11spd: This week's best new bike gear

Post-crash gels and sprays, unique cycling gear bags and more

This week we have you covered head to toe, inside and outside. We've got gear bags with compartments for everything from helmets to shoes. We've got Matcha for when you ride and chocolate protein for after. And we've even got gels and sprays for torn skin after you crash.

Read on for the best 11 products to land at our Colorado offices recently. 

Dakine Hot Laps Gripper

Dakine's Hot Laps Gripper
Dakine's Hot Laps Gripper

The latest addition to Dakine’s Hot Laps line isn’t a new hip pack; it's a trail-side repair kit you strap to your bike.

The Hot Laps Gripper shown here is loaded with a 29er inner tube, two CO2 canisters, a tire lever and muli-tool.

The Hot Laps Gripper holds trail repair essentials
The Hot Laps Gripper holds trail repair essentials

This handy tool and tube holster can be strapped to your saddle rails like a standard seat bag or mounted anywhere on the frame that’s convenient.

The pack is made from durable 600D nylon with rubberized backing on the body, and straps help it stay securely in place.

  • £19 / $22 / AU$29.95

Easton Gravel Rings

Easton's new gravel chainring combo
Easton's new gravel chainring combo

Easton recently released a trio of chainring combinations for gravel, cyclocross and bikepacking that cater to riders who prefer the tighter steps of double chainrings to wide-range 1x drivetrains.

We’re checking out Easton’s “gravel specific” combo, which uses a 47t big ring with a 32t small ring.

Subcompact cranksets with 48/32t chainrings have been around for several seasons and have seen widespread use on gravel bikes, so why did Easton decide on 47t?

According to Easton, the company was able to improve the shift ramps for the transition to and from with a 47 and 32t chainring. Another claimed benefit of a 15t jump is a decreased change in cadence compared to a 16t jump.

The direct-mount 47/32t chainring combo shown here weighs 194g. When installed on an EC90 SL crankset with 172.5mm crankarms, the weight is a very respectable 538g.

  • £149.95 / $149.99 / €179/ AU$TBC
  • Easton’s gravel shift rings will be available in June

Lezyne Storage Drive

It's not a vape pen for your bike; it's a new multi-tool from Lezyne
It's not a vape pen for your bike; it's a new multi-tool from Lezyne

No, this is not a vape pen that mounts to your frame for trailside “safety checks.”

Not that it’s a far-fetched idea; there’s already a vape-compatible hydration pack.

This is the new Lezyne Storage Drive.

The handle and diver body fit together to form a T-handle muli-tool. The handle houses 4, 5 and 6mm hex bits as well as T25 and T30 Torx bits. A magnet in the driver body keeps the bits in place when making minor adjustments.

The two portions come together to form a T-handle tool with five bits
The two portions come together to form a T-handle tool with five bits

A strap included with the Storage Drive keeps both portions of the tool together and makes it easy to secure it to your frame. 

  • £TBC / $24 / AU$TBC
  • The Lezyne Storage drive will be available in June

Bontrager Flatline Mountain Bike Shoes

Bontrager’s Flat Line shoe for riders who prefer to ride platforms
Bontrager’s Flat Line shoe for riders who prefer to ride platforms

The Flatline is Bontrager’s answer to mountain bikers who prefer the free-footed feel of flat pedals.

This lace-up shoe has a Vibram Megagrip outsole with a waffle-like tread pattern through the midfoot for consistent pedal interface. The toe and heel portions feature a zig-zag pattern to improve traction when scrambling up and down steep terrain.

The waffle tread patter is designed for a consistent pedal feel
The waffle tread patter is designed for a consistent pedal feel

Bontrager offers the Flatline in men’s and women’s versions.

  • £119 / $129 / AU$179

Active Skin Repair Hydrogel and Spray

Active Skin Repair offers a gel and spray, both of which are designed to improve healing
Active Skin Repair offers a gel and spray, both of which are designed to improve healing

Crashing happens to the most skilled cyclists. Active Skin Repair is here to help your body heal minor cuts and abrasions faster.

Active Repair Hydrogel is designed to be applied directly to cuts, scrapes, sunburns, normal burns, chafing, rashes, wounds, insect bites and other skin irritations.

Both products use Hypochlorous (HOCl), a compound produced by white blood cells to kill bacteria, reduce inflammation and promote healing.

  • Active Repair Hydrogel: £22 / $29.99 / AU$40
  • Active Repair Spray: £19 / $24.99 / AU$33

Mission Workshop Axis hip pack

Mission Workshop's new Axis hip pack
Mission Workshop's new Axis hip pack

Mission Workshop’s Axis is a sleek hip pack designed to appeal to minimalist mountain bikers.

The Axis is constructed from water-resistant nylon with two divided storage pockets, a zippered mesh pocket and a key loop. It’s not compatible with hydration systems, though it is large enough to fit a water bottle.

The Axis is a sleek hip pack that can carry a rain shell, nutrition, tube, CO2 and other items
The Axis is a sleek hip pack that can carry a rain shell, nutrition, tube, CO2 and other items

This American-made hip pack can also be mounted to many of Mission Workshop’s backpacks through the company’s modular Arkiv system.

  • £88.50 / $120 / AU$160

BLS VeloRacing bag

Bottles, shoes, helmet, nutrition, kit, sunglasses? Check — all in the BLS VeloRacing bag
Bottles, shoes, helmet, nutrition, kit, sunglasses? Check — all in the BLS VeloRacing bag

Larger than a typical cycling gear bag, the BLS VeloRacing bag can hold your helmet, shoes, bottles, kit and supplies in dedicated compartments. It comes with two water-resistant bags for your shoes and dirty clothes.

You can carry it by the handles or with the included shoulder strap.

It packs down flat for shipping or storage, but stands up like a box when built.

Your helmet and an included little box for nutrition and/or tools slots in the bottom
Your helmet and an included little box for nutrition and/or tools slots in the bottom

Shipping is free globally, and claimed delivery is 3–7 days.

  • £138 / $185

Skratch Matcha Green Tea & Lemon drink and chews

Got Matcha? You betcha
Got Matcha? You betcha

Skratch has a new flavor of sport hydration drink mix and energy chews. Like its other flavors, Matcha Green Tea & Lemon is made with the actual natural flavors called out in the title, not chemical replications thereof.

The carb-and-electrolyte snacks are non-GMO, gluten free, dairy free, vegan and kosher.

The drink mix has about 16mg of caffeine per 16oz serving. For reference, a cup of coffee has 70–100mg of caffeine.

Our one suggestion? Be careful tearing into these single-serving packs. We often make a mess opening them
Our one suggestion? Be careful tearing into these single-serving packs. We often make a mess opening them

The Fruit Drop Energy Chews have tapioca and cane sugar as well as 6mg of caffeine from the Matcha tea per pack.

  • Energy Chews pack: £N/A / $2.45 
  • Drink mix 20-serving bag: £26.95 / $19 
  • Drink mix single serving 20-pack: £14.95 / $35

Chrome Niko F-Stop Backpack

The Chrome Niko F-Stop Backpack has 23L of internal space plus plenty of exterior attachment options
The Chrome Niko F-Stop Backpack has 23L of internal space plus plenty of exterior attachment options

This 23-liter bag is made for photographers, but works well for anyone who wants to customize compartments inside a backpack.

The soft, padded interior comes with a few dividers that attach with Velcro.

The padded top compartment is large enough to stash your sunglasses, chargers, GoPro cameras and other things of similar size.

Designed as a camera bag, there are plenty of other options for compartmentalized storage
Designed as a camera bag, there are plenty of other options for compartmentalized storage

Two big exterior straps with reflective panels can cinch down larger items, and adjustable straps with buckles offer more options on each side.

Chrome’s signature car-belt release button appears here in small form on the sternum strap. There’s a removable waist belt and buckle, too.

A 13in laptop sleeve on the front carries your computer safely and discreetly.

The top pouch is also padded, with generous room plus a zippered pouch
The top pouch is also padded, with generous room plus a zippered pouch

  • £192 / $200

GU Recovery Drink Mix

It's easy to find a protein mix. But finding one that tastes good and is easy to mix? That's another story. GU's mixes easily in a water bottle and goes down easy
It's easy to find a protein mix. But finding one that tastes good and is easy to mix? That's another story. GU's mixes easily in a water bottle and goes down easy

This mix uses whey protein isolate and dextrose in an easy-to-mix formula that actually tastes good.

Amino acids and sodium are also included.

It mixes easily with both cold water and cow's milk or almond or soy milk.

Chocolate Smoothie is shown here, and Vanilla Cream flavor is also available.

  • 12 single-serving pouches or one 15-serving canister: £45 / $36

Pearl Izumi Versa clothing

Pearl Izumi's Versa line was designed around one-hour rides, but made to look like something besides nerdy cycling clothes
Pearl Izumi's Versa line was designed around one-hour rides, but made to look like something besides nerdy cycling clothes

The Colorado company calls its Versa line “Bike clothing specifically made for nothing specific”. The pieces are made with the wicking Transfer Dry polyester, which is light and stretchy.

Reflective elements are subtly included in all pieces. Pearl designed all the pieces for one-hour rides, but whether you ride longer or not at all in the clothing is of course up to you. You just won’t look like a bike dork if you decide to hang out in it.

The Performance T has a longer rear hem. Both it and the Boardwalk short are made with wicking Transfer Dry, and feature reflective elements
The Performance T has a longer rear hem. Both it and the Boardwalk short are made with wicking Transfer Dry, and feature reflective elements

  • Boardwalk Short: £N/A / $80
  • Versa Performance T: £N/A / $50
Josh has been riding and racing mountain bikes since 1998. Being stubborn, endurance racing was a natural fit. Josh bankrolled his two-wheeled addiction by wrenching at various bike shops across the US for 10 years and even tried his hand at frame building. These days Josh spends most of his time riding the trails around his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • Discipline: Mountain, cyclocross, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Anywhere with rock- and root-infested technical singletrack. He also enjoys unnecessarily long gravel races.
  • Current Bikes: Trek Remedy 29 9.9, Yeti ASRc, Specialized CruX, Spot singlespeed, Trek District 9
  • Dream Bike: Evil The Following, a custom Moots 27.5+ for bikepacking adventures
  • Beer of Choice: PBR
  • Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA

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