Pearlizumi beefed up its Launch glove for 2015. The good news? The glove retains its excellent feel and fit, but gained a bit of brawn.
The Mavic Crossmax Enduro shoe was designed for, as the name implies, enduro racing—which in fact, means that it’s perfect for most of us—the everyday mountain biker. Not long ago, if a mountain bike shoe was good off the bike, it was crap on the bike, and vice versa. Enduro racing is spawning the seemingly obvious marriage of these two extremes.
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.
"We had no idea what to call them,” Gary recalls, “so we put a piece of paper on the counter and invited people to write down suggestions for a name. And this local guy named Jake, he came up with the name dobies, but I don’t know where he got it from. I thought it sounded pretty good. It’s a bit confusing though, since some customers call them “dobbies” with two Bs, and some call them doobies, with two Os, which they are neither."
Tested: Five Ten Freerider VXi Price: $120 By Vernon Felton I’ve been running Five Ten Impact Highs for an eternity or two and while I’ve gone on record here vowing my love for that old standby, I was intrigued when Five Ten released the Freerider VXi model last year. The VXi is a much lighter
Merino is a wonder fabric. It’s soft, warm, cool, dry, breathable, lightweight and odor resistant, making it just about perfect for mountain biking attire, or mountain bikers who live an active life in variable climates. And those who probably would rather run the washing machine less often, but stink less.
After twelve months wearing Kitsbow’s shorts and jacket I feel that the jacket and shorts are some of the best items of cycle specific clothing I have ever worn. It isn’t just nicer than most, it is considerably better than anything that is available. The fabrics are superior, the cut is without comparison, and the attention to detail is phenomenal. It all feels like it was custom tailored, they are just that good.
A lot of gear moves through the warehouse at Bike HQ. The opportunity to test the latest helmets, apparel, bikes and various other bits related to pedaling on dirt is a part of the job that keeps us editors going when the deadlines, late production nights and the ever increasing pressure to create more content bogs us down. Inevitably, one or two pieces of gear rises to the top and wears more than the rest over the course of the year. These were a few of our personal favorites in 2013.
I’ve grown accustomed to wobbling down the trail like a mobile Quasimodo and have never really sought out a more compact hydration pack. Until recently, that is. This year’s Bible of Bike Tests Trail/All Mountain test loop starts and ends out of our front door.Running my great haversack of a hydration pack is a bit of overkill. This CamelBak M.U.L.E. NV was the perfect option.
Knee pads don't just have to be part of the freerider's costume. Before trying Troy Lee Designs' 5400 Knee Guards, I didn’t expect them to be so versatile. I thought they would act as a perfect double act in the winter – knee warmers and protection – but come the summer would probably be relegated to being worn around my ankles on long, hot climbs. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find they never needed to leave my knees.