Sunday, October 26, 2014

Interbike 2104 - Giro

Giro has gone old school with lots of new lace up shoes including the xc Empire VR90 and full season Alpineduro. They have added MIPS to quite a few helmets, including the mtb Feature and urban Sutton, and brought out the affordable and durable BMX Quarter helmet.


These mid-topped shoes utilize a grippy Vibram rubber outsole, insulated construction and a clip-in nylon shank. They come in sizes from EU 37 to 48 and retail for $200. These should be an excellent cross seasonal shoe, adept at hiking up rocky and wooded terrain, and keeping your feet warm and dry in wet and colder weather. The ability to tune fit with the laces makes for a more comfortable shoe, and they should provide grip and comfort for walking with enough power to crank the pedals up the steepest routes. They have all the appearances and construction of a hiking boot design melded to a biking shoe.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

CamelBak Introduces the Forge Travel Mug

Forge - a better on-the-go coffee & tea experience
Your new morning companion, the CamelBak Forge, is available for purchase in two different sizes and a variety of color options. Select your size and color options below and forever reinvent the way that you enjoy hot beverages.

Forge ahead without spills on early-morning rides or on your way to the trailhead in the morning Sometimes water just isn’t enough—that’s why we reinvented the travel mug for a better on-the-go coffee and tea experience. The double-walled, vacuum-insulated steel vessel keeps 12 oz. or 16 oz. of coffee or tea piping hot for over 4 hours, with an impact cap that prevents dents or cracks if you drop it. When you need to keep your eyes on the trail, the self-sealing cap lets you drink one-handed, and the smaller 12 oz. design makes it easy to toss in your pack without worrying about leaks or spills. For frequent sipping, just press the top button to lock the cap open. The cap won’t collect grime, either—just pop up the arms for easy cleaning in the sink or dishwasher.
  • Self-sealing cap eliminates spills and is easy to open and close with one hand for sipping while you're on the go
  • Impact-resistant construction stands up to frequent use
  • Use the loop in the cap to carry the bottle in the crook of a finger
  • CamelBak Forge Vacuum Mug is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning
  • Sizes - 16 ounces (MSRP $30) and 12 ounces (MSRP $29)
  • 12 oz. fits under most coffee machines.
  • Colors: 12 oz Steel Blue, Stormy Orange, Ghost Berry - 16 oz. : Black Smoke, Blue Steel, Ghost Berry, Olive Sky, Midnight Lilac
  • Dimensions: 12 oz - 7.48" x 4.13" and 16 oz - 8.85" x 4.13"

Grams Thoughts => I like the idea of the trigger finger for opening and closing of the Forge, making it easy to use with one hand. It has quite a few great features, such as being dishwasher-safe, keeping liquids hot for 4 hours and impact-resistant construction. Looking forward to seeing how the system works and real world testing of the spill-proof and opening and temperature regulation capabilities.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Interbike 2014 - POC

For 2015 POC has added an MIPS option to the Crane dirt helmet, and they're releasing the lighter VPD Air armor, mountain bike specific chamois and revamping their sunglasses lineup.

VPD Air Armor

I always wear soft armor on rides, and some of my favorite has been a tough and durable VPD 2.0 knee and elbow. The VPD 2.0 works for many types of gravity terrain, including bike parks and All Mountain riding though I found the knees weren't comfortable for long spin sessions. Fortunately, POC is coming out with a lighter version aptly named the VPD Air, and the knee pads will be $80 and the elbow will be $70. The VPD or Visco-Elastic Polymer Dough material hardens upon impact for better protection and shock absorption, and in addition, its lightweight, flexible and moldable. The VPD Air is lighter, uses thinner material and has less coverage than other beefier models. The slide on armor utilizes one Velcro upper strap for adjustment and has silicone grippers to prevent errant movement. I am looking forward to trying these out, as the excellent build quality and stitching and durability should makes for a superb soft armor.

Interbike 2014 - Ergon

Ergon has a slew of enduro products in their lineup for this next season, including the gravity oriented BE1 and BE2 packs, the all rubber GE1 Slim and GA2 grips, and the comfortable SMC3 and race ready SMR3 saddles.

Ergon is releasing two new minimalist packs this season which were primarily designed for enduro racing and gravity riding, the BE1 and the BE2. The packs construction design incorporates a lower compartment that utilizes a lumbar water reservoir, a flexible middle section without pockets and an upper small compartment for essentials items. This design keeps the heavier water weight down low, and the lumbar shape accentuates keeping things tightly tucked into the back.

The BE1 has 3.5 liters of storage capacity while the BE2 has 6.5 liters, and they both use a Hydrapak 1.5 liter lumbar water reservoir. The BE-2 has an additional upper storage pocket and extra tie on straps for armor. The packs are capable of carrying either a normal or full faced helmet, with the bottom rear of the helmet cradled into the middle section. They'll come in small and large sizes and will have back length adjustment systems, and should retail for around $159 (checking on that).

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Interbike 2014 - Hydrapak Stash and SoftFlask

Matt Lyon, the President of Hydrapak, walked me through their collapsible bottle and flask lineup at the Interbike show. Last year they released larger sizes of their award winning soft-sided and collapsible SoftFlask, and this season they announced the innovative Stash Collapsible Bottle, which morphs the SoftFlask characteristics with a stand up design. Unfortunately they are no longer going to make hydration packs, and are going to focus on these collapsible bottles and flasks, and their core business, the hydration reservoir.


The Softflask comes in fives sizes, the flat shaped SF 150 and SF 250, and the four-sided SF 350, SF 500 and SF 750. They're constructed with TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) for strength and flexibility, and RF welded to create superior bonds. They're BPA/PVC free, dishwasher safe and come with a No-Leak Product Warranty.

  • 150 $12.99 and 250 $13.99 - Colors: Blue/Clear, Orange/Clear
  • 350 $18.99 and 500 $19.99 and 750 $ 20.99 - Colors :Orange, Smoke/Gray, White/Blue
The smaller ones are meant for gels and water while the new larger ones are for hydration purposes. Although primarily aimed for runners and hikers, the three larger ones will be useful for biking when you need to carry extra water on long rides, and they’re collapsible for easy storage. I used the SF 500 model on many occasions, and the size is ideal to place on top of your hydration compartment.