Spare batteries from Specialized and YT, a new jacket from Fox, Garmin's latest turbo trainer, a cool looking gear mount from Marin, and loads more to froth over this month
YT Industries 720Wh battery £899
The pace of e-bikes is relentless. I don’t just mean how rapidly they tear up climbs, I mean how prolific new ones have become, how often motor and software updates occur… and how quickly old ones become obsolete. For YT Decoy owners though, it must be reassuring to know that their bike is still by-and-large unchanged more than three years after its launch.
Sure, the Shimano motor has been upgraded from E8000 to EP8, but the geometry, suspension and sizing is in stasis. Yet the YT Decoy is has been one of the best electric mountain bikes since its inception.
Let’s be honest though, the 540Wh battery was starting to look underpowered. 625Wh and 630Wh is now the jumping off point for Bosch and Shimano respectively, and anything from 750Wh to 900Wh now comes as standard on plenty of bikes. How long could the German direct sales brand perform the commercial equivalent of a track stand, while the rest stomped on the pedals?
YT’s new 720Wh puts the Decoy right back in the mix, and best of all its retro fittable with every existing Decoy, bar the size Small, which for safety reasons can’t fit it. So that’s the Decoy MK1 from 2019 – 2020 (size M-XXL), and the Decoy MK2 from 2021 (sizes M-XXL).
The 540Wh battery always seemed to pack more of a punch than the numbers suggested, bringing its real world range closer to that of a 600Wh battery, perhaps due to the software discharging it. We’re hoping it’ll be the same with the 720Wh power pack too.
Fox Defend 3L jacket £249.99
Fox has a new version of its Defend 3L jacket for grim weather, it has a high 10k waterproof and breathability rating, taped seams, waterproof zips, DWR coating, abrasion-resistant Cordura patches, and comes in men’s and women’s versions. Red, yellow, black and green options.
Garmin Tacx NEO Bike Plus £3499.99
Garmin’s latest turbo trainer is the Tacx NEO Bike Plus, it’s billed as the most realistic road riding experience you can have from your garage – simulated gradients, downhill drive with descent simulation, virtual gear changes, inbuilt screen and twin cooling fans.
Scott Trail Storm Waterproof pants £135.99
The Scott Trail Storm Waterproof pants come in men’s and women’s versions, they score 10,000mm for both waterproofing and breathability, use a three-layer construction and get a PFC-Free DWR coating to finish. Two colours, five sizes.
Specialized Range Extender £340
The 160Wh range extender (RE) battery fits both the Specialized Kenevo SL and Levo SL, and slots into your Zee water bottle cage. Other brands might have more sophisticated lightweight e-bikes now, but Spesh is still the only one were the RE is actually available.
Marin Bear Hug Gear Mount £15
Marin’s Bear Hug Gear Mount uses an alloy base to attach to mounting points on your bike, and a velcro strap with silicon grippers to hold a tube secure. The strap’s 325mm long, and there are some cool pine tree graphics snazzing it all up.
Skratch Labs Sport Vegan Recovery Drink Mix £36.95, and Super High Carb drink £41.95
Skratch Labs Sport Vegan Recovery Drink Mix is derived from pea and rice protein, drink it after a ride refuel and rehydrate thanks to the 4:1 ration of carbs to protein and electrolytes. Chocolate, cane sugar, and no artificial sweeteners or flavourings. Super High Carb drink dishes out 440kcal per serving.
Specialized Trail Jersey £65
One for cold weather, the latest Specialized Trail Jersey uses Power Grid fabric from Polartec that promises great insulation with minimal weight and bulk, and won’t get squished down to reduce its thermal efficiency. Kangaroo pocket, rear side zip for SWAT access, six sizes.
100% Altis helmet £89.99
100% uses something called Smartshock Rotational Protective System for its slip plane protection on the Altis helmet, and there’s EPS for regular impacts. Adjustable visor, 14 vents, antimicrobial liner, extended rear coverage, call tan colour (plus four more).
Crank Brothers Stamp Street £124.99
French madman Fabio Wibmer has a new shoe out, the Crank Brothers Stamp Street. It’s got the same MC2 rubber compound and Match lug pattern outsole as the Stamp Lace version designed to work with the Stamp Pedal, but the styling is more relaxed.
Exposure Diablo Mk13 £220
The Diablo has been our favourite helmet light for years now, with great power, low weight and the best mount on the market. The latest update sees it gain an extra 50 lumens over the old Mk12, and keep its clever Tap Technology, a nifty function that lets you tap the side of the light or your helmet to switch between modes. It’s incredibly useful in the dark, and beats fiddling around for the dinky little button on the back.
The Diablo Mk13 uses a 6063 alloy, PVD coated body, pumps out 1900 lumens, and inside sits a 3,500 mAh battery. The latter takes four hours to charge, and that delivers a run time of between one and 18 hours, depending on the mode you’re using. It’s also waterproof with an IP rating of 65, it’ll mount to your bars or helmet with the supplied fittings, and there’s even a fuel gauge light to tell you when the charge dips below 10%.