In this week's Five Cool Things, we bring you two brand-new releases as well as a slew of exciting kit that just arrived at the office. We check out PNW Component's first step into carbon composites and Fizik's latest winter shoe. Extra cool stuff comes in the form of Koo's newest goggles, chain wax from Silca and a rather luxurious dropper post from Crankbrothers.
But before we dive into the most interesting tech to hit the office, here are some highlights to hit the off.road.cc home page. This week has been very exciting for gravel in that we describe what the future of professional gravel racing might look like. Entries have also opened for the 2024 Ekoi Stone Circle gravel event. Lost Dot has launched the Accursed Race but entrants are encouraged to use the most low-carbon way of travel to get there.
This week's reviews have spanned a range of subjects, from Continental's Revo Sealant and Giant's Anthem Advanced Pro 29 1 cross-country bike to the DT Swiss GR 1600 Spline wheelset. We also check out Cinelli's Zydeco Mud Apex gravel bike.
Finally, it seems as if Black Friday has come early as we've teamed up with The Rider Firm, the company behind Cairn, Privateer and Hunt to highlight a raft of huge deals, featuring 25% off of Hunt Enduro wheels and Privateer's DJ101 bike and a whopping £1,000 off of the Cairn E-Adventure, just to name a few.
Koo Edge goggles
Koo's Edge is built especially for mountain biking and benefits from a range of very interesting features. Firstly, its lens has been designed in collaboration with Zeiss to offer durability and cool advanced colour tech to work best in MTB scenarios. The frame encourages airflow through neat ventilation ports which also combats fog.
Perhaps its coolest attribute is Koo's famed Slot-In Changing Lens system. Essentially, the lens slips into little slots on the face of the frame and is held in with a small clip. So lens changes should come quickly and easily.
Finally, this goggle rocks a removable nose guard, giving the option to boost protection from flung debris and promises to improve the stability of the goggle overall.
PNW Components Loam Composite handlebar
Earlier this week, PNW Components stepped into the carbon-fibre space with its all-new Loam Carbon handlebar. This has been made in pursuit of cockpit comfort as it's built with high-end pre-preg carbon fibre that's shaped with anti-fatigue geometry that will work best when cornering.
That geometry features a pretty serious 10-degree backsweep which is a little more than what we usually see, and there's a five-degree upsweep and 800mm width.
This bar gets PNW's own CBD layup which has been created to dampen chatter while offering horizontal stiffness for a direct steering character, resulting in a feel that the brand dubs as 'al dente'. It's then strong enough and rated for use on downhill and e-bikes.
Silca Secret Chain Blend Hot Melt Wax
Silca's Secret Chain Lube Hot Melt Wax is made up of lab-grade paraffin and three sizes of tungsten disulfide which lubricates the chain. Those tungsten disulfide nanoplatelets have less than a third of the dynamic coefficient friction of PTFE. Handily, the pouch can be used for the whole waxing process, where you drop the chain and wax-filled pouch into a pot of warm water. The chain is then pulled out and hung to dry.
Crankbrothers Highline 11
The Crankbrothers Highline 11 is a high-end dropper post that utilises the very same IFP cartridge system as the Highline 7. There are also the Igus LL-glide bearings and keys, linear actuator and quick-connect mechanism for easy cable installation.
This post claims to shed up to 100g over the brand's other droppers through the use of a carbon fibre quill and posh-looking titanium hardware.
It used the company's latest Highline Premium Remote – Gen 2. It gets all of the goodness that we liked of the old remote but it now gets a lighter actuation and a slightly new paddle shape to improve ergonomics. There's also a rubber pad on the lever for grip, meaning you don't have to go about replacing grip tape as seen on the old remote. However, this one still gets all of the rotation and tilt and it's compatible with all droppers that clamp the cable at the lever end.
Fizik Terra Nanuq GTX
Released just last week, Fizik's Terra Nanuq GTX is a brand-new, insulated and waterproof mountain bike shoe. Inside the shoes are fleece linings to up the warmth and its waterproofing is provided by a Gore-Tex membrane. The shoe's upper benefits from a ripstop fabric to fend off abrasion and tearing while a thermo-laminated PU toebox keeps toes protected from impact.
This shoe gets Fizik's X2 outsole which Fizik reckons boosts the shoe's versatility, allowing it to confidently cater for hike-a-bike jaunts through its aggressive tread pattern. This is paired with a compression EVA midsole and a Vibram XS Trek EVO rubber compound. There's also an extended cleat track for greater cleat adjustability.
The Fizik Terra Nanuq GTX is available for both clip and flat pedals.
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