On a pedestal, shining behind a protective glass case, we didn’t actually get to play with this bike, but it piqued our interest none-the-less. With 150-millimeters front and back and a 67-degree headtube angle the 29er promises to chew up rocks and roots on the descent. And it will most likely chew up those same rocks and roots on the way up as well, with a seat-tube angle of 76.5 degrees. The full carbon frame weighs in at 2,200 grams without the rear shock. No idea yet on the complete bike weight, but the feathery frame is a clue that KTM paid attention to weight when building the Prowler. For a 150-millimeter bike, the Prowler is relatively short in the front and the back. Chainstay length is 436-millimeters, only 6-millimeters longer than the Evil Following, a 120-millimeter travel bike known for its short chainstays. These shorter chainstays will likely translate into a lighter front end and a more playful feel on the trail. Move towards the front of the bike, and the reach is also shorter than expected, which has us scratching our heads, as almost every other new bike is lengthening reach measurements. Current numbers show a 425-millimeter reach for medium, 443 for large and 459 for XL. So unless you are a fan of short bikes, if you are six feet or taller, the cockpit on this bike will likely feel cramped.
Lezyne Digital Shock Drive
There are a few tiny shock pumps out there. Some have analog spring-loaded in-line gauges that don't work well and others don't have gauges at all. This one is different. Originally released at Sea Otter, the new shock-pump hasn’t seen much coverage, but we think it’s worth noticing. Compact and lightweight, the aluminum shock pump is small enough to fit in a large pocket or stow away in a pack, never to be seen again until needed. The low-profile Digital Strip Gauge built into the side keeps the pump accurate and provides measurements up to 350 psi. The integrated hose threads into the handle when not in use and features a double-threaded valve, allowing you to pull pressure off the valve pin while the seal is still intact, eliminating any air-loss from the shock.
WTB Koda Saddle
Two years ago, WTB discontinued the women's specific Deva saddle. A year ago, they brought it back. But they realized it was their only women's saddle, so they started doing research and surveying female riders on exactly what they wanted. It ended up being pretty similar to what men wanted. Most wanted a little padding and a wider saddle with a wider relief channel down the middle. So WTB made something that satisfied those criteria, and it became the Koda. It turned out that once it came out, there were more men in the WTB office running it than ladies. It'll be available this fall, and the prices vary depending on configuration.
Topeak Digital Pressure Gauge
Topeak’s newest gauge is accurate down to 0.5 psi, has a rotating screen for easy viewing and works with Presta or Schrader. All fairly standard. But what is not so standard is the gauge has a second Schrader valve on the other end you can attach a pump to. This way, you lock the gauge on, and if you’re low, you can top the tire off without switching between your digital gauge and the pump, making it easier to get that perfect 23.5 psi pressure on the first try.