The Test Zone Feb / March

The FULL SUS product testing section, led by publisher SHAYNE DOWLING and editor FRANS LE ROUX is where we put MTB and related products to the test. We get to pedal, feel, touch, kick, jump, rip, slide, click, wear, stretch, ride (you get the idea) and generally test the hell out of products.

 

WEND CHAIN WAX 3-1 KIT | RRP R465 | www.wendwax.co.za

Proper chain care is important and if done correctly can help extend the lifetime of your drivetrain. Chains can be treated by a variety of different lubes, waxes and oils. Wend Wax takes things a bit further thanks to their bright glowing waxes. Yes, you can now match your chain with your bike’s colour or choose your favourite lumo colour to make your bike stand out even more.

I was sent a Wend Wax bundle which included a Wax-Off chain cleaner, a microfibre towel and Wax-On to apply. The bundle works well, and it is advised for the best results that the wax be applied to a clean and treated chain. The Wax-Off is made from Meadowfoam Oil and is biodegradable and super easy to use. Simply apply some to a rag or supplied towel and run the chain through. The cleaner penetrates dirt and
leaves you with a sparkling clean chain.

Once your chain has been cleaned thoroughly, the fun starts with the Wax-On. I opted to use some bright red wax (to match my bike obviously) and to apply is simple. Twist the knob and adjust to about the width of the chain before you apply some wax on the inside of the chain while turning the crank. Repeat the same process for the outside of the rollers and you’re ready to go. I made the mistake initially to apply to the sides of the chain, but this only makes a mess and does not aid with the lubrication of the chain. To ensure the wax penetrates your chain, you can run your fingers over the chain to force the wax into all the nooks and crannies. Be aware that the wax does stick to your hands and is tough to remove. You can cover your hand with a plastic bag to keep them clean.

After a four-hour race which included dirt, dust and water, the red wax was still clearly visible on my chain.
The wax is available in yellow, blue, green, orange, pink and a colourless version.

 

LOOK X-TRACK RACE CARBON PEDALS | RRP R2300 | www.lookcycle.com

If you’ve been a mountain biker for quite some time, you might have grown accustomed to a specific brand of pedal. We all know the one and I’ve personally owned a few pairs. A few months ago, I was sent a pair of these gorgeous new Look X-Track Race Carbon pedals. Apart from looking damn good, they now feature the universal SPD mounting system which makes them compatible to most cleats and easy to set up.

Initially I was rather sceptical about testing new pedals but these haven’t put a foot wrong in almost five months of ownership. I used them extensively in wet and dry conditions and they performed well. During a terribly muddy Swaziland race, they hardly clogged up and they proved easy to clean too. I was worried that they would scuff easily but once again they proved far tougher than expected. Another nice touch is the tension adjuster which works identical to those found on Shimano SPD pedals. The X-Track Race Carbons offer a larger contact area which automatically translated into better power transfer. They weigh roughly 350g per set which is on par with other offerings. If you want even less weight and more bling you could always buy the Titantium ones which are truly droolworthy!

 

SQ LAB 711 GRIPS | RRP R499 | www.sq-lab.com

This is not my first time testing a SQ Lab product and when I saw them launch these new grips, I was excited to see what the fuss was about. We’re (mountain bikers) all obsessed with silicone grips. We love their funky colours and semi shock proof nature.

Some brands offer affordable options but are they really good for your hands? That’s were the clever German’s from SQ Lab comes in. The 711 grips are ergonomically designed to reduce the stress and fatigue on your hands. They’re shaped in such a way that they grip your hands like nothing else I’ve ridden with before. With a slight raise on the edge, they offer a place for your hands to rest and also ensures you never
slide off and lose your grip. During a freak summer rainstorm, I rode for over an hour in torrential downpour without being scared about slipping once. With the 711 grip, the outer contact surface is pressed flat, thus reducing the pressure peaks on your hands. Weighing in at only 150g, they are on par with other
similar grips available. One thing is for sure, after spending a couple of weeks with the 711’s, I had less strain on my hands and I could definitely feel an increase in control.

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