It’s Friday! Before you shut down your computers for the weekend and head off to happy hour, check out some of the gear that’s recently landed at BikeRadar’s Boulder, Colorado office.
New road bike gear
Ritchey Breakaway Carbon frameset
Ritchey has expanded its range of Breakaway travel bikes with a new carbon fibre road version. At just shy of 1,500g for a size small frame, it’s not especially light – nor does it save any weight over the Ti/Carbon version we reviewed a few years ago. However, we do anticipate that the carbon version might be substantially stiffer, with potentially a smoother ride quality.
Either way, that extra weight isn’t for nothing. Ritchey intentionally overbuilt the tubes to withstand the rigours of air travel, and some of that additional mass is devoted to the trick coupler system that lets you pack a complete bike into a case that masquerades as standard luggage. If all goes well, we’ll have already logged a few rides on this at the Taipei Cycle Show by the time you read this.
US$3,000 / £TBC / €TBC / AU$TBC
Zen Fabrication ROAD frameset
Zen Fabrication has long built frames for other brands in its Portland, Oregon, facility but the company is now launching a range of own-brand road, cyclocross, and mountain bike framesets – all exclusively for use with disc brakes.
The Zen ROAD frame is TIG-welded from Columbus Spirit HSS chromoly steel with a tapered head tube, PF30 bottom bracket shell, and oversized dimensions throughout, for what should be a decidedly stiff and snappy ride. Also featured are convertible routing for mechanical or electronic drivetrains, partially internal rear brake hose routing, convertible rear dropouts for use with either quick-release or thru-axle hubs, and clearance for up to 28mm wide tyres.
Our 52cm sample weighs 1,874g including the rear derailleur hanger, seatpost collar, and water bottle bolts. Included with the frame are an ENVE Road Disc carbon fibre fork and Cane Creek headset.
US$1,799 / £1,219 / €1,717 / AU$2,359
Reynolds ATR wheelset
Reynolds has taken the 21mm wide (internal width) carbon fibre rims from its cross-country mountain bike wheelset, redrilled them with 24 spokes front and rear, and spliced them on to a road hubset to create the new ATR. Purpose-built for dirt roads and gravel, the wider rim profile is intended to give sufficient casing support to higher-volume tyres. Tubeless compatibility means those tyres can be run at lower pressures without fear of pinch-flatting, too.
The disc-specific hubs feature cartridge bearings throughout, Centerlock splined rotor interfaces, and interchange end caps for use with quick-release or thru-axle frames. Our set tips the scales at 1,501g (690g front; 811g rear; plus 117g for quick-release skewers).
US$1,550 / £1,050 / €TBC / AU$2,030
Specialized Flux Expert front and rear lights
Specialized is taking a big leap forward in its lighting technology with its new front and rear LED lights.
The compact Flux Expert rear light boasts an impressive 110-lumen claimed output and a shaped reflector to provide 180-degree visibility supposedly up to 1km (0.6 miles) away, even in bright daylight. Its claimed run time is up to 17 hours but a built-on ambient light sensor reduces output by up to 50 percent at night to extend that figure even further. When the on-board gauge indicates that it’s time to recharge the battery, there’s a handy flip-out USB plug built right into the case.
The Flux Expert front light boasts a much brighter 1,200-lumen claimed output via three Cree XP-G2 emitters. A custom reflector includes a sharp cutoff up top and a usefully broad pattern to make that most of that output on the ground. There’s also an optional remote switch (included) for quick access to light modes and to visually alert cars and pedestrians using a neat ‘light horn’ function. The aluminium housing promises to keep everything running cool.
The claimed run time on the Flux Expert front light is 1:45 on the highest setting or up to 20 hours in flash mode; recharge the system in as little as three hours with a micro-USB cord.
- Flux Expert front light: US$275 / £200 / €TBC / AU$350
- Flux Expert rear light: US$100 / £75 / €TBC / AU$100
Giro Savant MIPS helmet
Giro brings the claimed brain-protecting capabilities of MIPS downstream to the new Savant MIPS road helmet. This version uses the same exterior shape, ventilation system and Roc Loc 5 retention system as the standard Savant, but has additional low-friction plastic liner that reduces rotational forces on a rider’s head upon impact, supposedly reducing the incidence of closed-head injuries.
Our small-sized, CPSC-approved sample is 237g.
US$110 / £89 / €105 / AU$TBC
New mountain bike gear
KS LEV C dropper post
Interested in adding a dropper post but still want to keep things light? The new KS LEV C features the same stealth-style internal mechanism, two-bolt head, and aluminium upper shaft as the rest of the popular LEV range but has a carbon fibre outer body and minimal 65mm of travel.
This trims the total mass down to just 498g for a complete setup – about 50 to 100g lighter than the norm and that’s with standard steel outer cable housing instead of the ultralight stuff KS normally uses, which supposedly sheds another 28g or so.
US$589 / £480 / €TBC / AU$TBC
Turn Girder M30 cranks
Popular chainring and bottom bracket (and now cassette) manufacturer Praxis Cycles has expanded into complete cranksets under the Turn label. The new Girder M30 mountain bike model features big, hollow-forged aluminium arms, an oversized 30mm-diameter aluminium spindle, and a burly solid-forged chainring spider with a widely-used 104mm, four-arm bolt circle diameter.
All of those generous cross-sections bode well for overall stiffness and shift performance, although for now, Turn is only offering the Girder M30 with Praxis’ own narrow-wide 1x-specific chainrings. Frame compatibility is impressively broad, however, with cups to fit standard threaded, PF92, BB30, and PF30 frames.
Our 175mm-long sample with a 30T chainring weighs 679g, plus 58g for the PF92-specific bottom bracket.
- Turn Girder M30 crank with single chainring: US$279 / £TBC / €TBC / AU$TBC
- Turn M30 bottom bracket: US$50-85 / £TBC / €TBC / AU$TBC
Specialized Butcher Control and Slaughter Control tyres
The Specialized Butcher is aimed at all-mountain riders who are primarily looking for cornering and braking grip in a wide range of conditions. Full-height knobs are spread in a relatively open pattern to help bite on loose or soft ground, while the somewhat soft 50a single compound is intended to give extra grip on hard rock without overly accelerating wear.
Ramped centre knobs should cut down on rolling resistance, but anyone grabbing this tyre off the rack is bound to be worried more about outright traction than anything else.
Our 27.5x2.3in sample is 801g with a tubeless-ready 60TPI Control casing and folding bead.
A natural rear companion to the DH-inspired Butcher is the decidedly faster-rolling Slaughter, which features similar shoulder blocks for cornering confidence but a much lower-profile centre tread with very knobs packed tightly together. To further speed things along, the Slaughter also gets dual-compound rubber with 50a-hardness shoulder knobs and a harder 60a centre.
The weight of our 27.5x2.3in sample is 762g with the same tubeless-ready Control casing.
- Specialized Slaughter Control 650b: US$55 / £30 / €TBC / AU$50
- Specialized Butcher Control 650b: US$55 / £n/a / €TBC / AU$50
Mountain Washer portable bike washer
If you absolutely can’t wait to rinse off your wash your precious machine until you get home (or if you don’t have easy access to a hose), the aptly named Mountain Washer portable washer will let you do a decent job right at the trailhead.
The onboard handheld sprayer shoots out water at up to 130psi and is powered by your vehicle’s 12-volt outlet while a 6m (20ft) hose and 3m (10ft) power cord give you quite a bit of reach. Mountain Washer says the tank’s 15-liter (four gallon) capacity will give up to 10 minutes of continuous use. Will that be enough to get the muddiest of bikes reasonably clean? We’ll find out soon enough.
CDN$150 / £TBC / €TBC / AU$TBC
Pearl Izumi Divide gloves
The Pearl Izumi Divide gloves are unabashedly minimal, with unpadded synthetic leather palms that are perfect for riders who want as little as possible between their hands and grips. Simple open-mesh backs promise excellent ventilation in hot weather, too, while the simple slip-on design minimises bulk around your wrists.
Pearl Izumi didn’t cut everything out, though. The thumb and forefinger tips feature touchscreen compatibility, and the thumb is also covered with soft fleece for wiping away snot.
US$30 / £20 / €25 / AU$TBC