Six of the best
These are mbr’s choice of the six most exciting products of 2017. Convertible helmets, new tyre widths, integrated dropper posts, suspension telemetry and more.
1. Giro Switchblade
As enduro race tracks get ever faster and more technical, and mere mortals like us get older and clumsier, so the demand for better protection grows.
Helmet manufacturers have recognised this, and are offering a wave of new designs with detachable chinbars that can be quickly converted between open face and full face.
It was Bell’s Super 2R that got the ball rolling initially, but now Giro has relaunched the Switchblade, and it’s being joined by models from Leatt and Uvex.
2. 2.6in tyres
Plus size tyres are finding traction across the mountain bike market thanks to improved levels of grip and comfort in the dry. But it’s safe to say they are not for everyone.
As it was with the whole wheel size revolution, so manufacturers are now seeking the safe middle ground when it comes to tyre widths.
So it seems that 2.6 is splitting the difference between regular tyres and 2.8in Plus options, and may well become the size everyone ends up riding in the next few years.
3. Canyon Disconnect
One of the problems suspension designers have been wrestling with for years is chain growth.
Simply put, as the suspension compresses, the distance that the chain has to span between the chainring and the rear sprockets increases.
To accommodate this, the cranks must rotate backwards. Which is problem, because you’re standing on them. As a result, the suspension movement is impeded.
Canyon’s Disconnect prototype aims to solve that problem by allowing the rider to separate the drivetrain from the suspension on really rough sections of track, when there is no need to pedal.
4. Eightpins integrated seatpost
It seems like someone launches a new dropper post every week, but Austrian company EightPins is one of the few that’s actually bringing some genuine innovation to the market with its new design.
First off it’s an integrated sytem, so rather than telescoping within an outer tube, the EightPins unit uses the seat tube itself as the outer sleeve.
This makes it around 30% lighter than the competition, according to Eightpins – and simpler too.
5. DMR VTwin pedals
Better known for its flat pedals, DMR’s new VTwin aims to give you the efficiency of being clipped in, with the feel of a flat.
A sprung mechanism tilts the front of the binding upwards, which helps engagement.
And rubber bumpers are used to protect the extruded aluminium cage from impacts with rocks and stumps.
Previously the exclusive preserve of big budget factory downhill teams, suspension data-logging is coming soon to a trail near you thanks to SRAM’s new Shockwiz device and Scottish start-up, SussMyBike.
Originally launched on Kickstarter, Shockwiz was bought by SRAM last year and will soon be on general sale.
It works by attaching to the air valve of your fork or shock and measuring the change in pressure as the suspension cycles through its travel.