It’s happened; summer solstice came and went this week in the northern hemisphere, meaning that it’s all downhill from here. Okay, not really – you still have plenty of long days of riding ahead of you this year. But don’t waste them.
To wet your whistle for this weekend’s riding, check out what showed up this week in our Colorado offices.
Road bike gear
Bopworx Rear Derailleur Guard/Mech Bike Packing Solution
Okay, so it doesn't have the prettiest name, but you get the idea what it does.
The Bopworx solution protects your rear derailleur and the derailleur hanger during travel or in storage. The stainless steel guard is covered in rubber padding.
To use, you loosen the rear quick release, slide the flat steel arms between the dropouts and the cassette, then close the quick release.
For those who travel with a bike in a case, this is an alternative to removing the rear derailleur for safe shipping.
It is not thru-axle compatible.
$25 / £19
4iiii Precision 2.0 power meter
4iiii offers left-crank power meters in two options: send your metal crank arm for installation, or buy a crank with a meter already installed. Prices start at $399 for the Shimano 105 version.
The latest version has a improved battery life of more than 100 hours, the company says, and transmits power data on ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart, making it compatible with virtually all modern cycling head units and smartphones.
We weighed our Dura-Ace 172.5 sample at 185g, and a standard Dura-Ace arm at 175g.
Pactimo Changing Kilt
If you’ve been riding bikes for a while, you’ve been there: changing conspicuously between street clothes and riding clothes in a place where you really shouldn’t be changing clothes.
Instead of awkwardly squirming inside the car, you could just get one of these Velcro kilts from Pactimo.
Sure, you could use a towel the same way, but this packs down much smaller and is much less likely to fall off at an awkward movement.
It comes in black and three bold plaid options.
Selle SMP Dynamic saddle
Selle SMP has dramatically different saddle shapes, each of which features both a substantial cutout and a drastic curvature. Two BikeRadar riders have tried this Dynamic model and been fairly impressed at its comfort.
The philosophy behind the saddle is that your pelvis should be stable, and that you shouldn’t have to slide forward or backward to get comfortable as you angle your torso throughout the ride. Instead, you should just be able to rotate your hips, with an anatomic design that doesn’t compress soft tissue or cause numbness.
The Dyanmic weighs 260g, and comes with thin padding and super-long rails in black leather or seven microfiber options.
$260 / £209
Stages Carbon power meter
Stages Cycling's new carbon crank works with both SRAM and FSA cranksets. Stages debuted the first alloy left-arm crank-based power meter in 2012, but and this is a world first for a carbon crank with a power meter built it.
The crank works as is with FSA cranksets, and with one of four spindles for compatibility with SRAM Red, Force/Rival, and two widths of mountain bike options.
The Stages Carbon is ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart compatible.
$699 / £499
Shimano 105 SPD SL pedals
The Shimano PD-5800 pedals feature the same stainless steel body plate, wide platform with spread-stance bearing placement as their higher-end siblings, Ultegra and Dura-Ace. Entry and release tension is adjustable.
We weighed this pair of composite-body pedals at 274g, less than the claimed 285g.
For riders who already have Shimano pedals, note that the cleats are compatible across the line, from the entry-level R450 up through this set to Dura-Ace.
$145 / £89
New mountain bike gear
Osprey Viper 9L hydration pack
The Viper 9L uses a 2.5l Hydrapack reservoir with a fresh version of Osprey’s magnetic bite valve. The new design uses an on/off valve behind the bite valve, rather than using a swiveling bite valve, which was prone to turning and leaking when stowed on the way to and from the trail.
The Viper 9l has a ventilated back panel, a stretch mesh harness pocket and Osprey’s handy Lidlock helmet carrying system.
$100 / £TBC / AU$TBC
Bontrager Drop Line seatpost
Bontrager is the latest company to enter the dropper market. The new Drop Line is cable actuated and comes with an ergonomic, under-the-bar lever.
The Drop line uses an air-sprung, hydraulic-locking cartridge to provide infinite adjustability within the range of drop. Bontrager makes the Drop Line in versions with 100, 125 and 150mm of travel.
The Drop Line only comes in a 31.6mm diameter, which, perhaps unsurprisingly, is the size Trek uses for all its mountain bikes.
Stay tuned for a full review of this new dropper.
$300 / £240 / AU$400
Bontrager Line Pro handlebar
Also just in from Bontrager is a new 'line' of 35mm handlebars and stems.
Shown here is the new 820mm-wide Line Pro model. Bontrager offers this carbon handlebar in versions with 15mm or 27.5mm of rise. Both versions feature 9 degrees of sweep and hash marks to aid in cutting them down to size, if needed.
$170 / £140 / AU$230
Six Six One Comp Slice gloves
The Comp Slice is Six Six One’s no-frills model full-finger model.
There’s a single-layer synthetic leather palm for excellent bar feel and silicone prints on the ends of the fingers to keep your digits from slipping off the brake and shift levers.
$22 / £19 / AU$38
Sun Ringle Duroc 50 wheelset
If plus bikes are your thing, consider giving Sun Ringle’s new Duroc 50 wheelset a spin.
As the same suggests, this wheelset rolls on 50mm-wide rims. These double-walled rims are tubeless compatible and come pre-taped with tubeless valves.
The alloy rims are laced to Sun Ringle’s news SRX hubs with 28 double-butted Wheelsmith straight-pull spokes.
Sun Ringle offers the Duroc in a 40 as well as this 50 version, and in 27.5 (shown) and 29er versions. Total weight for the 27.5in Duroc 50 wheelset is 2,150g.
$599 / £TBC / AU$ TBC