New shoes from Unparallel and Scott, Wolf Tooth's Resolve and mega curvy bars from Merit
Once again, it's time for Five Cool Things - a series where we flaunt the coolest tech that's come into the office for testing. This week, we've got shoes, a very posh dropper post, a fancy drop handlebar and yet another torque wrench. As usual, we'll also highlight the coolest stories of the week.
This week, off.road.cc has been packed with gravel content, not only with the launch of the Specialized Diverge STR, a new gravel bike with rear suspension but we also saw Dangerholm’s 7.49kg Scott Contessa Addict gravel bike and that Canyon has partnered with F1 star Valtteri Bottas. Rounding off the gravel content for the week, Suvi takes us along for the Sisters in the Wild ride in her recent story - Gravel cycling: experiencing a women-only event.
If you're new to mountain biking and its competitive side has got you curious, we've got Cross-country mountain biking: everything you need to know and Downhill mountain biking - everything you need to know where Lance uncovers the ins and outs of two very different styles of mountain bike racing.
As for reviews, they're coming in thick and fast with the Alpina Rocket V glasses offering an affordable but mega clear photochromic lens with excellent coverage. Then the Pirelli Scorpion E-MTB S SmartGRIP 2.6in tyre is showing that the tyre brand is really listening thanks to a range of improvements. We've then got a full write up on Granite Design's newest Stash RT Ratchet multitool and the Fidlock Twist x Keego bottle 600 + bike base
Lezyne Pocket Torque Drive
Starting off Five Cool Things with a bang is Lezyne's Pocket Torque Drive which more than lives up to its name. This is a tiny torque wrench that's small enough to be stowed away in a bag for your next bikepacking epic or to be stashed in your car for those emergency pre-ride nip-ups.
The Pocket Torque Drive is a pre-calibrated torsion ratchet tool made from aluminium. Its handle is removable and it's adjustable between two and six newton metres in 0.5Nm increments. Included in its case are 2.3, 3, 4, and 5mm Allen bits, along with T20 and T25 bits.
Unparallel Up Link shoes
Amusingly, Unparallel says, "at high levels, downhill mountain biking is one long, controlled crash". The Up Link is an SPD version of the Dust Up shoe that's designed to put up with the rigors of gravity fed riding.
It gets a dual compound outsole that employs a high durometer RH rubber for the perimeter of the sole while the centre uses a softer, vibration-absorbing VD rubber. There's then an EVA midsole which promises excellent power delivery but easy walkability.
Merit Rodla handlebar
Merit's Rodla handlebar is a carbon bar with a loop similar to the Redshift Kitchen Sink that offers several grab positions. It comes in 440, 460 and 480mm gravel optimised widths with a 110mm drop and 25 degree flare. It can then accommodate partially internally routed cables.
The handy loop also offers more space for lights and bags but it offers a good hand hold for a more aerodynamic riding position.
Wolf Tooth Resolve dropper post
Last week, Wolf Tooth added the Resolve dropper post to its portfolio and we were pretty quick to get one in for testing and even at first glance, it looks pretty impressive but what's really exciting is on the inside. Its cartridge is self bleeding and it offers a very low 32mm stack height.
There's also an air filter built into the post to stop muck from finding its way inside of the post and the post is completely user serviceable with instructional videos provided by Wolf Tooth. The Resolve is available in 30.9 and 31.6mm diameters and 125, 160 and 200mm drops, each of which offer travel adjustment in 5mm increments.
Scott MTB SHR-ALP Lace shoes
Last up is Scott's MTB SHR-ALP Lace shoes. They're all mountain orientated shoes for flat pedals that benefit from a Sticki Rubber outsole and a balanced stiffness. As their name suggests, they use laces for their closures and the upper is made from a synthetic polyurethane and a 3D airmesh.