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.
Godfather's Garage Chain Lubes and Grease
• Made in Canada • E-Bike lube is most viscous in line up • Protects in all weather
What does chain lube and grease have to do with The Godfather? Well we’re not talking about the infamous mobster movie, but the legend Wade Simmons, known by some as the godfather of freeride. Making his mark on the North Shore, Wade saw the need to create a line of products that held up to the specific conditions out there in the deep, dank rain forest.
The E-Bike lube sounds silly, but it has been specifically formulated for high chain torque and is more viscous than the standard Dry or Wet options from Godfather’s Garage. This one also has the highest tenacity and is a claim that I can confirm checks out.
Even though it protects against all weather conditions, I noticed it lasted much longer on that fancy Trek Fuel EX-e I reviewed a couple weeks ago, which ironically saw action on only the wettest days. You can notice how much “sticker” it is than the standard wet lube, but we’re not about to dive too far down the rabbit hole of testing chain lube efficiency.
All of the products, including the waterproof lithium grease, are made in Canada and sell for prices between about $15-17 loonies using a network of dealers.
REV Pro Series Suspension Grips
• Shock absorbing elastomers housed in clamps • Alloy expanding wedge bar end • Multiple diameter and color options
• Replaceable parts • $89.95 USD (30-Day Money Back Guarantee) • revgrips.com
I’ll admit, I had my reservations about trying these grips because they seemed hokey to me in the parking lot. After a solid day of smashing laps at the Sun Peaks Bike Park with some thin and hard grips on a test bike, my hands were punched. I'm not usually one to complain about hand cramps or arm pump, but installing the REV Grips on Day 2 couldn't have come at a better time.
The diamond and waffle pattern is a crowd pleaser with no weird bulges or tapers, and the ramped ends keep your palm from resting on the metal lock ring. Sandwiched between those collars and the plastic base of the grip are a series of four rubber elastomers that provide a small amount of suspended rotation. REV makes four different patterns in four different diameters with a boat load of grip and clamp colours. The Pro Series set seen here measures in at 31mm on the diamond pattern and bumps up to 32.5mm, if you include the waffle zone.
I thought these might feel strange on the trail, but the amount of movement is not drastic enough to be concerned about. In fact, I didn't even notice it - just the benefit of the relief. At no time did I get that “throttle grip” action when regular push on grips get water underneath them.
$89.95 seems like a lot for grips, but if you’re troubled by arm pump or sore hands, these could be the ticket to solve that dilemma. It’s also worth noting that you can replace any of the parts individually, so you don’t have to buy the whole kit to get fresh rubber.
LifeStraw Water Filter System
• Removes 99.9999% of bacteria, parasites, microplastics, and silt • Durable and packable • Independently tested to be BPA-free
How many times have you been caught out on a ride that goes longer than expected in the middle of summer and you risk contracting giardia to lap up a mouthful of seemingly pristine mountain water? The problem is you can't see the bacteria from a farm or deceased animal that may be lurking upstream.
This little water filtration system from LifeStraw is a beauty for so many reasons. First of all, I love how you don't need to worry about tipping over the bottle you're trying to fill with clean water. The filter sends the water straight into the drinking vessel without extra parts, like a hose, that could get damaged. Secondly, it's packable, so you could even stuff this into a chamois bib pocket or strap it to your frame.
If you take a look at the stats, the might of this product is impressive. The filter will stop 99.999999% of bacteria (yes, to the sixth decimal place), 99.999% of parasites, and 99.999% of those terrible microplastics. Of course, it will stop silt, sand, and cloudiness as well. That means it meets US EPA NSF P231. The membrane microfilter will even tell you when it's reached the end of its lifespan by no longer letting water flow through, but that should get you through 2000 liters.
There are two sizes, a 650 and 1000-milliliter option, with the smaller one weighing just over 100 grams. The filter and cap will work with other products in the "Peak Series" too. Clean and safe drinking water seems highly worth the $32.95 if you find yourself regularly running out of water and don't want to carry a full day's worth of fluids.
Bigfoot Ankle Brace
• Three sizes from 4.5 to 12+ (UK) • Ambidextrous • 50% Nylon, 30% Neoprene, 15% Polyester, 5% Other
Ankle braces might not be the first item on your list when you suit up to send, but their popularity from BMX has carried over to the dirt jump and slopestyle crowd, and they've even made their way to more traditional mountain bike trails. This Bigfoot Brace is my first experience with such a protection product, so I can't compare them to any others on the market.
To wrap up the ambidextrous brace, regular laces with a velcro closure at the end distribute the tension evenly and don't pinch when you flex your forefoot. Two opposing nylon straps take a figure-eight style lap around, down, and under the arch of your foot while a stretchier closure wraps around the lowest part of the shin bone.
On their own, they are quite comfortable and stuffing them inside a shoe feels surprisingly normal underfoot. I do prefer a snug fitting riding shoe laced up tightly, so if I were to rock the Bigfoot Brace permanently I'd step up a half size in footwear. They are something I would advise you to try on with the purchase of a new shoe and the height of the shoe cuff can vary - that's where I noticed they took up the most volume.
They basically feel like you're wearing a much higher, tighter fitting boot or extending the grasp on your lower leg. I thought that might mean a restricted amount of articulation during pedaling, but even on trail rides this didn't pose a problem. Our Pacific Northwest "summer" arrived late, so I didn't get a chance to wear them on any particularly hot days, but in full DH attire I never noticed any hot patches underfoot or particularly sweaty socks either. For park riding, the Bigfoot Brace would something to consider even if you aren't the kind of rider who purposefully leaves the pedals in the air.
RMU Hip Pack
• Made from 95% recycled materials • Waterproof main pockets • External bottle and helmet holsters
You may not have heard of RMU before, but if you’ve spent any time in Breckenridge, Colorado, Whistler, B.C. or Truckee, California, ski hardgoods and apres patios come to mind. Their shops are a mix of pubs filled with their own branded skis, snowboards, and packs. The Enduro Fanny 5L seems like just the right size for a hip pack and has a taller, flatter shape that keeps it closer to your body and doesn’t bounce as much when loaded down.
Inside, there are endless possibilities for organization and separation, including a fleece-lined pocket for delicate items. While the 5L refers to cargo capacity, it has a pouch for a 3L water reservoir too. There are plenty of pockets, including a fleece-lined one along the side, which is handy for a phone or multi-tool, plus the mesh basket and elastic loop locks in a water bottle. There’s even a helmet carrying fly basket that is stuffed into the lower zipper and connects with plastic hooks.
My favorite part of this waterproof hip pack is the utilitarian aluminum belt buckle that doesn't protrude outwards too far. That won't break down over time with exposure to UV-rays or get crushed if it's stepped on by mistake. The materials are hard-wearing, like the nylon seatbelt back webbing, and 7mm EVA foam provides comfort. RMU also makes a sleek utility belt that can be worn inconspicuously under a jersey and larger 15L pack that features similar construction attributes and styling.