American firm WTB were founded back in 1982 in California, fuelled by a desire to create quality mountain bike products in a time where mountain biking was a new and burgeoning sport. Today they produce tyres, wheels, grips and saddles, and it’s a new addition to the latter which has just landed on our desk.
The new Volt saddle is primarily designed for cross-country racing but is equally at home on the road. It features a pressure-relieving cut out on the underside, plus a groove down the length of the saddle called the “Love Channel”.
Four versions are available; the SLT and Team have titanium rails, while Pro and Race have weight compromises with Nicro (a hollow alloy) and cromoly (steel) rails respectively. Shown below, the Team (£89.99) is the second tier Volt saddle and tipped our scales at 201g. It’s mostly covered in leather but with Kevlar round the sides for protection.
WTB Volt Team saddle
Next up are a couple of products from Endura’sMT500 range. We’ll kick it off with the Hooded Jacket (£159.99) which, from a technical stand point hasn't altered from the version we tested a couple of years ago. The only thing that has changed is that's now available in the new burgundy colour shown below. It’s a single-layer jacket, breathable to 28,000gms and waterproof to 12,000mm. Its hood is designed to fit over your helmet, while two huge mesh chest pockets – plus smaller waterproof pockets on the wrist – ensure ample room for storing your bits and pieces.
Thick neoprene makes up the bulk of the Overshoes (£25.99), but thick rubber reinforces the toe area. The soles have an outer lining of Kevlar fabric, which should protect them from the inevitable pounding they'll take.
The increasing ubiquity of touch screens on bike computers and cameras mean more and more manufacturers are packing their winter gloves with material that allows you to operate them without removing them. The Cipher cycling gloves from Biologic afford you that luxury through a conductive fabric, which is stitched into the thumb and fore finger. They are available directly from Biologic's US website for $34.99.
The latest product from helmet specialists TSG is a departure from the norm for the German company, who usually produce full face and trials lids. The Substance (£44.99) is their first true all-mountain helmet and features, a dial fit system, 16 vents and a choice of two colours - the coal shown below and black.