It’s been another amazing week on BikeRadar where we’ve done our best to bring you the best stories about the most interesting new kit.
This week we announced that our £ 1,000 Bike of the Year winner was the adventurous Boardman ADV 8.9 and the Superbike of the Year winner as a Giant TCR Advanced SL 0 Disc – costing £ 9,999 all – powerful.
Speaking of top-of-the-line kit, Castelli announced their brand new Premio shorts this week, claiming they were their best performing bibs ever. Please rest assured that we will test it out and bring you a full review soon.
The tech-savvy among you might appreciate the news that Wahoo has released an updated version of its Elemnt Bolt cycling GPS, which now comes with a color display and smart navigation. We also posted a review of the Coros Pace 2 smartwatch, giving it four out of five stars.
Jack has launched a new series, High-Mileage Heros, extolling the virtues of his popular and well-used Halo TK fixed gear hubs. Make sure to keep an eye out for other additions to the series, as the staff at BikeRadar give you a sneak peek at what they’re racing on their bikes week after week.
Elsewhere, other reviews have included my verdict on Box Components’ Box One drivetrain, and we took a look at some of the bikes that took part in the Highland Trail 550 – arguably the most prestigious bikepacking event ever. from the United Kingdom.
Finally, we’ve also rounded up some of the best bike tool kits available right now and produced a guide to help you fix a flat tubeless tire.
Tubolito PSENS intelligent inner tube
When we covered the launch of the PSENS smart inner tube we were impressed with the concept, but skepticism remained about its application requiring you to use an inner tube, as large swathes of the cycling community use now tubeless tires.
This begged the question: Would the Near Field Communication (NFC) chip have been better suited for a tubeless valve stem?
The jury is still out, but PSIcle is developing just that, seeking crowdfunding to kick off the project. Once it’s a tangible product, we’ll make sure we get one to review and compare systems.
Speculation aside, the PSENS tube is well made but does not look like the butyl and stretchable material of a traditional tube. This is thanks to its polyurethane construction that makes it less malleable in your hands.
The NFC chip sits in front of the valve stem and when the tube is inflated it is pushed against the tire casing.
The proximity to the outside of the tire means that a smartphone’s NFC induction loop can activate the chip, which then transmits the current tire pressure to the Tubolito app.
So far I have found the NFC chip connection success rate to be around 75% with a 2.6 inch wide DH carcass tire. I suspect that tires with a thinner carcass or with a less blocked tread will suffer from fewer connection failures.
The PSENS tips the scales at a paltry 84g for the 1.8–2.5 × 29 inch version. It’s lighter than a fair amount of tubeless putty and a valve stem, but until I can do extensive testing I can’t comment on the puncture resistance of the tube.
Stay tuned for a full review soon.
- £ 41.99 / $ 49.90 / € 44.90
Barkbusters MTB Handguards
More commonly seen on motorcycles, especially enduro, motocross, and supercross bikes, hand guards are designed to protect riders’ hands from the flying perch thrown at the rear of the bike in front, or branches and thorns when riding on overgrown paths. wild nature.
Translated to mountain biking, the one pair 219g hand guards are an interesting prospect, especially for people who live in areas with low gorse bushes or other thorny flora.
They are made from an impact resistant plastic and attach to a bar using a lightweight nylon and aluminum clamp.
The guards use a single mounting point on the inner side of the brake levers (closer to the stem) with an open end design.
That means they’re not rated for impact protection, so don’t expect them to keep your fingers from getting crushed by a close encounter with a tree.
Barkbusters doesn’t comment on how they would withstand an accidental impact, but hopefully they would at least offer some protection or at least not enough flex to smash your hands between the guard, brake lever, and bar.
There are other benefits beyond protecting your hands from – to use Barkbusters’ words – “debris”.
In colder environments, the cold wind can cut the gloves and make a rider’s hands uncomfortably cold. The Barkbusters – especially with the optional upper and lower baffles – should offer some protection from the cold.
Likewise, they will help you keep your hands drier in humid conditions.
Their appearance is quite subjective, however, and I’m sure there will be some who love them and just as many who aren’t so convinced. I have a set on my Yeti SB 165 long term test bike and will be writing my thoughts in a review soon.
Camelbak Podium Dirt Series Water Bottles
The Dirt Series Podium bottle incorporates a nifty anti-mud cap that covers its nipple in an effort to keep mud (and other less pleasant contaminants you might find on the ground) from getting into the bottle or your mouth when you drink a soiled pacifier.
The Dirt Series has all of the same features as the standard Podium bottle, including an easy-to-clean lid that can be removed from the bottle and disassembled, a locking feature that prevents water from leaving the bottle, and high flow, self-sealing cap.
It is made from BPA, BPS and BPF free plastic and is coated with a material that does not alter the taste of water, a common problem with plastic bottles.
The standard 620ml version – which weighs 87g – comes with an insulated model with the same internal capacity, although its outer size is slightly larger and weighs 114g.
Camelbak claims the double-walled construction keeps water cold “twice as long” as a standard bottle.
Personally, I love the Podium bottles and really appreciate the cleanliness that the mud cap provides when hiking dirty trails.
CST MTB tires
Unknown to many, Cheng Shin Tire (CST) is the parent company of Maxxis and offers its own more economical rubber line for the discerning cyclist.
Owning Maxxis has its perks, and the tread patterns on the more trail-oriented models in CST’s MTB tire line are eerily familiar, resembling some of Maxxis’ top performers like the Assegai and Minion DHR. II.
CST expects its price and performance to be perfect.
CST BFT MTB Tire
The first is the BFT – an acronym that stands for ‘Big Fat Tire’ – which looks like the Minion DHR II, which should mean it’s a good all-rounder.
Its center knobs have thick braking surfaces, while the ramped edges should help reduce rolling resistance.
The side wall has EPS protection – Exceptional Puncture Safety – to help reduce the chance of spawns. The 29 × 2.25 inch folding bead tire in the photo has a 60TPI casing and weighed 931g on my scale.
CST Rock Hawk MTB Tire
Next is CST’s Assegai – Rock Hawk lookalike.
Designed for the worst conditions, the Rock Hawk should excel on technical downhill terrain.
Like the BFT, it also has EPS and this 29 × 2.4 inch folding tire has a 60TPI carcass. It weighed 966g on my scale.
CST Patrol MTB Tire
The Patrol is the least aggressive model in this range and is reminiscent of the Maxxis Ardent, a true all-round XC-come-trail tire.
It hopes to mimic the Ardent’s revered all-terrain grip, but ride fast enough to suit cross-country riders.
Like the others, it also has EPS protection and this folding version has a 60TPI case. The 29 × 2.25 inch model in the photo weighed 755g on my scale.