O’Neal Pike 2.0 Helmet (Opening Photo)
O'Neal might not be first on your list when you think of mountain bike protective gear. In fact, it's probably not even seventh or eighth. But there was some nifty new stuff at the O'Neal booth at this year's Crankworx. Most eye-catching was its Pike 2.0 helmet prototype, whose design seems to be inspired by vehicles from Blade Runner, Star Wars or both. O'Neal is quick to point out that there will be a few changes in visor and pad material before the Pike comes to market, but what won't change is its proprietary IPX A-cell rotational impact protection system.
It's a lot like Leatt's Turbine 360 concept, but it claims a couple unique benefits. The thin arms on its starfish-like shape could potentially deflect more easily than the perfectly round Turbine 360 units. That might be a stretch, so to speak, but more compelling is that each of the A-Cells are attached, at a small point at its center, to its own plastic disc. There's very little friction between the discs and the gel material of the cells. Like Turbine 360, there's also the benefit of the linear compression of the material in straight-on impacts. European pricing is set at $140 and availability aimed for March 2019, but no word yet on when and for how much it'll get sold stateside.
O’Neal B-50 Goggles
O'Neal also had an innovative goggle to show. The B50 isn't quite as new as the Pike, but this is the first time we've gotten a close look at it. The B50 lens is attached to the frame with magnets, and can be removed with a flick of the thumb. If you've ever switched lens material in a traditional goggle, you can imagine the benefits here. Or maybe you've never switched your glass, and you deal with a clear lense no matter how bright the light, or a tinted lense no matter how spotty. No more excuses with the B50. And to boot, the concept allows for a wider field of vision. A goggle and one lens goes for $90, and extra lenses go for $40 each.
iXS Trigger Knee / Shin Guard
iXS has made a name for itself for its innovative protection design. There's always some sort of heavy engineering in each of their products. Maybe that's a German thing. Whatever the inspiration, the Trigger knee/shin guard features a uniquely form-fitting asymmetrical structure and pad orientation. And the form that it fits extends from low on the shin to high above the knee. Including its silicone grippers and two Velcro… I mean hook-and-loop straps, it's designed to stay put. It's also designed to stay cool. iXS's Vortex pad isn't just vented, it links each of those vents with airflow channels built right into the lightweight X-matter foam. Sort of like the channels that connect the vents in your helmet. And to top it all off, the pad material is removable for easier cleaning. No word yet on U.S. availability or pricing.
Trek Custom Paint Scheme
My favorite part of every carnival used to be the face-painting booth. But things are a little different at Crankworx. Trek brought its long-time virtuoso Eric Heth to the show so passers by could watch him make custom masterpieces for team riders. But it's not just celebrities who can access the star treatment. Trek's flagship Project One bikes not only allow you a little wider choice in component packages than what you can get off the shelf, but also a lot wider choice in paint schemes. Every Project One bike is assembled in Trek's factory in Madison, Wisconsin, but first, it's painted by hand just a few doors down in Trek's in-house paint facility.