Hot stuff: what we’re excited about this month

This month brings us kids’ Plus bikes, techno pliers, ebike shoes, slow energy products, not-Rolexs, oily clips, tuff rings, Bibendums and chunk pumps. Hot stuff: what we’re excited about this month…

Read more: Dirty Deals 186: loads of riding trousers (and a couple of other bits)

Soft play

Merida Matts J. 20+, £430

Made from lightweight 6061 alloy, the Merida Matts J. 20+ uses Plus-size tyres (albeit in dinky 20in wheel size) with low pressures to cushion the trail and offer grip. Two colours, Tektro hydraulic brakes, seven-speed Shimano drivetrain.


WolfTooth 8-Bit Pack Plier, £66

The 8-Bit Pack Plier from Wolf Tooth boasts 17 functions, including chain pliers, valve-core wrench, screwdrivers, Allen keys and Torx drivers. There’s also a ball-head swivel to get into tight spots, and the bits are held in place with magnets.

Terra firmer

Fizik Terra Ergolace X2, £119.99

This Terra Ergolace X2 shoe from Fizik is billed as e-bike-specific. It has some sensible features, though – a wider platform for better flat-pedal contact and less foot roll, and a deep-tread Vibram sole for heavy-duty hike-a-bikes.

Slow burn

High5 Slow Release Starter Kit, £6.99

The Slow Release Starter Kit from High5 includes two energy bars, two gels and two sachets of slow-release energy drink, as well as a bottle. The drink promises to be low GI, and contains magnesium, and 70 minerals and trace elements.

Rival Rolex

Wahoo Element Rival, £349.99

The Wahoo Elemnt Rival watch tracks your ride via GPS, as well as your heart rate, training zone, calorie consumption and a handful of other metrics. It also syncs to your phone, lets you read text messages and emails, and alerts you to calls.

Slick pedals

Crankbrothers Mallet E LS Oil Slick, £169.99

The Crankbrothers Mallet E LS Oil Slick is a limited run in this year’s snazzy finish. It’s 12 per cent smaller than the Mallet DH pedal and 49g lighter, uses Igus bearings and boasts a huge six-degree float before unclipping.

Not the weakest link

Race Face Cinch DM SHI 12, £26.95

The Race Face CINCH DM SHI 12 chainring is made from heat-treated chromoly steel rather than alloy, which makes it much cheaper and harder-wearing. Designed for Shimano 12-speed chains, it comes in 30, 32 and 34t versions and weighs 154g.

Force be with you

Michelin Force AM2 and Wild AM2, £47.99

Michelin’s new Force AM2 and Wild AM2 tyres – available in 2.4in or 2.6in and both wheel sizes – are inspired by the brand’s recent DH34 and DH22 downhill rubber, and promise to bring that same grip and stability on a faster-rolling trail or enduro-friendly carcass.

Big bore

Specialized Air Tool Big Bore, £42

The Specialized Air Tool Big Bore pump delivers a massive 90cc of air per stroke. Designed for Plus-size tyres, the idea is to deliver big volume, low pressure for little effort. Features a press-on Schrader and Presta head. £42