Pinkbike Product Picks

Dec 6, 2013 at 0:03
Dec 6, 2013
by Michael K.  
 
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Platypus Duthie AM 17 Hydration Pack

Platypus Duthie AM 17 pack is designed for the all day epics and caters to more aggressive descenders, as well as the Enduro crowd, with its stashable full-face helmet carry system and body armor compression straps. It can carry up to three liters of fluid inside the Big Zip™ SL Reservoir and has 14 liters of volume for carrying all the food and gear you'd need on a long ride. The cargo area offers a plethora of pockets and compartments to keep everything well organized. The suspension system of the pack is ventilated and the back offers a cool-riding narrow profile. There are tons of nice touches and little details, like reflective bits, and a loop for attaching a rear light. The Duthie AM 17 is constructed from 210-denier, PU-Coated Diamond Ripstop and Oxford Nylon and is outfitted with YKK® Zippers throughout. For a pack offering such ample volume, it is relatively light weight, at claimed 907 grams. And while the pack is sewn up in China, the reservoir is made here in the USA and promises to be BPA- and Phthalate- free. MSRP: $129.99 USD. Platypus Hydration

...
Platypus Duthie AM 17 is a good looking hydration pack, which carries armor and a full face helmet, and offers ample storage for gear and water

Pinkbike's take:
bigquotes Platypus has put a lot of thought in the Duthie AM 17 pack and we loved the generous storage space, the provisions for carrying armor and a full-face, and all the pockets and compartments to keep us organized on the ride. We especially loved the big zippered pocket on the outside of the pack, which was perfect for giving quick access to a map. The pack felt comfortable, even fully loaded (although the we found ourselves with wetter backs than with most other packs) and because it has so much volume, we liked using it as an all around backpack - even around town and on long hikes. Had we not experienced issues with the bladder, we were ready to give it very high marks; however, the bite valve has been our nemesis, always rationing the water flow and never allowing us a big mouthful of fluid. We also found it challenging to get all the volume of the bladder filled; the big zip-lock style opening at the top always spilled significant amount when we tried to get it closed. We could have just had bad luck with the bladder and save for that one (albeit major) dissatisfaction, we think it's a sharp looking and well thought out pack that carries a lot of weight well. - Michael Klimek



StemCAPtain Enduro 32mm Clock

StemCAPtain Enduro Clock is a clever little accessory; it mounts into the spot occupied by the boring 'ole stem cap. The system is comprised of a carrier piece which replaces the standard stem cap and an accessory which mounts into it. In the case of the Enduro Clock, the accessory is an analog watch. StemCAPtain offers a multitude of functional inserts to replace your stem cap with: several styles of watches, different compasses, a thermometer, a picture frame and even a bottle opener for the post ride refreshments. A Garmin mount is coming soon. The Enduro clock got it's name from a new set-screw retention mechanism, which makes it less likely to slide out of the holder. The original clock was held in place via a special composite gasket which retained the accessory through compression/friction. The Enduro Clock is currently available with black face only, with a white face is coming soon. StemCAPtain is proud to CNC machine the base plates in the USA and offers them in multitude of anodized colors. MSRP: $24.99 USD. StemCAPtain

www.stemcaptain.com
StemCAPtain Enduro Clock is a clever idea which turns the boring 'ole stem cap into a functional piece.


Pinkbike's take:
bigquotes We are quite smitten with StemCAPtain Enduro Clock. Gone are the days when we rode with a cycling computer or a Garmin attached to our handlebar or stem. When we head out for a ride on our local trail, we seldom carry a phone or another timepiece, so having a clock right there in sight has been a welcome addition. The clock has proven durable and the set screw retention mechanism, very secure, it also makes installation and removal a breeze. Our one minor gripe is that tightening the headset or removal of the fork now has one extra step of having to remove the clock before proceeding, but the gripe is minor and the StemCAPtain gets our vote! - Michael Klimek



Kenda Excavator Pro 2.35 UST 26"

Kenda's Excavator Pro is billed as their gravity tire, indicating hardcore applications. It is designed to be a versatile all-rounder with its center tread optimized for fast rolling on the straights and the H-shaped shoulder knobs, designed for grip in the corners. The 2.35" width is true to claim and the volume of the casing is relatively low. Our UST variant of the 26" tire was outfitted with Kenda's premium DTC compound which places 60 durometer rubber in the center for longer life and lower rolling resistance, while placing 50 durometer rubber on the sides for better cornering and off-camber grip. The tread is directional; the square and H-shaped blocks are staggered and are placed relatively densely and the tire has a distinct roundness to the profile. The center knobs are also ramped to help reduce rolling resistance. Kenda estimates the weight of Excavator Pro to be 1105g +/- 55g. MSRP: $59.99 USD. Kenda Tires

...
Kenda Excavator is a fairly versatile tire offering great width, protection and durability at a very reasonable weight.


Pinkbike's take:
bigquotes There is a lot to like about the Kenda Excavator. Both our test tires came in below the low end of estimated weight, at 1045g each, which is very good for a true UST 26" tire at true 2.35" width. It also rolls fast and when in its element, provides outstanding grip. Although the volume of the tire is low, we found it capable of protecting our rims. The profile of the tread is distinctly rounded which provides predictable cornering grip until you run out of tread - and when the tire lets go, it gives very little warning. The dense placement of the shoulder knobs resulted in ample grip in intermediate conditions; however, in loose over hardpack, the tire seemed to like to grab a hold of the surface layer and failed to punch through to make contact with the solid ground underneath, resulting in pronounced drifting in the corners. It also doesn't like mud. It packs up quickly and when you find yourself on a trail saturated with moisture, it can be difficult to keep your wheels spinning. All in all, the Excavator is an appealing combination of weight, rolling speed and resilience. When run in the environment it likes, it is an excellent performer. - Michael Klimek



Let us know what you think about this week's Pinkbike Product Picks.




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128 Comments

  • + 186
 Thank goodness that stem is enduro approved, imagine reading the time off something that wasn't.
  • + 25
 Oh dear lord havoc would ensue
  • - 34
flag Jimmy0 (Dec 6, 2013 at 1:15) (Below Threshold)
 I don't like the clock because I feel like people will look at the clock or something while riding. also you can open a bottle on pedals. but a garmin seems practical and a picture frame is cool. haha the excavator blows.
  • + 38
 I think the concept of time also distracts from losing track of it and having fun on your bike
  • - 4
flag Bielikowski (Dec 6, 2013 at 1:52) (Below Threshold)
 Enduro specific or not, this thing is ubercool for sprints.
  • + 18
 Soon they will louch condoms specific for enduro
  • + 8
 The only Stem Cap "enduro approved" would be a bottle opener. Nothing else
  • + 10
 as soon as I saw enduro clock I came here just to make a joke about it, but truth be told despite the really stupid name its quite a clever little accessory specially the thermometer since I can see the time on my phone cause seriously who the fuck rides without a phone that is as irresponsible as riding without a helmet!
  • + 37
 The idea of a clock is nice. Calling it an "eduro clock" sucks... Dead Horse
  • + 2
 When I'm out riding downhill I leave my phone in the car so don't have a way to tell the time. As for safety I'm always with someone else for when I screw up.
  • + 15
 But this clock is enduro specific, so it wont fit on your dh rig. Big Grin (sarcasm)
  • + 23
 Is it okay for a 29er ?
  • - 1
 that clock is not enduro approved till it's got some blue on it. with a spinning bezel to mark the end of the segment.
  • + 1
 Got a StemCaptain watch (the old version) on my enduro bike. It's brilliant. Especially now when it gets dark so early, I never have to ride home in stunning darkness because I forgot my lights and the time. Now, with the lock-in Enduro-version, I'm getting one for my DH-bike as well. Nice to know how long till the last lift of the day and when it's time for lunch in the park. Also it look cool.
  • + 5
 26mm, 27.5mm, or 29mm StemCAPtain?

26mm for me. You get a better grip on the time that way...
  • + 29
 clock only works on the descent. the climbs are supposed to be untimed
  • + 1
 They are soo right about the excavators letting go if you really get them sideways in a turn. I recently washed out at mach speed after trying one as a front tire and have never crashed in that spot before with other tires. Limestone crashes suck at high speed! I would recommend the excavator as a rear only as it does roll pretty decent and has tons of breaking power. That rounded profile could help snap the rear around in a turn instead of wash out. The H side knobs are awesome and work great paired with a Kenda Telonix front. Both have the H side knobs but the Telonix is way better on front duty as the knobs wrap around the casing more.
  • + 4
 I was going to get that sweet clock, but I don't ride enduro... Frown
  • + 4
 Dude, how can you knock, your name is enduro!
  • + 0
 Do they have a phone .... or do they just scream for help out in the woods ?
  • - 2
 No @wizido, 29'ers will get a face foundation/mirror accessory for their stem cap.
  • + 0
 I have been timing my DH runs with my trusty stemcaptain for 12 months or more now.
  • + 1
 Thanks SORTAH I was wanting an excavator as a rear tyre for ages but, had some doubts after this reveiw. Would never have thought of it as a front tyre anywho.
  • + 1
 Ya I just gave it a shot up front and it laid me right out. Have always used it on the rear with a Telonix up front for the wet/gnarly conditions. In that setup its an awesome tire. On the rear it does drag a bit because there are no ramped knobs but on steep terrain it bites thru anything.
  • + 1
 It is actually usefull to have a watch to keep time of the liason stages in an enduro. However it is as easy as puting a normal watch in the stem of the bike
  • + 83
 Nice, would be awesome if they did a calendar top cap - my buddy needs it to time his DH runs. BOOOM!
  • + 6
 needs moar DH-specific lap app top cap device is too metrosexual for DH
  • + 3
 Paha I laughed hard just now! It's comments like this I wish you could do more than +1
  • + 3
 This just made my day +1
  • + 44
 Do you even Enduro Bro?
  • + 11
 Skipping uplift day like a boss
  • - 1
 best comment ever
  • + 8
 B*tch Please! Do you even endurbro?!
  • + 2
 do you even stumpju- wait nvm
  • + 25
 "Gone are the days when we rode with a cycling computer or a Garmin attached to our handlebar or stem. When we head out for a ride on our local trail, we seldom carry a phone or another timepiece" I don't know about other areas, but around here those statements reflect the exact opposite of the truth (even with the word "local" in consideration)... Here are the days when almost everyone I see has a cycling computer and/or a garmin attached to their handlebar and/or stem.. and literally everyone I see or ride with has their phone at all times.

The only times I can think of that I ever ride without at least my phone is when I'm going under 2-3 miles.. which is never.

If anything I'd recommend always carrying a phone because they are one of the best survival/emergency tools available.


This is all under the assumption that hordes of Enduro gnar-shredders aren't going to be buying the Enduro Clock top cap Enduro just because Enduro......Enduro.
  • + 3
 I carry a phone too for photos and in case of emergency. But generally I don't like being linked up to the digital world while on my bike. I like the idea of a clock on my bars, because I often do need to be back in time for something.
  • - 1
 I ride to get away from distractions, more than 75% of the time, my I-phone stays in my car. I get faster because I ride more, not because I monitor and critique my rides.

Now taking lessons on the other hand, that is money and time well spent!
  • + 4
 I'd imagine it's because the author typically rides in a group or with a crew for photo/video. In both circumstances it's probably safe to assume that there are preparations in place for emergencies. I doubt he lacks the foresight to carry a phone when going on a solo ride.
  • + 2
 i'm with darkstar, i think having a little clock there is useful, I often need to be home in time for things, and i hate riding with a watch or having my phone in my pocket. for $25, you can't go far wrong!
  • + 0
 ehh $25 is kinda a lot to spend on some rinky dinky clock for some people..enduro... I feel as thought most households have a few spare sport-watches sitting around... grab one of those and strap it on your handlebar... voila.
  • + 1
 I'm with Sam on this, $25 is not that much if you are in the market for something like this. I don't ride with a computer and most of the time it's a pita to dig the phone out to check the time. The average cost of an aftermarket topcap is somewhere between $5 and $10 and that`s for a boring piece of alu/carbon. To each their own I guess!
  • + 1
 I cannot believe people go mountain biking without their phones. mine is charged and on everytime. Those things can save your life. Even if the injury isn't life threatening if you have the ability to communicate amongst your group it can make evacuation so much easier/shorter.
  • + 1
 I don't ride with a phone but, have taken my wife's before. Lucky there was no signal when she called so I get to leave it at home. Just busted my watch in a crash and I am wondering if this clock would survive and if it comes in a digital stopwatch version.
  • + 18
 Next you will be telling me that the cheap digital watch that I've taped to my bars isn't cool.
  • + 18
 It's not Enduro.
  • + 1
 haha I glued a digital watch face to the instrument panel on my motorcycle, works like a charm, definitely cool and definitely NOT enduro
  • + 1
 You have an Enduro watch!! Wicked. post pics!!
  • + 13
 As much as I'm fed up with companies branding everything new as 'Enduro' just because it's the cool new thing. I have to admit that its massive popularity has led to a lot of improvements to the 130-160mm bike market and equipment.
  • + 0
 Should have expanded on that - I couldnt agree more!
  • + 3
 I'm pretty sure they called it that simply because of the new set screw, implying that it will stay in place during heavy use.
  • + 0
 Agreed. Not everybody rides crazy long travel suspension bikes! I'm perfectly happy with my 140mm of travel
  • + 12
 I have a StemCaptain clock (non enduro) on my hardtail (non enduro) and it's really handy. I take groups of kids (non enduro) out on instructed rides (non enduro) and it's very helpful to know by how much time the session (non enduro) has overrun by.
  • + 12
 The last thing I want when riding is a constant reminder of how long I've been gone or what I need to be home in time for.
  • + 21
 That is what the wife is for...
  • - 2
 How else do you boast about how much you've ridden that day?
  • + 1
 True that, I wouldn't want to have one either, because when I'm on my bike, I don't want to focus on what time it is, I just want to be free and enjoy. I can see it being handy for bike messengers tho.


Personally I'd much rather have a compass there. To know if you're going into the right direction, like a stone aged Garmin, only where you don't need to charge the batteries and you don't need to take it off when you lock your bike outside. And much cheaper Razz
  • + 9
 Is it me, or does 1000+ gm. seem heavy for a 2.35 UST tire? It is not a dual-ply DH casing.
Not a weight weenie, by any means, but there seems like a lot of options that are burly and 100-200 grams lighter.
  • + 2
 UST have thicker sidewalls cause cuts mess them up big time.
  • + 9
 Now all i need is some Enduro grips and I'm sorted.
  • + 2
 You had to ask...

www.ergon-bike.com/us/en/product/ge1

Ergon enduro grips Razz
  • + 2
 Specialized has been using the word 'enduro' for their bikes and components for years.
  • + 5
 It's interesting how PinkBike's "picks" are a tire that doesn't corner well, tolerate mud puddles or handle loose-over-hardpack, a hydration system that doesn't give you enough hydration and leaks whatever you're drinking and a ridiculous enduro-specific clock that has to be dealt with every time you overhaul your fork or adjust your bar height.

I suspect someone other than PinkBike is "picking" PinkBike's products for them because these "picks" seem like poorly performing items to me. I guess if I got that clock I could see exactly when it's time to go-enduro. God I'm sick of that word. I didn't think I'd hate a word more than freeriding, I was wrong.
  • + 1
 >that has to be dealt with every time you overhaul your fork or adjust your bar height.

So it has to be dealt with like, once a year?
  • + 2
 your fork hates you
  • + 2
 The Excavator is an intermediate conditions tire. It goes without saying it doesn't work well in conditions that aren't intermediate. It is one of the better tires if used properly. It also should be marketed as a rear tire. Its block design does not make for good steering, but for stand up controlled braking it is stellar.
  • + 2
 agreed, for where i am its an awesome rear tire.... the NEXCAVATOR is the match to this for the front... its got the square edges that this tire lacks, and a more open tread design... good set up if you also pedal to the top... google search trimming Excavator and Nevegal tires... between these two tires and some trimming you can have just about any tire shape you might want... the carcasses are great and they are also always on sale somewhere...
  • + 1
 The Telonix is also a good rear tire, along the same lines at the Excavator.
  • + 3
 if it's truly an "enduro" clock why wouldn't they atleast give it some features for training? Stop watch? maybe a chip you can where on your wrist.. touch to start, shred, touch to end etc..
  • + 11
 They already make that. It's called a stopwatch. You can get a cheap one for like ten bucks. They even come with an amazing device called a wrist strap. It attaches the watch to your wrist. The stem cap watch is friggin stupid.
  • + 3
 haha I completely understand and agree I was more mocking the "enduro analog clock" for their next product it will be an "enduro compass"..
  • + 2
 Yeah. I have no clue why I would ever want an analog watch with no other features on it mounted on my bike, no moving bezel or anything. They do have a fairly novel/cool mounting method though; if it was a steer-tube-mounted wireless cycle computer with a stopwatch they might be onto something. That clock looks more like it belongs on a touring rig with Brooks saddle and canvas/leather accessories.
  • + 1
 mayyyybee 'enduro' refers to the battery life, maximized by the devices simplicity......
  • + 1
 It looks like something I'd put on my hipster commuter rig... Can we have "enduro" fixies?
  • + 1
 I bought the Stem Captain Enduro Clock last September. Took about 2.5 weeks to get it after ordering. Good quality and easy to install. I have very steep climbs on my trails and kept knocking my computer off my bars with my leg till I finally lost it. This doesn't get in the way and washing my bike has not bothered it. For the price it's accurate and a good deal and at a glance I can tell if I'm having a good ride that day or dragging my ass.
  • + 1
 so you need a clock to tell you how you're going? i normally tend to go on feel, its a pretty intuitive thing.
  • + 2
 Feel isn't always accurate. Sometimes I feel like I'm on my way to a PR for a segment (Yes I use Strava. Fantastic solo training aid), but I'm actually a long way behind. And the opposite is true too.
  • + 1
 It's 2013. Why is the Stem 'Clock' not digital with functions and a back light? the only advantage of an analogue unit would be that you could use it as a compass if you got really really lost which doesn't happen all that often on Modern Day Earth.

Weird
  • + 3
 To be fair if you get lost a compass ain't gonna be much good without a map!!
  • + 1
 Well that makes it even more useless Smile
  • + 1
 Well as honored as I should feel that Platypus named a hydration pack after my favorite local haunt, it seems rather silly to imply that I might need a massive pack for bike park that I can ride from one end to the other in less then five minutes. But it does seem to address those longer ride requirements so I will have to check it out.
  • + 1
 Spot on with the Platypus bladder issue! I bought one to replace my Camelbak's bladder and it sucked! Pun intended. After fighting to get water out of the damn thing, the bite valve mysteriously fell off shut-off valve port in the middle of the 2nd ride.
  • + 3
 after many experiments with other bladders, Camelbak's is far superior and the only one I will use. Every other bladder I've used failed
  • + 1
 I really like the Deuter/Vaude bladder designs, for riding as well as backpacking/long hikes. Super easy to fill/clean.
  • + 1
 Their bite valves are so weird. As far as I can tell, they come installed wrong from the factory. Saw this on a bunch of them when I worked at REI. Most people will try and pull the bite valve out further to get more water flowing and that causes the stupid thing to fall off mid-ride. You actually have to push it all the way on and turn it if I remember correctly. Then she'll flow like a champ and you only have to wait for the inevitable leak from the zip loc top.
  • + 1
 The Excavator has been a great tire for me. Rolls better than Nevagal and had better grip where I ride...SoCal loose over hard pack mostly. When we get a little rain it it's even better. Best part is they last VERY well. Been on mine for over a year front and back with lots of road to trailhead riding. Also have not had a single flat since going UST. These tires are tough AND can be peddled to the top. I will buy them again.
  • + 1
 Kenda Blue Groves all day until all the online warehouses finally run out of stock. Still don't know why Kenda canned the Blue Groves. They grip and last way better then my fast to ware out minions.
  • + 3
 Pink Bike Product Picks - A good way to know if you've made a bad purchase.
  • + 2
 If they can do this with a watch face, where the hell is the wireless trip computer version which i'm sure would be a damn sight more use than a clock.
  • + 4
 DUTHIE.....HILL?!!!! yup yup i see you platypus....i see you...
  • + 9
 They also have a Tokul model. Thank God they don't have a Colonnade pack.. it would have some cool features but they would never be used.
  • + 5
 And be slept on constantly
  • + 2
 haha a colonnade pack would always be bone dry and dusty no matter how much water you put in the hydration bladder
  • + 1
 I've had a Stem Capt clock for a few months now. I get out and ride during my work day, so it's nice to know how long I've been gone. Also, if I'm riding exotically slow, I can turn the clock back so I went faster.
  • + 1
 A f**king clock?! Are we for real here??!!!


Oh I am sorry- I have just realised it is Enduro official and all that. It is fine in this case...
  • + 1
 I got the stem captain compass for my brothers tourer, it is an awesome piece of kit but note that it doesn't work with steel frames...
  • + 3
 enduro clock is 650b specific
  • + 3
 "Enduro" stem clock. Really?
  • + 2
 Seriously. Can't people just wear a watch or is it to difficult to turn your head a few degrees to see your wrist???
  • + 1
 Those Kenda tires look similar to Nevegals and have a hefty weight to them. But for a gravity setup, I am curious as to how well they stand up to sharp rocky terrains.
  • + 1
 I have the older version with dh casing on two of my bikes and ridden them hard through very sharp rocky stuff and no pinchflats or tears...knock on wood.
  • + 1
 Enduro bla bla bla. I don't care what they call it. I just want Santa to bring me one for my commuter.
  • + 2
 Now you can crack your sternum on a clock!
  • + 1
 Enduro clock? f*ck yeahhh Blank Stare Now I've seen everything stupid in the world...
  • + 1
 I had an excavator. Really good for wet or damp dirt. But its useless when it comes to hardpack or dry dirt.
  • + 1
 My homie rips on excavator up front. Plenty of podium finishes. Counter steer!
  • + 2
 Haha, an enduro clock? Fck me.
  • + 0
 Mmmmm tires sound good but don't like mud lol. Sounds like from what I just was reading about those tires your be better off rideing on the rim lol
  • - 1
 great idea - something that sticks out of your stem so that when you go OTB you are guaranteed to smash your ribs or sternum thus increasing injury and adding to recovery time goofy!!! so, yes, definitely Enduro
  • + 2
 Let me know when they make a stem clock for plain old mountain bikes...
  • + 1
 Who needs the bike watch. There is only bike time an night time.
  • + 1
 Enduro this, enduro that, enduro is a race format.
  • + 1
 I'll take the bag and the clock, they're fully enduro approved.
  • + 1
 Why not a digital stemCaptain?
  • + 1
 One crash, and that Enduro Clock is history...
  • + 1
 Clock?!?! I don't give a poop what time it is? Fricken ride already!
  • + 1
 seldom carry a phone ? whats up with that?
  • + 1
 I already run excavators and can say they are a pretty damn good tire.
  • + 1
 Just me who wears a watch, on my wrist or is that not enduro?
  • + 1
 I don't, because my watch is Russian and if I fall off it's going to hit the ground and cause a minor earthquake.
  • + 1
 Invicta?
  • + 1
 Vostok!
  • + 1
 YAWYD bottle cap
  • - 2
 MAXXIS HIGH ROLLER 2 TIRE ON THE REAR=1.5 DAYS OF RIDING!
KENDA EXCAVATORON THE REAR=2 WEEKS OF RIDING
I LOVE THE EXCAVATOR!WORTH EVERY PENNY
  • + 1
 I rode a set of the OG high rollers for a full season this summer. Never buying kenda again.
  • + 3
 I learned that caps lock causes the letters to be capital.

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