The Fifa World Cup might be just around the corner, but we don't care – we're still playing five-a-side with the latest and greatest road and mountain bike products to land on our desk this week.
New road bike gear
Lezyne Lotto-Belisol special edition floor pump and lights
If Andre Greipel was a commuter, he’d probably use these bright Lezyne lights. And if Maxim Monfort had to pump his own tyres (which, to be fair, he probably does at home), he’d maybe opt for this sturdy, highly accurate Lezyne pump. The Belgian pro cycling team, Lotto-Belisol, you see, are sponsored by Lezyne and their range of top quality cycling accessories. And these special editions celebrate the union of team and sponsor. The Macro Drive front and Micro Drive rear light combo is CNC’d aluminium and USB rechargeable. The CNC Digital Drive is the pinnacle of Lezyne’s track pumps. All are anodised in Lotto-Belisol red, with the team name etched in. Classy. You can’t have these though – they’re team issue only.
- Standard Macro Drive front light: £54.99 / US$69.99
- Standard Micro Drive rear light: £39.99 / US$49.99
- Standard CNC Digital Drive track pump: £99.99 / US$129.99
Lusso Carbon bib shorts
Lusso, purveyor of British-made apparel for more than 30 years, is a consistently high performer in reviews, thanks to its quality construction, comfort and reasonable price. They sent us these range-topping Carbon bib shorts, which are constructed around a pleasingly firm high impact foam and gel pad double flat stitched into sweat-wicking Cooltech 2 Lycra. Lusso reckon these are the best bib shorts in the world for under £100. We’ll put that to the test in a full review.
£74.99 / US$N/A
Parlee ESX frameset (plus seatpin)
Aero road bikes. Everybody’s doing 'em – even Bob Parlee of Parlee Cycles, world famous for its bespoke carbon road bikes. The man with the name above the door used to design boats, so his understanding of how to make something move quickly through a medium – whether that is air or water – is probably top notch. His hand-built frames have always been renowned for their imperious ride quality too, so it’s all one big match made in heaven. We’re having this wind-tunnel tested frameset built up and can’t wait to test Parlee’s claim that rideability hasn’t been sacrificed in pursuit of aero advantage, which, says the company, it’ll happily test against any other bike in the category. The 52cm c-t-c frame, weighed alone, stopped the digital scales at 1.02kg. This frameset package includes a seatpost.
£3,999 / US$5,400
Bryton Rider 21
First thing, this GPS computer is tiny and light: 40mm x 60mm x 16mm, and claimed weight of 40g. It’s intuitive too – we were set up and ready to ride in under two minutes (no additional ANT+ heart rate or cadence sensor pairing, though). Drawbacks are that it won’t do maps or power and its own recharging cable isn’t standard micro USB, so no recharging on the fly. But for riders who want a simple easy to use GPS device the Rider 21 looks a great option. Unless you’re in America, in which case you’ll have to privately import.
£129.99 / US$N/A
B’Twin road cycling products
We love a budget product if it punches above its weight, so we’re particularly intrigued by B’Twin – Decathlon’s own brand – products. The pedals are B’Twin 300: Look Keo compatible platforms costing £24.99. That’s not much more than the cost of Look branded cleats alone. These might just be the cheapest clipless road pedals on the market and weigh a claimed 237g a pair.
The rubbery lights are the new VIOO 520s available in black, white, red, and blue with either four white or four red LEDs. The USB rechargeable lights have five flash modes and a constant setting and claim 15m light projection and visibility from 650m. At less than £20 they sound impressive, but not as impressive as the B’Twin VIOO 700 front light, which claims effective light up to 45m away, and visibility from 1,800m, all for a bargain price of £22.99.
- B’Twin 300 pedals: £24.99 / US$N/A
- B’Twin VIOO 520 commuter light: £19.99 / US$N/A
- B’Twin VIOO 700 front light: £22.99 / US$N/A
Beet It sport bar and Beet It beetroot shot
NO3 probably means little to those outside chemistry departments and kids boning up on the nitrogen cycle for their GCSEs, but it’s the shorthand for nitrate, a molecule that is cropping up in a fair number of sports nutrition products these days. Beetroot juice is a rich source of nitrate which, when it’s converted to Nitric Oxide (NO, for the chemists), widens blood vessels and boosts circulation. But get this: in most subjects – particularly active people beneath the pro athlete level – research suggests it also improves the body’s oxygen efficiency too. Sounds suspiciously like natural performance enhancement to us. Researchers are still figuring out how it works but it's potent sounding stuff . We’ve got a feature coming up where we’ll talk facts and figures of nitrate, so stay tuned. These Beet It beetroot and oat bars are new, though the shots have been around for a while. Despite being salty-sweet, we’d hardly describe either as moreish; medicinal, more like. Eat/drink then wash out your mouth out, that’s our advice. Oh, and your pee goes an alarming colour, and that’s natural - a bit like the ingredients.
Beet It Pro Elite Bar: £29 / for 15 60g bars and; Beet it Pro Elite Shot £1.49 each
New mountain bike gear
Outdoor Tech Turtle Shell 2.0 Bluetooth speaker
Embracing the outdoors and listening to your favourite tunes at the same time has never been easier, thanks to this unique-looking wireless speaker ‘boom box’ from Outdoor Tech. The aptly named Turtle Shell is shock-proof and water-resistant, has a range of nearly 10m and up to 16 hours of life from a single charge, and, thanks to the magic of Bluetooth, easily connects to your phone, tablet of laptop.
£109.99 / US$129.95
ICE Components LIFT V8 dropper post
Dropper posts have changed the way many of us ride our bikes and the trails we ride them on, but unfortunately the associated high prices can deter some riders from making the investment. The FIFT V8 from ICE Components offers a mechanical dropper post with 90mm of drop and three predetermined positions, controlled by a bar mounted lever, at a price that’s within most riders budgets.
£120 / US$N/A
Lauf Trail Racer 29in fork
One of the most eye-catching products to hit the market in 2014, the Trail Racer fork from Lauf is a one-of-a-kind product - it certainly seems to be dividing opinion. With 60mm of travel via four sets of composite leaf springs that require zero maintenance, no moving parts, this truly mesmerising fork only weighs 990g. It's constructed from monocoque carbon. Want to stand out from crowd? Look no further.
$990 / £TBC
Absolute Black 28-40 cassette adapter
Designed to replace the large cluster on an 11-34/36 10-speed SRAM or Shimano cassette, this four-cog adapter from Absolute Black can save around 50g and give you the extra gears needed to get up the steepest climbs. The 28-32-36-40-tooth cluster offers increased stiffness over a single cog adapter at a price that’s hard to fault
$122 / Euro 105 / £88
South African bike brand Pyga is still new on the scene, but is quickly making a name for itself, with interesting bikes such as this ONETEN29, their flagship 29er trail bike. This fun-loving big-wheeler sports 110mm of rear wheel travel courtesy of a RockShox Monarch RT3 shock through a floating linkage, which remains active under braking. It's available in four sizes ranging from small to extra large and comes in this tasty 'acid green' colour - what’s not to like?
Frame only: £1,749 / US$N/A