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.
Black Ox Sealant
• Sealant enhanced with carbon fibers • CO2 friendly • $17.99 USD - 16oz.
Black Ox Sealant is a latex sealant with added carbon fibers which are said to aid in plugging larger holes. The sealant was developed out of frustration with the current options available not working well enough to prevent a flat at US Collegiate National Championships.
The sealant is available in three different sizes and can be used at temperatures below freezing. It's compatible with CushCore, mixes well with most other sealants, and the carbon fibers in the sealant are sourced off of products destined for the landfill.
• Soft thumb wiper material • Pre-curved fingers for better comfort and control while holding bars • $29.95 USD
Cognative MTB's updated gloves have a host of features for a minimalist gripper. There is a stretch panel on the cuff for easy off/on. The glove is touch screen compatible, and there is a reinforcement patch between the index finger and thumb to prevent common seam blowouts.
The thumb has a soft material that won't chafe your face when you're wiping your nose, and the fingers of the gloves are pre-curved to give more control and comfort when gripping the handlebars. Cognative also donates 2% of their sales back to various trail organizations.
UST Swerve Hip/Handlebar Pack
• Convertable hip/handlebar pack • 4 ways to wear pack as hip pack or sling • Fleece-lined padded pocket for valuables
• Handlebar attachment system • $69.99 USD • ustgear.com
UST's Swerve Hip Pack packs a lot of features into one package with an emphasis on versatility. The pack can be used as a standard fanny pack, slimmed down to be more minimalist, split to have essentials on the hip and on the handlebars, or just mounted on the bars of your bike.
There are pockets for organizing your gear and plenty of straps to lash a little extra on. The pack could offer a solution for those who shred some days and do more of a party ride on others, where having something attached to the handlebars is more acceptable.
Etnies Camber Crank Shoe
• Inspired by skate shoes but, for mountain bikers • Michelin OCX-3 rubber • Lugged pattern on toe and heel for hiking
Etnies is well known for their classic flat soled shoes. We were using them for years before the advent of stickier rubber options, but they went a bit by the wayside. Now, they're back with the Camber Crank, designed for mountain biking with a stiff sole, Michelin rubber, and traction on the toe and heel for hiking up and down.
The shoes come in three different color options and sizes 5-14 (US).
Ground Keeper's Frame Keeper Frame Protection
• 6 piece kit • 10 mil thickness • Available in transparent or opaque, matte or gloss
If you spend thousands on a bike frame, then it makes sense to add some protection to it. Ground Keeper have launched their Frame Keeper frame protection, which includes six 10 mil thick pieces to protect your frame in key areas. The kit is available with their stock designs for $48 or, riders can go fully custom for $79.
With custom options, riders can have a transparent decal or make whatever design they want and re-graphic their frame which could be a much more affordable option than a fully custom paint job. The kit has large trim-to-size pieces so riders don't end up with weird gaps in the graphics or holes in their protection.
Shred Til Bed - The Mountain Bike Animal Alphabet
• Written by Dan Necklen • Illustrated by Mike Hearsey • Hardcover
Shred Til Bed is an alphabet book aimed a mountain bikers young and old. Each letter of the alphabet has an illustration of a mountain biking animal to accompany it, everything from a pair of bikepacking antelopes to a sleepy zebra duo that are resting after a busy day of zooming around.
The book is produced by Kids Ride Shotgun, but there's only a mention on the cover and title page - thankfully there aren't any hidden advertisements in the colorful illustrations. It's a clever way to make learning entertaining and interesting - where else can you learn about roosting, hucking, and numbats all in one place?