It has been a busy week at BikeRadar’s virtual towers and we’ve had plenty of awesome content for you to feast your eyes on.
First up, Tom Marvin, Robin Weaver and I chatted through our ride rituals on Monday’s podcast. Be sure to give it a listen and, as always, please hit that subscribe button if you want to be the first to hear when we post a new episode.
I recently reviewed Shimano’s Deore XT M8100 groupset, awarding it four and a half stars out five thanks to its exceptional on-trail performance.
Elsewhere, we’ve lifted the lid on our best cycling books in 2021. So if you’re a bookworm, be sure to check that out.
We’ve also tried our best to answer one of the cyclists’ life-long questions: Why do my knees hurt? Be sure to study up to see if you can alleviate any knee pain you might be suffering from.
And from one question to another, we’ve tried to help you decide whether flat or clipless pedals are right for you. Personally, I’m a life-long user of flats and wouldn’t have it any other way.
But probably one of our more exciting bits of content this week came from SRAM and the launch of its third-tier AXS Rival groupset, so be sure to check out senior technical editor Warren Rossiter’s AXS Rival review to see whether you need to upgrade or not.
Like the recently-launched SRAM GX Eagle AXS groupset, SRAM hopes the AXS Rival group will bring wireless electronic shifting to the masses.
And finally, let’s not forget our 2021 Bike of the Year awards. Stay tuned to the BikeRadar homepage for more news soon!
7Mesh mountain bike riding kit
Canadian brand 7Mesh is based in Squamish just south of the infamous Whistler mountain bike and ski resort, and with plenty of riding on its doorstep, its riding kit is always well considered and performs impressively.
7Mesh Elevate Long Sleeve and Short Sleeve Bike Tech T-shirts
With casual looks and discrete styling, the Elevate should be at home on and off the bike. It’s made from an antimicrobial, lightweight and absorbent material that’s also breathable, from a mix of polyester and lyocell materials.
The long-sleeve version (pictured above) should be ideal for wearing under a hardshell jacket on colder mornings or on its own in warmer conditions.
The short-sleeve version is made from the same mix of materials but will be better-suited to scorching hot days on the bike or around the barbecue on a summer evening.
Both the short-sleeve and long-sleeve versions are available in muted, pastel-like tones befitting of 7Mesh’s at one with nature styling, and in men’s and women’s cuts.
- 7Mesh Elevate Long Sleeve Bike Tech T-shirt: £45 / $60 / €50
- 7Mesh Elevate short Sleeve Bike Tech T-shirt: £35.01 / $50 / €40
7Mesh Ashlu Merino socks
Made from 85 per cent Merino wool, the 7in cuff height should please any mountain biker. According to 7Mesh they wick moisture away quickly and are comfortable to wear over a week of all-day epics and day-long adventures alike.
This model is made in Italy and is available in four sizes and colours.
- 7Mesh Ashlu Merino Sock: £20 / $25 / €25
7Mesh Callaghan Merino Hoody
The Callaghan’s full-length zip makes taking the hoody on and off a breeze because you won’t need to remove any of riding kit, helmet included.
Its casual looks are well-suited to pre- and post-ride coffees and its high-performing Merino wool and polyester blend should help keep it odour-free if you decide to wear it when riding.
The hood is under-helmet compatible and there’s a phone sleeve inside the right front pocket.
- 7Mesh Callaghan Merino Hoody: £150 / $190 / €200
7Mesh Farside shorts
The feature-laden Farside shorts are made from a four-way stretch material that’s been designed for bikepacking, gravel riding and light trail riding.
Designed for use in the summer, 7Mesh promises the Farside won’t feel hot or clingy when the mercury rises and its two hand pockets – along with one zipped pocket – are perfect for stashing easy-to-reach essentials.
It has belt loops and adjustable waist straps with locking clips along with a zip fly. There are reflective logos, too.
The shorts have a 10.5in inseam length on the men’s cut and a fairly relaxed fit that remains stylish off the bike, too. They’re available in men’s and women’s cuts and sizes.
- 7Mesh Farside Short: £99.99 / $120 / €102
Peaty’s LinkLube wet weather chain lube
Although the all-weather LinkLube and dry weather LinkLube have been around for a while, the wet weather version is a new addition.
Scented with Irish coffee, it’s a blend of oil, wax and corrosion inhibitors to help protect your bike’s chain in the worst conditions. It has a higher ratio of wax compared to the all-weather lube, which helps to improve performance.
Peaty’s claims the wet weather LinkLube will not only keep your drivetrain running quietly in the grimmest conditions, but it’s also easy to clean off at the end of the day without turning into the thick gloop many other wet lubes are known for.
According to the brand, the lube was in development for three years on a host of different bikes to see which lasted longest and best.
I like using Peaty’s all-weather LinkLube so I’m keen to try out the wet weather version in the grottiest climates to see how it performs.
- Peaty’s LinkLube wet weather: £11.99 (120ml)
Ride Concepts flat pedal mountain bike shoes
As a relative newcomer to the mountain bike shoe market, Ride Concepts was first launched in 2018. Since then, it’s been hard at work developing a host of off-road shoes and sponsoring some of the world’s best riders, including downhill World Cup-winning family the Athertons, free ride legend Andreu Lacondeguy and BMX racer Caroline Buchanan, among others.
Ride Concepts Vice Mid flat pedal shoes
Developed with the help of Andreu Lacondeguy, the Vice Mid takes the causal styling preferred by BMXers, dirt jumpers and slopestyle riders and adds a host of technical features to increase performance.
The sole has an inverse hexagon design that, along with the Rubber Kinetics DST 6.0 High Grip rubber sole, should serve as a confidence-inspiring connection to your flat pedals.
Elsewhere, the gusseted tongue helps to stop dirt and debris entering the shoe, while the TPU toe protection and D30 sections help provide impact absorption.
- Ride Concepts Vice Mid flat pedal shoes: £109.95 / $120
Ride Concepts Men’s TNT flat pedal shoes
The TNT flat pedal shoes feature Ride Concept’s grippiest Rubber Kinetics DST 4.0 Max Grip sole with a hexagon tread pattern akin to FiveTen’s Stealth soles.
The synthetic material upper is made from a microfibre material with an anti-bacterial mesh lining that’s weather resistant.
The heel and toe cap use custom-moulded rubber to give added protection. There’s a large strap to help improve stability, too. The insole uses D30 to help protect the wearer’s feet against impacts, and the tongue, like the Vice shoe, features a gusset to prevent dirt and debris entering.
- Ride Concepts Men’s TNT flat pedal shoes: £139.95 / $160
Patagonia Capilene mountain bike tops
Patagonia’s become synonymous with making high-quality, sustainable and ethically-made clothing using recycled materials. Its mountain biking kit is no exception, as these two Capilene tops prove.
Patagonia Capilene Cool Trail Bike Henley
The Capilene Cool Trail Bike Henley uses 100 per cent recycled polyester wicking fabric with built-in HeiQ Fresh odour control.
It features a bike-specific fit with a longer back hem and articulated seams. The small front pocket and button opening make the Henley just as suited to off-the-bike scenarios, too.
Men’s and women’s cuts and sizes are available.
- Patagonia Capilene Cool Trail Bike Henley: £55 / $55
Patagonia Capilene Midweight Bike Jersey
The Capilene Mighweight Bike Jersey features three rear-facing pockets that are sturdy enough to store any on-ride essentials. Depending on the weather conditions, the jersey can be used as a base-, mid- or outer-layer thanks to its stretchy and light-feeling fabric.
The rear hem is dropped and features an internal gripper band to help keep the rear from riding up. The 100 per cent recycled polyester fabric is Fair Trade Certified and feels soft against skin if worn as a baselayer.
Men’s and women’s cuts and sizes are available.
- Patagonia Capilene Midweight Bike Jersey: £70 / $79