What we’re excited about this month: Hope clipless pedals, Five Ten Trailcross GTX shoes, Nukeproof Blackline shorts, Shimano SLX resin pedals and more...
Hope Union Clip Pedal TC, £150
Pretty much everything your bike wants, Hope can supply. From the headset to the bottom bracket, via lights and even the frame itself, the Barnoldswick brand has you covered. Now it’s added something else to the line up, clipless pedals to run alongside its trusty F20 flats – machined in house from aluminium and with Hope’s in-house mechanism, there are three models to choose from, six colours, and a titanium spindle upgrade too. It’s the new clip-in technology where things get really interesting, Hope calls it Dual Mechanism and it means both the front and back sections move to make way for the cleat.
Hope says this requires less effort, lets you clip in from a wider angle than the competition and it seats your cleat and shoe closer to the pedal body for better stability. You also get two cleat options – 4° of free float with a 12° release angle, or 5° and 13° and a tighter spring for the racers out there. Either way there’s 2mm of lateral float across all the models or cleats.
If you’re an XC rider you’ll want the lightest Race Clip, it’s cageless and weighs a claimed 324g. If you’re after more platform support then the Trail Clip uses a cage and gets four pins each side for grip, totalling 437g. Then for downhill you can opt for the Gravity Clip, you get the option to run seven pins a side and it uses a bigger platform, taking the weight to 498g and adding a tenner to the price. Being Hope, the pedal bodies are CNC machined from aluminium billet and the idea is your foot rests on the platform to give you the stability of a flat pedal. Inside, the Union pedals use the same axle as the flats, featuring three cartridge bearings and a Norglide bush.
Crankbrothers could do with some competition, its Mallet E scored a perfect 10 in our best mountain bike clipless pedals grouptest with its superlative support and engagement. The Hope Union looks like a worthy challenger.
Five Ten Trailcross GTX shoe, £150
Wet feet and winter riding go together like politicians and sleaze – instantly shocking, fading to a nasty feeling of acceptance and discomfort. Five Ten has the answer all flat pedal shoe wearers are going to want, a completely waterproof version of the excellent Trailcross boot, meaning you can ride all day in foul conditions with beautifully dry toes. Perhaps they can work on the politicians next.
The Trailcross GTX uses the same Stealth Phantom rubber the regular Trailcross XT uses, so you don’t have to suffer inferior levels of grip just because you want dry feet. Keeping out the wet is a Gore-Tex membrane that’s waterproof and breathable, and it’s backed up by a high textile upper with neoprene collar to bridge the gap between pant and boot.
For years we’ve been cramming bulky waterproof socks into our regular shoes, and for the most part they do the trick. You do come home with weighty, waterlogged and, later, stinking footwear though. Not any more.
Troy Lee Design’s Skyline Air jersey, £60
Troy Lee Designs’s Skyline Air jersey keeps you cool on the sort of blisteringly hot summer days that we’ve not seen since, well, 2020. The Polyester/Spandex mix allows hurricane levels of airflow and never feels too clammy.
Scott MTB RC shoes, £274.99
The Scott MTB RC shoe is a seriously stiff and lightweight XC race shoe. It uses not one, but two BOA dials for retention, boasts an ErgoLogic adjustable insole, and Scott’s own Sticki Rubber tread for sections where you have to get off and run.
Nukeproof Blackline Race shorts, £90
With these red Blackline Race shorts Nukeproof have gone green! With a shift across their 2021 kit range to using ‘Bluesign’ sustainable fabrics and Eco-Tech certified products, plus a reduction in plastic packaging, you can help save the planet while shredding it!
Shimano SLX resin pedal, £unknown
Just like Hope, Shimano has a new range of flat pedals including this 394g, budget, resin SLX option – it has a decent footprint at 101x96mm, 16mm thickness and carries nine pins a side. The bad news is, even Shimano doesn’t know the prices yet.
SRAM Reverb AXS XPLR, £500
SRAM’s new Reverb AXS XPLR is designed for gravel riders, but it’ll do nicely for XC racers too. It’s lightweight at 562g, comes with 50 or 75mm travel, works with MTB AXS set-ups, and even functions as a suspension seatpost when dipping into its travel.
Seep Dogbone, £6.50 for 2
Go plastic-free when you wash your bike with the Seep Dogbone sponge: made from cellulose it sucks up water like, well, a sponge, but will decompose in your home composting when it’s worn out.
Direct Line bike insurance, from £8.50/month
Direct Line now does bike insurance – pick the right policy and it’ll cover e-bikes, traveling abroad, liability, emergency support and medical cover, and of course theft. It’ll even cover an event entrance fee if you have to cancel through injury.
SQ-Lab 60X Infinergy ERGOWAVE Active 2.0 saddle, £199.95
The SQ-Lab 6OX Infinergy ERGOWAVE Active 2.0 saddle doesn’t use foam for padding, instead it’s made from something called Infinergy, a lightweight elastic material you’ll have seen in your trainers. It boasts superior comfort and a light weight.
Chrome Industries Holman LS Jersey, £65
US brand Chrome Industries makes city riding gear, but there’s plenty to like for mountain bikers too. The Holman LS jersey is for cooler days in the saddle, it’s made from Sea Wool, cotton and poly-elastane, features off- set shoulder seams for comfort, and a drop hem.