Motorex Wet Lube
Motorex is an environmentally-friendly chemical company that hails from Switzerland with roots deep into motorsports. Bikeline Wet Lube is said to be biodegradable, which is a good thing, and Motorex states (well, we are actually paraphrasing here) that the lubricant is designed to penetrate deep into the moving bits within the links and stay there while you happily shred through the sloppy Winter and Spring months. With Winter upon us and wet weather ahead, a decent wet lube should be well received among our brethren in the northern hemisphere. Wet Lube runs around $10.00 USD in the 100ml squeeze bottle. Larger sizes and an aerosol bottle are also available. Motorex
Motorex goes everywhere we do. The up-side of Wet Lube is that the product keeps the chain silent and running smoothly for epic-length rides in snowy and rainy conditions. The bad news is that the lube builds up over time and attracts grime on the drivetrain.
|Motorex's Wet Lube may seem a bit pricey, but you'll use less of the stuff because it stays put and keeps the drivetrain purring along in sloppy weather (although, the unsophisticated applicator tip makes it difficult to put just the right amount of lube on each link). Be sure to clean your derailleur pulleys and wipe the chain and cassette sprockets regularly, because Motorex Wet Lube's tenacious grip on your bike's moving parts will eventually invite grime to join up with the lubricant. That said, although our drivetrains looked crusty, they still spun silently while non-motorex-equipped bikes in the same conditions sounded like they were typewriters operated by mating rodents. - RC|
Scott Vanish XC/Trail Helmet
Scott is a self-proclaimed community of weight weenies, so if Scott decided to make a lightweight XC helmet, it stands to reason that it would be among the world-record holders for etherial-weight safety devices. Meet the Vanish - a 230-gram helmet (ours weighed a bit less) that passes European CE EN 1078:1997/A1 standards and looks a measure better than the up-turned carnival cruise ships that most XC racers are rocking these days. Protection comes in the form of a dual-layer EPS foam core that employs "Cone Head" technology. The term refers to a series of cone-shaped nubs molded into the stiffer higher-density outer layer of the shell. The multiple cones dissipate energy into the second, softer layer and create a momentary deceleration to protect the head. Scott simplifies the strap system with a non-adjustable ear loop and a single tension adjustment at the chin clasp. A one-hand dial called MRAS (Micro Rotary Adjustment Strap) in the rear snugs the lid around your head. The Vanish incorporates a small, removable visor, and the thin padding can be removed for cleaning. Vanish helmets come in black/red. black/white and white/yellow colorways, for about $145 USD. Scot USA
and the Vanish Video
Lots of ventilation, a reasonably unobtrusive profile, and its 190-gram weight figure make Scott's Vanish helmet a consideration for trail riders. The tension strap in the rear of the helmet can easily be adjusted with one hand on the fly.
|Scott's Vanish helmet is probably a bit too XC styled for most of the Pinkbike Community, but its well ventilated, super-lightweight shell can make a world of difference while you are climbing for an extended period, or riding in hot conditions. The advantage of a lightweight XC helmet is that you can forget that it is there and enjoy the ride, and this is the benefit that Scott Vanish owners will be laying down 145 dollars for. Concessions to achieve the Vanish's 230-gram (medium size) weight, however, may have eroded its potential to be perfectly comfortable, however, because the single adjustment for the chin strap restricts the angle of the helmet to one position on the head and thin, internal padding reminds the wearer that all heads are not shaped like those of Team Swisspower. With all grievances aired, Scott's Vanish helmet has become our go-to when we expect a lot of climbing or hot conditions on the trail. - RC|
Jagwire Space Age 2.0 Brake Hose Cutter
Jagwire sells high-performance cables, housings and hoses to the cycling world, so it should follow that it would offer proper tools to install them. The Space Age 2.0 brake hose cutter was developed by Jagwire to allow home mechanics to cut hydraulic brake hoses squarely and cleanly to ensure that the installation process will go smoothly and produce professional results. (The same cutter appears in Avid's professional brake kits.) The cutter's blade is replaceable with off-the-shelf hobby blades, so it can be maintained in perfect working order, and the ergonomics allow for one-handed operation, so mechanics can clip the hoses in place while setting up the bike. Jagwire's Space Age brake hose cutter sells for about $22 USD. Jagwire USA
Well-designed ergonomics make it possible to accurately cut brake hoses with one hand. The cut is beautifully done every time.
|Jagwire's home-shop version of its more expensive pro hose cutter is one of those tools that we didn't think we needed until we actually tried it. Sure, you can cut a brake hose with a sharp knife, cable-cutting pliers, or a camp axe, but none of those hacker options can promise a perfect cut every time. If you do your own brake setups, get one. If you are too cheap to spend the 25 bucks, then put a Space Age brake hose cutter on your Christmas list. - RC|
Mavic Notch H20 Jacket
Mavic answers the lengthening nights and stormy skies of Winter with an ultra-comfortable, versatile jacket. The Notch H2O uses a dual-layer fabric construction that passes moisture, yet beats off raindrops. A low-cut back keeps water and grit out of the plumber's crack, and a vertical pocket half-way up the front conceals electronic gear or a wallet. All zippers are waterproof and every seam is sealed. Knowing that off-road cyclists most often wear hydration packs, Mavic adds a pair of vertical zippers in the rear of the garment that, when deployed, create a bulge that allows the jacket to be donned quickly and worn over the pack. The hydration tube can be routed through a port sewn into the upper right-hand panel of the Notch H2O. The Notch H2O is available in red or black and retails for about $100 USD. Mavic
Mountain bike rain jackets need to breathe well and expel moisture because on the dirt, riders crank out a lot of watts at low speeds, where air flow is minimal. Mavic's Notch jacket passes the test.
|No surprise here. Mavic is silently building a reputation among top riders for its technical riding gear. The Notch is a good looking rain shell that manages to keep the rider dry when it's pelting down, while maintaining a livable temperature that encourages a hard-charging riding style. Mavic's Notch is cool enough to double as a winter windbreaker, and could prove handy for those who live in high mountain passes, where freak Summer snows encourage back-country riders to pack a compact, winter-weight rain shell. The Notch fits close to the body, so buy one size up if you plan on wearing it over a substantial hydration pack. - RC|