Dirt Rag Magazine

A look at some of the cold-weather gear we have on test


I had lots of plans to ride fat bikes this winter. But January seemed to have more days in the 50s than the 30s, and I missed the only real snow storm due to a trip to Chile to ride the new Santa Cruz Hightower. Winter is paying us back with some cold weather, and that should give us a chance to get out on some of this cold-weather stuff that has been staying warm inside.

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Stan’s NoTubes Race Sealant

First up, a not-specifically-cold weather product, Stan’s new Race Sealant.

  • Twice the sealing crystals = faster, stronger seals to get you across the line first
  • Additional larger crystals = seals larger punctures to keep you rolling
  • Premium low-viscosity latex = reacts fast and works in the widest range of temperatures and conditions
  • Natural materials = safe for the environment

It is also good until -30 degrees, which is pretty important for fat bikers.

This is the first product developed in Stan’s Racing Development (SRD) group, a newly-developed collection of employees dedicated to developing race-oriented products. This new sealant should be checked every two weeks, versus 4-5 for the standard juice. Pricing is forthcoming.

More info: notubes.com

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Bar Mitts Extreme Cold Pogies – $125

With below zero wind chills threatening in a few days, I should be able to put these to the test. Lot’s of room inside to keep snacks from freezing and various glove thicknesses. They install via handlebar end-plugs, which seems pretty simple compared to the internal Velcro loops of standard Bar Mitts pogies.

  • Waterproof, 6 mm thick neoprene with Fleece on the inside and nylon lamination on the outside
  • Removable Velcro cuff for easy access & removal of hands with no draw string complications
  • Expandable bar end plug, which keeps the mitts stiff and in place
  • Zipper can be opened for ventilation and temperature regulation
  • Easily installed and removed
  • Reflective material on seam & logo

More info: barmitts.com

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SKS FatBoard fenders $55

Fat bikes need fenders, too. SKS has these easy on-and-off set that should provide coverage all the way up to a 5 inch tire.

More info: sks.com

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Orange Seal Subzero Tubeless Sealant $14.50-$22

We’ve had great luck with Orange Seal’s standard sealant, and look forward to trying this new Subzero stuff. Should be fun to have a face-off versus the new Stan’s Race sealant.

More info: orangesealed.com

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Bontrager Gnarwhal studded fat bike tire – $225 (each)

I paid almost the exact same amount of money for a set of steel wheels and winter tires for my car. That was used, and off craigslist, but still. Front and rear is going to set you back $450. But for riding the packed-down, icy and bumpy trails these might turn what would be a completely frustrating ride into a good time. And good times often have a price tag.

More info: trekbikes.com


Stay tuned for full reviews of all these things in the future. In the meantime, go enjoy the weather, whatever it is doing in your locale.

 

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Inside Line: 45North’s New Tubeless Fat Bike Tire – VANHELGA


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For almost as long as fat bikes have been a thing, trying to set them up tubeless has also been a thing. We even wrote a blog about it.

45North is the first company to release a tubeless ready tire, the Vanhelga, a four inch wide tire with what looks to be a trail bike tread pattern. Marketed as winter trail riding tire, 6.5mm tall, aggressively shaped and siped lugs look promising for the all season fat-biker as well. The Vanhelga uses dual compound rubber, harder in the middle for increased tread life, softer on the outside for more traction when cornering.

Get a closer look here.

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NoTubes unveils new fat bike, disc road rims


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Last year we saw a prototype fat bike rim from Stan’s NoTubes, and while we figured a 26-inch wheel was in the works, today we saw the finished product: the Hugo is a 50mm-wide, tubeless rim with a unique cross section and options in all three wheel sizes.

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We also got the details and a ride in on the new Grail disc road wheel that is perfectly suited to all manner of “road” applications and slots in between the IronCross and Alpine models.
Read the full story

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Schwalbe and Syntace preview dual chamber tire system


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The majority of trail and XC riders have embraced tubeless tires for the increased traction and reduced weight and punctures. But hard charging riders in rough terrain have always had issue with burping tires on hard landings or even under high cornering loads. I’ve talked to more than a few enduro racers that have gone back to using tubes for just these reasons.

Schwalbe, who seems to have gained a shocking amount of the mountain bike tire market in the last few years, released info about its new dual chamber system that addresses some of the shortcomings of tubeless tires, while allowing for even lower tire pressures. The component maker Syntace was working on a similar system, but decided to combine forces with Schwalbe.

See how it works here.

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