Another Friday, another week gone by, and suddenly you realise you're halfway through the second month of 2017 already!
Hopefully if you've promised yourself you'll get out more on the bike this year, you're managing it, and for everyone stuck at an office desk today, the weekend is just around the corner.
So for now, get your bike fix with our weekly dose of the latest goodies that have landed on the BikeRadar desk and remember — not long now!
New road cycling gear
FSA SL-K Modular Adventure cranks
We know all about the current trend for super-compact cranksets, but what do they actually look like?
Well, Italy’s Full Speed Ahead humbly presents this, the SL-K Modular Adventure. Our example’s made from hollow carbon arms with an alloy spindle and weighs a very respectable 617g.
It comes in two variants — the 48/32t pictured or an even easier 46/30t version — both of which feature Asymmetric Bolt Spacing for increased power transfer and are compatible with Shimano 11-speed systems.
If you’re keen on tough gravel rides, or touring without a triple chainset, this could be the one for you.
- £415 / $399 / AU$N/A
Clement Strada USH tyres
Billed as a light and fast gravel tyre for unpredictable roads, this is the third entry in the X’PLOR adventure/gravel series from French firm Clement Cycling.
It’s 32mm wide, tubeless-ready, with a fast-rolling centre and grippy herringbone-patterned shoulders.
The Strada USH is lower-profile than its siblings, the X’PLOR USH and MSO, and should be well-suited to commuting, touring and some very light off-road antics.
It weighs 341g and comes in two versions: 120tpi folding with puncture-protection belt (pictured) and 60tpi folding, again with puncture-protection belt.
- £55 / $75 / AU$TBC
Katusha Rain Parka
This smart-looking commuter jacket is made from a very clever fabric called Schoeller c-change, which is inspired by… wait it for it… pine cones.
Just as the forest-bound conical wonders open up when the temperature rises, so too do the pores in this waterproof fabric to allow more heat to escape. Biomimicry, people.
There’s a smattering of cycling-specific features that make it more enjoyable — and safe — to ride in.
There’s a two-way front zip that can be opened from the bottom for more comfort when pedalling, reflective detailing on the hood and rear of the articulated shoulders, a waterproof chest pocket for your phone and nicely tacky zip pulls.
Giro Empire VR90 shoes
Here’s a new lime-green/black colourway of Giro’s popular Empire VR90 lace-up mountain biking shoes.
There’s nothing new about them apart from the colour, but we liked it so much we wanted to see for ourselves just how tangy it is.
The Empire VR90 remains one of the lightest available dirt-riding shoes at 315g (size 42.5), with a full-carbon outsole and moulded Vibram rubber tread for plenty of grip.
You can also screw in some steel toe spikes if the latter still isn’t enough to dig in.
- £220 / $300 / AU$350
Haynes Road Cycling Manual
Car workshop manuals may be its bread-and-butter, but Haynes now wants to help us all be better bike mechanics too.
That’s actually doing a bit of a disservice to the Haynes Road Cycling Manual, which covers every aspect of modern road cycling, from choosing a bike, to setting it up, and fitness training through to riding techniques and bike maintenance.
It’s authored by Luke Edwards-Evans, a former editor of Bicycle magazine, and is aimed at all experience levels.
Using Haynes’ distinctive step-by-step approach, the manual covers all the options when choosing and buying a bike as well as preparing it for a long-distance ride, fixing common problems and upgrading various components.
Because bike books aren’t just for Christmas.
- £22 / $36.95 / AU$N/A
Crane Sakura stem mounted bell
Here’s a solution to a problem you never knew you had — are your bars too cluttered to mount a bell? Or is mounting a bell on your handlebars just too simple for you?
If so, this top-cap mounted Crane Sakura bell may be the solution.
Produced in Osaka, Japan, the Sakura mounts via a vestigial looking threaded lump, which is cast into an otherwise regular top-cap.
The bell has a delightful ring that will please the pickiest of campanologists — it is just slightly ear piercing enough to warn even the most distracted of cycle-path-straying pedestrians and dogs, and continues for some time after the initial strike.
We’ve gone for black, but the Sakura also comes in brass, copper and silver.
Crane also produces the Sakura with stem and regular ol’ bar mounts.
- £13.99 / $22.00 / AU$N/A
New mountain bike gear
If you're obsessive about your suspension or just want to get the best out of it, then the ShockWiz from Quarq is likely to be on your lust list.
This compact little device monitors the performance of your air-sprung suspension as you ride and, together with the app it runs with, allows you to fine tune your suspension to get the most from it — adapting it to different terrains and riding styles.
Quarq is keen to point out that this isn't just for hardcore enduro racers or the dedicated bike settlers; there are advantages for riders of all levels, disciplines and interests using the ShockWiz, in its opinion.
We've actually had a sneaky ride on this already, with What Mountain Bike technical editor Tom Marvin putting it to the test last year, but it's finally been released to market so if you've been waiting to get your hands on one, now's the time!
- £359 / $399 / AU$602.40
Kore Stronghold N/W chainrings
While the Kore Stronghold chainring has been around a while, what is new is the range of different sizes (and the fetching colours they come in) allowing you to change your 2x drivetrain into 1x with relative ease, according to Kore.
The are several size options available: 30T, 32T, 34T and 36T and a rainbow of anodised colour options including blue, green, red, black, purple and of course silver.
The N/W name refers to 'narrow/wide', an element of the tooth profile that's designed, Kore says, to provide better chain retention, eliminating the need for a chain device.
- £39.99 / $42.99 / AU$55.99
Canyon Spectral WMN AL 8.0 EX
When BikeRadar put the Spectral AL 8.0 EX to the test, we were impressed, calling it a 'bargain trail bike that's more than the sum of it's parts'.
The WMN version of the bike has been put together specifically for female riders, incorporating a women's specific custom shock tune on the RockShox Pike RCT3 forks and Monarch XX shock, plus SDG Allure saddle. The aluminium frame geometry is the same as the unisex/men's version, however.
This bike is also one of the bikes we're testing for the upcoming women's Trail Bike of the Year awards — so keep your eyes peeled on BikeRadar to see how it does!
- £2,949 / $N/A / AU$4,799
Primal Alpine Camo MTB jersey and Escade shorts
You may already be familiar with the brand Primal for its bright and bold road cycling kit. What you might not realise is that it also dabbles in MTB kit.
The company's focus is very much still on the road side, but there is a limited selection of both men's and women's kit which, in the case of the women's kit, certainly channels Primal's bright aesthetic.
The Escade shorts come with their own removable chamois liner, plenty of pockets and an adjustable waist band.
The fabric is lightweight and has some stretch to it, though it's worth noting that they look like they're cut to sit above the knee.
The MTB jersey is a loose-fit jersey with a female cut that's constructed from lightweight fabric panels. Sections of a stretch mesh fabric at the back and sides are designed to aid breathability and there is even a little zipped rear pocket for stowing change or keys.
- Escade shorts: £75 / $100 / AU$N/A
- MTB jersey: £45 / $60 / AU$N/A
- Jersey & shorts multibuy: £108 / $160 / AU$N/A
Nukeproof CS CroMo pedals
The brand spanking new CS pedals are one of two new pedal options from Nukeproof.
Along with the CL pedals, they were developed in-house and the design is an evolution of its Horizon Pro pedals.
The CS model is the smaller of the two, aimed at trail and enduro riding, with a smaller outer cage around the clipless mechanism — and through adjusting the pin height it's possible to get the optimum level of traction to suit you.
Nukeproof produce cleats to pair with the pedals and Shimano cleats are also compatible.
We've got the CroMo version on our desk, but there are also Ti versions available.
- £99 / $N/A / AU$N/A