Go-fast lightweight forks and packs galore!
The snowdrops are rising, the sun is shining and the trails are lacking slop. Let’s get on with it!
Yep, it’s your weekly sneak peak through the portcullis of castle MBR to drool at the exciting new products that have been catapulted over the ramparts.
Dakine Hot Laps 5L
Dakine’s latest Enduro bumbag has enough space to store enough sandwiches to keep you going for a proper ride. That storage is split between two compartments, there are even extra straps to shove a jacket on the outside. Dakine provide a 2 litre HydraPak reservoir with the Hot Laps so there’s no need to carry extra fluid on the bike, keeping it nice and light! The drab camo colour scheme is pretty hot right so that’s lucky as it’s the only colour the 5 litre version comes in. You’ll have to go for the smaller version to get anything else.
Pared back straps and back padding.
Dakine Session 12L
Narrow and no-nonsense, the Session is a stripped out, lightweight hydration pack perfect for all-day adventures. There’s plenty of storage for all your bits, including a place for your helmet and handily labeled tool pockets. It also comes with a 2 litre HydraPak bladder. Plenty of colours are available and the price is pretty reasonable compared to its rivals.
Chunky straps keep it clinging on.
Dakine Drafter 10L
If the Session is a little too lightweight and you have a thing for tropical prints then the Drafter is your pack. Made from more robust materials and spine protector compatible, it’s definitely aimed at the big-mountain adventurer. The 3 litre bladder is also pushed down to around the lumbar region to keep your centre of gravity and weight low. The back padding is suspended away from the body of the bag to encourage better air flow.
Dakine Thrillium L/S
Featuring an ‘apocalypse fade’ graphic (I’ve just coined that phrase!) the Thrillium is a bit more subdued than a lot of other jerseys. It also straddles the line when it comes to the cut. Not too loose and not too tight puts it bang on the money for general trail duties. Your friends will also thank the Polygiene odour control tech in the fabric.
Dakine Thrillium S/S
Guess what? It’s like the long sleeve version, but with short sleeves!
As we all start planning our escapes to sunnier climes it’s time to begin looking at lighter weight kit. These new Boundary shorts a pretty lightweight and have mesh panels at the inner thigh to increase airflow. Zippered storage keeps everything from jiggling about.
As the name suggests, the Ventilator is a glove for maximum airflow. Perfect if, like me, you suffer from overheating hands no matter the weather. The palm features strategic mesh panels in between the padding to minimise sweat build up. This also extends to the back of the hand and fingers. Silicon tips do add a little protection to the fingers and a little thingumy to help answer your phone is included on the forefinger.
Dakine Cross X
The Cross X is a more traditional, heavier weight MTB glove. There’s plenty of knuckle and finger protection thanks to the neoprene and rubber panels and a super robust palm. The Cross X also has a padded section at the base of the palm protecting the Ulnar nerve area (the bit that can cause numb fingers if it’s squashed too much).
Bontrager’s new flat-pedal specific shoe has just landed and looks pretty good. Featuring a Vibram rubber sole divided into two very different sections. The toe and heel areas are made with a ridged profile for off-bike grip, whilst the area that interfaces with the pedal has a grid profile designed to interlock with pedal pins. A rubber toe rand protects the little piggys and the overall look of the shoe in this black/red colour is nicely understated.
Fox 32 Float SC Factory Fit4
Fox are not just about the big travel suspension. Their 32 range is pretty vast and at the top of the tree are these 32 Step Cast versions. Step Cast is Fox’s take on a lightweight XC fork. Considerably narrower in profile than most other suspension forks, the lower legs are cut away to lever in Boost spacing whilst saving as much weight as possible. 100mm is your lot when it comes to travel choice. This Factory version features all of Fox’s top technologies. There’s Kashima coating of the stanchions as well as the Fit4 adjustable compression damping control. This orange version used to be ‘Pro only’ but now mere mortals can get hold of it. If this is too garish, it’s also available in black or white versions.
Until next week.