10 Products I Loved in 2021: Alicia Leggett

Dec 21, 2021
by Alicia Leggett  
As 2021 comes to a close, it's time once again to take a look back at the products that stood out above the rest. Unlike the Pinkbike Awards, which are steadily being published and are decided by a panel of editors, these are individual - so I get to include whatever cool trinkets, paragliding wings, and melodramatic songs personally carried me through this year. Oh, and bikes. Definitely bikes. The concept was borrowed from our colleagues over at CyclingTips - you can read their lists here.




Wolf Tooth Components 8-Bit Kit One Multitool Set

It's a surprise, even to myself, that one of my favorite pieces of gear this year is a comprehensive, all-in-one 22ish-function multitool. Are you someone who likes to be prepared for any situation that comes your way? Do you carry sufficient or even extra water on the majority of your rides? Do you have a tendency to plan ahead? If you answered 'yes' to any of those questions, you and I are not the same.

I've never carried much more than the bare minimum on a ride unless I'm going way the f*ck out there, so I wouldn't point to myself as the target market for fancy multitools. Still, when I started playing with Wolf Tooth's new multitool system, I became a bit enamored. It's just plain cool. It's bigger than any trail tool I've used in the past, but it packs a pretty significant punch. It's built around Wolf Tooth's 8-Bit Pack Pliers, and the two new pieces - a tire lever / rim dent remover and a chainbreaker / utility knife / tire plug kit - nest together with the pliers thanks to some clever machining and well-placed magnets.


I love the neat nesting solution and how many ways Wolf Tooth has found to incorporate tools such a wide variety of tools while keeping the product tidy, relatively small, and user-friendly. Plus, it's machined at Wolf Tooth's headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

Price: Price: $139.95 for the kit, parts also available separately
More information: Wolf Tooth Components




PNW Components Rover Hip Pack

Speaking of smart designs, I have some glowing things to say about the new PNW Components Rover Hip Pack. The organization of the Rover Hip Pack is so satisfying. With a large main compartment, an outer pocket, and two small pockets on the hip straps, there's storage for both big and small items without the risk of losing anything, plus there's a removable water bottle (or burrito) holder. There are also internal mesh pockets, a key clip in one of the hip strap pockets, and padded mesh backing that's ridiculously supportive and comfortable. When the pack is snug - which it always is, thanks to its two "wing" adjustment straps on the sides to fine-tune the fit in addition to the main hip strap - it stays secure, not wanting to bounce or slide around during the ride. In short, it's just really well done.


The Rover Hip Pack is also water-resistant and comes with a lifetime warranty. The color I have is called Stardust, and it's also available in a color that PNW calls Dark Matter, otherwise known as black. At $69 USD, the Rover Hip Pack is also the least expensive piece of gear on my list.


Price: $69 USD
More information: PNW Components





Propain Hugene

I've been spending a whole lot of time on the Propain Hugene lately, and I have to say once again that I love that bike. Of all the trail bikes we tested at the Fall Field Test, to me the Hugene best exemplifies what a trail bike is supposed to do. It climbs well. It descends well. It's just plain fun to ride. The energetic feel of the bike works excellently for me and keeps me coming back for more.


I have all kinds of good things to say about the Hugene - just check out the review here. All in all, the takeaway is that Propain nailed it with this one.

Price: $4,199 - $6,737 USD
More information: Propain Bikes





Rapha Kit

Sticking with the Field Test theme for a minute, I was quite impressed by the Rapha gear we wore. Now, it's important to note that Rapha did sponsor the Field Test, so I didn't pay my own cold, hard cash for these clothes, but I'd put Rapha near the top of my list for clothing to spend money on. The pants, jerseys, and jackets are lightweight, comfortable, and (at least in my opinion) good-looking.


Did I feel like a little bit of a tool going to the coffee shop in Pemberton every morning with Levy and Henry all wearing our matching Rapha hoodies? Yeah, a little bit, but cozy counts for a lot, and I couldn't make myself take that stuff off.

Price: $90 - $180 USD
More information: Rapha






Norrøna Fjørå Flex1 Pants

Love me a good pair of Euro pants. These things are lightweight, have abundant pocket space, and yes, are colorful. Also, they earned a place on this list in part for their durability. I took them on a multi-hour bushwhack that destroyed my bare arms and face, but these pants and therefore my legs came out unscathed.

For what it's worth, the jersey and gloves are great too, but the pants especially stand out.

The Norrøna Fjørå Flex1 Pants were good to me this year. As some of my most pedal-friendly pants, they have side zip vents on the outer thighs and an adjustable waistband to keep the pants comfortable and in place. They also have reinforcement on the knees and seat. I do find that they run a bit large, so size down if you're considering a pair and are on the fence about sizing.

Price: $199 USD
More information: Norrona






Level Flame 13 Light Speedwing & Ozone Swift 5 Paraglider

Note the Euro pants above - they're good for more than just biking. The Level Flame 13 Light has been a great part of my life this year, so it has definitely earned its place on this list. As the name implies, it has 13 square meters, is lightweight, and is a great time. It has nimble speedwing handling but a better glide than most speedwings, meaning that it can be flown in a variety of terrain. This year, it took me to some cool mountain launches and saw me throw my first barrel rolls, always with a smile on my face. Here's a fun launch video. In short, flying it basically every day the weather permitted made my year a whole lot better.


I can't write about flying without also mentioning the full-sized paraglider I've been flying this year too, an Ozone Swift 5. I don't have many (any) good photos of it in action, but just trust me that it's downright beautiful. It also went on some cool adventures with me, namely a trip to Utah (here's a neat flight visualization), now Christmas in Mexico, and a little cameo appearance at Field Test in Pemberton. Plus some playing around over a lake. Yeehaw.

Price: Ugh, I don't want to talk about it
More information: Level Wings and Ozone







Insight Timer

2021 has been a rough one on my brain, so I'm going to recommend my trusty meditation app, Insight Timer. The basic version of the app is free and includes access to 120k meditation recordings, ranging from short, beginner-friendly meditations to much more esoteric soundtracks. I've messed around on some of the other meditation apps - Calm and Headspace - but at least for me, I used up whatever I could on those ones for free pretty quickly, and I didn't want to pay for actual membership. Insight Timer gives you more for your (lack of) money.

Lots of categories. I'm especially fond of the sleep section.

I'm not going to say that Insight Timer is a cure-all, because then I'd be lying to myself and to all of you, but it does offer some tools to help cope with just generally the fact that we have to exist and be people. Anyway, it's worth a download if you're intrigued by meditation.

The app also has a simple timer function for the purists out there - you can choose a length of time, any sounds you might want, and off you go.

All of that said, Insight Timer has been making some updates lately and seems to be trying to expand into something almost like a social media platform, so we'll have to wait and see whether my love for the app and this recommendation stand the test of time.


Price: Just a few clicks on your smartphone! The basic version is free. The premium version costs $9.99 per month and gets you access to more stuff. I don't really know what. The free version is pretty good.
More information: Wherever you get apps




Nice Sounds

I'll join Mike Kazimer and Henry Quinney in recommending my favorite music this year. This year, Tash Sultana was my #1 played artist on Spotify, so I'll have to go ahead and recommend her, as apparently I spent 1,804 minutes listening to her on Spotify in January through November.

Here's one I can't stop playing lately:


And another, in case you're in the mood for a melodramatic, gritty, dysfunctional love song. Throwback to our Sadboi Sessions™ in Pemberton.






Trans Cascadia

The Trans Cascadia was the most fun I've had in a while. Four days of racing, lots of hanging out with great people, camping in the woods deep in the incredible Cascades, big bonfires, plenty of shenanigans, and so much more. Like everything else in this article, I have some nice words to say about the Trans Cascadia: see here and here.

2021 Trans Cascadia Day 4
I also need to throw in an honorable mention for those overalls I'm wearing in this photo. I wear them all the time.

Events like the Trans Cascadia make me thankful for our mountain bike communities. It's pretty special when riders can come together to do trail work, have some laughs while riding bikes, or just have a big old party. Mountain bikers, as a whole, are pretty lucky people. Merry Christmas, kids. Love y'all.

2021 Trans Cascadia Day 1





109 Comments

  • 113 0
 I found this to be a very enjoyable read, although I can't quite explain why.. great writing Alicia!
  • 8 0
 @alicialeggett is after my heart with the Amigo The Devil, 'Hell and You' song drop. And more flying content, please!

Awesome hire, PB! I'll be moving to the NW area(to also write for a living, funny enough) in the coming months and can only hope to see some of y'all out on the trails.
  • 3 0
 Agreed, best list so far
  • 7 0
 @cgreaseman: when people do great stuff I take credit for the hires, but when people blow it it's their own damn fault. Smile
  • 1 0
 @cgreaseman: Just wanted to chime in about how much I also like that song. Big fan of that general genre of music!
  • 45 1
 Yours is a fun list, Alicia. Glad you are getting these front-page spots in PB content. Happy New Year and all that.
  • 15 0
 Wow, I would love to fly one of those things. Looks like a freaking blast.
  • 3 0
 Seriously, that just sparked a whole new interest in me. Looks crazy fun. I love those redbull wingsuit videos, especially the sketchy ones. Gliding looks was safer.
  • 2 0
 @DylanH93: same! Thanks to Alicia for what will surely be an enriching and expensive future hobby.
  • 10 0
 The Hugene seems great. I configured one on the website with a less sexy spec and was super excited before I remembered to add the damn import duty. Sigh. I bet they'll fly off the shelves on the continent.
  • 26 6
 Buck Frexit
  • 2 0
 Well I'm on home soil here and I've been waiting for my framset since May. Deliverey has been postponed two times. So no worries, you're not alone in not riding a Hugene
  • 3 2
 @kipvr: Accidental downvote, sorry
  • 3 2
 @kipvr: Would be quite something if the French left the EU too, indeed.
  • 4 0
 @jayjay1989: Fingers crossed you get yours soon!

I was thinking of doing the old switcheroo, taking a junker in a bike bag to my family in Poland, bringing back a Propain with some mud on it and telling customs I've owned it for years. But I wouldn't be stoked to get done for smuggling or tax fraud especially now as one of those pesky immigrants Wink Pre-ordered a Privateer instead and can't wait; it'll rip. Extra brownie points for supporting a British brand haha.
  • 5 0
 Im in NZ and the value vanishes as the Aus based importer takes their cut... Might have to plan a biking holiday to Germany, with excess baggage for the way home!
  • 3 0
 @bananowy: A friend did that with a bike from the US. He'd just bought a snowboard so he walked up to customs and said he'd bought it as a present for his girlfriend and therefore wondered if he should declare it. The customs guy looked at the board and just waved him through and either didn't notice or chose not to see the bag with a new bike in.
  • 3 0
 @bwahhh: Don't follow @bananowy's advice to the letter. You can smuggle anything into New Zealand, but you can't bring a muddy bike. But if you at least ride it a few times, you can point them at tire wear etc.
  • 1 0
 When I configured one it hadn't removed the VAT - which then made my price 20% cheaper. Worth checking if it was added at your total - I think if so it would basically be the same price after import!
  • 1 0
 @bananowy: I live on the continent at the moment, and I've smuggled an entire frame from the UK to the EU that way

We had all the parts in the back of the car when we drove over, put it together in the hotel room, took the bikes for a spin and went back, and nobody cared.
  • 9 1
 Scrolling scrolling overpriced nonsense blah blah who even car-... AY TASH... She's amazing. Now that's good taste in music. Even if you taste in gear is starting to lean too rich for me lol
  • 10 0
 Ten Alicia's I have loved this year. 1. Alicia Keyes. 2-10. Alicia Legget
  • 6 0
 The Wolf's Tooth tool is cool but it can be a pain to use in the field for small adjustments. Too cumbersome and too many parts to it. Its easy to drop parts while trying to configure the tool for what you need.
  • 8 0
 I bought it, rode with it, tried to use it and freaked out. You drop a black ano part on a trail and it is GONE. why black ano, why!!?? They spent money making tiny parts impossible to find. Why not neon purple? Did anyone test this thing?

I tacked a small magnet to it and that’s made it usable and less scary, but you really need to think it through every time it comes out of the bag.
  • 1 0
 I can't think of a multitool without bits and a ratchet. Anything else is not good enough because I can't reach some spots and also have a hard time to actually do something with this limiting motion.
  • 1 0
 That's what I thought just from looking at it, and it'd be even worse without my glasses.
  • 2 0
 it also rattles like a real rattly thing. while the individual arms stay together thanks to the magnets, they aren't held tight. it also weighs a metric ton.
  • 9 1
 Everyone is way way nicer to the female writers. Interesting.
  • 1 0
 I was going to comment on this. The rest of the gang got shredded at every product LOL
  • 4 0
 I tried Rapha shorts based on Levy's review. They worked so great for me, I replaced all my shorts with 2 pairs of shorts and 2 pairs of trousers. The jerseys are nice too. Haven't tried a hoodie.
  • 1 0
 Absolutely agree.

I picked up the Rapha MTB bib late summer and fell in love with it. So comfortable.

So when I needed pants for the winter, I picked up a few to try and the Rapha pants are so nice and ended up being the ones I decided to keep. I really like the leg pockets that even have separate storage compartments.

I will say though, I’m not the biggest fan of the button. I get that it’s more secure the way it slides into its secure channel, but a pain with cold hands on night rides. It’s not so bad now that I’ve kinda gotten used to it, but still not my favorite solution.
  • 3 0
 Tip from a Norwegian and a Norrøna fanboi. If you want the fjørå pant in stealth colors. Look at the Falketind heavy Duty pants. They are basically the same as the 1. gen. Fjørå pant. Best outdoor pants around. Damn it even could work in the office.
  • 3 0
 I bought a pair of those Norrona pants this fall and I love them. Wear them for mountain biking, nordic skiing, dog walking, snow removal, anything pretty much except for working in an office.
  • 15 0
 Me in 2020 "Pants for mtb are stupid. When I am wearing my shorts, socks and knee pads, there is only about an inch of leg exposed and I have so much more freedom of movement" Me in 2022. Buys pants for mtb...
  • 15 0
 @codypup, right? I don't know how I rode for so many years without owning mountain bike pants. They're so much better in the cold / rain / everything.
  • 3 0
 @codypup: I was the same but I'll never go back.
  • 3 0
 @codypup: fun fact if you tuck your long socks into your knee pads you get to wear "pants"
  • 5 0
 @codypup: How short are your legs..?

I once tried those Norrona pants and they were way too short for me in their biggest size. Impossible to buy long pants for mtb if one has size 33/38 in Jeans.
  • 1 0
 Are these or the Fox Flexair pants cooler on really hot days? @alicialeggett @mikekazimer @mikelevy
  • 4 0
 I do the same with my Alpinestars, including office. I look like a tool which is what I like the most about them actually.
  • 3 0
 @cxfahrer: There are so many pants that are too short for me too (185 cm and 72 kg). I'd need size M waist and L or XL inseam.
  • 1 0
 The only reason I don't like pants for mountain biking is I wear pads the whole time and sometimes (often) I need to adjust them, and that is much easier to do in shorts. Could someone make some pads that are lightweight and pliable enough for pedaling but actually stay in place?
  • 1 0
 @GBeard: Endura make great pads for wearing under pants.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Still riding in EB Guide Pro or jeans, but I'm intrigued by the euro pants.
  • 1 0
 @cxfahrer: I can imagine and I'm only 33/35.
  • 1 0
 @LDG: Fox Ranger pants are nice and lightweight
  • 1 0
 @GBeard: My Cromags are pretty burly, but I never notice them while riding and have started wearing them even on "just pedaling" days to keep my knees warm on colder days.
  • 1 0
 They look rad, except they're sold out everywhere until February Frown
  • 2 0
 @alicialeggett: How freaky was the first take off on that glider? That looked a lot better than some of the cliff drops I've seen. Is gliding sketchy at all, like with training is it generally safe? I'd love to try that, the flight visualization was so cool. I need to fly haha.
  • 5 0
 The first takeoff on that wing felt a little quick as it's the fastest wing I've flown and it's WAY faster/different from a full sized paraglider, but nope didn't feel sketchy. I think of flying as pretty similar to backcountry skiing in terms of risk. You can make it pretty safe (though never 100%) or you can ski/fly in dangerous conditions and put yourself in a bad situation. You take lots of factors into account and have to notice and respect red flags (generally with weather, group dynamics, your own mindset, etc). Unfortunately, it's also sport that allows/tempts people to put themselves at risk, but it's all just a matter of judgement along the way.
  • 2 0
 What’s the big secret to the front of the PNW hip pack. Just show us the front of the belt already. What’s the buckle like how wide is the belt? Their site has no pics worth anything. Plus I’d like to see inside. And why no ability to buy a second burrito holder for the other side. Maybe I want a burrito and a water bottle. Rant complete.
At least I have anew favorite artist. Tash Sultana is amazing.
  • 2 0
 Based on Alicia's love for the PNW hip bag, I ordered one. The bag is really well made. Goldilocks size- Not too big, not too small. After two long rides with the new bag I can say for anything under two hours, I'm done with backpacks for MTD.

Oh and I got free two day shipping. What's not to like?
  • 1 0
 That hip pack is definitely on my short list and as of now, so is paragliding. Currently obsessed with learning more about the sport, thanks to your IG vid and that RAD flight visualization. I honestly (stupidly?) didn't know that is is possible to paraglide 39.3, let alone 300 miles! Super cool.
  • 1 0
 Love the concept of the Wolftooth multi tool but after owning the first gen was disappointed in the construction...the glue they used to hold bits together..magnets wore out very quickly leaving you searching in the dirt for pieces that fell out when you opened it trailside..Frown
  • 1 0
 The old dude with the beer needs to step aside, @alicialeggett is officially The Most Interesting Person in the World Smile . Thanks for reminding me of Tash Sultana and introducing me to the music of Amigo the Devil. Seriously though, Alicia brings a an infectious upbeat that is needed to balance the grumpy old man vibes coming from Levy and Kazimer sometimes(JK) Smile . Great addition to the team.
  • 3 0
 As someone who doesn't fly, but has always wanted to, that flight visualization of riding thermals is AMAZING!
  • 3 0
 Article should have been called “9 favorite accessories for my Propane”.
  • 5 1
 *Porpaine
  • 1 0
 I'm curious about the PNW Rover Hip Pack. Interestingly they named ot either after a dog or now defunct British car brand. Then again I'm a bit of a PNW fiend and will swear by them until the day I die!
  • 2 0
 Great article and some great insights - good chatting with you at TC too....
  • 3 0
 Alicia .... you absolutely ROCK damn... Tash love.
  • 1 0
 Great list! Love the variety of interests and insights about non-mtb specific, but still applicable to an MTBers life, items.
  • 3 0
 Big Props to Tasha Sultana. She absolutely rips.
  • 3 0
 Loved this write up! And props for being another Tash fan. Cheers!
  • 1 0
 If you check out Tash Sultana and like her (she's great) be a champ and grab her stuff on Bandcamp (more dollars to the artist)
  • 1 0
 If I got that "Insight Timer" thing right and I think I did, it does pretty much what the old BOOZE app has been doing for me since I was a teenager.
  • 1 0
 Have you used the op pack with a water bottle in it? It seems having the bottle so far offset to one side would feel imbalances and cause it to sag to one side.
  • 2 0
 Yes! Tash! Her cover of Electric Feel is still one of my most played songs 4 years later. Love this write up @alicialeggett.
  • 1 0
 Yo that's badass that you paraglide! I'm trying to get into it once I finish grad school. Looks like so much fun.
  • 15 0
 What do you mean "finish grad school". I haven't figured out this concept. It just keeps going... /facepalm
  • 3 0
 Highly, highly recommended. It's the most magical thing in the world.
  • 3 0
 But on some days it's very hard to decide wether to go flying or riding your bike. I know that struggle and it's so real! I love the simplicity to just hop on your bike and get going, but seeing all those trails from above is something else!
  • 1 0
 @ratedgg13: lmao I think I'm actually nearing the finish line, finally. Tbf I'm in a master's program. My condolences if you're in a PhD.
  • 3 0
 @WildboiBen: but if you finish your PhD you can move into academia and get no job security, long hours, and not that much cash!
  • 2 0
 Maybe I do need a $160 merino wool sweatshirt. I am kind of chilly rn.
  • 1 0
 You need some metal in your life.
youtu.be/HO6CQDvoaNM
Such a brutal track from a brutal band
  • 1 0
 A multi tool that seemingly even comes with a small piece of bacon. What will they think of next.
  • 1 0
 Rad Review - loving the field test content - very cool/funny riders/testers/reviewers
  • 2 0
 Ouh man, what a cool list! What a cool person!
  • 1 0
 If you ever get the chance to see Tash live, do it, you won’t regret it. Amazing solo artist.
  • 1 0
 Don't sleep on Tash, people. One of the best artists and acts I've ever seen.
  • 1 0
 @alicialeggett - Amigo the Devil was great. Thanks for the suggestion. You tried American Aquarium?
  • 1 0
 That’s one of the more uglier hip packs I’ve seen. Dakine and Evoc are soooo much better looking.
  • 2 0
 I like how this girl does things!
  • 2 0
 +1 for Trans Casadia
  • 1 0
 What overalls????? Need to know
  • 1 0
 Came for the gear, stayed for the music.
  • 1 0
 Tash Sultana vs. Morrissey. Round 1... fight!
  • 1 0
 Love me some Tash Sultana. The guitar work on Blackbird was insane!
  • 1 0
 69 for a back sack? nice.
  • 1 0
 thanks for introducing Tash, that is a very talented human
  • 3 6
 I love her. We might get married, hard to know for sure. Seeing more and more women represented in mountain biking rules, especially when they’re deservedly foregrounded in major articles like these reviews.
  • 1 0
 Yes - Tash! Right on!
  • 1 0
 Those pants, lol.
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