A round up of a few things that will undoubtedly make your mountain biking better and your bike a bit happier. Like I tell my good lady it’s the small things in life that put a smile on your face 😉 Whilst this may not be as cool as covering gap jumps at the Tour De France or the newest DH super bike, these are some of the things that will definitely keep some swing in your shred.
DMR Vault Flats
After a year and a half of being on the bike I cant think of a negative thing to say about them. The huge platform is something that feels odd for the first couple of rides and then quickly becomes ‘right’ under foot. The concave base is totally effective at seating your foot and isn’t enough to make your feet hurt on longer rides. The claimed weight is 400g and mine weighed in at 422g, not worth loosing sleep about.
They are easy to service and their simple internals make service intervals pretty infrequent. Full service kits are available and not expensive.
They are really quick to bite once you have placed your foot. The only time this was ever an issue was on a mini D/H run which got lumpy really quick. I swapped about a third of the pins to face the opposite way and it gave a little more leeway. The fact that the underside of the pins has flats like a bolt is dammed useful if you break a pin and need to replace it. With 11 colors available, a Ti upgrade option and the special edition ‘Brendog’ they are really hard to say no too. The ultimate flats.
|Brendog Bling. Pic from DMR
|Pic from Pedro’s
Pedro’s Folding Hex Set
I know if I sit here long enough and concentrate REALLY hard I will be able to come up with a way of saying really emotive and insightful stuff about these…Something more than just the fact that they are incredibly hard wearing and light weight.
Ok lets just assume that I COULD come up with really clever and insightful stuff about this Hex set, but all you need to know is the fact that they really are bomb poof tough and a joy to use day in and day out. Pedro’s make some of the very best bike tools, lubes,stands and pumps in the business and have a rightfully deserved reputation for being innovative. From the simple tire levers to the ‘Tutto’ multi chain tool Pedro’s have an eye for improved design. They back the horse with regards quality and all their tools come with a lifetime warranty .
|Pic from Knipex
Knipex Cable cutters (model 95 61 190)
Another rock n roll item eh ! I’m not exactly giving you guy’s the most glamorous wish list I know, but sure as night follows day you will be happier than a fisherman’s cat that you bought a pair of these ! They are beautifully made (in Germany) and work so cleanly that they feel like they should be medical grade. They cut inner and outer cable like a laser and have two sizes of crimping dies, one of which is perfect for cable ends. Buy a set and enjoy years of laughing at ‘mere’ pliers and splayed cables.
Fenwicks Suspension Lube spray
Well you don’t have to be Richard Hawkins to work this one out do you. It does exactly what it says on the tin really. It’s like silk underwear for your bikes boingy bits. Before I used the Fenwicks spray I’d cleaned under the dust seals pretty carefully and was really pleased to notice that once I’d used the spray and then compressed the forks a few times, a noticeable amount of muck had got dragged out. The fork stanchions felt really slick afterwards and the travel seemed more consistent. You can also use it as a frame polish to keep the mud a bay. Fenwicks have added plenty to heir bike maintenance range lately and I might have to try some more of their stuff, I will keep y’all posted.
|Pic from Lakeland.
Free and Easy
Easy now people, before we start throwing rocks at me and shouting heretic for including something as seemingly off topic as a product used to lubricate squeaky drawers or certain rails. THIS STUFF IS TRADE SECRET ! Next time you do a cable change on the bike simply rub a small amount of this stuff onto your cable before you feed it into the outer. The easiest way to do it is put a little onto your finger and thumb (use gloves) and then pull the cable through. The icing on the cake is to also spray a little of the Fenwicks suspension lube down the outer before you feed the cable through. Let any excess drip out first as you want to coat the inside of the outer and leave a residue as opposed to leaving it dripping. You will then have cables that shift easier/for longer and ultimately put less wear and tear on your shifters. It’s not expensive and last for ages. Buy it here
No more gloves
This is a product that is so cool that it may well cure the global warming issues all on its own ! It was bought to my attention by Gordon Price on Google+ and I certainly owe him a drink for the tip off. I hate gloves, in fact I hate everything about gloves. Sweaty, tearing stupid things ! I’ve tried a couple of barrier creams previously and found them way too gloopy so this was a real surprise. Using this glorious stuff whilst working on your bike is cost effective, more natural feeling and much less hassle than gloves. They say it gives 5 hours of protection and I doubt that they are far off the mark. It’s easy to apply and wash out at the end of the job. I think it’s going to be huge and will soon be seen gracing the work bench of hundreds of happy spanner monkey’s. Get some in your tool box and mock those still wearing latex forever more. More info here.
Well there we have it bike buddies your compendium of lil’ wonders. All of the above are well and truly tested and rated. None of the products featured were sent as review samples so they are honest and unbiased opinion. Hope they serve you well.