It’s November, and you know what that means? Yes, that’s right, a plethora of TV adverts for perfume and aftershave, endless emails about Black Friday deals, Christmas gift-list suggestions all over the internet and slightly premature street decorations.
- Cycling gifts: the ultimate Christmas gift guide for cyclists
- The best Black Friday 2018 deals for cyclists
- Specialized reveals revolution in women's saddle design
We love Christmas as much as the next person, but we really love checking out new products and tech, and then putting them to the test. That said, the product-based onslaught can feel a little too much at this time of year. (By the way, have you checked out our awesome suggestions for Christmas gifts for the cyclists in your life?)
Cycling is about so much more than products and shopping. It’s really about the feeling of freedom, the fresh air, the mud-splashes and the open road. (By the way, have you checked out our awesome suggestions for Black Friday bargains?)
So, in order to help you switch off and ride, here are some of the newest and shiniest products to land at BikeRadar this last week.
By the way, have you checked out BikeRadar’s awesome new bespoke scent ‘L’eau de Lycra’? (Okay, we’re joking, but it’s only a matter of time...)
MucOff Indoor training kit
For anyone who's even briefly ventured outside this week, you'll see that now is definitely the season for indoor training in the Northern hemisphere.
And to prevent all that hard-earned sweat corroding your trusty trainer, MucOff has come up with a range of products including a splash mat, a Sweat Protect anti-corrosion treatment spray and an anti-bacterial surface spray.
- Bike mat: £10.99 /$TBC
- Sweat protect spray: £9.99 / $TBC
- Antibacterial equipment cleaner: £9.99 / $TBC
Cannondale Intake helmet
This reasonably priced helmet from Cannondale boasts 13 air-vents to help keep your noggin cool when you’re riding hard. Most of the vents are around the base of the helmet to help boost its aerodynamic properties.
It also has a ‘superport’ for sunglasses, which essentially means a place to rest your sunglasses' arms in the side vents and keep them in place. Plus, there’s a dial-based adjustable retention system.
The size Small/Medium came in at 260g — all-in-all, it's a neat, streamlined package, at a good price.
The Intake comes in two sizes — Small/Medium covering a head circumference between 54–58cm, and Medium/Large covering 58–61cm.
- £59.99 / €69 / $80
Specialized Power Saddle with Mimic Expert
This new saddle designed for women has intriguing squishy bits on the nose and in the cutout (read the news story to find out why) and it’s got the internet talking.
The saddle, with it’s wide back and truncated nose, is already one of Specialized’s most popular women’s saddles. The soft foam on the nose of the new saddle is designed to ‘mimic’ (hence the name) the density of the soft tissue resting on it, providing cushioning support that’s not too hard, not too soft, but just right.
The Expert level saddle we have in weighs 210g, and is the second-from-bottom model with hollow titanium rails.
Of course we don’t take these things at face value, so we’ll be testing this saddle extensively. Stand by for a full review!
- £100 / $150 / AU$180
- Available from Specialized and Specialized dealers
Saracen Levarg OR gravel bike
If you like your gravel-riding less fire-road and more mountain trail, then the Saracen Levarg may be for you.
And, with a dropper seatpost and optional front suspension forks, the Levarg is edging ever closer to the boundary with cross-country mountain bikes.
And yes… Levarg is gravel spelt backwards.
Scott Raceday 60 bag
For those who like a place for everything and everything in its place (especially when it comes to bike kit), the Raceday bag from Scott will be deeply pleasing.
The 60 litres of storage are split across three compartments, which are then further split into various sections all handily annotated with their intended contents: a wipe-clean section for shoes, a wide section for a helmet, a waterproof section for old kit, pockets for glasses, tools and food, and so on. There’s even a pull-out changing mat to stand on.
While it looks like a wheelie-case it is in fact a rucksack, making it easy to bring your stuff with you on the road. However, if you’re thinking of flying with it, it exceeds the cabin luggage dimensions of many of the budget airlines in the UK.
- £159.99 / €199.00
- Availability to be confirmed
Spengle Carbon Monocoque wheels
Your eyes are not deceiving you. These are indeed three-spoke carbon-fibre mountain-bike wheels.
Spengle has been around since the start of mountain biking in the 80s and claims that this new wheels is the culmination of years of ambition combined with new manufacturing techniques that make its designs possible.
The wheels combine a carbon monocoque one-piece rim and spoke design, and Spengle claims it is both the strongest wheel for its weight and the lightest wheel for its strength... wait, isn’t that kind of the same thing?
Talking of weight, we weighed this wheelset (including hub) in at a fairly chunky 2358g, which is a fair way off Spengle's claimed sub-2000g.
GoXtreme action camera
If you’re in the market for an action camera to record your rides but don’t want to spend a ton of cash, then for €44.90 you can get a HD camera from GoXtreme.
The looks and name are obviously inspired by a larger, famous brand who shall remain nameless, but this does boast a list of features that sound like they’ll do the job. This includes recording at 1080p at 30fps, 720p at 30fps, a waterproof case (up to 30m), 5cm display screen, microphone, wide-angle lens and WiFi. On the downside, it needs a 32GB Micro SD U3 card, which doesn’t come included, so factor that into your budget.
At the moment we can’t comment on how it performs as we haven’t tested it, but it certainly sounds and looks interesting.
- £30.45 / €44.90
YT Capra 29 Pro
We’ve finally got our hands on the 29er version of the Capra!
With 160mm of suspension travel at each end, the Capra 29 is a full-on enduro bike. This is the CF Pro model, which is the second-from-top spec option. And, as you might expect from the direct-sales specialists, the parts list is impressive for the money.
As well as the full carbon frame, you get Fox Performance Elite level suspension, SRAM’s powerful Code RSC brakes, and a strange mix of Shimano XTR 11-speed gears, with an e*thirteen cassette. This provides a 9-46 tooth range — that’s a wider spread of gears than you get with SRAM Eagle.
This bike, in XXL, weighs 14.3Kg (31.5 lbs). The wheelbase measures in at a generous 1280mm, and the bottom bracket sits at 339mm in the low setting. That’s 9mm lower than claimed on YT’s spec sheet.
Seb will be testing this big red machine as part of his long-travel enduro bikes test. Coming soon!
Shimano XTR M9100
Oh hello new shiny Shimano XTR…
Back in May we covered the details of the new XTR groupset and we even got a first ride in on it. Now, the full set of goodies has arrived in the office for some thorough testing, with products for both the cross-country and enduro race enthusiast.
For those who love a whole lotta gears both high and low, the new 12-speed cassette is compatible with Shimano’s 2x12 groupset.
There are a total of four drivetrain options including both a 12- and 11-speed cassette, and the M9100 series has the new Micro Spline freehub standard, new shifter designs, new chain design, updated pedals... lots of new, new, new.
If you want to get the full lowdown on what’s in the box, including weights and prices, have a look at our extensive write-up and, as ever, keep your eyes peeled on BikeRadar for the full review, coming soon.
Pro Koryak dropper seatpost
The Koryak dropper seatpost from Pro has been around a while now — and, for 2018, Pro refreshed the line with some new short-travel options. So say hello to the Pro Koryak with 70mm of travel and a 27.2mm diameter.
While it does say ‘MTB’ on the back of the box, this particular dropper post is destined to be fitted to a gravel bike, and it’s likely that this is going to be where we see more of these short-travel droppers ending up.
It comes with a universal lever that can be fitted right or left, and weighs 605g, excluding cabling.
Read more about the dropper in our news story.
- £TBC / $279.99 / AU$349
- Availability to be confirmed
Pro PLT Carbon shallow drop handlebar
This carbon version of the PLT handlebar has a shallow drop and oversize top section, plus semi integrated cable routing.
There are four width options: 38cm, 40cm, 42cm and 44cm, and the 40cm set we have in weighed 228g.
- Pricing TBC
- Availability to be confirmed