Sea Otter Gear: Formula, Yakima and Irwin

New product from Monterey

Formula’s Selva is the latest in a growing line of highly adjustable forks.

Formula Selva Fork | $1,275

Formula’s Selva fork was introduced last summer, joining the ever-expanding range of sophisticated forks that offer rider-oriented customization (for better or worse). Several suspension brands have taken steps to simplify options for armchair, at-home tuners, although those features are largely controlling the air spring curve (bottom-out feel) with spacers to reduce volume in the air spring, making the spring curve ramp up quickly toward the end of the stroke. However, Formula’s Selva fork seems to have near-infinite tuning customization options with the addition of its Compression Tuning System (CTS) to actually control the wheel travel through the entire stroke. Riders can choose from five color-coded, aftermarket valves which customize how the fork performs. Want more high-speed compression for getting rowdy? There’s a CTS valve for that. Looking for more low-speed compression for a controlled ride height on steep terrain? There’s a valve for that riding style as well. The standard CTS valve range has three versions (blue, red and gray) ranging from firm (red) to soft (gray), while two special valves (green and gold) are for riders looking for a lot of low-speed compression, or a lot of low- and high-speed compression simultaneously.

Riders can choose from five aftermarket valves to fine-tune the fork’s characteristics.

As you can see in the above photo, each valve has unique ports controlling the amount of oil that can flow through the damper. The Selva has gang of other interesting features, like its Internal Floating Technology, which helps the suspension remain supple throughout the stroke while the internal shaft is under lateral load, and it’s tunable remote lock-out settings. We’ll dive into all of the Selva features more in-depth once we get our hands on one. Formula’s Selva fork is available in black, white, or purple, and comes in 27.5, 27+ and 29 versions in 120 to 180 millimeters of travel. It sells for $1,275, and each CTS valve sets you back another $58.

 

Yakima’s SkyRise tent means never having to sleep on the hard ground again.

Yakima SkyRise Roof Tent | $1,000

Yakima knows a thing or three about outdoor recreation, and they’ve applied their gear-hauling expertise to the rooftop tent game with the SkyRise. Currently available through REI in the U.S., the SkyRise is made from 210D nylon with breathable mesh panels for keeping cool, and roof ventilation screens allow you to keep an eye on UFOs while kicking it in parts unknown. In dreary conditions, utilize the SkyRise’s moisture-resistant rainfly with a waterproof coating. Not only are you and your belongings off the rocky or muddy soil, the SkyRise features a 2.5-inch thick wall-to-wall foam mattress to make roughing it not so rough. To make installation as simple as possible, the aluminum-poled SkyRise is mounted to the rack with tool-free vehicle mounts. Starting at $1,000, the SkyRise is available in both two- and three-person options (small or medium), and is able to fit a variety of vehicle shapes and sizes.

Irwin’s Kova wheels feature a hookless bead for improved durability.

Irwin Kova Wheels | $1,650

The current sweet spot in standard all-mountain and trail bike wheelsets is hovering around the 30-millimeter width mark. Irwin Cycling’s Kova AM Boost carbon wheelset utilizes that same width, and is available in both 29er and 650b options. The Kova wheels feature a hookless rim bead, which can improve carbon wheel durability because the carbon fibers aren’t compromised by the machining required to create the once-ubiquitous bead. Additionally, the wheels feature 32 spokes front and rear, and the hubs are blinged out with smooth-rolling, ceramic Enduro bearings. Coming in at the $1,650 mark, Irwin’s Kova wheel line looks to be another worthy option for those with an eye on versatile and reasonably affordable carbon hoops.