The Sea Otter Classic represents the start of the race season in North America, and serves as a venue for brands to show their latest wares to thousands of consumers roaming the aisles of the outdoor festival.
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.
Last week a few people questioned why I reviewed an $18 solution to many of your bike woes. Apparently $18 is just way too much to spend on having peace of mind. So, just to give those same people something to whine about, I thought I’d find another $18 product to evaluate.
Whispbar Rack System with WB200 Fork Mount. A stylish and aerodynamic approach to roof racks.
The Transfer-9 is a trickle down of the Full-9, which benefits from technology afforded by its older motocross brother, the Moto-9, but was designed exclusively for downhill and BMX, and is compliant all bicycle helmet safety standards. Actually, ‘trickle down’ isn’t entirely telling the whole story. This helmet is very feature-packed at just half the cost of Bell’s own Full-9 or other high-end full-face helmets.
The two-piece design of the Mallet body comprises a composite half that helps lower the overall weight of the pedal and an aluminum outer half which is more durable against strikes, abrasion and wear and tear. The forged chromoly axle is designed to be stronger than previous models with an improved sealing to keep out unwanted mess and prolong the life of the pedal between service intervals (I couldn’t find and strip down an older version to compare them directly).