Pearl Izumi X-Alp Elevate Shoes
We love products that split the difference between categories. Our favorite example may be the trend of middle-duty shoes we’ve been seeing lately. Pearl Izumi has been on board with their line of adventure-ready X-Alp shoes. Somewhere between all-business XC cleats and clunky hiking clogs is the new, high-tech X-Alp Elevate. The relatively wide and flat Vibram outsole is topped with a lightweight, compliant EVA foam midsole. The inner sole support is meant to be just flexible enough to comfortably hike in, but is definitely designed with all-day pedaling comfort in mind. Likewise, the BOA enclosure has long been the more comfortable alternative to buckles. The IP1 system has an easy quick-release method, and it’s positioned on the tongue to keep it out of harm’s way and tighten the whole shoe evenly. The X-Alp Elevates will be available this January.
Shred Provocator Glasses
Shred started in the snow sports industry, but their unassumingly high-tech sunglasses are good for anyone who likes to, well, shred. The Provocator seems to take inspiration from their goggles with its full-coverage lenses. And like every high-end sunglass brand, Shred has their own proprietary technology to reduce glare and improve contrast. Shred’s is called CBL, or Contrast Boosting Lenses. The Provocators are available in polarized for $200 and non-polarized for $160, and they’re sold directly from Shred’s site. If you like ’em, you’ll have to be patient. The new models will be shipping this summer.
Alpinestars Stratus Gloves
The Alpinestars Stratus gloves are perfect for those days too warm for winter gloves but way too cold for normal ones. They’re also perfect for those of us thin-skinned riders who call warm climates home. The wind-stop material does most of the work keeping out the cold, and a thin fleece liner keeps in the warmth. The simple construction keeps them light and durable, and the backing offers just enough flex to keep them comfortable, though they don’t quite have the perfectly form-fitting feel of a summer glove. For $40, you can be ready for the next cold snap.
Feedback 2-piece Scorpion Stand
Parking-lot mechanics have known for a while that the Scorpion Stand is a good-enough way to do simple repairs when they’re not in their garage. It wasn’t perfect, but it just got a little closer. The spindle that supports the bike through its hollow crank just got a bit of a lift to keep the bike from sliding off it while spinning the pedals.
And traveling with the Scorpion stand became easier too now that you can disassemble it with the spin of a bolt. Once it’s together, it’s just as sturdy as you’re used to, and it goes for $60.