LEM Flow Helmet | $80
Can a helmet help you go faster? Maybe if you’re a roadie and have one of those kooky aero helmets, but for the rest of us, a helmet doesn’t add speed. LEM’s new helmet likely won’t either, but the Northern California brand does claim, as the name implies, that it will help you find your Flow. That may be a bit of a stretch, but then again, it is very affordable. Maybe the money you save will allow you to spend extra on products that do make you go faster. Maybe LEM is onto something. The Flow doesn’t have MIPS, but it does manage to squeeze in some higher-end features at a low price. The straps are anchored into the helmet shell, the bolt-on visor has has three indexed positions, and its large vents are connected by deep channels. The retention system has a remarkably vast range of height adjustment, and it’s covered with a generous pad from edge to edge. Bald riders rejoice.
Continental Mountain King | $70
If you ever played king of the mountain as a kid, you know its a rough and physical game, but also requires some skill to not get blindsided. I’m not sure if that’s what Continental had in mind when it totally redesigned its iconic Mountain King, but it’s an apt metaphor. The tread is aggressive and ready to rumble, but the relatively lighter weight casing suggests a softer touch, while the width--2.6 inches--tells a story of grip. So it isn’t an bruiser of a tire, but it has an aggressive tread pattern. The best of both worlds? We’ll have to ride it first.
Norrøna Skibotn Flex Shorts | $160
Norrøna is a Norwegian brand. Apparently Norway has riding. It’s probably pretty rugged. The Skibotn Flex Shorts reflect that. The white checked panels on the sides and across the back are rough to the touch and will definitely protect against abrasions. Overall the shorts are flexible and cool with mesh venting and stretch panels, while also falling in-between a heavy trail short and lightweight downhill short.
Norrøna Skibotn Wool Equaliser | $100
The Skibotn Wool Equaliser might have the same name as the Flex Shorts, but it couldn’t more different. Where the shorts are burly, the t-shirt is light--as in you can almost see through it. It has a relaxed fit that could easily be taken for an around town shirt instead of technical apparel. Around the shoulders and back of the neck is a stretchy fabric for comfort and ease of movement. So suit up and go to the trailhead or the bar. You choose.