A lot of gear comes across our desks here at Pinkbike. Check Out is a frequent round-up of everything our tech editors have gotten their hands on. Sometimes it's products we're doing long-term tests on, other times it's stuff we're stoked on but don't have time to fully review. And, sometimes it's crazy shit someone sent us unsolicited and we're having a laugh.
Maxima Tire Sealant
• Safe on aluminum and carbon wheels • Eco-friendly • Seals punctures up to ¼” • Remains functional for up to 6 months • Price: $16.99 USD
• For use on all mountain and road bike tubeless systems • Combines fast-acting polymers with suspended rubber particles maximausa.com
This is Maxima's first foray into tubeless tire sealant, adding to their extensive range of bike cleaners and lubes. A 16 ounce (473ml) bottle will set you back $16.99 USD, which is the same price as the same amount of Stan's. There's a handle on the jug for easy pouring, but no flow restrictor so you have to be careful not to have too much sealant glug out when you pour it out.
As for the amount of sealant that Maxima recommends, it's in line with the amounts that Stan's recommends, with extra precision. Instead of two suggestions, Maxima recommends 60-90ml for a road/gravel tire (1.0-1.95" wide), 90-120ml for a XC tire (1.95-2.3"), 120-150ml for an Enduro/DH tire (2.3-2.6") and at least 150ml for a plus or fat bike tire. Of course, there's no measuring device that comes with the sealant so you're probably just going to be eyeballing that very precise amount...
A nice touch is the rim stickers that are included with the tire sealant. Do you remember the last time you put sealant in your tires? Chances are that unless you recently changed your tires, you only have a very rough idea of when that was. Maxima recommends checking the sealant when it's in your tires every 4-6 weeks and replacing it at least every 6 months.
• Combines hydration and storage into one • Designed and manufactured in the USA • 2 size options (16.2 fl oz. + 10.8 fl. oz.) • BPA Free • Price: $22-24 USD
• Compatible with a wide variety of bike cages • Honeycomb surface treatment • Five individual pieces. • Patented modular design dibsports.com
The Dib bottle is akin to Specialized's KEG Storage Vessel, combined with a water bottle. While a regular water bottle usually consists of two parts, a lid and a bottle, the Dib bottle has five: a hydration cap, hydration bottle, silicone band, storage container, and storage cap.
The storage part of the bottle has 340 ml of dry volume which you can fill with tire levers, CO2 and tire plugs and then pair with one of two sizes of hydration bottles. The two halves are connected by sliding together in a horizontal direction and then you secure them with the silicone band.
While it's a cool concept, I'd like to see a more flexible material on the water bottle for ease of squeezing. Additionally, you can fit a small road tube in the compartment, but you'd be hard-pressed to fit a bigger mountain bike tube in it.
Dib is an acronym for "do it better". You decide.
Race Face Stash Gear Bag
• Three compartments for separate and convenient storage of clothing, shoes, and helmet. • Durable and water-resistant outer fabric. • Zippered mesh pockets within main storage pocket for smaller items. • Waterproof barrier between shoe storage and the main pocket • Price: $99.99 USD
• Two grommeted holes allow the waterproof pocket to drain water. • Removable change mat keep your feet off the parking lot dirt. • Can be worn as a backpack or carried like a duffel. • Large reflective logo for safety when worn as a backpack. • raceface.com
Race Face's new Stash Gear Bag is a great size for transporting all your mountain bike essentials to the trailhead or for an overnight mountain-bike related trip. It's big enough for all the essentials, without being too bulky. It's also nice that everything including your goggles, shoes, clothes, and helmet has its own defined compartment that makes it easy to pack and to see what you might be forgetting. A couple nice details are the barrier between your muddy shoes and the rest of the contents of the bag and the mesh pocket so that smaller items don't get lost in the main compartment.
I also love the multi-use features of this bag. You've got a mat for trailhead changing and you can also wear it as a backpack and it won't flop around on your shoulders like most duffels since it has a chest strap.
FSA Gradient Carbon 35 Riser Bars & Stem
FSA Gradient Carbon 35 Riser Bars: • Carbon composite construction • Ø35mm clamp • 20mm or 30mm rise • 8° back sweep x 5° upsweep • 250g (800mm width) • fullspeedahead.com • Price: $129.99 USD
Gradient is FSA’s Trail / Enduro line which was introduced in 2013. The FSA Gradient alloy stem is 3D forged and then CNC machined, has a four-bolt aluminium faceplate and comes in either 35 or 50mm.
The new FSA Gradient handlebar is the brand's first carbon bar that comes in 35mm and is on the less expensive side for a carbon bar. It weighs in at a respectable 250g for its full 800mm width, has a comfortable 8° back sweep and 5° upsweep and is available in a 20mm or 30mm rise option. There area where the stem clamps the bar a reinforced for extra strength and textured for anti-slip. The Gradient handlebar is also available with a 31.8mm clamp in either a 20 or 30mm rise option.
The bar and stem might not come in a rainbow of colours like a Deity, Chromag or Race Face bar, but the silver and black graphics are understated and the combo is classy and should match most bikes.
Chromag Habit Gloves
• Lightweight, formfitting 4-way stretch top material • 4-way stretch finger gusset fabric • Seamless fingertip construction • Absorbent moisture wipe on thumb • Price: $42 CDN
• Touchscreen compatible • Laser-cut venting on AX Suede Connect palm • XS through XXL • Comes in black and charcoal • chromagbikes.com
Chromag's first glove offering is well thought out. Thin stretchy material, soft bits on the thumbs for wiping your nose or sweaty brow, touch screen capability, and laser-cut venting on the palms pretty much sums up everything you would want in a pair of gloves in my books. Add to that, the Habit glove is available in six different sizes and two different colours, both with an aesthetically pleasing Chromag bear logo on them.
There's a minimalist feel to the Habit model with no velcro wrist closure to adjust the sizing. Chromag also introduced a second glove model, the Tact, that is a bit heavier, with a velcro closure, if that is something you look for in a glove.