This week has been a big one for racing news with the Absa Cape Epic bringing the usual drama but that doesn't mean the flow of fresh cool things hasn't dried up. No, because today, we're going to show you exciting new goods from Five Ten, Fizik, Hunt, Marin, and Ergon. Let's get on with it.
We can't start off Five Cool Things without highlighting our Cape Epic content as we've got plenty of pro bike checks to sink your teeth into. We saw Nino Schurter's Scott Spark, Chris Blevins' and Matt Beer's Specialized Epics, Lukas Baum's Orbea Oiz and even Vincenzo Nibali's Scott Spark. But if you've missed out on the action, don't worry as we've got Cape Epic 2023 - How the race was won to get you caught up.
In other mountain biking news, Nopinz launched a gravel skinsuit with cargo pockets and Canyon's Exceed got new colours and models. We also caught wind of Shimano working on a direct-mount derailleur.
As for reviews and features, Lance goes deep into head protection and answers the question, what is WaveCel? We've got a review on Tailfin's latest Top Tube Pack and Pembree's D2A pedal. Speaking of pedals, we've also got Pat's write-up of Time's XC 8 pedal, so if you're stuck for some light reading over the weekend, we've got plenty to keep you busy.
Ergon Bar Tape Gravel
First off we have this gravel-specific bar tape from contact points giant, Ergon. This tape is 3.5mm thick and gets an aggressive block pattern for maximum grip and damping through dodgy tech. As with many tapes, this one can be wrapped to the rider's thickness preference but there are positioning guide marks to help get that thickness consistent throughout the wrap.
Hunt XC Wide MTB 29 wheelset
Hunt promises the XC Wide wheelset to be one that's strong but light, making it ideal for XC racing and flowy singletrack. It's designed to work at its best on both hardtails and full squish bikes with 100 - 130mm of travel.
The 6066 T6, welded rims get a 25mm profile that's finished with a shot-peened finish and there's a 5-degree RapidEngage freehub with a H_CERAMIK coating to boost durability. As for spokes, there are 28 triple-butted PSR reinforced head Pillar spokes and we're told that the wheelset is optimised for 2.1 to 2.35in tyres but that they can also work just fine with 2in and 2.5in rubber.
The wheels then roll on oversized, 7075-T6 heat-treated aluminium axles and the set weighs 1,647g.
Five Ten Trailcross LT
With their rather garish yellow/orange colour the Five Ten Trailcross LT shoes are designed to perform just as well on the bike as they do off. These kicks benefit from a regular fit with a lace closure and breathable upper but they get a raised ankle collar for a bit of protection.
There's then a lightweight and durable EVA midsole and as all Five Ten products should, they get the famed Stealth outsole but in its Phantom variety.
Marin Grizzly Locking Grip
The Alpine Trail E that we saw last week wasn't the only thing Marin dropped into the office as we've also got the brand's well-priced Grizzly Locking Grips. These grips feature a fully custom construction with a thin inner core and an offset rubber profile. Marin's added this to increase comfort and grip.
As for the texture, it's built with micro ribs and a waffle, along with thumb grooves to help support and locate your hand. Then the inner core extends past the grip to provide a soft bar end.
Fizik X2 Terra Ergolace
The X2 Terra Ergolace is Fizik's do-it-all shoe, whether that's trail riding, all-mountain or even the odd bit of gravel. As its name suggests, it uses the brand's Ergolace closure that's said to cradle the foot. The upper then offers protection against the elements and uses a hardwearing ripstop woven fabric. The toe cap is PU laminated as are the side panels, both of which should add a bit of protection and durability.
Moving onto the midsole and it features compressed EVA for stability and cushioning and there's a Vibram tread for grip underfoot. There's also an extended cleat track, bolstering cleat positioning options.
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