Friday Five-a-side: This week's new bike gear

New gear from Focus, Garmin, Fox Racing Shox, Five Ten, and more

If you're reading this, give yourself a pat on the back, because you've nearly made it through another work week.

Take a break from and get the weekend started off right with a nice visual dose of bike gear. Here are 10 pieces of the best and most interesting gear that showed up at the BikeRadar offices this week.

New mountain bike gear

Answer Stein Grips                              

Answer's new stein grips were inspired by (you guessed it) a beer stein :
Answer's new stein grips were inspired by (you guessed it) a beer stein :
                                       

The folks at Answer didn’t go back to the drawing board to design their latest grip, they went to the pub. The aptly-named Stein grip features a relief pattern very similar to that of a beer stein. It features a slim, 29mm diameter and dual rubber compound for comfort.

The Stein is part of Answer’s new line of longer, 143mm grips that take advantage of the fact many riders are gravitating toward 1x drivetrains, which allows for roomier grips.

US$30 / £20 / AU$40 / €27

www.answerproducts.com

Five Ten Kestrel shoes

Five ten's new kestrel shoes look impeccably executed, we'll see how they perform on the trail:
Five ten's new kestrel shoes look impeccably executed, we'll see how they perform on the trail:

Add the Kestrel to the growing list of mountain bike shoes designed for everyday riding.

This trail-inspired clipless shoe has a sleek, low profile silhouette and uses a single Boa dial to fine-tune fit.

The Kestrel has a reinforced toebox to protect the wearer’s toes from rock strikes and uses a carbon-infused shank to provide ample stiffness.

Rider’s familiar with the brand’s platform shoes will immediately recognise the circular tread pattern. Five Ten uses its soft and tacky Mi6 rubber compound on the forefoot and heel to maximise traction while walking. The stiffer and more durable C4 rubber is used under the midfoot and around the recessed SPD cleat interface to increase durability.

US$180 / £140 / AU$TBC / €165

www.fiveten.com

Vittoria Goma tyres

Vittoria's goma is the company's all-mountain tread:
Vittoria's goma is the company's all-mountain tread:

Last year, Vittoria consolidated its mountain bike tyre brand, Geax, into its own line. The Goma is the company’s all-mountain tread, with well-spaced, sturdy knobs designed to perform well under a wide range of trail conditions.

Vittoria offers the Goma in several different configurations – ours is the tubeless compatible version with company’s TNT construction, which mates a tubeless-ready design with reinforced sidewalls for extra protection again flats and tears.

We’re testing the beefy 29x2.4in version, which tips the scale at 1,160g per tyre.

US$60 / £45 / AU$TBC / €51

www.vittoria.com

Pearl Izumi X Project 1.0 shoes

Pearl's new project-x 1.0 shoe uses to boa dials mounted to the tongue to fine-tune fit:
Pearl's new project-x 1.0 shoe uses to boa dials mounted to the tongue to fine-tune fit:

Pearl Izumi’s top-end mountain bike shoe, the Project X 1.0, has been updated for 2015 with two Boa closures and a seamless upper. The centralised location of the Boa dials on the shoe’s tongue should make them less susceptible to damage.

The X Project 1.0 uses a carbon sole designed to be stiff underfoot while pedaling with enough give in the mid-sole when the trail calls for hike-a-biking.

US$320 / £TBC / AU$TBC /€390

http://shop.pearlizumi.com

Fox Racing Shox cardboard box

What's in the box? you'll have to wait and see:
What's in the box? you'll have to wait and see:

We’re in the process of testing some new squishy bits from the suspension experts at Fox Racing Shox.

What exactly is in the box, you ask?

We’re not at liberty to say just yet. But stay tuned for first ride reviews of two new products in the coming weeks.

www.ridefox.com

New road bike gear

Focus Cayo Evo 4.0 Disc

The focus cayo evo 4.0 disc : the focus cayo evo 4.0 disc
The focus cayo evo 4.0 disc : the focus cayo evo 4.0 disc

With SRAM Hydro R hydraulic brakes on the Rival group, this 56cm carbon test-bike weighs 8.24kg (18.17lb).

One cool feature on the new Focus disc bikes is the RAT system, which combines the stability of a thru axle with the convenience of a quick-release. A simple quarter-turn locks the skewer into place.

US$3,000 / £1,999 / AU$3,399

www.focus-bikes.com

Skratch Hydration Mix

Skratch has a few new flavors of its hydration mix: skratch has a few new flavors of its hydration mix
Skratch has a few new flavors of its hydration mix: skratch has a few new flavors of its hydration mix

Skratch has a number of flavors, but the caffeinated Matcha + Lemons and the drink-it-hot Apples + Cinnamon styles are new to us. Like the other Skratch Hydration Mixes, these are made with real fruit and nothing artificial. One bag is good for about 20 bottles.

The Rescue Hydration Mix is similar to Pedialyte, as it is formulated for dehydrated children — or even hungover adults.

US$20 for Hydration, US$15 for Rescue

www.skratchlabs.com

Assos falkenzahn vest

The assos falkenzahn vest is a warm, fitted and wicking layering piece: the assos falkenzahn vest is a warm, fitted and wicking layering piece
The assos falkenzahn vest is a warm, fitted and wicking layering piece: the assos falkenzahn vest is a warm, fitted and wicking layering piece

Made with six different types of materials, this Assos vest fits snugly without being constrictive. It is a low-bulk, high-warmth piece that we've worn a few times just with a thick baselayer.

The inner fleece does a good job of wicking and insulating.

US$279 / £179 / AU$273

www.assos.com

Lazer Aero Shell helmet

Lazer has snap-on aero shells for five of its helmets now. this is the z1: lazer has snap-on aero shells for five of its helmets now. this is the z1
Lazer has snap-on aero shells for five of its helmets now. this is the z1: lazer has snap-on aero shells for five of its helmets now. this is the z1

The Aero Shell is a simple snap-on protective layer that works wonders in bad weather. We tested the Helium version with ERO Sports at the Los Angeles velodrome, and while we didn't really find any major aero benefit compared to the helmet alone, it can't hurt to close off the front vents in pursuit of speed.

It's of more interest to us for daily use than marginal speed gains, and we have definitely enjoyed using this Z1 version over the winter. Besides keeping out rain and snow, it just keeps your head much warmer than a vented helmet. And, since it's transparent, your head doesn't stick out like a bowling ball. Although you can't really take it off during a ride, it is fairly easy to pop it off and on.

US$15 / £TBC / €15

www.lazersport.com

Garmin Vivoactive smartwatch

For cycling, the vivoactive has a basic app with time, speed and distance, but really your smartphone offers many more, much more robust options: for cycling, the vivoactive has a basic app with time, speed and distance, but really your smartphone offers many more, much more robust options
For cycling, the vivoactive has a basic app with time, speed and distance, but really your smartphone offers many more, much more robust options: for cycling, the vivoactive has a basic app with time, speed and distance, but really your smartphone offers many more, much more robust options

The Vivoactive is Garmin's first smartwatch. Decidedly more fitness tracker than dedicated cycling device, the Vivoactive has apps for cycling, running, swimming and, somewhat unexpectedly, golfing.

The Vivoactive can be paired with a heart-rate strap (not included), a speed sensor or even with a Garmin VIRB Elite video camera. The cycling app, using the built-in GPS, measures distance and speed, as well as time and an approximation of calories burned.

A built-in accelerometer acts as a back-up for GPS when using the running app to track distance and speed, and to measure strokes in the pool.

US$249  / £199 / AU$ TBC

www.garmin.com

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team Issue, Specialized S-Works Tarmac, Priority Eight city bike... and a constant rotation of test bikes
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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