Congratulations — you have made it through another week. We're here to help you celebrate with not 10 but 11 of the best new products. This week we have six road and five mountain bike bits. Here's to the weekend!
New road gear
Sidi Wire Carbon Air Vernice shoes
These are the shoes Chris Froome used to secure his second Tour de France victory. Sidi’s Wire Carbon Air Vernice shoes cram in all the technology and expertise of the Italian firm, which has been producing cycling shoes since the 1970s.
Sidi’s Techno-3 dial ratchet system offers precise wire-closure fitting. Each dial has a grippy lever that pops up at a jab of the central button. There are also two easy-access buttons next to each dial. Press one to release one click’s worth of tension in the wire; hold both to release and pull the shoe off.
Sidi’s rigid heel cup is enhanced by adjustable arms. The upper is perforated for plenty of ventilation while the sole’s air channels add to the cooling effect. The carbon sole is designed for maximum stiffness where needed, but allows a bit of flex in the toes.
£300 / $499
Cannondale CAAD12 Dura-Ace Disc
For 2016 Cannondale jumped from CAAD10 straight to CAAD12 for the American company’s alloy bikes, which come in rim and disc models.
As you’d expect, the bikes were launched with the usual talk of lighter and stiffer, yet more vertically compliant. This 56cm CAAD12 Dura-Ace Disc weighs 8.11kg / 17.88lb, with a claimed frame weight of 1,094g.
Some designs, such as the flared seat tube, were taken from the EVO, but we think it’s the humble seat post, with the slender 25.4mm diameter, that contributes greatly to the comfort of the ride. The CAAD12 comes with the new Cannondale Si crank, which weighs a claimed 735g.
Prices are not yet available for the 2016 bikes.
K-Edge Garmin & Action Camera Combo Mount – XL
The small Idaho company K-Edge made a name for itself with solid, dependable alloy products, starting with the chain catcher riders Paris-Roubaix champ John Degenkolb and Olympic and world champion Kristin Armstrong used for their elite-level wins. The products aren’t flashy; they just work very well for their stated use.
The Garmin & Action Camera Combo Mount is a case in point. The CNC-machined alloy tightly holds your Garmin and an action camera like a GoPro, Garmin Virb or Shimano. The replaceable plastic insert inside the CNC’ed alloy gives a satisfying click when you twist the Garmin in.
The 48g mount comes with a lifetime guarantee – crashes excepted. You can get the mount for any Garmin Edge computer; the XL is for the longer Edge 1000.
£47 / $59 / AU$79
Garmin Virb XE camera
The latest Garmin Virb video camera has a new orientation, more similar to the flat-front GoPro than the Shimano. You can record in a variety of settings — 1440p30, 1080p60, 960p100, 720p120 and 480p240 — but there's no 4k option yet.
The big story with the Virb is G-Metrix, which is Garmin’s term for data points like speed, heart rate and power output. These ‘G-Metrix’ can be captured as you ride, and then overlaid on top of the video for a digital dashboard effect.
The external microphone works very well when still or when riding in the slipstream of another rider, but high speeds result in the recording of wind noise and not much else. One thing we like about the Virb XE is the simple switch. While riding, it’s easy to reach down with looking and simultaneously turn on and start recording with the flip of the switch.
Claimed battery life is up to two hours.
POC DO Half Blade sunglasses
On the heels (temples?) of the POC DO Blade sunglasses come the DO Half Blades, which feature the same anti-fog treatment on the Zeiss lens but with the frame reduce to the top and sides, leaving the bottom open for a clear line of sight.
The sunglasses come in this Cannondale green, plus blue and black options. Each comes with two lenses, and the nose piece is adjustable for a personalized fit.
$280 / £280
Bontrager Ballista jersey and bib shorts
The Ballista jersey uses coldblack technology to reduce heat, with long sleeves and a very snug but very stretchy fit.
The Ballista bib shorts have an Italian-made chamois and wide compression leg grippers.
- Jersey: $199 / £139
- Bibs: $249 / £119
New mountain biking gear
Enduro Bites Beta Red drink mix
Enduro Bites has supposedly harnessed the aerobic-boosting power of beetroot into a convenient powdered drink mix with its new Beta Red. Claimed benefits include increased aerobic efficiency, greater muscular strength and endurance, and delayed onset of fatigue. Those indeed sound like pretty heady claims but several studies suggest that they just might be true, too.
It’s certainly not cheap, though, and we’re a little apprehensive about the taste but with several big endurance events on the immediate horizon, we’re certainly willing to give it a go.
£N/A / $50
Specialized Command Post XCP
As far as dropper posts go, more travel is generally considered to be better than less – you’re trying to get your saddle down and out of the way, after all. Specialized has instead gone after the lightweight angle with its feathery Command Post XCP, which boasts a claimed weight of just 395g for the 27.2x350mm size (ours came as part of a complete bike so we haven’t had a chance to get an actual weight yet).
That’s more than 100g lighter than the norm thanks in part to the lightweight carbon outer body, but you do pay a functional price. Travel is limited to a scant 35mm but in fairness, Specialized does aim the XCP primarily at the cross-country crowd, who likely don’t need as much drop, anyway.
Either way, one of the highlights of the post is the awesome Command Post SRL remote, which perfectly mimics the action of a left-hand trigger shifter for fantastic ergonomics. It’ll only work for 1x drivetrains but if your bike is so equipped, this is one of the best dropper post remotes we’ve encountered so far.
£300 / $450 / AU$440
Juliana Bicycles women’s mtb jerseys
If you’re a fan of Juliana Bicycles, you can now display your allegiance loud and proud with its new range of cycling jerseys. Or you can just enjoy the nice shades, good fit and fairly subtle branding.
There are two women’s jerseys available; the Trail Jersey is a V-neck short sleeved T-shirt style affair, and the Enduro has an unusual buttoned neckline and three-quarter length sleeves for a little added coverage. Tall ladies can rejoice, as these jerseys come with some decent length to them meaning that lower back chills are a thing of the past. The cut is feminine but loose with plenty of room for throwing yourself around on the bike.
Both jerseys have an evergreen colour option (to match your Roubion, natch) with the Trail Jersey also available in red (pictured) and the Enduro Jersey in a striking purple. Bright, but not too loud – we like!
And if you want to extend your wardrobe further, there's also a range of T-shirts, caps, jumpers and socks. UK and Australian availability and pricing are imminent.
- Juliana Enduro Jersey: $60
- Juliana Trail Jersey: $50
Fabric Slim MTB Grips
Slim by name, slim by nature, these low-profile grips are ideal for those who like a closer feel on the bars, or just have smaller hands.
An outer layer of Kraton rubber, which has a great reputation for high traction and weather resistance, lies over a lightweight polypropylene core. Fabric claims these weigh in at only 80g a pair. A hidden alloy clamp maximizes the textured grip surface area, and there’s a range of colours available if you want to coordinate with your bike. Or not.
£19.99 / US/AUS tbc
VooDoo Maji & Soukri women’s mountain bikes
UK motoring and cycling super-chain Halfords revived this classic MTB brand a while back, and this year has introduced female specific hard tail and full-suspension models.
The full-suss Maji is a comfortable capable steed, with Shimano Tektro hydraulic disc brakes and Suntour Expion suspension with 140mm travel. It’s specced well for a bike coming in at under £1000, and ideal for ripping round trail centres and further afield.
Soukri is the hardtail on offer, also kitted with hydraulic disc brakes, and a 120mm Suntour XCR fork. Yes, it’s got pink on it, but in a fierce looking pink-and-matt-black, and no flowers in sight.
Both have female-specific geometry, 27.5in wheels, and come with the usual free six-week first service. Apologies, international readers, these are UK-only.
- Voodoo Maji: £899.99
- Voodoo Soukri: £499.99