Given how much gear we test at BikeRadar, it’s a proud endorsement of any product if it is used by our team of testers on a regular basis. Here’s a look at five items senior tech editor Josh Patterson reaches for when he hits the trail.
The tried and true XT pedalJosh Patterson / Immediate Media
Shimano’s XT pedals don’t need any justification for occupying a spot on a tech editor’s list of favored gear.
They’re affordable, able to withstand years of hard riding and are easy to rebuild when the time comes.
I alternate between the Trail and Race versions depending on the shoes I’m testing. If you’re investing in a single set of clipless pedals, I suggest going with the lighter and more affordable Race version.
Wolf Tooth’s ReMote is a worthy upgrade for any cable-operated dropperJosh Patterson / Immediate Media
Dropper seatposts are starting to come along in terms of reliability, but many still lack a refined 1x remote. That’s where Wolf Tooth comes to the rescue with its ReMote.
From the cartridge bearing pivot for smooth operation to the 5mm of lateral adjustment, it’s the only 1x dropper lever I’ve tested (and I’ve tested them all) that feels like a high-end shifter. If you have a cable-operated dropper, it’s an upgrade worth making.
Acre’s Traverse AM is the best mountain bike short I’ve wornJosh Patterson / Immediate Media
Acre Supply is the MTB-centric branch of clothing manufacturer Mission Workshop. The Traverse AM is the company’s all-mountain baggy. After several years of riding – and occasionally wrecking – in these shorts, I’m convinced the Traverse AM is finest pair of mountain bike shorts on the market.
They’re a study in understated style and refined features. The fit is tailored, but with enough room for today’s low-profile kneepads. The zippered cargo pockets are strategically positioned so you won’t notice your smartphone shifting around while you pedal and a contoured waist belt with a single-sided pull keep the shorts from sagging.
A single-sided strap adjusts the waistbandJosh Patterson / Immediate Media
Yes, they’re on the expensive end of the spectrum. But, in my opinion, a pair of American-made shorts constructed from high-end, four-way stretch fabric is worth the asking price.
No piece of kit is invincible, however. After several years of use, I managed to rip the rear out of my first pair, but it took a 30-foot slide down a slab of slickrock to kill them. I gladly ponied up for two new pairs that see almost daily use.
Bontrager’s XR4 Team Issue is a great high-volume tireJosh Patterson / Immediate Media
I’ve been impressed by many of the mountain bike tires Bontrager has rolled out in the past two seasons. If there’s a standout tread pattern in the company’s line, it’s the voluminous and very capable XR4.
The 29 x 2.4in XR4 Team Issue has become my go-to trail tire – they roll fast, bite through corners and have withstood hundreds of rocky miles. To get the most out of them, I suggest mounting them to rims with an internal width of 27-30mm.