£107 bottle cages, enduro knee pads, street mtb shoes and a boozing or cruising jacket
Plus highlights from this week's content
The weekend is upon us, and a marked weather improvement shows some early signs that spring is here in the UK.
While daffodils are yet to line our lanes, they are now in supermarkets, giving hope to those of us who are seasonally affected.
Knowing the weather of our island nation is never promised, we’ve tested jackets galore, with reviews of Rapha’s Core Rain II, Castelli’s Perfetto RoS 2, and Endura’s MT500 Freezing Point going live this week.
Alex Evans gave his thoughts on the fun-focused Santa Cruz 5010 CC X01 AXS RSV MX, which now features a mullet setup – as is the fashion in the mountain bike industry.
Our deputy editor Jack Luke advocated for cycle commuting and shared 6 commuter bike accessories he couldn’t live without.
Elsewhere, Cube announced the release of a revamped family of Stereo ONE mountain bikes.
There were also developments on the eco front, with Schwalbe taking delivery of its first shipments of rCB for its upcoming recycled tyre.
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Wolf Tooth Morse Cage Ti
This titanium bottle cage from Wolf Tooth is handmade in the brand’s Minnesota workshop.
Made from 8mm hollow titanium tubing that’s welded onto a titanium plate, the cage weighs in at 31.5g on our scales.
Carbon and plastic cages may be lighter and cheaper, but the Morse Cage adds a level of elegance to my winter road bike. Knowing it’ll never rust and is unlikely to crack is nice, too.
An anodised finish means the cage cradles bottles as if they were newborns, offering a level of grip that plastic on plastic could only dream of. However, your bottles may pay the price for this level of friction.
The plate features eyelets sequenced in a dot-dash formation, hence the Morse name. This enables 32mm of vertical adjustment, meaning gravel lovers should be able to position the cage away from any frame bags, or out of the way of wheel spray.
The cage is available in six colours – black, blue, green, olive, purple and the espresso colour pictured.
- £107 / $84.95 / €139.99
Fox Enduro Pro D3O Knee Pads
These knee pads from Fox Racing are designed for the rigours of enduro racing with the aim of providing top-level protection without the bulk.
The Enduro Pro pads are made for pedalling as well as protecting, with moisture-wicking materials and a mesh rear panel to keep air flowing around those sweaty legs.
Custom-moulded foam inserts are used to protect the knees from heavy impacts. These can be removed easily, so you can throw the outers into the washing machine.
Fox uses D3O’s impact foam, which is certified to EN1621-1 specification. This is a test used to asses the impact protection levels of motorcyle limb and joint protectors, where the level of force transmitted from an impact should not exceed 35kN.
A sleeve design makes the pads easy to slip on, while the elastic straps behind the knee keep them in place. Silicone grips at the top and bottom of the sleeve stop the pads from slipping down and compromising your pedal stroke.
Fox’s Enduro Pro D3O knee pads are available in sizes XS to 2XL.
- £94.99 / $109.95 / €99.99 / AU$149.99
Crankbrothers Stamp Street Shoes
Famous for its components, Crankbrothers has only recently turned its attention to footwear.
As the name would suggest, the Stamp Street Shoes look just at home off the bike as they do on it.
With a focus on the flat-pedal disciplines of dirt jumping and street riding, Crankbrothers says the Stamp Streets are also suitable for light trail riding.
Designed with trials athlete and big-time sender Fabio Wibmer, the shoes feature Crankbrothers’ Match technology. This sticky rubber compound is claimed to optimise the shoe and pedal interface.
The upper of the shoe is constructed around an inner sock. Crankbrothers calls this a ‘bootie design’. Unlike some shoes with similar construction, the Stamp Street features two helpful pull tabs on the heel and tongue to aid in taking the shoes on and off.
A reinforced polyurethane panel protects the inside of your foot from hitting the crank arms, while the EVA foam midsole provides shock absorption for big hits on concrete.
These shoes may be overkill for my commute, but they make every kerb drop feel like a big send.
The white colour is striking, if a bold choice for shoes positioned so closely to a chainring.
The shoes are also available in a black, purple or sage, all featuring a Stamp Pedal outlined in the tread – a nod to the company’s most famous product.
The elasticated lock on the tongue keeps your laces from getting caught up in drivetrains or wheels, also helping to keep them tied when off the bike.
- £124.99 / $129.99 / €129.99 / AU$200.70
Leatt Jacket MTB Trail 3.0
Although not proud, I am a self-proclaimed fair-weather rider who has dismissed too many rides due to a personal hatred of cold, wet weather.
The Leatt Jacket MTB Trail 3.0’s 5,000g/m² proof shell looks ample for dealing with light rain and spray.
The quilted insulation and casual styling mean the jacket doesn’t look out of place at the trailhead or at the King’s Head – my local tap house.
The jacket features a large hood that sits high over the chin, leaving plenty of room for a helmet, as well as a ‘flap strap’ to keep the jacket in place when unzipped.
Leatt’s patented magnet system is used, employing a combination of four magnets to keep the hood attached to your helmet as well as stowed away.
The insulation only covers the front panel up to the shoulders, with Leatt making the rear panel out of a 360-degree stretch fabric to aid in breathability.
Zipped hand-warmer pockets should keep your belongings safe on descents, while also taking away some of the pain of waiting around in the cold months.
- £139.99 / €160.00 / $171.91 / AU$248.34