This week's Five Cool Things are pretty exciting as we've got RockShox's enduro fork as well as a pair of WTB's latest saddles in for testing. Bolstering our curation of the coolest kit to make its way through the office is some frame protection and a mudguard from Slicy, Fidlock's magnetic action camera mount, and more riding shades from Melon Optics.
But first, let's talk about the coolest things to happen in the cycling world this week and there have been a fair few fresh releases. The week kicked off with the Mega Murmur, Starling's new long travel platform that comes as an option for those who want more suspension travel, or a more balanced ride for taller folk. RockShox then brought updates to its SID cross-country suspension family and Microshift's new Sword groupset looks like a threat to Shimano. And we mustn't forget about the Mondraker Neat.
Alongside this week's news, of course, we've had a raft of reviews hit the site but perhaps the most exciting is the first ride review on the brand-new Merida Big.Nine. Though, we've got all bases covered with a write-up of Squirt's eco-friendly Biodegradable Bike Cleaner, along with Sweet Protection's Memento RIG Reflect glasses.
Not to forget our features and we've been hot on the bike care and repair theme with our how to service your shock guide, and how to fix a chain on a bicycle. Oh, and you've only got a few more days to enter our competition to win the ultimate Muc-Off bundle worth £635!
Melon Optics Kingpin - £120
Topping five cool things this week is the Kingpin sunglasses from Melon Optics. It's a pair of riding specs that are designed for performance on and off-road that uses a Zeiss lens and a full frame design. Speaking of the frame, it's built using a flexible but lightweight TR90 material. The Kingpin then comes with a Hypergrip nose and tips to keep the sunglasses in place.
As with all Melon Optics products, this one is customisable, offering the choice of frame, gripper, and lens colour. Here, we have the Kingpin in Paint Splat Matte with a Red Chrome Lens.
Elsewhere, these specs use Melon's smart venting system and a Ripel coating that keeps crud from sticking. Last on the features list is that the lens is interchangeable and it offers UV 400 protection.
WTB Silverado and Volt - £125 - £200
WTB recently updated two of its much-loved saddles, the Silverado and the Volt. Starting with the former, it gets a shorter length, now measuring 265mm and it's sorted with a new Fusion Form base. This base has allowed WTB to fine-tune the amount of fibre that's infused into the nylon to create a flex profile that balances comfort support and durability.
For the Silverado, that means that it gets a tune that's designed towards efficiency in a forward-leaning pedalling position. This tech also allows the padding to be recessed into the base that we're told results in a sleek aesthetic without reducing the thickness of the padding. On test, we've got it in its carbon-railed guise.
As for the Volt, it also gets WTB's fresh Fusion Form tech but on this saddle, it's been tweaked to increase flex and improve comfort for mountain bikers who pedal in a more upright position.
Both saddles then get microfibre synthetic covers and the brand's Comfort Zone tech.
Fidlock Pinclip action cam mount - £30
Fidlock, the brand known for its magnetic closure system has turned its hand to action camera mounts. This version of Pinclip is designed to attach a camera to a number of positions over the body and on the bike whether that's on a helmet or a chest mount but it can be done so without having to unwind a screw each time you're looking for a new angle.
This mount also allows for the super-fast charging of action cameras while reducing vibrations. All it requires is a normal GoPro mount.
RockShox ZEB Ultimate - £1,061
The ZEB is RockShox's answer to the Fox 38, the first fork to bring fat stanchions to a single crown construction and for 2023, it brings a range of neat updates. Built for heavy-hitting enduro riding (and even used by Brandon Semenuk at the 2021 Red Bull Rampage) the latest edition of RockShox's top-end model features the brand's Charger 3 damper. This comes sorted with a new Internal Floating Piston design that's said to offer more consistency through the stroke. All of its adjustments are claimed to be truly independent of one another too.
Adding to the fresh tech are ButterCups which are little rubber dampers found at the bottom of the fork that claim to block 20% of high-frequency trail chatter. The 2023 ZEB Ultimate then comes with the Debonair+ air spring that brings increased air volume that adds support throughout the travel, says the brand, resulting in a higher overall ride height for maximum confidence.
As well as bolt-in torque cap adapters the ZEB Ultimate has been built with a new bushing setup that increases bushing overlap. This is said to reduce friction while creating more stiffness.
Slicy Jo Burt Ltd Edition Enduro/DH mudguard and Sublimistick kit - £19 - £35
Finally, we've got a couple of limited edition products from Slicy but these come rocking cool designs from our friend, Jo Burt. Firstly, the Sublimistick features cartoon flowers as often seen in Mint Sauce, MBUK's popular comic strip. Coming in two finishes, matte and gloss, the Sublimistick kit is a universal frame protection kit that's promised to fit any kind of bike. In the pack, you'll get two patches for the down tube, three for the top tube, four for the seat stays and one for the seat tube. If you would like to get your hands on one of these be quick, as they're limited to 100 units.
Jo Burt's unique style can also be found on the matching Enduro-DH Mudguard. This is built using a higher quality of resin than other brands and it gets angular crease lines to offer a cleaner look once on the bike. The graphics are vinyl printed and layered which results in a great-looking finish. Like the Sublimistick pack, there are only 100 mudguards available.
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