What we’re excited about this month: Hayes Dominion A2 disc brakes, Mavic Crossmax XL S wheels, Manitou Dorado Pro fork, The Book of Cannondale, Sungod Airas glasses, VHS Slapper Tape, Peaty's greases, Louri Huck-E Strap, Bosch Tour+ upgrade, Showers Pass Cloudburst jacket and Mucky Nuts Frame Skinz.
This month brings us: disc brakes with crosshairs, classic Mavics, upside down triple clamps, a big red book, massive shades, chainstay protectors, greasy tubes, strap-ons and much else besides.
Hayes Dominion A2, £179.99 (per brake)
Want to ride faster? Then you’re going to need a set of the best mountain bike disc brakes. But better doesn’t simply mean more powerful – you also need enhanced control. And because braking starts at your fingertips, Hayes designed the Dominion lever to have the shortest possible bite-point, which in turn reduces the time it takes to apply the brakes.
The Dominion lever also has a low actuation pressure and reduced lever friction, making the lever effortless to pull, further enhancing brake modulation and reducing arm pump. Hayes calls this LoFi – low input, high fidelity. Not convinced? Try pulling your current brake levers 200 times in a row and you’ll feel your forearms light up – most of which is due to resistance in the lever or an overly strong return spring.
With the reduction in dead lever travel you can also run your brake levers closer to the handlebar, safe in the knowledge that they won’t bottom out on the grips, or worse, your knuckles. There’s also an SFL (small finger lever) option that’s designed for riders with smaller hands.
Hayes pairs the same Dominion lever with a twin (A2) or four piston (A4) caliper, so you can tailor the power to your riding style or weight – or even mix and match calipers.
All Dominion calipers feature the Crosshair Alignment System where small grub screws next to the mounting bolts make it easier to line-up the caliper with the rotor and eliminate pad rub. The calipers also have rotating banjos for better alignment of the brake hose, regardless of the frame’s cable routing.
Rotors come in standard sizes, where the D-series design is purported to reduce noise and vibration, something that any wet weather rider will no doubt appreciate. Rotors are sold separately though, so if you’re keen to make the switch to the Hayes Dominion you’re going to need to factor in another £38.69 for a 180mm rotor or £42.99 for a 203mm option.
Mavic Crossmax XL S 29, £690
Mavic released its first mtb wheelset back in 1996. Called Crossmax it was super light, used a square rim profile, thin ceramic braking surfaces and cool chrome-coloured stickers. In 1999 it added the first ever tubeless system to the design, UST, making it arguably the world’s most desirable wheel brand. Twenty five years later, Mavic hopes to return to the top, with this new lightweight alloy build.
The new XL S here has been designed not for the big hits that come with enduro racing, or the weight saving design required by XC, but something in the middle. Trail riding. To do this Mavic has made the rim width 30mm – pretty much the standard now for trail wheels, as a compromise between strength and weight. Claimed weight is 1,790g, with the rim made from S6000 aluminium and the spokes steel. The Crossmax rim bridge is sealed, without spoke holes, meaning there’s no need for rim tape, and it also means you can replace those spokes without removing the tyre or disc. There’s even a couple of spares in the box, and they’re all the same length.
On the other side of that rim Mavic has machined the space between the spokes to reduce rotating weight, and to provide more responsiveness, it says. Tying it all together is Mavic’s own hub with ID360 dual ratchet freewheel, designed for reliability and to let you work on it all without specialist tools.
Manitou Dorado Pro, £1699
The famous Dorado Pro upside-down fork from Manitou has been relaunched, with 37mm stanchions, greater stiffness, reworked damping and travel ranging from 180-203mm. Air or coil spring version, 110x20mm thru-axle, Pro, Expert and Comp versions.
Big Book of Cannondale
From an old railway station to a global brand, this stunning book navigates a rollercoaster passage through the Cannondale archives – covering 50 years of success and failure curated into a fascinating historical document.
Sungod Airas, £155
New huge-coverage sunglasses from Sungod. Called Airas, they’re cycling specific, come in both frameless and half-frame options and can be customised with a choice of lenses and frame colours. Lenses feature anti-fog coatings and hydrophobic treatment.
VHS Slapper Tape, £24.99
VHS Slapper Tape is a chunky, stick-on chainstay protector, version 2.0 here comes with a wider 70mm base for better coverage, malleable silicone rubber, and softer air bubbles to absorb clatter. UV resistant, 350mm long, 10mm high, fits all chainstays.
Peaty’s Greases, £9.99
New from Peaty’s: Bicycle Assembly Grease, Speed Grease for bearings and bushings and Max Grip Carbon Assembly Paste. All are biodegradable and recycleable. Both greases use ester oil, which is electrochemically charged to stick to metal.
Louri Huck-E Strap, £22.99
The Huck-E Strap from Louri is super long, letting you wrap it around your e-bike’s oversized tubes and still have enough length to stow a spare tube and other tools too. Comes in three colours, 85cm long, machine washable.
Bosch Tour+, £free
Bosch has a new power mode called Tour+ to manage your e-bike’s battery power and deliver more range to your rides. It does this by automatically backing off its power on the flats where you need it less, and piling it back on for the climbs when you do.
Showers Pass Cloudburst, £175
Based in Portland, Oregon, Showers Pass makes kit for riders, walkers and runners. Its orange Cloudburst jacket has great waterproofing and breathability figures, is made from a three-layer, four-way stretch fabric and uses fully taped seams.
Mucky Nutz Frame Skinz, £25
One pack of Frame Skinz from Mucky Nutz contains 17 clear, adhesive patches to wrap your bike and protect your paintwork. The idea is you pick and choose the sheets you want and tailor it to your bike. Comes in clear gloss, matt, or print options.