Exciting news this week where we see an abundance of new product releases - ProTaper brought out a new range of handlebars including a gold special edition, and Leatt has launched its new MTB range. We round up our top-rated head protection and both Cairn and Yeti reveal their latest bikes. Here are the highlights of this week's tech news.
New range of handlebars from ProTaper
Protaper Bar BLK 7.20.21-1674 RETOUCHED.jpg, by Suvi Loponen
Another gold-themed chunk of news following on from last week's flashy winning coloured enduro bike from Pole, here you see American MTB components ProTaper bringing a range of new handlebars to the forefront, including a limited edition bar of bling and a cross-country, light as a feather, bar.
In a celebration of a past racing legend Leigh Donovan, the gold limited edition version of their already popular A25 gets you a riser bar equivalent to the 97 world champs. On the other end of the spectrum is the new XC Hyperlite carbon bar for those favouring lightweight and simplicity in their cockpit with no rise or upsweep and only 125g.
The new carbon ranges are the PT C12 and PT C25, using the brand's more efficient plastic foam lamination technique that claims to shave grams while keeping the strength for gravity focussed riding. Junior shredders can benefit from the new lineup with the J-Unit range of handlebars and grips to help them on their way to follow in Donovans ‘wheel-steps’.
ORCC's Top rated head protection
Best mountain bike helmets, by off-road.cc
With so many choices when buying a helmet, we have made it as simple as can be and condensed our best-tested head protection that we think you need.
Our buying guides include helmets for all off-road disciplines, from cross-country to downhill and anything in between, with useful info about the technical side of things, including the well-established rotational slip-plane liner known as Mips - you can read more about this here.
Many helmets can cross over to be used for a mixture of disciplines, you may want to use an enduro style lid for your quick cross-country blast that offers more read head protection, or you may like the extended ear coverage of the trials style helmet such as the Fox Dropframe Pro, or even a full face at a trail centre. Whatever you are looking for there are features and tech to cover all bases.
Leatt's new MTB range
2023 Leatt enduro, by Leatt
Leatt has added new belters to its already chocka clothing range, including all-in-one shoes, helmets, and gravity-inspired and women-specific apparel.
The wet weather range features Leatt’s HydraDri membrane with a maximum water defense of up to 30,000 with breathability to keep that body at an optimum temperature. Save the faffing with pants and jacket and slip yourself into their ‘onesie’ style Mono Suit 5.0; with this, you top to bottom winter slop protection and retails for a whopping $399.99/ €419.
The brand's footwear sees some impressive grip upgrades with a softer and tackier character than previous, with better pedal performance and breathability; plus, riders can also benefit from improved knee pads in the new range covering all riding styles and a new open-face helmet.
Women are treated to a big selection with colour matching to the extreme. Leatt has merged the line between yoga comfort and mountain bike performance. What’s not to like? Intrigued? Take a look here.
Cairn's new e-gravel bike
2022 cairn e adventure rambler hero.jpg, by Liam Mercer
Cairn has dropped a new e-gravel machine with updates to the geometry and construction to create a much lighter adventure seeker. Compliance and versatility have taken a notch up from previous models, so let’s take a look.
The E-Adventure Rambler Edition sits in the e-gravel range with slightly altered geometry without losing its identity in the midst of it all. A steeper 74-degree seat tube angle paired with the 70-degree head tube should offer better climbing control with stable descending. All these new angles and degrees mean the bike isn't afraid of wearing a little bounce on the front, with the frame allowing a 30-40mm fork to help soak up those bumps.
Flexibility features a great deal throughout with compliance in the seat post, chainstay and triangle without affecting the lateral stiffness. Grams have been shaved off where possible, and with a mixture of the Fazau battery, Campagnolo's Ekar 13-speed shifting, and a slim downtube profile, no wonder this is their lightest e-bike to date.
SB160 enduro bike from Yeti
A fresh bike added to Yeti’s collection with a few small improvements, a geometry tweak, and the mind-boggling physics of suspension kinematics. The SB160 fills the gap that Yeti was missing in their range with the fresh release dedicated to enduro riding, offering 160mm travel on 29” wheels. Don’t worry, though, it’s curvy beauty of a silhouette is almost the same.
The new model SB160 may have you wondering, does it utilise 160mm of travel? - and true to its name, yes, it does. The rear suspension balances nicely with the 170mm fork up front, a combo only seen on the e-bike version, 160E. The brand's patented Switch-Infinity construction only adds to the bike's amazing ability to absorb the bumpy stuff. The 10mm extra front travel gives a better balance. If you like to see numbers, then the SB160 features a 17% leverage which is an increase of 2% from the SB150. Simply put, the bike will coggle up the small bumps with ease.
For smaller riders, a 150mm dropper can be fitted with no problem, and if you want to be picky, there are five build kits on offer. Prices start from £7,300 and go up to £9,000.
We can't wait to give the bike a thrashing and put it to the test; in the meantime, take a look here at our thoughts on the 160E e-bike of similar calibre.