CrankBrothers Kronolog dropper seatpost - Just in

Plus SDG Storm saddle, Loaded pedals and Knox armour

CrankBrothers unveiled their new Kronolog dropper post on Monday and we've managed to get our hands on a pre-production sample for a closer look.

The replacement for the Joplin offers 5in/125mm of mechanical adjustment and is claimed to be much more reliable than its predecessor, with fewer parts and a keyed quill system that's designed to cut rotational movement. 

You can find out more in our launch article and the video below, from CrankBrothers. Check out the image gallery for lots more pictures. RRP is £249.99 via UK distributors 2Pure, and US$300 in the US. Production posts may differ slightly from our photographic sample. 

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SDG Ti-Fly Storm saddle

SDG’s Storm saddles are aimed firmly at downhill racers, with raised rubber logos on top to aid grip in muddy conditions. Just arrived in the office is the new Ti-Fly Storm. Unlike the I-Fly Storm I-Beam we tested last year, this new model is compatible with standard seatposts.

As the name suggests, the Ti-Fly Storm uses lightweight titanium-alloy rails instead of the composite beam of the I-Beam version. This means it’s a little heavier – 195g (claimed) vs 180g – but flex in the rails should also make it a little more comfortable, addressing one of our main criticisms with the original seat.

This added comfort should make it more of an option for gravity enduro racing and even trail/all-mountain riding – anywhere where wet-weather grip is essential. However, the raised, 2.5mm-deep rubber logos will still limit its long-ride appeal. This is less of an issue for downhillers, who don’t tend to sit down much.

Underneath the knobs is SDG’s proven 260mm long, 127mm wide I-Fly shape, with wear-resistant panels on the nose and flanks to shrug off crash damage. RRP is £69.95 via UK distributors Silverfish (US RRP TBC). Look out for a full review in Mountain Biking UK magazine and on BikeRadar soon. Visit www.sdgusa.com for more details.

Loaded AmX signature pedals

The latest pedals from US company Loaded Precision Inc are a decent width (100mm), super-slim (13mm at the axle, which is the widest point) and weigh just 305g a pair on our scales. A titanium axle version is available if you want to shed even more weight; Loaded reckon it cuts about 70g.

The body is CNC machined from 6061-T6 aluminium, use of six sealed bearings and two DU bushings means the pedals should keep on spinning smoothly, and they're available in a plethora of colours. RRP is £89.99 via Haven Distribution in the UK, and $139.99 in the US.

Knox body armour

UK-based Knox have updated their Cross Lite knee pads for 2012, adding a second Velcro strap, at the top, for extra security. They also sport extra padding at the top and sides, and use Knox's latest PU foam based Flexiform+ soft armour.

Other tweaks include an improved fit, a more stretchy material and all-new graphics. They're available in short (seen here, £44.99) and long (£49.99) knee versions, plus an elbow version (£39.99).

Also new from Knox is the Venture Top – a nylon/Lycra mix jersey with an integrated back protector and shoulder pads. As with the Cross Lite pads, Knox's lightweight Flexiform+ soft armour is used for the shoulders, with bulkier and less flexible Advance X padding on the rear. RRP is £89.99.

Also available is a zipped, long-sleeved version, the Venture Shirt, which adds Flexiform+ elbow protection for an extra £20. Both are available in black or grey, in sizes S-XXL, from www.planet-knox.com. Optional chest guards can be added if required.

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