Continental Der Kaiser Projekt 29 x 2.4
Continental’s Der Kaiser is a beefy, DH-specific, 29-inch piece of rubber that you can take comfort in when railing through corners. Packed with Continental’s proprietary technology, the “ProTection Apex” gives it an internal reinforcement layer and a stronger sidewall to protect agains impacts and punctures. The “Black Chili” rubber compound reduces rolling resistance while also increasing grip and mileage. The lugs are nicely spaced, with mid-size ramped knobs in the middle and much larger ones lining the edges. With technology on its side and a 2.4-inch width, the Der Kaiser has a promising future.
Gore Power Trail Thermo Jersey
It may look like a sweater. And it may feel like a sweater. And it could certainly be worn as a sweater. But it is a jersey, which becomes apparent when you notice the small reflectors and the pocket on the lower third of the back, or the rubber non-slip pattern on the inside of the waist. The inside is lined with fleece to keep the rider warm on those brisk mornings or chilly days, and the fit is snug, much like you would expect a jersey to fit.
Specialized Power Pro Elaston Saddle
The new Specialized Power Pro Elaston Saddle started with a goal of being lightweight. Lightweight is pretty much synonymous with carbon in the bike industry now, and this saddle is no different. The design includes a FACT carbon shell with titanium rails. The 143-millimeter size is a paltry 231 grams. Available in 143- or 155-millimeter widths, the saddle was designed with both men and women in mind. With the Power Pro, the PU padding found on non-pro saddles has been replaced with a foam constructed of small beads that are expanded into the foam. According to Specialized, this makes for the feeling of “sitting on 1,000 miniature pillows.”
Pearl Izumi Launch Thermal Jersey
When pushing your riding it the shoulder seasons, a little extra protection is often needed. The Launch Thermal Jersey is a long-sleeve, fleece lined jersey that can also manage moisture. The V-neck collar facilitates comfort when pulling the jersey over a base layer and a built in sunglasses wipe comes in handy on those foggy mornings or when you can see your breath before the ride. Unlike the tight fitting Gore jersey, the Launch is a looser, more casual fit.