Check Out: Tools, Knit Shoes, Casual Clothing, & More

Feb 18, 2021 at 11:35
by Daniel Sapp  

A lot of gear comes across our desks here at Pinkbike. Check Out is an occasional round-up of items our tech editors have gotten their hands on recently. Sometimes it's products we're doing long-term tests on, other times it's stuff we're stoked on but don't have time to fully review. And sometimes it's crazy shit someone sent us unsolicited and we're having a laugh.

Leatt Airflex Hybrid Knee Guard


• Lightweight, low profile for all-day riding
• Gel plus hard layer for impact absorption
• $109.99 USD
• Ventilated back panel
• Anti-slip cuffs

bigquotesIn the short time I've ridden Leatt's Airflex Hybrid they've become my new go-to set of pads, the ones I grab for almost every ride.

The pads are comfortable and offer a good true-to-size fit. There's less chance of them becoming a one time use product in the event of an unplanned dismount since there's a hard layer on the front of the knees to take the brunt of an impact. They stay in place while pedaling and don't have any hot spots that I've noticed in my time wearing them. Yes, they're expensive, but I think the comfort and durability make them a worthwhile consideration for long days on the bike in rugged terrain.

Cognative MTB Cool Weather Tops

Pinnacle Jacket

Technical Flannel
Cold Mountain Down Jacket


• Pinnacle- Poly/spandex shell, windproof, back ventilation, multiple pockets $119.95
• Tech Flannel- Poly-performance, roll & stow sleeves, made for riding $64.95
• Cold Mtn- Reversible, 20 denier DWR, 650-fill RDS down, packable $149.95
• 2% of sales go back to local trails
• Rider owned

bigquotesCognative MTB (yes, that's the correct spelling) is a company based out of Western North Carolina that produces a wide range of trail riding clothing. The brand aims to keep their clothing functional and practical. Owned by mountain bikers, the products are all developed and tested within a small team of riders. In addition to the clothing here, there's a range of jerseys, gloves, and other outerwear available.

Notably, Cognative has made it a mission from their start to give money back to trails, donating 2% from every online sale back to the trail organizations, something that's great to see and much needed for many trail systems.

FLR F-70 Knit Shoe


• Knit ventilated fabric upper
• Reinforced toe and heel
• Atop "BOA style" closure
• Removable toe spikes
• $199.99 USD

bigquotesFLR's Knit version of their F70 MTB shoe is claimed to be great because of its quick-drying capabilities. There is a reinforced toe and heel area and the shoe cinches shut with an Atop dial, similar to a BOA system. The knit weave is a triple layer of nylon yarn called XD-Knit to keep the riders' feet in place while also giving excellent ventilation. The sole of the shoe is stiff and made to be durable. There are dual-density traction lugs and toe spikes that can be removed depending on the terrain.

Jagwire Tools and Pro/Elite Dropper/Shift Cables


• Smaller 0.8mm diameter polished stainless dropper cable
• Sealed shifter cable system with 5mm housing
• Elite bleed kit with adapters for SRAM, Formula, Hayes, Hope
• Pro cable crimper has dedicated crimper in jaws
• $ - Various prices

bigquotesThe most exciting thing to show up at my house in the last month may in fact be some fancy shift cables and tools from Jagwire. Most people know Jagwire as a brand that makes cables and housing, and they've also come up with some innovative solutions for everyday problems. Their Pro Dropper Cable Kit is designed to help make mechanical dropper posts that don't have a great cable feel due to tight bends in internal routing feel a lot better. The system uses a compressionless housing which is lubricated coupled with a polished 0.8mm inner cable. The inner cable is smaller than a standard shift cable which reduces friction and the FLEX-SL housing has an improved and increased flexibility for tight frames. There's also a shift system with a standard size shift cable and a sealed system for shifting situations that need improving.

Jagwire's Pro Cable Crimper features hardened steel blades specifically made for cutting inner cables. There's a cutout in the arm to help remove previously installed cable tips, and a portal in the middle of the head that has a ninja-looking star that crimps cable ends evenly from three points. The crimper also has a nice ergonomic handle and hook that holds them closed when not in use, making them easy to store on the pegboard. Lastly, Jagwire's Elite bleed kit is a step up from what many manufacturers offer. Besides having a nice storage case, the kit comes with all of the necessary fittings for most common DOT systems and syringes that are extremely easy to push and pull fluid using just one hand.

Giro Trixter Gloves


• Lightweight lycra slip-on
• Microfiber palm
• Seamless one-piece pre-curved palm
• Unisex design, 5 colors
• $20 USD

bigquotesGiro have a ton of different gloves in their line and the Trixter is one of the most basic designs. The $20 USD glove uses a lightweight construction, with a one-piece palm that's pre-curved for an extra snug fit when holding the bars. It's ventilated on the palm and the upper is constructed of Ax Bolt fabric with Instachill technology that is, as you guessed, intended to keep temperatures low as possible.

The glove comes in five different colors and is available in sizes XS to XL.


  • 124 1
 Jeremy Clarkson: I'm activating my dropper with my Jaaaaaaaag.
  • 10 1
 Definitely read that in his voice.
  • 31 1
 HAAAMMMOONNDDD!!! You've done it again!
  • 28 1
 CLARKSON YOU IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 24 1
 James May; "I'm using my Top Gear, pun intended"
  • 35 0
 Some say he only puts his dropper down on the climbs and that once he hucked to flat without a slow mo camera.....hes called the stig
  • 3 0
 Jag you are
  • 6 2
  • 1 0
 you now have permission to say oh cock
  • 19 1
 You can get those Jagwire cable crimpers cheap on Amazon/Ebay they're just relabeled Deutsche electrical crimpers, been using them for years and they rule! No more mushed up ugly caps, no more halfway crimped caps that fall off, just perfect OCD approved crimps.
  • 18 0
 Knipex plier wrench...
  • 2 2
 Do they cut housing well?
  • 2 0
 @takeiteasyridehard: Still squishes the cable ends, love the plier wrenches, but squished cable ends look like janky IMHO.
  • 3 0
 Also, for the bleed syringe, I got mine from a hardware store, it is identical to the one sold in the park tool bleed kit.. costed me 5$ and it's made for bbq meat marinade. The plunger won't get soaked in oil after 2 months, and you can change the little o-ring if you wish.
  • 2 0
 @takeiteasyridehard: I use my Inscisors....
  • 4 0
 @Forest-Gnome: the park tool ones were definitely a disappointment for the price. The jagwire are much much better. Honestly I like the sram pro bleed kit the best....I do have a friend who got some glass syringes from a veterinary supply or something...those are cool...
  • 1 0
 @takeiteasyridehard: Have you ever used a deutsch crimping plier? The Knipex stuff is great (and I have a lot of their stuff) but sign me up for those Jagwire crimpers.
  • 4 0
 I just solder the end of the wire so it doesn’t fray
  • 2 0
 @Blackers: I had no idea what that was, so i watched a video, and now I want one.....
  • 1 0
 @Forest-Gnome: as I only use Shimano breaks, I got mine from the drug store for like 1 dollar, and use the hose from one of the small bleed kits from the S. Works a charm, and costs nothing.... The problem, of course, the plunger gets all fuzzed out after a while.. but I reckon for a dollar, that is fine... Guess if you need dot fluid, then it gets a bit more tricky....
  • 2 0
 @its-all-about-bikes: that’s what she said...
  • 15 0
 To all that may consider the Jagwire bleed kit..look least the mineral oil version is junk. We have been using it in our shop for the last 7 month's and the mineral oil syringes seals have been leaking from around 10 uses. Dissapointed to say the least...
  • 8 0
 Good to know it wasn't just us. We literally used the kit once and the mineral oil rings failed, absolute garbage. The only good part is the valve on the hose. We also have the dot kit and that one hasn't failed after quite a few uses, but I also find ergonomically it is horrible compared to the sram pro bleed kit. Neither of these is worth buying imo.
  • 5 0
 Interesting to read feedback from a shop. As a home user, I’ve not been particularly happy with mine and figured maybe it was just me.
  • 1 0
 Our didn't leak but they became so stiff as to be neigh on impossible to use. The force required to get the syringe to move is disturbingly high, as in.... I think somethings about to break!
It's a pity 'cause it is a very very pretty kit when you 1st get it, and the case/storage is A++.
  • 1 0
 What do you suggest as a kit otherwise?
  • 4 0
 @butters1996: I hate how hard it is to get that last bubble out when priming the syringe. The diameter of the syringe with the big flat end makes it annoying sometimes. Just so you know, the park tool is even crappier as far as quality. I agree, sram pro bleed kit for the win.
  • 1 0
 The park kit isn't any better at twice the price sadly. I had a piston crack the first time I applied suction to it, and an the piston o-ring tear on the second syringe the first time I applied suction. I hoped my first kit was a dud so I grabbed another and yielded the same results. This compared with my SRAM professional kit, still going strong after 4 years. My next purchase will be a pair of Tomopal frosted syringes with lure locks, and hopefully those will last a while
  • 1 0
 @SvenNorske: I’ve used used them all, the var kits last the longest and work the best at my shop.
  • 1 0
 Bought one and the valve doesn't fit the SRAM bleed port...AT ALL!! In a pinch I used teflon tape to seal the opening enough so I could insert the oil. Happy to say I was able to complete the job and I'm not dead from a failing brake. But, pretty sad that that's how the product is sold
  • 1 0
 @GlassGuy: you know they make a mineral oil version right?
  • 1 0
 Same experience here. I love the DOT kit, however the mineral oil is trash. I'm not sure if these kits were really made to withstand shop use. I have been researching different types of syringes for a while and have yet to settle on my own kit yet. I have noticed the cheap syringes with a plastic plunger work best with mineral oil because there is no rubber to foul it up
  • 6 0
 Man.. I felt like I was about to rip a thumbnail off using the little red hose clamps with one hand on my SRAM syringes yesterday. That bleed kit looks like a huge upgrade.
  • 2 1
 Got that jagwire bleed kit last year, its a great kit
  • 1 0
 @naturaltalent: The Austin Powers Sump Pump to remove old sealant!
  • 3 1
 The Jagwire Bleed kit sucks. At least for the mineral oil version I can say, the syringes are flat topped so the air bubble is nearly impossible to purge, the fittings are difficult to turn whilst in use and the plungers lose vacuum within two uses. The word I use is UNIMPRESSED. I was excited to get it but turned out to be a dud.
  • 4 0
 I'm just here for the cliche jokes about PB posting a list of things that are out of stock till 2022.
  • 1 0
 As far as the FLR F70 shoe, "The sole of the shoe is stiff" just doesn't cut it. Stiffness index needed, to compare to offerings from others.

Would like to see something like a 17.34 out of 19.2 stiffness, so I'm SURE I'm only loosing 9.7% of my watts due to flex.
  • 2 0
 I am looking at buying MTB gloves soon, anybody have suggestions for good cheap ones? Also are they even something that I need to have?
  • 9 1
 I might be less picky than some, but gloves are something that I just go buy whatever is on clearance. I've had good luck with lots of brands. I do like to ride with gloves though. I know a lot of people have gone gloveless, but I am very much in the gloved camp. So you don't need them, but I very much prefer them.
  • 3 0
 Tasco MTB, Coganative MTB
  • 12 1
 mechanix work gloves
  • 13 0
 Giro DND gloves are my go to! if $25 seems too expensive, consider that they come with a lifetime warranty on the seams. Ive had them be replaced when the seams started to fray, no questions asked.
  • 5 1
 I'm a huge fan of the Leatt stuff.
  • 2 0
 i rode without gloves for a long time but started wearing them again this winter due to how cold my hands got. Ive been going through pairs fairly quickly, from sticks and branches on overgrown trails, but the giro stuff lasts the longest and feels comfy.
  • 1 0
 I used to go through a pair of gloves per season until I got a set of POC gloves on sale. They have lasted me 4 years now and are still good with no holes. Comfortable too, but most of them are. I’ll be getting another pair when someday these wear out or I’m sick of the color.
  • 1 0
 Dirt Gloves are about $25 and I believe they donate a portion of that back to trailbuilders. Work great with your phone and can take a beating. Not so great in winter but a good riding glove.
  • 3 0
 Big important thing is that they fit. I would not recommend buying online for this reason. A loose riding glove can be downright dangerous.
  • 1 0
 I'm in the gloveless camp but when its colder I will wear gloves. I have found the microfoam coated gloves to actually be awesome and they are very inexpensive, on the order of about 5 bucks a pair. I use the maxiflex 34-874, available on amazon.
  • 3 0
 I will never buy any other gloves other than mechanix cheap and reliable.. most of the gloves that I have tried before that were disappointing
  • 1 0
 @geoffcalv: oh whaaat. they are my go-to as well and ive been through like 4 now with blown seams on index or thumb! they still lasted long enough but didn't realise I could have got them replaced for free!
  • 1 0

I tend to pay about $13 a pair for mine, and hold up great. And super value.

I’d personally have a hard time paying $30-40 on gloves.
  • 1 0
 @brycerivers2002: just got a pair. They work amazingly well with your phone. It surprised me.
  • 2 0
 I would recommend going in to a shop or something to try on a variety of them if you don't already know your size for different brands. A good fit is more important than the brand in my opinion.
  • 2 0
 @MTBee: Down Mittens its winter man.
  • 1 0
  • 3 0
 @MTBee: yep! I have a couple pair of Kitsbow gloves made my mechanix. amazing. super supple leather, fit is excellent and tough af. one set is over a year old and seem to have years of life left. I will probably lose them before I kill them.
  • 3 0
 Those Leatt knee guards might be of real use to me once I get my right leg out of its Donjoy exoskeleton....
  • 3 0
 Accidentally ordered 1 set for the shop, made the mistake of trying them on. Oh dear.... That's going home with me! Most comfortable pads I've ever put on by a ridiculous amount. Been using them all this summer, not too hot at all. Can't rate them highly enough. Just wish the NZ Leatt importer could get bigger than the XL, unfortunately no XXL or XXXL were brought in so no full size range.
  • 2 2
 God who are those shoes made for, fricking Oscar Pistorius? And his fricking stupid blades? Would it really bankrupt a shoe company to make real wide sizes for once, Jesus Christ. I’ve been taking a long look at a $1400 pair of Don Lamsons for like two fricking years now. And don’t say Lake, that is bull crap. Or Bont, screw Bont.
  • 3 1
 Been using some cognative MTB for a bit, they are great, definitely recommend them.
  • 1 0
  • 2 0
 @Danielsapp should not be able to model apparel. Because everything looks good on him.
  • 2 0
 The Jagwire syringe ball valve is definitely an improvement over the pinch clamps, but it is a pricey kit.
  • 2 0
 The ball valve is the only good thing about the kits aswell, the syringes themselves are really not ergonomic at all, and the mineral oil plunger seals are absolute garbage.
  • 2 0
 True to size, for pads? Didn't know there was a standard for pad sizing.
  • 1 0
 flanell on trails - that rock's!
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