It’s the first Friday of November, so by now all the Halloween frights should be out of your system and you’re ready to join us on that joyous march up to Christmas. There’s really no putting it off now.
If you’re scratching your head over what to buy your loved ones, we’ve got you covered. As long as your loved ones are cyclists, of course. If they’re not, we’re so sorry. So, whether you’re looking for stocking stuffers, tacky themed jerseys, kids’ bikes for Santa to deliver, or what to buy the cyclist who has everything, there’s going to be something for you in our Christmas gift buying guides.
Jack Luke is adventure-ready now too, thanks to Rapha, and if you just can’t wait for the official BikeRadar release of this week’s instalment of the Hill Climb Diaries, then check out all of the previous episodes on our YouTube channel.
Meanwhile, here are a few things that landed at HQ this week.
- The best Black Friday 2018 deals for cyclists
- Improved geometry and increased value for money — 2019 Vitus mountain bike range
Rimpact #SendNoodz Tyre Inserts
Now there’s a new kid on the block called Rimpact, whose cutely named #SendNoodz — an homage to its pool noodle beginnings — claim to be the perfect density to deaden vibration, and absorb and dissipate force, to keep your tyres seated and prevent flats.
All at £29.99 as well, which makes them a strong contender in the market.
- £29.99 / $TBC / AU$TBC
Norco Sight A1
Norco’s Sight A1 has just arrived, and we’re excited to start putting it through its paces. This is the brand’s aluminium offering for aggressive all-mountain riding, and it looks set to deliver.
Long and slack geometry plus modern suspension kinematics should see us set for a fast, stable and playful ride. Stay tuned for more on this.
In the meantime, if you want to know how we got on with a similar model from last year, checkout our 2018 Norco Sight A2 29 review.
- £2,800 / $3,799 / €3,799 / AU$4,999
Shimano Explorer Series: Transit Windbreak Jacket and Transit Path Shorts
Shimano’s Explorer series is designed for everything from the city streets to gravel paths and country trails, and this week we have been getting up close and personal with the Transit Windbreak jacket and Transit Path shorts.
The jacket is styled like a dress-shirt and constructed from lightweight polyamide and polyester with water-repellent treatment. Likewise, with the Transit Path shorts they’re designed to look cool and casual off the bike while being made from four-way stretch fabric for a comfortable ride.
- Shimano Transit Windbreak Jacket: £83.29 / $88.54 / €90.71 / AU$137.24
- Shimano Transit Path Shorts: £64.77 / $68.85 / €70.54 / AU$106.73
- Buy the Windbreak jacket now from Amazon or Bike-Discount
- Buy the Transit Path Shorts now from Amazon or Bike-Discount
Scott Genius 940 2019
The Scott Genius has evolved a lot since its beginnings in 2004, and the latest model is here and ready for some serious riding.
It comes complete with Scott’s TwinLoc Suspension System (which allows you to switch between firm and plush riding), a SRAM Eagle drivetrain and Syncros components, along with a 65-degree head angle and an option to run 29in or 27.5in wheels.
Earlier this year we reviewed the 2018 Scott Genius 940, and we look forward to seeing how the 2019 model compares.
- £3,299 / International TBC
Crankalicious Classics Gift Box
This very sleek looking box from Crankalicious contains seven 100ml bottles of fun-sounding cleaning products, which will get even the laziest cyclists excited about cleaning their bike.
Okay, that may be a stretch, but it’s a good-looking gift set that should entice many to get out the bucket and hose.
With a selection of foaming cleaners, a grime remover, chain cleaner, frame polish and sealant, among others, this set has everything you’d need to get your bike glistening like new.
It’d make a great Christmas gift as well, just make sure they don’t mistake it for a chocolate selection box with names like Mud Honey, Limon Velo and Pineapple Express.
- £25 / $33.49 / €28.99 / AU$46.49
Dissent 133 Ultimate Cycling Glove Pack
Some of you may remember when we featured these in an 11spd last year, however, since then, Dissent 133 has listened to user feedback and made one very important change.
The original system included a pair of Defeet Duraglove e-touch thermal gloves, and many people found the fingers too long. This year, the Defeet gloves have been replaced with a pair of Cordura e-touch gloves.
The fingers on these are shorter and likely to provide a better fit for most.
- £95 / International TBC
Michelin Power Gravel Tyres
It would seem that gravel is quite popular these days, and brands are falling over themselves to provide the best solutions to gravel-related woes.
Michelin has brought forth a promising pair of folding Power Gravel Tyres in sizes ranging from 700 x 33-40mm.
Bead 2 Bead Protek reinforcement provides the puncture resistance, while X-Miles compound rubber brings the longevity.
The tread pattern is gravel-specific with small blocks for low-rolling resistance while maintaining grip on mixed terrain.
- £37.99 / $50.49 / €43.99 / AU$70.49
SP Connect saddle case and light combo
SP Connect has a handy mounting system that’s quick and convenient to use, and has a range of products from storage to phone mounts.
This week we’ve had the chance to play with its Saddle Case set and compatible rear LED safety light.
The saddle case offers convenient weatherproof protection for valuables, and connects very easily to its mount with the brand’s patented twist-to-lock mechanism.
At the back there’s another mount so you can easily attach the LED safety light with the same twist-to-lock motion. This means you don’t have to compromise on safety for storage, or fiddle around with annoying elastic bands. Just twist and go.
The rear light puts out 100 Lumens and features flashing and constant modes.
- £34.95 / International TBC
See-Sense ACE light set
We’re starting to see a lot of smart light options on the market, and these new reactive lights from See-Sense look very promising.
They react to changing light, brightening when you need extra visibility, and sensing approaching vehicles so as not to dazzle drivers.
The accompanying app shows battery life and customisation options, but more interestingly it provides theft alerts and shares anonymised insights with planners to help improve cycling infrastructure.
Another handy feature is that it contains a smart battery that adjusts the brightness of the light to conserve battery life.
With a 150 Lumen output on the front and 125 on the rear, as well as 200-degree exposure for added all-round visibility, this looks like a good, convenient set of lights for commuters.
- £80 / International TBC
Shimano S-Phyre XC9 shoes
Remember back in May when we told you about Shimano’s swanky new 2019 S-Phyre XC9? Well, now we’ve managed to get our grubby mitts on some, and they’re oh-so shiny and blue.
This updated version of the top-tier XC and cyclocross shoe boasts enhanced fit, comfort and breathability, due to the microfibre leather with new perforations.
The toe bumper has also been reinforced this year for more durability, along with some additional armour expanding from the midfoot zone.
- $400, UK and Australian pricing not available — available Fall 2018
- Keep an eye on Shimano’s website for more details when they’re released.
Draper 3-in-1 Angle Screwdriver set
Here’s something to either fall in love with or be completely bemused by.
This 3-in-1 14-piece screwdriver set may look slightly ridiculous and excessive, but it can help you get in to those hard-to-reach areas on your bike, so it’s actually a very handy addition to your toolkit.
It comes with most of the attachments you should need, with inserts for five Allen key sizes from 2.5–6, three sizes of Phillips as well as two flathead screwdriver head pieces.
- £23.93 / International TBC