It’s August and with the spring riding season now just around the corner it’s time to brave the dying throws of winter and get out on your bike to get your summer body back. Here are a few cool items to keep you stocked to get on your bike in the cold morning hours, for the dark after work rides, or the inevitably wet weekend missions.
Specialized only put their S-Works brand on their top end bikes and gear. So the fact that there’s even such a thing as an S-Works Trail shoe just goes to show how popular Enduro (or All Mountain) riding has become. The shoes feature a Body Geometry designed outsole and footbed to optimise the alignment of your foot in the shoe. This improves rider comfort and your pedalling performance. The sole is made from FACT carbon, just like their S-Works road and cross country shoes and they lace up with the S2-Hex cartridge system. They’re also designed to offer increased toe and ankle protection for those nasty moments when your feet clip a rock or a tree (the ensuing crash might cause serious damage to the rest of your body but your feet will be fine). Find out more at www.specialized.com.
Just Mobile Highway Duo
If you’re running Strava, Endomondo or any of the other tracking apps on your iPhone you’ll be pretty used to a flat battery. And with Apple’s pesky incompatibility (there’s a chip in the Apple approved chargers) with the traffic light brand of car chargers you’re going to have to get a decent one anyway so why not get one of the best? The Highway Duo features a built-in lightning cable for rapid charging, which makes it perfect for the quick booster charge on your way to a ride. And it also has a port for a USB cable so you can plug your USB to Micro USB cable into it and charge another device at the same time. The Highway Duo produces 2.1A output through the lightning cable and is certified for iPod, iPhone and iPad too. Go to www.emia.co.za to find a dealer near you.
Beni 12″ Balance Bike
Chances are some of your earliest childhood memories involved a black plastic motorbike, before you upgraded to a good old fashioned BMX. Well now you can give your kids the same sort of early memories with an epically cool Beni Balance Bike. They’re the 21st century version of the little black motorbike and will have your kids cruising around (and developing quads of steel which will serve them well when you upgrade them to a real mountain bike in a few years’ time) happily for hours on end. The frame and fork is made of steel, so it’ll take the beating an active ankle biter dishes out, features a rear drum brake and comes in blue for the boys and white with purple decaling for the girls. The 12 inch Beni Bikes are suitable for kids between the ages of two and four. Find out more at your local Avalanche dealer or go to www.avalanchebicycles.co.za.
Premium Rescue Tool
Park Tool’s Premium Rescue Tool is the Swiss Army knife meats Leatherman of the bicycling world. It features all the usual screwdrivers, Allen keys (or hex wrenches if you’re partial to the American name) and a chain breaker, and then gets interesting. Boasting a disc brake piston press, a rotor truing tool, an emergency pedal wrench, a Presta valve core/extension tool, three spoke wrenches, a knife and even a bottle opener, all in a composite protective shell which doubles as two super strong tire levers. Given Park Tool’s reputation for quality tools it could be the last multi-tool you ever buy, unless a mate nicks it from you that is – which given how cool it is, is highly likely. Find out more at www.parktool.com.
With the launch of 32Gi’s new gels, see the full review on page 27, they sent us a selection of their other products to test too. One that’s received great feedback from the sponsored athletes is the Trumag supplement, so we gave it a try too. The science says it’s a true slow release and 100% bioavailable magnesium tablet that breaks down over eight hours and is completely absorbed by your bodily systems. The magnesium is infused with carnitine which transports free fatty acids to the mitochondria of your muscle cells to be utilized as a source of energy, so it helps with burning fat. No we can’t test the science, but the Trumag tablets definitely seem to reduce muscle cramps. Visit www.32gi.com for all the scientific information.
POC Index Flow
The first thing you’ll notice about the POC Index Flow gloves is just how comfortable they are. Now we’ve tested quite a few gloves for Full Sus and our favourites for pure fit and comfort are the Craft Control gloves, but those are silky smooth road gloves and not durable trail and downhill gloves like the POC Index Flows. The Index Flows actually run the Controls really, really, close on the comfort and fit department. It looks like POC have spent the R&D budget on getting their gloves to feel as good as they can, rather than making them look rugged with superfluous, jutting out rubber bits. If you’re looking for a no-nonsense pair of gloves with a reinforced palm and touch screen compatible break leaver grip strips look no further. And it looks like they’re built to last too. To find your nearest dealer or buy a pair online go to www.puremotionsports.co.za.