5 cool things from Campagnolo, Liv, Topeak, Crankbrothers and Shimano
From Campag 13-speed to pocket-friendly women's gravel bikes, we've got a wide range of kit in on test this week. There's also some nifty gear for your pack to get you out of trouble in a hurry. Dig in....
- The widest gravel bike handlebars you can buy: broad bars for bikepackers
- The 11 gravel-specific products you never knew you needed
- The best trail and enduro mountain bike wheelsets, tried and tested
Campagnolo Ekar 13-speed gravel groupset
After numerous rumours did the rounds over summer, Campagnolo finally turned things up to 13 last month with the launch of their sleek 1x 13-speed gravel groupset. It has a super wide range (466% on our 9/42 test cassette) with a tiny 9-tooth cog built around their new N3W freehub, and Campag have ensured weight weenies are catered for by claiming to have made the lightest ever gravel groupset. The chainset is looking as good as you'd expect from the Italians, with UD carbon arms and a guard to protect it against rock strikes at the end. The famous Campag thumb paddles have had a little redesign, with a J-shaped design that they say should make shifting easier from the drops. As you'd expect, powerful hydraulic disc brakes feature, with 140mm or 160mm rotors available. Did Matt Page appreciate the extra cogs? His test report is coming later this month.
Designed for versaitility, the Devote should suit bikepackers, gravel grinders and commuters alike, with clearance for 45mm tyres and plenty of mounting points for bottle cages and luggage thanks to the Smart Mounting System. Liv's ALUXX-Grade aluminium frame paired with a carbon fork brings the weight down to 10.3kg for a size medium, and the wheelset is purpose-built to be tough and strong to cope with harsh weather. The D-Fuse handlebar and seatpost system features on numerous Giant/Liv endurance and gravel bikes, providing some shock absorption to smooth out the ride and make things more compliant up front and at the rear. Did Lara Dunn become devoted to her Devote demo bike over the test period? Her full review is coming soon...
Topeak TUBI 18 multi tool
The Topeak TUBI 18 looks like a top-end tool at top-end prices, however, it does look like you get quite a lot for your cash. There's all the Allen keys you'd want (although no 8mm) a T10 and T25 Torx, a #2 Phillip and a Stainless steel 2-in-1 tire reamer / plug insertion tool with tool stop and a serrated knife. On top of that you get tyre plugs in a small, neat case.
Shimao ME5 shoes
The ME5's get a revamp for 2020, they also get trickle down tech from their big brother the ME7 in the form of a Torbal midsole and plenty of outer protection. The biggest change is rather than the ratchet and speed lace closure, the ME5's gets a Boa L6 dial for easy micro-adjustment with a closure cap to save it from opening after a rock strike or crash.
Crankbrothers Klic HV minipump
Another all singing, all dancing piece of kit, the Crankbrothers Klic HV pump is a high volume mountain bike and gravel pump that can (if you choose to pay for it) include a CO2 and a gauge. It features a hidden flexible hose which is stored within the pump, which like the larger Klic floor pump, uses a magnet to hold it in place.
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