Innovative Racks and Zombie-Proof Locks
RockyMounts has always been a bit of an underdog in the rack world. This past year, however, they’ve come out swinging with a few models that can go mano a mano with the big boys. The latest version is a beefy hitch rack that, bonus, swings out of the way, taking the hassle right out of accessing your hatchback or trunk. And, yes, you can swing that sucker around when it’s pregnant with up to three bikes (the third mount is, by the way, an add-on).
The MonoRail Swing is constructed out of chromoly steel and fits bikes with tire diameters of 20 to 29 inches. The trays are wide enough to accommodate big tires—as in fat bike tires. Each tray can handle bikes with wheelbases of up to 48 inches and a weight of 60 pounds. If you add the third-bike tray, that weight limit drops down to 50 pounds, but, really, if your bike weighs 50 pounds, everyone reading this story probably feels sorry as all hell for you. It’s time to upgrade from the cast-iron frame and concrete wheels.
RockyMounts is also debuting a new line of locks that strongly suggest that thieves go f@#k themselves. I don’t normally get all hot and bothered by locks, but these things are made out of non-corrosive 304 stainless steel and weigh about as much as Shaun Palmer’s Cadillac—and I’m a sucker for ridiculously-overbuilt locks. RockyMounts probably could have come up with a less loaded name for their top-tier model, the “Compton”, but the massive 18-millimeter shackle and base are impressive. The Compton is coated in clear rubber to prevent frame damage, but I can’t see myself attaching the thing to anything other than a pub-crawl bike. This thing merits a messenger bag or whatever people are calling man purses these days. POC Gets Their XC Groove On
POC made their bones with gear aimed at trail riders and gravity-oriented types. The past six or seven years have been filled with goggles, body armor, baggy clothes and extended coverage helmets, like the Trabec. While POC’s 2017 line up is still heavy on the loose-fit end of the apparel spectrum, the company is aiming to widen their reach. To wit, the company showcased a line of cross-country apparel. Consider the Octal X, which is based on POC’s Octal road helmet—light weight and breezy ventilation are the big draws here—but the Octal X also features a layer of aramid reinforcement in the EPS liner, which should improve structural integrity. Visor? Nope. Hmmm….. I think a detachable visor would have been a good move here. It’s always good to at least have the option.
No Shortage of the Weird
Tthe Resistance Pro XC Tee also caught my eye. Despite the laid-back vibe, the jersey is loaded with technical features, including a light-yet-tear-resistant Cordura sleeves and a light breathable fabric. There are also some smart and subtle features, including a kind of gaiter beneath the hem that prevents the jersey from riding up and presenting the riders behind you with a long look at your ass crack. How very thoughtful of those Swedes. If the looser “Tee” shirt style still ain’t XC enough for you, POC is also offering a jersey (the Pro XC Zip Jersey) that has a more traditional sausage-suit vibe.
You’re nobody’s fool. You’re prepared for the tradeshow… Rollerbag? Check! Comfortable shoes? Check! Enduro-approved kneepads? Check and double check!
Interbike is always a good place to see people who make you pause and think, “I wonder if someone dropped that poor guy on his head when he was a baby?” Then again, maybe this dude thought the same thing about me when he brushed on by at just below the speed of light. Either way, he was clearly ready to get rad in the convention hall. Fly your freak flag, bro. Fly on.
Packing for the Apocalypse With Ortlieb
I immediately called dibs on writing up Magura’s new fork, the Boltron. Why? Because it is an e-bike specific fork and I knew that including any kind of e-bike product in this post would make Mike Levy develop a twitch. Which is precisely what happened. It’s important to savor the little things in life….
Then again, there’s always a group of riders with a soft spot for inverted forks and if you didn’t tell anyone that this 150-millimeter travel fork with 40-millimeter stanchions, a crown the size of Texas and a 20-millimeter thru-axle was actually an e-bike fork, they might be kind of into it. Sure, at 2,200 grams, it isn’t a flyweight model and, yeah, there doesn’t appear to be any provision for either low or high-speed compression damping (those e-bike types probably aren’t sweating the climbs as much as the rest of us), but I dunno…the Boltron has a certain Teutonic, corn-fed charm to it.
Most importantly, Magura’s new fork is just one letter short of being called “the Voltron”. Any time someone gets that close to naming their new product after a giant robot composed of five, smaller, flying, lion robots, they earn a spot in my post. That’s just part and parcel of the trade union code. Well played, Magura. Well played.
Don’t expect to see one of these sprouting from the wall of your local bike shop—it’s an e-bike OE product for 2016.
Ortleib has long been a manufacturer of bags that shrug off rain, snow and everything else intent on fouling whatever you deem worthy of toting around on your bike. Think dry bags for your bike. With a German sense of humor. Ortleib stuff ain’t cheap, but there’s a reason long-distance tourers the world over scrimp and save for their gear.
What was going on in the picture above kind of blew my mind. See that little bundle on the left? Well, it also happens to be the backpack on the right. Ortlieb’s mini pack is lightweight, foldable and still waterproof. Day-amn.
I also had my eye on the waterproof roller bag at right? Why? Because it’s bomber, completely waterproof and lightweight enough to be carried around as a backpack. I spend a lot of time in airports. Due to a stupid-and-unlucky streak a mile wide, I also spend a lot of time stranded in godforsaken places, shouting at the sky. This bag might be overkill for most folks, but I stumbled on this thing and immediately found myself dabbing at the line of drool on my chin.