Check Out: Carbon Wheels, Active Jeans, Origami Fenders, Lights & More

May 8, 2020
by Daniel Sapp  

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.

Hydro Flask Downshift Pack


• Size: 14 Liters
• Water capacity: 2 Liters
• $144.95 USD
• Weight: 2.2 lbs
• Colors: black, guava, sapphire

bigquotesLong rides on hot days can leave you thirsty for cool water, and when you're a couple of hours in, water typically has had time to warm up to the outside world. Hydro Flask's Downshift pack use their "Cold Flow" system to help keep your drink water (or whatever liquid you're drinking) cool. The pack has an insulated 2 liter reservoir that slides into a neoprene sleeve coated with a reflective lining to keep the heat out and coolness in.

The pack also situates the water lower down, helping keep the center of gravity low as possible rather than up the entire length of your back. The back panel provides space between your back and the pack to allow airflow and dissipate heat. There's storage in the pack for gear, an additional soft pocket for glasses or a phone, helmet attachment loops, and sternum/hip straps to keep the pack in place.

Topeak D-Flash Fenders


• Flat printed MTB fenders
• Four models - Down tube, seat tube, fork, saddle rail
• Polypropylene
• 3M reflective printing
• $9.95-$14.95 USD

bigquotesIt seems as if fenders are a dime a dozen...maybe even 11 cents, but Topeak have managed to put a unique spin on the plastic polypropylene fender by offering a different yet simple design. The D-Flash fenders are flat-printed and, according to Topeak, inspired by origami. The four different styles work on a variety of bikes and can attach to the down tube, seat tube, fork, or saddle rail.

The fenders all have reflective 3M printing on them for added safety. Fenders arrive in a flat sheet and then riders follow instructions on the back of the fender, folding along the lines, to finish molding the fenders into shape. They attach to the bike using included velcro strips and are simple to install or remove. The larger size and shapes seem as if they'll do a good job of keeping water off of riders, and at $10-$15 USD they're very affordable.

Boyd Cycling Ridgeline Wheels


• Use: Trail/Enduro
• Lifetime warranty
• 30mm Internal width, 26mm depth
• Weight: 1,825g
• $1,664 USD

bigquotesBoyd Cycling prides themselves on being a family-owned and run company that's incredibly passionate about riding bikes. Owner Boyd Johnson spent years racing before deciding to open his own company. The model is to stay small, which enables them to keep the cost of their carbon wheelsets as low as possible. Boyd's Ridgeline wheelset is one of several mountain and road wheelsets the brand offers and it's designed around the Trail/Enduro crowd with a 30mm internal width rim.

The wheels feature 32 spokes in the back and 28 upfront. The wheelsets are handbuilt and utilize Boyd's Tripel hub with 102 teeth and 6 pawls that simultaneously engage to give 3.5-degrees of engagement. Endcaps and freehub bodies can be swapped out without tools which also allows easy cleaning of the hubs. I'll be putting these wheels through their paces in the coming months with a full review coming down the road.

CushCore Bead Dropper Tire Lever


• Rubberized handle
• Thumb flange
• Plastic lever
• Lifetime warranty
• $19.95 USD

bigquotesTire levers are a pretty basic design and concept. There are plastic ones, metal ones, plastic with metal inside, and a host of profanity when they don't work in the first 30-45 seconds of use. CushCore have debuted their own version of the toolbox staple to help with the installation of inserts and tires. There's a large rubber handle, a flange for your thumb to provide more power and leverage, and the lever itself is plastic to help avoid scratching fancy rims while being comfortable to use.

After wrangling DH tires onto rims for years and breaking more than enough levers in the process, this seems like a nice solution to help make the process of tire installation a bit easier...especially for those who use tire inserts. $19.95 is a bit steep for a tool that I've always considered to be more or less disposable but, with the lifetime warranty, I think it's worth a shot to save some bloody knuckles and cursing.

Light & Motion Vis 360 Pro


• 600-lumen headlight, 25-lumen taillight
• Multiple power settings
• Helmet mount, head strap mount options included
• Up to 12-hour run time in low setting
• $129.99 USD

bigquotesThe Vis 360 Pro is designed for people that do more than just ride bikes. While there is an included helmet mount, there's also a head strap to use without a helmet. The light provides more power than most standard non-bike headlamps making it a good choice for other outdoor pursuits.

The light can be mounted to a handlebar, helmet, or GoPro mount. It features multiple power levels ranging from 600-lumens at full power down to a 70-lumen option that can provide up to 12 hours of power. The light is waterproof and rechargeable through a Micro USB port. I have to say that although this light will provide more than enough power for trail riding, I'm more stoked about the features it offers for off the bike. Headlamps are notoriously weak and having one with a little extra power will prove to be quite useful in many situations.

DUER Jeans


• All-weather denim / Performance denim options
• 70% Cotton, 28% Coolmax® All Season Polyester, 2% Lycra® Spandex
• Odor preventing Silvadur treatment
• Waterproof membrane on All-weather
• $129.99 USD: Performance, $199.99 USD: All-weather

bigquotesIf you’re the kind of rider who likes to rock the same pants on the trail as in the pub, then DUER’s jeans might fit the bill. Their ‘All-Weather’ jeans have an 18,150mm waterproof membrane inside, as well as a DWR coating on the outside.

If that seems a bit overkill, they also have a ‘Performance Denim’ version that offers plenty of stretch, and like all DUER jeans have an extra seat gusset to prevent the dreaded blowout.


  • 129 0
 Duer need to sponsor the denim destroyer.
  • 6 2
 nice thought but look at the design I don't think a ripper like him would roll up a cuff or sport a yellow piping with a logo that is not his stylee. The dude is off the hook
  • 1 0
 And with his own destroyer model!
  • 51 0
 ...I hardly kno/ur.
  • 3 0
 Under appreciated comment!
  • 42 14
 I'll die before I spend $100 on jeans
  • 18 4
 I have trouble paying $30 for them.
  • 29 1
 these aren't regular jeans. I was gifted a pair of these and its hard to put on a regular pair after them. Suuuper stretchy ultra light they are worth trying on you will be surprised. Wearing them trail just run your shorts and knee pads but casual ride around town, rail trail all day.
  • 107 0
 Guess you're in a Duer die situation
  • 6 0
 @mattg95: this is good kinja
  • 5 0
 @habskater11: I dig the thought of quality products that cost something for a reason. But here at Lidl a pair of slim-fit jeans is 10 EUR and a can of textile waterproofing liquid is 3 EUR. I'm not saying this combo is as worthy as these above, but damn it's worth a shot! It just happens that I own jeans from various brands that are considered good quality, but none of them comes even close in terms of comfort with those cheapos!
  • 2 0
 I got a pair of their shorts on clear out and I would definitely get a pair of pants. My favorite thing to ride in is Jean shorts and they are definitely more functional than jean shorts. It’s close to the price you’ll spend on fox or Tld pants and they look a lot better and they’re probably on the same level of comfort as a good pair of riding pants and definitely better than my old fox demo pants.
  • 5 1 wanna be buried in $100 jeans???
  • 1 0
 I'm gonna second @habskater11. These things are next level comfortable, and usable for stuff like rock climbing no problem.
  • 12 0
 @Daledenton: riding in jean shorts might be the most Canadian thing I've read all week.
  • 8 0
 @Maxipedia: true and scary story. I once went tight arse and decided that buying waterproof shorts was stupid. I got some Grangers spray and heavily offloaded it into an old pair of riding shorts. As I drove to my ride wearing them, they off-gased and I blacked out on the motorway. Lucky I saw I was passing out and managed to drift to the hard shoulder amazingly. Soon as those shorts were out the car I was A1 again.
  • 3 0
 @ilovedust: I have so many questions. What?! How?! Chem warfare clothing?!
  • 6 0
 @ilovedust: I often “off-gas” on the way to morning rides if I didn’t get a BM prior.
  • 1 2
 Nice jeans just fit and feel better.

I don't own a pair of jeans that didn't retail for at least $100. I say retail because I rarely pay more then $30 for them.
My favorite are a pair of Rag&Bone that were hand stitched in New York City.

Also silver stiching on the ass of jeans is for women's jeans. Lets bring an end to the hideous Rock revival toolbag jeans please.
Dude dont need to be bringing attention to their flat asses.
  • 2 1
 @ReformedRoadie: that’s a shitty thing to say.
  • 13 0
 @tsleep: We need a denim riding jacket so we can rock a full canadian tuxedo
  • 5 1
 @tsleep: wait till I get my jean jacket. Full on Canadian tuxedo. But jean shorts are sweet for dh cause they’re cheap, comfyish, and super abrasion resistant. Also it makes passing all the slow people that are kitted out a little more fun.
  • 2 0
 @Daledenton: the Jort Lord does not agree with the “cheap” part of your comment.
  • 1 0
 @Daledenton: that requires you to not be one of the slow people
  • 3 0
 @reverend27: Speak for yourself, my ass is incredible.
  • 3 0
 @4thflowkage: haha mine too. That's why I wear nice jeans that fit me.

I was telling my coworkers how annoying it is when a car won't pass me when I'm on my bike. I look back and there's a line of 8 cars behind me.

And in the middle of telling my story the bosses wife interrupted and exclaimed " they were probably staring at your butt".
I'm like omg.

The rest of the female staff concured.
  • 1 1
 Guess I have a different lens after being married to a Japanese fashionista for 15 years, but $100 for a really good pair of jeans seems about right.
  • 1 0
 Yeah Duer are expensive and there are lots of cheaper options out there- I will say that my Duer shorts are my favourite shorts however. I used to really like the Levi's commuter denim but Duer are even more comfortable than those. Feels like you are wearing sweats but durable like jeans. I dig em.
  • 1 1
 I got waterproof Spyder pants for $12 new online, and look alot better that these Duerrhea fake jeans.
  • 1 1
 @jorgeposada: sorry to break it to you but those “spyder” pants you ordered from china arent real and the seams will blow out first ride... also i can gaurantee they dont look as nice as duer pants
  • 1 0
 @endurogan: Sorry to break the news to you that I have been riding them for 6 years and never a tear, leak, China or anything but keep guessing.
  • 2 0
 @drummuy04: Where are you finding jeans for less than $30?
  • 1 0
 @endurogan: I still have the old GWG denim jacket! back in the day!
  • 19 1
 How big is the handle on that Cush Core tire lever? Asking for a friend.
  • 5 0
 Hey, remember that time when fork manufacturers didn't make bolt on fork specific fenders that flowed with the arch like an integrated product? The industry started to catch on when that corovid virus thing happened way back then.
  • 10 1
 Duer? I hardly know her.
  • 8 0
 No one’a gonna talk about the butt plug?
  • 4 0
 The green handle looks a bit uncomfortable
  • 1 0
 The flat end for poop scooping!
  • 1 0
 My mind was in the gutter as well.
  • 1 0
 Just don't tell a kid that it's used for his butt hole when you see a kid using it as a soother or as a popsicle stick. Big Grin
  • 7 0
 That fender isnt getting anywhere near my bike! What an ugly pile....
  • 7 0
 Pretty sure 1998 launched a recall on those.
  • 4 0
 Duer pants are pretty awesome - so versatile. Can wear them to work, casually on the weekends, for biking/exercise, to the beach, etc.
  • 2 0
 So many regular jeans brands are incorporating stretch now. I can get any style of Levi's with stretch for $30-$40. Hard to justify $100.
  • 2 0
 Jeans...on the beach? I am befuddled
  • 8 6
 This checkout was Stupidity incarnate. We brought this our once humble sport, buying $8k bikes that weren’t worth $4k for years., Now the industry is giving us $20 tier levers and $200 jeans and calling it innovation. Sad....
  • 3 0
 "If you’re the kind of rider who likes to rock the same pants on the trail as in the pub, then DUER’s jeans might fit the bill"

This marketing quote is pure gold. Haha.
  • 2 0
 Very true Smile It's almost identical to all of the new "flat pedal shoe" manufacturer slogans these days too.
  • 17 0
 Still waiting for a helmet I can wear on the trail and in the pub.
  • 4 1
 If you like to approach attractive women smelling like crotch stank and having shart streaks on your jeans from a fresh ride...these jeans are for you hippy
  • 4 0
 Please, I don't care how long a light lasts on low power - I care how long it lasts on full power, baby!
  • 1 0
 And that light on full power is not powerful enough to use on trails.
  • 2 1
 A company called Mountain Cycling Accessories has made flat printed fenders with molded in ridges to give structure similar to the Topeak ones and have been selling them for a couple decades now in Canada. They have front and rear versions called Forward Deflector Shields and Rear Deflector shields. Mountain Equipment Co-Op has offered them in the stores since almost the start of their existence.
  • 1 0
 Remember 2 years ago, everyone complained about how hard cush Core was to install, and cush core responded "iT iSnT ThAt hArd...yOu jUsT hAVe tO Do iT rIgHt"?
Now they created this monstrosity of overpriced plastic. Bike tools are such a huge scam.
  • 1 0
 I bought a pair of DUER jeans for Rampage last year...riding into the zone, hiking around in the cold mornings and hot days--they handled the activity of a rampage week, breathed well, cleaned well, moved well...impressed. Got them at REI if anyone cares.
  • 1 0
 Lights really should be on a break away mounting system. Something that will POP OFF in the event of an impact Like what kali protectives does. I know they don't test helmets with lights stuck to them. Not just for impact but also for low hanging branches.
  • 1 0
 Seriously - 600lm for $130 USD? You can get some Lezyne helmet compatible lights in the 900-1200lm for way less than that. Also, 600lm is not enough light for trail riding. 800lm is probably the bare minimum brightness in pure darkness. 1200lm and up are definitely recommended.

Duer pants are awesome, I have to say. I bought a whole bunch of them when they were on sale for like 40-60% off and I really like the fit and comfort of those pants. $100 for a pair of pants, maybe. $200 for a pair of jeans - my Levi's stone washed jeans will become designer after I get a few holes in them. Wink
  • 13 9
 I don't understand what jeans have to do with mountain biking.
  • 11 0
 They solve a problem no one has. "You’re the kind of rider who likes to rock the same pants on the trail as in the pub?" Eh?
  • 3 1
 @Panda-G: Or maybe spandex in the pub?
  • 8 1
 @Panda-G: No kidding. Let's spend a couple hours grinding dirt, sweat, taint grease, and god knows what else into these jeans, then hit the pub. "Hey ladies - can you smell what the Rock has been cookin'?!"
  • 1 0
 @rocky-mtn-gman: aaaaw damn, now you remind me, I was dying to see denim destroyer on GT this season!!!!
I hope not everything is cancelled
  • 3 0
 I would take five pair if they came in white to match my white Oakley Sunglasses and long thick flowing hair of mine
  • 1 0
 >> . The model is to stay small, which enables them to keep the cost of their carbon wheelsets as low as possible.

>> wheel sets starting at $1,664 USD

when vision and reality collide...
  • 4 1
 Oh man $200 bucks for a pair of jeans are they insane.
  • 2 0
 Lol cushcore tire levers are expensive at 20 bucks but 100 for a pool noodle is acceptable?
  • 2 0
 That’s not a tire lever!
  • 6 3
 Sorry bro. You're not f*cking cool wearing jeans while mountain biking.
  • 3 5
 I have been testing and racing on Boyd Cyclings Ridgeline Carbon wheelsets for 5 years now. Can’t say how impressed I am with the product and the people behind the Boyd Cycling brand.

If you are looking to upgrade your wheelset to Carbon the Ridgelines are the ticket.

Happy Trails Guys!
  • 1 2
 I'm sorry, but for the price they are asking, you can get so We Are One Unions, for 100 gram weight savings. For $500 less you can find some direct from manufacturer Chinese wheels, that are 200 gram weight savings.
  • 1 0
 Are they going to do away too short short creepy uncle nut out edition?
Maybe call it the BL/GZR?
  • 2 0
 More like Tush Bore “tire lever”, amirite?
  • 1 0
 I think that the farther away everything is more and more expensive
  • 1 0
 Duer? maybe at 2am. At 2 pm that would be a no.
  • 3 1
 Duer, Dick Pound
  • 1 0
 It's about time my jeans did something useful for me
  • 1 0
 That tire lever is just a rebranded butt plug
  • 2 1
 I didn't know they made mtb jeans specifically for bisexuals!
  • 1 0
 For $19.99 for 1 butt plug, you’ll find better deal on Amazon!
  • 1 1
 Wash your hands, don’t touch your face.
  • 1 0
 Love the head lamps.

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