While prices vary somewhat, replacement disc brake pads from the major brands typically cost between $40 and $60. That may not be a big deal if it’s an occasional purchase, but wet trails and particularly abrasive sandy soils can eat through a set of pads in a single outing. If this is an issue that you face (or if you just want to spend less when buying brake pads), these aftermarket pads from Zeit may be worth a try.
The e-Thirteen brand has a strong background in the gravity oriented side of the sport, but of late they’ve bolstered and expanded their ‘XCX’ cross-country range. While XCX products are certainly very trail worthy, don’t be misled by the name—these aren’t racer-oriented weight weenie parts. The XCX hubs are a good example of this; the front weighs 171g while the rear is 309g.
Built for speed, the Renegade stands as the fastest XC tyre in the Specialized line-up. With evenly spaced low-profile tread blocks, it’s designed to roll with minimal resistance. The 420/D1 casing used on the ‘Control’ version is said to provide “15% improved cut resistance” (we can only assume that it’s 15% better than the slightly lighter S-Works version of this tyre) and the firm 60a rubber helps to improve rolling efficiency.
New from Garmin, the Fenix is an outdoors adventure watch and a GPS all rolled into one. While it mightn’t have the on-screen base maps like the Edge 800 GPS, it does offer graphical GPS display showing the route that you’ve taken and you can store up to 1,000 waypoints. On the outdoor watch side of things, the Fenix has a built-in altimeter, a barometer, an electronic compass and it’s waterproof to 50 metres.
Transition Bikes may not be well known in Australia but this US based company has some really interesting bikes in their line-up. Most tend to fall in the trail through to all-mountain categories and highlights include the Bandit 29—a 130mm travel 29er trail bike. For 2013 they’ve launched their first carbon frame, which is based on their 150mm travel Covert.
GT85 is a penetrating spray that displaces moisture and acts as a lubricant. The lubrication is handled by PTFE (Teflon), so it dries quickly to form a non-oily yet still slick surface that doesn’t attract dirt and dust.
A relatively new model in the Bontrager line-up, the Lithos looks bang-on the money for a modern trail helmet. Weighing between 310g and 350g (depending on the size), it’s well and truly light enough for XC riding. It also sports plenty of large vents which are geared towards providing ventilation at lower speeds.
Beyond their well-known brakes and hubs, Hope also makes a range of matching bits that can add a custom finishing touch to your bike. Their seat post collar is offered in either bolt-up or quick release versions and both use the same clamp, so you can easily change the closure type if desired.
You can only expect that a bottom bracket that’s designed in the UK would be crud-proof. It certainly seems that Hope has taken things a little further than most with the design of their external-type bottom bracket. Whether you choose the ceramic or stainless steel bearing option, both utilise stainless steel races to eliminate corrosion. Made by INA in Switzerland, the bearings run directly on the spindle without plastic spacers, so there’s one less part to wear of break.
All four models within the new UVeto sunnies range meet the AS/NZS 1337.1 standard for medium impact protection in safety glasses. They also happen to be quite affordable, selling for $44 in the standard version and $88 with a polarised lens.