It’s Friday and that can only mean one thing! Yep, yesterday was Thursday.
Oh, and we have a round up of 11 exciting cycling products for you. This week’s gear is an eclectic mix of gadgetry, tools and saviours. There’s sure to be a few brands you’ve never heard of (yeah us too).
New mountain bike gear
Fitbit Surge fitness smart watch
Okay, so the Fitbit Surge is now a year old, but we decided to finally get our hands on one following the announcement of the Fitbit Blaze. We plan to see just how useful these watches are to cyclists, and out of the two, which is best.
The Surge is a little different to the majority of fitness smart watches in that it has a GPS chip and so can record your ride, speed and distance without the need of a phone nearby. Linked with a phone, it has cool functions like Auto-Strava upload and call alerts.
There's heart rate monitoring built straight into the back of the watch
The Surge was an early adopter of wrist-based heart rate monitoring, which means you can leave the chest strap at home.
Perhaps the most notable thing missing for a self proclaimed ‘Fitness Super Watch’ is that it’s water resistant, but not waterproof.
$250 / £200 / AU$400
Adidas Evil Eye Evo Pro Vario eyewear
Building on the rather new Evil Eye Evo Pro eyewear with its wide field of range vision, Adidas has now added the option of a photocromic lens – named ‘Vario’ – meaning that these glasses' full name is now a real mouthful.
A quick test shows the transition lens works rather quickly, tinting itself from clear to a dark grey. You certainly wouldn’t want any darker when mountain biking.
Ultra wide vision in these
In addition to the singletrack-friendly transition lens, there’s a new matt black with glow highlights frame (as pictured). The fluoro highlights actually glow in the dark, while the rest of the frame provides the same goggle-like coverage we’ve come to like of the Evil Eye Evo.
There’s a choice of two frame sizes, and the ‘Pro’ version includes an integrated sweatband to keep your vision clear on hot days.
$TBC / £162 / AU$400
Park Tool DT-5.2 disc brake mount facing set
Sweet case – and what's inside is even handier for the shop mechanics
The purpose of this tool is to create a parallel surface, giving your brake caliper the best chance of contacting the rotor square-on.
A shop tool in every sense of the word, this comprehensive kit is designed to clean, face and align the disc brake mounts on just about any bike using disc brakes. That means IS, post or flat-mount frames, with quick release or just about any thru-axle standard imaginable can be done with this nicely cased tool.
Two cutters and a whole bunch of adjustable axles
By using telescoping thru-axles, the DT-5.2 is designed to be ready to accept axle standards that are yet to be invented.
We’ve already used this tool to clean the chainstay-placed Flat Mounts on a sample disc road bike – something no other tool on the market is currently able to do.
There's a handy YouTube vid up (of course) should you wish to check out its functionality in more detail.
$TBC / £250 / AU$TBC
Wera Bit-Check mini bit ratchet set (product code: 05073645001)
This little bit ratchet kit is from a German hand tool specialist. We bought this as we’ve become fans of little bit ratchets when working in the confined spaces of disc brakes and finicky seatpost heads.
This set consists of the Wera Zyklop Mini ratchet and nine high quality 1/4in bits. While the Phillips #2, Hex 4 and 5mm and Torx T25 and T30 bits are all great for bicycles, the other four bits are less likely to be needed. For our own set, we replaced those with T10, 2.5, 3 and 6mm hex bits.
It's certainly not the cheapest way to get a mini tool, but hey, it looks nice sitting in the glovebox. Plus, at a total 128g and with no sharp edges, it’s not bad for the trail either.
$59 / £25 / AU$TBC
SAXX Kinetic Long leg boxer shorts
“Why is your underwear in 11spd? Have you run out of products?”, we hear you saying it, but hear us out.
Made from a patented sweat wicking, four-way stretch mesh, these men’s boxers are designed for performance activities (oh grow up). While yes they’re underwear, these actually appear perfectly suited to those who prefer no chamois pad while mountain biking or commuting.
For example, the longer-length legs offer a compressive fit and leg grippers to reduce creeping up. With no inner seam where you don’t want it, nothing should chafe. Plus, flatlock stitching is used everywhere else to hold the nine individual panels together.
$40 / £TBC / AU$TBC
New road bike gear
Knog MOB Mr Chips
The new range of Knog MOB rechargeable LED lights come in no less than five types. We showcased these last year, but now have a front and rear pair of the ‘Mr Chips’ in for review.
The Mr Chips earns its name from the ‘Chips On Board’ (COB) LED which gives off more of a glow, than direct hit of light. With a 120-degree wide beam, Knog claim it perfect for visibility in traffic or to soften the eye sting of others in the peloton.
Meet Mr Chips
Out front, the white Mr Chips features 36 LEDs that together provide 80-lumen peak output. Two sizes of the tool free, quick-fitting rubber straps are included.
The red flashing rear offers 64 LEDs with a peak output of 44 lumens. It’s supplied with a few tool free mounting straps, including one that works with aero posts.
They’re also water proof, the pair together weights just 72grams, and recharge with integrated USB plugs.
$50 / £TBC / AU$60 (each)
Honey Stinger gluten-free waffles and Protein Chews
Honey Stinger’s Waffles are so delicious they’ll encourage you to get on your bike and do base training, just to treat yourself a few hours in. Thankfully, now those following a gluten free diet (by choice or requirement) can partake in the mouthwatering experience.
The gluten-free waffles are available in salted caramel, maple and cinnamon varieties. They’re organic and have no dairy ingredients.
Following the organic, gluten and dairy free trend, Honey Stinger also has the Protein Chew. Similar to the tasty energy chews already available from Honey Stinger, these add in 5g of plant-based protein and a whack of vitamin C.
The new Protein Chews are available in cherry lime, raspberry and juneberry options.
Our samples didn’t last long. Nom.
- Gluten-free waffles: $24 / £TBC / AU$TBC (box of 16)
- Protein Chews: $30 / £TBC / AU$TBC (box of 12)
Tripeak TwistFit bottom bracket
Last year we ran a story about 100% creak-free bottom brackets, but availability was an issue. Coming from the same Taiwanese company, Tripeak TwistFit bottom brackets seem a little easier to find (still difficult though).
The creak-free claim comes from a number of features. The thread together design and lack of reducers for wide crank compatibility are such examples, but not really unique.
Where the Tripeak stands apart is its fibre-reinforced plastic ring, which surrounds the aluminium cup. Similar to what Shimano uses in its press-fit bottom brackets, this softer material is designed to better conform to the shell and even compress slightly, something a fully metal bottom bracket won’t do. Not only should this softer material eliminate creaking, it’ll also help to ensure bearings don’t prematurely wear from being unevenly compressed.
Best of all, the bottom bracket includes basic tools for installation and removal. Our BB86/92 sample arrived with plastic cup tools that adapt to existing external bottom bracket tools. This particular one is designed for use with Shimano cranks in common press-fit shells used by the likes of Scott and Giant, and on some Treks – ours weighs 102g.
$TBC / £TBC / AU$128
Spurcycle Condiment bottles
From the creators of the ‘world’s best bell’, come these quirky water bottles. Looking like condiments straight out your fridge, a closer look reveals some cycle-focused humor that all can enjoy. The range includes the red ‘Catch-up’ (Ketchup), the yellow ‘Must-Go-Hard’ (Mustard) and a green ‘Relish’ (you get the idea).
Beyond the ‘oh that’s great’ designs, the bottles themselves are proven Purists (Specialized) with high flow nozzles. Simply squeeze to get your drink on.
$12 / £TBC / AU$TBC (each)
Endura Glengoyne whisky jersey
Did you know Endura has a small range of whisky inspired cycling jerseys? This Scottish made (like the whisky itself) jersey is the latest offering and aimed at lovers of the Glengoyne drop.
Closer look at the actual item...
Thankfully the tech in this jersey isn’t as old as the single malt whisky. It’s a simpler design as far as Endura’s options go, but still offers a Coolmax construction, full-length concealed front zip and a classic rear three pockets. Supply your own water, barley and yeast.
$TBC / £50 / AU$TBC
SH+ (SH Plus) Shabli helmet
A rather new name to the cycling scene, SH+’s roots began in 1978 as a helmet manufacturer (MA.RO GROUP SRL), but it wasn’t until 2000 when it formed its own brand. It now offers a comprehensive line of outdoor adventure protection equipment, notably ski and bike helmets, which is all still made in Italy.
We received the Shabli, a performance road helmet that offers 26 vents and more euro styling than you can shake a long sock at. Published technical details are a little limited, but all the expected features are present including an easily adjusted retention system and in-moulded construction.
There’s a huge range of colours available, and so finding a match for your team kit should be no issue. Our large sized sample tips the scales at 274g, so it’s a little on the heavy side.
The helmet passes common EN 1078 and CPSC standards. Sorry Aussies, no word on availability Down Under yet.
$TBC / £TBC / AU$TBC