Tech Briefing: Braided Carbon Spokes, Magnetic Pedals, Protective Gear Galore & More - March 2021

Mar 31, 2021
by Sarah Moore  

Tech Briefing is a feature for the new stuff that we spot every month, but haven't gotten our hands on yet. An eclectic serving of tech, from revolutionary products to traditional novel gear, with some wacky stuff thrown in for good measure.

TSG Presto 2.0 Goggles

The TSG Presto 2.0 Goggles aim to offer great performance at an affordable price. (Learn more.)
Presto 2.0 mtb goggle

Troy Lee Designs A3 Helmet
$220 USD

The evolution of TLD's A-series helmets is here. (Learn more.)

Ion Protection Knee Pads

Mike Hopkins runs through Ion's 2021 line of protective equipment. (Learn more.)

Bluegrass Seamless Back Protectors
250€, £230, 300US$, 350CAD, 400AUD

A D30 full back protector, no seams, and two rear pockets. (Learn more.)

Wet Weather Version of Peaty’s LinkLube
15ml (RRP £2.99/€3.49), 60ml (RRP £7.99/€9.99) and 120ml (RRP £11.99/€13.99)

A lube designed for the wettest, filthiest riding conditions. It also features an Irish Coffee scent. (Learn more.)
Peaty s LinkLube Wet Weather

RockShox / Ground Keeper Badgal Brooky Collection

A portion of all Badgal Brooky collection sales will be donated to the WMBC including fenders, frame protection, fork decals, top caps, and water bottles that feature Bell’s artwork.(Learn more.)

Ride Concepts Hellion Elite Flat Pedal Shoe
$140 USD

The first low-top in the Ride Concepts line to feature the Rubber Kinetics Max Grip rubber compound. (Learn more.)

Cascade Components 2021 Stumpjumper EVO & Evil Insurgent Links
$235 USD & $249 USD

Tune the suspension characteristics of the latest Stumpjumper EVO and Evil Insurgent with these new links. (Learn more.)
Stumpjumper and Insurgent links

Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol with Revved Carbon Rear Triangle
Starting at $2495 USD

Revved Carbon now makes up the entirety of the Trail Pistol frame. (Learn more.)

Bluegrass Gloves
Starting at $40 USD

Bluegrass's new range of gloves is divided into four different options including a pair featuring extra impact protection. (Learn more.)

Ride Concepts VICE Mid Shoe
$120 USD

The VICE Mid provides ankle protection and comes in Andreu Lacondeguy's signature colorway. (Learn more.)

Evoc Liteshield Plus Back Protector
$120 USD

Level 2 (EN 1621-2) back protection for just 168 grams. (Learn more.)
Jan Sallawitz and Holger Feist mountain biking near Bj rkliden in Swedish Lapland.

Engin Cycles New Seat Clamps

More smart 'Made in the USA' kit from Engin. (Learn more.)

Gulo Composites 'Triaxially Braided' Carbon G1 Spokes

Gulo releases carbon spokes designed to absorb impacts while being one of the lightest spokes ever produced. (Learn more.)

Deviate Cycles Highlander 150
Starting at $3200 USD

Deviate Cycles today reveal a new addition to the much-praised Highlander range - the Highlander 150. (Learn more.)

Kali Protectives Invader 2.0 Helmet
$225 USD

Kali's new Invader 2.0 provides new Frequency Fit System and improved ventilation for $225. (Learn more.)
The Invader is the perfect trail helmet for the rider looking for added piece of mind.

Salsa Timberjack
From $1,699 USD

The 150mm travel Timberjack gets slacker and longer. (Learn more.)

Magped Sport2 Magnetic Pedal
$115-$130 USD

Magped's Sport2 pedals feature a new stronger and lighter body and an improved three-bearing system. (Learn more.)

Misspent Summers 'Meltdown' the 2020 MTB Yearbook

The 244-page book covers the entire 2020 season. (Learn more.)
Misspent Summers Meltdown 2020. PIC Andy Lloyd

Lezyne's New Range of Multi-tools

Lezyne has launched a completely redesigned range of multi-tools with a focus on improved ergonomics and functionality. (Learn more.)

Motocross Brand Acerbis' New MTB Clothing & Protection Range

Acerbis makes its first steps into mtb with Italian DH champion Davide Palazzari. (Learn more.)
ACERBIS MTB Collection

Privateer's GX Equipped 141 & 161 Models

Privateer's platform is now available with SRAM's all-new GX Eagle groupset. (Learn more.)
Photo by Sam Taylor

Cascade Components V2 Transition Sentinel and Santa Cruz Heckler Links
$337 USD and $331 USD

Another batch of suspension mods from Cascade. (Learn more.)
Unanodized link installed on bike

Kali's Maya 3.0
$337 USD and $331 USD

The helmet now has more vents and a dial retention system. (Learn more.)
Alain Lanusse testing the new Maya 3.0 in Matte Khaki on the campus trails at UCSC.

TSG Launches 3 New Helmets for Spring '21

Three new lids for different disciplines. (Learn more.)
Seek FR Adult S021

Broken & Coastal 6th Print Issue
$20 USD

The independent print magazine covers everything from BMX to professional road cycling. (Learn more.)

TSG 2021 Helmets, Protection Gear, Gloves & Apparel

Protective gear designed in Switzerland. (Learn more.)


  • 48 6
 Remember the days when we were actually riding and no one would comment on an article like this?
  • 55 1
 Some of us can't ride because we're at work. lol
  • 30 0
 @crazyXCsquirrel: or in math class
  • 38 4
 @Supergirl56: Im in math class too. this lady wont stfu.
  • 4 0
 @crazyXCsquirrel: and then it's curfew!
  • 22 1
 @Supergirl56: math is important! You need it to calculate the leverage ratio, spring rate, calculating the sag etc. so better pay attention to that...
  • 2 0
 Why aren’t you riding? (Other than it’s winter still in some areas.)
  • 9 2
 @crazyXCsquirrel: That's a lie! Folks on here dont have jobs, it's why everyone complains about anything that cost more than $20.
  • 28 1
 FYI those googles are the exact same thing as the BrandX googles, just three times the price
  • 1 0
 Do you know if the BrandX's any good? I was being a cheapskate and eyeing them up but saw a review that said they were pretty tight fitting?
  • 2 0
 @arna86: I have a 58cm head and have used them with a Giro Switchblade, I haven't noticed any tightness but I will admit that the lens isn't the best and gets cloudy and requires cleaning often. I recently got a size L Bell Full-9 but haven't tried it with the goggles yet.
  • 2 0
 @arna86: I have a few pairs of x-brands (Eks brand) and I can say they are some of the best out there, awesome foam and they work well. Priced well too.
  • 2 0
 I don't appreciate copycat brands, but as long as you can justify the price I'm all for it.
  • 5 0
 @Hayden2248MTB: I also don't like things unless I do. Like my dad always said "be a man of principle, until you dont feel like it"
  • 2 0
 @arna86: love mine. got a pretty big noggin and a massive nose and they fit pretty dang well. there are already some blemishes on the lense after only a few weeks of ownership but they don't show up when you ride.
  • 22 2
 Anyone know if these suspension links Cascade keeps making are actually an improvement? They keep cranking these things out as if every bike company imaginable somehow didn’t design proper suspension in the first place. It’s starting to remind me of the car tuning scene 20 years ago. Everyone needed a body kit that had never seen a wind tunnel test, or some “upgraded” ECM chip to unlock the extra 30hp that the original manufacturer had just missed somehow.
  • 4 1
 I thought it was less about being better and more about making the suspension behave differently. Though you might be right!
  • 5 0
 I can only speak of the Sentinel V2 Cascade link, but I've been impressed. I purchased the link a month or so back and have been riding it since in these perfect autumn riding conditions we have. I had the stock link on the bike for a few months prior and I admit that I was a bit skeptical about what the difference would be between the two, and if I'd even notice it. I can however confidently say that it's got a considerably different feel! With the stock link, the bike is really well rounded and tackled everything we have here, but for me, I thought it lacked a bit when things got really rough, you had to be a bit more careful with line choices. With the link on, the bike turned into a plow demon and line choice was less of a consideration. Sure, I could just be a better rider, or pick a bike that was a bit more downhill orientated to begin with, but now I can switch between the two links as conditions call for it as it feels like two quite different bikes. Although to be honest. I don't think I'll swap it out for a long time..
  • 6 0
 Emissions is why there's a ton untapped power available in cars with just an ECU tune. Of course there's plenty of performance chips that did nothing, or just increased throttle sensitivity for the perception of power. As for the links, My understanding is they change the leverage curve for those that might want more mid travel support, want to add a coil shock, or fall outside the weight range the manufacturer designed the bike for.
  • 7 0
 All bike designs are a compromise. This is justa a fact of life, nothing can be perfect for every situation. The Cascade links are just a different compromise, they give up performance in some places to increase it in others. If this compromise suits your riding style better, they are an upgrade, if it doesn't they are not.
  • 3 0
 @squintyfox: Right on. That actually makes sense then based on what you’re saying. I would appreciate having the choice between the two different flavors of bike, if they are noticeably different. Thanks for the review/explanation!
  • 15 2
 That TSG helmet is the bowl-cut of helmet looks.
  • 6 0
 Thought I was going to blow up my rear Gulo wheel with as bad as I cased a step down, but its still running completely trulo.
  • 6 0
 We sell Kali Maya 3.0's for $120 for what it's worth. Pricing off I think.
  • 2 0
 Yep, I think someone mentioned it was maybe a typo...
  • 2 0
 I read "braided carbon spokes" as "BARBED carbon spokes" and the visual, along with the possible consequences were amusing. I mean, imagine the potential for a Friday Fails....
  • 1 0
 I can easily recommend the Magped Enduro pedals. The trouble is finding a shoe that works well for it. i like to have my foot more centered than towards the toe so i have to find flat pedal shoes with enough room for me to have the steel plate all the way at the back of the bolt slots.
  • 8 0
 You are the first person to use these pedals AND reccomend them.
  • 1 0
 If you ride uphill so you can ride downhill, a full face makes sense. One like the Invader can be worn on the whole ride - one less thing to interrupt your flow. I like mine and would replace it with another, but whatever make and model fits your head and budget is better than leaving your face vulnerable.
  • 1 0
 @fraserw Thanks!
As for the A1 choice, not at all. My A1 was the best I could get and afford at the time (I seem to have a lumpy skull, so a lot of brands don’t fit well). Glad I spent the money, could well be the best money I ever spent.
  • 5 1
 Man that Kali sure has seen a COVID price hike...typo?
  • 4 1
 @NRZ $220 for a super lightweight full face? Seems spot on imo. better than the same price for an A3
  • 3 0
 @TotalAmateur: the Maya is listed as $337 further down (its actually $150).
  • 1 0
 @mtmc99: ahhhh, gotcha ya i didn't see that.........ya that's a joke.
  • 2 1
 The aim of TSG is to offer great glasses at an affordable price.. The aim of TLD is to offer an ordinary plastic helmet at the maximum price.. And that bunch of bullshit around .
  • 2 0
 i believe that the tsg goggles are the same as brand-x ones. the brand-x ones are under £20.
  • 3 0
 Is blue grass like yellow snow ?
Asking for a friend.
  • 6 5
 Thanks for finally Including the cascade links in these articles rather than providing a full article every second afternoon when they release new links.
  • 3 0
 I think I saw Jean-Claude Van Damme wear those gloves in a fight once.
  • 2 0
 Rambo was wearing them in Rambo 3 during the stick fight.
  • 1 0
 Can go for ride, then hit the local goth clubs up with those gloves and protector!
  • 1 0
 Definitely scrolled straight down to the below threshold comments to see if TLD was weighing in on their new A3 helmet
  • 2 0
 Bluegrass has a vibe.
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 Whiskey coffee scent? *add to cart*
  • 1 0
 Price seems off on the Kali Maya. On the website it's listed for $120
  • 1 0
 Oh yeah, definitely going for that magazine.
  • 1 0
 Can i drink that peatys stuff seems like its gonna smell pretty good
  • 1 0
 That chest protector looks like something I would buy for Mrs. BryTar
  • 1 0
 GG doing good with the US made carbon!
  • 1 0
 A true Privateer wouldn’t Deviate from a Salsa
  • 1 0
 Ok 7 Concussions?- Try fortnite, the helmet is not the problem.
  • 6 9
 After 7 concussions, I recognize the value in a quality helmet...but also, $300+ for effectively a single-use product (one crash and you need to replace it) seems insane to me.
  • 13 0
 We’re talking about protecting your brain while enjoying the sport you love, not carrying groceries home. The consequences of it not doing it’s job correctly can be life altering.
  • 15 0
 What if that $300 helmet meant you only had 4 concussions instead of 7? Brain injuries are serious business.
  • 11 0
 @OJacobs7: I don't know the situation with bike helmets, but with motorcycle helmets there doesn't seem to be any correlation between price and protection (mainly fit and finish and comfort). Several impact tests showed both cheap and expensive helmets performing bad or exceptional.
I wouldn't bet on expensive MTB helmets automatically having better protection.
  • 3 0
 For me, IDGAF anything other than keeping my head not fucked.
  • 23 0
 @timtoldnes: bain ijures arnt so bad. i kin stil rid justt fin
  • 2 4
 @OJacobs7: Getting groceries can still be super dangerous! Everything is dangerous, there is risk. People like to think they live in this little bubble where nothing bad will happen to them, but I have had way worse injuries just from everyday life than I have ever gotten participating in action sports.
  • 9 0
 After a life changing head injury last year and post concussion syndrome whilst wearing a MIPS equipped TLD helmet that got cracked in the impact I will never skimp on helmets for me or my kids. I had several doctors tell me I would have been dead or in a much worse state if I wasn’t wearing a decent helmet. After 2 months off work and 3 months off the bike I’m able to ride again.
If you’re riding any bike, let alone a $3k+ mountain bike, spending $300+ on a helmet should be an absolute no brainer (pun intended).
  • 1 0
 @Mac1987: a good point about comfort. Do consider the difference between MIPS vs non-MIPS helmets, carbon vs. non carbon etc... these technologies cost more to produce (licensing, production) and they directly result in reduced forces on your brain. I’m not a scientist, so don’t take my word for it, but I’d take my Carbon D4 over my old Bell Drop any day of the week
  • 2 0
 OK but what’s the limit? A $1000 helmet? Brands have figured out how to combine and sell features in a way to command the $200-300 price point now - are they twice or three times as protective as a $100 helmet from ten years ago?
  • 1 0
 @timtoldnes: Keep in mind buddy has 7 concussions. @rockandride6 if I were you I would be going after the bestest helmet in the market. This is one of those penny wise dollar dumb moments.
  • 3 0
 @timtoldnes: I’d love to see a study showing the protective factor of helmets compared to their prices. I’m guessing price isn’t correlated with the protection factor above a certain level (e.g. $150).
  • 3 0
 @rockandride6 ??? You literally just said you've had 7 concussions! You should be spending $1000 at this point, or you risk severe permanent brain injury. And I'm not kidding or being sarcastic!
  • 1 0
 @twozerosix: I'd still say for example the Smith full face is no where near close to the safety of the average moto helmet, having worn and held both in hand.
  • 1 0
 @mybaben: I spend $200+ on MIPS Bell Helmets without question after every crash. I don't see why I'd spend 150% that amount...I doubt it is 150% safer.
  • 2 0
 @OJacobs7: I don't buy junk helmets, my last two helmets were MIPS Bell helmets. (if you include my moto helmets, my last 5 helmets were MIPS Bell helmets. $200 after every crash is very different from $330.
  • 2 6
flag RonSauce (Mar 31, 2021 at 14:34) (Below Threshold)
 7 concussions? Time to hit the gym, noodleneck.
  • 4 0
 @rockandride6: Actually in all seriousness, I would recommend chilling out a little. Even if you're a pro and getting paid, stop riding so hard! Traumatic brain injury is no joke. You need to stop crashing, I don't care what's on your head! Time to dial it back some!
  • 2 0
 @rideitall-bmx-dh-road-unicycle: On the surface level I agree with you. I think the right nuanced answer is 'horses for courses' and the specific requirements of the sport and its possible impact styles dictating whether a helmet is 'safer'.
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: Wait, what?
  • 1 3
 @gnarlysipes: im jokingly implying that he doesn't have the neck strength to keep his head from bouncing around like a basketball.
  • 1 0
 @twozerosix: I’d say it’s a diminishing returns type scenario. A $20 helmet is much better than no helmet. A $100 helmet is better than a $20 helmet but not by as much
  • 3 0
 @rideitall-bmx-dh-road-unicycle: a Moto helmet has to be stronger and stiffer because impacts can happen say much higher speeds. Realistically, in MTB, an impact is likely to be sub 20mph in most cases. So the shell doesn't need to protect so much from puncturing and the foam can be softer. This means that a lighter/softer MTB lid is likely to lead to better outcomes than a moto lid in most MTB crashes, as it's more cushioned (if you fell 6", a cushion would be nice on your head than a bike lid, for example)
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: Yep, exactly why I run a moto because I'm crashing at 20mph+ in most DH/enduro/race settings.
  • 2 0
 @rideitall-bmx-dh-road-unicycle: I'm scared to go back to my last race last year (actually, my only race last year, thanks covid) and see how low my maximum speed was. Probably would have been fine with a cushion wrapped round my head!!
  • 1 0
 @rideitall-bmx-dh-road-unicycle: I was bored at work (!) so I looked at my Garmin stats and I rarely go over 22mph off road, as my riding trends to be narrow and technical. If you're riding big open fast park stuff I can see the attraction of a moto lid
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: Play rugby for 23 years and it'll happen, I assure you neck strength is not the issue. Smile
  • 2 0
 @mybaben: Rugby, not Mountain Biking.
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: narrow and fast Smile i raced moto enduro for years, which all 20+mph averages in single track, 70ish miles in a day.
  • 1 0
 @MarkyB: Do you consider your helmet as one you skimped on? I ride the TLD A1 because 2 years ago when I bought it, it was the safest on V-Tech's list.

Shitty you went through that, BTW.
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