Friday is here again! Weekend fun is imminent, which means it's time to check out 11spd, BikeRadar's weekly roundup of the best new products that rolled in this week.
But before we jump in, let's recap some of the hot takes from the week.
To start, we looked at the most interesting tech from the Roubaix stage of this year's Tour de France. We then ogled a £12.5k custom gravel bike produced in collaboration between ENVE and FiftyOne. We then had a play on Merida's new cyclocross bike and learnt how the pro peloton is fed.
Alpkit Vortex mesh bag
These lowly mesh bags from Alpkit have revolutionised Jack’s kit-packing experience.
As a chronically disorganised young man, anything that makes finding stuff easier (and keeps stinky gear away from fresh garb) is welcomed with open arms.
The XXL bags are big enough to swallow a full week’s worth of kit and, as they’re made of mesh, allow used kit to breathe, preventing it from festering too much before it gets washed.
Incredibly simple and obvious stuff, but trust us when we say it’s well worth investing in a few of these…
If you’re into bikepacking, they’re also useful for storing sleeping bags uncompressed.
Oli still hasn’t gotten over quite how much fun he had a few weeks back at the Eroica Britannia, which leads him directly to this cheerful retro bike.
The Clubman from Pashley harks back to the days when one bike was often used for everything from short city rides to touring and even time-trial competitions. It’s a classy celebration that pairs traditional Reynolds 531 tubing with investment cast lugs for a timeless look.
At the end of the shallow drop ‘Major Taylor’ handlebar is a shifter for the bike’s coaster brake-equipped, three-speed Sturmey Archer hub gear.
Expect more on this charming bundle of tubes over the next few weeks.
Cane Creek Viscoset
The Viscoset from Cane Creek is a simple steering damper that is neatly integrated into an almost normal-looking headset cup.
Concealed within the top cup is a stack of clutch plates that are smeared with fluorocarbon gel (the same sort of grease found in hi-fi knobs and handles that return slowly in a car).
Half of these plates are fixed to the headset cup and the other half to the steerer. When you turn the bars, these rub against each other, which provides the damping effect.
The order and number of these plates can be altered to reduce or add to the damping effect.
Originally designed to stop speed wobbles (or 'shimmying' by its other common name) on e-bikes, the headset has also found favour with mountain bikers, who have found it to improve handling in rough terrain.
This particular headset is destined to live on Jack’s tandem, which has a chronic speed-wobble problem. Stay tuned for more on this soon.
- £86.99 / $80 / €99
Fabric 16-in-1 multi tool
This slim 16-in-1 multi tool from Fabric has just about every tool you could possibly need (including that weird splined Mavic spoke key that every multitool has but no one has ever used) in a pleasingly slim package.
Measuring just a bit over 15mm wide and 70mm long, the tool is slim enough to slip inside a jersey pocket or live comfortably along the edge of a saddle bag.
The bits are slightly stubby, which can be tricky in some situations, but this keeps the tool compact.
Despite heavy use, the tool is still looking fresh and we haven’t yet managed to lose the clip-on 8mm adaptor, which is nothing short of a miracle.
Shimano CS-HG41 8-Speed cassette
The next time you hear a hair-shirted enthusiast moaning about some new X-speed drivetrain and how ‘big-bike’ wants to ‘force’ new tech on you, remind them that it is, in fact, 2018 and you can still buy an 8-speed cassette in a range of useful gear combinations.
This unfussy pressed-steel cassette from Shimano is nickel plated, will last just about forever and will only cost you a tenner from most places online when the time does eventually come around to replacing it.
- £19.99 / $25 / AU$36.55
Shimano Evolve road jersey and bibs
Shimano’s Evolve range is its second-tier kit that shares many of the same designs and construction techniques as its top-end S-Phyre kit.
The kit is very subtly styled, with a barely visible Shimano logo on the arms and only the tiniest touches of pink.
The kit is peppered with ‘cooling micro-vents’ (holes by any other name) to improve ventilation and features the same seam-welding seen on the S-Phyre kit. A reflective strip on the pockets improves visibility in low-light conditions.
Jack has been using this kit for a few months now and it has quickly become a hard-wearing favourite.
- Jersey: £129, international pricing TBC
- Bibs: £159, international pricing TBC
Moulton XTB gravel bike
Crazy as it may seem, the original Moulton AM-ATB was claimed to be the world’s first full suspension mountain bike to enter production.
The bike has been re-released for 2018 and re-badged as the XTB Gravel bike — a fitting move given that many of today’s modern gravel bikes bear much resemblance to mountain bikes of old.
We don’t want to give away too much as we have a more thorough first look planned for this bike, but it’s safe to say it’s bristling with all manner of interesting details.
- Pricing and availability TBC
Mavic XA Pro helmet
Its XA Pro helmet is tagged as a trail-riding lid and features an adaptive fit, which Mavic calls 'Live Fit'. An extended rear section provides more coverage and Mavic claims the EPS 4D impact technology adds protection.
Ventilation is on point with race-car-inspired vents and internal airflow channels that aim air to strategic spots on the head. Neato!
Four colours in either Medium or Large sizes are available.
- £129 / $150 / AU$TBD
Time Alpe d'Huez 01
We've just taken delivery of a slightly more modestly specced 01 for testing. This bike is kitted out with Ultegra Di2 and blue-collar Mavic clinchers. It weighs a sensible, if unremarkable, 7.5kg and looks rather handsome.
Pricing on this precise build is TBC but the standard Ultegra/Ksyriums build costs £4,995 / €5,590 so it will be there or thereabouts.
Katusha Sports Aero SS jersey
Developed with WorldTour team Katusha-Alpecin, Katusha Sports has created an aero-specific short-sleeve jersey, and features Schoeller Aero fabric on the shoulders and side panels, alongside other design features to reduce rider drag and improve aerodynamic performance.
As is the trend with the pros, the sleeves on the Katusha Sports Aero SS jersey have longer coverage than a regular jersey and the Schoeller Aero fabric is laser-cut, resulting in sleeves without any stitching or a hem at the cuff.
Continuing the pro-inspired look is a lower-than-usual collar and the team colours of Katusha-Alpecin on the main panels of the jersey, with the remainder of the jersey available in a white (photographed) or black finish.
If the Katusha-Alpecin colours are too much like team kit, Katusha Sports also offers the jersey in a more conservative grey-and-black finish.
To the rear of the jersey, Katusha-Sports has done away with a traditional trio of open-topped cargo pockets and instead has opted for two, zipper-accessed cargo pockets, which should improve airflow over the back of the jersey.
The medium size sent by Katusha Sports has a very aggressive cut and is a tight fit even for BikeRadar's resident lightweight hill-climbing extraordinaire Joe Norledge.
At €160 the jersey is not cheap but the price point is on par with other brand's jerseys with similar aero-specificity.
- €160 / other currencies TBC
Emonda SLR 9 Project One H1 fit
Oh hey there, you lightweight beauty! Say hello to the Trek Emonda SLR 9.
This isn’t just any shiny lightweight frame. First up, that sleek red finish comes courtesy of Trek’s Project One customisation options — other colours are available.
Second, that lush 700 series OCLV carbon frame (as ridden by Trek-Segafredo no less) has been built to the H1 fit option. This makes it super-aggressive and aero, with a longer front/centre for a much racier position than the standard H2 fit available on other versions.
And third, this bike is destined for great things. Our very own aforementioned hill-climbing legend Joe Norledge will be testing its gravitational limits over the coming seasons, so expect to see a lot more of this bike.
- £3690 / $3999.99 (Frame and forks £3140 / $3499.99 plus Project One paint £550 / $500)