Good news everybody, it's Friday, and that means fresh product. This week we've learned all about wide shoes and we've delved into some juicy patent stories including 12-speed Campagnolo, wireless Shimano and covers for those pesky disc rotors.
We've looked at the best tyres for gravel and the best waterproof jackets, while Rocky Mountain and Santa Cruz have got our hearts racing with some exciting new carbon XC hardtails. Read on for the lowdown on the bikes and kit that arrived at BikeRadar HQ this week...
BMC SLR02 Disc One
BMC’s road range is looking particularly appealing right now, and this bike ticks a whole lot of boxes.
The SLR02 is BMC’s second-tier race bike, sitting below the fearsomely expensive SLR01. In its disc incarnation with Ultegra Di2 and DT Swiss P1850 Spline db 23 wheels, this machine weighs a hair under 8kg in a 56.
Along with BMC’s signature dropped stays, this bike has some very slick features, such as the Di2 charge port which sits near the top of the down tube facing upwards.
Whilst the cables and hose routing from the bars could do with a tidy once the setup is nailed, the overall impression is one of delightful integration, from the seat wedge to the smooth heads of the thru-axles.
- £4,300 / $5,000 / AU$6,500
Rotor UNO hydraulic groupset
Rotor’s slightly insane Uno groupset has been in the wind for years and we’ve reported on it before, both at the original launch in 2016 and more recently, but now it’s a product you can actually buy.
Uno shifts using hydraulics rather than conventional cables or electronics, and it’s exceptionally light, weighing a claimed 1,655g for the disc version.
Rotor has sent us an Uno-equipped Orbea for a more long-term test, so we’ll reporting on what this unique groupset is actually like to live with. Watch this space...
- £2,400 / €2,449 / $2,500
’Stique ML125CF Multilever
The ’Stique multilever was the result of a successful Kickstarter a few years ago, and this updated version uses “injection-moulded carbon fibre” to shave weight.
The ’Stique is a do-everything multi-tool that splits into three separate tyre levers, each of which has additional functions including acting as a wrench, holding a chain tool and pound coins, and more.
The levers are held together with powerful magnets and the whole thing weighs 134g on our scales, plus 24g if you use the supplied neoprene case.
- £40 / $56 / AU$73
B’Twin Roadr 500 sunglasses
Cheap glasses are sometimes disappointingly naff looking but we think you’ll agree that our Jack looks eminently sporting in these affordable B’Twin shades.
The Roadr 500s are a pretty standard wraparound design that’s vaguely Radar-esque. The lenses are vented at the outside upper corners and the nosepiece and arms are nice and grippy to stop the shades moving around. What more could you want?
- £11.99 / €15
- Buy the Roadr 500 sunglasses now from Decathlon UK (this colour expected back in stock in approximately 2 weeks) / Buy now from Decathlon France
XShifter wireless shifting
First launched on Kickstarter in 2016, XShifter caused quite a stir with its promise of affordable wireless shifting for literally any bike.
We’ve finally laid hands on a ‘1x’ set which includes the E-Link servo unit and a Pod remote. The former attaches to your frame near the front or rear derailleur, while the latter attaches to the bars.
The E-Link moves derailleurs in the usual way using a cable, but eliminates long cable runs and in theory offers the consistency of electronic shifting.
First impressions are that the finish feels a little cheap, but this doesn’t look like a prototype product anymore.
The remote unit weighs 32g while the E-Link is 103g on our scales with its battery, plus a handful more depending on which mounting hardware you use.
We’re intrigued to try out the XShifter, so keep an eye on the site for more in-depth coverage.
- $299 (currently discounted to $224.25) / £212 / $388
Seatylock Foldylock Compact
Bike locks are often rather cumbersome objects, but these days there are plenty of alternatives to the classic heavy duty D-lock.
The Foldylock Compact from Seatylock (makers of that saddle with the built in lock) is a particularly neat take on the folding lock concept. It weighs a reasonable 1,010g and collapses down to a package measuring less than 19×6×4cm at its widest points.
You can chuck the Foldylock in a bag or use the supplied mount which uses either Velcro straps or a set of bottle bosses to attach to your frame.
The lock gets a Sold Secure Silver rating (Silver locks offer “a compromise between security and cost” according to Sold Secure).
It’s constructed from steel links with a plastic outer covering, which is designed to be weather resistant and soft enough not to damage your frame.
- $85 / £61 / AU$111
Finish Line Tubeless Tire Sealant
Very few things pain a cyclist more on a frequent basis than a puncture, so it's no surprise that there are plenty of products out there to keep the evil pressure loss at bay. Tubeless is perhaps the most obvious, and prevalent, but it's not without its shortcomings — namely sealant that doesn't seal.
And why might it not seal? Often because hidden away in the tyre the sealant is slowly drying out, and the latex commonly used is coagulating into a bouncy ball of uselessness.
If Finish Line's claims are correct this could all be a thing of the past.
Finish Line says that by not using latex or ammonia, the sealant will last the lifetime of the tyre. With DuPont Kevlar tech, fibres in the liquid seal the hole, but the liquid carrier itself shouldn't evaporate.
We've now got some here, so we'll be sloshing it around in the months (and maybe years?) to come.
- (8oz): £15 / $15 / AU$25
Muc Off Dirt Bucket with Filth Filter
Taking cues from the automotive world, Muc Off has a whole cleaning kit that comes in a massive bucket with a 'Filth Filter'
This Filth Filter is a little shelf that stands at the bottom of the bucket, allowing dirt to filter to the bottom, yet protecting your sponge from picking it up again when you dip it back in your cleaning water.
Sold as a full kit, you also get the bike wash fluid, a few sprays, brushes, and lube too, to keep your ride in tip top condition.
It may seem like a fair old outlay, but in back-to-back testing we reckon Muc Off is likely one of the best cleaners out there, and taking good care of your bike could save you cash in the long run.
- £65 / $N/A / AU$N/A
Bontrager Flatline Mountain Shoe
While clipped-in riders can rely on the mechanical clip interface of pedal, shoe and cleat, those who choose to shred on flats are tied to their bike by pins, rubber and skill.
Given this, a decent connection between shoe and pedal is vital for staying rubber side down.
Bontrager's Flatline shoe looks like a smart option. The sole utilises Vibram rubber in a uniform tread pattern, which Bontrager says this gives a consistent feel between shoe and pedal, regardless of foot position.
At the heel and the toe there are slightly different treads for when you're scrambling up or down stuff that's just that bit too steep to ride.
There's an EVA foam midsole, as well as Ortholite insoles for comfort and a synthetic upper for ruggedness too.
- £120 / $130 / AU$179
Dynaplug Micro Pro
This rather medieval looking tool picks up where a tubeless sealant might not, when a hole is just too big for the liquid sealant to repair.
Jab the pointy end through a puncture in a tubeless tyre to get the hole the right size, then use the other attachments to feed the metal-headed tubeless repair bung through the hole.
This particular version comes in a nice aluminium carrier with a carry bag and enough bungs to last a fair while.
Dynaplug offers a lighter weight race version as well as one to use with CO2 cartridges, and if you're really impressed, you can get kits for your car too!
- £55 / $55 / AU$79
Maxxis Minion DHF Skinwall
Now, the Minion DHF might not be a new product, but it is a darn good one, which we're always happy to see on a trail bike.
But this Skinwall version had to be included in 11spd because, well, look at it!
As a throw-back to the early days of mountain biking where Skinwall tyres were de-rigueur (Onza Porcupines, anyone?) Maxxis has had Skinwall styles in its lineup for a little while now.
The tricky thing is matching them to the right bike, because in the wrong place, they'll perhaps look somewhat out of place.
We're trawling our raft of test bikes for the perfect partner. Got any ideas for a bike they'll look ace on? Let us know in the comments!
- £52 / $83 / AU$N/A