Hot stuff: what we’re excited about this month


This month we’re drooling over carbon-quilled dropper posts, tubeless valves that you can clean without removing, Patagonia clobber, the world’s lightest full face for DH, and loads more.

Crank Brothers Highline 11 dropper

Price: £374.99

Crank Brothers has a new dropper post out, crammed with tech, exotic materials and a longer length, it has us wanting to take the highline on our next ride (sorry). Dreadful jokes aside, the new Highline 11 looks like it could join the ranks of our best dropper posts, with totally reworked guts that now feature an internal floating piston hydraulic cartridge that Crank Bros says is smoother in action.

It also continues that theme with Igus LL-glide bearings and keys, and Jagwire cable and housing. In fact, so confident is Crank Bros it’s dishing out the post with a four year warranty, reassurance we’ve never known before on dropper post, a piece of kit historically prone to reliability issues.

The Highline 11 features a smorgasbord of high end materials, including a carbon head, carbon quill (the smaller of the telescopic tubes) and titanium mounting bolts. Naturally then it’s the lightest post CB has ever made, coming in at 488g for the longest 170mm drop available, in 30.9 diameter.

That’s a really impressive weight shaving exercise, making it one of the lightest posts out there. Incredibly, the price isn’t astronomical either, given those posh parts.

It should be easier to fit too now, thanks to a new two-bolt quick release head, that naturally also lets you dial in fore and aft tilt adjustments as per normal. CB has also worked in a new linear pull mechanism to extend the post, something it reckons is smoother and more reliable in use too.

The new post comes in 30.9 and 31.6, and 60, 100, 125, 150 and 170mm of infinite travel to allow for multiple disciplines from gravel to enduro, and a decent spread of bike sizes too. Brands like BikeYoke and SRAM still have the edge on it in terms of drop length, and it’s slightly disappointing to see no 180mm or 200mm drop options for the growing number of super low standover bikes. But if 170mm will cover your dropper post needs it looks like a stellar product.

Responsibly sourced merino wool and clever tailoring make the Patagonia jersey a hit

Patagonia Merino 3/4 sleeve jersey

Price: £90

The Patagonia Merino 3/4 sleeve jersey is made from responsibly sourced merino wool and recycled polyester, the idea being it’s kind to your skin and the environment too. Fast drying and wicking, drop hem, tag-free and soft for comfort, fair trade, comes in three colours and five sizes.

>>>Best mountain bike jerseys for 2022<<<

World’s lightest DH helmet

Dainese Linea 01 MIPS full face helmet

Price: £249.95

At 570g, the Dainese Linea 01 MIPS Helmet is the lightest DH certified full face out there, it uses EPS and a nylon exoskeleton for protection, and RECCO and NFC TwiceMe tech to help find you if it all goes wrong. Features 30 vents, Fidlock buckle and three colour choices.

Read the full Dainese Linea 01 MIPS full face helmet review

Because no one wants smelly feet

Grangers Footwear + Gear Cleaner

Price: £5.75

Grangers Footwear + Gear Cleaner is for your clobber that doesn’t do well in the washing machine – shoes, packs, kneepads, etc. Spray on, wipe off and remove dirt and odour. The bottle’s made from 100% Post-Consumer Recycled plastic, including some Ocean Waste Plastic, too.

Middle manager

Scott Defend Light hoodie

Price: £90.99

The Scott Defend Light hoodie is designed as a mid-layer so you can layer up, it’s insulated, features four-way stretch fabric, promises quick drying and feels super soft. Two side pockets, four colours, five sizes.

>>>Best mountain bike jackets for 2022<<<

Special edition Emil Johansson stem, from Sixpack

Sixpack Millenium EJ Stem

Price: €119.95

Slopestyle rider Emil Johansson has released a super short 31mm signature version of the Sixpack Millenium stem – called the EJ Stem, it’s made from 7075 alloy before being CNCd, and weighs a scant 105g. Sixpack says it’s made in Germany to reduce the carbon footprint, 31.8mm clamp size.

>>>Best mountain bike stems for 2022<<<

Presto Rocket Roast Robusta coffee

Price: £18.99 for 1kg

Presto’s Rocket Roast Robusta coffee beans hail from the Central Highlands of Vietnam, they’re really bloody strong, and boast an “earthy aromatic brew, with dark chocolate undertones and soft cranberry notes,” according to Presto. Tastes like nice coffee to us.

Tech head

Specialized Camber

Price: £70

The Camber is an all-new lid from Specialized, aimed at the entry level rider it’s less pricey than the revised Tactic II but still features some amazing protection – MIPS, Angi tracking, dial fit system, and an impressive Five Star Virginia Tech rating.

>>>Best mountain bike helmets for 2022<<<

Green washing

People4Ocean Sunscreen

Price: £29.95

People4Ocean makes non-toxic sunscreen that doesn’t contain any of the nasties that kill marine life – oxybenzone, homosalate, nanoparticles and more. And with the profits it helps fund coral preservation projects. SPF30, SPF50, and aftersun available.

Safe-D first

Squire Stronghold

Price: £139.99

Protect your bike with the latest lock range from Squire, called Stronghold. The D-lock here features a 16mm hardened boron steel shackle, hardened steel lock body and 6-pin cylinder with over 500,000 key options.

The new Plasma comes apart, so you can clean the end that gets gunked up with sealant, without loosing tyre pressure

e*thirteen Quick Fill Plasma Valve

Price: €25.16

You can be as careful as you like, meticulous in your preparation and exact in your execution, but sometimes it still ends up looking like an explosion in a yoghurt factory. Assuming they make yoghurt in factories and under high pressure. I’m talking, of course, about setting your tyres up tubeless, something that’s brought a great deal of benefit to riding, and an equal amount of mess too.

The new Quick Fill Plasma Valve from e*thirteen hopes to keep things cleaner because you can seat the tyre completely, before injecting the sealant straight from the bottle. You don’t need a special tool for this either, e*thirteen says, and you can top it up anywhere without breaking the bead. No more slopping cup fulls of goo into a gaping tyre, only to splash half of it on the floor as you try and mount a tricky bead.

Bullet proof tyres

The stem is also oversized, something that leads to easier inflation of the tyre thanks to the bigger volume of air flowing in. This is something most of us have experienced with regular valves – remove the core and you can often seat a stubborn tyre with the extra volume and flow of air.

On top of that, the stem is made from two pieces so you can remove the top half in situ to clean it out if it gets gunked up, leaving the base in place and all without removing the tyre.

There are five colours to choose from, two lengths, and the whole thing is made from CNC machined alloy.