We're fresh from Eurobike and we came back to an office full of new bikes and gear. We've gathered the best of the bunch for this week's Friday Five-a-side roundup.
Don't forget to check out our Eurobike 2014 coverage for all the latest new products from the show.
New mountain bike gear
Shimano M200 SPD shoes
Not one to sit back and watch the competition scramble to get their ‘enduro-specific’ products to market, Shimano has launched the new M200 SPD shoes. Designed to strike a balance between attacking the climbs and nailing the descents, the M200s have an increased rearward cleat position, a ratchet enclosure with speed lacing, increased ankle protection and an aggressive sole for hiking - and that’s just for starters.
£149.99 / US$180 / AU$TBA
Bird Cycleworks Aeris
We took a look at the Bird Cycleworks Zero in May, and now here’s the Aeris. It combines progressive geometry with a quality spec at a really competitive price. Complete bikes range from £1,550 to around £3,300 for full SRAM X1, a RockShox Pike fork and carbon wheels. The Aeris looks set to be a dependable, fun-loving bike. It will be available in January, within the EU only.
Nukeproof OCKLO dropper post
The dropper post market is showing no sign of slowing down and there are now more posts than ever on the market, including this new number from Nukeproof. The OKLO has been designed around a spring-and-key design that removes the threat of play in the saddle. It will be available from October a 31.6mm size with a 125mm drop – although there are more options to follow.
£179.99 / €224.99 / US$289.99 / AU$TBA
Invisiframe vinyl frame wrap
If you like the idea of protecting your bike from the elements, you’re not alone and thankfully the team at Invisiframe have just the thing for the job. This frame wrap kit is custom cut to match your frame and size, delivering a neat solution to scratched and prematurely worn bikes. It’s made from an automotive grade 3M vinyl that won’t ‘yellow’ in the sun and is available in either a matte or gloss finish.
£53.99 / US$N/A / AU$N/A
New from Crankbrothers are these Y-Tools, which pack all the tools you’d need out on the trail into a compact carry frame. The 260g Y16 has a Co2 inflator, chain breaker and a driver tool with six different bits. The smaller and lighter (166g) Y12 ditches the inflator and chain breaker in favour of some storage space for small spares. You’ll be able to get your hands on them from October.
- Y12: £24.99 / US$30 / AU$TBA
- Y16: £39.99 / US$50 / AU$TBA
New road bike gear
Fuji Transonic 1.1
Fuji’s entry into the world of aero road bikes, the Transonic features aerodynamic tubes that maintain a fairly wide cross section in places for stiffness, a wheel-hugging seat tube and full internal cable routing. Tested by the company in the A2 wind tunnel, Fuji says the Transonic is 65 seconds faster than their SST road bike over a 40km course at 300 watts. Direct mount brakes on the seatstays allow easy maintenance, an example of how Fuji has tried to keep practicality in mind. This 1.1 model features C10 ultra high-modulus carbon with Shimano Dura Ace 9070 Di2, the chainset threaded through the BB30 axle via a Praxis conversion kit. Oval 950F carbon wheels with alloy rims are designed for aerodynamics as well as strong stopping power and are shod in high-end Vittoria Open Corsa CX tyres.
£4,800 / $6,299
ILW Default XPAC
Handmade in Califonia, the Default XPAC from Inside Line Equipment is a deceptively capacious commuter bag that eats up tons of kit with room to spare. The main 25-litre compartment has a rolltop closure – expanding capacity – with poppers and strips of Velcro to ensure waterfastness. The interior also features a waterproof vinyl liner while the exterior is constructed of ‘Durable Dimension Polyant XPAC Sailcloth’ – or hardwearing looking material to everyone else. The front flap opens to reveal a bevy of pockets including a zipped, waterproof section that runs the length of the bag and is designed to hold a 15-inch MacBook. There’s another waterproof zipped pocket at the base of the bag, which is made from abrasion-resistant 1000D Cordura, and there are water bottle holders on either side.
£170 / US$260
Scimitar Umbongo and Swizzels jerseys
Scimitar specialises in custom sports kit, but also produce officially licensed gear for Umbongo and Swizzels Matlow, hence these brightly-coloured designs, which are sure to draw looks from fellow cyclists and bystanders alike on club rides. We’re not sure whether all their praise will be complimentary, but if you want to show your love (hearts) for sweets and cartons of tropical juice, £40 a pop will get you one of these simple 3-pocket (plus one zipped), 15cm zip jerseys.
Sealskinz Waterproof Cycle Over Sock
Water keeper-outerer specialist Sealskinz bangs the drum about its waterproof and breathable material, inspired by the hide of the aquatic animal from which the company takes its name. The Waterproof Cycle Over Sock is designed to do just as its title suggests – keep your feet dry by slipping over your bike shoes. The stretchy socks have cleat and heel holes and are windproof too. As the skies turn every greyer heading towards winter, we’ll be seeing whether the weatherproof claims hold true.
£35 / US$55
POC AVIP range
Eyes were burnt when POC’s high-contrast Attention Visibility Interaction and Protection (AVIP) range was opened in the office, the searing orange arm and leg warmers (£40 / €50 / US$50) arriving just in time for the lengthening darkness of the off-season. The similarly bright orange and white Essential jersey (£150 / €170 / US$170) might be a little on the lightweight side to deflect weather for the coming season, but its close-cut mesh construction and perforated underarm sections could make it the ideal under-jacket option to avoid torrents of sweat. POC’s long-sleeved Essential Spring Jacket (£215 / €250 / $US250) also features ample mesh running down the arms for quick wicking while the jacket is made from windproof, breathable and water repellent 3L stretch fabric and weighs just 216g. The rightmost of the three rear pockets has a handy ‘My Info’ section as well as an internal zipped pocket. Like the rest of the range, the Essential bibs (£175 / €200 / $200) feature reflective logos to offer extra visibility for other road users. The Do Blade (£195 / €299 / US$299) wraparound sunnies have changeable lenses, with tints optimised to increase contrast on road surfaces, which POC says helps riders to avoid potholes and other hazards.
Check out more pictures in our gallery above.