Welcome to our weekly roundup of all the lovely shiny things distributors and manufacturers have sent for us to poke, prod, squabble over and then give a thorough testing.
Chipps has just returned from the 2011 XTR Launch and he’s come back home with this Limited Edition XTR watch. There’s a mere 1,750 of them in existence and although it’s not particularly light, it does appear to have very smooth shifting.
Here’s a Topeak Mega Morph Pump. Like a bigger version of their bike-guide’s-favourite Mountain Morph, it uses a small fold out food stand to stabilise it when pumping but this one comes with a pressure gauge. The head automatically fits Presta or Schraeder valves and it’s designed to be used as less bulky track pump that’ll live happily in a car boot or mechanic’s rucksack. Colour clashing shoes’n’socks model’s own.
From: Extra UK
More pumping action with a Topeak JoeBlow Mountain track pump. It’s got an extra large diameter barrel for pumping up high volume tyres quickly and the base is made from ‘engineering grade composite’ which we like to think means F1 car offcuts or something. A rather nice feature is the air release button if you use science rather than your fingers to get the pressure just right.
From: Extra UK
It’s not Christmas but we’ve been sent new AKdrenaline socks from the people over at Alpkit. We thought their last socks were a touch on the thick side so we’ll be interested to see how these new thinner and shorter Coolmax sock with Terry inserts stand up. Stand up? Geddit? Okay, we’ll stop trying now.
Price: £10 for two pairs
This Alpina Pheos LE helmet has got a matte rubberised finish that, as well as feeling strangely nice, should prevent it from getting scratched. We’ve had a couple of their more XC-ey helmets through recently but this one is a bit more understated as well as having the all important peak. It uses Alpina’s Swing-Fit system and a carbon monocoque shell for light weight.
From: Merida UK
New kids on the block of cheap, replacement disc pads are Uber Bike Components with pads for nearly everyone in sintered or organic, starting for less than a tenner..
From: Uber Bike Components
Price: £7.99 for sintered, £6.49 for organic
Claiming to put other bike lights ‘in the shade’ it’s Liteoption’s stunning new Ray3a light. Made by a genuine Forumula1 boffin it offers 1,000Lumens of lightweight (354g for the lot) LED night-into-day magic with clever remote switch and helmet mounts. It’ll last 4 hours on full power and 20 on the minimum setting..
The Fi’zi:k fairy has visited! We’ve got Aliante AM, Pave CX and Vesta saddles….
..a new Fi’zi:k Tundra 2 saddle, nestled on top of the very new Fi’zi:k seatpost…
..and Arione, Antarest and Aliante saddles in the new VS style – with a perineal pressure relief channel to keep your chappy happy.
From: Extra UK
No, it’s okay, Sim hasn’t got into the Euro trance music scene, he’s just modelling some Shimano Euro glasses. Instant cyclocross/Belgian classic appeal. We don’t think Madison import these…
Jon has crossed over to the dark side and moved from Nikon to this Canon EOS 550D. Despite Nikon fans Sim and Benji shunning him, he’s looking forward to playing with the full HD video function at up to 60fps and basking in the warm glow of a DIGIC 4 processor and 18MP AP-C CMOS sensor. It’s got the standard kit 18-55m lens on at the moment, but eBay is being trawled for some wide angle action..
From: High streets and the internet.
Price: Around £689 with 18-55mm lens
Yet more flat pedals have arrived! These Syncros Meathook pedals are covered in fierce looking split studs that scream out septicaemia and serious tissue damage. Should be perfect for gripping to soles and hammering into your shin bone if you mess up. The CNC’d alloy platform runs on two cartridge bearings and a DU bush and the axle is cromoly. We look forward to sitting by the side of the trail and weeping gently as the blood rolls down our legs after we fail to heed the warning that we should only ever use them with shin pads.
From: Jungle Products
Here are some Atomlab Pimplite pedals. They’ve got a magnesium body and they’re white, so they are both ‘pimp’ and ‘lite’. They’re nice and wide and run on a steel axle and needle bearings.
From: Upgrade Bikes
Doing things a little differently, the MKS DD-force pedals go for a long’n’thin approach. They are covered with nice and long studs and the machined body should clear mud nicely.
Ed has got a selection of pedals in from Wellgo – starting at the top we have the MG1 Magnesium body in XTR grey (£44.99), B144 in Ano green (we don’t have an RRP but they are expected to be similarly priced to the MG1) and the snappily titled LU987B in black (£24.99).