Kenda Gran Mudda Pro Tire
Early versions of Kenda's Gran Mudda first showed up at Eurobike back in 2019, but it's now in full production and available in 29 x 2.4" or 27.5 x 2.4" options. As the name suggests, it's a mud spike, with tall, square knobs that are designed to dig into loose ground. Each knob has a cut mark on it that helps make it easier to trim them for use in drier conditions when the full height spikes would be overkill.
The Gran Mudda uses Kenda's Advanced Gravity Casing (AGC), which uses a woven aramid material for puncture protection at the top and sides of the tire. The tires use a dual compound design, with a softer rubber on the outside of the knobs over a firmer rubber that provides support.
Weight: 1150 grams for the 27.5" version, and 1250 grams for the 29" option. MSRP: $84.95 USD. More info: kendatire.com
Rite in the Rain Waterproof Notebooks & All-Weather Pen
In today's digital world there's something extra-satisfying about writing things down using a pen and paper. I usually use my phone for taking notes about test bike and products, but since these items showed up I've been enjoying taking the analog route more and more.
Rite in the Rain has been in business since 1916, when they got their start making waterproof notebooks for the timber industry. They're still at over a hundred years later, with a product lineup that includes all sorts of weatherproof writing solutions. Pens, mechanical pencils, notebooks, printer paper, and more are all made in the United States and ready for whatever Mother Nature decides to dish out. The All-Weather Pocket Pen ($12.95 for a 2-pack) is half the size of a regular pen when it's not in use, and the pressurized ink cartridge allows it to work in temperatures from -30F to 250F, and up to 35 feet underwater.
More info: riteintherain.com
Orange Seal Sealant & VersaValve
Orange Seal now has three different sealant formulas - Regular, Endurance, and Subzero. They've put together a handy infographic
to help sort out the differences, but essentially, for the best sealing properties the Regular formula is the way to go, and for the longest lasting sealant Endurance and Subzero are the picks. And if you're planning on an Arctic expedition, that Subzero formula is designed to keep working down to -20F.
The VersaValve tubeless valve stems are available in 32, 48, 60, and 80mm lengths, and each kit comes with two valves, four valve cores, two conical and two rectangular grommets to accommodate different rim profiles, and six different lock nut colors. MSRP: From $23.95 USD. orangeseal.com
Ergon SMC Core Saddle
The SMC is aimed at riders who place comfort high on their priority list, whether that's due to back issues, a lack of rear suspension, or simply a preference for a softer, wider saddle over one that's narrower and more race-oriented.
The SMC uses Ergon's 'Core' construction, which has two different shells with different densities of foam between each layer. It's almost like stacking one saddle on top of another, and the idea is that the upper portion will move with your body during pedaling, which helps reduce the amount of sit bone pressure and the overall amount of friction.
There are two different width's, S/M and M/L, and both use chromoly rails. It's not the lightest option at 352 grams for the M/L, but remember, comfort was the overarching goal with this saddle. Interestingly, there's a 220 lb recommended rider weight limit, something to consider depending on how many quarantine pounds you’ve put on.
More information: ergonbike.com
Ergon's Core construction uses two different shells and different foams to allow the seat to move with the rider.
Smith Shift Mag Sunglasses
Smith's new Shift Mag sunglasses are available in four different frame colors, with four different lens options to choose from, including a photochromic lens that's change from clear to grey depending on the amount of light. The Shifts have a medium fit, large coverage design, a two position nose piece, and grippy Megol rubber on the temples to keep them securely in place.
Along with the one tinted lens, all of the versions come with a second clear lens that can be swapped in and out in a matter of second thanks to Smith's Mag technology. A press on the side of the glasses opens a magnetic latch, and the lens can be switched to match the day's conditions.
MSRP: $259 USD. smithoptics.com
Syncros iS Accessory Mount
A few months ago I wrote a short article
bemoaning the lack of affordable tube holders that could be used on the two bolts that many bikes now have underneath their top tubes. It turns out that Syncros had just what I was looking for, a $13 accessory mount that can either be attached underneath a water bottle cage, positioning the tube below the bottom of the bottle, or underneath the top tube once the front portion is cut off. It's simple, effective, and does exactly what it's supposed to.