Once again we are bringing you five of the most interesting things that have made their way into the office. To kick things off, we've got some torque wrenches in for testing, mega lightweight inner tubes from Pirelli and a tie-dye jersey from Troy Lee Designs. We'll also run you through some of the coolest stories published on the site this week.
This week cross-country racing has stolen the limelight with the awesome news of Tom Pidcock winning the 2022 European XC Mountain Bike Championship and as the World Champs have already begun, Lance gives us a heads up on what to expect from the weekend in his UCI Mountain Bike World Championships 2022 - Preview. However, it's not all good news as pro mountain biker, Rab Wardell has died two days after Scottish Championship win in a very sad and unexpected twist of fate. Evie Richards has also spoken out on issues facing female athletes.
On a lighter note, we've compiled the ins and outs of Enduro mountain biking - everything you need to know and published reviews on the Stayer Gravel Adventure wheelset, the Lizard Skins Charger Evo Single-Sided Lock-On grip, and Lezyne Sport Gravel Drive Track Pump. Yep, that's a pump designed especially for gravel tyres.
Birzman Pocket Torque Wrench
2022 birzman pocket torque wrench 5ct.jpg, by Liam Mercer
We're ramping up work to bring you a buyer's guide on the best torque wrenches you can buy and this is the first to face the thorough perusal of our testers. The Pocket Torque Wrench from Birzman lives up to its name as it's just 13.5cm in length but this little tool packs quite the punch as it can offer torque from 2nm up to 10nm. In the pack, you get 3, 4, 5, and 6mm Allen bits along with a PH2 and T25. There's also a 60mm extension bar to help you torque up those well-hidden bolts.
HED Emporia GC3 Performance wheelset
HED's Emporia GC3 Performance wheelset is said to bring the performance of the range-topping Pro version to a friendlier and more accessible price point. HED says that this wheelset gets many of the cool features found on the Pro model but it uses a lower grade carbon.
The GC3 Performance makes use of patented 30mm-deep, aero rim profiles with a hookless tyre junction and a 26mm internal width, designed to accommodate 32mm to 55mm tyre widths. The rear wheel employs a four-pawl freehub and both wheels get a Center Lock brake rotor mounts. It's said that the rims weigh just 405g each.
Lifeline Essential Torque Wrench Set
Often emitted from people's toolboxes, torque wrenches are an essential bit of kit that helps avoid the worst from happening when over-tightening important bolts. Lifeline offers a comprehensive torque wrench with all the accessories in the Essential Torque Wrench Set and has brought it down to an accessible price point.
In the handy plastic case, you'll find the torque wrench with Allen bits from 3mm up to 10mm along with T20, T25 and T30 Torx bits. There's also a long 5mm Allen to help get to those hard-to-reach places.
Pirelli Scorpion Smartube
Pirelli Scorpion Smartube front, by Aaron Borrill
Nobody wants to lug spare parts around - especially not a heavy 200g 29-inch innertube, but Pirelli seems to have solved this with its super-lightweight Scorpion Smartube. Originally launched in road-bike P Zero and Cinturato Smartube format last year, the innertube weighs a claimed 75g (70g on our scale), cutting a whopping 130g of weight from a regular butyl tube. Characterised by the trademark-yellow colour, the tube is made from TPU or Thermoplastic Polyurethane - a material that balances weight with protection and performance.
Despite the incredibly low weight, Pirelli claims the Scorpion Smartube is more durable than a regular tube and ideal for use across all mountain bike disciplines - enduro, cross-country and downhill included. That said, it's arguably better suited to mountain bike marathon racers who compete in multi-stage events across the globe. The Smartube is available in three sizes: 2.2 x 29, 2.6 x 29 and 2.6 x 27.5, each of which comes with a 42mm valve stem.
Having something as light and resilient as the Scorpion Smartube seems like a no-brainer - but it does come at a significant cost, £28 each. - Aaron Borrill, Editor
Troy Lee Designs Skyline Long Sleeve Jersey
TLD took its best-selling jersey, added long sleeves, and gave it a redesign using environmentally friendly Bluesign-certified fabric. This jersey uses a lighter fabric than before that wicks moisture more effectively, says TLD that's more comfortable.
While we've got it in this retro slate blue tye die design, it also comes in solid colours, along with some other trick graphics.
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