You've toiled, you've sweated, and you've given your all in the service of The Man. Despair not, it's almost the weekend. Happy Friday, denizens of BikeRadar! Welcome to this week's whistle-stop tour of some of the shiny new kit that's landed in our office over the last seven days.
New road bike gear
Genesis Equilibrium Disc Ti
Genesis has a habit of producing cheerfully practical bikes with a decidedly British flavor. The original Equilibrium was an affordable steel machine built for everything from chaingangs to light touring, with a bit of commuting on the side. Since then there have been fancier steel versions, a disc option and, most recently, this titanium-framed disc offering.
Weighing in at 9.6kg (21.2lb) without pedals, the Equilibrium Disc Ti ticks a lot of boxes for us. It's built with Shimano's second tier RS685 hydraulic 11-speed levers and tidy looking Mavic Aksium One Disc wheels. Generous tire clearances and full provision for a rack and mudguards are present and correct – we approve!
£2849.99 / US$N/A / AU$N/A
Clothing company Rapha needs no introduction: its kit is instantly recognisable, and its prices are the stuff of legend. Rapha dropped by BikeRadar HQ the other day and left us with a few samples.
First up – and most intriguing – is the Pro Team Softshell base layer. With a DWR-treated fabric, this is aimed at racers who want to stay warm in poor weather, but who need their team kit visible. It's sort of like a jacket that goes under rather than over your kit – an odd idea, but one that makes a certain kind of sense for a select niche of riders.
The Brevet jersey and gilet are more conventional affairs, although we do wonder if the latter's horizontal stripes will flatter all body shapes. In any case, the jersey looks lovely and it's made from a merino/polyester blend that past experience has shown to perform really well, staying stink-free long after conventional Lycra has stood up and walked to the laundry basket of its own accord.
Softshell base layer – £60 / US$90 / AU$101.25
Brevet jersey – £130 / US$195 / AU$210
Brevet gilet – £80 / US$120 / AU$135
Kryptonite Messenger Mini+ lock
Kryptonite is one of many companies to have figured out that if there's one type of cyclist the general public wants to emulate, it's smelly purveyors of legal documents and small objects – messengers, in other words. (Or couriers, if you prefer.) The Messenger Mini+ does look rather clever though – it's a standard D-lock, but the extra shackle means that despite its small overall size, it should be possible to lock both a wheel and your frame without additional cables.
£49.99 / US$75 / AU$130
DT Swiss 180 Carbon Ceramic hubs
We've always liked DT Swiss hubs for their outstanding reliability, as well as for the elegance of their star ratchet freehub mechanism. The 180 Carbon Ceramic hubs are the latest, greatest offering from the company, and price aside they are very appealing indeed. Claimed weight is 283g for the pair, and as the name implies they have ceramic bearings, with a carbon hub sleeve.
Brace yourself though, they make some other quite posh hubs look rather cheap…
Front – £274.99 / US$365 / AU$TBC
Rear – £499.99 / US$645 / AU$TBC
Saturae C50 Tubeless wheels
For a number of good reasons, tubeless tires are now ubiquitous in the MTB world, with manufacturers falling over themselves to offer new rims and tires to take advantage of the technology. The case for tubeless is somewhat more nuanced on the road side, but more and more tubeless-ready wheelsets have been turning up in our office over recent months.
The Saturaes are a relatively rare beast all the same – full carbon clinchers that come set up as tubeless. Watch this space…
£1100 / US$TBC / AU$N/A
New mountain bike gear
AL 9.9 EX
Canyon rarely disappoints with its keenly specced machines, and the 29er Spectral looks like no exception. SRAM X0 components with Guide RS brakes, a Rockshox Pike up front and a Cane Creek DBInline shock out back all look promising. By the way, we promise to pump up the fork before getting gnarly – the front end isn't really that steep.
£2999 / US$N/A / AU$TBC
Keela Ladies' Storm jacket
Are you a lady? Do you need a stylish, waterproof outer layer that's styled for the female form but that isn't only available in patronizing pink? Keela has you covered. The Storm jacket has a hood that's designed to fit over helmets, adjustable cuffs, and other features that make it useful for a whole host of outdoor activities.
£84.95 / US$TBC / AU$TBC
Sea Suck Talon bike rack
If you lack space within your vehicle, transporting bikes can be a real headache. There are numerous approaches to attaching racks to the outside of a car, but the Sea Sucker Talon might be the most radical. Eschewing the usual straps and clips, it uses giant suction cups that employ vacuum pressure to stay put.
We didn't have a car handy for demonstration purposes so we stuck the Talon to the door of the BikeRadar workshop. Even on this comparatively non-shiny surface, the effect is remarkable – it isn't going anywhere. Various configurations are available – this is worth a look if you're shopping for a bike rack.
£249.99 / US$270 / AU$400
Miche 999 Wheels
Tubeless? Check. Carbon? Check. Heinously expensive? Check. Miche's 999 29er wheelset will certainly lighten your wallet, but also your bike. Set up for thru-axles and with tubeless valves installed, we weighed these high zoot wheels at just 747g for the rear and 617g for the front. They're aimed at XC and
£1729.99 / US$TBC / AU$N/A
SRAM X-Sync direct
Compatible with XX1, X01 and X1-level cranks, SRAM's direct
The pictured hammer is purely incidental.
£75 / US$99 / AU$130