As yet another Friday rolls around, we take a look at the latest and greatest products to land on the desks at BikeRadar HQ, but first let's recap on what we've been up to this week.
We're now over halfway through the final Grand Tour of the season and the summer (in the Northern Hemisphere at least) is drawing to a close. Earlier this week we took a look at the best UK bargains on smart trainers to get your winter training setup dialled before the nights draw in and those post-work evening sunset rides fade away to pitch-black commutes in the glorious winter weather.
Also this week, columnist Steven Williams pondered the question of whether lowering your gearing is a kind of failure and Josh Evans was less than impressed with the latest shades from sunglasses giant Oakley, which feature a de-fogging switch.
Black Line Sprinting VeloRacing Bag
Black Line Sprinting is a South African business specialising in cycling luggage and accessories. The VeloRacing bag is a 56-litre compartmentalised bag designed to hold kit, helmet, bottles, shoes and other accessories for race days or training.
The internal section of the bag is split up into various sections using fixed position Velcro padding, which can also be removed should you wish to use the bag without compartments.
The main zipper allows access to the top section while a lower section of zipper gives access to the bottom section when the foam separator is in position.
The VeloRacing bag features two handles and a removable shoulder strap, a protective pouch for accessories and two red drawstring bags for dirty kit or shoes once you've finished riding.
The Black Line Sprinting VeloRacing Bag is priced at $185 and includes tracked worldwide shipping.
- $185 (international pricing not available)
- Buy from Black Line Sprinting
C-Bear PF30-A bottom bracket
C-Bear is a Belgian-based ceramic bearings specialist that provides bearings upgrades to WorldTour team Lotto-Soudal.
The company produces bottom brackets, bottom bracket bearings, hub bearings, headsets and pulley wheel bearings that are designed with a focus on 'less friction', 'longevity' and 'affordable pricing'.
The company recently sent through one of its Pressfit 30 bottom brackets. For this PF30A-86 bottom bracket, C-Bear have developed a unit for use specifically with a Cannondale SuperSix Evo, which has a wider 73mm bottom bracket shell. Due to the wider shell, spacers, rings and washers are usually used to fill the extra space but C-Bear's specific offering creates a perfect pairing with just a pressfit tool and anti-seize paste. C-Bear claims this is a design-specific dimension and tight tolerances, helping to prevent any creaking.
The company offers an array of bottom bracket options covering nearly all variants, you can learn more on its website.
- Buy C-Bear bottom brackets from Sigma Sports
Profile Design Svet TT base bars
Profile Design’s specialises in products that help you slice through the wind as quickly as possible, so it’s no surprise that these base bars come with a sleek UCI compliant 3:1 wing.
It’s compatible with mechanical and electronic shifting, and this 40cm wide model weighs just 199g.
There’s also upturned brake extensions, which should aid a better position when climbing or cornering. Speaking of climbing, these bars are destined for a very special featherweight hill climb build, which we’ll be sharing more information on in the coming weeks.
- £199.99 / €249.99 / $290.99
Time XPro 15 pedals
If you want some of the lightest and most expensive pedals around then look no further than Time’s Xpro 15.
They weigh just 175g on the BikeRadar scales of truth and will set you back a cool £400 for the pair. For that you get ceramic bearings and a hollow titanium axle, which sit alongside a carbon-filled body.
The pedal stack height is low at 13.5mm and the contact surface area is a generous 725mm2. This means you shouldn’t be wasting any of your hard-earned watts through flex at the shoe/pedal interface.
Being so light means they do come with a maximum weight limit of 90kg, so perhaps it’s a pedal best left for the featherweight climbers out there.
- £399.99 / €551.99 / $N/A
dhb Aeron Lab Ultralight waterproof jacket
The latest and greatest waterproof jacket from Wiggle's in-house clothing brand dhb has been two years in the making. Available only in navy with gold accents, the slim aero fit is complemented with a high fleece lined collar, full-length zipper, underarm vents and drop rear tail to protect from any road spray.
The size medium sent to BikeRadar HQ weighed just 111g, and the thin 'three-layer' jacket can easily be packed into a jersey pocket if the weather clears up.
dhb's Aeron LAB jacket claims to have a breathability rating of 30,000g/m2/24hr and a waterproof index of 30,000mm H2O, which exceeds the waterproof rating of the highly rated Sportful Stelvio of 20,000mm H20 — although Sportful claims its range-topping waterproof is significantly more breathable at 50,000g/m2/24hr.
A fairly aggressive aero cut should prevent any unwanted flapping while riding and we look forward to seeing the jacket being put through its paces very soon.
Tacx Radar Bottle Cage
This clever side-loading bottle cage from Tacx allows users to decide which side they want the bottle to engage with.
With bolts the cage weighs in at 49g so is definitely at the heavier end of the bottle cage spectrum.
The Radar is available now with more information available from Tacx.
- £15.99 / €17.99 / $28.99
The Crashpad might look like a replacement cupboard handle but is actually designed to fit onto any M5 rear axle protecting your bike's rear derailleur in the event of a crash.
If you're not keen on carrying around the 28g while riding, the Crashpad could also be used during transport to stop your hanger getting bent.
It comes in two sizes, long (48.25mm) and short (36.25mm). The long version is suitable for all pre-2018 SRAM, Shimano and Campagnolo derailleurs while the short is for all post-2018 Shimano derailleurs.
- £12.99 / €14.99 / $18.99
Intense Sniper Trail
Intense’s new Spider model is deigned to be an XC bike with a hard charging edge. There’s no twitchy geometry here with a slack (for XC) 67.5-degree head angle for its Sniper XC model, and a 66.6-degree head angle for the Sniper Trail, which is pictured here.
The reach on the Sniper Trail is also fashionably long with a large coming in at 468mm, coupled with a 1,179mm wheelbase you’ve got one of the rowdier XC bikes available today.
This Expert model features a Fox 34 fork, SRAM GX Eagle groupset and Shimano XT brakes. It also comes with a KS LEV Ci 125mm dropper post and a claimed weight of just 25.58lbs in a size medium. This means the Sniper Trail bike should be as rapid on the descents as the climbs.
- £3,749 / €N/A / $N/A
FSE EVO 23T Super Extralite Tubular Wheels
When it comes to weight weenie wheelsets they don't come much lighter than these EVO 23T from FSE (Filament Spin Evolution).
The 25mm deep, 23.64mm wide rims are built to Extralite's Cyber SP 20/24 hubs and Sapim CX-Ray spokes.
Interestingly FSE can build up wheels with even lighter Pillar X-TRA Ti spokes, which are 2.6g each and are a full 44 percent lighter than Sapim spokes.
On the BikeRadar Scales of Truth these wheels come in at 494g for the rear and 393g for the front.
As you can imagine with wheels as light as these, FSE does note that these Extralight hubbed versions should be kept for events and race days only — hard daily training isn't recommended. They come with a 180 lbs / 81kg rider weight limit too.
These wheels are destined for the UK hill climb 2018 race season.
If you're looking for super-light wheels without this caveat, FSE also offers builds of its slightly wider 25T rims with DT Swiss 240S or its own 260SL hubs.
The EVO 23T Extralite's are available direct from FSE for $1,895 or through dealers located worldwide.
Shred Hedz handmade bobble hat
Bobble hats are underrated. They keep your head warm post-ride, they're stylish, they're cool and, of course, they're an essential part of any self-respecting cyclist's wardrobe.
Shred Hedz is a UK-based brand which hand knits 'bonce-candy' and each design and colour combination is completely unique. In fact, you can get your hat made to match your bike, your team kit, your favourite colours — whatever you like!
10 percent of the cost of the hat goes to charity too, with a range of charities supported such as UK charity the Samaritans. When you get your brand spanking new hat you also get a handy list of resources that could be useful for you or someone you know. These include details from Time to Change, Mind, Mental Health First Aid and the free suicide-prevention Stay Alive app by Grassroots.
- £25 to £30, depending on the hat
Rapha Women's 100 Souplesse Aero jersey
On Saturday 15 September, women from around the world will set out to ride 100km as part of the Rapha Women's 100.
Social groups, teams, friends, solo riders — all are welcome, and there are rides taking place everywhere from India to Australia. Local rides are all listed on the Rapha website if you're looking for one to join, and if there isn't one near you there's also the option to set up a ride.
Each year, as part of the event, Rapha creates a selection of special edition kit in a unique design. This year that design combines rich dark blue with vibrant coral and the Women's 100 logo as a repeating print.
The Women's 100 kit includes the Souplesse Aero jersey shown above, plus a Core jersey, Core bibshorts, a cap and socks.
- £130 / €155 / $180 / AU$230