Swiss Side, started by a Formula 1 engineer and an award-winning sports equipment designer, produces only handbuilt wheels for road bikes, and nothing else. Their products already sound astronomically expensive—but they’re not. Founders Jean-Paul Ballard and George cant deliberately structured the company to be lean and mean to avoid overhead. (It also helps that the wheels are handbuilt in Taiwan, not Switzerland.)
The Gotthard wheelset is intended for rougher roads or heavier riders. The name, as it turns out, is not slightly offensive, but is in fact an homage to the Gotthard Pass in Switzerland, a twisty and treacherous pass that is one of the highest paved roads in Europe. This isn’t exactly a touring or rough-road wheelset, but is certainly more durable than typical racy road sets, and quite light to boot, at 1,465g for the pair.Tweet Print
LOOK knows a thing or three about clipless pedals: the French brand was the first to make a widely adopted clipless road pedal in the mid-1980s. For 2013, it has redesigned its mountain bike offering with versatility and durability in mind.Tweet Print
Heated grips? This sounds like the kind of thing that would be either hokey or over-the-top luxurious. But they come in handy (no pun intended) for motorcyclists and snowmobile riders, so why not bicyclists as well? A’ME happens to make some very high-quality and effective grips that can keep your hands happy through the winter.Tweet Print
Mountain bikes have been reaping the benefits of hydraulic disc brakes for years now, and while they were finicky at first, the products available now are virtually maintenance-free. When they first began appearing on road bikes, mechanical discs were the obvious stop-gap—a brake cable is a brake cable, after all. But now that discs are becoming more prevalent, roadies want the benefits of hydraulic fluid, too.Tweet Print
A new set of wheels is one of the most effective upgrades you can make for your bike, instantly making it lighter and often faster. There aren’t too many ready-made wheel options specifically for commuting and touring bikes, but American Classic is now offering a good choice with its TCX wheels.Tweet Print
The new Bend H-bar from Jeff Jones builds on a legacy of creative tinkering started over a decade ago by the man himself. The idea behind the new $85 Bend H-bar was to create a svelte version of his signature Loop H-bar without. Less material means less places to mount things like GPS, lights, bell and other gadgets, but, like Swedish design, sometimes cutting things down to their essence makes for a better product.Tweet Print
Flat pedals are something of a rare sight around the Bicycle Times office. From full-lycra to full-face mountain bike rides, chances are we’re clipping in.
All this cleat-lovin’ makes it even more interesting that when the Spike pedals from Spank showed up at the office there was a bit of a scrum to see who would get to ride them. With a massive platform and 10 adjustable pins per side, it was pretty clear they would be taking traction to a whole new level.Tweet Print
Lighting is a crucial element for bicycle safety. While there are plenty of battery-powered lights on the market, they only last for so long before the batteries need to be replaced or recharged—plus you have to remember to bring the light with you! Dynamo hubs offer endless electricity, powered by your pedals. The only trade-off is that the small amount of rolling resistance you get while generating that electricity can be, well, a drag. A new hub from Biologic has a way to get around all that.
Mountain bikes have been reaping the benefits of hydraulic disc brakes for years now, and while they were finicky at first, the products available now are virtually maintenance-free. When they first began appearing on road bikes, mechanical discs were the obvious stop-gap—a brake cable is a brake cable, after all. But now that discs are becoming more prevalent, roadies want the benefits of hydraulic fluid, too.
First came a series of cable-actuated master cylinders that mounted in all sorts of places, and now at the high end, you can get a complete hydraulic brake system (combined with shifters) from Shimano or SRAM. But many of us already have disc brake bikes and perfectly good drivetrains. The new HyRd (pronounced “high road”) brakes are technically an open hydraulic system, but since it moves the master cylinder from the lever to the caliper, it doesn’t require any special cable or hose routing, and can work with any shifters.Tweet Print
Integrated shift/brake levers have been around for a long time now, but they aren’t getting any cheaper. As more people take up racing cyclocross, it has become obvious these shifters don’t like the inevitable exposure to sand, mud, and power washers. And if you race long enough, one of your crashes are going to damage those expensive shifters hanging off the front of your bars.
That’s where Retroshift comes in. Taking off-the-shelf brake levers and grafting a modern version of the thumbshifter to the front, Retroshift created a durable and relatively inexpensive shifting alternative.Tweet Print