Who doesn't love a new, neatly machined and finished flat pedal? The CNC machined Skywalker from Sixpack is their first pedal to be produced in Europe, an interesting step forward for the brand who currently manufacture in Taiwan.
The pedal body measures at 110mm x 110mm, uses four sealed bearing and weighs 380g per pair. There's been a huge attention to detail including hollowing out some of the axle and Sixpack's custom seals. All this doesn't come cheap, though, the Skywalkers sell for €160 and there is a titanium axle version for a whopping €260.
Sixpack Skywalker Details • Intended use: trail / downhill • 110mm x 110mm • Four colours • 14 pins per pedal • 380 grams • MSRP: €160 • sixpack-shop.com
14 pins per pedal, four bearings and a 110mm square platform
You know you're serious about engineering pedals when you make custom seals - "May the dust stay away"
Sixpack have also launched their first ever clip in pedal called the Vertic, which should be available in August. The fully CNC machined pedal is SPD compatible and is supplied with 8º cleats. Sixpack also say they have a wider range of spring tension adjustment than Shimano and HT, so if you need more tension to stay clipped in these could be the ones.
Another interesting feature is that there a two axle lengths available, 52.5mm and 58.5mm. This could help if you want a wider stance for balance, or if you have problems unclipping when the shoe on your trailing foot connects with the crankarm.
Sixpack Vertic Details • Intended use: trail • CNC machined body • 52.5mm or 58.5mm Q-factors • SPD compatible • 4 pins per pedal • 356 grams • MSRP: €129 • sixpack-shop.com
Everybody wants lighter parts, and I'm like "can I have things that don't break?" Especially when those parts are integral to a rideable bike. These refreshingly chunky S2 bars from Gusset weigh in at 335g, are 800mm wide and have a 35mm clamp diameter. Priced at £55 GBP.
Gusset are also prototyping these S2 stems. The direct mount downhill stem has a 35mm clamp and an adjustable 45/50mm length.
Gusset's best selling products are single speed conversion kits, who would have thought it? To keep up with changing standards they now have an XD driver compatible version, there are already a couple of these on the market but the Gusset one is easily the most affordable at £25 GBP.
Gusset XD 1-ER Singlespeed Kit • Intended use: singlespeeding • 7075 alloy carrier • 16, 18 or 22t cogs • 49mm chainline, 51mm with spacers • Removes with a 40mm headset spanner • MSRP: £25 • gussetcomponents.com
HXR is a fresh French marque from Annecy, around an hour drive from Les Gets. Their EasyShift system is designed to do as its name suggests, make shifting easier. The system works by using a special freehub spacer to block the freewheel of the rear hub (DT Swiss, Aivee, Duke, and now Mavic are onboard selling the spacers), a specially designed freewheel and chainring is installed on to their own crankarms. This allows for constant rotation of the drivetrain, meaning you can change gear at any time.
HXR EasyShift Details • Intended use: easier gear shifting • Forged alloy crankarms • 165/170 crank length • Compatible with 94mm BCD chainrings • MSRP: €449 (complete system inc. cranks, chainring, and bottom bracket) • hxr-components.com
A complete kit is priced at €449 including the crank arms, bottom bracket, freewheel, and chainring. All component parts are available separately so you won't need to buy a complete system should you break any part of it. We have just received an HXR kit to test, so expect a review later this year.