless road tyre
The Genus is Ere Research’s dedicated road-racing tyre, and is available in 24, 26 and 28mm sizes with tubeless or clincher options. We bagged a pair of the 26mm tubeless variant and were happy to see them arrive with a 48mm tubeless valve, a small bottle of tubeless sealant and a valve extender already in the box.
The smooth central tread is formed from 65a durometer rubber that’s mated to a 120tpi casing with a folding aramid bead. We measured our test tyres in at 262g each, that’s 7g over their claimed weight, but remains competitive amongst competitor tyres from the likes of Schwalbe and Pirelli and are significantly lighter than more robust tubeless tyres such as Hutchinson’s Fusion 5.
- £67.50 / €70
- Buy now from Senditgear
SQlab ONE12 bib shorts
Some chamois pads can end up feeling a bit like a nappy, and that’s exactly what the special pad in SQlab’s ONE12 bibs is designed to prevent.
The SQ-Pad inside measures only 4mm at its thickest and is very firm to the touch, in places it has just a couple of millimetres of depth.
Elsewhere the bibs feature the usual elastic cuffs, flatlock stitching and strategically placed breathable mesh material.
We’re looking forward to seeing if that suspiciously thin pad can live up to the claims.
- £167.99 / €189.95
- Buy now from Rose Bikes
Brooks Harrier helmet
A lot of people still don’t realise that Brooks make helmets, and that’s kind of a shame because the Harrier has really impressed us in the few months we’ve been testing it.
Its clean retro styling is a nice change from some of the shapes we’ve become accustomed to. Don’t go thinking this isn’t a technical piece of kit either, there’s plenty of ventilation, comfortable straps and an effective retention system. At 299g its weight is reasonable too.
Wondering how a saddle manufacturer gained all this technical know-how? A little sticker inside the helmet shows the Harrier is actually made by Italian brand Kask.
- £129 / $200
- Buy the Brooks Harrier helmet from Wiggle
USE Ultimate 35 Vyce stem
The Ultimate 35 Vyce does things a little differently from most stems by using a single wedge to clamp both the handlebar and steerer. Its design differs a little from the 31.8mm clamp version of this stem, which uses just one bolt.
It's available in 40mm and 50mm lengths, our sample is the former. At 108g it’s considerably lighter than most competitors.
It’s no surprise that this plays nicely with USE’s 35mm Boom carbon handlebar, which is a 203g part that's 800mm in width with 30mm of rise, a 7.5 degree backsweep and 5 degrees of upsweep.
Pearl Izumi P.R.O Leader V4 shoes
This is Pearl Izumi’s stiffest, lightest and most breathable shoe to date. Two BOA dials allow for +/-1mm of adjustability to the composite uppers, which are joined to the carbon soles via a unibody construction. This makes for an extra-low stack height of just 5mm.
Electroplating gives the soles of these shoes a unique finish that’s reminiscent of the ChromaFlair flip paint that was popular on modified cars in the late 90s.
In Oli’s clown-like size 48s these weigh 682g for the pair.
Manitou Mattoc Pro fork
The Mattoc Pro is an air-sprung fork from Manitou that undercuts a lot of options in its segment. There's no missing this fork with Manitou's longstanding and distinctive reverse arch design and matte-red finish.
It's a 160mm travel fork that's internally adjustable down to either 150mm or 140mm. Inside there's Manitou's Dorado air spring and a new Multi Control Compression damper unit that provides external low and high-speed compression adjustment, as well as a dial to alter the fork's hydraulic bottom out. This Boost 27.5in model even comes with its own bolt-on mudguard.
Our test sample came in at 1,832g.
Douchebags Savage bike case
With an internal roll cage the Savage from Douchebags aims to combine the best features of soft- and hard-shell bike cases. It's said to work with any bike but will require an adaptor to work with road bikes.
At 11.8kg / 26lbs it's hardly light and there's no denying that the price makes this a serious investment, but that's not stopped the company from selling out of all of its pre-ordered Savage cases.
MBUK's Ed is testing one out and it'll be in the typically uncareful hands of baggage handlers next week — we'll keep you posted on how he gets along with it.