Muir Energy Red Raspberry Jam | $14
Muir, as in John Muir? As in the guy who started the Sierra Club? As in the club that stereotypically fights against mountain-bike access? No. Muir is actually in the owners name--Ian Muir McNally. And while he does say he came up with the idea on the John Muir Trail, the company also sponsors Shannon Howell, who coaches a high-school mountain bike team and is on the Pedaler’s Fork Goats racing team out of Calabasas. So it’s a safe bet us riders aren’t held in contempt of Muir Energy. Which is good, because the product is healthy and packed with easily burned fuel. Right on the side of the jar, it claims the jam is vegan, organic, gluten free, paleo and non-GMO. Unlike some other health foods, the jam’s four ingredients are all easily pronounced and I know what they are: red raspberry, raw coconut palm nectar, blackstrap molasses and pink himalayan salt. The jam is thicker than normal consistency, and you can definitely taste the molasses, but raspberry is the prominent flavor. Why include the other ingredients? Because they metabolize easily and keep you performing in the saddle, which is what Muir Energy is all about--fuel for the outdoors.
Velomounts Apple Watch Mount | $30
Do you like tech as much as bikes? Does Apple mean more to you than a thing you eat for breakfast? Then you might have an Apple Watch. If you do, chances are you use it to track your activities. The Velomounts is all about making that a little easier when on your bike. Detach the wristband and slide the watch into the handlebar-attached mount. The mount puts the watch right in front of you for easy viewing so you can see how far off that KOM you really are in real time. The mount works with a 42-millimeter Apple Watch, attaches to a 31.8-millimeter handlebar and unlike real Apple products, it won’t break the bank.
EVS Sports WB01 Wrist Brace | $24
Yes, we had a wrist brace in the Fresh Produce last week. That one was $200 and high-tech. This one is $24 and decidedly low tech, but the idea behind the two is the same: wrist support. It is hard to compare the two--the Mobius is a very solid wrist brace--but if you aren’t recovering from a break (like gear editor Travis Engel), or just want a little extra safety on the trail, the EVS option might make more sense. The brace uses two medium density foam pads on the back and a series of velcro straps to keep it tight and in place. If you don’t want as robust protection, remove one of the foam pads. The brace is surprisingly comfortable and surprisingly supportive for how lightweight it is.
Endless Bike Co. Kick Ass Cog | $40 to $50
To kick ass, you have to look the part. That is where the Kick Ass Cog comes in. It’s an anodized alloy ring for single speed rides and is available in 11 colors. Pretty much whatever your kit of choice is, you can get a cog to match. That isn’t the only reason the Kick Ass cog comes in handy, at the splines, the ring is substantially wider than a normal cog. A wider base means it spreads out the load on the freehub body and is less likely to damage the splines when under torque. The cogs are also made right in North Carolina, so no trade war taxes to worry about here. But there is one detail I would be remiss to not mention. This ring costs how much now? On a cost comparison basis, the SRAM XX1 cassette (one of the most expensive mountain-bike cassettes on the market) is $300 for 12 speeds. Thats $25 for a single ring … an XX1 ring! And you get the status and power of telling people you have an XX1 cassette. Tell people you have a kick ass cog and the likely response will be ‘whatever dude.’ Then again, your kit will match, and that’s priceless.