You don’t expect a whole hell of a lot from a light that fits into a tube the size of a lipstick case, but Bontrager’s Ion 700 R USB headlight packs a punch despite its diminutive size.
It’s a roller bag. No, it’s a backpack. Wait, it’s both. Kind of sounds like one of those infomercials promising a can opener that can double as a rocket launcher—too good to be true. But in this case, Thule is on target with their claim: the Thule Crossover 38L Carry-On doubles capably as both a mini-rolling bag and a backpack. In short, this is one versatile bit of luggage.
Mavic's 2014 clothing line has been trail-tested by the world's best enduro racers and is designed to withstand the rigors of high-alpine, technical riding.
Dakine has stepped up its game in the rain jacket department with the Caliber. It fills the void in the lineup for a technical feature-laden waterproof shell. While previous Dakine rain jackets have been solid, they were still not my first choice for big high-country adventure rides where the likelihood of getting pummeled by weather for days was a given; those duties were typically handled by the likes of Patagonia, Arcteryx or Helly Hansen. With the Caliber, however, Dakine has a legit alternative.
I went through a phase where I avoided packs altogether, stuffing my pockets with spares or going unprepared because packs were uncomfortable and shifted around while riding. Then I got a Raptor 10.
After spending a half-dozen rides in the newly released women’s New Road apparel, I’m starting to think the marketing minds behind Giro should have called it New Mountain–or perhaps a more neutral New Ride–because the pieces seems to be just as comfortable on singletrack as on asphalt, if not more so.
We take one more walk around the pits at Laguna Seca to highlight this year's most promising gear.
The Lodown glove is all about getting intimate with your handlebar. In fact, Specialized’s marketing reads more like a condom wrapper with slogans like ‘second skin fit’ and ‘slip on design.’ There’s no doubt about it: This is a minimalistic glove, and I like it.
A good knee or elbow guard review really could be as simple as, “they work, they’re comfortable and they haven’t fallen apart – done.” In that respect, my first impression is that Race Face nailed it with the Ambush knee and Indy Elbow guards.
During a two-hour period of the BC Bike Race last year, I repaired seven chains, making two bikes single-speeds, fixed a broken shifter and a shoe, and evacuated a pneumothorax. I was working for the race as an Ambassador/Bike Patrol so needless to say I put a lot of emphasis on the tools I carried with me. In fact I have always put a lot of emphasis on the tools I carry. For example, I’ve always carried a full size shop quality chain tool, however, the Lezyne V10 has me possibly rethinking that decision.
I got this imbued sense of quality the first time I picked up the Specialized UHP Air Tool. Constructed from cast aluminum, it has a solid feel, a big 350 PSI gauge and a burly oil-resistant hose attached to a beautiful two-stage valve. This clever new valve allows you to evacuate the air from the hose—but not the shock—before removing the pump. The air bleed works especially well at making finite pressure adjustments.