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12 components/accessories we’re excited about using this year

Brand new products from Shimano, Kask, Specialized, Bont, Hunt, Hammerhead and more

We'll see hundreds of new components and accessories over the next few months but here are some of the ones that we're looking forward to most.

Kask Utopia helmet

Utopia 3.jpg

Team Sky first used the Kask Utopia helmet at last month’s Santos Tour Down Under. Kask says that the Utopia is the “fastest ever road helmet”, claiming that it can save up to six watts when riding at 50km/h (31mph) compared to the best competitor helmet.

Find out more about the Kask Utopia helmet here.

The plan is for the Utopia to be released later in the year although no price has yet been released.

Loads of new power meters4iiii_PrecisionPodiiiium_CrankIsolated.jpg

4iiii unveiled its new Precision Podiiiium power meter at last year’s Interbike, available in both dual-sided and single-sided options. It communicates via ANT+ and Bluetooth, has a claimed accuracy of 1.5% and a 60 hour runtime.

The new Podiiiium is said to be based on the same technology as the Precision power meter that we reviewed about 18 months ago but has a lower profile design with a rechargeable battery instead of a replaceable coin cell battery.

We have a Podiiiium coming in for review at very soon.

Find out more about the 4iiii Precision Podiiiium here.

Shimano Dura-Ace R9100-P power meter - 19.jpg

We already have a Shimano Dura-Ace R9100-P power meter in for review and it’s currently being thrashed around the West Country’s roads, so standby for a full review on that soon.

Specialized also has a power meter in the works – it has been spotted on pro riders’ bikes already. We couldn’t tell you when it’ll be launched, though. 

Bont Helix shoes

Bont Helix Eurobike 2017 - 1.jpg

We spotted the Bont Helix shoes at Eurobike last September and we’ve been hassling to get a pair in for review ever since.

They look a lot like the existing Vaypors but with a different closure system. The lace for the Boa dial goes into the upper and then runs right underneath the foot and into the upper on the other side. Bont says that fully surrounding the foot leads to a great fit while saving weight.

It’s an interesting proposition and we can’t wait to find out how it works in practice.

Check out our review of the existing Bont Vaypor S here.

SRAM eTap 1x

This one is a bit more speculative. We don’t know for sure that SRAM eTap 1x is on the way – we’re not party to any secret information – but it would make sense.

SRAM’s Apex, Rival and Force road groupsets are all already available in 1x versions (with a single chainring), it’s only Red that isn’t. And Red is the only one of SRAM’s groupset that’s available in an eTap version with electronic shifting.

We’re guessing that SRAM will combine the two technologies at some stage, either introducing a 1x version of Red eTap, or extending eTap down a level to Force. Either way, you’ll end up with a 1x groupset with electronic shifting. 

Oh, and it might go 12-speed sooner or later! 

Wahoo Kickr Climb

Wahoo KICKR CLIMB_Zwift (2).jpg

The Wahoo Kickr Climb was announced at the backend of last summer and we were able to have a quick go at Eurobike – but not long enough for a full review.

The Kickr is an indoor trainer grade simulator that alters your bike’s position to mimic outdoor terrain when you’re using a new Kickr smart trainer. You mount your fork to it and the front end of your bike goes up and down according to the terrain on screen. 

Find out more about the Wahoo Kickr Climb here.

New Shimano 105

This is another speculative one, but based on solid reasoning. Shimano tends to renew each of its groupsets every three to four years. The first year it’ll update Dura-Ace, the next year Ultegra, then 105. Shimano revealed Dura-Ace R9100 in 2016 and Ultegra R8000 in 2017 so we’re due a 105 announcement this year.

What will it involve? That’s more tricky to predict. Shimano has said before that it’s not interested in extending Di2 down to 105 level – not for the time being, at least – so electronic shifting isn’t on the cards. Other than that, though, pretty much anything that’s currently in the Dura-Ace and Ultegra groupsets could get trickled down to a more accessible price point.

Shimano S-Phyre eyewearShimano S-Phyre eyewear 2018 - 1.jpg

Sticking with Shimano, the brand announced just last week that its new S-Phyre eyewear will be available from April. They’re shaped to reduce airflow turbulence and fit snugly around the temples. They’re available with various lenses including a photochromic option for changeable conditions. 

Find out all about Shimano’s S-Phyre eyewear here. 

Hunt’s aero disc-specific wheels8.jpg

We're following the creation of Hunt Wheels' new model from prototype to finished product. It’s a disc-specific aero wheelset for 28mm tubeless tyres. 

Will it be ready this year? So far Hunt has developed prototypes, taken them to the wind tunnel in Germany and been excited by the results, but the wheelset is still a long way from completion, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Check out Reinventing the (aero disc-specific) wheel with Hunt - Pt I for the full story. 

HJC helmets

HTC helmets - 8.jpg

If you’ve been watching pro racing this year, HJC is providing the helmets for André Greipel and his Lotto-Soudal team-mates. A South Korean brand with a background in the world of motorcycling, HJC is new to the cycling world. It has launched the aero Furion (£150) and the more airy Ibex at £180.

Find out more about HJC helmets here.

Updated Cycliq Fly6 and Fly12 lights/cameras

Cycliq Fly12 - 1.jpg

Only last week we saw the updated versions of Cycliq’s Fly6 (£169.99) and Fly12 (£254.99) – bike lights with built-in high-definition cameras – and they now look a whole lot sleeker than before. 

Check out our review of the Cycliq Fly12 here. 

They shoot at up to 60 frames per second in 1920 x 1080p resolution.

Hammerhead Karoo GPS


Hammerhead’s Karoo GPS has been a long time coming but it’s now shipping. This new head unit runs off a cycling-specific Android operating system that has a whole host of bespoke apps for navigation, exploration, training, and sharing that constantly expands via over-the-air updates. 

Phone connectivity allows you to keep your mobile charged and stowed away without having to stop and sync. Everything, including mapping, can be recorded and logged instantly, which means you can record a Strava route and have it fully mapped and stored in the device before you've got home.

Find out more about the Hammerhead Karoo here. 

The Karoo offers a 10 hour battery life and is IP67 waterproof.

Topeak Joe Blow Sport III

Joe Blow Sport III.jpg

Can you be excited about using a track pump? That might be pushing it but the Topeak Joe Blow Sport has always been a very good one at a reasonable price. Our man Dave Atkinson first reviewed one here on way back in 2009. 

Version three is out now at a price of £39.99 and a review sample is winging its way to right now. We’re hoping it puts in the same level of performance as the previous incarnations.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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