Five Cool Things is off-road.cc’s Friday curation of all the latest products that have recently come through our doors. Everything listed here will shortly receive an in-depth review but we like to get our readers excited and, to whet your appetites, we'll be previewing some of the gadgets that have impressed us so far.
Again, it's been a really busy week for the off-road.cc team as we begin to strategically tailor our content mix to keep you entertained, informed and abreast of all the latest trends and news from the industry. Summer is still very much at its peak and that means outdoor riding is still a massive priority - especially gravel. For those still on the fence about riding a drop-bar bike off-road, it's worth reading our feature on gravel bike geometry, as well as the Stanton Switchpath frameset review, not to mention our in-the-wild sighting of the SRAM eTap AXS x Ribble Gravel Ti bike at Grinduro.
And mountain bike stuff? Well, for those looking to get into the world of knobbly tyres, we suggest reading the Rockrider ST-100 review. Speaking of tyres - and tubeless more specifically - we reviewed Muc-Off's V2 Tubeless Valves, which might pair nicely with this insanely coloured yellow tubeless tyre sealant from Pirelli.
But enough of shameless punting of this week's top stories - let's get straight into our Five Cool Things for this week.
Gusset S2 Bar
Gusset has taken everything learned from the Slade and scaled it up and redeveloped it to create the S2 bar with a 35mm clamp diameter. With this bar, Gusset has used a custom swaging process to produce what the brand reckons is the best balance between strength and weight.
The S2 bar comes with 800mm of width, and is and is available in 10, 20 ,30, 40 and 50mm rises with 5-degrees of upsweep and 8-degrees of backsweep. -Liam Mercer, Dept. Tech Editor
2022 Reserve Wheels Fillmore Valves, by Aaron Borrill
Reserve Wheels Fillmore Valves
£40 / $50 / €45
While the Presta valve has long been the standard for inflating or deflating your wheels, the blueprint was never designed with the tubeless concept in mind. Reserve Wheels has addressed this issue by reinventing the valve to play nicely with tubeless wheels - it's called the Fillmore valve and, according to Reserve, boasts three times the airflow of traditional valves making it much easier to seat a tubeless tyre but also prevents sealant from clogging things up.
The Fillmore valves eschew a removable valve core in favour of a single steel rod and rubber O-ring with an internally threaded valve cap that it pulls in the plunger to seal everything in place - don't lose the valve cap!
We'll be sampling the Reserve Wheels Fillmore Valves over the next few months to test not only how they perform on the trail but whether or not the exorbitant sticker price justifies upgrading from a regular Presta option. - Aaron Borrill, Editor
Tocsen Crash Sensor
£70 / €80
Helmet safety is paramount to all kinds of riding, whether it's for horse riding or aboard a downhill bike. The Tocsen Crash Sensor is a similar bit of tech to Specialized's famed ANGi but it can be stuck on any helmet.
Stick it to your favourite helmet and should the worst happen, it'll detect a crash and immediately alert your chosen emergency contact via the app and SMS. It'll also alert the nearby Tocsen Rescue Community - That's anyone who has the Tocsen app downloaded. -Liam Mercer, Dept. Tech Editor
2022 Specialized S-Works Vent Evo shoe in profile, by Aaron Borrill
Specialized S-Works Vent Evo gravel shoes
£385 / $425 / €430
Specialized's S-Works Vent Evo shoe is another option that can double up for use across both cross-country mountain biking and gravel riding. It's a high-performance shoe with the price tag to match so its racy underpinnings might not be to everyone's liking but its beauty and visual presence are hard to dispute.
According to Specialized, the Vent Evo is an amalgam of the S-Works Recon and road-going S-Works Vent. As such, it boasts an impressive specification list including the brand’s 'stiffest and lightest' carbon sole, a brace of S3 Boa dials, soft-touch Dyneema material on the upper and the introduction of strategically located mesh panels for better ventilation.
In terms of weight, the Specialized S-Works Vent Evo will tip the scales at 298g per shoe (EU42) making them one of the lightest off-road-specific shoes currently available. - Aaron Borrill, Editor
TSG Chamber Knee Guard
The Chamber Knee Guard claims to set a new standard in comfort, ventilation, and protection thanks to a perforated neoprene and mesh build paired with a PGF cap. This cap is bendy, breathable and shock absorbent, says the brand, and it allows for a much slimmer design with minimal loss of protection.
Keeping the pads where they should be are strips of silicone at the bottom along with an anti-slip NBR strip at the top and a Velcro 360 strap. -Liam Mercer, Dept. Tech Editor
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