Best Gear of 2005|
Monday, January 16, 2006
Every year gear manufacturers put out a slew of new products. Of those products, there are the rare few that you could never have imagined doing without. Rather than leave you, our favored readers, to discover the best stuff on your own, through trial and error, weíre posting a list for you - a "best of," as it were. A special shout out to Luc 'Acadian' Albert at www.PinkBike.com, for outlining things so perfectly first.
Best Shoes: Five.Ten Impact
Clipless pedals and the shoes made for them are great. But what about freeriding? Every sport segment needs its shoe and the Five.Ten (www.fiveten.com) Impact is the one for freeriding. Stealth S1 soles keep your feet on the pedals with Five.Tenís sticky rubber. No slipping and sliding here.
Best Bike: Iron Horse Sunday
If youíre looking for a new downhill bike, check out the Sunday family from Iron Horse (ironhorsebikes.com). From suspension to crank to wheels, every part on this bike was handpicked with winning in mind. Red Bull may give you wings, but the Iron Horse Sunday is the only way to fly.
Best Fork: RockShox Pike
Looking for a new All Mountain fork? Incomparable in stiffness and stiffness to weight ratio, the RockShox (sram.com/en/rockshox) Pike is the fork to buy. Custom butted aluminum steerer tube, Maxle 20mm quick release thru-axle system and motion control with adjustable floodgates are just some of the features that put this fork ahead of the competition. Add easy to service and lightweight and it may just be love.
Best Breaks: Avid Juicy Seven
Stop. Thatís what you want your breaks to do. Stop and stop easily, with every squeeze of the lever. Avidís (sram.com/en/avid) Juicy Seven is a responsive, hydraulic disc break. The Tri-Align caliper positioning system is, by Avidís claim, the best in the business, and weíd have to agree.
Best Protection: TLD Combat Guards
Sometimes riding is like going into battle and not unlike battle, youíre bound to perform best if youíre prepared. Troy Lee Designs (troyleedesigns.com) makes the best knee and shin guards available. Super-comfy, these pads fit well, have great coverage and offer great protection. Plus they stay put, donít dig and breath like a dream. The only problem? They only protect your shins and knees.
Best Tire: Maxxis Minion DHF
Throw a pair of Maxxis (Maxxis.com) Minion DHFs on your Iron Horse and youíll glide through even the loosest, rockiest terrain on your bike. Designed for NORBA races, the DHF combines ramped knobs for low rolling resistance and channel cut knobs for straight-line control and precision cornering.
Best Chain: e.thirteen
Ok, so itís impossible to pick which e.thirteen (e.thirteen.com) chain device is the best. Theyíre all easy to install, lightweight and guide your chain clean and smooth. Whether you need the DRS Chain Retention system or the LG1 chainguide, youíll have gear designed for World Cup racers and a customer support system on par with the pros.
Best Crank: Middleburn
Light and strong, the cranks made by the UKís Middleburn are drop forged and backed up by a lifetime warranty. If any bike crank is sexy, these are.