Welcome to the first Friday of 2015! Here is our latest round-up of the cool new mountain bike and road gear that's arrived in the last week.
New mountain bike gear
Easton Haven 35mm Handlebar
Easton’s 35mm handlebar range isn’t limited to high-end carbon offerings. The company also offers the Haven in a more budget-friendly aluminum version.
The Haven 35 is available in low (20mm) and high (40mm) versions. This 750mm-wide handlebar features 5 degrees of upsweep and 9 degrees of backsweep.
The Haven 35 tips the scale at 270g – just 82g heavier than its carbon counterpart. Easton’s Haven 35 is available in three anodised bruise-worthy colorways: black, blue and green.
US$90 / £70 / AU$136
Leatt Airflex knee and elbow guards
Leatt’s steadily expanding range of protective products is no longer limited to neckbraces – it now includes soft armour too.
The Airflex elbow and kneeguards are suitable for everyday trail riding. Both the elbow and kneeguards are constructed like Lycra arm and knee warmers, with a 6mm-thick pad constructed of a material called Armorgel, which hardens upon impact.
Our first rides in these pads have proven them to be very comfortable. Look for a full review in the near future.
- AirFlex elbow guards: US$79 / £TBA / AU$TBA
- AirFlex knee guards: US$99 / £TBA / AU$TBA
Bontrager Chupacabra tyre
We got our first look at the Chupacabra last summer at Trek’s open house at the company’s headquarters in Waterloo, Wisconsin. While Trek does not have a 29+ mountain bike in its current line-up, the development of this tyre is a pretty clear indication of where the company is headed.
The 29x3in Chupacabra takes design cues from Bontrager’s fast-rolling XR2 tread, in a much higher-volume package.
This big, tall beast of a tyre is tubeless-ready and tips the scale at 895g.
US$119 / £TBA / AU$TBA
WTB is shaving grams from its high-end saddle line, thanks to the use of carbon. Two of the company’s most popular models, the Volt and Silverado, are now available with carbon rails, as is the new gravity-oriented High Tail saddle.
The Silverado Carbon is 135mm wide, 280mm long, and weighs 169g
The Volt Carbon is 133 wide, 265mm long, and weighs 155g
Last but not least, the High Tail Carbon. This saddle was developed with Pivot’s Chris Cocalis to prevent tyre buzz on maximum suspension compression on gravity rigs and long-travel 29ers with short chainstays. It measures 128mm wide, 255mm long and weighs 159g.
- Volt Carbon: US$250 / £160 / AU$TBA
- Silverado Carbon: US$250 / £160 / AU$TBA
- High Tail Carbon: US$250 / £180 / AU$TBA
Kitsbow Wind Jacket
Highend apparel maker Kitsbow has a new packable jacket to keep the wind at bay. The aptly-named Wind Jacket is made from polyester with a DWR treatment. The stretch cuffs keep the arms from billowing, and reflective piping on the shoulders, sides and back increases rider visibility in low light conditions.
US$225 / £TBA / AU$TBA
Morsa Garmin/GoPro mount
This 54g one-arm carbon/nylon mount can hold a cycling computer up top and a video camera below, both in line with the centre of the bike’s stem. Both mounts are angle-adjustable too.
Morsa was created by R&D engineer Jeff Bobbitt, who has two decades of experience with programs such as Honda and Toyota motorsports and Oakley. You can read his story here.
The Morsa Mounting Arm costs US$20, and works with up to two of the four US$10 adapters at a time: there's the cycling computer and camera adapter as shown, plus the Rokform phone case adapter and the universal 31.8mm adapter.
US$40 / £TBA / AU$TBA
Oval 724 tubeless road wheelset
Built for lightweight tubeless performance, the Oval 724 is a 700c wheel with a claimed 22mm rim width and 24mm rim height. We measured this test sample at a 17mm internal width and 22.5mm external width, which is in line with the current wider-is-better trend.
This set weighed 1,370g with rim strips but without quick releases. The 20-spoke front is radially laced, using aero spokes and alloy nipples, and the 24-spoke rear is built 2:1.
US$1,299 / £TBA / AU$TBA
Scott ARX Plus helmet
The ARX Plus is noteworthy in that it's a relatively affordable MIPS helmet. MIPS is the helmet technology that uses a pivoting plastic liner to allow the head to pivot inside the helmet in the event of a crash, which proponents says can lower potential brain injury.
US$150 / £TBA / AU$TBA
ioMounts Nomad smartphone holder
The Nomad uses strong magnets to connect almost any smartphone to an adjustable strap that easily attaches to a bicycle's handlebars. Removing the strap takes a little yanking force, but once on, the strap and the magnets are very secure.
The Nomad require you to attach a magnet to the back of your phone or smartphone case with the included 3M adhesive backing.
US$60 / £TBA / AU$TBA
Selle Italia SLR X-Cross saddle
Selle Italia has a deep catalogue of SLR saddles, and the X-Cross is the latest. It incorporates two texturised grip panels beneath the sit bones. The SLR X-Cross also has an anatomic cut-out. This sample weighed 176g.
US$139 / £TBA / AU$TBA