Tech Roundup: New-to-us bike brand Mendiz, Mule Bar, Arundel, Brunox and who knew Howies published books?
Not too late for Christmas presents, there's a few good ones here...
The bike brand Mendiz has been around in the Spanish domestic market since 1984 but never in any numbers in the UK. This is set to change from January when a new Axminster, Devon based ecommerce site cyclingcomponents.co.uk is due to start shipping.
Prices start at £895 for a Campagnolo Veloce-equipped aluminium framed bike called RS1.5 all the way up to Dura-Ace on a carbon monocoque for £3,945 which I shouldn't need to point out looks like good value if it rides as well as it looks.
What might be called the sensible middle ground is looked after by a hardly less exotic-looking carbon frame but "a bit heavier", apparently, with Shimano 105 drivetrain for £1,445. We're afraid however that our eye was inevitably distracted by a Campagnolo Athena drivetrain on the RS9 carbon frame for £2,395 - see above. We're lobbying to get that one in for review.
Rocking the Crimbo style with Hackney GT Alpine Long Sleeve Jersey
You know how you have to politely wear your aunty's Christmas knitwear? Now you can ride the hand-knit look too but without all that hairy wool; the wags at Hackney GT in …er… Hackney have come up with a Nordic/Alpine-effect sublimated print on a more leisurely styled winter-weight polyester jersey that should be good to layer over a long sleeved-base layer. Red or green, price is £59.99.
Arundel accessory brand landed in UK
The Arundel brand is Texas-based and widely available in the USA; if we had seen any of their bottle cages it would have been on various of the Slipstream and Highroad-based pro teams over the years such as the still current Garmin-Cervélo and lately-lamented HTC. The bottle cages range from a highly reasonable £10 alloy cage through various options up to the very tech Mandible in 3K matt carbon for £45. In particular, we like the look of the £20 stainless steel model. There's also a neat range of inexpensive and tiny seat packs using a simple Velcro strap instead of fancy clips that never suit your saddle rails anyway. And then what could beat Gecko Fur bar tape? A texture that can only be described as velvet is claimed to provide excellent grip in all conditions. We should have plenty of opportunity to find out over the next few months.
Great Elm Physick Garden skincare for cyclists
The Great Elm Physick Garden is found near Frome in Somerset, growing all sorts of traditional native herbs in organic conditions that are then used to make salves, oils and potions to remedy aches, pains and ills, especially for sporty people. What we have here are S.O.S Skin Salve £12.75, Deep Down Heat £14.75, Easing Bath Salts £10.75 and Deep Massage Oil £15.75 or you can buy nicely packaged gift tins.
KCNC Ultra Jockey Wheels now down to 6 grams each
Available in 10,11 and 13 teeth to replace the size that came with your gear mechanism, the new lighter KCNC machined aluminium jockey wheels improve the bearings and potentially shift precision providing you keep your cables nicely adjusted. There's a choice of colours for £36.99.
Also from KCNC announced as we're putting this to bed is a complete 12-speed road drivetrain here.
SizeMyBike iPhone app: updated version 2.2 now live
We've been loving the SizeMyBike iPhone app for six months or so, initially using it to verify that it really does work on already-perfect set-ups before moving on to new riders. For just over £3, the equivalent of US$4.99, the app certainly seems a good start. You'll need a friend to carry out about six measurements before you key them in calculate an 'ideal' riding position based on intended bike style. The app would be a good idea, we reckon, for deriving your ideal frame size before buying a mail order bike especially as the new version suggests an ideal top tube length and stem rather than an overall reach. It's not going to replace an expert fit system especially as it assumes both of your legs are the same length but it will certainly get you started better than the usual guesswork and trial-and-error.
More teasing from SRAM; their Red 2012 groupset
As we reported a couple of weeks ago SRAM are bringing out out a new lighter version of their range-topping Red groupset in February and apart from a few moody shots and a whole lot of speculation about the hydraulic-or-not brake options coming with it, we don't know a whole lot more. They have sent us another picture, though, which we're happy to show for the new graphics and the restyled chainset. Note the fifth chainring bolt now behind the crank-arm Campagnolo style and the overall beefiness of the arms and chainring. Greater stiffness there should mean better front shifting.
Meanwhile, talking of Campagnolo, what we can tell you is the new EPS components are on their website now.
Brunox Top Kett chain oil in new packaging
"What?" we hear you say, "new packaging for Brunox Top Kett, don't you think we have anything more interesting to think about the week before Christmas?" Only that when we reviewed it recently and found it just about the best chain lube we'd ever used, the only thing we could find to criticise was its natural hand-pump dispenser which wasn't as accurate to apply as we would have liked. That's now been replaced with a choice of simple dropper or proper aerosol spray, both in 100 gram sizes for £5.99 each. Exactly the time of year for an excellent and tenacious chain lube, we'd have thought, although maybe not as a Christmas present.
Mule Bar Christmas stocking gift pack
Maybe not Brunox chain oil but what you could give as a welcomed seasonal gift is this £9.99 Christmas stocking from the Mule Bar folks which contains a selection of their Kicks gels, refuel and energy bars including our all-time favourite Summer Pudding bar. Online from their e-commerce store or from Evans branches.
Book from Howies: '1057' by Phil Carter £10
'1057' refers to the 2006 health and safety law that among other things lays down the exact specification of the symbol painted on UK cycle lanes. Phil Carter's book documents the permutations on the theme, "some bizarre, some comical, but all completely charming," according to the book's publishers Howies.
And finally, MyPedals London commuter website goes live
There's no shortage of websites selling cycling gear but they mostly rely on a degree of specialist knowledge and interest. A new one launched this week though is purely for urban cyclists with a more practical interest in cycling, more a case of "My bike gets me to work: next..." than "Wow, look at my amazing bike."
Delivery is free thoughout the UK and if you live in central London it's free and same day. Handy if you find yourself at work with no lights or without a rain jacket. There's many of the brands you'd expect like Kryptonite, Lezyne, Abus, Proviz and Cateye at pretty competitive prices. There are also some surprising finds like these BigxTop Foot Straps we've been looking for.