Full-face helmets you can pedal around wearing and more

Hot stuff: what we’re excited about this month. Including season-opening gear for bike and body.

>>> The outstanding bikes and products celebrated in our 2018 Editor’s Choice

Most wanted: Troy Lee Designs Stage Race helmet

What kind of helmet should you use when the trail down is gnarly but the pedal up is brutal? A trail where you’d be under-dressed in an open face lid, but stifled in a full-face downhill helmet? Increasingly, these seem to be the kind of trails we’re all seeking out, challenging the stellar performance of modern trail bikes and our growing riding skills, but with it increasing the risks from crashing too.

Troy Lee Designs has its own solution to the protection problem called the Stage Race Helmet, a downhill-certified lid with full face protection that’s almost as light as an open-face. This Race version comes in two loud colours, but if that’s too shouty for you there’s a Stage Stealth too in grey, black or black and pink.

The Stage joins the Fox Proframe and the MET Parachute in this halfway house helmet category, or enduro helmet category if we must use the E word. It’s more money than both of those but it’s also 40-odd grams lighter too. Is it a better, more breathable, more comfortable option? Look out for a test soon.

In the meantime here are the vital stats on the Stage. Both the Race and the Stealth version come with MIPS liners to help reduce injury from certain oblique impacts, come in three sizes and both cost the same money. Like most helmets, the Stage is made from EPS for its energy-absorbing properties, but unlike most others it also uses Expanded Polypropylene (EPP), which is more resilient under impacts and doesn’t dent and deform like EPS does. TLD says together they help dissipate high and low speed energy from impacts.

Troy Lee is known for its comfortable helmets, and the Stage looks like it fits that mould too, with an X-static liner and multiple sizes of padding around your cheeks, neck and head to get the optimal fit. It also comes with a Ficlock magnetic buckle, dozens of air intakes and a visor with a big 40mm of vertical adjustment. £275, saddleback.co.uk

Fulcrum Red Fire 5 wheels

Prefer your wheels in reliable alloy? Fulcrum has a new set called Red Fire 5, designed for enduro or trail use and featuring a 32mm internal rim width designed for 2-2.5in tyres. £334.99, i-ride.co.uk

Lezyne Shock Digital Drive

Best for set-up tweakers, the Lezyne Shock Digital Drive is a shock pump in floor pump guise. It’ll take your air can up to 300psi, is made from alloy and steel, and features a digital gauge. £70, upgradebikes.co.uk

Endura Singletrack Jacket II

Great style, reliable wind and waterproofing at a reasonable price, you’re looking at the Endura Singletrack Jacket II. It’s made from 3-layer fabric for durability and comfort, plus there’s roll-away hood and under-arm vents. £114.99, endurasport.com

Huel bars

Made from gluten-free rolled oats, pea protein and coffee, Huel coffee flavour bars are high in fibre, protein and feature 25g of complex carbs and 26 vitamins and minerals. £1.55, huel.com

Scott Prospect goggles

Scott has a new limited edition pink and purple Prospect goggle, and with it a pledge to donate £5,000 to the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Foundation. £100, scott-sports.com

Specialized Mountain Liner Bib Short

The Specialized Mountain Liner Bib Shorts with SWAT have five variously shaped pockets for essentials, it’s made from a cooling mesh fabric (baggies over the top, please) and there’s a Body Geometry chamois to cushion your ride. £80, specializedconceptstore.co.uk

Tiger Tail Tiger Ball

Use the Tiger Tail Tiger Ball to massage your tight or knotted muscles after a ride, it’s easier to use than a tennis ball thanks to its 55in rope. The ball is firm but has a little give in it and it has a three year warranty. £28, 2pure.co.uk

Honey Stinger gel

Made with 6% honey, the Honey Stinger dishes out around 100 calories, comes in three flavours including this Mango Orange, and goes well on toast too, Honey Stinger says. £1.60, 2pure.co.uk

Topeak Mountain TT Twin Turbo pump

The Topeak Mountain TT Twin Turbo pump will disgorge a high volume of air into your tyre thanks to its large volume barrel and both push and pull inflation action. It’s short and squat too, making it ideal for packing away small. £26.99, extrauk.co.uk