Well done, you’ve made it through the 6th year, 96th month, 452nd week and 1-millionth day of lockdown, only another infinite more to go! We’ll get there in the end, I’m sure.
Now, if that hasn’t cheered you up, what about another instalment of First Look Friday and a look through the highlights on BikeRadar this past week?
The week kicked off strong with an interview with industrial designer Torgny Fjeldskaar (who has worked for BMC, Cannondale and BMW in his ever-growing portfolio). We then took a look at Maxxis’s new gravel tyre, the Receptor and reviewed Rapha’s Classic Winter Jacket.
Last week saw the final instalment off our Ride Strong in 2021 Podcast series, but this week’s podcast, ripe for your aural delectation, covers the bits of kit that have kept me and Alex, my fellow MTB tech ed, riding through the winter.
Speaking of winter, even if (hopefully) it’s nearly over, we also brought you a list of the best waterproof MTB trousers we’ve recently tested.
Muc-Off Stealth Tubeless Puncture Plug
Tubeless tyres are the bane of my life when it comes to fitting them, however I’ve been fairly lucky when it comes to punctures so far.
No tyre is impervious to a puncture, though, and I’m a forgetful man, so the ability to keep a tubeless repair kit on my bike at all times is a very handy thing indeed.
This kit from Muc-Off sits inside your bar ends, and is held in place with a rubber bung that’s tightened with a 4mm hex key.
The kit comes in two parts: the barb + hole-opening side, and a (rather sharp!) blade on the other.
The tools are housed within a pair of machined aluminium sheaths, with a rubber seal to keep it safe from water ingress, and there’s just enough room to fit a number of tubeless repair strips inside the casings, too.
The kit is available in an array of colours and three different bung sizes, with 15 tubeless repair strips.
So far it’s successfully repaired 100 per cent of the punctures it’s been used on (out of a sample of one…).
- £29.99 / €35.95
Fox Defend 2-in-1 Shorts
You’ve seen integration when it comes to bikes, but what about integration on shorts?
Fox’s Defend line covers winter kit, but I reckon it could have gone one bigger with the name because, from what I can tell, these shorts cover three bases, not two!
The obvious one is the weather-resistant outer baggy short, with fabric that’s rated 10k/30k for waterproofness/breathability, and has taped seams and watertight zips in the right areas to keep water out. They’re not full-on waterproofs, but they should keep you dry in fairly damp conditions.
Then there’s the 3/4 length Lycra liner short, which has a brushed inner fabric to keep you warm. Up top, there’s a wide elasticated waist band to keep you snug that’s attached to the baggies in some areas, such as the inside thigh, to prevent the baggy material from flapping about in an annoying fashion and catching on your saddle.
And the third bit? The liner short has a pocket in the knee area for a set of D3O pads, so not only are you protected from the weather and from chafing, but if you have a tumble and knock your knees you’re protected there too!
The pads are the same as the ones found in Fox’s Enduro Pro D3O pads, which I rather liked back in the autumn, scoring them 4.5 stars out of 5!
- £180 / $224.95 / €200
76Projects Modular Computer Mount, Enduro Mount and Little Piggy
Want a sleek and stylish cockpit, but still need to carry your gadgets? Often individual gadget mounts can be a little unsightly, especially if you need more than one. 76Projects has your back, though, with a range of neatly thought-out mounts, many of which are 3D printed here in the UK.
First up is the Modular Computer Mount, which, as the name suggests, is a computer mount that’s modular in its construction – nifty, huh?
Next is the Enduro Mount. This is a Garmin (or Wahoo) mount that attaches to your top tube with some very sticky 3M tape, to keep your computer just about in sight, but very much out of harm’s way.
Two versions are available, with a flatter or more curved profile to fit varying tube shapes.
Finally, have you also got a bike with a mystery pair of bottle cage bosses? I did (on my Marin El Roy), and this Little Piggy came to
market my attention.
It’s a bolt-on shuttle with a Velcro strap that can hold a tube and lever, or one of 76Projects’ little dry bags to keep all your bits and pieces on your bike.
- Modular Computer Mount: From £39.50
- Enduro Mount: £12.50
- Little Piggy: From £25
- All available direct from 76Projects
Magicshine MJ 906S light
The roll-off-your-tongue MJ 906S from Magicshine is a compact yet bright light with a vast array of beam strengths and a number of beam patterns.
Daytime running through to ‘burn all the retinas in a mile radius’ amounts of light (4,500 lumens) are pumped out by the two main LEDs, with backups providing daylight riding (DLR) capability.
One button on top lets you toggle through the modes, while the light unit itself is attached to bar and helmet alike, via a Garmin-style quarter-turn bracket.
The supplied battery is charged (and also outputs, should you wish) via USB-C, and has a capacity of 10,000mAh for up to 50 hours of burn time.
Battery indicator levels are present too.
However, what’s really smart is the electric bike integration. Yes, this light can be integrated in to your ebike’s power supply, so you’ll never forget to charge your light battery again (unless you count your ebike battery as your light battery). It works with Brose, Bosch, Shimano and Yamaha systems.