Alongside a new wheel build from Raleigh with Industry Nine hubs and WTB i29 rims we've got lots of protective gear from 661 and Bluegrass. Timely, seeing as the riding conditions round our neck of the woods have just turned super slick and we've been hitting the deck rather a lot lately!
Raleigh UK wheel build
Recently Raleigh UK’s wheel production lines have begun turning out a premium tier product built around WTB rims and Industry Nine hubs. Built in the UK, the Nottingham production line will have high-spec choices for mountain bike and gravel in any wheel size.
The company will be using Industry Nine hubs and WTB rims, we've got a set using WTB KOM i29 Tough rims and the cheaper I9 1/1 hubs which still delivers 90 points of engagement and 4 degrees between engagement points. We decided we wanted to test a enduro/trail wheelset that came in around the £500 mark settling on the budget hubs and tougher, heavier rims.
661 protection gear
DBO Knee and Elbow pads
Using D3O material these relatively aggressive pads are still flexible, designed for 'all-mountain' riding. The DBO range is classed as protective pads at a lesser price than the heavier duty EVO range.
Recon Knee Pads
We've also got some of the lightest weight pads 661 make, the Recon pads are designed for trail use with plenty of pedalling. The slip-on pads use something called Poron XRD impact foam which is extremely flexible and changes state at impact as D30 does.
Comp and Raji gloves
Both Comp and Raji are slimline and light gloves that come in a multitude of colourways. The latter has a 'twill' back, a single layer palm and velcro closure where the former uses Spandura® for the back of the hand and has a stretchy elastic cuff rather than any form of hook and loop fastener.
EVO Compression Jacket
Again sporting D30 material in the pads the EVO compression jacket is a super protective vest incorporating elbow pads, shoulder pads, back and chest protection. The jacket also uses something 661 calls 'the PADLOCK connection system' where protection pieces are connected so they won’t move around when riding or in the event of a crash. There is also a matching pair of shorts but the photo of our Jon modelling those probably shouldn't be on the internet... we'll save that delight for the review.
EVO AM Patrol helmet
This is the brand's headline enduro helmet, coming with or without MIPS. Ours has the MIPS liner in and a Boa dial at the rear to adjust the cradle. If you don't think this orange colourway is that cool then there is also, white, navy and grey to choose from.
Reset full face helmet
Lastly, we have the new(ish) full face helmet with MIPS. This is the first time that 661 have introduced the MIPS liner to their full face lids, a line of helmets that have been renowned for their bargain prices and cool styling. We won't be going missing in this orange and blue edition but if you want something more muted there are a couple good looking black options plus white and a vibrant red.
Bluegrass protection gear
Golden Eyes helmet
This isn't a new helmet but it's one that hasn't yet graced the head of an off-road.cc test pilot. Designed as an enduro lid and sold without a MIPS or other similar layer, its emphasis is on ventilation and less weight.
Solid Knee pads
Built with a long sleeve and strap at the top, the Bluegrass Solid knee pads are a robust pad for enduro and all-mountain riding. There are soft foam pads at the side for extra protection and a rear elastic strap under the knee for extra security.
Skinny Knee Pads
The Bluegrass Skinny knee pads are billed as a lighter pad ready for pedalling. Side by side with the Solid pads above, there seems to be very little difference aside from the removal of the top strap and the lack of extra side protection. We'll be testing these back to back to find out more.
Magnete Lite gloves
This pair of warmer weather gloves have a nifty little trick up their sleeve - a magnet in the top to keep them together as a pair when you aren't wearing them. Aside from this, these are made from a stretchy material with a thin palm and a lack of padding which is our preferred design for summer gloves.
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