Pads from Discobrakes, Hutchinson's 2.4in Kraken and Specialized's latest shoes
Once again we've got another Five Cool Things to show you. This week, our treasure trove of gear includes a full range of brake pads from Discobrakes, gravel-specific jerseys from Santini and new kicks from Specialized. Rounding off this week's curation is Hutchinson's latest Kraken downcountry tyre. As usual, we'll also highlight the most exciting stories and features of the week.
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- 1x Drivetrains - when less really means less
- Big Read: Big mountain pairs racing with Enduro2 Les Arcs
Early in the week we asked and answered two very important questions -the first being what is Koroyd? Here, we took a deep dive into the honeycomb-shaped helmet tech to highlight the benefits and pitfalls of this interesting method of head protection. We also addressed the burgeoning question, 'Are gravel bikes old-school mountain bikes?'
In other news, Suvi caught up with Matt Dowler from Boardman to check out the brand's prototype gravel bike which also happens to look awfully similar to mountain bikes of the 90s. We also published a buyer's guide of the best cycling computers to help you make the right purchasing decision.
As for reviews, Aaron checked out the Oladance Wearable Open Ear Headphones, awarding them a very respectable 4.5 stars and Pat praised the Shimano RX6 shoes for their breathability and comfort. Finally, Pete gave his thoughts on the Smanie Explorer Sport saddle.
Hutchinson Kraken 2.4in tyre
Last week Hutchinson unveiled the 2.4in version of its more aggressive cross-country tyre, the Kraken. This tyre is set to be fast and grippy and, with the 2.4in width, the brand says that it's an ideal tyre for downcountry riding.
This tyre sits in Hutchinson's Racing Lab portfolio, so it's been developed with help from the brand's XC and enduro athletes. This model benefits from Hardskin sidewall reinforcement and a Race Ripost XC rubber compound. With a 66TPI casing, this 29 x 2.4in tyre is claimed to tip the scales at 850g.
Specialized 2FO Method Canvas
The very casual-looking Specialized 2FO Method represents something a little different from the Morgan Hill-based company. It's built with a canvas upper and the brand's known SlipNot rubber outsole making them ideal for both on-the-bike and pub outings.
Other features include a foam core midsole for vibration damping and cushioning and an internal heel counter that's said to add support but without increasing bulk. It also gets the brand's Body Geometry sole construction and footbed. This is designed and scientifically tested for the best ergonomics, and increased pedalling efficiency by optimising hip, knee and foot alignment.
DiscoBrakes brake pad range
£8.69 - £13.89
While small in size, brake pads are key to keeping your bike from slowing down as effectively as possible, and your choice of brake pad material will dictate your bike's braking performance. Brake pad-centric brand, DiscoBrakes carries a huge range of pad compounds to complement any style of riding or weather conditions you can face. Here, we've got the complete set that fits Shimano XT four-piston calipers (although there are pads to suit almost all braking systems), including semi-metallic, sintered, and Kevlar compounds but what's really interesting is the copper-free compound that's been developed with help from Cedric Gracia.
The copper-free compound promises impressive power in wet and dry conditions while remaining quiet and durable. However, what's especially cool is that this material is claimed to be one of the most environmentally friendly pad compounds ever as it decreases the run-off of copper and other heavy metals into the ground and into natural waterways.
Santini Fango jersey
Coming as part of the Italian brand's gravel-going range, the Fango jersey is produced from a light melange fabric that's said to guarantee breathability and comfort. This top is cut with long sleeves in a shape that conforms to the body without too tight a grip, says the Santini.
At the bottom hem, you'll find a silicone grip to keep the jersey in place around the waste and there's a triple pocket at the rear, offering ample cargo space.
Santini Fango Delta Tech T-Shirt
Last but not least, we've got another jersey from Santini but this time it comes in the form of the Fango Delta Tech Tee. Like the Method shoes above, Santini says this top can double up for use both on- and off the bike. It's built entirely of Polartech Delta recycled fabric that's said to offer excellent thermoregulation properties.
It benefits from two rear-zipped pockets allowing you to carry all of the essentials.