A lot of gear comes across our desks here at Pinkbike. Check Out is an occaional 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.
Sender Ramps Pro Core Skills Trainer
• Fits 20" to 29" wheels • Made from 18mm birch plywood, grip coated landing platform • sender-rampsusa.com
• Folds for easier storage and transport • Adjustable strap to prevent looping out • $249.99 USD
A manual machine is one of those backyard accessories that everyone wants to try the instant they set eyes on it. Yes, it's entirely possible to go the DIY route to build one of these contraptions yourself, but for riders who'd rather start practicing right away the Sender Ramps Pro Skills Trainer could be the ticket.
Will it instantly turn you into a manual master? Honestly, probably not, but it is an easy way to get accustomed to the right body positions and start getting a sense for what the balance point of a properly executed manual feels like. Sender Ramps also sell ramps, rollers, and even teeter-totters - everything required to transform a boring backyard into a much more exciting spot to ride.
Deity Defttrap Pedals
• Dimensions: 113mm x 103mm • Nylon fiber composite body • 10 pins per side (8 replaceable steel, 2 fixed nylon) • $ 49.99 USD
Deity's T-Mac pedals have been a popular choice for riders looking for an extra-wide and grippy option, but at nearly $170 they're on the more expensive side of the spectrum. That's where the new $50 Deftrap pedals come in. The dimensions are just as generous at the T-Macs, although they have a few less pins, and aren't quite as concave. They're also lighter by around 100 grams per set thanks to the use of a plastic body instead of aluminum. There's also a huge range of color options for all your bike matching needs, everything from basic black to mint or purple.
Smith Pathway Sunglasses
• Medium fit/large coverage • Hydrophilic megol temple & nose pads • smithoptics.com
Where I live, sunglasses aren't really for sun protection. Instead, they're usually used to prevent flying globs of mud from making their way onto my eyeballs. Even when the sun is shining the forest is pretty dark, which means that I typically run clear lenses for most of the year.
Smith's Pathway sunglasses have become my new favorites due to the fact that the photochromic lens actually lightens up enough to make them usable on cloudy days. They'll provide between 20-85% visible light transmission, which covers a wide range of conditions. The tint change isn't instant – it takes between 30 seconds to a minute to accomplish – but it's worked well when going from brighter, more open sections of road into tighter, more shaded trails.
There's enough coverage to keep most of that flying debris at bay, and they've stayed securely in place even on very rough sections of trail. They've also remained fog-free on all but the wettest, most humid rides. The vents at the top of each lens help in this regard, keeping them from steaming up as long as there's enough airflow.
Dakine Slayer Pro Knee Pads
• CE level 1 certified • Cordura shell over main pad • dakine.com
• DK Impact foam • Sizes: XXS - XL • $75 USD
Dakine recently expanded their Slayer knee pad line, and there are now three models, the Slayer Sleeve, Slayer, and Slayer Pro. It's the Slayer Pro that's shown here, which takes the classic Slayer design and adds additional side padding plus a velcro upper strap to adjust the fit.
I only have a couple rides in on them so far, and luckily no crashes, so it's too early to comment on durability or effectiveness, although that Cordura pad covering does seem like it should be able to hold up to some serious abrasion. The pads were snugger than I'd expected at first – some riders may need to size up – but they seem like they're starting to break in and get more comfortable with each ride. I'll report back once I've put in a bunch more ride time in on them.
DMR offer a wide range of components to finish off a bike build, including pedals, saddles, grips, and bars and stems. The Defy50 stem (there's also a 35mm version) is free of any sharp corners, and uses an internal steerer clamp to protect those vulnerable knees. The OiOi saddle is the Ben Deakin signature edition, and while you probably can't see it in the above photo, it comes in grey or green camo, and there's a new pink and blue version that would match up nicely with those marbled DeathGrips.
Dainese Rival Vest Pro
• Removable back and shoulder protection • 700ml Humpback protective hydration pack • dainese.com
• Crash Absorb chest, rib, and clavicle pads • CE Level 1 certified • $249.99 USD
Raise your hand if you owned one of the original Dainese Pressure Jackets, the version with the grey mesh and white plastic protection. I did, and that body armor accompanied me on all sorts of silly freeride adventures. Times have changed (thankfully), and the modern version is much lighter and slimmer, with more flexible padding instead of hard plastic.
The Rival Pro is CE level 1 certified, and it even has a plastic bladder that slots into the back padding for all your hydration needs. It does create a strange profile under a jersey (Dainese call it the Humpback for a reason), and I'm not sure how it'll feel when you're sitting on a chairlift, but the option is there for riders who can't live without easily accessible water.
I do wish the back pad was a little longer. I'm 5'11”, and while the medium fits me well around the chest and arms, the back pad stops a few inches higher than I'd like. As with any protective apparel, it's always best to try before you buy.