BikeBiz takes a look at the latest products from across the cycling trade, this month featuring Orbea, Rondo, Tailfin, Garmin, Li-Fe, ABUS, Topeak, Peaty’s and Spada, plus an insight into what editor Alex Ballinger has been riding
This guide first appeared in the July edition of BikeBiz magazine – get your free subscription here
This month we’re giving you an insight into what we’ve been riding. Editor Alex Ballinger has been tearing through the local bike parks on a Canyon Spectral
The South West is a mountain biker’s dream. You can travel just about any direction from my home in Bristol and find yourself at quality trails in about an hour. From the humble loops of Ashton Court, to the iconic Welsh trails, I’m very fortunate to live in a part of the world well-suited to the off-road enthusiasts.
To properly explore what the South West has to offer, I’ve been testing out the relatively new Canyon Spectral 125, a short travel 29er designed for the rowdiest terrain. With 125mm travel on the rear and 140mm up front, a low-slung frame, and very similar geometry to its 150mm travel counterpart, the Spectral embodies that do-it-all nature that riders may appreciate.
The problem many consumers will face when breaking into mountain biking is the sheer abundance of choice when it comes to travel. In past years the range of bikes on offer has grown increasingly specialised across all disciplines, from climbing road bikes to aero machines and gravel crossovers, from lightweight cross country mountain bikes to big travel enduro rigs, the choice can be almost overwhelming, and not everyone gets it right first time.
Exploring the secondhand market, the listings are filled with consumers selling because they want bigger, smaller, different wheels, different geometry. While there will always be that committed hardcore of riders who want a house and garaged chocked full of every variation of bike, for the biggest proportion of consumers, versatility will be the key.
I come from a slightly patchwork background of bike riding, from BMX through to road riding and time trials, so when it comes to mountain bikes I want something that does it all, from big jumps to uphill slogs. Riding my local trails has made clear the importance of bike selection, and how retailers can help guide the buyer through the tricky maze of buyer’s remorse.
Kemen and Kemen SUV
Orbea has launched the new Kemen and Kemen SUV, two e-bike models “to escape from everyday life”. Orbea designed both the Kemen and Kemen SUV around the Shimano EP8 motor, with 85Nm of torque. Unlike other e-bike models like Rise or Urrun, the brand has equipped Kemen with the standard software. Orbea’s engineering team has combined this motor with the 540 Wh battery released in its Rise. The battery’s interior is comprised of 21-700 cells that optimise energy density. Its integration in the frame also reduces the weight of the set and improves frame stiffness. The result is “unbeatable efficiency”, said Orbea, achieving high autonomy ranges of up to five hours of pedalling. Additionally, Kemen and Kemen SUV come with the option of mounting a 252 Wh Range Extender.
RRP: From £3,599 up to £4,299
Rondo has launched the Ratt – the ‘next step’ in the all-road movement. Engineers have combined expertise in road and gravel bikes into one bike. The sophisticated geometry of the Ratt carbon frame combined with the wide 650B tyres keeps the overall diameter of the wheels small. The larger contact area of the wider tyres better withstands external forces, providing ‘exceptional’ traction and stability with reduced rolling resistance without a detrimental effect on the speed. The Ratt is available in two model variants: the CF1 and CF2. The CF1 comes with a Shimano GRX RX800 groupset, Rondo X Hunt 650B wheels and Vittoria Terreno Zero tyres with 47 millimetres in width. The CF2 is equipped with a Shimano GRX RX400 groupset and Rondo Lit wheels.
RRP: Rondo Ratt CF1 £4299.99, Rondo Ratt CF2 £3399.99
Bristol-based bikepacking brand Tailfin has released its latest innovation, a bag system designed for bikes without dedicated mounts. The V-Mount Packs are aimed at riders looking for a hassle-free system, as the product fits directly onto the frame without damaging the paintwork. The V-Mount system is a patented design, which consists of an aluminium base plate, and a removable soft rubber boot. The grippy removable rubber boot then helps secure the packs to the frame without slipping.
RRP: 1.7L – £60/$75/€75, 3L – £70/$85/€85
Edge 1040 Solar
Cycling computer giant Garmin has released its latest version of the Edge GPS device, complete with 4 solar charging and 100 hours between charges. The Garmin Edge 1040 Solar is believed to be the first cycling computer that uses solar power to help power the device, increasing the time between charges dramatically. “Cyclists expect as much from their GPS bike computer as they do themselves, and that is why we are thrilled to introduce the Edge 1040 Solar,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales. “Durable, accurate and ready to go the distance, the Edge 1040 Solar is the pinnacle of GPS bike computers. No matter where you ride, or what bike you choose to use, the Edge 1040 Solar is ready for any adventure – from remote gravel trails to epic climbs.”
RRP: £629.99, or £519.99 for the non-solar Edge 1040
Distributor: Tandem Group Cycles
Utilising its powerful 350W motor and 6.0Ah lithium battery, the brand new Li-Fe 350 Plus is capable of sustaining 15.5mph for up to 12.5miles. Designed with practicality in mind, everything that can be integrated has been – handlebar display, lighting and cables are all tucked neatly into the scooter body removing any chance of damage or snagging. With solid tyres and IP55 rating you can also ride safe in the knowledge that punctures are a thing of the past and getting caught out in a shower isn’t an issue.
Distributor: Extra UK
Take the deep fit of modern mountain bike helmets, the head shape of the GameChanger racing bike helmet and add a dose of sci-fi styling for the road. Now add the rechargeable, magnetically attached rear LED and voilà – you have a modern helmet for the city. At the back of the head is a magnetic USB light strip that has four different light modes. The light duration depends on whether Power Mode, Eco Mode, Blink Mode or Pulse Mode is active. For all those who ride their bike with style and protection, there is no better option than the ABUS HUD-Y Urban helmet.
Topeak Backloader X
Distributor: Extra UK
A large capacity seat bag specifically designed for bikepackers wanting a streamlined way to carry gear without the need for a rear rack. The reinforced, anti-slip/scratch fabric protects the saddle while the advanced mounting system enables convenient and secure mounting to seatpost and saddle rails. Easy access waterproof carry bag and built-in air release purge valve keeps bag compact and dry while you’re on your next adventure.
Peaty’s Holeshot Tubeless Sealant
Distributor: Silverfish UK
Peaty’s has been testing and refining different sealant formulations since the day it first launched its tubeless sealant in 2017. Using elite riders and mechanics, plus your everyday wrench and weekend warrior, Peaty’s has tested 23 different formulas using the latest cutting edge sealant tech to make the best sealant available today. The new formula is thinner and more mobile in the tyre and seals large holes at all pressures thanks to its eco-friendly bio-fibres. Available in 120ml sachets all the way up to 25L workshop drums.
RRP: From £7.99
Howitzer MTB helmet, Enduro Titan jacket, Route Orion trousers
British-based clothing brand Spada has branched out from the motorcycle market, offering mountain bike kit for trail riders. The Spada range includes a full wardrobe, from socks and gloves, to shorts and jerseys, but the stand-out products are the Howitzer helmet, the Enduro Titan Jacket and the Route Orion trousers. Designed for an affordable price point, but with all the features demanded by hardened trail riders, Spada’s kit has been developed with the help of 4X champion Scott Beaumont.
RRP: Howitzer MTB helmet £79.99, Enduro Titan jacket £139.99, Route Orion trousers £89.99