In an eventful week here at BikeRadar, 81% of our readers decided that guards for road bike disc brakes weren’t necessary, our US tech editor Josh Patterson voiced his concerns about electric mountain bikes on American soil, and someone gave us an even better excuse to stay inside on a rainy day.
Still, the week’s almost through and so it’s on to 11spd (we’ll update to 12spd when we are ready, okay?), our weekly round up of shiny stuff – be it for those with or without shaven legs.
Roll the tape.
Fresh road products
Quick Caps quick release security system
As convenient as they are, quick-release axles give the opportunist thief the chance to walk away with your wheels in very little time. Enter Quick Caps, a UK-made security solution that’ll quickly and securely lock your QR skewers when out and about.
Installation is simple but involves replacing the standard nut at the end opposite to the QR lever with a supplied security nut. Once that’s fitted, the locking cap simply slides over the closed QR lever (the lever must not sit parallel with the fork’s leg), where it secures the QR lever and locks in position like a standard padlock and key. Quick Caps are compatible with many open-cam quick release style systems.
£39.60 per pair or £22 each / international prices may vary
Merida Scultura 4000 Juliet
This is Merida’s women-specific version of its Scultura 4000 road bike. The spec is basically identical to the gents'/unisex version, and that’s no bad thing. After all, you’re getting a full carbon frame and fork and, with the exception of the crankset, there’s Shimano 105 throughout. What is different is the sizing, with the women’s bike getting an extra compact 44cm size, plus another three sizes topping out at a 52cm. The black, violet and blue keeps things understated without looking boring.
£1,350 / US$NA / AU$NA
Velopac RideClean hand wipes
Stuff a couple of these in your pack or saddlebag and you’ll be fully equipped to rid your hands of grease and road grime following a puncture or any other roadside fix. Each sachet opens up to a zesty180mm x 130mm wipe.
10 for £2, 20 for £3 or 50 for £6 / US$NA / AU$NA
Tissot T-Race Tour De France special edition watch
As official timekeeper of the 2016 Tour de France, Tissot is celebrating by offering a special edition version of its T-race watch. A hefty stainless steel case houses a mother-of-pearl dial while yellow stripes and an engraving at the rear of the case pay homage to cycling’s biggest race. It’s rated as water-resistant down to 100m/330ft. They’ll be available from July.
£490 / international pricing TBC
Abus Bordo Centium
If you’re not content to simply stop thieves from nicking your bike and instead want them to know that their fiendish ways have been scuppered by someone of taste and style, then this special-edition lock from Abus will be right up your street. The stainless steel case looks the part as well as being suitably tough and the 5mm thick linked bars have a synthetic, leather lookalike coating to prevent damage to your paintwork. You also get a neat bike mount, or ‘holster’ in Abus speak. A new lock cylinder increases the number of potential key combinations too. All that means it’s got a security rating of 12 which, as any Spinal Tap fan knows, is one more than 11 and so must be pretty serious.
£100 / $150
ORP Smart Horn
The Smart Horn from ORP is a wacky little device that acts as a front light and a bike bell. The 89g silicone unit simply straps to a handlebar where, at the lift of a thumb, it can deliver either a ‘friendly’ toot or a piercing 96db shriek (sound clips can be heard over at this page).
At the same time the Smart Horn will do its best to keep you seen thanks to two 70 lumen LEDs that can be set to one of three modes. It’s charged by USB and claims to be weather and shockproof. We’ll give it a good go and let you know how we get along.
£50 / US$65 / AU$TBC
Fresh mountain bike gear
Race Face Love Handle grips
You’ve only got to take a glimpse at the side-on profile of these grips and the name makes total sense. The twin clamp, lock on design uses two different textures from the same soft compound rubber. On the top, there’s a striped section that provides a fair bit of cushioning to the pressure points of your hand, while the opposite side of the grip gets a knurled diamond pattern chosen for its outright traction. They’re available in various wild hues as well as plain old black.
£19.95 / US$24.99 / AU$TBC
Ibis Mojo 3 frame
It’s been a while since we had a bike in that looks as good as this one. For those familiar with the Ibis collection, you can think of this bike as a junior Mojo HD3, that or the spiritual successor to the Mojo SL/SL-R. For everyone else, it’s a full carbon 140/130mm trail bike that’s plus compatible (up to 2.8in).
It’ll shortly be in the very capable hands of MBUK Magazine, who will soon be able to tell you if its ride can equal those good looks.
£2,649 /US$2,999 / AU$TBC
Mudhugger FatHugger mudguard for fat bikes
BikeRadar was early to get behind brotherly business duo Bruce and Jamie Gardiner when they presented us with their rear mudguard prototype back in 2013. Now, more than three years on, and Mudhugger is thriving with several of the best-respected products in this field.
This fat bike front guard (or fender, if you're on the left-hand side of the Atlantic) is an upscaled version of the proven design that the company released a while back. Like the regular guard it’s quickly and easily installed with just a few cable ties. It’ll fit tyres up to 5in wide and is compatible with most rigid fat bike forks as well as the popular Rockshox Bluto suspension fork.
£36 /$TBC / AU$TBC
Sixth Element SE30/Hope wheelset
It’s starting to look like the days of carbon wheels being restricted to people with pockets so deep they might as well be socks are coming to a close. Sixth Element offer a simple a la carte menu, with either 650b or 29in diameters coming in your pick of three rim sizes, ranging from 30mm to 50mm external widths. You then take your pick of the standard Hope Pro 4 hubs or more spendy Chris King models and they’ll then be laced together by hand with double butted spokes.We’ve opted for these SE30 items, which have a 24mm internal width. They also come delivered complete with tubeless tape and valves. At a weight of 1711g for the pair, they’re not ridiculously light so we’re hoping they’ll offer plenty of precision and be able to take a beating.
If you’re the kind of person that likes to head into the wilderness for days on end or you simply end up riding alone a lot as you’re incredibly antisocial, then it’s probably wise to have a plan just in case you injure yourself miles from anywhere. A mobile phone is the obvious solution, but you aren’t guaranteed coverage, plus they’re notoriously hard to use if you happen to be unconscious.
The solution is a tracker, just like this one. It’s small enough to fit in a pocket or take up hardly any space in a pack and thanks to the magic of satellites, you can let family and friends see where you are via live tracking, with updates that you can vary in frequency anywhere fro m 2.5 to 60 minutes. You can also check in to let them know you’re arrived safely and if you’re in serious trouble there’s a panic button that sends an emergency alert to GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Centre, complete with your co-ordinates. It’ll also allow you to send messages even if there’s no mobile coverage. Here’s hoping we never have to use it in anger…
£168 / $170 plus service plan