A lot of gear comes across our desks here at Pinkbike. Check Out is an occaional round up of everything our tech editors have gotten their hands on. 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.
Sender Ramps Pro Core Skills Trainer
• Fits 20" to 29" wheels • Made from 18mm birch plywood, grip coated landing platform • sender-rampsusa.com
• Folds for easier storage and transport • Adjustable strap to prevent looping out • $249.99 USD
A manual machine is one of those backyard accessories that everyone wants to try the instant they set eyes on it. Yes, it's entirely possible to go the DIY route to build one of these contraptions yourself, but for riders who'd rather start practicing right away the Sender Ramps Pro Skills Trainer could be the ticket.
Will it instantly turn you into a manual master? Honestly, probably not, but it is an easy way to get accustomed to the right body positions and start getting a sense for what the balance point of a properly executed manual feels like. Sender Ramps also sell ramps, rollers, and even teeter-totters - everything required to transform a boring backyard into a much more exciting spot to ride.
Deity Defttrap Pedals
• Dimensions: 113mm x 103mm • Nylon fiber composite body • 10 pins per side (8 replaceable steel, 2 fixed nylon) • $ 49.99 USD
Deity's T-Mac pedals have been a popular choice for riders looking for an extra-wide and grippy option, but at nearly $170 they're on the more expensive side of the spectrum. That's where the new $50 Deftrap pedals come in. The dimensions are just as generous at the T-Macs, although they have a few less pins, and aren't quite as concave. They're also lighter by around 100 grams per set thanks to the use of a plastic body instead of aluminum. There's also a huge range of color options for all your bike matching needs, everything from basic black to mint or purple.
Smith Pathway Sunglasses
• Medium fit/large coverage • Hydrophilic megol temple & nose pads • smithoptics.com
Where I live, sunglasses aren't really for sun protection. Instead, they're usually used to prevent flying globs of mud from making their way onto my eyeballs. Even when the sun is shining the forest is pretty dark, which means that I typically run clear lenses for most of the year.
Smith's Pathway sunglasses have become my new favorites due to the fact that the photochromic lens actually lightens up enough to make them usable on cloudy days. They'll provide between 20-85% visible light transmission, which covers a wide range of conditions. The tint change isn't instant – it takes between 30 seconds to a minute to accomplish – but it's worked well when going from brighter, more open sections of road into tighter, more shaded trails.
There's enough coverage to keep most of that flying debris at bay, and they've stayed securely in place even on very rough sections of trail. They've also remained fog-free on all but the wettest, most humid rides. The vents at the top of each lens help in this regard, keeping them from steaming up as long as there's enough airflow.
Dakine Slayer Pro Knee Pads
• CE level 1 certified • Cordura shell over main pad • dakine.com
• DK Impact foam • Sizes: XXS - XL • $75 USD
Dakine recently expanded their Slayer knee pad line, and there are now three models, the Slayer Sleeve, Slayer, and Slayer Pro. It's the Slayer Pro that's shown here, which takes the classic Slayer design and adds additional side padding plus a velcro upper strap to adjust the fit.
I only have a couple rides in on them so far, and luckily no crashes, so it's too early to comment on durability or effectiveness, although that Cordura pad covering does seem like it should be able to hold up to some serious abrasion. The pads were snugger than I'd expected at first – some riders may need to size up – but they seem like they're starting to break in and get more comfortable with each ride. I'll report back once I've put in a bunch more ride time in on them.
DMR offer a wide range of components to finish off a bike build, including pedals, saddles, grips, and bars and stems. The Defy50 stem (there's also a 35mm version) is free of any sharp corners, and uses an internal steerer clamp to protect those vulnerable knees. The OiOi saddle is the Ben Deakin signature edition, and while you probably can't see it in the above photo, it comes in grey or green camo, and there's a new pink and blue version that would match up nicely with those marbled DeathGrips.
Dainese Rival Vest Pro
• Removable back and shoulder protection • 700ml Humpback protective hydration pack • dainese.com
• Crash Absorb chest, rib, and clavicle pads • CE Level 1 certified • $249.99 USD
Raise your hand if you owned one of the original Dainese Pressure Jackets, the version with the grey mesh and white plastic protection. I did, and that body armor accompanied me on all sorts of silly freeride adventures. Times have changed (thankfully), and the modern version is much lighter and slimmer, with more flexible padding instead of hard plastic.
The Rival Pro is CE level 1 certified, and it even has a plastic bladder that slots into the back padding for all your hydration needs. It does create a strange profile under a jersey (Dainese call it the Humpback for a reason), and I'm not sure how it'll feel when you're sitting on a chairlift, but the option is there for riders who can't live without easily accessible water.
I do wish the back pad was a little longer. I'm 5'11”, and while the medium fits me well around the chest and arms, the back pad stops a few inches higher than I'd like. As with any protective apparel, it's always best to try before you buy.
I know I can’t manual for shit, can’t do the leg pump bit. For some reason my natural response when that is need to to pedal. I end up doing stand up peddle wheelies
I learned manuals and wheelies clipped in....never looped, no real close calls...
I’m not some phenom, a tap of the rear brake and down the the front goes.
Stoppies are a bit scarier to learn, but ultimately the same exact thing just reversed...release the brake and you’re fine.
It’s a relatively slow process and some people struggle more than others, but honestly it seems most people who would buy a manual trainer also lack the dedication to learn it anyways.
Also just because someone doesn't see the value in something doesn't mean it is a bad thing and won't work.
Dropper posts weren't well received at first but now I couldn't imagine not having one.
Or this could be a complete waste of time and money. But with out playing on one you don't know
Also i tried those manual thingies and they suck... it doesn't help you doing manuals...go and play in the street with your bike!
moral of the story is this would be great for those with older bikes and shitty brakes
however very expensive for something you could make outta nails and a few bits of 4 by 2
Then when you realize its trash you only lost four buck instead of $250
The only reason these are popular is because they are a super cheap DIY project that let you play on your bike, not because they get results.
2.Practice rowing on bike without lifting the wheels much, try to roll from front tire to the rear tire. And back. Imagine your bike is a row machine. Make sure you are loading front first, rear later.
Most common mistake we observe is people don't compres the fork enough, don't use enough range of motion with their arms to compress it, which in return leaves you less movement range when shifting weight backwards = less momentum.
Second mistake: people push almost simultaneously with arms and legs when shifting backwards. Manual is about lifting the front and then pushing the rear wheel under you. 1-2 sequence. 3rd point is catching the manual, but that's the easier part. Rowing sequence - front - then rear with delay. So in a way you compress front, shift back while keeping legs still bent, then you push with legs after front has left the ground. You need backwards momentum before you execute hip thrust - deadlift.
Physio tip: never pull with your arms so that they get fully stretched in elbows. You don't want sudden taking the slack of the rope feeling - bad for wrists, elbows, shoulders. When you pull, end with elbows 90-95% straight but never 100%. It is not about stength - it is about creatign yourself a range of movement and coordinating it.
The bigger the bike the harder it gets though... DJ or XC hardtail are the best.
Other uses include: 1) Suspension Sag machine, 2) Seat Height machine, 3) Body Position machine, 4) Brake Lever / Cockpit setup machine, and most obvious 5) Bike stand for holding bike to wash / work on / bike storage. Very versatile and only costs ~$10 in wood/screws.
Blue Loctite. Problem solved.
I would also buy them for my kids' bikes if you guys did a shorter version of 80 or 90mm length and little smaller diameter. It wouldn't even have to be lock-on. How about it?
I can't believe the performance in their grips, though fair warning if you value durability over performance don't get the soft compound. And after using their pedals for a few months, I can't even ride my friends' bikes around the parking lot.
Definitely interested in trying that stem.
Future additions will be for the WhipTrainer, Barspin Abutment, and 360 attachment.
Theres even a money back guarantee. If you ever crash and have it documented in video we will compensate you up to 100% including medical.
All in the works. For those curious, the price will be substantially higher than Senders manual machine. Im sure this is understandable because the System is much more complicated.
@jsnfschr: Been waiting for a crc order for that long too. Everything is behind.
@h82crash: Good to know I'm not the only one. Super frustrating because I got a Wiggle order (wheel set for my DJ) in about a week and shipping was free.
What about the manual app?
And for e-mopeds, just a sensor connected to engine and brakes... push a button and manual.
Go ride yer f***kin’ bike!
Though generally a good idea when riding a bike at speed down nasty terrain, protective gear is nonetheless very un-metal.
\m/ \m/ \m/
I'm not sure who is the musical patron saint of overpriced neoprene and 3DO foam (Nickelback, maybe?), but those kneepads should be named after them.
There really is no downside to nylon composite pedals and they aren't inferior to metal pedals in any way - they actually don't get hung up on rocks and roots as much if you happen to hit your pedal into any.
They also are extremely durable, just as much if not more so compared to metal pedals. They are also pretty big, so if you have big feet, you're good! Highly recommend!.
I had some nice high-end metal pedals and once I got the Oneup plastic pedals, it was game over. Have had the same pair for years, taken plenty of abuse, all I've had to do is tighten the axle bolts a few times. Pretty remarkable.
As others mention, their biggest benefit is how much better they deal with rock strikes. Plus, I don't really care when they do get gouged on a rock because they're so much cheaper.
Ive destroyed nukeproof plastic pedals in less than two rides with rock strikes. My broken pedal has blocked my shoe several times during my last ride, it was a real deal not to fall stupidly.
Plastic is good if you have paths in good shape, and/or a good riding technique to avoid pedals strikes.
Two much rocks here and a lack of riding style for me... sorry. :-/
I really like them, but damn, they wear out quick!
I guess the same goes for tires (maxxis maxxGrip are kinda like that as well) and maybe even shoe soles (grippiest shoe is 5/10 according to the community and what is the major complaint about them? That's riight, they don't hold up....)
Kevlar is a product, not a material. If they had Kevlar fibers in 'em, then they would state it. Sounds good though, I've got years out of the renthal Kevlar grips but prefer the feel of the deathgrips.
But my comment was merely a passing opinion, love the shape, comfort and style of the grip. just wish they didn't wear so fast. But as everything else outweighs the wear issue, I will continue to use them.
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