It may only be September, but the 2020 model year is coming in hot, with so many freaking new mountain bike and product releases that we’re struggling to keep up! Just in the past week we’ve seen Trek redefine its XC lineup with the brand new Supercaliber, while at the other end of the spectrum Norco has unloaded its biggest and baddest e-MTB yet; the Shimano-powered, 170mm travel Range VLT. We also got ourselves along to the Focus 2020 dealer show in rAdelaide, so if you haven’t already, make sure you check out our Top 7 bikes from the Focus 2020 range here. The 2020 Trek Supercaliber is absolutely wild! Make sure you check out the full story on this super-trick race bike here. As well as staying on top of new bike releases, thankfully we’ve been putting plenty of saddle time aboard them too. Wil got out for a gravity enduro race on the weekend aboard the Merida eOne-Sixty 9000 long term test bike, and Mick has been checking out the brand new Trek Rail – a new long travel e-MTB from Trek that he reckons his a huge step up from the Powerfly LT. If you’re not into electronics on mountain bikes though, fear not! We’ve just published our long term review of the Canyon Spectral AL 6.0, which Wil called a “bonafide hooligan bike“. Party on Wayne Amongst all that, we’ve been sent a barrel-load of new test gear, so here’s a closer look at the freshest and tastiest kit in the workshop at Flow HQ! 2020 Trek Fuel EX 9.8 The Fuel EX lineup is brand spanking new for 2020, and we’ve just received a 9.8 model for a proper long term test on home soil. In case you hadn’t heard, Trek has completely revamped its Fuel EX lineup for 2020. There’s a brand new frame, a move away from the Full Floater suspension design, and some notable tweaks to the geometry to bring the EX up to date with the competition. Suspension travel remains at 130mm on the rear, and the frame is still rolling on 29in wheels, though stock bikes will be coming with humongous 2.6in wide Bontrager tyres – like the XR4 Team Issue ones shown on this Fuel EX 9.8 here. Trek has upped the fork travel to 140mm though, and it’s slackened out the head angle to 66°, giving the Fuel EX a bit more muscle for descending. Also noteworthy is the big hole in the downtube on the carbon fibre models – ala Specialized SWAT. There’s a latch underneath the bottle cage that opens up the treasure chest within, and Trek includes a soft pouch for storing tools, spares, snackeroos, and anything else you want to stuff down in the hole. There’s a tonne of new features on the 2020 Fuel EX, so make sure you read Mick’s first ride review from the launch. This Fuel EX 9.8 is one step down from that top-end 9.9 model, and we’ve got it on test for a proper long term review on Aussie turf. Stay tuned for more! From: Trek Bikes Price: $6,999 Fox Dropframe Helmet Part full-face, part open-face, part kayaking helmet. Fox calls the Dropframe a “maximum coverage open face helmet“, and it’s easy to see why. Taking the trail/AM helmet design to the next level, the Dropframe sees the helmet shell extend down and around the rider’s ears for added protection around the sides and back of the skull. It’s about as close as you’ll get to a full face helmet, without having a claustrophobic chinbar. It also looks ideal for the new crossover market between mountain biking and kayaking. Compared to the recently released Giro Tyrant, the Fox Dropframe is a much simpler affair. It’s available in four sizes, but there’s no adjustable harness on this helmet. Instead, the bucket-like shell uses plenty of thick foam padding to keep the fit snug and secure, and additional pads are included in the box for dialling in the fit for your noggin. It gets more ventilation, particularly around your listening gear, and it has a big fixed visor to keep the lines clean. We’ll be interested to see how the Dropframe goes during the warmer months, so stay tuned for a comparison review against the Giro Tyrant. From: PSI Cycling Price: $ Fox VUE Goggles The VUE is a premium-level goggle from Fox with a clever interchangeable lens system. To match the Dropframe lid, Fox Head has also sent us a set of its premium VUE goggles. These feature a pre-curved, injection-moulded polycarbonate lens that offers a huge field of view, and the lenses are easily interchangeable thanks to the clever TruLock system. The VUE goggles get heaps of multi-density foam padding for a comfortable fit and for keeping the dust out, though clear tear-offs are supplied in the box in the highly unusual event that we end up riding in mud. Yuck! From: PSI Cycling Price: $ Fox Enduro Knee Guards The Fox Enduro is a lightweight, pedal-friendly, slip-on knee pad. And rounding out the enduro garb is a lightweight set of knee pads from Fox. Funnily enough, these are called the ‘Enduro Knee Guard’, though they’re designed to be sufficiently flexible and breathable for everyday trail riding too. Using a tube-style construction with open-eyelet mesh panelling on the rear, they’re designed to slip straight on over your legs, a bit like a knee warmer on steroids. Knee cap protection comes from Fox’s own F3 Amor plate, which is made from a flexible material not unlike D3O. The pad has various cutouts and channels to help it curve around your knees while pedalling, and it can also be removed when its time to wash and de-stink the pads. There are four sizes available from Small through to X-Large, and each pad features elasticated cuffs for a slip-free fit. From: PSI Cycling Price: $ DT Swiss 180 Straightpull Hubs The new DT Swiss 180 Straighpull hubs utilise SINC ceramic bearings and the new Ratchet EXP freehub system. This is a set of DT Swiss’ ultra-premium 180 hubs, which feature its own SINC ceramic bearings inside, and a heavily machined body that has had as much excess material removed from it as possible. The weight? Just 283g. For the pair. That’s insane! And cool, but that’s not the reason we’ve got these hubs. The reason is to check out the Ratchet EXP freehub mechanism, which is a brand new system from DT Swiss that is replacing the venerable Star Ratchet design in its high-end wheelsets and 180 hub series. We’ve got an in-depth article about the Ratchet EXP freehub system coming soon, so stay tuned to the Flow website for the full back story. From: Apollo Price: $439 (front), $809 (rear) Smith Optics Attack MTB Glasses Fresh shades from Smith Optics, which use the power of MAGNETS! US eyewear and helmet company, Smith Optics, has launched a new MTB-specific version of its Attack glasses. Like the Attack and Attack Max glasses, these feature removable arms that clip on and off the lens via the power of witchcraft a magnetic latch. Smith includes two lenses with the Attack MTB glasses – a mirror finish ChromaPop lens, and a low-light Amber ChromaPop lens. What’s ChromaPop? It’s a series of light filters that help to boost both colour and contrast so everything looks like it has an Instagram filter applied to it. We’ve used it before and it’s great. Until you take the glasses off and the whole world returns to its naturally bland state. So what’s new? The main difference with the Attack MTB glasses over the standard version is the additional frame coverage around the top and bottom of the lens. Mountain bike glasses can get a rough time, so the reinforced lens should help ward off some of the bumps and scrapes along the way. You also get a two-position adjustable nosepiece, and a clamshell case for storing the glasses and the additional lens. From: Smith Optics Price: $369.95 USWE Airborne 3 Hydration Pack More practical than a fanny pack? The USWE Airborne 3 is designed for minimalist mountain bikers. Fanny packs and bum bags may be all the enduro-rage at the moment, but no matter how good they might be, they all tend to bounce around when properly loaded up with water and gear. Providing a minimalist option for those who don’t want to ride with a huge backpack, but still want to carry a decent amount of water is the Airborne 3 from USWE. Coming in at just 449g, the Airborne 3 is designed to take up minimal real estate on your back, while still being more secure than a bum bag. Inside the Airborne 3 you’ll find a two litre hydration bladder, with a drinking hose that can be routed over the left or right shoulder. There’s three litres of storage volume on offer, so you can pack in a lightweight outer shell, food, spares, and your MiniDisc player. The piggyback pouch on the front clips on via four nylon buckles, and can be removed entirely. Like all USWE packs, the Airborne 3 gets the ‘No Dancing Monkey’ harness system, which promises bounce-free riding. From: Lusty Industries Price: $169.95 Specialized Ambush ANGi MIPS Helmet ANGi is now joining the Specialized Ambush helmet (and you) for the ride. The Specialized Ambush has been around for a little while now, but the latest version has been updated with the new MIPS SL liner, and a clever electronic device called ANGi. This little gizmo sticks onto the rear of the helmet, and uses a host of sensors to detect if you’ve had a crash. Under the rapid acceleration/deceleration that you might experience if your head hits the ground hard, the sensor triggers a warning to an app on your phone, and will then alert your selected contacts to let them know your last known whereabouts. How gnarly is that! In case you accidentally bumped the sensor and you’re not actually unconscious on the ground next to your bike though, you can cancel the countdown timer on the app to avoid accidentally alerting your significant other/family members/BFF. The ANGi unit relies on a compact CR2032 watch battery to send signals to your smartphone, and we’re told it lasts for ages before it needs replacing. Clever crash sensor aside, the latest Ambush also gets the MIPS SL liner system, which sees sections of the internal foam padding attached to the EPS shell via numerous rubber MIPS anchors. As well as being a bit lighter than the standard MIPS liner you’ll find in other brands’ helmets, the MIPS SL system also takes up less room inside the helmet. From: Specialized Price: $300 The post Flow’s Fresh Produce | A Brand New Trek, Magnetic Shades & $1200 Hubs! appeared first on Flow Mountain Bike.
September 15, 2019 (Big Bear, CA) – Held at Snow Summit Resort in Big Bear Lake, Calif. for the first time, 700 athletes and 4,000 people from around the world gathered for the Fox US Open of Mountain Biking this weekend. Spectators enjoyed the full slate of events from the Dual Slalom, GT Bicycles Enduro race, Read More The post Fox US Open of Mountain Biking in Photos appeared first on BIKE Magazine.
Virgin, Utah (July 12, 2019) – The full rider list for the 2019 Red Bull Rampage has been set and additional tickets for this year’s event will be released on September 15th and October 15th. For the first time, riders from around the world were given the chance to compete for a coveted spot at Red Bull Rampage. The Marzocchi Proving Grounds challenged riders to a large format slopestyle course and after the dust had settled on the inaugural event, Reed Boggs, Juan Salido and DJ Brandt stood atop the podium and earned their ticket to the biggest event in freeride. 2019 Red Bull Rampage Rider List Brett Rheeder (CAN) Andreu Lacondeguy (SPA) Ethan Nell (USA) Tom van Steenbergen (CAN) Thomas Genon (BEL) Tyler McCaul (USA) Kyle Strait (USA) Szymon Godziek (POL) Kurt Sorge (CAN) Brendan Fairclough (UK) Brandon Semenuk (CAN) Cam Zink (USA) Carson Storch (USA) Antoine Bizet (FRA) Graham Agassiz (CAN) Reece Wallace (CAN) Vincent Tupin (FRA) Gee Atherton (UK) Reed Boggs (USA) Juan Salido (MEX) DJ Brandt (USA) In light of the full rider list being announced, additional tickets for this year’s Red Bull Rampage will be released on September 15th and October 15th at Noon MST. Attendees have two options to choose from, traditional General Admission, and Rampage Experience. General Admission requires bike-in access, includes a bike valet, and unbelievable views of the competition. The Rampage Experience package offers a guided hike to the Rampage course start, the day before the event, shuttles to and from the event site, and a bike valet. Lunch voucher for both days; Preferred viewing during finals; Seven-day Zion National Park pass; Signature Rampage merchandise item. MINORS PERMITTED ONLY IF 16+ AND ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT. Tickets will be released on Sunday, Sept 15th at Noon MST at and October 15th at Noon MST: https://win.gs/2lNVKIF TICKETING PACKAGE DETAILS GENERAL ADMISSION – $65 PLUS TAXES AND FEES Friday event access; Bike valet. RAMPAGE EXPERIENCE TICKET – $500 PLUS TAXES AND FEES Red Bull Rampage is supported by BFGoodrich, Utah Sports Commission, Maverick, GoPro and Five Ten. More information on Red Bull Rampage can be found here: redbull.com/us-en/events/rampage SPECTATOR ADVISORY Red Bull Rampage features the world’s greatest riders tackling the most intense terrain of any contest on the planet – no novices here. The same applies for spectators; this event is not for casual observers. The new Red Bull Rampage venue was chosen for its ability to challenge the riders and push their limits, so it is remote, hot, unforgiving and dangerous. No transportation from the parking lot to the venue will be provided. From the lot, it is four miles to the contest venue over uneven desert terrain that you will either have to hike or pedal. If you ride it, you’ll need to check your bike at the on-site bike valet once you reach the contest venue, no exceptions. The good news is that both ticket options offer free bike valet! Spectators will be required to stay within the designated viewing areas at the base of the course near the finish line. No pets allowed, and non-adult spectators are not recommended. All on-site rules and requirements are necessary to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment. If you decide to attend, pack plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, extra layers of clothing, basic first-aid gear, and a flashlight/headlamp as no provisions will be available on-site. In other words, treat it like an unsupported weekend ride with your buddies. Just think ahead, be smart, and come prepared to have an amazing time. ABOUT RED BULL RAMPAGE Featuring a world-class broadcast team including Sal Masekela, Pat Parnell, Tina Dixon and freeride mountain biking legend Cam McCaul, Red Bull Rampage coverage begins Friday, October 25th at 9:00am PST/Noon EST, live and on-demand on Red Bull TV. Red Bull TV is distributed digitally as an app across mobile phones, tablets, consoles, OTT devices, Smart TVs and online at www.redbull.tv. ABOUT RED BULL TV Red Bull TV features beyond the ordinary live events and videos featuring inspirational stories covering sports, music and lifestyle entertainment. Anytime, anywhere. Red Bull TV is available on the web, connected TVs, gaming consoles, mobile devices, and more. Accessible via the web at www.redbull.tv and its Android, iOS and Windows Phone applications, Red Bull TV is also available as a pre-installed channel on Apple TV and Samsung Smart TVs and as a free, downloadable app on Amazon Fire TV, Kindle Fire, Chromecast, Nexus Player, Roku Players, Roku TV models and Xbox consoles. ABOUT UTAH SPORTS COMMISSION: The Utah Sports Commission is a not-for-profit 501c3 charitable organization governed by an all-volunteer Board of Trustees consisting of statewide sports, business, community, and government leaders. The Sports Commission was created to be a catalyst for Utah in its Olympic legacy efforts and to help enhance Utah’s economy, image and quality of life through the attraction, promotion and development of national and international sports. The Sports Commission works closely with communities, sports entities, and organizations to provide event services ranging from the bid process, on-site logistics, volunteer coordination, sponsorships and promotional opportunities and other related services. For more information, visit www.utahsportscommission.com
Red Bull Hardline isn’t an event for the fainthearted. Hailed as one of the toughest downhill mountain bike races in the world, the event returns to the hills of Dyfi Valley in the north of Wales for its sixth edition. The 2018 edition saw home favourite Gee Atherton taking home the trophy for the first time after a nail-biting final in front 3,000 spectators. Bernard Kerr came in second with Charlie Hatton in third. Red Bull Hardline 2019 is bigger than ever before. With the worlds best DH riders coming from all corners of the world, expect to see some wild riding in the valleys of Dyfi this weekend. Qualifying will be live streamed on Saturday September 14 here, followed by finals on Sunday September 15.
Condor has gone all-in for The Cycle Show, launching a fleet of new bikes in Birmingham, including the freshly-updated Fratello Disc. Jack Luke/Immediate Media The Fratello is Condor’s best-selling frame – it’s a real all-rounder, employed variously as an all-weather commuter, winter bike, touring bike or simply something to blast about the lanes on. Jack Luke/Immediate Media The new Fratello Disc has 12mm thru-axles at the front and rear, and now accepts the flat-mount disc brake standard. Claimed weight for a painted 55cm frame is 1,960g. Jack Luke/Immediate Media The Fratello has all the fixtures and fittings you’d expect of a versatile steel frame. It’s ready for mudguards and a rack, and has clearance for 32mm tyres with guards. The frameset costs £1,199.99. Jack Luke/Immediate Media Condor’s gravel bike, the Bivio, was launched in 2017 and has been updated to offer additional tyre clearance. Jack Luke/Immediate Media There’s now room for 42mm tyres with 700c wheels, as well as compatibility for 650b wheels with 47mm tyres. The Columbus steel frame has a new carbon fork, plus thru-axles at the front and rear. Jack Luke/Immediate Media The 2020 Bivio has modular routing for electronic or mechanical groupsets. Jack Luke/Immediate Media The finish is very smart indeed. Jack Luke/Immediate Media Condor’s iconic crest adorns the top tube. Jack Luke/Immediate Media Claimed weight for a 55cm painted frame made from custom triple-butted Columbus steel is 2,100g. The fork weighs 350g. Jack Luke/Immediate Media The Bivio frameset costs £1,399.99 but you can also put together your own build through the Condor website. Jack Luke/Immediate Media Also new from Condor is the updated Super Acciaio Disc. The steel race bike took home our Best in Show: Road Bike award at The Cycle Show. Jack Luke/Immediate Media The Columbus Spirit HSS tubeset is paired with a new carbon fibre fork, gets internal routing compatibility for electronic groupsets and now features CNC-machined thru-axle dropouts. Jack Luke/Immediate Media The quality of the finish is exquisite. Jack Luke/Immediate Media The Super Acciaio Disc is made in Italy and will set you back £1,899.99 for the frameset. Jack Luke/Immediate Media The Leveret is new from Scottish brand Shand. While Shand’s steel frames are normally made-to-order in Livingston, the Leveret is a stock frame made in Taiwan. George Scott/Immediate Media Shand says the Leveret is a response to customer requests for a feature-packed, all-weather bike for commuting. That means you get a triple-butted chromoly steel frame and a maintenance-free Gates Carbon Drive CDX drivetrain. George Scott/Immediate Media The Leveret has 8-speed Shimano Alfine hub gears, paired with Microshift bar-end shifters. TRP Hylex hydraulic disc brakes provide the stopping power. George Scott/Immediate Media These Schwalbe G-One tyres should provide a good balance of speed, comfort and grip. The Leveret will cost £1,895 when it lands in February 2020, while a mudguard and rack accessory pack will also be available. George Scott/Immediate Media Vielo teased the R+1 earlier this year but The Cycle Show gave us the opportunity to see it in the flesh. The R+1 follows Vielo’s V+1 all-road bike and is an aero, 1x-specific carbon frame with clearance for 30mm tyres. George Scott/Immediate Media Vielo claims the R+1 is 30 per cent stiffer than a 2x frame thanks to the increased bottom bracket width afforded by the 1x-specific design. The broad BB shell transitions into a symmetrical down tube with Kammtail aero shaping. George Scott/Immediate Media Focusing the lower half of the frame on stiffness has apparently allowed Vielo to build more comfort into the seatstays through the extended flat section seen here. At the very least, it’s somewhere to put your coffee cup at the cafe. George Scott/Immediate Media The R+1 is also designed specifically for SRAM’s wireless eTap groupsets, so there are no ports for cables or wires. It certainly looks aero… George Scott/Immediate Media The flagship R+1 UD frameset will set you back a cool £3,999 when it becomes available in April next year. The R+1 UDG uses a more affordable grade of carbon fibre to drop the price to £2,699. George Scott/Immediate Media The Ribble HT Ti broke cover earlier this year and is now available. The triple-butted 3AL/2.5 titanium frame is Ribble’s first MTB chassis for many a year (the brand is best-known for its road bikes). The chassis has a slack and long geometry and is available in builds from £2,699 with SRAM NX Eagle. George Scott/Immediate Media Even newer from Ribble is this HT 725, launched at The Cycle Show. In fact, this scooped our Editor’s Choice prize in the BikeRadar Awards. It pairs a progressive geometry with Reynolds 725 steel tubing. Builds start from £1,399. Jack Luke/Immediate Media We showed you the updated Genesis Fugio earlier this year but it’s certainly worth another look. The frame is now made from Reynolds 725 steel and wears Shimano’s GRX gravel groupset in its single-ring setup. Yours for £2,699.99. George Scott/Immediate Media The 2019 Cycle Show gave us the opportunity to check out the latest road, gravel and mountain bikes from British brands Condor, Shand, Vielo, Ribble and Genesis. The UK’s biggest cycling showcase opened to the public on Friday, but we got a sneak peek during the press and trade preview. BikeRadar Awards winners announced at 2019 Cycle Show Condor brought a range of new bikes to The Cycle Show, including the updated Fratello Disc all-rounder, Bivio gravel bike and Super Acciaio Disc steel race bike. Meanwhile, we got a first look at Shand’s all-new commuter, the Leveret, and Vielo’s 1x-specific R+1. Ribble’s new steel hardtail, the HT 725, was also on display in Birmingham, while the revamped Fugio took centre stage on Genesis’ stand. The Cycle Show is open until Sunday (15 September) and you can get money off advance tickets by using the discount code BRADAR. Head to The Cycle Show website for more information.
The inductees will be officially awarded their place in the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame at a ceremony on September 14.( Photos: 5 )
What a couple of weeks we’ve had — we’re still reeling from Eurobike, all while being in the throes of The Cycle Show, which takes place in Birmingham this weekend. Still not sure whether you want to go? Here are nine reasons you should get yourself there, plus a full schedule of talks on our sponsored advice stage. If you’re still hooked on Eurobike, then check out part one of our weird and wonderful Eurobike mega gallery. BikeRadar Awards launched ahead of 2019 Cycle Show In other news, Matthew Allen gave us the final instalment of his Trek Emonda ALR long-term review, proving that alloy bikes are still great. If you’re more of a ‘steel is real’ type, then don’t miss our PSA about the world’s lightest steel road bike. View this post on Instagram At 5.42kg, this @yasujiro.cc Svelte is the world's lightest steel road bike* and I am completely in love with it ???????????? . Hiding in the hallowed halls of @Eurobike_show was this skinny millennial-y salmon-y pink-ish beauty. The bike is constructed from #Tange Ultimate tubing, the walls of which measure just 0.34mm (!) at their skinniest ???????????? . The full build details are live now on @BikeRadar and the #BikeRadar YouTube channel. This is a must watch! ???????????? . *If a lighter steel road bike exists, I don't know about it, but I am happy to be corrected . #roadbikes #roadcycling #baaw #bikesofinstagram #superbike #hillclimbbike A post shared by Jack Luke (@jacquelucque) on Sep 9, 2019 at 9:34am PDT We also saw some pretty big launches yesterday, starting with our review of the new Nukeproof Reactor 275 RS, followed by the news of two new bikes from Trek: the Rail and the Powerfly. If that’s not enough to tickle your cycling content pickle, scroll on for more. Runwell Drip 15, Stex, Take 56 and Fixer Japanese manufacturer, Runwell, makes some of the most beautiful bicycle tools out there, including what we think is the world’s most delightful 15mm spanner. We received a host of new tools from the brand last week and the sticky hands of the BikeRadar team have been trying to nab a bit of “absolutely made in Japan” loveliness from Jack’s desk since. Drip 15 The Drip 15 is the miniaturised version of the Aqualia 15 that we featured last year. Jack Luke / Immediate Media In short, the Drip 15 is a miniaturised version of the Aqualia spanner that we featured last year. Measuring 125mm long and weighing 87g, the Drip 15 is a beautiful little thing to behold. It won’t have quite as much leverage as the longer spanner but is perfect for stashing in a tool roll or jersey pocket. We have the gold and silver version, but a lovely rose gold option is also available. £22, international pricing TBC Buy now from Tokyobike STEX The Stex is a small replaceable bit tool. Jack Luke / Immediate Media The STEX is a pocket-sized replaceable-bit wrench The lovely forged tapered bump in the centre of the wrench is reminiscent of an old school Campagnolo hub. The wrench measures 10cm long and weighs 49g. This could make it a viable alternative to a multitool. The stock bits on the STEX have 3, 4, 5 and 6mm hex heads. These are secured in place with a 2.5mm grub screw. View this post on Instagram Scraping off is not only a design, the dog says ???? . . http://runwell.jp . . #design #productdesign #designbook #scrapeoff #industrialdesign #notonly #dogsays #bicycletools #cycling #trackbike #keirin #競輪 #ケイリン #fixedgear #fixie #pistbike #lathe #madeinjapan #日本製 #tsubamesanjo #runwell_japan A post shared by runwell (@runwell_japan) on Aug 3, 2019 at 7:53pm PDT Runwell doesn’t offer replacement bits on its site, but we can’t imagine it would be an issue finding a replacement if they ever wore out. A stainless steel and titanium version of the STEX, the SUSX and TITANEX, are also available. Pricing and availability TBC Take 56 This could be the loveliest tool on your shadow board. Jack Luke / Immediate Media The Take 56 is a longer single-ended replaceable bit wrench designed for workshop use. It measures 17cm long and weighs 115g. As the name suggests, the stock bits have a 5 and 6mm hex head. A longer version, the Take 68, which has a 6 and 8mm head, is also available. The tool is designed for workshop use and, again, it is an absolutely delightful thing to use. Like the STEX, it has a lovely forged shape that is reminiscent of a stick of bamboo (take actually translates as bamboo from Japanese). A neat paracord loop is tied onto the end of the wrench for hanging it from your, no doubt, beautifully curated shadow board. £24, international pricing TBC Buy now from Tokyobike Fixer Niche? Yes. Lovely? Double yes. Jack Luke / Immediate Media The Runwell Fixer is a neat little chain tool produced in collaboration with chain manufacturer Izumi. The Fixer is designed to be used with traditional track chains, which are often joined using a small flat head screw and a square nut, rather than a quick link or split pin. The main body of the tool — which has a small magnet embedded into it — acts as a spanner of sorts and a small flat head screwdriver unthreads from the other end. The main body of the tool is used as a spanner. Jack Luke / Immediate Media This is an extraordinarily niche tool but, for the right person, it’ll be a genuinely useful addition to their life. Pricing and availability TBC Cosmo smart bike light The Cosmo smart rear light is very neatly executed. Jack Luke / Immediate Media The Cosmo smart rear bike-light features turn signals and a ‘brake’ light. Left and right turn signals are controlled via a small Bluetooth remote that attaches to your levers. The light also has a hazard function, allowing you to alert other road users when there’s an obstruction ahead. The bike also features a ‘brake’ light — this isn’t connected to your brakes and instead detects deceleration, increasing in brightness as you slow down. Giving it a shake in the hands to imitate slowing down, it does work as expected. The light has Bluetooth connectivity and, if connected to your phone via the dedicated Cosmo app, can use its inbuilt accelerometers to detect a fall or crash. The app can then inform chosen contacts that you’ve taken a tumble. The light can attach to either a helmet or seatpost. Cosmo sells three dedicated helmets, produced in conjunction with Kali, that are designed to allow the light to seamlessly mount. The USB-rechargeable 900MAh battery has a claimed runtime of up to 8 hours. Regardless of how you feel about the likes of smart locks and smart lights, there’s no denying this is one of the best executed smart light we’ve seen. £75.00 Buy now from Freewheel Pearl Izumi PRO Escape PI DRY bib shorts Pearl Izumi’s PI DRY-equipped shorts could be perfect for the moist months ahead. Jack Luke / Immediate Media Pearl Izumi’s lineup of water-resistant PI DRY-equipped cycling kit has grown massively since it was first introduced at Eurobike 2018 — from full-on bib tights to Gabba-like waterproof jerseys, there’s little that hasn’t been touched by the good hand of waterproofness. The PRO Escape thermal bib shorts are a cosy fleece-lined bib short that looks perfect for the — we’re sorry to say — chilly months ahead here in the northern hemisphere. The thin fleece is delightfully cosy. Jack Luke / Immediate Media The inside face of the shorts is lined with a thin brushed fleece. The straps and body panels are also fleece-lined, increasing the cosiness factor by some margin. Small reflective details across the shorts also make them ideal for the darker months. We’ve had good experiences with Pearl Izumi’s PI DRY kit in the past, and these shorts are no different — rain beads and rolls perfectly off the shorts and, even in heavy rain, our botts have remained dry when using these shorts. The cut on the shorts is ever so slightly short. Modern bib shorts have been getting longer for years and the 9.5-inch leg on these now feels positively old school. Either way, the cut shouldn’t pose an issue if you plan on matching these with knee- or leg-warmers. £149 / $175 Buy now from Cycle Store Zipp Service Course 70 XPLR SL alloy gravel handlebar Zipp goes full gravel with its new bars. Jack Luke / Immediate Media Zipp rounds out its alloy Service Course finishing lineup with this new gently flared gravel bar. On paper, the Service Course 70 XPLR strikes a nice compromise between a regular road bar and a more ‘traditional’ wildly flared gravel bar. The drop of the bars is a touch shallower than a regular handlebar, coming in at 115mm compared to the 128mm found on most of Zipp’s compact road offerings. The bars strike a nice balance between a traditional road bar and an all-out gravel cockpit. Jack Luke / Immediate Media There is also a generous ‘outsweep’ (11 degrees) on the bar. This is different from the flare of the bar — outsweep refers to how the bars move outward from below the hood clamp area. The flare comes in at 5 degrees, which keeps the levers close to vertical. This arrangement sounds, in theory, like a good compromise. The super-aggressive flare of some gravel bars can make shifting feel weird, but can improve control when in the drops. The regular flat tops mean that the bar is compatible with aero extensions and the bars are also Shimano Di2 junction box compatible. A regular and SL-level version of the bar is available. Our 44cm wide bar weighs 274g. Zipp Service Course 70 XPLR SL: $110 / €123 Zipp Service Course 70 XPLR: $55 / €61