Yes! It's Friday again! Weekend rides and other shenanigans are mere hours away. To celebrate the day we have BikeRadar's 11spd, showcasing the newest, neatest and freshest gear to land in our well-calloused hands.
- BMC's Roadmachine X is designed for even more adventure
- Canyon's new Inflite AL SLX looks like stupendous value for money
Vee Tire Crown Gem
Ahh, tire sizes, the one constant with them seems to be there is no constant. 26in was shaken up by 29in, then 27.5in came in and made a ruckus. Next up was fat tires, then plus-tires emerged.
But wait, it's not over yet. Around the intersection of big, enduro rubber and soft, squirmy plus-tires comes 2.6in tires. This middle size can be found in both 27.5in and 29er diameters and promises the best of, oh you know, nevermind...
Vee Tire's 27.5in Crown Gem is one such example. It comes in the not-quite-plus-size 2.6in, as well as 2.8in and 3.0in versions.
Vee's 57a Tackee rubber compound forms the variable height knobs. To keep rolling resistance to acceptable levels, the center tread has shorter knobs while the side knobs receive a bit of height for cornering bite.
A 120tpi casing and folding bead aim to keep the Crown Gem light and supple.
- £42 / $65 / AU$ TBD
Fly Racing Warpath shorts
Fly Racing comes from another two-wheel discipline, that being motorcross. While there are lots of similarities between the two sports, the angrily named Warpath shorts are decidedly for mountain biking.
The material is a breathable, stretchy polyester and the shorts include a chamois-filled mesh liner. A one-side Velcro waist adjuster allows a bit of size range.
Zippable vents on the thighs keep the breeze flowing through and zippers on all pockets help to keep your on-ride necessities yours.
- £TBD / $109.95 / AU$145.95
Sweet Protection Merino SS jersey
Sweet Protection's Merino SS jersey is 100 percent Merino — no fillers, no fluff, no plasticky feeling additions.
Being comprised of Merino allows the jersey to remain cool in the heat, warm in the cold, and best of all, not smell like it's been worn four days in a row, when this is precisely what you've done.
- £59.95 / $59.95 / AU$TBD
RockyMounts Carlito lock
RockyMounts' Carlito lock has the size, security and finish to make it the best out of any urban rider's necessary gear.
Its size is a pocket-friendly 75 x 127mm, it weighs a respectable 395g, and it's coated in a soft-touch rubber silicon to protect your bike's finish and not cause issues when tossed in a bag with other gear.
With a 14mm shackle, it looks beefy and secure, too. Three keys are included because losing lock keys is sadly a cycling ritual.
- £37 / $39.95 / AU$52.48
Canyon Torque CF 9.0 Pro
Canyon's Torque bikes are impressive, so much so, the one-step-down Torque CF 8.0 snagged BikeRadar's Enduro Bike of the Year award.
With 175/180mm front and rear travel, the carbon Torque CF 9.0 Pro is at home on burly enduro tracks and at the bike park. Up front, Fox's 36 Factory fork leads the charge and a factory-spec Float X2 shock handles the rear-end action.
Yet, Canyon didn't completely leave climbing out of the equation. SRAM's X01 Eagle is on board with its dinner-plate size 50T bail out gear should you desire to winch yourself uphill before shredding down.
It's also easy to firm up the ride as the rear shock has a compression climb lever and the 36 Factory has three easy-to-adjust compression settings. When it's time to make the most with gravity, the big Torque has Mavic Deemax Pro wheels wrapped in Mavic 2.5in tires on duty as well as SRAM Code RSC discs.
And this beast also has some beauty in my opinion; It's absolutely gorgeous with a quality black-to-blue fade and a stealthy matte finish down tube.
- £4,499 / €4,999 / $4,999 / AU$7,199
Kali Strike knee armor
Striking a combination of hard and soft knee protection is Kali's Strike knee armor.
Some curiously named stuff called Xelion makes the hard, impact-shunning knee pad. Xelion is 3D molded and is supposed to firm up upon impact.
On the sides of the knee (you know the bony bits that more often get banged up in a crash) the Strikes feature EVA padding.
The back panel has a thin mesh that resists bunching and lets the air flow through.
Finally, the pull-on design features silicone grippers at the top and bottom, and there's a small Velcro strap to snug them up a bit more.
- £64 / $85 / AU$112
Outdoor Tech Turtle Shell 3.0 speaker
Keeping the good times rolling off the bike is all about setting the right vibe and music plays one of the biggest roles in that. Outdoor Tech's Turtle Shell 3.0 speaker claims to pump out tunes for up to 20 hours.
This wireless boombox connects via Bluetooth and has a range of 32 feet, which is ideal if you want to keep your phone in your pocket instead of sitting beside the speaker.
Speaking of phones, the Turtle Shell 3.0 is also a powerbank capable of recharging GoPros, tablets and other small devices with its 3,600 mAh capacity.
Outdoor Tech says it's waterproof and it even floats should something interesting happen.
- £TBD / $99.95 / AU$TBD
Adidas Zonyk Aero Pro sunglasses
These delightfully Euro-style glasses from Adidas are to be Jack’s new sunnies for the summer after his previous pair were squished by a car when they flew out of a jersey pocket.
The shades feature a half-rim style, which improves peripheral vision, ventilation and also makes them a touch easier to clean.
The foam sweat bar on the brow may seem a bit gimmicky at first glance, but our experience has shown this is quite useful on hot ’n’ sticky days in the saddle.
The glasses are available in a delightful range of lairy hues, but we’ve gone for a plain black frame with some striking purpley-blue lenses. Vario reactive lenses are also available.
£152 is undoubtedly a lot of money to spend on a pair of sunglasses, but in the wider context of high-end cycling sunnies, these present pretty decent value for money.
- £152 / $210 / AU$277
Chapter2 Rere frameset and Knight wheels
Clearly not a fan of the spacebar, Chapter2 — not to be confused with David Millar’s CHPT3 (we were) — was founded a few years ago by ex-NeilPryde engineer, Mike Pryde.
We’ve just taken delivery of this rather lovely looking limited-edition Rere frameset, the brand’s aero offering.
The bike features heavily shaped tubes and a unique profile that is said to have been extensively tested in the University of Auckland’s in-house wind tunnel.
Our test bike is outfitted with Chapter2’s own Mana integrated cockpit and a set of mid-depth rims from Knight, which are laced to a set of those low-drag Rotor RVOLVER hubs that we featured last year.
The rest of the build is on route and is one we’re really looking forward to seeing complete.
- £1,695 / $2,699 / AU$3630, international pricing TBC
Pelotan sun lotion
Pelotan is a new single application alcohol-based spray-on sun lotion designed for cyclists looking to curate the sharpest of tan lines.
The SPF30-rated lotion is said to absorb quickly and be highly breathable. Pelotan also claims the lotion is 'lightweight' — roadies are known to be weight-conscious, but this takes things to a whole new level.
A 200ml bottle of Pelotan will set you back £20 and is live now on Indiegogo (and has reached half of its £7k goal as of writing).
- £20 (introductory price), international pricing TBA
Saikel Segments jersey and bibs
There’s no shortage of startups bringing high-quality cycling kit to market these days, but there’s few bringing products with as much flair as this funky swag from Saikel.
The kit has a charming neo-retro '80s-ish Memphis Group-like aesthetic that has tickled the collective pickle of the BikeRadar office.
The kit isn’t just a looker — it’s also really nicely finished with laser-cut edges, flat-lock stitching and suitably on-trend long sleeves and legs. The kit is available in both men’s and women’s fits.
Monochrome kit, of course, has its place, but we’ll gladly welcome anything that injects a bit of fun into a sport that often takes itself far too seriously.
- Saikel Segments jersey: €125, international pricing TBC
- Saikel Segments bib shorts: €170, international pricing TBC