Electronic, automatic suspension lockout. Has the future arrived? Or is it a bit ahead of itself?
SOG CrossCut Tool $21 / sogknives.com Though the CrossCut looks absolutely dainty, the spring-loaded scissors on SOG’s mini-tool easily shear through heavy gauge materials. Props here go to the cleverly designed compound leverage gears and top-to-bottom, stainless-steel construction. The CrossCut packs an additional 10 tools, including a knife, small and medium flat-blade screwdrivers, tweezers, nail [...]
Fox Striker Helmet $120 / foxhead.com Fox’s new brain bucket, the Striker, covers plenty of cranial real estate, without adding excess grams or making your noggin feel like it’s been trapped in a sauna. Twenty-two cleverly designed vents provide maximum airflow and the Detox 2 retention system keeps the swank lid perfectly in place, even [...]
Giant Contact Switch $250 / giant-bicycles.com Giant’s Contact Switch post offers infinite travel adjustment and 4 inches of total drop. The post is available in the increasingly common 30.9 seatpost diameter and sells for about a hundred bucks less than the competition. Despite the checking account-friendly price tag, the Contact Switch packs the goods, which [...]
Feedback Sports Digital Chain Gauge $80 / feedbacksports.com What’s the best way to destroy your Gucci-expensive crankset and cassette? Keep running your worn-out chain. Is it time to change your chain? Feedback Sports’ new gauge makes answering that question dead simple: If the digital display reads 0.8 millimeters or more, it’s time to rip that sucker off your bike and transform it into a thoughtful Mother’s Day gift.
Swobo Short Sleeve 753 Jersey $100 / swobo.com Swobo mated Merino wool to synthetic threads to create a jersey that marries the best attributes of both materials. The end result, according to Swobo? Fantastic moisture wicking, temperature control, funk-management and comfort.
Ryders Shore Goggles $50 / ryderseyewear.com Ryders Eyewear turned to the likes of Jay Hoots and Shaums March when they designed the Shore. The collaboration paid off with a goggle that boasts mountain biking-specific air intakes, a shatterproof double lens that’s less prone to fogging and a flexible, slim-profile frame that better fits full-face mountain-bike [...]
Big Agnes Sleeping Giant $80 / bigagnes.com Whether you’re camping in the mountains or just crashing on your buddy’s floor, Big Agnes’ Sleeping Giant adds that extra layer of comfort and warmth to your air mattress. The Sleeping Giant’s “memory foam” molds to the curves of your body, bringing a bit of luxury to otherwise Spartan sleeping arrangements. Close your eyes long enough and the silky-smooth exterior might make you think you’re in a five-star hotel.
Renthal Fatbars $90 / renthalcycling.com Renthal has gained quite the reputation in the moto world for making durable, high-quality parts designed, developed and manufactured at its facilities in Stockport, England. The company’s Fatbars come in at 780-millimeters wide (with cut lines down to 680-millimeters) and three different rises. The 38-millimeter rise versions, shown here, weigh in at a respectable 365 grams (claimed).
Chrome Kursk Pro $95 / chromebags.com If a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors became sentient beings with access to a time machine, they’d go to the future, get all hopped up on technology and return to the present day as a pair of Chrome Kursk Pros. Burly Cordura uppers lend these stylish shoes amazing durability. Beefed-up soles contribute to pedaling efficiency and eliminate pedal hot spots. But the most important aspect of these shoes is the fact that they’re Chrome’s first SPD-compatible kicks.
Tioga Psycho Genius $35–$60 / tiogausa.com Riffing off their storied Psycho series tires, the new Tioga Psycho Genius is designed to excel in medium to hard-packed conditions. The dual-compound tire is available in 1.95-, 2.1- and 2.3-inch versions, and in both steel and folding-bead models. If you’re all about the tubeless systems, you’ll be happy to know Tioga will offer a 2.2-inch UST version. For 29-inch lovers, a 2.2-inch tire is also in the works.
Answer Products Rove FR Pedals $80 / answerproducts.com The Rove FR is Answer Products’, er, answer to the growing rider demand for flat pedals that don’t weigh a ton or smack into every possible root and rock on the planet. The aluminum platform is just 16-millimeters thick, nicely concave and loaded with 10 hex pins per side. Weight? An impressive 467 grams.
e*thirteen DH Crank $300 / e13components.com E*thirteen brings its innovative crank and bottom-bracket design (check out the polygon-shaped spindle) to the gravity set. The result? A seriously light (870 grams with bottom bracket) crankset that’s perfectly at home on a downhill or freeride rig. The arms are forged 7050 aluminum, the spindle is heat-treated chromoly and the price tag includes the crank, bottom bracket and installation tools.
Chromag Moon Saddle $130 / chromagbikes.com The company originally known for burly-as-hell hardtails continues to broaden its product line, as evidenced by the lightweight (240-gram) and low-profile Moon saddle. The Moon features a seamless leather top, light foam padding, titanium rails and a drop nose to aid those fore-and-aft weight shifts.
Stan's NoTubes ZTR Race Gold $950 / notubes.com If you like looking for excuses, these 1,345-gram wagon wheels are probably not for you. The ZTR Race Gold wheels were designed around being the lightest, and consequently fastest, wheel system possible. Leave the heavier UST-specific tires behind, because these were made for lighter, standard-bead tires. Oh, and you might want to lose that spare tire too, as these have a rider weight limit of 170 pounds.
Royal Racing Tech Tee $30 / royalracing.com Operating under the premise that jerseys needn’t look like enormous neon flags, Royal Racing’s Tech Tee gets the job done in simple fashion. The jersey is finished with an enzyme wash that helps the jersey wick sweat away from your skin and resists funk.
Multi-tools are great on occasions when things rattle loose, but when you mangle your derailleur hanger, you’re generally SOL. Unless, that is, you’ve got this multi-tool in your pack. In addition to sporting allen wrenches, screw drivers and a T25 torx wrench, it also packs a universal emergency derailleur hanger that attaches to any dropout and lets you get back home without turning your bike into a singlespeed.
Formula claims its clever new R.O. brakes offer the power of a four-piston caliper in a stiffer, more compact two-piston package. The secret lies behind the O in the R.O.’s name—a special oval-shaped caliper piston. Formula says these brakes are 15 percent more powerful than their venerable The One model, and they reportedly tip the scales at just 337 grams.
Cyclists often face a paradox: Dress in functional clothes that make you look like an escapee from a Jazzercize-themed gulag or wear stylish clothes that chafe and pinch things that should never be chafed or pinched. DZR’s new line of clipless-compatible shoes are an exception to the rule: They sport semi-rigid soles that offer plenty of power transfer to the pedals, yet also allow you to walk around, minus the pregnant-duck waddle.
Mavic has done some major renovations on its venerable ‘trail’ wheelset. The most noticeable feature is, perhaps, the quicker hub engagement—improved from 17 degrees to 7.5 degrees. The wheels are also now convertible to fit any axle standard front or rear. On top of all that, the rims lose about 20-grams apiece and have been tweaked for easier tubeless setup.