Bliss Pads and Pack
Like all Bliss products, the new Comp knee pad features their Armourgel technology that's a flexible energy absorbing material that compresses under impact and gets denser throughout to absorb the shock. It is compliant with the European standard EN 1621-1K, the same standard you find on the knee protection of a motorcycle leather suit. This Comp knee pad comes lower on the shin than their current kneepads, offering more protection. Even though you get mid-shin coverage, the pad doesn’t restrict your mobility as it sits under the calf and has mesh on the back-side. The retention is done by an adjustable strap on the upper leg to keep them nice and tight. Bliss have also added a silicon band on the inside of the elastic band so the pad does not slide down as you ride. It is available from XS to XL in black with blue prints and stitching.
Bliss have been making base layer-style protection for a few years now. We have been using their Vertical LD top (the one with ¾ sleeves) and have really appreciated the freedom of movement it offers. The new LD day top gets the same back protector as its big brother with the Armourgel material that we previously mentioned. It is EU certified to the EN1621-02 standard. The main new feature of this protective top is the side pockets for flask and tools, which should be really useful if you don’t want to carry a backpack or clog your pockets. Because of where the side pockets are located, Bliss decided to use a two-way stretch fabric instead of their usual, more flexible, four-way material. This should mean that the pockets don’t sag and the top keeps it form. The fabric has been laced with bamboo to satisfy your eco-friendly side, and it should also help reduce bad odours. It is available in black with blue plate and stitching, in sizes going from XS to XXL. No prices yet.
Last but not least is their Vertical 12L backpack. It features 12 liters of storage in the main compartment with a dedicated protected pouch for a water bladder, perfect for a day out on the trails where you just need to carry the essentials and some extras. On the back of the inside main compartment, there is a partition for a removable Armourgel back protector. The front pocket has tools compartment so can neatly organize everything. With its fleece lining, the top pocket is glasses and cell phones friendly. There are low-profile anchors on the bag to strap on your helmet and pads. The outer fabric and zips are waterproof, so you won’t need a rain cover when conditions get ugly. The pack is available in blue and black and one-size-fits-all. It retails for €144.99.Hope Chain Guide and Seat Collar
It is always a treat for the eye and for the bike geek in you to stop by Hope,and in addition to their crankset, they are releasing a couple of cute little gems for your bike. The first product is an upper chain guide, the Slick guide. It comes in two options - a smaller guide with the 2 quarter bash rings, called the B Version, or the STD Version, a single, bigger, upper guide without the bash rings. In term of construction, both guides have a CNC machined back plate from 7000 series aluminium, and the actual guiding part is made of machined plastic, not moulded, which means they could keep production in-house. It features a clever rubber band where the chain could hit to keep things quiet. The bash rings from the B Version are CNC machined from 7000 series aluminium - Hope realized that most impacts are taken by the upper and lower parts of the chain guide, so they removed the side portions to save a significant amount of weight. It's available in either ISCG or ISCG 05. For the STD version, weight is 82 grams, it's 120 grams for the B version (including the bash rings). Pricing sits at €61 for the STD and €100 for the B version.
To satisfy your inner OCD, there is Hope’s take on a seat collar for dropper posts. If you like to keep things nice and ordered and the plastic guide that comes with your dropper post upsets you, Hope have made an integrated seat clamp/cable guide. It has a movable pierced ball that allows smooth passing of the cable and that can be adjusted to sit exactly where you want. The collar itself is CNC-machined, like all of Hope’s aluminium parts. It is available in 34.9mm and 36.4mm diameters, and weighs 35 grams. The clamps are available in their all colour range and will retail at €30. O'Neal Neck Brace and Pads
O'Neal have teamed up with Moveo to design a low-profile neck brace, and it's based on the Leatt neck brace patent, which Moveo is licensing.The brace shares the same front plate as the Moveo one but has its own specific back plate to reduce the profile. The idea is that the lower profile should give you more freedom of movement out on the trail. They will offer three different graphics (but only two were on display). Retail for this bad boy will be €289.90.
O'Neal is not getting into the goggle business by the small door. 2015 will be their first year in the eye protection game and they are already launching five distinctive models, each with their own shape, and more sub-categories than a frappuccino bar to offer a total of forty two goggles. The one we personally have a soft spot for is their B3 Radium: If you are clumsy and have a hard time changing your lens, that’s the one for you, too. It offers an easy clipping outer frame, so you don’t spend hours trying to find the inside hooks which the lens clips onto. Prices go from €19.95 to €79.90.
We saw a couple of kneepads that caught our eye in the wide range that O'Neal is offering. The first one is their AMX knee. You have to admit it can sometimes be a bit of a pain to have to stop after climbing to take off your shoes to put on your pads, but O'Neal believe they have found a solution to this issue - a side zipper so you can get them on quickly and easily. They can be adjusted thoroughly with the elastic velcro straps at the top. The pads are EU certified to EN1621-01K. They retail for €99.90. The other model that caught our eye, was the Appalachee knee pad, O'Neal's entry level pad. It has a low-profile and should be very breathable thanks to the opening in the back, making for a good enduro pad. They are available in blue or green and retail for €39.90.View entire Eurobike 2014 Product Gallery Here