It's time for another round of off.road.cc's highlights of the week - Five Cool Things, where we show off the coolest kit that has arrived ahead of testing as well as showcase some of the most exciting news stories of the week, This week, we've got Abus's brand new trail and enduro helmets, another sealant to add to our huge tyre sealant group test and we've got some very fancy titanium bolts.
The biggest news of the week comes from Red Bull's Hardline event, known as one of the most demanding and technical downhill courses on the circuit, featuring 100ft gaps. This year witnessed the toughest track yet, testing the grit of riders such as Bernard Kerr, who had one of the scariest offs we've seen yet, only to walk away relatively unscathed. Even more exciting is that 18-year-old rookie rider Jackson Goldstone took gold - and the race recorded its first-ever female rider!
On the subject of racing, the newly revealed 2022 UCI Gravel World Championships route promises to bring the world's quickest gravel riders to northern Italy to chase the rainbow stripes for the first time.
And, as usual, we've had a handful of cracking reviews go live on the site, including our write-up of the new Goodyear Newton MTR 2.6in Enduro tyre and the Garmin Edge 1040 Solar bike computer, so make sure that you dive into those as they're reviews that shouldn't be missed.
Better Bolts "The Works" Kit
£244 / $275
Better Bolts "The Works" Kit , by Aaron Borrill
Every mountain biker loves a bit of bling, right? Well, the chaps at Better Bolts have a fine selection of the most bodacious titanium bolts you could imagine - and they come in various kits, sizes and colours. Based in San Clemente, USA, Better Bolts has long been one of our favourite Instagram pages. Boasting stunningly curated images and ideas for improving your bike's aesthetic and saving a few grams in the process, too.
The Better Bolts "The Works" Kit pictured here allows you to work directly with the Better Bolts in-house experts to package a bolt selection to best garnish your bike and set-up. If you're unsure of what bolts you require, there is a measuring guide on the site as well as an installation guide - it's very user-friendly and intuitive.
The £244 / $275 pricetag represents a placeholder amount and customers will either be charged extra or refunded depending on the bolts required, each bike build varies so this option makes sense. The bolts in question are made from super-light titanium and can be had in colours ranging from Silver, Black, Rainbow Oil Slick and Gold. We think the Oil Slick hue is pretty badass and optioned our test kit with this colour.
All bolts are warranted to the original owner against manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship for the lifetime of the product. Furthermore, Better Bolts now ships to the UK so there are no excuses for riding a bike with ugly, rusted bolts. Get in!
ABUS AirDrop MIPS
The Abus AirDrop is the company's first crack at a full-face helmet and the brand has chosen to go down the lightweight and breezy enduro route. There's a bunch of fresh tech found inside this new lid such as EVA collarbone protector inserts which should keep your collarbones in one piece during impact with the helmet's edges. Abus has designed side communication channels inside the helmet with the aim to offer clear hearing inside the full-facer.
It's built using in-mould manufacturing and employs the Zoom Ace FF adjustment system. Then, it's QUIN ready (similar to Specialized's ANGI) and there's a double D-ring buckle system for maximum security with fat chin straps to reduce the chance of strangulation during a nasty crash.
Muc-Off No Puncture Hassle tubeless sealant
As you may have guessed in previous editions of 5 cool things, we've got a big tyre sealant test headed your way and it seemed rude not to include Muc-Off's No Puncture Hassle Tubeless Sealant. This stuff promises to be lightweight and comes with molecules designed to fill bigger holes and tears than other sealants. It is latex based but it contains a handy UV detection system that will highlight any punctures you might have missed while on a ride.
Muc-Off says that this sealant works from 15 to 120psi and in temperatures from -20C up to 50°C.
Smanie EX saddle
Smanie's EX Series or Explorer saddle is designed to give you the ability to ride in places you never thought possible. That's a pretty bold claim but it comes built with 18mm of padding to tame harsh gravel roads and a cutout to prevent numbness when out on those big bikepacking adventures. It's also very budget friendly at just £30.
It's also claimed to be eco-friendly, using recycling materials for the construction of its cover, foam, base, rails, and even its packaging.
ABUS Cliffhanger MIPS
Finally, we've got another fresh lid from Abus. This time, it's the flagship half-shell, the Cliffhanger. This helmet is designed to be lighter and better ventilated than the brand's previous mountain bike hats and it's built using Multi-Shell In-Mould construction along with a Zoom Ace MTB adjustment system. It's also been designed to fit those who rock a ponytail, handy!
Like the AirDrop we talked about before, this helmet is QUIN ready with this particular model being built with a dock where the little chip can be inserted. There is a Cliffhanger with QUIN already built in but that'll cost a little extra. The helmet then uses ActiCage which offers structural reinforcement and GoggFit. If you've not guessed, GoggFit offers space for goggle storage should you prefer to go full enduro.
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