It seems there’s no let-up in the world of bikes, with plenty of exciting product announcements dropping every week.
First up in the world of mud, jumps, and high speed, Canadian brand Devinci launched its latest high-pivot enduro bike, the 2022 Spartan HP.
I was lucky enough to test the carbon fibre, 29in-wheel plough machine in the months leading up to the launch. Check out my review of the mid-range Spartan HP GX 12s to find out whether the latest bike is worthy of your cash.
Next up was big news from Yeti, the famous American brand based out of Golden in Colorado. After nearly six years in development, Yeti felt it was ready to launch its first electric mountain bike, the 2022 Yeti 160E.
Using Shimano’s EP8 motor system, the 160E uses a six-bar linkage design rather than the Switch Infinity link seen on the rest of its full-suspension range. Stay tuned to BikeRadar for a full review in the not too distant future.
Elsewhere, we’ve published reviews of the Vitus Escarpe 29 CRS, where I said it’s a “carbon fibre beauty with no-compromises on kit”.
Fellow Technical Editor Tom Marvin reviewed the Santa Cruz Blur XC X01 AXS RSV – a mega-money, lightweight full suspension XC race bike.
GoPro launched its newest Hero 10 action camera that can shoot 5.3k video and has a lofty price tag of $599.
We also got a look at Orbea’s new 2022 Occam trail bike, now coming in two variants. There’s a a shorter travel 140mm bike and a 150mm travel Occam LT that sports a slacker head-tube angle.
It’s been a little quieter on the road riding side of the sport, but we’ve published an in-depth article on how to train with power so you know what you need to do to get stronger and faster.
We’ve also seen the rather pricy Muc-Off Ludicrous AF chain lube that’s claimed to reduce power sapped by drivetrain losses.
Finally, American Classic is back after a hiatus from the industry since 2018 with gravel and road tyre collections, now concentrating on rubber rather than rims. We’ll try and get some in to test soon.
Fox Float X Factory and Fox DHX Factory rear shocks
Fox is renowned for producing a wide range of high-performing products like the Fox 38 Factory GRIP2 fork, and DHX2 and Float X2 shocks.
The brand hopes the latest additions to its range – the air-sprung Float X and coil-sprung DHX shocks – look to strike the balance between performance, weight and price for trail-focused rather than descent-focused riding.
The DHX and Float X share the same rebound and compression damping circuits, both with externally adjustable low-speed rebound and compression dials, and a climb lever.
There are 11 clicks of compression adjustment and 16 clicks of rebound adjustment on both shocks. Of course, it’s possible to get the shocks custom-tuned for your bike and riding style, too.
Differentiating the two shocks is the way in which they’re sprung. The Float X uses a high-volume, tuneable air-spring, while the DHX has Fox’s linear coil spring.
Each spring type will provide its own advantages: coil-sprung shocks can be fluttery and smooth off the top with a linear spring curve, making them best-matched to bikes with progressive leverage rates; air-sprung versions can be more easily tuned with changes in pressure or volume thanks to volume reducer spacers.
These spacers will make the spring rate increase as the shock compresses through its travel and are well-suited to more linear bikes.
I’m currently testing both shocks in their metric, trunnion-mount format. A 205×65 Fox DHX shock without hardware but with a 475lb spring weighs 862g (spring is 353g).
The Fox Float X 205×65 shock without hardware weighs 507g.
Stay tuned to BikeRadar to find out how they perform.
- Fox Float X: £659
- Fox DHX: £629
Five Ten Trailcross Gore-Tex flat pedal shoes
Arguably one of the most important flat pedal shoes released in a long time, the Five Ten Trailcross Gore-Tex (or GTX for short) is the first, fully waterproof flat pedal shoe.
Although other brands have offered flat pedal waterproof shoes before, very few have even come close to the grip offered by Five Ten’s dot-pattern and extra-grippy Stealth rubber sole.
Mix the almost infallible flat pedal grip with the renowned waterproofing of a Gore-Tex lining across the entirety of the shoe’s upper, and the Trailcross GTX shoe appears almost perfect.
The shoe’s high-top design has a fitted neoprene Velcro-style cuff to help reduce water and dirt ingress.
I’m excited to put these through their paces in the Scottish winter, once the weather finally breaks.
- Five Ten Trailcross Gore-Tex Mountain Bike Shoes: £150
Lezyne Digital Shock Drive shock pump
Along with tyre pressures, getting your suspension’s spring pressures (if you’ve got air springs) right is one of the most crucial elements of bike setup.
Relying on an analogue pressure gauge is fine if you’re not after hyper-accurate measurements or maybe are making trail-side, feel-based adjustments, but nothing beats the accuracy of a digital read out.
The Lezyne Digital Shock Drive’s pressure display rounds to the nearest whole psi or nearest tenth when set to bar mode. The pump is rated to 350psi, and has a threaded valve chuck that stops the shock losing air when the pump is disconnected.
It weighs 111g and measures 23cm long, so is light and small enough to store in a pack while riding, and its hose screws into the handle to reduce the chances of damage when being transported.
- Lezyne Digital Shock Drive: £75 / $74.99
Exposure Six Pack MK11 mountain bike light
Sporting a whopping 3,600-lumen output, the Six Pack MK11 also has a Reflex++ mode that increases power to 5,000 lumens when the light senses the terrain requires a higher intensity of illumination.
When the terrain isn’t as rough, the output dims. This, Exposure says, is the best way to reduce battery consumption.
The Six Pack has six forward-facing white XPL2 LEDs that, with the 15,500mAh battery, can run on full power for up to two hours, but will last up to 36 hours on the lowest power mode.
Its body is made from 6063 aluminium, and it has an LED mode and battery life display on its rear face, along with a single control button.
Our test sample weighed 424g, along with the 35mm bar clamp.
- Exposure Six Pack MK11: £435