Bike PressCamp brings cycling scribes to Deer Valley, Utah each June to test next year’s gear on actual dirt. Here’s a highlight reel from Mountain bike test director Sydney Fox.
Pivot Vault: More roadies are taking their bikes on dirt and gravel roads these days and the bike companies are responding to the trend with road bikes that handle rough conditions. Pivot, GT, and Ridley all released a gravel-worthy steed at PressCamp. Pivot’s Vault boasts front and rear through axles, disc brakes, and Stan’s NoTubes tubeless-ready Grail wheels. With a slack head tube angle and compliant seat stays, the bike descends with confidence but retains road bike efficiency on asphalt. It’s the bike I’ve pretended my road bike was for years. pivotcycles.com
ENVE M70HV Wheelset: Each wheel in ENVE’s lineup is designed around a specific riding style and tire size. As higher volume tires hit the market, ENVE responds with the M70HV wheel. The M70 takes bigger hits than the lighter M50 and M60, which better suits enduro riders. The new HV also offers a wider internal width at 31mm, a 36mm external width, and a shallower dish at only 30mm, rather than the previous 34mm. This equates to more rim compliance, ground contact, and fewer flats when paired with a 2.5-inch tire. Look for these at retail in August. enve.com
Sugoi RS Jacket: Stow-able rain jackets are nothing new, but this jacket folds into a seat bag. No need to remember to throw an emergency layer in your pack when it’s already under your seat. Better yet: in storage mode, the Sugoi displays an ultra reflective hit for safety when dusk settles in. sugoi.com
Knog Qudos POV Camera Light: Australian brand Knog is known for beautifully designed products, including multicolored locks and lights. New to their collection, the Qudos POV supplies 400 lumens and an adjustable beam for POV filming. Because it accommodates a variety of lens widths, you won’t miss a shot. knog.com.au
Kali Bumper Fit 2.0 Protection: Historically, brands designed helmets to prevent skull fractures. Kali also wants to reduce concussions, which often occur at much slower speeds. The Bumper Fit 2.0 uses small circles of Armourgel—the polymer distorts on contact and shifts the helmet slightly—to move crash forces outward rather than in toward your brain. The Tava, Kali’s new aero road helmet, will be the first product out with this technology. kaliprotectives.com
Fabric Cell Saddle: This British manufacturer is making a name for itself by applying engineering and manufacturing methods from other industries to cycling. With the Cell saddle, they looked to air-sprung technology—think the pressurized air bubbles in Nike shoes—for support and cushion. Octagonal cells maintain shape over the saddle’s life. Priced at $99.99, this could be the everyman’s answer to saddle soreness. fabric.cc
Camelbak Palos Hip Pack: Fanny packs lost their cool back in the ’80s—dang it. But trail riders find that traditional packs ride up on descents and tend to buck on jumps. Camelbak addresses this problem with their new Low Rider collection. The collection includes the Skyline and Solstice packs, which lower the storage area below the shoulder blades and hold water on the lumbar spine. The Palos hip pack (above) offers a 1.5L reservoir, plus 2.5L of storage. With one envelope pocket and one zipper pocket on the belt, it’s actually possible to eat while you roll—everything is in reach without taking the pack off. Available January 2016. camelbak.com —Sydney Fox