In a shocking turn of events, there is more sun forecast this weekend. As Summer returns for one final fling it'll mean that the waterproofs we have in for test from Endura may have to wait another day to be put through their paces. The other kit, however, will be put to good use by the testers on the team. We've got new helmets from Smith Optics and Endura plus the chamois cream for him, her and er Europeans (?). Here are all the details....
Raleigh Mustang Sport
We take a look at the £800 version of Raleigh's commuter come gravel bike, the Mustang Sport. The Mustang looks like a bike that will get you to and from work comfortably and will allow you to grind some gravel at the weekend too. If you want a first foray into gravel riding without committing a load of dosh, this might be the one - our First Look is here.
Endura MT500 Helmet
After the release at Eurobike of the revamped Singletrack lid, we were keen to get an Endura lid on our heads. The Singletrack will be out at the tail end of the winter so in the meantime we are taking a look at the MT500. This lid is full of cool features including; a multi-position visor, clip-on accessory mount, goggle strap mount and portals at the front to store glasses. The helmet uses Koroyd, the straw like construction you can see here under the air vents which, Endura says, absorb energy in a more linear fashion than traditional foams reducing maximum g-forces in the event of an impact. As you know, falling off is an occupational hazard of mountain biking, so it won't be long before this lid sees the floor!
Endura MT500 II WaterproofJacket
A jacket we have often thought of as the daddy of all mountain biking jackets, the Endura MT500 Waterproof has, in the past been, the hardiest trail jacket you're ever likely to slip on. This incarnation features an impressive waterproof rating of 18,000mm coupled with a breathability rating of 64,000m2 , that's huge compared to other jackets in its class. This MT500 II has plenty going on too such as; silicone shoulder grippers, large underarm vents, a fully adjustable hood, pockets which double as extra vents, elastic cuffs and lotswas of reflective strips. We've also got a women's version in for test which is identical in every way aside from colour, cut and fit which is suited to a female shape and tastes.
Endura MTR Knee Guard
Another Endura product on our package was the MTR Knee Guards which also rather surprisingly use Koroyd technology too, combining lightweight honeycomb with a perforated memory foam, aiming to deliver a light, soft and flexible knee pad that is able to withstand big impacts. We are looking forward to seeing how much stress the Koroyd inserts can withstand and how they fair after a crushing.
Smith Optics Forefront MIPS Helmet
Ahead of the launch of their update to the Forefront and release of the new cheaper lid, the Session, we thought we'd take a look at the current Forefront helmet. Smith was one of the first companies to integrate Koroyd technology into its lids and it'll be interesting to see how it compare with the Endura lid above. The Forefront also includes a camera or light mount, a goggle retention strap and a multi-position visor. In our experience, it also integrates nicely with Smith's own glasses so we'll be testing this feature out with other brands.
On receiving the Chamois Butt'r from our friends at 2Pure we immediately turned to the all-knowing Google searching for an answer to what exactly 'Eurostyle' chamois cream is. Having found a question that The Great Google cannot answer we turned to the rest of the mountain bike media with Bike Radar telling us "The Euro-style version has a cooling mint sensation for a fresh ‘riding commando in a kilt’ feel, while the normal formulation is neutral on your nethers." - cheers guys, so perhaps not Euro but more Scottish style? Whatever, it sounds like fun......
More 'Arrivals' here: