11spd: This week's new bike gear

Here are some words we associate with January: dull, grey, cold, sad, Jones. Which one is the odd one out? Correct! It’s ‘dull’, because how could the month after Christmas in which you get to play with your new toys possibly be dull?

At BikeRadar towers we’re all zipping around on flammable hoverboards and playing with the shifters on our new bikes, and even as we do so fresh kit keeps showing up in the post. It may be the end of your first week back at work, and yes, you are eventually going to have talk to that nice lady whose shoes you were sick on at the office Christmas party. But in preparation for the weekend, let’s cast an eye over 11 new things you won’t be able to afford (unless you sell your kid’s new Xbox on eBay).

New road bike gear

Giant TCR Advanced

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It’s Bike of the Year time at our sister magazine Cycling Plus, so the workshop is heaving with tasty carbon. The world has more than its share of black bikes already, but we think you’ll agree that this race weapon from Giant looks absolutely stunning. It weighs a hair over the 6.8kg UCI minimum weight in size small and comes with a full Ultegra groupset and Giant’s own SLR 1 carbon clinchers.

£2,599 / $3,200 / AU$3,999

www.giant-bicycles.com

Look 765

Hutchinson Fusion 5 tubeless tyres

Fabric Tri saddle

Rudy Project Tralyx glasses

World Bicycle Relief Buffalo Bike

New mountain bike gear

Yeti SB5c Beti

Wiggle energy gels

6D ATB-1 helmet

Kask Rex helmet

Shimano AM5 shoes

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Scott's Solace 10 Disc blends bright looks, 28c rubber and flat-mount brakes

Having teased the 2016 Scott Solace 10 Disc in our most recent 11spd roundup, we’re back to take a closer look at this bike – which we’ll be posting a full review of in due course.

The Solace is pitched as a sporty endurance bike. Where the term endurance typically carries connotations of being relaxed and upright; the Solace clearly holds onto a little of the Swiss brand’s race pedigree.

The disc version was released in the 2015 season, and for 2016 carries over with a few minor refinements, such as a thinner 12mm front thru-axle.

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Related reading: Scott Solace 15 Disc 2015 review

The full carbon frame is made with what Scott dubs ‘Bi-Zone construction’. With this, the tapered head tube, oversized down tube, bottom bracket shell, and asymmetric chainstays are used to form the ‘Power Zone’ for high pedalling efficiency.

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Spin Cycle FeatherLight half sleeve jersey and bib shorts

Spin Cycle is a young Australian cycling apparel brand, with a clear point of difference to many of its startup competitors – price. While the brand is focused on offering top quality race-inspired clothing, its prices are actually quite reasonable, albeit not so impressive when compared to the big name labels.

I was sent the new ‘Season Three’ FeatherLight navy blue half sleeve kit for review as the Australia spring turned to a scorching summer (apologies if you’re reading this during the northern hemisphere winter). The kit, sold as matching jersey and bibs, is also available in a black and with the choice of full-length sleeve, too.

With a literal name, the FeatherLight kit is ultra thin and breathable for even the hottest of summer days and, yes, features a feather pattern. That said, the brand now offers custom options in this same kit, and so this review should apply equally to those new options too.

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The cut is race-oriented, and undoubtedly designed for riders with an athletic build. The fit of my small-sized sample is right inline with where I’d expect, and there were no unpleasant surprises.

Mesh panels make this a barely-there kit in the heat

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Specialized Camber Comp 29

Specialized’s quietly quick trail bike range used to be split between XC-friendly standard Cambers and more technical trail happy EVO variants, all with 29in wheels. For 2016 there are 650b bikes to sit alongside the 29ers, and both are based around a tweaked EVO template that makes this deceptively easy speed machine a real grower.

Stretched-out, for a 29er

In geometry terms, that means a relatively relaxed (for a 29er) 68.5-degree head angle to stretch the front end of the big-wheeled bike out. The steep, curved seat tube with ‘Taco Blade’ front derailleur spur allows a short rear end despite the twin chainrings and 120mm (4.7in) of travel, but does limit seatpost drop.

While the carbon models get an auto-lockout ‘Brain’ shock and ‘SWAT’ storage box in the down tube, the alloy frame doesn’t. You do get Specialized’s custom Autosag Fox shock to simplify setup though.

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The Autosag shock makes initial setup easy

There’s a lot of Spesh’s handiwork in the kit too. The impressively light, 29mm wide (internal) Roval wheels are homegrown, as are the 2.3in rubber they’re wrapped in. The wide 750mm bar suits the bike’s trail-focused attitude, and the fact larger sizes get bigger grips and brake rotors shows the detail Specialized goes into.

Easy roller with an edge

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

How to ride safely in traffic

Many people cite safety fears as the reason they wouldn’t commute by bike. But millions of people do it safely each day, and as long as you remember some important strategies for dealing with common hazards, you should arrive at your workplace with a smile on your face every day.

We asked cycling skills and safety consultant John Franklin to run through the basics of riding in traffic safely, from anticipating problems before they happen to assuming the safest position on the road and choosing the right kit.

Related: Ten things that’ll make every cycle commuter furious

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1. Anticipate problems before they arise

“Always expect the worst,” says Franklin, author of How to be a Better Cyclist and Cyclecraft. A cyclist’s emergency reaction time equates to a distance of 6m at 15mph and up to 10m at 25mph – and then if you have to stop, braking distances will have to be added to this too. 

To keep your reaction time to the bare minimum, it’s a good idea to cover the brakes with one or two fingers on busy roads, in towns and on descents.

2. Watch your surroundings carefully

3. Claim the best road position

3. Negotiate carefully with other road users

4. Hone your riding skills

5. Choose the right kit

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

The stumpier Stumpjumper shows that plus doesn't have to mean fuss

If Specialized’s regular Stumpjumper isn’t Stumpy enough for you then – as you may have heard if you’re a regular reader of these pages – there’s now a range of plus-sized models.

Known as the 6Fatties, each of these bikes roll on tyres that are 3in wide. The difference with this Comp model however, and we are speaking relatively here, is that it doesn’t cost an absolute fortune. Actually it retails for £2,499 / US$3,499 / AU$4,499 and that makes it a full £1,000 / US$1,000 / AU$1,500 cheaper than the next plus-sized Stumpy in the range – and a full £4,000 / US$5,100 / AU$7,500 cheaper than the wallet-violating S-Works model that we’ve recently rated very highly.

Related: Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp Carbon 6Fattie

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Still, that’s a £300 / US$600 / AU$500 premium over the 650b or 29in Stumpjumper Comp models, which both use 2.3in tyres .

In order to hit this price point, Specialized has switched over to an all-aluminium frame for this model – though its smoothed welds and complex tube shapes do their best to tell you otherwise.

Familiar geometry

Big talking point

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar

Praxis Works Turn Girder M30

Praxis has a superb global reputation for its ultra long-lived, cold-forged and machined chainrings and pioneering ‘self installing’ threaded sleeve press-fit bottom bracket solutions.

Now, with the new Turn brand, Praxis has bridged the gap between bearings and rings with these unashamedly, almost brutally workmanlike-looking Girder cranks. As with Hope, the oversized alloy axle is compatible with standard diameter bottom bracket shells, not just BB30/PF30 tubes.

The 30mm to 28mm stepdown on the offside means they only fit Praxis M30 BBs. There’s a full range of frame fits available though and they’re much cheaper than Hope. From experience they’re equally epic in their glassy-smooth spinning lifespan and we certainly haven’t had any grind or wobble issues with Turn/Praxis on MTB or notoriously crank-battering ‘cross bike long termers.

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You’ll need an M30 tool to fit the BB but once fitted, crank installation (and extraction) is blissfully simple thanks to the captured 10mm hex bolt, so you won’t be stranded without specialist tools.

Chain retention has been excellent, even going mental on a rowdy short travel bike without a supplementary chainguide. Negligible wear so far suggests that Praxis’s longevity reputation is also richly deserved. While you can get Praxis rings separately in 30-38 tooth sizes, UK readers should note that distributor Upgrade only offers a complete 32-tooth set-up in three (165, 170, 175mm) arm lengths and there’s no direct mount chainring option.

You can read more at BikeRadar.com


Source: Bike Radar