Gear Watch Wednesday is a weekly update on the latest mountain bike gear releases and products that Singletracks has received for test. Have gear news to share, or products you’d like us to check out? Email [email protected]
Race Face ERA Cranks
The all new, carbon Race Face ERA crankset replaces Next-R and is designed to be more durable than ever with steel wear plates to guard against shoe rub and improved bonding at the pedal inserts. The ERA comes in three lengths from 165-175mm and seven colors, and is said to weigh 483g.
Race Face is also updating their lifetime warranty to include coverage in the event of a crash while riding the bike. “If you drive into a low-clearance parkade with your bike on the roof rack, that’s on you.” The lifetime warranty does not cover “slow wear and tear that mountain bike components are subject to.” We’re hoping to begin long term testing of the Race Face Era crankset this fall.
- Price: $499 (chainring sold separately)
- Buy from raceface.com.
Industry Nine limited edition wheels
Blacked out bikes and components don’t typically warrant much coverage these days, and we were planning to skip over the limited edition Industry Nine Enduro 305 wheelset. That is until we spotted the amp-like markings on the hub that go to 11. Even the number nine gets special treatment.
- Price: $1,455
- Buy from industrynine.com
Evil lightly salts the Following and Insurgent
Evil has been slightly revising their mountain bike line and the short-travel Following is the next on the list. The Following LS gets a pair of limited edition colorways and the SRAM Universal Derailleur Hanger for, ideally, more reliable replacement. Evil has also revised some of the shock hardware, so replacing the shock should be easier. Otherwise, the short-travel ripper remains unchanged.
The same changes go to Evil’s Insurgent, completing their LS treatment to all of their bikes now. The Insurgent also gets a new paint job and the ability to use a SRAM UDH. Evil customers also get lifetime bearing replacement and can replace their bearings once per season.
- Price: Builds from $6,450
- Buy from evil-bikes.com.
The new 190mm Pole Vikkelä enduro/DH bike features a bridgeless swingarm with lateral stiffness that can be adjusted by swapping axles. The “racing” axles are primarily for, well racing, where riders want maximum stiffness for precise turning. The downside is the bike isn’t very forgiving so the standard axles give riders a bit more flex. Like previous bikes from Pole, the aluminum frame is crafted using a unique CNC machining process.
- Price: Complete bikes start at 5,234€ (about $5,200)
- Buy from polebicycles.com.
Wolf Tooth Waveform alloy pedals
The new Wolf Tooth Waveform flat pedal is “designed for everything from XC to downhill,” which is a pretty tall order. The concave shape features 11 pins per side and comes in two platform sizes: small (105mm x 99mm) and large ((112mm x 106mm). Buyers can choose from four different colors.
- Price: $199.95
- Buy from Wolf Tooth.
Lezyne Pocket Drive Pro HV
The Lezyne Pocket Drive Pro HV pump is a new compact — yet high volume — pump the brand says is a good choice for gravel and mountain biking. There’s a valve core remover built into the extendable hose which reduces the chances of bending the valve plunger while you pump.
- Price: $49.99
- Buy from lezyne.com.
Outbound updates Hangover bike light
Outbound has updated the US-made Hangover bike light to feature a new polymer shell that doubles a heat sink. They’ve also tweaked the optics to optimize them for trail riding. The light weighs just over 100g, is up to about 1,000lm bright, and lasts just over an hour on high. An adaptive brightness mode extends runtime to 90min+.
- Price: $125
- Buy from outboundlighting.com.
State All-Road helmet
The State All-Road helmet features a ton of vents, has a rubberized matte finish, and comes in three sizes to fit most riders. The visor is removable and there’s a Fidlock buckle on the chin strap.
- Price: $129.99
- Buy from State Bicycle Co.
Rapha Off-Road Heroes prints a history of the sport
Apparel brand Rapha is publishing a new, 256-page book that captures the history of mountain biking, from early gravel races in Europe to the repack races in California.
“Rather than an exhaustive encyclopedic history, this is a fast-paced and fun celebration of the two-wheeled lifestyle,” said Rapha.
The book should be available in early November through the Rapha site.
Digit Bikes shows 120mm Ring prototype at Philly Bike Expo
Digit Bikes is now launching their 140mm Datum into the world, and they showed what to expect next in Philadelphia. The Ring will be a full suspension 29er with 125mm of travel (maybe less, maybe more come final product), and it will use Digit’s Integer Strut for better open space in the frame and more reliable performance, according to Digit. The Ring is expected to launch in early 2023.
- Price: TBD
- Available to buy in early 2023.