A lot of gear comes across our desks here at Pinkbike. Check Out is a monthly 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.
Affinity Cycles Premium Carbon Fiber Tire Lever
• Made for both carbon and alloy rims • Brooklyn, NY made • $25 USD / pair
A carbon fiber tire lever? Might as well, especially when everything else has carbon this or carbon that in it. Affinity's tire lever is designed to address what they believe are some shortcomings of traditional tire levers - namely durability and being rim friendly, on both alloy and carbon rims. The lever is made to be stiff and strong. The levers are being sold on a made to order basis from Affinity in their Brooklyn, NY, facility.
• Casual sneaker style • Riding shoe sole • leatt.com
• Stiffened insert for pedals • Sizes US 6-12 • $79.99 USD
Leatt's 1.0 shoe gives a basic sneaker style coupled with a sole that is ready to ride. The shoe is comfortable to wear around all day yet offers plenty of grip on flat pedals if you want to cruise over to the pump track or hit a trail on the way home. The 1.0's subdued looks will do it favors for those looking to fashion coordinate with their denim.
Topeak Alien X Multi-Tool
• 34-function • Carry pouch • Vandium Steel
• Snaps into two pieces for versatility • $64.95 USD • topeak.com
Topeak's Alien X multi-tool has just about anything one may need for repairing their bike in the woods, or in a shop. It's all put together in a small and lightweight package that stashes in a nylon pouch to keep it clean. There are master link pliers, Torx keys, Allen keys, and even a brake pad spacer among the 34 different functions. With that many tools, it's a good go-to for anyone on a deep-woods or backcountry ride where being prepared to fix any issue that may arise between you and your friends could mean the difference between riding out or spending the night.
Osprey's recently updated Talon 22 pack is designed with versatility in mind. The pack is made to be a good all-rounder, with attachments for a bike helmet, or ice axe, depending on the day. The bag has a good amount of storage in the main compartment along with a stretch outer compartment and a top stash spot. I've had the pack for a couple of months and used it for everything from long backcountry rides to day-long winter hikes where I needed to carry plenty of extra food and clothing. The pack breathes well and is well balanced. It stays in place whether on foot or on the bike, and the ability to easily lash extra gear on the outside has proven handy.
Bontrager Pro Ratchet Multi-Tool
• Precision ratchet • Magnetic bits/extension • Torque bar (2-8 Nm)
Bontrager's Pro Ratchet Multi-Tool packs a good deal of precision into a package small enough to carry in your pocket. The ratchet features 72-teeth and the bits are made of Swiss S2 steel. There's a magnetic extension for harder to reach bolts and a titanium torque wrench extension which measures values from 2-8 Nm.
While it's certainly not cheap, the tool is high quality and was developed through a partnership with Silca, a brand known for its fancy and functional tools. In hand, it seems as if it would be right at home as a travel tool or seeing some use in a home shop.