Dirt Rag Magazine

Inside Line: Lazer Revolution enduro helmet


With the capabilities of modern trail bikes increasing every year, it makes sense to up the level of protection for the rider. This new helmet from Lazer allows the rider to choose just how much coverage is wanted or needed.

This isn’t an entirely new concept (see Bell’s excellent Super 2R), but the Revolution adds a few more features.

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As shown in the picture above, the ear pads are removable, in addition to an optional bolt-on chinbar. The top of the helmet has what Lazer calls SMS: “The SMS (Safety Mounting System) for cameras and other accessories has been fully crash tested to assure that Revolution still passes all safety certifications when these items are attached and in use.” Lazer claims this is the only helmets to pass all the safety tests with accessories mounted.

The rest of the features are as expected: a visor that pushes up enough to park goggles below, a dial-adjust retention system and lots of vents. Lazer expects this helmet to pass ASTM-DH certification, which is not common for helmets with removable chinbars. Price is not announced yet, helmets should go on sale in early 2016.

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2015 Sea Otter tech roundup – Part 3


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Subaru

Subaru is one of the key sponsors of Sea Otter and it had a collection of vintage cars and bikes in its booth. It’s amazing how dated the mountain bikes look but the car from the same era seems commonplace.


 

 

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Ergon

The new GA1 grip from Ergon has been hugely popular, both with enduro racers and casual mountain bikers. Now it’s shape has trickled down into a less expensive version called the GA2. Plus it comes in a ton of colors.


 

 

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Lazer

Founded as a motorsports helmet company, Lazer put its know-how into the revised Phoenix+ full face. Weighing less than 1,000 grams it retails for just $99.


 

 

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Commencal

Hailing from Andorra, Max Commencal’s brand is making a big push into the U.S. with its consumer-direct sales model.  The Meta HT AM hardtail is an aggressive trail bike with a big 150 mm fork and 27.5 wheels. With the dropper post and Pike fork it retails for $2,229.

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As bike parks grow in popularity, providing a safe place for kids to push their skills, pint-sized gravity bikes are improving to keep up with them. The Supreme 20 is no toy, and it’s reflected by its $1,799 price tag.


 

 

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Mongoose

Another consumer-direct brand, Mongoose is moving up-market, with nicer and nicer bikes. The Argus expert bumps up to 4.5 tires on 100 mm rims and adds a RockShox Bluto suspension fork. It’s price competitively at $1,799.

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The Ruddy Expert is a new 27plus bike with the new Manitou Magnum fork and 27.5 x 2.8 WTB Trailblazer tires. It’s right in the heard of the “plus” market at $1,999.

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The Selous is an all-purpose adventure/gravel/cyclocross bike with Shimano’s awesome hydraulic brakes. The carbon fork has the new 12 mm thru-axle that we’re likely to see adopted for road and cyclocross, so it’s ahead of the curve on compatibility. It retails for $1,899.


 

 

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Tifosi

One of the few eyewear companies that is independently owned, Tifosi has introduced a creative Interchance system that allows the same arms to attached to different lenses and frames for a switchable look. For example, you can use the frameless shield lens for riding then switch the arms over to the full frame lenses for casual use. It’s available in all sorts of frame, arm and lens combinations too with prices from $99 to $149.


 

 

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Sidi

Known for its high performance race shoes, the newest Italian kicks sport a much more relaxed attitude. The MTB Epic has the same fit and feel as Sidi’s other shoes but pairs it with a lace-up upper and a softer, rubber outsole.

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This looks like a great option for touring, bikepacking, or any ride where you might have to scramble off the bike.


 

 

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WTB

We just got our hand on our first set of WTB’s 2.8 Trailblazer tires, which were on many of the “plus” bikes at the show, and in the WTB booth we spied this prototype of a second model, the Bridger. While the Trailblazer was designed for the 29er/27plus conversion, this looks like an all-out mid-fat specific tire with much more volume. Watch for more when it becomes available.

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Keep reading

Move on to Part 4 of our coverage from Sea Otter 2015.

 

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Frostbike gallery and tech roundup, Part 1


Quality Bicycle Components is the largest bicycle products distributor in the U.S. and is the brand that supports nearly every bike shop in America. It owns several of its own brands and distributes dozens of others. We traveled to QBP’s home office and distribution warehouse in Bloomington, Minnesota, for FrostBike, its annual dealer show, to see what was new.

We first saw the new Salsa Warbird and Powderkeg at their official unveiling, then toured the halls. Here is what we saw:


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Lazer

Belgian helmet brand Lazer was showing off the new Magma and Blade cross-country helmets, which are essentially the same thing with and without a visor, respectively. The both use the latest version of Lazer’s Rollsys fit system which adjusts 360 degrees around your head. It’s available in three sizes for $95 or $100.


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Wolf Tooth Components

Based right down the road in Minneapolis, Wolf Tooth Components is expanding rapidly and had several new products in the works. The first is a stainless steel version of its SRAM direct mount chainring in tiny 24t and 26t sizes. Designed primarily with fat bikes in mind, the stainless steel should last longer in super terrible conditions.

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They were also teasing this 3D printing of a new ovalized chainring, which should be available soon. Unlike the BioPace chainrings of old, the current oval designs help to redistribute your pedal stroke’s natural surges into a smoother motion. Many claim it also increases your power. Wolf Tooth says there will be a direct mount version of this oval ring as well.

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Other variations include this 64 BCD chainring ($64) to mount to your crankset’s granny gear position, and there’s a nice bash guard ring that can go with it.

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If you’ve got your hands on the latest 11-speed XTR and you’re looking for an aftermarket chainring, Wolf Tooth is one of your few choices ($75) so far that matches the XTR’s 96 BCD.

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Is 11 speeds 10 too many? Wolf Tooth has your singlespeed needs covered with a growing collection of cogs.


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Cogburn

QBP created Cogburn for hunters and other outdoors enthusiasts as a way to get further into the backcountry than they ever could on foot.

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The 2015 edition of the CB4 ($1,999) is available in two new camouflage patterns: a safety orange version of RealTree camo and the new Verde camo pattern from the outdoor brand Kuiu.


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Saris

The Saris Bones was first launched in 1996 and has since sold more than a million units, making it likely the most popular bike rack ever. While the shape looks good and is easy to use, the one complaint Saris wanted to address was keeping track of all those straps. The new Super Bones was designed with this in mind, and features ratcheting, retractable straps that store inside the arms themselves, leading to a cleaner look and easier storage when not in use. Also included is a theft-deterrent system that locks the bikes to the rack and the rack to the car. Even the straps have steel cables inside them that make them harder to cut through with a knife.

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The Super Bones isn’t on sale yet, as Saris wants to thoroughly test its real-world durability before its release, but expect to see it on store shelves later this summer. The price will be “less than $500.”


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Lauf

Lauf is expanding its line of carbon leaf-spring forks with a new fat bike model. It looks similar to the 29er version but is completely new, with much larger legs. Lauf says it should be on sale this summer for about $900.


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Panaracer

Spotted in the Panaracer booth were the new line of Fat-B-Nimble tires that include 26×4, 27.5×3.5 and 29×3.0 versions. They will be available soon in both wire and folding bead versions with very competitive pricing: $50-$60 for the wire bead and $80-$90 for the folding. Because of the west coast port slowdown shipping has been delayed, but Panaracer is hoping they will be available in March.


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iSSi

When Shimano stopped selling its pedals through QBP, the distributor saw an opportunity to create its own line of high quality clipless pedals aimed at Shimano XT level. Introduced last year, the iSSi (pronounced “eee-see”) design has already been updated with a new release point that results in a more positive snap when disengaged. They’re also available with a standard spindle or with wider spindles—pictured at the left—in +6 mm or +12 mm for riders looking for extra clearance for big shoes (read: fat bikes in winter).

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The Trail version has a larger pedal body, and both standard and Trail versions are available with upgraded sealed bearings.

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Like many bike components these days, they are available in a range of colors to personalize your ride, including this limited-edition Radiant Gold.


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DT Swiss

One of the largest and most well-respected wheel brands is getting into the fat bike market as well, with the introduction of the Big Ride series of hubs and rims. The hubs are only available in 190/197 mm versions for now, though we were told 170 mm is coming. The front hub is only 150 mm with a thru axle. They use the 350 level ratcheting internals. Retail price is $270 for the rear hub and $90 for the front.

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The BR710 rims are a single wall fat bike rim with a 76mm internal width. The name is derived from its 710 gram claimed weight. They aren’t tubeless ready out of the box, but DT Swiss said it is working on an aftermarket tubeless kit.

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Because DT Swiss also makes spokes, naturally they offer the hub and rim combo as a complete wheelset, laced with straight-gauge Champion spokes. The BR2250 tips the scales at 2,250 grams (natch) and will retail for $1,250 when they hit stores in May.

Keep reading

Watch for Part 2 of our tech roundup tomorrow.

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