For mountain bikers, progression is a lifelong goal. It’s the same with bike gear, even in the face of supply chain challenges and extended periods of WFH. Here are some new mountain bike products that caught our eye this fall that *hopefully* will be available for purchase soon.
Magnetic clipless pedals
The J-Pedals are a magnetic bike cleat and pedal system—a clipless pedal where you’re not actually clipped in. They can be modified for either road or mountain biking, and the actual cleat drops into a channel in the pedal so the rider is right up against the magnets. There’s about 7° of float engineered into the pedals and it takes about 80lb of force to pull out. To use, hover your shoe over the pedal and you’re in. It’s very intuitive.
To get out of the pedal, it’s as easy as stepping out of a flat pedal. The whole idea is safety; the inventor got tired of falling over when mountain biking with regular clipless pedals, and he was inspired to engineer this safe pedal to use for all types of riding and avoid getting embarrassed or getting hurt. MSRP: $125-$195.
SCOR is a new company in the mountain bike world, having been founded this year as a brand within the BMC Group. As a passion project, engineers from BMC cut up an old BMC Trail Fox frame to design a longer travel mountain bike.
SCOR has both a short- and long-travel versions with the same exact frame, so buyers can decide depending on which suspension style they prefer. There is a flip chip at the bottom of the linkage to be able to run a different shock. Complete bikes will hit retailers in about a month and frame sets will be available direct-to-consumer.
KAV makes 3D-printed helmets that are fully custom fit to the rider’s head. 3D printing allows KAV to do custom fits on a large scale versus the typical injection molds of small, medium, and large standard sizes. The KAV Bike Helmets are lighter because of the custom fit, and although the weight fluctuates depending on size, each helmet weighs less than 300g. It takes 12 hours to print and 24 hours to turn around one helmet. To get the custom fit, KAV sends a fit kit with everything the customer needs and schedules a 15-minute video chat session to get all the measurements. The KAV Bike helmet also comes with a 5-year warranty, a fit guarantee, and crash replacement.
A dedicated, stainless steel bikepacking bike
The Otso Fenrir was designed with backpacking in mind. Otso recognized that riders today are into doing everything from backroads touring to going out for days or weeks on the trail, and everybody has their own riding style. Some people like to bike with drop bars fully raised while other people prefer wider tires with suspension fork and mountain bike bars, and the Fenrir is up for all of it.
This Fenrir pictured above is built with a drop bar, fully rigid seat post, fully rigid fork with gears, and a stainless steel frame. The bike can also be set up as a single speed, and Otso decided to build this one in stainless steel because it’s lighter than chromoly and has a smooth ride quality.
Pricing for a frameset starts at $2,460 while complete builds like this stainless drop bar build start at $3,900.
POC has a new set of mountain biking dungarees that look like they will work for riding or trail building. Priced at about $500, they are designed to be both waterproof and breathable.
The brand also has a new hip bag that will be released sometime next year.
Electric bike rack
The first of its kind in North America, the Saris Door County bike rack is specifically made for e-bikes. This holds two 60lb bikes, and as you can see it’s got a taillight feature that hooks up with a 7-pin connector. What makes this one really unique is that it also includes an electric assist so riders can just roll the bikes onto it and the rack will lift them up. These are available at local bike shops and online now for $1,199.99 MRSP.
Saris also has a new fork attachment called Traps Single Track which allows riders to transport bikes in a standard truck bed, or in the rear of a van or SUV. What’s neat about this is the new thru-axle adapter. You can see that it has all the various thru-axles sizes for your front fork in a hexagonal shape. All you have to do is rotate it so that it lines up with your size, which makes it a one-size-fits-all piece, no matter what kind of fork you have. If you do have an old school quick release, Saris also has this. There are a variety of different tracks so you can mount your bike and go. MSRP: $89.99, available online at Performance Bike.
Ankle protection and duff cuffs
This year, the classic Fiveten Freerider receives enhanced toe impact protection and a mid-height cuff with D3O inner ankle padding for added coverage on the new Pro Mid version of the shoe. MSRP: $180 and available online.
Lightweight gravel bike
The brand new Specialized S-Works Works Crux weighs only 15.95 lbs, making it the lightest gravel bike on the market. The brand says it’s a gravel bike first and a cyclocross bike second. This differs from its predecessor, the old Crux, which was a cyclocross bike first and a gravel bike second.
The main changes are that the updated Crux fits larger tires, has a lower bottom bracket height, and a slightly longer wheelbase. The frame can fit up to 47mm tires and the S-Works build comes with a Roval carbon seatpost, handlebar, and wheelset. There are four models available: S-Works, Pro, Expert and Comp. MSRP: $12,000.
Yoshimura Cycling launched just 18 months ago with pedals and a couple USA-made jerseys, and now they’re adding stems to the line. The brand was started by Yusaku Yoshimura, the grandson of Hideo “Pops” Yoshimura, founder of the eponymous moto brand.