Another working week has passed and here at BikeRadar that means only one thing – yep, it's time we round-up of all of the most interesting road and mountain biking gear to arrive with us this week. Here goes:
New mountain bike gear
Empire Cycles MX6 EVO
The MX6 EVO is a 150mm trail bike that’s manufactured in the UK – and that’s unusual enough – but it’s when you take a look at its price tag that things really get interesting.
In its most affordable form, a complete MX6 EVO will set you back £2,700, and although you won’t be getting the trick spec shown on this test bike, the kit is still decent. Similarly, an MX6 EVO frame arrives at just £1,200, undercutting its nearest UK-made single pivot competitor by £300. Good relationships and convenient logistics mean that Empire can spec parts from other UK companies, so discount upgrades to kit from Hope, Renthal and Mucky Nutz parts are all available through Empire’s online configurator.
The original MX6 was not without fault, its Achilles heel being a one-piece CNC swingarm that was not only too weighty but also undesirably flexible. A totally redesigned rear end aims to make those drawbacks a thing of the past, while interchangeable hardware at the shock and headset mean the frame is happy to run either 26in or 650b hoops.
More on this one in the near future!
Approx £3,250 as shown with complete builds starting at £2,700
X Systems X-Tel 7000 smartphone
Know someone who gets through phones at an alarming rate? Perhaps you should point them in the direction of the X-Tel 7000 from X Systems.The fact is, if you so much as look at certain smartphones too hard then they can crack, shatter and explode. That’s not the case with this phone.
Running on Android, the X-Tel 7000 packs in most of the features we’ve come to expect from a smartphone including two cameras, GPS and Bluetooth connectivity and a 4in touch screen.
Equipped for even the most hamfisted of adventurers, the X-Tel 7000’s rugged body is shockproof, dustproof and waterproof (IP-68 rated).We’d like to think of it as the Nokia 3310 of smartphones.
Mudhugger kit bag
The kit bag from Mudhugger is a painfully simple item that could make your life a whole lot easier. Essentially a couple of tough bags and a thick floor mat, it gives riders a quick and convenient solution to changing out of their mucky gear and keeping the mucky and the clean separate.
It’s built to last and is sure to tempt a few people away from a DIY routine involving Ikea bags and bin liners.
Airshot tubeless inflator
Certain tubeless tyre and rim combinations can be a real pain to seal. Simply getting the required volume of air in quick enough can be a struggle without having access to a compressor or by using CO2 cartridges. Enter the Airshot, a Presta valve-equipped canister that can take up to 160psi, pressure which it can then release in a rapid but controlled fashion via a release tap.
Basically it’s a tested, reliable and safe version of the ghetto tubeless inflators you’ve probably been seeing for a while now. The retail price isn’t set in stone but we are expecting somewhere around the £55 mark, and they’ll start shipping at the end of the month.
This one has got its work cut out – we’ll be posting a full review soon.
LittleBig kids’ bike
The problem with children’s bikes is that they tend to be outgrown quickly. That’s not the case with this design from Irish company LittleBig Bikes, which adapts to suit its young rider for up to five years.
Arriving as a balance bike for kids aged two or above, it features plenty of standover clearance, v-brakes front and rear and an adjustable seatpost. Once your child has got to grips with the basics and would normally be ready to move onto another bike then it’s for the LittleBig’s party trick.
Twenty minutes or so of fettling from a mechanically competent parent sees that the frame of the LittleBig is flipped, a supplied bottom bracket section and diddy chainset are then attached and the bike takes on a familiar feeling but altogether more mature form. Now your child has a bike that should have a good few more years of growth in it yet. Genius.
New road cycling gear
Science In Sport double espresso gel
Here we have 60ml of the most potent fuel we’ve ever come across but you’re going need a strong stomach. Packing a staggering 150mg of caffeine in each packet, this double espresso gel from SIS is going to have you as buzzing as you’d imagine, unfortunately it comes with a taste that we’d rather forget.
Giant Defy Advanced 2
This Giant Defy Advanced 2 was called in as a long-term test bike for BikeRadar staffer Gregor – and will be his first serious road bike. Designed to be comfortable yet sharp, the carbon frame and fork of the Defy rolls on the company’s own brand PR-2 wheelset.
Like the rest of the bikes in the Defy Advanced range, this model arrives with disc brakes – namely mechanical offerings from TRP. Elsewhere there’s an 11-speed Shimano 105 transmission and mostly own brand finishing kit to keep the pricing competitive.
Stay tuned for more on this one.
£1,399 / US$2,075 / AUD$2,299
Speedplay Zero Pave Titanium pedals
These exptoc pedals are the lightest versions of Speedplay’s minimalist cobble tackling Pave range. A titanium construction and the use of a hollow spindle means an actual weight of just 189g a pair. As standard they arrive with a 50mm spindle length but speak to your local Speedplay dealer nicely and you should be able to pick from a range of custom lengths topping out at 65mm.
£399.99 / US$ $499
Scott Road RC Shoes
Anatomic this, Ergologic that, oh we give up… after all, does anyone really understand the manufacturers' descriptions when it comes to such items?!
What we actually have here is a bloody nice looking pair of shoes, with a lot of time and money spent to make them fit your feet well. There’s a stiff carbon sole that’s paired to a plush and glossy upper. These tighten via a BOA dial and two lower straps. There’s not much more we can say without getting giving them a good go, so we’ll be doing just that.
£180 / US$275
US firm Cadence produces a range of performance and casual clothing with offerings to suit nearly all types of rider. As of late last year, UK distributors VAM Performance have been bringing the kit to UK shores and now, thanks to them, we’ve got our hands on this ‘Conquer All’ kit.
This three piece Italian/US made combo will have you matching from head to toe – and we’ll be putting some miles into it to see if the performance matches the sharp look.
- Bibs – £120 / US$160
- Cap – £30 / US$36
- Jersey – £105 / US$140