A lot of gear comes across our desks here at Pinkbike. Check Out is an occasional 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.
There are all sots of ways to attach a tube, tire lever and a CO2 cartridge to your frame, but Occam Design's Apex strap takes things to the next level. It's constructed from a light and tough material called X-Pac, which was originally developed for use as a sail material for racing sailboats. Attached to the fabric is a Boa dial, which makes installation and removal quick and easy, and allows the strap to work with almost any frame shape. At 28 grams it won't weigh you down, and the clever design is an easy way to stand out from the ski strap and electrical tape crowd.
I try to go as light as possible when I head out for a ride on a hot summer day, and for the last few weeks Camelbak's Stash Belt has been my go-to gear holder. It's super low profile, with just enough room to hold a phone, energy bar, multi-tool, and maybe a couple other smaller accessories. I'll admit, it feels a little strange stepping through it and pulling it up over my shoes and shorts, sort of like I'm putting on underwear when I'm already dressed, but once it's on it's barely noticeable. It works best if it's positioned in the same spot that a belt would be, a little lower than where you'd wear a hip pack.
It also works well for lift served riding, a minimalist way to hold the bare essentials that doesn't put you in a weird position when you're sitting on the chairlift. For the fast (or slow) and light crowd, the Stash Belt is a handy accessory.
Crankbrothers Stamp 3 V2 Pedals
• Magnesium body • 10 pins per side • 5 year warranty • $119 USD
Crankbrothers' Stamp 3 pedals received an update this season, switching from an aluminum body to a magnesium one, a move that saved 100 grams over the original. The pedals spin on an igus bushing and two cartridge bearings, with 10 adjustable pins per side. There are two platform sizes available, allowing riders to pick the dimensions that work best with their foot size. There's also a 5 year warranty, which is impressive for a product that's going to be smashed into rocks and roots over and over again.
• Four way stretch material • Microfiber thumb • $24.95 USD
It's easy to want to leave the gloves at home when the mercury climbs, but somehow whenever I do that I seem to end up off the bike, sliding with my hands on the ground, so I usually go with the lightest gloves I can find instead.
Dirt Gloves' new summer gloves fit the bill, with a synthetic leather palm and mesh fabric over the back of the hand to keep the air flowing. There's no velcro to wear out, or any padding to speak of, and the microfiber material on the thumb is handy for dealing with sweat and snot.
Taking a big swig of warm water isn't all that refreshing, which is why Polar has a whole line of insulated water bottles that are designed to keep liquids cool on those sweltering days. The version shown here is the all-around option, with a handle to make it easy to grab and go. The bite valve works, but I'd pay a little more to get the Surge Valve found on the more bike-specific Breakaway models. Those bottles ditch the handle and get a softer bite valve that's easier to drink from while riding.
Ergon recently updated the downhill-oriented GD1 grip, tweaking the pattern to provide more cushioning around the thumb. I have a handful of rides in on the slim Factory edition (no pun intended), and so far they've been treating my hands just right. I liked the previous version too, but the new profile feels even more comfortable. I'm also a fan of the wider aluminum clamp and the 3mm hex key bolt for extra assurance that they won't ever slip.