The all-new Epic has landed. Plus kit from Nukeproof and OneUp, as well as Giant's latest release.
Specialized Epic Expert
The new 2018 version of the Epic has finally hit our shores. After riding this particular bike over in the US of A, we’ve been waiting to put it through its paces on the home trails. And there has been a lot of reworking of the Epic to create this new machine. First up the Brain of the shock has been moved to the rear axle for better responsiveness and secondly (and more controversially) the rear end has lost the characteristic FSR pivots. Yep, it’s now a single pivot dream machine.
The Expert version comes with Rockshox SID fork (also with a Brain) and matching Rockshox rear shock with Autosag, a SRAM GX Eagle groupset and pimping Roval carbon 29er wheels.
The full carbon frame is wrapped in one of the most spangly and glittery of paint jobs and the whole deal weighs in at 10.7kg (that’s just over 23.5lbs for us old people). Stay tuned for a full review coming soon.
Saracen Tufftrax Disc
At the other end of the price spectrum, we’re testing some decent budget MTB’s like the Saracen Tufftrax Disc we have here. Less than four hundred quid gets you a decent 6061 aluminium frame designed for UK riding and some reliable Shimano shifting gear. WTB 27.5″ Nano tyres add a bit of kudos plus de riguer disc brakes are present.
We’ll be having fun testing these at some of the trail centres and local tracks around MBR HQ over the next few weeks.
Nukeproof Horizon SL Saddle
Nukeproof’s Horizon line-up is pretty comprehensive and if the pedals are anything to go by, the Horizon SL saddle is going to be pretty damn good too. It’s a lighter weight design than some of Nukeproof’s other saddles and is designed as being a saddle for pretty much anything. A raised tail sections helps keep you in place on the climbs and zoned padding keeps your undercarriage functioning normally.
Nukeproof Horizon Race Grips
We love a good flange here and the half flange design of the Horizon Race feels lovely in the hands. Chunky and grippy, the Horizon has twin anodised clamps to makes sure they never budge when on a ride.
OneUp Components EDC Tool
Price: $59 (£45.25) for the tool, $35 (£26.84) for the tap kit, $25 (£19.17) for the top cap
From: OneUp Components
Since first clapping eyes on the ingenious EDC (Every Day Carry) tool ensconced in Ritchie Rude’s steerer tube we’ve wanted to get our hands on one. We think sticking tools and kit to your bike makes for a much more enjoyable riding experience than having to lug a backpack everywhere.
The EDC puts a multitool, chaintool, tyre lever, CO2 cartridge and spare chainring bolt out of the way in your fork steerer. Okay, you’ll have to tap a thread into the steerer before you can fit it and you’ll need the top cap kit as well so it’s not cheap. But once it’s done you’ll never forget your spares and tools again.
Hackney GT Camo MTB Jersey
From: Hackney GT
Note. This camo won’t help you blend into the woods. Hackney GT also do this jersey in a Leopard print so this is what they call the ‘dull’ version. For those that like to stand out from the crowd, Hackney GT’s Camo jersey should fulfil a need (I like it a bit too much!) Heavy enough to survive a season of DH or Enduro without being too MX, it features a perforated front panel for breathability and lycra cuffs for comfort.
Jagwire Pro Internal Routing Tool
As anyone who has ever tried re-cabling an internally routed frame knows, there can be nothing quite as frustrating or time consuming. Hopefully this nifty little tool from Jagwire can help ease the burden. Featuring two strong magnets and a host of little adapters, this pen-like tool can be used to draw cables and hoses through a frame simply by pulling it along the outside of the tubing. It has adapters for hydraulic brake hoses as well as Di2 cables so should be perfect for just about any MTB use.
Giant Line MTB Shoe
Just unveiled, the brand new Line MTB shoe is Giant’s latest attempt to capture the DH and enduro market. Of interest to the UK market is Giant’s use of hydrophobic materials to try to keep water ingress at bay, so it should work well for our ‘summer’ then. The cleat slots are markedly longer than most other shoes in order to help riders perfect their pedal position. The sole also has smooth areas each side of the cleat to prevent unwanted pedal interactions. A properly reinforced toe protects the little piggies and off-set straps should keep it comfortable and in place. We’ll see how it stands up to our testing and keep you posted.
Tacx MTB Mudguard
I know, I’m sorry. I had to mention it. I’m gutted about the trails too but I still want to ride even though it feels more like winter again. At least this neat little guard from Tacx is quick release, for when the weather inevitably gets better when the kids go back to school.
The simple clamp fits to your saddle rails and the guard just slots in place, hey presto! Tax also produce a GoPro mount and saddle bag that use the same clip if you fancy a mix and match.
Now let’s all go and get muddy.