Tout Terrain Outback

When we reviewed the Zerode Taniwha with its Pinion gearbox, we pondered over when a gearbox makes the most sense. It didn’t take long for us to land on bikepacking. And while the Taniwha is definitely not a bikepacking bike, the Tout Terrain Outback is—and it has a Pinion gearbox.

The Outback is a 4130 CroMoly steel frame, has 12×142-millimeter rear-hub spacing, frame bosses everywhere you could want them—including rear-rack and fender mounts for a more touring-specific setup—and is designed around 27.5-plus or 29-inch wheel sizes. It also uses a belt drive in conjunction with Pinion’s gearbox. If you aren’t familiar with Pinion, it’s an internal gearbox in place of the bottom bracket and offers up to a 636-percent gear range. Paired with the ultra-low maintenance of a belt drive, the Outback is truly ready for multi-day epics.

Tout Terrain offers the Outback as a frame-only option for $1,500, or you can custom build your own on the company’s website. Tout Terrain also has an in-house powder-coating facility, so with the custom build comes just about any color you could want. The bike also has internal cable-routing through the seat tube for a dropper post, so you know it’s ready to shred.

Trickstuff Direttissima Brakes

Last year at Eurobike, we took the Direttissima brakes for a spin in the parking lot of a zeppelin hangar. That isn’t much of a test ride, but it was clear these were likely the most powerful brakes we’d ever ridden. This year they added more power.

The brakes didn’t get a full redesign, but a tweak here and a tweak there can make a big difference. Two of the four pistons in each caliper increased in size, and the lever blade is now a few millimeters longer. That means more leverage, but Trickstuff also changed the pivot position to maximize power. The new brakes have a squishier feel than the existing Direttissimas and are currently only available in raw aluminum. Trickstuff is still working on U.S. availability and pricing, but for reference, previous models were nearly $400 each.

Crankbrothers Composite Pedals

Flat riders rejoice—the composite revolution continues. Why is that something to be happy about? Because composite pedals are affordable, and those we’ve ridden, namely the Wah Wah II PP, performed excellently.

Crankborthers’ new plastic pedals will be available in the same two sizes as the existing Stamp with the same bearing technology, but a different spindle. The pins thread in from behind, which makes them much easier to replace. Oh, and a pair of pedals is only $50.