Pro Team Compressor—$100
Another pump to take the place of a compressor? Yep. Is this one any different? Nope. Psych! Yes it is, otherwise why would we cover it? The Pro Compressor takes the compressor pump idea and gets rid of the pump. It is just a big steel tube ready to be compressed. But without a pump how do you compress air? Good question discerning reader. You use the pump you already have. Your current pump attaches to a valve on top of the Team Compressor, where you can pump to your heart’s content. It is just a steel tube after all—it can hold a lot of pressure. Enough that you could probably get close to topping out a road pump gauge, if you are strong enough. Once the Pro Compressor is filled with air, attach the head to the Presta or Schrader valve on your wheel, flip the switch and watch in wonder as your tubeless tire seats itself. In the past we have tried other compressor pumps that include the pump part, and we never loved the gauge or the pump when bypassing the compressor. So Pro did the smart thing and made just the compressor part. You can save some money, continue using the pump you already own and have a compressor on hand when needed. Simple.
Camelbak Podium Dirt Series—$12
Like #vanlife, I soon expect to see #packlesslifestyle trending on Twitter, because who wants to wear a heavy sweaty pack when you can just attach everything to your bike. It has reached the point where bottle bosses, or lack there of, have become a deal-breaker for prospective mountain-bike buyers. And so most bike brands are finding some way to include them. Take Yeti for example, the suspension takes up any front-triangle room usually reserved for a bottle cage, but you can mount a water bottle below the downtube. Of course, below the downtube is also where your front tire is spraying mud and dirt. Luckily, Camelbak has created the Podium Dirt Series. It is a normal water bottle, but, and this is important, it comes with an attached dust cover. Voila! No more grit-filled drinking water. Long live the #packlesslifestyle.
MODe Electrolyte Hydration and Plant-Based Protein—$35
Summer is just around the corner, so it’s time to work on your beach body. MODe has made an electrolyte hydration to keep you working out longer and a protein powder to make sure you get swol. Those glory muscles aren’t going to work themselves out. Sadly, mountain biking doesn’t really workout the glory muscles either, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. And if a little drink mix means you can go longer and be stronger, why not try it? MODe is all about making natural and healthy options for dietary supplements. It even touts that all the ingredients are pronounceable. I’m not really sure how to say Betaine Anhydrous, but the package tells me it is from sugar beets, so I’m okay with it. The electrolyte mix is available in four fruit flavors and the protein powder comes in a vanilla or green tea flavor.
Sidi MTB Drako—$500
As a teenager playing Need for Speed and customizing cars I dreamed of owning, I always went with the tribal decals. They look badass, and they look fast. Flames are so passé. I like to think the designers at Sidi have a similar mindset, because the Drako shoe has a minimalist graphic reminiscent of my tribal-equipped supercars, with much more taste and class, of course. But the same result is achieved—they look badass and fast. And they are the equivalent of a supercar in the mountain-bike shoe world. Just look at that price! The shoe is outfitted with all of Sidi’s finest technology, including their own style of a BOA closure, an eco-friendly faux-leather upper, an adjustable heel cup for a custom fit, rubber lugs for traction while hiking and a carbon sole to shed weight while keeping the show stiff. The show comes in (euro) sizes from 38 to 48, including half sizes. A pair of size 46 weighed in at 816 grams.