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.
Shimoda Explore 30 Camera Backpack
• Removable belt system • Weather resistant • Price: $259.95 // As pictured: $334.95 w/ medium core unit
I’ve been using the Shimoda Explore 30 for a few months now and have been incredibly impressed with the build quality, customization, and comfort. The Explore 30 is the perfect size for a small camera set up and with the different core units available you shouldn’t have any issue finding a spot for all of your gear. Riding with the pack loaded up is comfortable and it doesn’t shift more than other similarly sized packs. Travelling with the Explore 30 has also been incredibly easy with plenty of space for other accessories and it fits nicely as a carry-on. My only complaints would be that I wish there was a better spot for a water bottle (on the shoulder strap isn’t great) and also that there was a side pocket instead of the accessory baggy that pops out.
Buying a camera bag is no easy task but I think the Shimoda Explore 30 will tick a lot of boxes for the majority of the videographers/photographers out there. The price is definitely on the high-side in comparison to other packs on the market, but when you consider what it’s responsible for carrying that pill becomes easier to swallow. I’ll be using the Explore 30 as my main camera bag for the foreseeable future.—Jason Lucas
The Birth of the Freestyle Movement 2nd Edition - Dominic Phipps
The Birth of the Freestyle Movement charts the beginnings of getting rad on a bicycle. Clearly a labor of love, this 350 page book is a fantastically detailed look at BMX Freestyle in the 70's and 80's. Stuffed full of simply amazing archival photos that will keep you flipping through the book. 109 different voices tell the story of freestyle through interviews and quotes. This book celebrates both the riders who changed bike riding and the art and design that emerged from the same creative spring.—Taj
The Slug Plug is small enough that it's easy to justify carrying in even the most bare-bones repair kit.
The Slyder mounts under a water bottle cage and holds a Slug Plug and a CO2 cartridge. There's also an option that carries two CO2 cartridges.
Slug Plug • Includes 10 spare plus in a plastic case • Presta valve core tool in handle • Preloadable • MSRP: $10 USD
Nutcracker Mini Tool • Valve core remover, holds spare valve • Tubeless valve rim nut tool • Disc pad spreader • MSRP: $10 USD
Slyder • Holds 25g CO2 cartridge and Slug Plug • Sleeves slide into spine and lock in place • MSRP: $10 USD • www.rydercycling.co.za
Ryder Innovation has released at trio of handy, inexpensive little gadgets that are designed to help make it easier to fix a flat. The Slug Plug is a simple, lightweight tire plug tool that can be preloaded and slid onto the Slyder storage system for quick access. Ten plugs (five thick and five thin) are included with the tool in a small plastic case.
Tubeless tire valve stem nuts can sometimes be difficult to tighten or loosen, especially if they've gotten covered with sealant, and not everyone carries a multi-tool with a set of pliers on it. That's where the Nutcracker Mini Tool comes in, and it also works as a brake pad spreader for those times when you accidentally squeeze your brake lever with the wheel off. Like the Slug Plug, it's very light, and won't take up much room in a pack.
Behind the Shield - S&M Bikes
Behind the Shield is 175 pages of the entertaining and gritty stories that have made S&M a legendary brand. When Chris Moeller was 16 he started S&M Bikes with little more than his laser sharp wit and goal to make a quality bike. 32 years later the brand is still going strong and still making BMX bikes in the USA. It has not all been smooth sailing though and the adventures along the way make for some great reading. The book documents the motley crew of people that have been part of the brand and lots of the hilarious moments that make S&M Bikes such an icon of the bike industry.—Taj
It takes a little more braking power to slow down big wheels, and now that 29" DH bikes exist the demand for larger rotors has increased. Galfer's 223mm Wave Rotors are claimed to deliver 15-20% more braking power compared to a 203mm rotor. They'll work with any wheel size, and use a standard 6-bolt mounting pattern, but they're not recommended for use on frames or forks with the older IS-style brake mount - postmount is the way to go here. Galfer also sells the brake caliper adaptor that's needed to run these extra-large rotors. It should be obvious, but you'll want to ensure you're putting them on a frame that can handle the extra stopping power.
The rotors come with a 6-month warranty, as long as you use them with Galfer's pads.
Reverse Components Angle Spacer
• Reduces head angle by .5° • Compatible with 45° bearings • Weight: 19 g (+/- 5% weight tolerance)
Want a slacker head angle without increasing your fork travel? Reverse Component's aluminum Angle Spacer is a 10mm high crown race that works with all cartridge bearings that have a 45° angle where the bearing contacts the race. It's simple to install, and the price makes it an easy way to do a little bike geometry experimentation without breaking the bank.