Hot stuff: what we’re excited about this month.
This month brings us bargain hats, techno Tees, green Five Tens, Ghostly pads, Bushwhackers, old Shimano stuff, rubber Scorpions and bouncy brat bikes.
Rockrider Mountain Bike Helmet ST500, £27.99
Two issues back the new Troy Lee A3 helmet was front and centre as our Most Wanted item – with integrated MIPS liner, two kinds of expanded foam padding and magnets indexing the visor position it’s a technical masterpiece, and at £200 a price to be marvelled at too.
This month we have the other side of that coin, a new helmet from sports supermarket Decathlon with all the popular mod cons – dial retention system, dropped coverage at the rear, EPS shell, removable padding, 17 air vents – without the sky high pricetag. We’d call that something of a technical marvel as well.
The ST500 helmet looks pretty good too, the days when budget helmets made you resemble a ripe mushroom are well and truly over, it seems. You also get a good shaped visor that doesn’t sit in your eyeline, and straps that flow perfectly round your ears without touching them. There are eight colours to choose from, and Decathlon has 50 stores across the UK so you can try it on beforehand.
What you don’t get for £28 is a moveable visor – it’s fixed – or a MIPS liner. You don’t get a bag to store it in, multiple padding options, or a magnetic buckle. But for around 15 per cent of the price, who’s counting?
Scott Future Pro Ransom 600, £1,699
The new Future Pro Ransom is a full- suspension bike designed specifically from the ground up for kids that want to rip (or should that be, parents who want their kids to rip?). Either way, it looks bang on for the task in hand, featuring a lightweight 6061 alloy frame, 130mm of suspension travel and a 140mm fork, both with a lightweight tune for minnows, and kids components. It’s a proper shrunken enduro bike.
Perhaps the most interesting frame feature is the bike’s flip-chip, located on the main linkage – it’s there to let riders switch between 24in and 26in wheels and adjust the geometry accordingly. The idea is the Future Pro is really two bikes in one, it can grow alongside your child without having to fork out for yet another new bike. Then shrink it back down again for the younger sibling. £1,700 is a lot of money to spend, but with the wheel trick you can expect the Future Pro to carry a kid from 8-years-old to around 11 or 12. You could even bridge the gap between the two wheel sizes (and be bang on trend) running a mullet set-up, with 24in on the back and 26in up front.
We really like the attention to detail on this bike too: X-Fusion air-sprung suspension; the Shimano Deore drivetrain gives kids 11 gears to winch back up the climbs; diddy 140mm cranks for small legs (and to let the bike sit really low to the ground without bonking pedals); and a short stem and 640mm bar. There’s internal cable routing, Shimano hydraulic brakes and decent Formula hubs with Syncros rims. Perhaps best of all, there’s a dropper post too with 80mm travel, spot on for smaller riders who really couldn’t handle even the shortest of adult dropper posts.
There are two Future Pro Ransom models to choose from, they share the same frame but the 600 comes with the 26in wheels (and a slightly wider bar and longer crank), while the 400 is £50 less and comes with 24in wheels. Scott doesn’t guarantee you’ll get yourself a future pro as a son or daughter, but a bike like this can’t hurt their chances.
Specialized DriRelease Tech Tee, £25
Riders who like to keep the logos minimal and the tones muted are going to enjoy the Specialized Drirelease Tech Tee. It looks like a relaxed-fit t-shirt, but has the technical nouse and fast-wicking properties of a riding jersey.
RedBull Strive, £119
Last time we saw a goggle from RedBull Spect it had a painfully tight strap that negated any good the great lens brought. The new Strive is Spect’s second go, with a longer strap, two-layer lens, removable nose guard and four-layer face foam.
Five Ten Freerider Pro Primeblue, £120
The Five Ten Freerider and Freerider Pro now come in Primeblue variants, meaning they’re made partly from Parley Recycled Ocean Plastic – waste that’s been pulled out of the sea. It’s part of owner Adidas’s plans to completely phase out virgin polyester by 2024.
BAM Summit Print Bamboo T-Shirt, £29
Made from bamboo, organic cotton and Elatane, the BAM Summit Print Bamboo T-Shirt is pretty much the lightest and stretchiest top you’ll wear. The bamboo fibres keep it smelling fresh even when you fail to wash it, and it comes in multiple colours and prints.
Endura MT500 D30 Ghost Kneepads, £79.99
Endura says it plants more than a million trees a year to help reduce carbon in the atmosphere, making the MT500 D3O Ghost kneepad an ethical choice. Sleeve design, D3O protection, silicone grippers, three sizes.
Barkbusters MTB Hand Guards, £40
Save your knuckles from tree/bush interfacing with these enduro-style MTB Hand Guards from Barkbusters. Available in eight different colours and with bolt on guard extensions for an extra £14 for that full motocross look.
100 Years of Shimano Book
We almost put this 100 Years of Shimano book as our Most Wanted item not for what it is but for what it represents: a century of innovation, all boiled down into a glossy coffee table book. Want one? You’ll have to enter a lottery for the limited print run.
Pirelli Scorpion Enduro, £62.99
Pirelli makes mountain bike tyres now, this Scorpion Enduro model comes in front and rear-specific versions as well as this S model for ultimate grip. The Scorpions feature the brand’s HardWALL carcass and single compound SmartGRIP rubber.
Scott Protective Base Layer, £69.99
Scott makes some pretty innovative armour, the latest is its Protective Base Layer with lightweight and removable D3O shoulder pads. There’s extra padding on the biceps, and it’s all kept in place with the garment’s tight and stretchy fabric.