11spd: This week's best new bike gear

Riding in the new year with new gear from Bontrager, ENVE, Pearl Izumi and more

We hope your 2018 is off to a good start. The first 11spd of the year comes to you from BikeRadar's Colorado cowboys. Bags, shoes, jackets, wheels and 'mid-chub' rubber — we've got plenty of good stuff for your perusal.

Did you miss our Headline Bikes of 2018? We spelled out the key machines of 2018, and detailed a few trends that these bikes illustrate.

Rapha Brevet Flyweight Wind Jacket

The Brevet Flyweight Wind Jacket weighs 2.6oz
The Brevet Flyweight Wind Jacket weighs 2.6oz

A little wind protection can make a big difference, but nobody likes to carry an enormous jacket in a jersey pocket.

Rapha's new Brevet Flyweight lives up to its name, weighing in at a paltry 2.6oz and packing down compactly. 

Rapha's Brevet Flyweight Wind Jacket packs down pretty small
Rapha's Brevet Flyweight Wind Jacket packs down pretty small

The Brevet Flyweight comes in six sizes but does not come in the container above — that's just to demonstrate compaction size. 

Chrome Brigade backpack

Chrome's Brigade Backpack has a padded laptop sleeve, a big cargo hold, and all manner of external carrying options
Chrome's Brigade Backpack has a padded laptop sleeve, a big cargo hold, and all manner of external carrying options

Chrome has a slew of messenger bags and backpacks, and the new Brigade is a larger pack.

There are a few internal pockets, including a padded laptop sleeve for computers up to 15 inches. Externally, the Brigade has side pockets for water bottles, two big reflective straps for big cargo, two felt-lined zippered pockets and more.

At 20.5 x 12.5 x 6.5in, the Brigade boasts 28 litres of capacity, plus you can strap things to the outside, as well — including your helmet with a stretch, magnetic-snapping strap. However, at 1.6kg/3.6lb, it's a little on the heavy side.

Gaerne G. Stilo +

Gaerne's G. Stilo shoe weighs 292g in size 45
Gaerne's G. Stilo shoe weighs 292g in size 45

Sidi may be the better-known Italian cobbler of cycling kicks, but Gaerne has been at this game for generations. 

The G. Stilo + is the latest and greatest from Gaerne, with a thin, vented carbon sole and a pinched heel closure with unidirectional textured fabric to keep the heel locked in place. 

The G. Stilo + comes in white/black as shown, as well as yellow, red, black and anthracite.

A Velcro tab keeps the tongue in place
A Velcro tab keeps the tongue in place

Ravemen CR900 front light

Ravemen's CR900 light features touchscreen control and an LED battery-life indicator
Ravemen's CR900 light features touchscreen control and an LED battery-life indicator

You've seen touchscreen on cycling computers, but what about cycling lights?

Brightness ranges from 35–900 lumens for this 130g light, and it has a variety of intensity and pulsing/steady settings, like many lights. But two features set it apart — the LED indicator shows the run-time (from 1.5 to 36 hours, depending on the setting) for the current setting, and you toggle between settings by swiping forward or back on the touchscreen, which runs along the top.

The CR900 also comes with a little wired remote if you want to control the light while keeping your hands near your shifters.

Continental Grand Prix 4 Season 

Tis the season for 4 Season. Continental has a new 32mm Grand Prix 4Season for the US market
Tis the season for 4 Season. Continental has a new 32mm Grand Prix 4Season for the US market

Continental's Grand Prix 4000 clinchers are a gold standard of sorts for road tires. The Grand Prix 4 Season model is a sturdier version of the GP 4000, featuring a double Vectran puncture-protection belt and DuraSkin sidewall protection. 

The Grand Prix 4 Season comes in 23, 25, 28 and 32mm widths, with this 32mm version marked US-only on the packaging. We weighed the tire at 364g.

If our experience with the 28mm 4 Seasons is any indication, these wide, sturdy tires should be good for the long haul. Unlike some other winter tires, Conti's 4 Season has a reasonably supple ride. You won't mistake it for a race tire, but it doesn't feel like a sluggish cyclocross tread either.

Shimano S-Phyre Toe Covers

Shimano's S-Phyre toe covers keep the chill off
Shimano's S-Phyre toe covers keep the chill off

The specificity of this product is cool for S-Phyre shoe owners and irrelevant for everybody else.

But, if you do indeed have Shimano's latest top-shelf road shoes, then these toe covers are a tidy cool-weather accessory.

Mission Workshop Helmsman

Mission Workshop's Helmsman Duffel can be mounted to a front rack or carried with a shoulder strap
Mission Workshop's Helmsman Duffel can be mounted to a front rack or carried with a shoulder strap

If you prefer to carry your daily gear on your bike, rather than on your back, Mission Workshop’s Helmsman is worth a look. It’s a weatherproof duffel that mounts to porteur-style front racks.

This US-made bag features an expandable roll-top main compartment that's large enough to swallow a day’s worth of gear. There’s also a padded laptop sleeve, four quick-access pockets on the exterior and two zippered pockets on the sides.

The Helmsman has a roll-top main compartment and waterproof zippers to keep the elements at bay
The Helmsman has a roll-top main compartment and waterproof zippers to keep the elements at bay

In addition to straps to secure the Helmsman to your rack and handlebar, there’s a pair of grab handles and an adjustable shoulder strap that can be tucked away when not in use.

Pearl Izumi X-Alp Elevate

Pearl Izumi has a new clipless mountain bike shoe
Pearl Izumi has a new clipless mountain bike shoe

The X-Alp Elevate is Pearl Izumi’s latest trail shoe intended to handle trail riding and enduro racing, as well as bikepacking.

A Boa dial on the tongue handles fit adjustments
A Boa dial on the tongue handles fit adjustments

These new kicks have aggressively lugged Vibram rubber outsoles. The upper is constructed from three seamless layers with plenty of protection around the toe box, while mesh panels and perforations along the sides should keep the shoes from getting too steamy. 

The seamless upper has plenty of mesh vents and perforations
The seamless upper has plenty of mesh vents and perforations

Fit adjustments are handled by a Boa IP1 dial that can be tightened or loosened in 1mm increments. A single Velcro strap allows the wearer to adjust the volume of the forefoot just behind the toe box.

The sole has plenty of Vibram rubber lugs
The sole has plenty of Vibram rubber lugs

  • £150 / $180 / AU$239
  • Available from authorized Pearl Izumi retailers in late January

ENVE M635 wheelset

Enve's new M635 wheelset is designed for the growing genre of 2.5-2.8in tires
Enve's new M635 wheelset is designed for the growing genre of 2.5-2.8in tires

One of the largest trends of 2017 was the rise of mid-sized mountain bike tires. These 2.5–2.6in tires certainly aren’t fat — they’re not quite plus, so I’m calling them 'mid-chub'.

Our Enve M635 test wheelset is laced to matt-black Chris King hubs. Enve also offers complete wheelsets with DT Swiss hubsets
Our Enve M635 test wheelset is laced to matt-black Chris King hubs. Enve also offers complete wheelsets with DT Swiss hubsets

ENVE’s M635 hookless carbon rims have an internal width of 35mm, which works well with high-volume mountain bike tires.   

These slightly wide rims come in 27.5 and 29in versions. ENVE offers the M635 wheelset with DT Swiss 240 or Chris King hubs. Our 29er test wheelset is laced to King hubs and weighs in at 1,726g.

The Enve M635 rims have an internal width of 35mm
The Enve M635 rims have an internal width of 35mm

Stay tuned for our review.

Bontrager 29x2.6 XR4 Team Issue tires

Mounted to these new Enve wheels are a pair of Bontrager's new 29x2.6in Team Issue XR4 tires
Mounted to these new Enve wheels are a pair of Bontrager's new 29x2.6in Team Issue XR4 tires

Bontrager is introducing three new widths of XR4 Team Issue trail tires in 27.5 and 29in sizes, and riders can choose 2.6, 2.8 or 3in versions.

Stay tuned for impressions of this wide but not fat trail tire
Stay tuned for impressions of this wide but not fat trail tire

Shown here is the 29x2.6in XR4 Team Issue. This tubeless-ready tire weighs in at 1,065g.

Showers Pass Ultralight Wind Jacket

The Showers Pass Ultralight Wind Jacket is windproof and water resistant
The Showers Pass Ultralight Wind Jacket is windproof and water resistant

The Ultralight Wind Jacket is constructed from Event Wind Fabric that stops the wind in its tracks and shrugs off light precipitation. Stretch panels under the arms and along the sides allow for breathability and improved fit.

This 165g jacket packs down into a jersey pocket or stows easily in a hydration pack when not in use.

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team Issue, Specialized S-Works Tarmac, Priority Eight city bike... and a constant rotation of test bikes
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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