Fresh Meat Installment - Unlike your local pub, this is fresh.

Jun 8, 2009
by Jordan Holmes  
PWD "3Wrencho"

Designed for riders running 15mm bolt on axles the 3wrencho is PDW's (Portland Design Works) answer for a useful multi-tool. It's offered in a raw finish, and features a polished, clear coated finish. Manufactured out of heat-treated steel, the 3wrencho features a 15mm closed end wrench, with a tire lever on the other end of it. It's rotated 90 degrees so when using the wrench your hand is on the flats.

Unlike other tire levers that blow up in your face and shoot plastic bits everywhere, the 3wrencho has been designed to be structurally strong, so PDW says "Go ahead, lean into the 3wrencho for those tight beads or stand on it when loosening those tight axle nuts". PDW does warn that the raw can scratch your rims, so for those of you still running v-brakes you can wait until this summer, when PDW plans to launch their coated version of the 3wrencho, that will "treat rims like a tender lover".

Weighing in at 95 grams, and measuring 4.5" in length the 3wrencho is small enough to throw in your pocket, or put in your pack. The PDW 3wrencho retails for 20$, which is on the more expensive side for a tire lever, but for a street rider that only has to carry around 1 tool, I personally think it's worth my 20$. You can get the PDW 3wrencho from PDW's site directly.

Kona Clothes

Kona has been making clothing for a bit, but more recently they have made a big push with their casual and riding line up. Kona has decided to go with a more up beat design, featuring patterns, and repetitions of their logo. With a ton of color options the new Kona lineup is designed around helping you look the best you can while rocking out on your bicycle, and while still supporting one of your favorite bicycle manufacturers, Kona Bikes.

We got our hands on the Kona JC Gloves, the Plaid Jersey, and the Block Short. We will start with the gloves, which are offered in Bright White, Raven Black, and Danger Red, the JC Gloves feature a simple design, with a subtle lady on the front of them. They feature a leather palm for durability, with a single layer embossed chamude palm for handlebar sensitivity, and feed back. Kona has equipped the JC Gloves with Silicone Grip's on the finger tips for better brake lever control, and less finger fade, and a TPR tab closure (Velcro) for adjustable fit on the wrist. We got our gloves in Bright white, which have subtle green, and turquoise accents on them.

We also grabbed a matching jersey and short combo to accent our glove choice. We chose the Plaid Jersey in the concrete color scheme. The Plaid Jersey features a little larger then usual cut, but it's comfortable and most likely cut this way for usage with body armor. The wrist enclosures could be a little tighter, but the design Kona went with is a "fit all, even armor" cut. They went with a well ventilated design for air movement, and to cool you down after a hard ride. The Plaid Jersey features a shammy wipe for goggles or sunglasses, and a hidden zipper side pocket. One thing that struck us as odd was the single, zippered pocket on one side and a pocket with no zipper on the opposing side.

That being said, the Block Shorts made up for the lack of pockets on the jersey. Featuring 8 pockets, half of which are YKK zippers, the Block Shorts are the answer to everyone's needs. I absolutely hate these companies coming out with these shorts that have 2 pockets or worse yet none! 1 for your iPhone, and 1 for your over packed wallet. No, in a real world you need pockets, because fanny packs are so far in the past that they are not coming back. The Block shorts feature two front micro fleece lined zippered pockets, two side mesh lined zippered pockets inside two cargo pockets, and two back mesh lined pockets. That gives you space for your wallet, phone, keys, and anything else you "may" want to bring along with you that day. They feature a 2 button enclosure and a zipper fly, along with an adjustable waist with belt loops for that extra security. Along with all that, Kona has put a mesh liner on the inside of the shorts to keep the airflow moving even while you're pedaling, or standing still.

Our only down side to note for the line up is the huge branding on the clothing. I find it tough to rock bicycle company branded clothing while riding a different brand of bike. It's kinda like wearing a Toyota shirt and driving a Chevy to me. That being said, we really do like the clothes and think that Kona bike owners around the world be stoked to additionally represent the brand. All in all the Kona clothing line up has been well designed, and features some nice color schemes and options. All their clothing pieces feature a unique touch to them, whether it's a goggle wipe, or multiple color options. They are all well priced, and ready to ship now. Head over to Kona's Online Store to check out the new products.

Jagwire Ripcord

Shifting plays a big deal in all geared bikes as without the shift, there would be no gear choices to be made. Suspension technologies are making cable routing more and more complicated, however, Jagwire has produced a way to have even better feeling shifting. Aftermarket cable housing is not something crazy new, but it is a nice enhancement for your bike if you're experiencing any cable drag on shifting, or if you want to add a nice colored accent to your bike.

Jagwire's Ripcord is offered in 7 different colors. Black carbon, hot pink, Maxxis orange, Merida green, white, red, and SID blue. We chose to go with the Merida green, as it's more of a neon green, and we figured it would "clash" well with our flat black frame. The housing of the Ripcord is 4.5mm LEX reinforced housing with L3 liner. L3 liner is a technology Jagwire came out with that acts like a constant lubrication. Simply put, during the production stages a certain amount of lubricant is added to the housing, and is adhered to the inside of the housing. This means that your Teflon coated slick stainless cable will stay lubricated longer, meaning better shifting for a longer time period.

Nice Accent

Nice Accent

The Jagwire Ripcord is supplied in 70" lengths (although we'd like to see longer options so that rider's can run full length on select bikes) and it comes with 3 lined ferrules, 7 nosed ferrules, 6 cable donuts, 1 raincoat boot, and 2 cable tips. The Jagwire Ripcord's MSRP is $37.50 Canadian. You should be able to get a hold of some through your local shop, but if not, check out Jagwire's list of distributors that should be able to help you out. In Canada, Jagwire is distributed by Cycles Lambert.

POC Bone VPD Leg Armour

We have tested some POC stuff in the past, and we found their products to be hit or miss. We really liked the POC Receptor Lid, but the Index DH Gloves were not so well received.

POC offers 2 different shells for their protection. Bone, which are hard shell protectors, made of sturdy Polypropylene, where as Joints are softer, even more flexible protectors made of Visco-Elastiv Polymer Dough (VPD). The Joint technology is designed to fit your body perfectly, while still providing you with a excellent degree of shock absorption. We got the POC Bone VPD leg armor and it features a highly ventilated design and comfort. One of the nicest features that the POC Bone has that other leg armors are missing out on has to be that the knee area has an inner and outer that over lap and allow articulation and constant protection should you experience a big off while riding. Our grass roots rider Sam Dueck is rocking these and if you know Sam, you know that these are taking the abuse that they were designed for too.

POC has developed their own fastener system, which features an easy closure system, and adequate adjustment without the usage of Velcro. Just set the straps and forget the straps! POC has included a VPD section of padding, on the upper knee, to allow for movement, while still providing protection where it's needed. POC also included a detachable calf protector, which protects your calf from those snake bikes on the back of your legs.

You should be able to locate a place to purchase POC protection through their store locator but if not POC also has an online store you can visit, and get your protection from there.

KHE Mac2 Tires and Pyramid Grips

KHE is known in the BMX industry for making light, function parts, while still offering them at an appropriate price. Recently, in my search for some of the lightest, but most functional parts around, I came across the Mac2 tire. Claimed on KHE's site as the "World first 20” folding super light Freestyle tire!" the Mac2 should be right up there for 24" tires. Even though it's not labeled on their site, KHE does offer the Mac2 tire in 24" and 26".

KHE offers the Mac2 tire in Dirt, Street, and Park tread patterns. Dirt features high ramped knobs for traction on loose terrain. Street features a edgeless traction pattern, and Park looks like a general Park tire. The Mac2 features a Kevlar bead, and a special durable compound KHE won't release information on. The Mac2 tire is offered in 20" x 2.15", and is capable of 8 bar (120 psi) air pressure. This allows you to run a super hard tire, so all your hard earned spins and slides go right through to the tires, and don't get lost in tire roll over. The Mac2 has been designed in Germany, but manufactured elsewhere.

Along with the Mac2 tires, I got a pair of the KHE Pyramid grips. The Pyramid grips are offered in both lock on, and non, so I picked up the non to go along with my 24" tire choice. They are manufactured out of Double Kraton rubber component grip. They have small diamonds all over the grip surface, and include PVC bar ends. The Pyramid grips are designed around high comfort, and stability. They measure 147mm, and are only offered in Black.

The cost for the KHE Mac2 tires is $49.99 for the 24", and $55.99 for the 26". Also, the Pyramid Grips are $15.90. KHE also offers the Pyramid grips in lock ons. KHE is distributed by Lambert Cycles in Canada, and QBP INC in the states, so you should be able to get them through your local shop. If not check out KHE's list of dealers world wide.


  • 25 12
 Negative prop me, but all this stuff looks junky
  • 4 2
 KHE mac looks junky?
  • 5 2
 Considering I'm not a BMX rider, yeah
  • 6 14
flag morewhitenoise (Jun 8, 2009 at 6:05) (Below Threshold)
 i agree. those poc knee shins look so badly designed, when your knee is bent it has no protection from sharp objects!
  • 3 1
 The flexible bit on the knee is made of VPD which hardens when hit, so basically you still have full protection on the knee at all times but with far more freedom of movement
  • 2 0
 KHE mac isnt a very durable tire, ther just really light. id get tires i could ride all year
  • 2 0
 I totally agree Waldon. I wouldnt buy a thing on this page. Tire lever thats metal so it will dent your rims up, some ugly plaid from kona, and a pair of walmart special looking knee/shin pads that only protect your knee when your standing straight up which will never be the case in a bike fall.
  • 1 1
 If VPD works so well and actually offers any protection why bother even putting the plastic shell on. BS hype.
  • 2 1
 you've obviously never worn hard plastic knee shin guards , if you crash hard the plastic can absorb the impact but then it moves out of the way due to its rigidity and smooth texture,
the VPD (similar to D30) backing is there to protect you when this happens, the hard plastic knee does the exact same thing as any other hard plastic knee shin combo from raceface, dainese etc, except that when that hard plastic moves the VPD is there to save the day
honestly the top DH racers out there are loving this stuff and flocking to it because they know this address the biggest downfall of traditional knee-shin combo's
try one on, you'll see
  • 0 0
 im saying most good hard shell pads have a moving knee section that stays on your kneecap when bent. These, when in the bent position, leave the knee totally unprotected by the plastic shell. im sure VPD helps when combined with the hard plastic shell that takes the majority of the impact. There are way better designed pads out there than these
  • 9 1
 man some of those products look mint! i wouldn't mind a pair of the grips and the tires. but although there are some great peoducts out there, i have to say that the muti-tool looks like one of the best pieces of kit i have seen around.
  • 12 0
 no more cory's mom???????? Frown
  • 1 1
 spam is sooo good. im from hawaii, i know!
  • 12 1
 Im diggin the bright green cable!
  • 9 1
 agree ^^ illuminous cable rox!
  • 8 0
 Wow kona have actually made some clothes uglier than their bikes - amazing!
  • 7 1
 i wonder if their clothes snap as well...
  • 6 0
 yeah, tomo. I'm not sure what the deal is. looks like reupholstered couch material from the late 60s that had some neon spilled on it from the 80s.
  • 3 0
 yes horrible and ugly design
  • 2 0
 I dont see what the big deal with the tire lever is, i think its really nice. Sure, its metal, but i dont know about you guys, i run disc brakes on my street bike. Doesn't really effect me how my rims look at the end of the day. Also, its noted that they are coming out with a rubber coated version of it, for rim friendly tire removal for you v-brake runners.
  • 3 0
 I'd love some of those mac2 tyres but there soo expensive!
  • 4 0
 U got it! I would never pay that price!

It's so funny how things like this that are obcessed with light weight, the less material, the more you pay... Rolleyes
  • 1 2
 Those POC knee pads fit really well when I tried them on and the wrap around calf coverage was great, but the hokey 1/2" long stitch on either side of the articulated knee that allows the free movement looked like a real weak point. As soon as that stitch wears out, which I would expect it to do quickly, you've just wasted your money. If I'm wrong great, but I think they could make the knee pivot way better and then you could expect to get more than 1/2 a season out of them.
  • 1 1
 so you're just speculating with absolutely no concrete evidence, well done!
  • 2 0
 Speculating? Sure, but I was merely stating what I thought was weak point on an otherwise excellent fitting and stylish product that also prides protection above the knee (unlike RF/Roach knee/shin guards I've also owned). The POC's are also the only hinged knee pad I've seen that's been stitched instead of pinned. The fact of the matter is fabric just isn't going to last the same as hard plastic and a steel pin. If you want to see a great fitting product that I've been abusing for 5 years and gives free enough range of movement to wear on a xc ride if you were so inclinded check out the Fly Racing Moto Knee's. Study construction and above the knee coverge that won't shift on you if slide on your knees unlike the RF/Roach DH or FR knee guards I had previouisly, that everyone seems to love, but were hot uncomfortable, shifted and provide poor top of the knee protection. But in the end you're consumer too so if you like them, buy them, I was just commenting on why I didn't.
  • 3 1
 those tyres are puncture city!
  • 1 1
 Great tire levers for people who dont like their rims
  • 0 1
 no kidding! the last time i used a box wrench and a flathead screwdriver combo to change a flat was when i was 7yrs old. that thing looks wrong and useless
  • 1 1
 i'd love a set of KHE macs

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