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 • leatt.com
In 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
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
Cognative 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
FLR'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 • jagwire.com
The 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 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.