All these got 10/10
Here are twenty products that received a 10/10 rating from us in 2016.
It’s the end of the year and it’s time to reflect on what stuff stood out for us in the past twelve months. These products are the standout items in a year jam-packed with testing.
Nukeproof Horizon Sam Hill pedals
After riding and rating flat pedals for years, we’re confident this Nukeproof Horizon Sam Hill design is right up there with the very best — it’s also a tad cheaper than similar top performers, making it great value.
Renthal 1XR chainring
Renthal took its time developing a narrow/wide ring, but its measured approach seems to have paid off — the 1XR is stiff, precise and works flawlessly. It’s also great value, so has to be the number one choice if you live anywhere that regularly experiences wet and muddy conditions.
Schwalbe Magic Mary tyre
The bottom line is this German tyre is tough to beat as a year-round front tyre in UK conditions, and is therefore our number one choice for aggressive riding.
Fabric Scoop Radius Elite saddle
Fabric’s sleek, beautifully packaged Scoop is something of a benchmark perch. The smooth, minimal finish is the result of a three-part bonding process that melds the waterproof cover to a coloured base, uninterrupted by any stitching or staples, which makes it a cinch to keep clean.
Madison Addict DWR shorts
The Addict is the perfect baggy for damp UK rides. It’s long in the leg, has a hard wearing and water-resistant construction, and the stretch fabric fits really well without feeling bulky or causing overheating.
FiveTen Freerider Elements
The Freerider Elements is a water-resistant version of the standard Freerider. The mesh panels have been eliminated from the synthetic upper and it’s treated with a DWR (durable water repellent) coating to help bead and repel water.
ODI Elite Pro lock-on grips
Initially they felt totally alien, but by the end of the first day we had no hand pain or arm pump to speak of.
Topeak JoeBlow Booster tubeless inflator
What we really like about the JoeBlow Booster is the massive pressure gauge, which is the easiest to read if you’re just adding 1 or 2psi. It also has a really long hose with an integrated hose dock, which is great if you have the bike in a stand. The handle is more comfortable than most and the wide base is very stable.
Mavic Crossride SL pedals
Try as we might, we couldn’t ruffle the Crossride SL’s feathers — ploughing through thick mud, and even icy snow, only a brief stamp was needed to clear the pedal mechanism.
Superstar Nano-X flat pedals
The Superstar Nano Tech pedal was one of our favourites, but you can’t buy it anymore. Fortunately, the replacement Nano-x actually feels better and costs even less. The Nano-x is larger than the original — 5mm wider and 10mm longer — but still keeps the same, shallow 17mm profile.
Crank Brothers Mallet DH pedals
Even though this has DH in the name, the Mallet is a great pedal for trail use. At 100 x 85mm the platform is the largest on test, and it’s also concave, so your foot contacts the whole of the pedal body.
Stan’s No Tubes ZTR Bravo Team wheels
They’re as quick to accelerate as you’d expect from a light carbon wheel, cornering stiffness — when slamming berms or pushing across off-camber turns — feels rock solid, and they’re comfortable, damped and fast over rough ground.
Manitou Mattoc Pro 160mm fork
The supple, coil-like feel, kept the fork planted on the Forest of Dean’s slippery, flat trails, but the IRT still gives plenty of support on steep stuff. Even smashing through the rocks at BikePark Wales, the Mattoc Pro was totally unfazed, and we never had any issues with excessive diving or harshness in the damping.
RockShox Lyrik RCT3 Solo Air 160mm fork
Calm and composed under fire. Easy to get a good baseline setting. Add air and low-speed compression and you’re good to go. Solid, reliable and easy to set up, the new RockShox Lyrik offers first class performance.
Maxxis High Roller II tyre
Light enough to pedal up, capable year-round in most areas, and totally assured on the way down, the High Roller II is a top-dollar product. It won’t last you forever, but it’s hard to fault in terms of sheer performance.
Schwalbe Rock Razor Evolution tyre
The lightweight Pacestar version has excellent grip considering the harder durometer rubber, but the tougher, Super Gravity/Trailstar model is best in rougher areas — it compromises a little when climbing or accelerating, but still has excellent rolling speed and dynamic ride feel. Still the best new-school semi-slick out there.
Ergon Ge1 grips
I love how the repeatable hand position means you always know exactly where you are on the GE1, and quality and durability is superb too. Overall, Ergon has ticked every box for such a crucial contact point — if there’s a better grip out there, I’ve yet to find it.
Camelbak Hawg Low Rider hydration pack
The lumbar-situated reservoir that gives this pack its Low Rider moniker is from the new Camelbak Crux, with wider-bore drink tubing and a 45° bend (rather than 90°) at the bite valve, all designed to improve flow. It did, and we were more than happy with fluid delivery, while the quick-release hose made refilling easy and the lumbar design’s low centre of gravity was super-stable. Sure, it’s one of the most expensive packs out there, but it’s easily the best for big days out.
BBB Scope 1500 light
The best thing about the Scope 1500 is it actually has more power than claimed. At 1,564 lumens on full beam, it’s only a touch more, but since most lights in the mid-range failed to match their claimed output, it’s worth shouting about.
Exposure Joystick Mk11 light
On high beam, the Joystick delivers 891 lumens and, even though it doesn’t have a wide spread of light, with the updated lens it is really focused and produces an incredibly white light, making it perfect for picking out detail. It’s at the upper end, price-wise, but low profile, lightweight and has a near perfect beam and focus.