Topeak are introducing a new line of lights that were developed using input from the Topeak-Ergon distance mountain bike team but will surely be useful to commuters and 24-hour mountain bike racers alike.
At the top of the range is the Mega 10 Watt, which produces 900 lumens on maximum power and will burn for 2.5 hours at that brightness. The casing will be made of either magnesium or aluminium – the final material has yet to be determined.
Cutting the power down to the five-watt mode more than doubles battery life to 5.5 hours. There's also a ‘flash’ mode for commuters, which will again double battery life. The light is priced at US$399.99 and will come with a battery, charger and handlebar mount; a helmet mount will be available for an additional $25.
It's amazing the punch such a small light and battery package can produce – especially if you remember the 5lb cage-destroying bottle batteries from a decade ago
Topeak's 2011 range has been heavily influenced by the successful Topeak-Ergon cross-country and marathon mountain bike teams. “We want our products to relate to that type of rider,” said marketing director Matt Kraus. The result is new 'Team Issue' products and more use of carbon fibre and stainless steel.
One of the products inspired directly by the teams is the Race Pod, a combination CO2 inflator, tyre lever and minimalist tube carrier/mount that was inspired by the standard practice on the World Cup circuit of taping the same trio of components to one’s stem or seatpost. The package is heavier by a few grams, but neater looking, reusable and amazingly secure.
The Race Pod's Neoprene cover has an additional strap that holds a spare tube
Another item influenced by the pro riders is the Mini Pro multi tool line. The tools are built from materials including carbon and hardened stainless steel in a variety of sizes, which depend on the number of tools needed. The minimalist Mini 9 Pro CB offers nine tools including tyre levers, while the Mini Pro 20, also a Team Issue product, just won a Red Dot design award for its fit and function.
Though not likely to ever be used on a World Cup course, Topeak's revamped line of alloy and carbon RaceRocket MasterBlaster mini pumps has also been designated as 'Team Issue' equipment. The pumps, which range in price from US$34.95 to $59.95, feature alloy or full-carbon barrels and long, flexible hoses, which are retractable but permanently attached.
Away from the racetrack, Topeak also have a new commuter-specific bottle cage, the Java Cage. As the name implies, it's built to carry a vacuum-sealed metal coffee travel mug. It can be set to fit 12oz or 16oz cups, and an adjustable rubber top strap ensures security.
The Java Cage holds both 12oz and 16oz metal coffee mugs
Another new piece of kit for commuters is the QR Cage – a quick-release mount that accepts both a water bottle cage and a mini pump bracket. The idea is that you can take your bottle and alloy mini-pump with you when you park your bike in a public place so that neither is stolen, without having to undo any straps.