We learned about how the piezoelectric effect could be used to harvest 'free' energy from bad vibes, and Seb Stott broke some more stuff. Dammit, Seb.
It's Friday, and that means hot, fresh product from the bike industry mines. Read on for eleven exciting things that have turned up in the office this week.
Giant TCR Advanced 2
We love a TCR at BikeRadar, and this one comes in a deliciously lairy shade of orange, which can only be a good thing.
The Advanced models are made from the same carbon as the significantly more expensive Advanced Pros, but have a different fork and fewer Gucci specs.
This Advanced 2 gets a more or less full 105 groupset and weighs 8.2kg in size M–L. Sounds like a whole lot of bike for the money...
- £1,449 / $1,735 / AU$TBC / €1,699
Ridley Fenix C Ultegra mix
Ridley’s Fenix SL is a proven cobble-crusher, and the C variant is a more affordable version of it which claims to be just as stiff.
The Fenix (or Liz, as the ladies’ version is called) is Ridley’s “tough” classics bike, a burly stablemate to the flyweight Helium/Aura range and the aero Noah/Jane.
This very red bicycle sports Ultegra components, along with non-series Shimano cranks and own-brand Forza brakes.
It weighs 8.7kg in a medium, which is on the lardy side for a carbon bike with Ultegra, but then as we all know, weight isn’t everything.
Anyway, just look at it! It’s so red!
- £1,849.99 / $TBC / €1,999
Are you looking for a tidy way to mount a light on your pew pew road or mountain bicycle? The Lumaray offers a very neat solution, simply sitting between your Garmin and its mount.
If you’ve got one of the latest Garmin out-fronters with a mount on the underside, it can also be fitted underneath.
The light has a claimed output of 30 lumens and weighs a feathery 31g. Because of the way the LEDs wrap around the front of the light, the Lumaray offers a useful bit of side visibility too.
- £27.99 / $35.99 / AU$TBC / €29.90
While designs are ever-improving, helmet choice can often come down to better aero or better ventilation, but not both.
The Lazer Bullet addresses this by allowing riders to shift the balance on the fly, thanks to a clever closable vent that works a bit like a Venetian blind, and which sits behind a sliding plastic grille.
This size small helmet weighs 315g. For a more detailed look at the Bullet have a gander at our first look from December 2016.
- £199.99 / $TBC
Palomar Nello bell
This isn’t a new product, but a Nello showed up at the office and it’s too amusing not to feature here.
This little spherical ‘bell’ runs on button cells and mounts to your bars with a simple magnetic strap. It’s available in four colours and it weighs 35g.
Pressing down on the top of the sphere produces a surprisingly loud sound, and each time you remove and re-mount the bell, it changes. There are three different sound effects: a traditional tring-tring, a piercing whistle, and an old-timey parp-parp.
Is it a bit of novelty? Definitely. Is having to remove your bell when you lock up your bike irritating? Perhaps, but the Nello doesn’t cost more than a decent mechanical bell, and it’s making us smile.
- €24 / £16.99 / $24.33
If you’re already familiar with Spurcycle, the odds are it's probably because of the company’s pricey yet near-perfect bicycle bell.
And this time, a minimalist multi-tool is the company’s latest boutique offering. The tool is constructed from titanium and comes with 10 chromed-steel bits, which comprise: 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm hex bits; T10 and T25 torx; and a #2 Philips.
The T-handle tool and bits fit inside a small pouch, which, in turn, fits nicely in your saddlebag or jersey pocket.
We’ve already used it for some minor fit adjustments while testing bikes. The fit and finish of the sliding T-handle tool is excellent. This shouldn’t come as much of a revelation, though, since the frame component experts at Paragon Machine Works manufacture these tools.
- £52 / $69 / AU$90
Bontrager XR5 Team Issue tyre
Bontrager’s SE5 is one of our favourite all-round tyres. It’s got plenty of grip for front-wheel duty in the summer months, and in sloppy conditions it works well paired with a chunkier-tread pattern up front. It impressed us with its high rolling speed relative to its grip-levels when we tested it against a load of other tyres last year.
Now Bontrager is offering the same proven tread pattern with its lighter weight ‘XR’ casing. Perfect, it says, for slippery conditions where you want a fast and light setup but don’t need masses of puncture-resistance. While the SE5 weighed 995g in 29x2.3in, these XR5 tyres weigh 847g on our scales. That’s a similar weight to a Maxxis High Roller 2 EXO 29x2.3in.
We found the SE5 to be relatively puncture prone, so we’re keen to see how long these lighter tyres last. We’ll let you know.
- £39.99 / $54.99 / AU$TBC
Carrera Vendetta 2018
Picture a £350 mountain bike from Halfords. Now, you’ve probably got something in mind that’d make you wince at the mere thought of riding it off road. The stuff of nightmares, isn’t it?
Well that shouldn’t be the case with this machine. Thanks to relatively modern trail-bike geometry (including a 68-degree head angle, 740mm bars and 60mm stem) along with grippy, forgiving plus tyres and a fork that actually works, the Vendetta seriously impressed us when we tested it last summer.
It’s not light at 15.5kg, but that needn’t matter if you’re looking to have fun off road and sharpen your MTB skills.
The new bike isn’t much different to the one we reviewed last year, apart from the paint scheme. But given how it rode that’s no bad thing. The good news is the online price for the new bike is just £350 — the old bike was £500 when that review was written. Even better, you can now pick up the 'old' bike for £270.
- £350 / $N/A / AU$N/A
Production Privée Shan No 5
This single-pivot trail/enduro bike is designed and built in Andorra using high-quality in-house steel tubing made from Japanese 4130 chromoly steel. Production Privée claims this offers superior fatigue resistance and a compliant, traction-rich ride.
The suspension offers 140mm of travel via a custom-tuned Fox Float DPS shock, driven by a shock extender which in turn articulates on bearings. This removes the need for the shock eyelet bushings to rotate, which should reduce friction in the suspension.
There are four sizes from S/M to XXL. It’s available in a range of frame options and complete bikes. This complete bike weighs in at 14.7kg. Expect a review in the next few months.
- €1,799 (frame and shock only)
Fizik Artica X5
As the name may suggest, these MTB shoes are designed for cold, wet conditions. The upper is claimed to be fully waterproof and yet breathable, thanks to its “Microtex” shell. Fizik’s “speed lacing system” sits under a waterproof zipped cover to keep the weather out.
The sole is carbon-reinforced Nylon (basically plastic reinforced with carbon) and the claimed weight is 463g for an EU size 42.5.
- £189.99 / $200 / €200 /AU$TBC
Fassa padded bike separator
If you want to put your beloved bike(s) in the back of your car or van without them getting scratched or damaged, these could be worth a look.
Fassa’s padded bike separator fixes to the seatpost and handlebars using Velcro straps, and shields one side of your bike with robust rectangular pads. They’ll also sell you two pads for a small discount of £110 (one pad is £60) so it’s protected from both sides.
You can then wheel the bike in and out of your car/house/van/garage with the pads fitted, and be safe in the knowledge that it (hopefully) won’t then get damaged when stacked between other bikes in transit.
- £60 (single bike separator) / $TBC / AU$TBC