We have another very exciting Five Cool Things for your ogling pleasure. First up, we've got Crankbrothers' latest Mallet Trail pedal as well as the latest addition to Marin's Alpine Trail E range. There are also some fresh kicks from Fizik and Funn's new Tron stem - but before we have a closer look, let's recap and top news and features from the week.
Firstly, we highlight 13 riders you never knew completed the Cape Epic, and there really are some surprising names from F1 stars of old and Tom Ritchey himself. Next up we have our latest mountain bike icons, where Steve covers the touching story of Burry Stander.
Of course, we've got plenty of reviews to show off starting with our write-up of the G-Form Pro Rugged 2 knee pad, the POC Thermal Glove and Fulcrum Redzone 3 wheelset.
There has been plenty of fresh news this week, too, as SRAM unveiled its much anticipated, latest Eagle shifting lineup with the hangerless rear derailleur, Cane Creek has introduced its £1,450 Electric Wings crankset and Canyon has updated the Neuron, its "do it all" trail bike.
Now, let's dive into the new things that we're reviewing. Make sure to check all our published reviews, too!
Marin Alpine Trail E Base - £4,355
Kicking off this week's Five Cool Things is Marin's Alpine Trail E Base. It's a brand-new model for the range that brings the entry price to the Alpine Trail E platform to a more accessible point. To get that price low, it runs a Shimano EP6 motor that offers up to 85Nm of power with a 504Wh battery.
The suspension comes courtesy of X-Fusion with a Trace 36 RC fork handling 160mm of suspension and a 02 Pro RXC damping 150mm of squish. Shimano has sorted the shifting here with a 10-speed Deore setup and there are Shimano MT420 four-piston brakes mated to 203mm rotors at each end. On this particular bike, there's a 2.5in Maxxis Assegai combined with a chunky 2.8in Minion DHR II. Those wrap Marin's own rims which are laced to Shimano hubs.
As for the geometry, it's the very same as what we see on this bike's pricier siblings, so that's a 485mm reach on this large frame, a 63-degree head tube angle and a 78-degree seat tube angle.
Crankbrothers Mallet Trail pedals - £180
2023 crank brothers mallet trail 5ct.jpg, by Liam Mercer
The latest Mallet Trail from Crankbrothers is said to be super versatile, making for a pedal that can find its home in the crank of a gravel, or mountain bike. It sits bang in the middle of the Candy and Mallet E pedals, offering a sized-down platform.
As always, this pedal features the brand's famed eggbeater system with a four-sided entry but this pedal gets a long spindle with a 57mm q-factor for extra stability at speed. There are also two pins per side and the pedals run on premium bearings with a double seal system.
Fizik Vento Ferox Carbon shoes - £300
These are Fizik's Vento Ferox Carbon shoes and they're designed for off-road racing, whether that's gravel or cross-country. They're graced with an X1 carbon outsole and a breathable but light PU laminated mesh upper. There's then a Powerstrap and Li2 Boa fit system, providing a customised but secure fit.
Funn Tron stem - $80
The Tron stem from Funn is a staple of the brand's range and it has now been modernised with a neat range of features. As before, it's machined from 6061-T6 aluminium, making it durable but also good-looking.
Available in four lengths, from 50mm to 80mm, the Tron stakes its claim as being ideal for anything from gravel to trail riding and now, it gets a no-gap faceplate that makes installation even easier.
Mons Royale Tarn Merino Shift Wind jersey and Virage Pants - £99 - £127
Rounding things off are a couple of garments from Mons Royale. The Tarn jersey is designed as a lightweight windbreaker to offer protection in the cold when properly hauling. It's built with raglan sleeves to aid freedom of movement and there's a Merino ripstop polyester front panel to fend off wind chill. There's also a hidden glasses wipe.
Along with that, we've got the Virage Pants. These are lightweight but durable trousers designed for life on- and off of the bike. They benefit from a zipped phone pocket and they're built using a high-performance fabric that utilises recycled polyester made from PET bottles. This fabric sheds weight and boosts durability while elastane included increases mobility. There's also merino wool built-in for its anti-odour properties.
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