Praxis Girder Carbon | $310
Girder might not be the most attractive word when shopping for cranks—it is, after all, the word used to describe large iron or steel beams used to construct bridges and buildings. It sounds heavy and clunky, but it also sounds damn strong. And that’s an important thing for a crank to be. Despite the hulking name, Praxis has added a lighter-weight carbon model to its lineup of gravity-oriented Girder cranks. It has a 30-millimeter spindle, works with direct mount rings, is as gravity-loving as its namesake and only weighs 550 grams. Put all of that together and you get something you probably can’t hold up a roof with, but you could probably still jump off of one.
WTB Silverado 142 | $40 to $250
For a long time the Silverado was only available in a 133-millimeter width. Let’s face it, that’s just too skinny for those of us who are more concerned with comfort over weight and aero-thigh-namics. Then again the modern Silverado was pretty comfortable as-is, which isn’t much of a surprise. WTB has saddle making down to a science. Nonetheless, the new 142-millimeter width is a welcome edition to the line. It’s available at five different price points and with five different constructions, each one lighter than the last.
Bontrager Line Dropper Post | $250
The dropper post changed mountain biking forever. We even think it might be the single most influential technology update in the last decade. They have never been cheap, but the $250 Line Dropper comes close. Aside from only being available in a 31.6 (Trek’s chosen inner diameter), it might seem like your average 100- 125- or 150-millimeter post. But in a feature being seen on higher-end posts, and only a few of them at that, the new Line offers the ability to fine-tune your fully extended height by 30- or 10-millimeters. If you’re between sizes on a Trek, find one that specs this post. Or if your bike is already just right and you want a post that’s affordable, consider this one.
Vittoria Air Liner | $85
Tire inserts are becoming ever more popular. Bikes are continually being built to ride gnarlier terrain and at the same time trails are becoming harder. Pinch flats happen, especially if you like running low pressure. A tire insert is a harrowing pain in the thumbs to install, and it adds weight, but it allows you to get rowdy without worrying about flats or denting a rim. The Air Liner is Vittoria’s version. It’s available in 1.9- to 4-inch sizes and is built in Italy. It’s a polymer foam and weighs between 160 to 220 grams depending on size. Vittoria claims the lifecycle is 2,000 hours of normal riding, or one hour of riding on a flat tire. But most importantly, its unique interrupted circle shape is much easier to install. You just need a zip-tie. So once you’ve installed them, you’ll still have the strength in your hands to go for a ride.