B&W's Mega-Light Bike Box
Do you travel with your bike often? Appreciate fancy things? B&W's Bike.Guard Curv travel box is a super light solution that offers the hard shell protection that a soft bag can't but at a total weight of just 18lbs. That number could be important depending on which airline you're flying with and how heavy the bike and gear you're putting in the box is, or you might just be tired of dealing with a heavy box at the other end of your travels once your bike is out of it and reassembled.
The Bike.Guard Curv box looks like it's made out of carbon fiber, which is why it first caught my eye, but it's actually a lightweight self-reinforced polypropylene composite material, and a criss-cross strap layout squeezes the two halves together securely. The bike is attached to one side of the box with adjustable frame holders that can be repositioned to work with any shape bike, and a few different storage bags, as well as two wheel bags, are included.
I expected the Bike.Guard Curv travel box to be quite pricey given its low weight and faux-carbon appearance, but at $950 USD it's actually less expensive than some other travel solutions.
It's still pricier than a cardboard box, of course, so how much you decide to invest in a bike travel box will probably come down to how often you fly with your mountain bike and how nervous you are of seeing a crushed or cut open cardboard box at the baggage claim. Alex Rims' Upcoming Carbon Wheelset
Alex Rims has always taken a more low-key approach with their products, which is a good thing, but that understated method saw me almost miss a rather nondescript, prototype carbon rim that they had sandwiched between a bunch of other dark gray rims. No flashy decals or crazy colors, but it sounds like the final product could be worth shouting about: a carbon fiber wheelset with a price tag of around $1,100 USD when it does reach the market sometime in 2017. The weight? Just 1,300-grams for a 29'' wheelset with a rim that has a 25mm inner width. Sure, that width isn't ideal for really big tires, but it'll work just fine for 2.35'' trail or all-mountain rubber. The rim itself weighs 430-grams and is drilled for twenty-eight spokes.
All of that sounds pretty good, especially the proposed cost, so here's hoping that the numbers stay the same once the wheelset hits the shelves.Giro's Terraduro Mid Shoe
Giro's Terraduro Mid shoe is all about keeping the same practicality of the standard Terraduro shoe, including the grippy Vibram outsole that should keep riders from looking like they forgot how to walk when faced with a scramble up some rocks, but with some added protection compared to the low-cut profile of its namesake. The other bit of news is hidden under a protective cover - laces. While the original Terraduro employs buckles, you won't find them on the Mid.
The Mid also has some built-in protection against the elements, with a water-resistant Ariaprene ankle cover that's designed to keep scree and moisture out of the shoe, and there's also a water-resistant shield employed above the cleat zone to keep water from creeping in from below. Their nylon sole is certainly stiff, but it's also not racer-boy stiff, with a flexible forefoot that's used to make off the bike excursions a bit easier on the feet.
Giro says that pair of Terraduro Mid shoes in 42.5 weigh 435-grams, which is lighter than some other walkable, protective kicks out there. MSRP is $190 USD.