New Toys For A New Year

The Holidays are in the rearview mirror and now all we have to look forward to is several months of short, dark days and questionable weather.

Sounds horrible.

But wait.

We can still partake in daydreaming, adventure planning and some good ol’ retail therapy. So in the spirit of the Holidays past we bring you a list of items to occupy your mind, enliven your spirit and thin your wallet.

As we head into 2019, with all the struggles of the Stock Market, the bicycle industry and the confusion over tire size, pressure and compound, we still remain huge fans of all things bicycle. And while we are still confused about all this indoor “bicycling” everyone seems to be doing, we hope this will lead us all to more adventures and miles outdoors.

So come on in and check out our Lust List.


Giro Aether

Giro not only sweats all the little details in striving to make the safest helmet, but the Santa Cruz, California firm also understands the importance of aesthetics. Case in point, that new Aether MIPS. Gone is the oft pesky (but life-saving) MIPS plastic liner that we have all come to love and loathe, depending on who you’re asking, but the function of MIPS remains. How? Giro’s engineers incorporated it between two EPS shells, thus making it pretty much invisible, with no obstruction and more comfort. Besides the nine different stock colors, you can also make a one-of-a-kind custom Aether on their website. How about that for a fashion statement?


Kali Protectives Strike Knee Armor

Kali’s Strike Knee Armor has you covered when things start to get a little “gnar.” The Strikes stay in place, are comfortable in the riding position and are slim enough to sit nicely under any and all of our fashionable baggie short choices. While we wouldn’t want to do chairlift runs in a pair of these, we found we had a plenty of piece-of-mind riding our local trails and ripping our local drops knowing we had our knees Kali covered.


Outer Shell Adventure Drawcord Handlebar Bag

Just read Outershells “About” page and, if you aren’t completely jaded by the world, you will just want to throw money at them. And I quote, “The ‘Outer Shell Adventure’ embodies our quest towards spiritual harmony with ourselves, nature and other travelers.” I mean. Come on. They make really sweet bags, have a satisfaction guarantee and will basically fix any problem into eternity free of charge. We threw down some coin on their Drawcord Handlebar Bag in hopes it would be the final dollar we would spend on trying to solve our “bikes and cameras…cameras and bikes” problem. And although we loved the construction and detail put into this bag, our hunt for the perfect camera bag continues. The size is perfect for our micro 4:3 camera, mounting is straight ahead and the drawstring allowed seemless access. We just don’t want our camera in a bag. If you are the type of rider who needs a little more room than your jersey pockets allow and you love to stop and take pictures… this might be the perfect bag for you.


Kenda Nevegal 2 Pro

Born in 2003 and rebirthed late last year, the Kenda Nevegal 2 Pro is back with all the classic stylings and modern accoutrements todays trail riders are looking for. The newly designed tire is fast rolling, protected with K-Armor and is surprisingly lightweight for a tire with this much enduro worthy pedigree. If you love to get after it, but also don’t mind pedaling to get there, this tire should be on your shopping list. If you are a full on Enduro contender, you might want to look elsewhere for something just a touch beefier.


Mission Workshop Traverse XC Short

These Mission Workshop Traverse bloomers are nothing short of amazing. They may lack the neon accents and full on bells and whistles of other shorts in this “segment,” but what they lack in bling they make up for in subtle superiority. The material is ripstopping and confidence inspiring, while remaining in the featherweight division. Two smaller side zipper pockets offer just enough storage for the one or two items you want immediate access to. And the “contoured waist belt” pushes this short from good to great while keeping the short right where we like them even in the trickiest of situations. Bravo, Mission Workshop. Bravo. Now we just need to try the All Mountain version of this short.


Fi’zi:k Aliante Open R1

The Fi’zi:k Aliante has been one very successful saddle since its introduction in the early 2000’s. Its TwinFlex shell is supremely comfortable akin to lounging on a hammock, a heaven for those who prefer to stay seated the majority of the time. The overall concept hasn’t changed much through the years, but Fi’zi;k decided to really shake things up a bit last year. The new Aliante Open R1 retains the gorgeous silhouette of the Aliante family, but adds an anatomical cutout in the center to alleviate unwanted pressure on those sensitive soft tissues. A wider, larger version is also available for those who need additional support. If cutouts are not your thing, Fi’zi:k is also offering a version with its full-length Versus relief channel, or you can always go to the tried-and-true regular Aliante, both also available in two widths.


POC Ventral: An Aero Helmet That Can Do It All

POC Ventral helmet

Let’s face it. Aero helmet is not everyone’s cup of tea. They might be faster, but often time they are heavy and gets hot way too easily, which is not necessarily a bad thing if you’re riding in the cold, but I strongly dislike wearing my aero lids in the middle of summer.

POC Ventral helmet
Instead of designing air around the helmet, POC designed the ntntral’s front air intake to capture and channel air in a specific path to improves aerodynamics and reduces drag, which also allows better ventilation and cooling effect.

POC’s new Ventral is trying to change that. You can now have an aero helmet that is fast, lightweight, well ventilated and safe featuring POC’s own SPIN (Shearing Pads INside) pads to combat against rotational impact. No need to decide which helmet to use on certain day because the Ventral can do it all.

POC SPIN (Shearing Pads INside)
Cutaway view of POC’s SPIN (Shearing Pads INside) to combat against rotation impact.

“Over the years we have developed a number of advanced performance helmets. The award winning Octal is well known, but our Octal Aero, Cerebel and Tempor helmets have also been fundamental in improving aerodynamic performance and times for many track and road riders. With all our experience, we wanted to push our ideas even further and develop a ventilated aero helmet that would give significant speed gains to a rider and further improve safety.” – POC CEO Jonas Sjögren

Our in-depth review is on the way but here’s a short video about the Ventral.

The Ventral will be used by EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale Pro Cycling Team starting March 4th and they are available for purchase today both in store and online.

POC Ventral helmet
Photo: POC