A lot of gear comes across our desks here at Pinkbike. Check Out is an occasional 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 stuff someone sent us unsolicited and we're having a laugh.
Syncros Vernon 2.0 digital floor pump
• Digital gauge offers 0.5 psi precision • Max pressure: 180 psi • Pressure-release button
The analog gauges on most floor pumps are often imprecise and inaccurate, making it impossible to set your tire pressures to within a +/-0.5 psi window every time. Usually, I over-inflate my tires and then use a separate digital gauge to release the pressure to the exact value I'm aiming for. But that takes time. This Syncros pump has a digital gauge which agrees with my Topeak Smartgauge to within 1 psi. I couldn't tell you for sure if either is accurate, but both offer precise measurements that are at least consistent with themselves and one another.
This means I can skip a step and get riding with perfect pressures sooner. The pump feels solid and can inflate up to 180 psi, which combined with the reversible Presta/Schrader head, means it can be pressed into service to quickly inflate a fork or even a shock spring (though in this case I would definitely recommend checking/adjusting the pressure with a digital shock pump). If you already have a floor pump all this is merely a convenience. But given the price isn't too extortionate, if you need a new one it may as well make life easier.
Thule Rail Pro12L hydration pack
• CE-certified Level One spine protector • Magnetic hose retainer • 2.5L HydraPak reservoir
A 10-12-litre pack is the size I reach for most often for typical all-day rides that require more than what you can stash on the bike or a bum bag. The Rail 12 Pro has an extra reason to come out for those moderately adventurous rides because it has a level-one certified back protector, which could prevent pointy rocks or hard items of luggage from injuring you in a crash. The protector is made from Koroyd - the plastic straw-like material used in Smith and Endura's helmets - and weighs just 144 g. The whole back weighs 1,104 g including the protector and reservoir.
Another neat feature is the magnetic strip in the right-hand shoulder strap which securely locks the hose down as soon as you let go of the bite valve. There are mesh side pockets on the hip belt but they have no closure, which means heavier items like tools or snack bars sometimes fall out if moving about too enthusiastically. A medium-sized external pocket at the back is handy for frequently-accessed items, but of course, you need to remove the pack for those. The main compartment has plenty of tool-organising straps, including loops to secure two pumps, but the helmet carrier means you have to undo the buckles before unzipping it. Not a big problem, but I'm not convinced we need helmet carriers anymore, and you can't fit much else in the flap behind the main compartment when the pack is full.
It is a little stiff with the back protector installed and the waistbelt is a bit too thin to hold it securely when fully loaded, but overall I find it comfortable to wear all day so long as it's not too heavily laden.
Apidura are a London-based brand best known for their understated bikepacking and commuting gear. This hip pack is designed for technical mountain biking, though, with a secure waist strap to hold it in place when the going gets rough. Its main selling point for me is the waterproof fabric and taped seams, which should keep your stuff dry on rainy days. I also like the large hip pockets, one of which has a zip, which keep basic tools and snacks handy, while carrying a little of the weight so the main body of the pack doesn't bounce around too much.
Inside there's a padded pencil case-style pouch, ideal for a phone, which also divides the pack in two to help keep things organised, but it can be pushed to one side for stowing a single large item like a jacket. The Velcro waist strap is slightly stretchy, which wouldn't be great for holding it securely on bumpy terrain, except there's also a buckle and adjustable strap which can be used to cinch it down tighter for a rough descent, then loosened up for mellower riding. Apidura say the waist strap will fit waist sizes from 70cm / 28iin to 115cm / 45in, but with my waist of 86cm / 34in, there are only about 2 inches (5cm) of overlap in the Velcro when worn over a jacket, so I think that upper bound is optimistic.
Crossbox lap timer
• GPS lap timer with app to analyse performance • Accurate to 1.5m, or 0.05s • Hardware weight: 64g (actual)
• Compare speed, time and heart rate on every part of the track • €249 (+€ 29,99 per 6 month for the app) • www.crossboxapp.com
Crossbox is primarily designed for motocross, but its UK distributor, Madison, say it will work for point-to-point mountain bike trails too. By using GNSS satellite data, it's claimed to track your position to within 1.5m and to measure lap times to within 0.05s, but with an average accuracy of 0.01s. Combined with a 6-axis accelerometer, this can provide speed, acceleration and timing data not just for whole laps, but section by section and line by line. It's designed to help you decide which line is faster by overlaying the position, speed and time at each point on the track from one run to the next. Presumably, it will only be able to show you the difference in lines if they're more than 1.5 m apart, which often isn't the case with mountain bike tracks, but if you keep a note of which line you rode on which run you'll still be able to compare the speed and section times metre by metre.
As you may have guessed, this is aimed at serious racers capable of putting down consistent laps run after run and are looking to understand the split seconds which separate them. It's got a price tag to match. This is the only item on this list I haven't used yet and I'm unlikely to ever make the most of it, but I can tell you that with a real-world weight of 64g, it's light enough to be barely noticeable when mounted to a full-face helmet.