This time around we'll be looking at some glasses that change tint by how much light is passing through their lenses, a chain guide built by a wood worker, some nice tires for your new ride and a new set of X Type cranks that feature 4 external bearings for your abusive pleasure. From that point we're going to show you some nice new socks to cover up your stinky feet with and then throw a fancy pair of shoes on those to keep your feet safe on the trail. Speaking of safe, you'll love this new DJ lid we got our paws on too!
Enjoy-The Specialized Shifty:
Shifty sunglasses, at first glance, look like a classy street/urban inspired sunglass but once you get into the details you see that they are much more than just an ordinary pair of optics.
The Shifty sunglasses are much more than another mountain bike sunglass claming to be the “best on the market”. They blow most sunglasses out of the water with their “Adaptive Lenses” technology. This technology allows the lens to adapt to its conditions, changing from relatively clear to a dark tint in about 15 seconds. This helps the rider not only see but also adapt to changing lighting on the trails.
The Shifty sunglasses are made out of literally bulletproof NTX optical polymer. This polymer, originally created for Apache attack helicopters, is 20% lighter than plastic, and is designed specifically for riding bikes. Technology often over shadows looks, but not only do they come in a very classy and modern square lens style, they also come in Black, Dark Brown, Silver, and White.
The Shifty sunglasses adapted well for us under all riding conditions. The only downside to them that was present was the fogging while climbing. These sunglasses, even though adapting to light, fogged up on the longer sweaty Croos country climbs(which most glasses tend to anyhow), but did not fog while moving at fast speed or while descending down a trail or road.
All in all these are very nice, new, and original sunglasses and I am sure you will either see them at your local bike shop, on the trail or at www.specialized.com
Tioga Blue Dragon 26 X 2.1 Tires
Do you want a light weight, fast rolling, large profile tire? Tioga’s Blue Dragon is an option that you will want to consider. Made from a relatively soft and sticky rudder, the tire grips the hardpack and dry rocky terrain very well. The only downside to this soft rubber is that it wears fast, especially when ridden on pavement. But let’s face it, these are mountain bike tires, not an urban or road tire. In anything dry and even a little tacky, this is a great tire with fast rolling center knobs and aggressive side knobs. However, when faced with sloppy conditions and muddy, wet roots, it’s another story. They don’t shed mud well (Calgary mud anyways) and that doesn’t invoke a lot of confidence while descending wet, rooty/rocky terrain (which honestly most tires don’t).
Basically, this tire seems to be designed for dry conditions, and here it performs excellently. Rolling very well and hooking up in fast corners with confidence. The large profile of the tire makes it a much more comfortable tire to ride through the rough trails, absorbing and spreading out the impacts from rocks and roots much better when compared to a smaller profile tire. All in all, when used in dry conditions, this is a great tire for those long XC days and even dry DH days.
The Blue Dragon tires come in a 2.1, 2.3 and soon a 2.5 retailing for $50.00 US.
To learn more about the Tioga Blue Dragon and other Tioga products, please visit www.tiogausa.com
FSA GAP Crank set with Mega EXO Quad bottom bracket:
line up of components is full of some real heavy hitters that are aimed at us gravity set folks. The idea behind Gravity is to create a line up of parts that are built for hard use in the fields of Freeride, DH, Street and DJ scenes. With riders like Ben Boyko, Eric Porter and Evan Holmgren giving these parts the beats, you know their tough enough for you.
The Mega EXO Quad bottom bracket featured on the GAP cranks has 4 out board bearings to add serious strength and rigidity to your ride. The Mega EXO bb's bearings are 40% larger then standard ISIS offerings as well. Spindle lengths for the GAPs come in two variations-68/73 and 83 mm shell sizes to accomodate most of us out there. The AL6061/T6 cold forged aluminum arms come in 3 lengths-165, 170 and 175 mm and have chromoly pedal inserts threaded into their ends to keep your pedals in tight and sound when your bouncing them off stumps or curbs.
Torque specs are etched right into the crank arm so that you know exactly how tight those bolts should be.
The GAP crank set installed easily into our test ride with the use of the Park Tools BBT-9 bottom bracket tool, made specifically for X-Type bbs. Once the bb was in place, the arms simply slid through and were bolted up to each other using the supplied 4mm end cap/bolt. The non-drive side arm then bolts down with 2, 4mm pinch bolts and you're good to go.
To learn more about the Gravity line up of components from FSA, please visit www.ridegravity.com
TSG Evolution Helmet
Are you tired of plain, boring, or to wide helmets? Well the TSG Evolution
helmet should scratch your itch for a nice, light, well vented, and thin helmet.
Designed by 3 big names in the biking world the Evolution is a very well thought out helmet. It consists of a 14-vent system, which is designed to suck the hot air from the front of the helmet and dispose of it out of the back, which draws heat away from your head.
As for comfort it features an anatomically shaped chin buckle, reducing the uncomfortable feeling some helmets produce around your throat. The padding is pre-molded for easy adjustments or removals, and it has large and small sets of padding for smaller or larger heads.
Along with being very comfortable it comes in a large list of color’s including glossy, flat, and rubber paints. Glossy colours include Black, Red, and Pearl White(Photo). Flat colours are Flat Black, and Green. As far as the Rubber Paints go, Flat Black, Green, and Blue.
With a MSRP of $49.99 US you can't go wrong with the TSG Evolution. It is a solid, strong, and well designed brain bucket. You can reach TSG at www.dangerboyusa.com
, or through your local bike shop. -JH
SMT Chain Guide
Having owned a lot of chain guides over the years I'm always into trying new ones, but I always remain skeptical about them too. There are two big hitters in the Chain Guide market, but there are a few little guys that are out there doing their own thing too.
The moto at SMT is "all about the little guy".
Small garage style companies like Simple Minds Tech
are making great products from their own lathes after their real world jobs are done for the day. JB at SMT is a wood worker by trade, so the end product is pretty nice. All SMT guides are dedicated systems, meaning if you run a 34T chain ring, well then order up a 34T guide. The guides are available in 4 sizes-32T, 34T, 36T and 38T. With no moving parts, the SMT guide is incredibly quiet and has yet to create a fuss. The $200 USD price tag will get you a hand built guide too.
To learn more about SMT's hand built in Portland Oregon products, please visit their site at www.simplemindstech.com
Pinkbike.com riding socks:
Well we all know that riding specific sport socks are so much better then simple casual cotton socks. The Pinkbike.com sock
is made by the great folks at DeFeet. The Air-E-Ator design is the original airflow design sock that has been around for over a decade and has proven itself in many podium finishes in the most demanding conditions.
The Pinkbike.com logo on the cuff goes well with the slogan that can be found on the sole of the sock "Supporting Riders Since '99".
Pick up a pair of your own Pinkbike.com socks today. Visit the online store for your own.
Time DXZ Shoes
The DXZ is TIME's shoe offering to the DH and Freeride market. It can be run with flat pedals, but is TIME and SPD compatible as well. With re-enforcement in all the right places, this is one tough shoe. Full lace covers to keep the debris out and built in ankle protectors are a real bonus too.
The DXZ only comes in Black, so that should make most of us happy any how. The high carbon re-enforced ankle protectors will keep your cranks arms at bay and the extra stiff shank will keep your soles in fine shape from those un-expected dismounts. At $130 CDN for a pair, they are not cheap, but they are burly. So if you need a pair of stiff shoes to protect those feet of yours, have a look at the Time DXZs the next time you are out shopping.
TIME products are distributed in Canada by Cycles Lambert
. -TMRide Hard, Ride Free, Ride for Fun.