It’s Friday and that means new bikes and kit for your perusal. This week we’ve marvelled at Specialized’s insane 99g road shoe, gawped at 2019 bits and bobs things at IceBike and got full details of Rotor’s incredible 13-speed groupset.
- 5 reasons you need a fixie in your life (it's not the ones you think)
- This prototype drop bar dropper remote could be coming to your next gravel bike
Giant Trance E+ 2 Pro e-MTB
E-MTBs have evolved rapidly in the last few years and the integration of batteries and motors has got progressively neater. Giant’s latest range includes four electrified versions of the Trance trail bike and this one is the second most affordable.
It’s powered by a Yamaha SyncDrive Pro motor and Giant’s own EnergyPak 500 battery unit, which is tidily integrated into the downtube.
The Trance has 140mm of rear travel and uses the same Maestro suspension platform as Giant’s other higher-end bikes, including the forged composite rocker arm. Bounce is supplied by Fox, with a stout 150mm 36 up front and a Float DPS Performance shock.
Shifting is a mix of Shimano SLX and XT-level components, while the brakes are non-series Shimano M520 four-pots. The finishing kit is all Giant.
- £3,999 / $4,830
The do-it-all Furtado, Juliana’s 130mm trail bike, is back with a bang and some impressive updates.
Based around the same unisex frame as the Santa Cruz 5010, it boasts new pivot link uprights designed to give a stiffer, sturdier feel and a ‘flip chip’ which allows you to switch the geometry between a steeper high position and slacker low position for when riding gets more downhill focussed. That gives it a head angle switch from 66.5 degrees in the high position to a slightly slacker 66.2 degrees in the low position.
The C-grade carbon frame is marginally heavier than the premium CC carbon frame-maker Santa Cruz also produces but is also a little cheaper as a result.
The bits bolted on includes a SRAM NX groupset paired with Guide T brakes, plus a Fox Float DPS Performance Shock and Fox Rhythm 34 forks with a lighter, women’s-specific trail tune.
We’ve been testing this bike as part of Bike of the Year 2019, so you can expect to see a full review of this beasty in the near future!
- £3,999 / $3999 / AU$TBC
Ion Tee LS Scrub Select jersey
Ion's Scrub Select jersey is somewhat unique, in that it's a jersey that's also waterproof. It's not waterproof-jacket-waterproof (if that makes sense), but Ion claims that the 5,000mm waterproofing and 5,000 gr/m/24hr breathability makes it a handy addition to your wardrobe for those rides in light rain or splashy conditions.
It has a slightly shiny finish and a very slight rustle to it too, however, the fabric has a 4-way stretch built-in. The inside of the jersey has a brushed finish that feels ok against the skin, while a glasses wipe and zipped pocket finish the features.
- £80, international pricing TBC
Adidas Terrex Free Hiker shoes
Ok, while these might not be a core MTB product, and their design perhaps more fashion than function-oriented, these all-terrain mid-top trainers from Adidas's 'extreme' Terrex range could find their way to a carpark near you soon.
Tyre brand Continental provides the sole, which has a fairly chunky tread, while there's Adidas' 'Boost' cushioning (which we've found to be very, very cushioning in our office trials) and scuff protection around the toes.
- £170, international pricing TBC
Bont Riot MTB+ shoes
Bont Cycling may be better known for its premium feature-packed road and track race shoes but the Riot MTB+ shoe promises much of the same tech at a more reasonable price.
The shoes are made from heat moldable resin that is designed to soften at 60 degrees C. After 15–20 minutes in the oven the shoes can be moulded to your foot shape. This could be particularly useful for anyone that struggles with foot pain as it allows for a more custom fit.
The shoe fastens with a single BOA dial and Velcro strap and also have fully replaceable sole guards.
- £170, international pricing TBC
Moots Routt YBB
It’s a cliché to talk about the timelessness of Ti but there is something evergreen about the stuff. The Routt YBB is a curious combination of old and new — it’s an achingly hip gravel bike with a ‘soft-tail’ suspension design that dates back to the 1990s and offers 20mm of squish at the back.
This incredible looking bike weighs 9.3kg with Ultegra Di2 and Mavic Ksyrium Allroad wheels. It sports gorgeous ‘multi-fade’ anodised logos, an added option over the standard bike which comes with etched graphics.
- $8,345 / £7,535 as specced
Riding in the Zone Rouge, Tom Isitt
The Circuit des Champs de Bataille (the Tour of the Battlefields) was a bike race staged in 1919, just months after the end World War One. It crossed the still-ravaged battlefields of the Western Front covering 2,000km and just 21 riders finished.
This book tells the story of this largely unknown race and retraces its route. It looks to be the perfect gift for the cyclist in your life who’s just a little bit complacent about their mortality.
- £20, international pricing TBC
DMT KR1 road shoes
We love fancy shoes at BikeRadar and while these don’t compete on sheer chutzpah with those fancy S-Works ones launched this week, DMT’s new KR1s are very on-trend with a stretchy ‘elastic rib’ surrounding the ankle and joined to a ‘3D knit’ to form a one-piece upper.
This pair of 45s weighs 586g and while they’re relatively sober in appearance there’s a lairy orange option too, as seen on the feet of Italian national champion Elia Viviani.
- £310, international pricing TBC
Selle San Marco Shortfit Carbon FX saddle
Selle San Marco has been making bicycle saddles since 1935 so know a thing or two when it comes to the component in terms of design, finish and performance. However, this isn't to say they aren't open to new ideas.
Like a number of other brands, Selle San Marco has released a shorter saddle — potentially to imitate the performance of the ever-popular Specialized Power saddle — dubbed the Shortfit.
Designed with the shorter length and wider rear section, the Selle San Marco Shortfit Carbon FX also features a central cut-out section for reduced pressure on the soft tissue area under your pelvis.
A carbon rail with a Dynamic Node Action at the front end improves stiffness while reducing weight, claims Selle San Marco.Available in a narrow or wide fit and three different sizes within each fit following the idmatch system, the size S3 sent weighed an impressive 136g.
€199 / £189
Bolle Shifter glasses
You know what they say, sunglasses maketh the roadie. The Shifter shades look properly pro and indeed they are, having graced the fair visages of AG2R La Mondiale riders including the likes of Romain Bardet.
The Shifters feature all the niceties you’d expect including vented, anti-fog lenses and rubbery bits for grip. The large one-piece lens gives a generous field of view and the stout frames feel like they should be reasonably robust.
- $149 / £149
WTB Exposure 30mm tubeless road tyres
Tyre clearances have grown ever more generous on road bikes in recent years — these days, it’s not uncommon for even the most race-focused models to have space for plump 32mm-wide rubber.
When running tyres of this size, it makes even more sense to make the jump to tubeless, however, the availability of life-proof chunky tyres that can be run sans-tubes is still limited.
On a hunt for a tyre of exactly that specification for his All-City Mr Pink, Jack stumbled upon the Exposure, WTB’s range of do-it-all all-road/gravel tyres.
The tyres are available in 30mm, 32mm and 34mm wide sizes. The slimmest tyre — which is the model we are testing — has a light file tread with the aggressiveness of the tread increasing with each size up.
Following a painless tubeless setup, Jack has been riding the tyres for a week now and early impressions are very positive.
That they come in a handsome tan wall finish is just the icing on the cake.
- $83.95 / £44.99 / €60.99