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Fresh Produce: Smooth Operator

Four products we think are pretty slick

Floyd’s of Leadville CBD Softgels

Thirty 50-milligram softgels go for $90.

I take two gels in the morning. I take two gels at night. I take two gels in the afternoon, it makes me feel alright. I take two gels in time of piece, and two in time of war. I take two gels before I take two gels, and then I take two more.

Not really. At that rate I would be broke. Plus these gels don’t get you high. So why would I take them? Just kidding. Drugs are bad. But CBD is good. Yes, it is from the same plant that marijuana comes from, but it doesn’t contain any THC, the chemical that gets you high. And it is completely legal on a federal level. Studies have shown CBD to benefit users as an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and it helps with anxiety. Some of the potential benefits are a reduction in pain, a decrease in chronic inflammations, improved sleep, it helps with panic attacks and a whole slew of other things. It is still being studied, but all signs point to good things. How does it help with mountain biking? It manages post-ride swelling, muscle strain and mitigates dehydration. Check it out. It is the wave of the future.

CBD Softgels 

Park Tool TL-6.2 Steel Core Tire Levers

The TL-6.2 comes in sets of two for $19.

Anybody who has spent time changing tires has broken a tire lever. It is just part of the job. Park Tool doesn’t think it needs to be though. If you break the TL-6.2 you might be Bruce Banner. In hulk form. Plus your tire and wheel will probably be mangled beyond use. Park Tool recently upgraded the TL-6.2 to make it more user friendly. It still is made of steel with a plastic jacket wrapped around the outside to mitigate scratches. That plastic has been updated to a stronger and more slippery compound to help with longevity and sliding it along the rim. The tip of the tool is also naked steel for a thinner interface to engage the tire bead with. It is the only set of tire levers you will ever need.

TL-6.2 Tire Levers

Shimano Dura-Ace XTR Shift Inner Cable

It’s cheap. And it makes a difference. Go to your local bike shop and get some.

Cable housing makes a huge difference for smooth shifting. Check out Palmer’s Picks on the subject. But the cable that goes inside that housing is equally important. The less friction between housing and cable, the easier and smoother your bike will shift. Shimano has friction-reducing cables down to a science, and XTR is the pick of the litter. The cables are polymer-coated for the ultimate smooth shifting experience. And the coating also resists corrosion, so you can go longer without replacement. If you are having shifting problems, or are thinking of upgrading, replace your cables first. And while you are at it replace the housing too. It is way cheaper, and it might give you the shifting experience you were looking for.

Kogel BB92-30 Gold Edition

Give your bike a heart of gold for $190.

Press fit bottom brackets happen. You don’t have to like them. But they happen. So you might as well get a good bottom bracket while you are at it. And a good bottom bracket usually starts with good bearings. Kogel is all about bearings, and the BB92-30 Gold Edition has ceramic ones. Ceramic bearings are about as nice as bearings get. You may have also heard that the BB30 interface is dub -- sorry, I mean dumb -- and should never have been invented. True or not, it was invented, and just like press fit bottom brackets, we have to live with it. In an effort to make lemonade out of lemons, Kogel made its own custom bearing size to work best with the internals of a BB30 bearing and cup. If you are unsure about their strength, just look at who rides them: the YT Mob -- also known as Aaron Gwin. If they can stand up to his riding, they can probably stand up to yours.

BB92-30 Gold Edition