11spd: This week's best new bike gear

The latest and the greatest gear that's landed in the BikeRadar office

Well, well, well, look at what's finally showed up again. It's Friday. And not only is it Friday, chances are it's the start of a long weekend hopefully filled with family, friends and lots of bike-related gifts. 

In this final week before Christmas we've highlighted our favorite mountain bike products of 2017, discussed how Shimano has a stranglehold on power meters in the upcoming 2018 race season and reviewed a 27.5-inch XC rocket in the form of a Pivot Mach 4

But before you rush off to read those articles/continue wrapping your presents/finish your last-minute shopping, why not take a moment to see what new goodies have arrived in the BikeRadar office over the last few days… Goodies that may very well be making it on to your Christmas list for next year.

Dhb Merino Collection: long-sleeve jersey, socks and base layer

dhb has just released it's own range of merino kit
dhb has just released it's own range of merino kit

Winter is here and cyclists across the Northern Hemisphere will be cracking out the merino – the wicking, insulating, odour-resistant and antibacterial wonder-wool that's the favourite of cyclists across the land.

Dhb has just launched a new range of its own merino kit and we’ve got a hold of the jersey, socks and base layer from the collection

The jersey is on the lighter side
The jersey is on the lighter side

The long-sleeve jersey is on the lighter end of the winter-wear scale, with a slightly slimmer cut than normal and a panel of ventilating mesh down the back.

A ventilated back panel should keep sweat at bay
A ventilated back panel should keep sweat at bay

The jersey is available in a range of different hues, but we’re actually quite fond of this rather handsome olive drab.

The sleeveless base layer will make a great start to ensuring winter warmth
The sleeveless base layer will make a great start to ensuring winter warmth

The merino base layer is delightfully soft against the skin
The merino base layer is delightfully soft against the skin

Don't like sleeves? No problem – the super-thin sleeveless merino base layer is delightfully soft against the skin. And there's no need for your feet to feel left out as the thick winter-weight socks should hopefully ward off the worst winter-cold.

  • Jersey: £79.99 / $112 / AU$146
  • Base layer: £30 / $42 / AU$55
  • Socks: £13 / $18 / AU$24

Christmas Santa Bauble

Just in case your loved ones weren't already painfully aware of how much you like cycling...
Just in case your loved ones weren't already painfully aware of how much you like cycling...

This glass bauble is currently dangling from BikeRadar’s festive pine where it’s added some much-required bike chic. 

There probably won’t be enough time to get this onto your tree before the big day this year but buy one now and you’ll be ready for next year. 

  • £7.95, international pricing n/a

Axiom Axle Runners

Axiom's axle runners sit behind your quick release and allow you to fit mudguards to a bike without eyelets
Axiom's axle runners sit behind your quick release and allow you to fit mudguards to a bike without eyelets

These nifty nubbins from Axiom allow you to convert any bike with quick release skewers into a be-fendered winter-wagon with ease.

The lightweight alloy plates sit between your dropouts and QR nut/lever and the 4mm threaded stub’s allow you to fit full-cover mudguards to a bike without eyelets.

Of course, clip-on mudguards already exist, but they don’t offer the same stability as a proper set of mudguards.

The nifty nubbins are quite unintrusive
The nifty nubbins are quite unintrusive

And before anyone asks: no, you can't mount a pannier rack to these.

We’re going to try the Axle Runners out this week, so expect a first look on BikeRadar soon!

  • £11.99 / $16 / €14

Pinnacle Front Luggage Rack

Front racks are so under loved
Front racks are so under loved

Front racks are one of the most underloved bike accessories out there, unfairly so in our opinion. Especially as getting your rucksack off your bag and onto your bike makes for a much-less sweaty commute and keeping your stuff in-sight means you avoid dropped-pannier paranoia.

The rack will mount to any bike with fork mid eyelets
The rack will mount to any bike with fork mid eyelets

Although this particular rack from Pinnacle was made to go with the brand's Lithium LTD – a bike designed to mark the 10th anniversary of the do-it-all hybrid – it will work on any bike with mid-fork eyelets and a drilled crown.

The rack will easily accommodate a 10
The rack will easily accommodate a 10

The 8kg-capacity rack is 36cm wide and 27.5cm deep, which is just big enough for a 10in pizza. Its 9cm-high ‘fence’ should also stop your precious cargo from inadvertently flying out.

There's a little tab on the front to attach a light
There's a little tab on the front to attach a light

We’re also particularly fond of the underslung light mount that hangs below the front of the rack – no matter how much junk you pile into it, your light's beam will be unobstructed.

Unsure how to mount a light this? Why not check out the Paul Gino!

At £40, the Pinnacle rack is pretty darn cheap compared to a lot of other porteur-style racks on the market and we’re looking forward to portaging all sorts of goodies in it.

  • £40, international pricing N/A

Rapha Brevet Insulated Gilet

This insulated gilet from Rapha might just be the winter layering solution you've been looking for
This insulated gilet from Rapha might just be the winter layering solution you've been looking for

This sunshiney-yellow Rapha Brevet Insulated gilet has been brightening up our office this week and looks like a perfect option for the chilly months ahead.

You can just about see the light insulation beneath the paper-thin face fabric
You can just about see the light insulation beneath the paper-thin face fabric

The gilet is lined with a thin layer of Polartec Alpha insulation – a lightweight, hydrophobic, insulating material that was designed specifically for high-intensity activities.

Reflective highlights improve visibility
Reflective highlights improve visibility

The gilet is treated with a DWR coating and has high-vis highlights to improve your chances of being seen in low-light conditions. Stretchy side panels should also improve its breathability.

The gilet packs down as small as a regular uninsulated one
The gilet packs down as small as a regular uninsulated one

While the Brevet Insulated gilet isn't quite as compact as a simple ‘shell’ gilet, it's still supremely packable and you shouldn't have an issue stuffing a rolled up one into a normal jersey pocket.

Mesh sides should stop overheating
Mesh sides should stop overheating

If you run a little on the hot side, we reckon that one of these matched with a thinner, long-sleeve jersey is a great way to keep sweat at bay.

  • £130 / $210 / AU$230

Fickaskåp Waterproof Wallet

The Fickaskap pouch is a slim waterproof wallet for your phone and valuables
The Fickaskap pouch is a slim waterproof wallet for your phone and valuables

This minimal wallet from Fickaskåp features everything you could ask of a weatherproof pouch – it’s water and dustproof, touchscreen compatible and will accommodate a phone up to 5.8 x 3.1in big.

The pouch is touchscreen compatible
The pouch is touchscreen compatible

An internal divider should make sorting and finding your valuables easier and stop anything from working its way to the front of the case and scratching your phone.

  • £26.97

Showers Pass Lightweight Waterproof Socks

Gray camo is a good look for these
Gray camo is a good look for these

Cold feet are a real drag. In fact, I'm certain more than a handful of rides have been ruined by wet, frigid footsies. But it doesn't have to be that way according to Showers Pass. 

Its Lightweight Waterproof socks feature full three-layer construction. The outer layer is a wear-resistant knit exterior that's soft like a regular sock, the middle layer is a waterproof breathable Artex membrane and the inside layer that sits on your skin is a Coolmax FX moisture-wicking anti-bacterial lining.

Plus, they're plenty tall and come in a bunch of colors, although I think they look best in grey camo.

  • £27 / $36.00 / AU$47

Priority Bicycles 174 Hudson Pannier Backpack

It's a backpack, it's a pannier, it's the 174 Hudson bag
It's a backpack, it's a pannier, it's the 174 Hudson bag

This two-in-one pack doubles as a pannier on the bike and a backpack off it. Either way, the 174 Hudson pack is a rugged piece of kit constructed from wax-treated canvas with waterproof zippers. The roll top also ensures further weather resistance. 

To reveal the rack attachment
To reveal the rack attachment

Inside, there's room for a 15in laptop as well as plenty of space for additional necessities. On the exterior there are water bottle pockets on both sides and the leather accents are claimed to be vegan, which is a nice way of saying they're made from polyurethane. 

  • £59 / $79.99 / AU$104

Pearl Izumi X-Alp Elevate Shoes

The Vibram outsoles have actually soft rubber tread
The Vibram outsoles have actually soft rubber tread

Partnerships can be a great thing, in life, in business and… in footwear. Take for instance Pearl Izumi's new X-Alp Elevate mountain bike shoes. They're loaded with features such as Vibram outsoles, a Boa lacing system and three-layer seamless upper. 

On the bike, pedal power should be helped by the addition of a nylon and carbon-composite shank. The toes are reinforced for the inevitable rock bashes and dialing in the fit should come easy thanks to the two-way Boa dial. 

A Boa dial adjusts the fit
A Boa dial adjusts the fit

Off the bike, the useable tread and EVA midsole ought to allow you to hike and walk like a normal human. And if the light blue colour is a bit much, they're also offered in a much more sedate black.

  • £142.95 / $160 / AU$ TBD

Terrene Elwood 40mm Gravel Tyres

Terrene Elwood tires are built for this new thing called gravel riding
Terrene Elwood tires are built for this new thing called gravel riding

Tyres can be one of the more tricky pieces of gear to get right, especially when it comes to gravel treads. Too light and it's puncture city; too heavy and it can feel like the brakes are rubbing. Finding the right balance takes knowledge and a bit of experimentation. 

Terrene's 40mm Elwood tyres lean toward the more robust side of gravel riding (a category 4 on the ISGG (Industry Standard Guide to Gravel). They're offered in either Light or Tough casings. 

The tight center tread looks to be fast
The tight center tread looks to be fast

The centre tread is tightly packed and, like any good dirt tyre, the shoulder knobs have a bit of breathing room to grab terra firma.

If your gravel/adventure exploits align better with 27.5in rolling stock, Terrene has 27.5 x 47mm Elwoods available as well.

  • £49 / $65 / AU$TBD

Funkier Bolzano Waterproof Jacket

Funkier's Bolzano jacket doesn't mind the cold and wet
Funkier's Bolzano jacket doesn't mind the cold and wet

Winter and cold weather shouldn't keep you off the bike and jackets like Funkier's Bolzano go a long way towards making that possible. This softshell is loaded with features to deal with inclement weather such as waterproof zippers, a high, snug collar and wrist gaiters to seal out any nasty cold breezes.

Wrist gaitors should do well in keeping the cold from sneaking in
Wrist gaitors should do well in keeping the cold from sneaking in

Reflective details can be found on the front pockets as well as on the back, where you'll also find a large waterproof pocket.

To vent excess heat, long, mesh-lined side zips run along the sides of the jacket and the sleeves can be opened to the breeze along their entire length with mesh-lined zips of their own. 

  • £104 / $139.95 / AU$182
Jack Luke

Staff Writer, UK
Jack has been riding and fettling with bikes for his whole life. Always in search of the hippest new niche in cycling, Jack is a self-confessed gravel dork and thinks nothing of bivouacking on a beach after work. Also fond of cup and cone bearings, skids and tan wall tyres.
  • Discipline: Long days in the saddle by either road or mountain bike
  • Preferred Terrain: Happiest when on a rural road by the coast or crossing a remote mountain pass. Also partial to a cheeky gravel adventure or an arduous hike-a-bike.
  • Current Bikes: Custom Genesis Croix de Fer all road adventure wagon, Niner EMD 9.
  • Dream Bike: A rigid 44 Bikes Marauder, all black please.
  • Beer of Choice: Caesar Augustus
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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