All hail Friday! All hail the coming weekend's rides! And all check out this week's latest 11spd!
Every week we have 11 new pieces of cycling goodness lined up here for your visual pleasure. Next week we'll take a closer look at a few of them. But for now, feast your eyes – and get out on your bike this weekend!
New road gear
Fizik Aliante VS saddle
If you like Fizik's Aliante saddle but find it a little, uh, numbing over long rides, the VS version with an anatomic channel might be the one for you.
Fizik recommends the Aliante for those with poor back flexibility, but many others find it comfortable, too. This version has ovalized carbon rails, a nylon/carbon shell, a Microtex cover and a snap-on attachment for Fizik saddle bags and/or rear lights.
We weighed our sample at 224g; claimed weight is 229g.
$246 / £TBC / AU$300
Shimano RP9 shoes
Shimano's new Road Performance line is a mix of Tour de France-level features with lower-key design and all-day comfort. Features borrowed from the Tour-level R321 shoe include a heat-malleable custom fit upper and insole, a ‘Surround’ upper that pulls the shoe upper over the foot, and the twin Velcro and reverse buckle fastening system.
Large exhaust ports at the toe work together with an anti-bacterial, ‘mint aroma’ footbed to fight off the funk. The custom fit system also offers interchangeable arch support.Generous, but non-replaceable heel and toe grippers complete the shoe. We weighed a size 43 sample pair at a competitive 575g, and a size 45 pair at 638g.
$275 / £TBC / AU$329
Clif Bar Hot Chocolate bar
As the temperature drops, hot cocoa sounds pretty good, right? Well, you can't exactly put a cup in your jersey pocket. But you can carry this 250-calorie bar with you. The ingredient list starts off with organic oats, soy protein, cane syrup and cocoa, and is followed by other simple ingredients you can recognize and pronounce.
$1.50 / £TBC / AU$3
Pactimo Storm Hybrid jacket
Is this a jersey or a jacket? Pactimo says it's both. The short-sleeve thermal piece is treated with DWR, so water just rolls right off.
The race-cut jacket comes with matching arm warmers of the same material and treatment. The three rear pockets are protected with a top flap to keep water out.
The Storm Hybrid is available in custom, too, as the jacket and arm warmers can be sublimated.
$175 / £TBC / AU$NA
Bell Gage MIPS helmet
Bell’s Gage is a longstanding quality lid that does its job and looks good for a reasonable price. Now it comes with the added MIPS technology.
The retention strap is adjustable for height and width, and the 26 vents offer plenty of ventilation. The 266g helmet comes in five styles, from low-key to fluoro.
$195 / £TBC / AU$330
Assos knee warmers
Assos' designers made a big push to lighten up the weight of their warmers without reducing the warmth. The new Evo7 warmers are made with an RX Light material and a water-repellent treatment.
The knee and arm warmers roll up into a small fistful, easily stowed in a jersey pocket. The warmers are left/right-specific.
$69 / £TBC / AU$N/A
New mountain bike gear
Lifeproof FRĒ iPhone 6 case
The FRĒ is a fully sealed iPhone case that will keep your smartphone safe from nearly anything Mother Nature can throw at it including snow, water, dirt and drops. It’s not lava-proof though, so use caution around active volcanoes.
The slim polycarbonate case is waterproof to 2m. It’s rated to survive drops of 2m as well. There’s a door on the bottom of the case that opens to allow charging and a screw-off cover for the audio jack. The FRĒ requires the use of a screw-in adapter for its audio jack, which is included with the case.
$80 / £68 / AU$100
WTB SL8 Carbon saddle
WTB's new SL8 saddle takes design cues from two of the company’s most popular models, the Volt and Silverado, and merges them into a slim silhouette with a narrow nose and a bit of flare at the rear.
The SL8 is 263mm long from tip to tail and runs narrow, coming in at just 127mm at its widest point.
This carbon-railed version has an actual weight of 150g, making it the lightest saddle WTB has ever produced.
$250 / £150 / AU$320
WTB Trail Boss 27.5x3in
Plus-size bikes continue to steamroll the cycling industry. WTB is keeping pace with a version of the popular Trail Boss in a voluminous 3in-wide tread.
WTB reworked the tread pattern from the standard-sized Trail Boss by stacking a double row of tightly-spaced knobs down the midline to reduce rolling resistance and adding an intermediate row of transition knobs to make it more predictable through the turns.
The Trail Boss has a 60tpi casing and uses a dual compound rubber to balance traction with durability.
This 27.5x3in version is tubeless ready and weighs in at 1,103g.
$68 / £45 / AU$TBC
Industry Nine BC 450 wheelset
While we’re on the subject of plus-sized bikes, Industry Nine is rolling out the new BC 450 wheelset. Industry Nine will offer the BC 450 in 29+ and 27.5+ versions. The tubeless-ready alloy rims have an internal width of 45mm and an external width of 49mm.
The BC 450 uses Industry Nine’s tried and true freehub, with six pawls engaging a 120-point drive ring resulting in a very speedy 3 degrees of engagement.
Industry Nine will also offer the BC 450 in all common axle standards with options for SRAM and Shimano freehubs.
The weight for our 27.5+ test wheelset is 930g for the front and 1090g for the rear wheel.
$1,275 / £920 / AU$TBC
Bontrager Ion 700 RT and Flare RT
Bontrager’s Ion and Flare have proven to be great at thwarting darkness.These lights are now available in versions that are wirelessly controlled with Bontrager’s Transmitr remote.
You can pair up to seven different lights using the ANT+ protocol and can cycle through individual modes to suit your commuting or nocturnal trail riding needs.
$140 / £110 / AU$180 (Ion 700 RT)
$80 / £60 / AU$100 (Flare RT)