Thank your lucky stars and give the person next to you a solid high-five: it's Friday.
At BikeRadar's US offices we are still semi-comatose from celebrating Thanksgiving, where Americans feel obliged to overindulge in food in drink. (How is this different than normal, you ask? Really it just comes down to the turkey stuffing and cranberry sauce, things you couldn't pay us to eat any other time of the year.)
Despite this, we've muddled our way through the food coma to bring you an indulgence of something much more rewarding: 11 pieces of brand new bike gear. Now give thanks, and dig in.
New road bike gear
POC AVIP Spring Jacket
Visibility is thing number two in the AVIP acronym, and the white and bright orange are intentional for safety. The AVIP Spring Jacket is windproof on the chest but decently breathable. Unlike most jackets, the AVIP doesn't have separate collar panels but instead shapes the neck with the cut and seams.
While many companies have a pocket for a smartphone, POC goes with a small pocket marked 'My Info' in bright orange, with the idea being that first responders can ID you if you have a horrible crash.
$250 / AU$TBC
Specialized Diverge X1
Specialized’s adventure bike comes in a number of builds; this SRAM bike has more water-bottle cages than chainrings. The gigantic 11-42 cassette pairs with the 46t ring for great range, but the bike only has 11 total gears and thus some decent jumps between them.
The Diverge features geometry similar to the Roubaix, meaning an upright body position and a low body bracket, but the Diverge has an even greater fork rake, which means an über-stable front end.
Fat (32mm) clinchers, an ultra-flexy seatpost and hydraulic disc brakes round out the package.
$3,900 / AU$4,799
Castelli Tempesta leg warmers
Castelli's new Tempesta leg warmers feature some serious reflectivity (and waterproof claims) on the lower legs. The Reflex lower legs on the Tempesta leg warmers don't have nearly as much stretch as a normal leg warmer, but they are designed to completely keep water out, not just temporarily deflect it.
The leg warmers are designed to be worn under Castelli’s Tempesta ¾ rain pant, which is effectively a rain shell for your lower half, but of course can be worn with just bib shorts.
$99 / AU$TBC
Assos haBu jacket
The forthcoming Assos haBu jacket has a funny name and a very comfortable feel. A few types of lightweight thermal fabric combine to offer a snug, breathable, warm fit with very little bulk and decent windproofing on the front.
The jacket comes in a few different styles, with options like this green being visible but not from the traffic-safety palette.
$379 / AU$TBC
Also arriving from Specialized is the new Airnet, which combines the classic styling of old-school leather hairnets with modern features such as generous venting, deep internal channeling, a height-adjustable Mindset retention system, and ultralight webbing with fixed splitters.
Other neat touches include ‘vent grippers’ at both the front and rear to help securely stow eyewear, Merino wool-blend pads, reflective decals for nighttime visibility, and a wraparound lower shell for long-term durability.
Actual weight for a small CPSC-approved sample is 276g.
$150 / £100 / €140 / AU$200
Q36.5 Smart Protector
You can use a plastic bag, or you can get a dedicated cover for your phone. If you want to take it to 11, you can go with Q36.5. This Smart Protector uses two layers of waterproof fabric keep your device dry, and fits smartphones up to the iPhone 6.
It comes in black, orange, green, orange/white and black/orange.
€49 / AU$N/A
New mountain bike gear
Shimano MW7 winter cycling shoes
The MW7 blends winter boot insulation with trail shoe performance. It features an insulated waterproof Gore-Tex liner and thick, fleece-covered insole to retain heat and a Neoprene cuff with Velcro closure to seal out the elements.
Fit adjustments are handled with a drawstring lacing system, much like those found on snowboard boots, and a single Velcro strap. All this is tucked away from mud and snow by the shoe shield.
We’ve already got these shoes under test. Initial impressions are that the nylon sole is stiff under pedaling with enough flex through the midsole for hike-a-biking. Soft rubber lugs to provide traction in wet and muddy conditions.
Stay tuned for a full review once the mercury really plummets.
$250 / £160 / AU$350
Effetto Mariposa Caffélatex 60ml squeeze bottle
Effetto Mariposa is a new squeeze pack version of its Caffélatex tubeless sealant. This travel friendly, 60ml size is just enough sealant to top off a mountain bike tire. Road tubeless users can fill both tires with one squeeze pack.
Each pack comes with a handy applicator, so you can inject sealant directly through the valve stem.
$6 / £4 / AU$8
Pearl Izumi Launch Thermal Jersey
This jersey might be the perfect companion for spring and fall riding, as well as milder winter days. The Launch Thermal Jersey looks like an ordinary long sleeve baggy top, but the heavy weight thermal fleece polyester material retains heat while remaining breathable. Cuffed sleeves keep the cold from creeping up your arms and a built-in eyewear cloth makes it easy to wipe away sweat and trail spray.
$75 / £50 / AU$110
Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Barrier WxB Gloves
Next up from Pearl are the P.R.O. Barrier WxB Gloves. They’re lightly insulated with a brushed fleece fabric on the interior and a softshell exterior. Sandwiched in the middle is a waterproof OutDry membrane. The OutDry layer blocks water droplets from seeping through the glove. Perspiration is free to exit the membrane, preventing your hands from becoming clammy.
$100 / £68 / AU$140
Bontrager Kovee Elite Saddle
Bontrager’s Kovee saddle line is designed for trail bikes. What makes a saddle “trail bike-specific”, you ask? Well, according to Bontrager, firm but ample padding designed to be comfortable on long rides with rounded contours intended to prevent the rider from snagging their baggy shorts.
The Kovee line comes in 128, 138 (shown) and 148mm widths to accommodate a wide range of pelvis widths.
The Kovee Elite uses hollow titanium rails and a carbon reinforced shell to keep the gram count in check. The weight for this 138mm version is 226g.
$130 / £75 / AU$160