There was a load of new mountain bike clothing and equipment at this year's Core Bike trade show, particularly at the gravity-fed end of the riding spectrum. Here's a quick look at the latest kit from THE, Kali, Fox, Alpinestars, Race Face, Dakine and EVOC.
THE's The One full-face helmet was a massive hit when it first appeared four-odd years ago, offering a sleek look similar to the Troy Lee Designs D2 at a significantly lower price. Well, for 2011 it's no longer in the line-up, replaced instead with a cheaper .5 and a top-end T2.
The One lives on in all but name, though – the .5 has the same shape and profile but an injection-molded ABS plastic shell rather than the old lid's composite or carbon fibre shell. Available in the UK via Silverfish, RRP is just £89.95. It's available in a choice of four colourways.
The T2 is available in carbon (£229) and composite (£159) versions, with a choice of four colourways for each. THE say it's been redesigned from the ground up, with a reduced silhouette compared to The One. Claimed weight is just over 1,000g.
Features include 17 vents and four internal air channels, a one-piece EPS inner, removable and washable pads, and a padded chin strap with D-ring closure. Available in four sizes, both new THE lids exceed CPSC and CE certification standards.
Kali Protectives were showing off their latest full-face helmets at The Bike Place show down the road from Core Bike. The top-end Avatar is super-light (sorry – we don't have a claimed weight yet, but it certainly feels feathery when you pick it up).
This is thanks to a 'Tri-Weave' shell that combines Kevlar, carbon fibre and fibreglass, as well as its in-mould construction (where the EPS foam inner is moulded to the outer instead of being taped or glued in place).
The Avatar is EN 1078 and CPSC compliant. It's available in five sizes and four colourways, for £199, via Surf Sales in the UK. For the budget end of the market, Kali offer the Savara. This £70 lid has an ABS plastic shell to keep costs down. It's available in two colourways and four sizes.
For trail riders who don't need the protection of a full-face but want a bit more rear coverage than that provided by a typical cross-country race helmet, there's the Amara, a challenger to the likes of Giro's Xen and Zar, and Fox's Flux. What sets this lid apart is the removable integrated camera mount.
At present it'll only take pencil-type video cameras but Kali are developing adaptors for other styles. They're also working on an integrated mount for their full-face helmets. The Amara has all the features you'd expect of a modern trail lid, including a polycarbonate shell and in-moulded EPS liner, 17 vents and quite a long peak. RRP is £50, or £65 with the mount.
We've already shown you Fox's new Striker trail helmet and some of their other 2011 kit. On show at Core were some fresh new goggle designs, hydration packs and gloves (you can see some of these in our image gallery). Particularly impressive was the new Ironmask waterproofing treatment. Instead of soaking in, water simply beads on the surface of the glove and rolls off.
After several years sponsoring former downhill world champion Greg Minnaar, Alpinestars launched their debut mountain bike clothing range in 2009. On show at Core was new body armour and some trail – not just downhill and freeride, as before – clobber.
In addition to the Moab pads launched last year, there are now two cheaper options – A-Line (hard shell, £50 knee) and Morzine (soft pad, £35 elbow/£42 knee), plus A-Line gloves too (£25), in a range of colours.
The new Hyperlight jersey (£36) is aimed at trail riders and is made of a lightweight, wicking material, with mesh inserts to keep you cool in summer. The matching shorts (£50) again feature mesh inserts, along with a seamless seat panel, an elasticised rear yoke and multi-panel construction to ensure a good fit.
The Drop jersey (£40) is another lightweight, moisture-wicking all-mountain/trail jersey, but this time with a slightly looser fit and a more moto-inspired look. Again, there are matching shorts (£85), this time with a liner included. Alpinestars kit is available in the UK via Extra.
We've already shown you some of Race Face'snew components. Well, the Canadian company have got new clothing to go with them. The Buzz short (£70) comes in stealthy black or gravel, and there's a matching Buzz jersey (£40) – actually more of a technical T-shirt – and gloves (£37) to go with it.
The Ambush downhill short (£70) replaces the DH 3quarter for 2011, and there's a matching jersey (£45), gloves (£48) and even knee pads to go with it. The short is available in black, Gravel or Ocean, and the jersey in black or white. Race Face kit is available in the UK via Silverfish.
Dakine have a good-looking and surprisingly large range of riding clobber this year. See our image gallery for some of the latest designs. Pictured below is the Sentry jersey and Ridge short. The Sentry jersey is available in short- and 3/4-sleeved versions, in Burgundy, Concrete or black.
Features include an anti-bacterial fabric treatment, mesh panels and a hidden glasses wipe. The Ridge short is new for 2011 and comes with a removable liner. Dakine kit is available in the UK via Surf Sales. Pricing TBC.
EVOC made their UK debut at last year's Core Bike show and this time they were back with a vengeance. Their impressive Bike Travel Bag is now available in a range of colours, including a special edition multicolour version. They also have new messenger (20L, £60) and courier (25L, 85) bags made from ripstop nylon.
It was the new hydration packs that were most interesting, though. The Backpack CC 10L (£60, or £80 with bladder) and redesigned Freeride Trail 20L (£125) share features such as a front tool pocket, helmet flap, soft glasses pocket and an 'air circulation system' to keep your back dry.
Another good feature that both packs share is the ability to fully open the main compartment (ie. the zips go all the way down to the bottom of the bag) for easier packing. The extra £65 over the CC 10L gets you twice the capacity and a removable CE rated spine protector, which can also be worn on its own. EVOC products are available via Silverfish in the UK.