I recently visited Colorado for the New Belgium Brewing Ramble Ride — a 200 mile bikepacking route from Fort Collins to Steamboat Springs. One of the event’s other major sponsors, Blackburn, was on hand to give us a sneak peek of some upcoming products.
Plugger Tubeless Tire Repair Kit – $20
The Plugger tool is used to quickly repair punctures in tubeless tires. Simply load one of the plugs into the hollow needle, push it through the puncture, and remove the tool, leaving the plug behind. For larger holes, twist multiple plugs together. This certainly isn’t the first tubeless tire repair kit, but Blackburn added a strap to theirs to keep it readily accessible. Blackburn’s reasoning is that the quicker you can access the tool, the faster you’ll get your tire repaired, and the less pressure you’ll lose in the interim.
Honest Air Gauge – $25
The Honest is a digital air pressure gauge with a swiveling head, which accommodates either Presta or Schrader valves. Claimed accuracy is 0.1 PSI and it will register pressures all the way down to 1 PSI–which is great for fat bikers. To extend battery life, Blackburn specs the Honest with two coin cell batteries as opposed to the single battery found in most other digital gauges.
2’Fer XL Front or Rear Light – $45
Blackburn crammed a 200 lumen white light and a 40 lumen red light into one unit with the 2’Fer XL. It’s not quite enough light for trail riding at night, but it’ll help you get home from work or the pub. The 2’Fer has a built-in, USB-rechargeable battery, and is waterproof to IP67 standards (submerged in 3 feet of water for 30 minutes). Run times vary depending on the mode: 2 hours on high for the front (6 hours flashing); and 4 hours on high for the rear (12 hours flashing). Blackburn includes a rubber strap for mounting the 2’Fer to your seatpost or seat stay, but the light can also be clipped to a jersey pocket or bag.
Countdown 1600 Headlight – $160
Blasting out 1600 lumens through two bulbs in the highest setting, the Countdown is bright enough for riding singletrack on the darkest of nights. The name comes from the backlit LCD screen that tells you how much time you have remaining before the battery runs out, as well as the current mode: Blitz, High, Medium, Low, Pulse, or Strobe. It’s made from aluminum and felt solid in hand. Claimed weight is 240g, so it’s a bit heavy for helmet use. Blackburn includes a sturdy aluminum handlebar mount with the Countdown, which is narrow enough not to take up much space.
Chamber Tubeless Pump – $150
Tubeless tire and rim technology has improved greatly over the past few years, but every once in awhile you get a stubborn tire that just doesn’t want to seat. That’s when a pump like the Chamber comes in handy. Flip the oversized lever on the side into charge mode and pump up the chamber to around 160 PSI. Once you’ve reached that pressure, flip the lever again to blast that air into your tire. Other features of the the Chamber include overbuilt construction, a huge pressure gauge, a 4-foot-long hose to reach a bike in a stand or rack, and a 31.8 stem clamp so you can customize the pump with your own set of handlebars.