Weekly gear roundup: 29ers, Whyte 146, winter jackets and more - Bike Magic

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Weekly gear roundup: 29ers, Whyte 146, winter jackets and more

What’s been getting the Bikemagic team all stirred up this week? Well here’s a little roundup of the latest products that have been doing just that, and which we’ve been talking about this week.

GT is attempting to return tothe position it used to enjoy as one of the most desirable and lusted over brands over a decade ago. And from the looks of the latest bike in this ‘grand plan’, the GT Zaskar 29er, they look to be on the right track.

Boardman has quickly built a reputation for solidly built bikes with a price tag that doesn’t make you choke. And now it’s added a women’s range, with the £650 Fi HT Comp hardtail impressing with female-specific geometry, and decent spec. But a pink paintjob? Really Boardman.

The weather has been all over the place this week. At times, it’s almost as if we’ve been treated to the four seasons in once day. Just as well The North Face Muddy Tracks jacket performs as well as it looks.

The big bike test this week is reserved for the Whyte 146 X. Yes it costs £5000 but they’ve managed to squeeze an impressive build for the cash, including the awesome carbon Easton wheels, Kashima-coated forks and shock, and Shimano XTR. The frame itself is full carbon and the Quad II suspension platform performs impressively, ticking all the boxes.

Rapidly becoming one of our favourite products of 2011, Specialized’s BG S-Works mountain bike shoes are so good that we can almost swallow the high £200 price. Now with twin Boa dials, an improved upper and replaceable tread, they pack a lot of good features.

Niner only deal in 29er wheels and offer an nice range of hardtails and full-sussers, and they also happen to be one of the most coveted 29er brands out there. It’s just updated its two hardtails, the Air 9 and E.M.D. 9, so they’re now better than ever before thanks to improved tubesets making them stiffer and lighter.

Despite hydration packs being the default choice for us mountain bikers to carry around several litres of water on a ride, we sometimes like the simplicity of a water bottle. And on such occasions we need a quality bottle cage. Lezyne’s CNC Alloy cage almost fulfils this role, but comes up a little short.

Finally, we’ll end this week’s tech roundup with our look at 29er hardtails costing between £800 and £1100. Including contenders from Specialized, Charge, Fuji, Fisher, Scott and Cannondale there’s something for everyone.


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