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Gear Accessory of The Year Nominees


The Gear Accessory of The Year award is always a competitive category. Nominations are for non-bike products, thereby excluding components, and they're not about the best value or the latest innovation. What this is about, however, is gear that just gets on with the job, does what it says on the tin without a song or dance, and proves to be useful out in the real world.

For 2016, we have narrowed it down to Giro's Chronicle Mips helmet, Dakine's Slayer kneepads and the Resistance Strong pants from POC.











Why it's nominated:

The helmet sector is vast, comprising many technologies, styles and personal preference of fit. Vernon Felton is an industry stalwart and has probably had more helmets than you've had haircuts in his time. In his recent 'Ridden and Rated' review that put six of the best to test, the bargain Giro Chronicle Mips came out on top.

From Ridden and Rated:
bigquotesThe Chronicle is the right choice for me given my budget, but it also kicks ass in terms of fit, ventilation, and overall comfort. Oh, and it has MIPS. Given all that, the Chronicle is nigh unbeatable. - Vernon Felton









Why it's nominated:

A kneepad that can hold its position without unwanted pressure or pique, and also save you from harm when called for is not and easy task. Dakine's first foray into the kneepad arena seemed to hit the spot for Mike Kazimer in his review:

From the review
bigquotesFor their first foray into mountain bike protection, Dakine nailed it, creating a pad that works exactly as it should, delivering a commendable blend of comfort and protection at a reasonable price. - Mike Kazimer










Why it's nominated:

The days of marketing motocross pants as downhill mountain bike attire are over, though some brands are still trying to pull the wool over our eyes – or is that to pull the heavy leather exhaust protectors over our knees? The POC Resistance Strong pants ticked all the boxes for Paul Aston this summer: lightweight, flexible, cool, integrated hip protection and ceramic slidy stuff on the sides for when you think you're a moto-scrubber, but aren't.

From the Review
bigquotesPOC's Resistance Strong pants are a superb mix of comfort, ergonomics and added protection. The understated styling and colors won't attract odd looks from other riders, and they're even comfortable and cool enough for a trail ride. - Paul Aston - Paul Aston





Which of those three is the best gear accessory from 2016? A bargain helmet, solid knee protection, or technical downhill pants? Find out soon.




Click here for information about the judging and selection criteria for Pinkbike's Year-End Awards




Posted In:
Industry News



76 Comments

  • 128 7
 These are the best accessories of the year? Like, that's it?
  • 162 1
 Seriously. How was the camelback thing that shoots water directly up your anus every 5 minutes, completely handsfree, not nominated?
  • 53 2
 @scottay2hottay: can i fill it with vodka?
  • 31 5
 @Arnoodles, what products have you been using lately that you think should have been nominated?
  • 9 0
 @scottzg: Yes but it is not recommended while riding. Works great for clubs though, don't have to buy drinks and can dance without holding a cup!
  • 229 1
 @mikekazimer: My fiveten velcro strap holder broke and I replaced it with a zip tie. The zip tie is the backbone of this country and mountain biking. It is the ultimate gear accessory. Make the zip tie great again 2016
  • 5 0
 @mikekazimer: Great list! will there be a separate list/category for accessories?
  • 9 0
 @scottay2hottay:

so true..zip ties and duct tape..for the win
  • 7 0
 @mikekazimer:
100% brisker gloves. Cold weather gloves you can actually feel the bar with.
  • 27 0
 @scottay2hottay: Was the zip tie ever not great? It's a timeless classic - I always carry a few on every ride.
  • 7 0
 @mikekazimer: the review on the Troy lee raid knee pads was praising them non stop. I got some and love them as well. I thought they would be on here.
  • 7 0
 @mikekazimer: The Park Tool mt 20 (I think ) It has the inflater attachment and fits in my pocket. = back pack eliminator
  • 6 4
 @mikekazimer: That's an invalid comment, Amoodles is not a website that gets to try, test and evaluate virtually all MTB products on a highly regular basis, he is a consumer, that's all. Pinkbike however, is and does.
  • 13 1
 Seriously. I cannot believe they didn't consider this. Pinkbike is full of hacks.

www.copenhagencyclechic.com/2014/03/the-bicycle-flower-pot.html
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer: Airshot tubeless inflator?
  • 2 0
 @konamann: I don't get tubeless inflators. Never had an issue getting tyres (both TR and UST) on with my camping store floor pump.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: my Stealth Bike Bags fanny pack is by far the best accessory I've got this year.
  • 1 0
 @scottay2hottay: Haha been running the same upgrade all this year. Long live the zip tie
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: pocket chainsaws, similar size and weight to a bike chain but allow you to clear trees off the trail when you're way out in the middle of nowhere.
  • 1 0
 Thanks for contributing.
  • 1 1
 @davidsimons: invalid??? Why?

Are there not any new products you have used this year that you feel are better than these three?

All Arnoodles had to do, rather than just making a lazy ass comment was say he disagrees and then give at least a single product as an example of something he felt was better.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: The Stash line from Raceface. I believe it was introduced last year but greatly refined for '16. An under layer that allows you to mule everything you need to carry, including water, on your back without a pack flopping round or feeling the restriction of shoulder and/or chest retention straps.Fits all of the criteria and is innovative with value.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer : I would personally choose Kali's Interceptor over Giro for this, since Giro "only" jumped on the regular MIPS band wagon like everyone else, while Kali actually improved a lot of technology that goes into helmets. Things like their octopus-like Low Density Layer, Nano Core layer and the Composite Fusion layer that has different density cones spread over the helmet make me believe they are actually investing a lot of money in taking the protection of helmets to the next level. Most other helmet companies seem to rather go for the off-the-shelve-attitude (for example that nearly everyone's only improvement has been adding MIPS, as well as for example how I've lost count how many different companies are selling the 661 Comp helmet with only a different paint job).

This is a really hard topic though. Both parts wise and accessory wise not too much has happened in the mtb industry this year. Every cool invention I can think of is 2014 / 2015 or hasn't hit the shops yet. Some cool stuff that happened are the cheaper version of the belt drives from Gates, which will be seen on complete bikes that cost $500, but that's not really interesting for us mountain bikers. Same for the Vittoria Speed Corsa tyre, great next level stuff, but only interesting for roadies.

It's really hard to choose from things that hit the market in 2016 and I think you guys did a great job on this hard task tup
  • 1 0
 @konamann: the airship tubeless inflator is just an unhandy version of pumps like the Bontrager Flash Charger.
  • 1 0
 @pigit77: @mikekazimer: I completely agree. The TLD Raid is my favorite accessory of the year. Hands down, it's not even close.

If you wanted to vote the Dakine pad some.sort of bargain winner, I'm fine with that. But the Raid is the best out this year. Trail and DH use, better coverage, a liner sleeve, articulated she'll, better pad on D3O, fit is great, adjustable, interior labeling that's easy to read on the gripper for right and left. No comparison.
  • 32 0
 I did not know the Chronicle was only $100. A great looking helmet with mips for that price is awesome.
  • 65 0
 $78 of that is brim, though.
  • 3 0
 @bishopsmike: I actually lol'd.
  • 3 1
 You can get junior MIPS helmets for 30$... for a plastic liner, its pretty expensive even at $100.
  • 6 0
 I did not know Chronicle was a helmet. I thought it was an expensive shovel.
  • 32 5
 People actually ride in pants?
  • 32 5
 Yes.
  • 5 0
 i sometimes do on muddy and bikepark days
  • 10 0
 Darn right. Banana hammock or gtfo
  • 1 0
 I thought those seemed pretty awesome to be fair, especially for muddy conditions. Wish I had access to all this cool stuff as a kid.
  • 4 0
 I've never ridden in pants but these seem pretty good for mucky days. You could hose yourself off outside. I get tired of washing pads every mucky ride.
  • 2 6
flag Ride406orDie (Nov 15, 2016 at 18:57) (Below Threshold)
 I've never rode in pants. Some things you don't have to try to know you won't like it....
  • 5 0
 North of 60°, where I am, there are excellent condition riding in the +5c to -5c temperature range which makes the trails super firm, fast and tacky. The wind gets damn cold and wearing pants becomes a wise choice. Also good for added protection in the event you an emergency dismount.
  • 22 0
 evidently all winners are endorsed by Johnny Cash and Batman
  • 7 0
 @preach what rubber suits and a ring of fire?
  • 5 0
 Well, we're doin' mighty fine, I do suppose... In our streak of lightnin' bikes and fancy clothes...
  • 11 1
 After 20+ days in the POC pants, including crashes, I can say that they are just kickass. Best fit ever (kind of tight from the below the kneepads and with an adjustable waist), pockets (!), slim protection AND a fabric that actually puts up with a lot of laundring.
  • 22 0
 U r Swedish, u r not allowed to comment on POC. :-)
  • 11 2
 Sealskins / waterproof socks- best accessory ever
  • 9 0
 This list, it's a reflection of the state of mountain biking.
  • 7 0
 Agreed, I think there are way better things out there. Recon Racks gets my vote!
  • 3 0
 Recon Racks look super sturdy, and hey, they're local to me, so I'm definitely cheering them on in all sorts of ways. But a good hitch rack is really more of a serious long term investment, rather than an accessory. From casual observation around trail heads, I'd say there are a significant number of cars used to shuttle bikes that are worth less than the racks hanging off the rear even before you load them up with bikes. Those Dakine pads are pretty nice, btw - got mine to replace a pair of POCs that were comfy and hella protective, but just wouldn't stay put. Great all-around trail riding knee pad for sure.
  • 11 2
 I heard that the guy that runs Recon Racks gets more ass than a toilet seat.
  • 1 0
 Yes recon racks gets my vote, got one this spring and love it. Fits every different bike I own. 100% better than I north shore rack.
  • 4 1
 I heard the guy that owns Recon Racks has more game than Parker Brothers.
  • 1 1
 He may get plenty of ass, but he's a sucker for a nice rack.
  • 1 1
 @kjjohnson: That he does! I heard when he goes to Vegas the strippers pay him.
  • 1 0
 @whattheheel: Seriously, can you imagine him paying a prostitute with his credit card. She'd read his name off the card and be like: "Cody Fuks!???? Damn, I ain't gonna be able to walk tomorrow."
  • 4 0
 Oh the shit I have gave him for that last name. Memories.
  • 4 0
 I ended up buying a pair of the Dakine Slayer Kneepads by accident....thought I picked up the elbow pads! Best mistake I ever made! They are super comfy and stay in place while still being relatively easy to slip on and off. I was skeptical that they would provide enough protection but I have tested them with some pretty nasty crashes to the knees and they performed well (I bought the Hellion knee pads the same day intending to use them for trail-riding and they are still in the packaging).
  • 21 0
 The odd part is that your elbows are the same size as your knees! Smile
  • 2 0
 @NickBit: beat me to the comment
  • 4 1
 I have to disagree with the Dakine Slayer kneepads. I have a pair and initially thought the same as you. Well priced, very comfortable, decently breathable, stay in place, no chafing when you pedal.Then I had a front-end wash out at a moderate speed that really changed my mind. It wasn't a bad crash, the top of my kneecap just hit hardpacked dirt. The pad stayed in place and I didn't hit jagged rocks or anything like that.

My kneecap was disproportionately banged up though. Extremely swollen and very limited mobility. Took close to three weeks to bend it enough so I could walk down stairs without hopping like an idiot. It's now nearly two months later and I'm still having trouble with it. And yes, I took anti-inflammatory's and iced it every night. I've had far more brutal crashes on my knees without any similar problems while using my old Fox Launch kneepads.

I understand that they're the "lightweight" version of Dakine's pads, but the level of protection offered seemed pretty non-existent. Maybe it saved me from a shattered kneecap or something worse, but I've learned my lesson with lightweight kneepads. Just a cautionary tale for anyone looking to buy a lighter pad.
  • 4 0
 I agree. I ride with my Pocs and just pull them down for the pedal up.
  • 1 0
 For what they are, the Slayers are very good. For how I ride, they're perfect (almost exclusively lift-accessed pedally singletrack).

I had some Fox Launch and Fox Launch Enduros previously and bought the Slayers as a middle-ground this summer. They don't protect as well as the Launches but they don't get as hot either. The only time I wore my Enduros this summer was on big all-day rides because the Slayers' silicone grippy sections chafe the top of my inner thighs once they're been on for more than about 6 hours - the Enduros are fine on those days because I'm not going to ride flat-out for 12 hours straight in remote areas anyway. The only time I wore my Launches was the 3 100% park days I had this summer.
  • 3 2
 honestly downhill and motocross pants are the same thing. I prefer moto pants to most of the newer dh pants. They offer better protection and its downhill anyways. Who cares if their a bit heavier if you don't pedal to the top? The poc pants may be comfortable but they are really just glorified trail riding pants
  • 4 0
 Aren't MX pants too short because they are made to match MX Boots ? I've never worn one.
  • 1 0
 @stab0905: no they are about the same length
  • 4 0
 The Giro Chronocal is $200 here.
  • 3 0
 Ah, maybe they flew the Down Under in business class?
  • 2 0
 I'd go with the pants, they seem like something pretty awesome that I'd never buy, or use for fear of being a guy who has bicycle specific shoe laces, and socks.
  • 4 1
 Best part of £200 for a pair of trousers...they better give fellatio while I ride!
  • 4 0
 PB needs a comment of the year award. Clearly.
  • 1 0
 #1 Contender: @WAKIdesigns
  • 1 0
 @squarewheel: , no seriously. ( ;
  • 1 0
 Yeah the list seems a bit lacklustre... Of those I'd choose the POC pants. For me the best thing I got this year that's pretty new are my Melon Optics Parker Goggles.
  • 2 0
 Interesting how the Chronicle made it on here as its only be available to the public for a month? maybe at best.
  • 3 1
 The potato Leatt helmet was ok too
  • 1 0
 I vote for Dissent Labs Socks - Great products but horrible customer service.
  • 6 0
 What kind of customer service would you need when you buy a pair of socks?!

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