Lezyne were keen to show us their latest updates to their lighting range which features better electronics, smarter software and improved lenses (releasing an additional 10% light output). A re-work from the ground up that should produce more light for longer. Megadrive 1000 Lumen trail light
The Megadrive is totally new for 2013 and is a 1000 lumen twin bulb LED setup that promises 1.5hrs on full power, 3hrs when run at 500 lumens and 7hrs when run at 200 lumens. Composite bar mounts and a MicroUSB charging cable come as part of the standard package for €170 while a ‘Loaded’ pack comes with an extra battery and CNC mounts for €210. If like us you’re serious about your night riding then this seems like a sensible choice for both toughness and greater ride time. CNC finishing on the extruded body has produced sharp looks and an efficient (greater) surface area for cooling the high power yet compact lamp. An additional function can be entered into by holding down the power button for longer, called Race Mode. This enables riders to switch directly between minimum and maximum power, ideal if you’re involved in the numerous winter enduro races that take place around the world which incorporate night stages.
• MSRP: €170 (Standard package)
, €210 (Loaded package)
Sweet Protection may be new to the bike riding world but the Norwegian company have been around in other outdoor sports for a few years now, the Nordic company having formed in 2000. This summer saw the launch of their bike range after over a decade of experience in the skiing, snowboarding and white water kayaking world and, although there is no doubt that there can be parallels drawn between Sweet Protection and the other Scandinavian protective and apparel brand of POC, Sweet are their own brand with their own way of doing things.
With protection in the name it’s an obvious priority for the brand and they employ both existing technology and materials while also incorporating their own touches to create a line of armour under the name ‘Bearsuit Series’. This centres on CE certified Sas-Tec, a foam which stiffens under impact to provide protection and energy absorption while remaining malleable and soft for comfort and flexibility in use. It’s used by several other brands to great effect and features in the full range in offer from Sweet. Bearsuit Knee-Pads (also Elbow-Pads)
The knee pads we already have on test and have so far proven to be comfortable and resolutely steadfast on our knees although big crashes have so far (thankfully) evaded us. A combination of neoprene bands top & bottom and a shape cut to the bend of your knee means that the single strap is almost surplus to requirements, a surprise given our initial impressions were that a single strap wouldn’t be enough to hold a pad in place. We’ll bring you the full lowdown on these soon.Bearsuit Pro-Shirt
Front and rear Sas-Tec foam provides protection for your torso with this waistcoat style body armour which incorporates a kidney belt to keep everything in place. Shoulder pads also feature the foam and on production items there will be straps to ensure movement in crashes is kept to a minimum. Some may feel that losing elbow pads from the garment is an oversight but Sweet explained that with a move to less armour they felt riders were better left with the choice rather than potentially cutting up their new purchase to remove something they didn’t want to ride.Fixer full-face helmet
This sub 850g carbon fibre full face helmet employs ‘pre-preg’ carbon, a method of laying up the material by utilising sheets with the exact amount of epoxy resin already impregnated into the material. It both minimises weight and maximises strength over the alternative wet lay-up method which sees liquid resin poured into a mould that’s been layered up with dry carbon matting. Despite most helmets utilising the latter wet layup method, ‘pre-preg’ is the way the vast majority of any strength sensitive industries such as motorsport create their carbon parts. It’s a slim helmet and feels closer to your head than some but the big point that Sweet are at pains to highlight is that the reduced weight and bulk minimises the whiplash effect which can cause serious head injury. This is augmented further by the inclusion of MIPS (multi-directional impact protection system) which allows the liner to rotate slightly inside the shell and so smooth the deceleration of your brain inside your skull should the worst happen. 31 vents keep your head cool and perfect fit is aided by the offering of two sizes of cheek pad, both of which are included. Used throughout their helmet line is an EPF liner with multiple densities dependant on the helmet’s intended use and the position within the helmet. ASTM certification is currently underway.
Frantic & Inferno DH shorts
Very Scandinavian in their look, these shorts are part of a range which we’ll take a look at in more detail over the coming months. Available in several lengths to suit trail, all mountain and downhill usage there should be something to suit most riders with those slightly longer cuts bending slightly over your knee to ensure comfort when pedalling. An elasticated clip provides an attachment for your pass when riding the lift and zips open vents for riding in hot climates. Four-way stretch hydrophobic material should keep them comfortable and relatively dry all ride long.
Bluegrass & MET
Although owned by the same parent company there is some clear separation between Bluegrass and MET, the former catering to protective and gravity helmets, the latter more the trail and all mountain crowd. MET Terra
Their new trail lid falls into the MET side of things and was on display in the luminous yellow above. Well vented and featuring plentiful rear protection it has all the makings of a popular choice. It seemed to fit well, with good adjustment, and a comfortable retention system to the rear. Bluegrass Grizzly & Grizzly B&S
Moving to Bluegrass there were several revised 2013 body armour offerings on display, both the above items based on D30 inserts. The Grizzly (left)
is a lightweight offering aimed at the growing enduro and trail market where protection is required but with the balance of all day wear-ability. The Grizzly B&S (right)
features the same back protection but also incorporates shoulder padding for additional protection to gravity riders.Bluegrass Brave
The Brave is their top level full face helmet for the gravity market. Currently there are several standard designs as well as two team replica’s; a Union Jack based design for Bernard Kerr and this one shown here which was worn this year by Tracey Hannah on the World Cup circuit. All Brave’s feature a removable lining for easy washing and a visor design which incorporates what Bluegrass call S.O.R, or snap-off-release. This is a feature which allows for the visor to detach from the central mounting screw, the benefits of which are twofold. Firstly, it potentially saves the visor from damage but secondly, and more importantly, it reduces the risk of the visor causing neck injuries by digging into the trail in a crash. Weight starts at 910g for the small.
Five Ten always have something new on display and Eurobike 2012 is no different. Here are a few choice offerings from their shelves. Freerider VXi
The VXi is a totally new shoe and the first to be designed with significant influence in the post-Adidas world. It’s a door which, when opened, brought a lot more technology and expertise to Five Ten’s design stable, with improved construction techniques and material availability. Featuring the Stealth Contact sole, this is essentially a perfectly smooth section of sole under the ball of your foot which although still grippy, makes for an easier shift of your position on the pedal when you feel the need. The VXi will be offered in three colourways with an unpictured blue which goes all the way down to a size 2.5, great for those with small feet and therefore opening up Five Tens to a new and smaller audience. Touted as sitting between the Impact (stiff) and the freerider (soft) in sole rigidity, it sounds like it could turn into a real go to shoe for those riders looking for a decent trail shoe to use with flat pedals. Freerider
Not new, the Freerider has been updated with some new colours, our favourite of which are shown here. A lighter shoe than the original Impact, these are a good trail shoe although it will probably come down to sole stiffness as to whether you choose to run these originals or the new VXi above. Spitfire & Dirtbag (Low cut)
Stealth Marathon rubber is a newly introduced compound that is roughly three times longer lasting than the original S1 grade, albeit at the expense of grip. Split grain leather, they’re aimed as more of a trend shoe than the gravity/extreme end catered for by their tougher items, but thanks to the slightly less tenacious rubber they’re also good for those who want to move their feet around more on the pedals when pulling tricks.
As with Five Ten there was a lot of new O’Neal kit on display but here are some of our favourites.Stormrider
The Stormrider kit in your hand feels tough and is an evolution of O’Neal’s previous gravity oriented Thrasher kit. The velcro’d pocket features a goggle wipe and an elasticated cord for your lift pass while the waist features double velcro’d adjustments. Available in the blue seen here, there is also an all black offering for those looking for something more subtle.Pin-It II
Revised from earlier Pin-It kits, the new jersey is better vented and lighter weight, all of which adds up to better clothes for the trail. Available in black and green, there is an increase in feature graphics which make for a more visually interesting product, as well as a higher quality feel between your fingers. AMX Glove
Proving popular across the board are gloves which allow the use of capacitive touch screens featured on pretty much every new mobile phone. Gloves frequently prevent these working but as in these O’Neal AMX’s, the inclusion of silver thread within the tip of the index finger allows you to continue using your phone without removing your gloves. It may be lazy but sometimes you just want a quick glance at a text or email while waiting for one of your buddies to catch up on the trail and this easily allows that. Element FR Minnaar Replica
Minnaar will surely once again be in the hunt once for World Championship victory this weekend in Leogang. And if he takes it then this replica Element kit could well be the hot ticket next week for riders around the world. Even if he doesn’t win, the striking kit he’s been in since Pietermaritzburg in March should prove popular.
That’s it for part two, keep your eyes on the front page for more coverage from the team here in Eurobike over the coming days.