It's been a busy week at off-road HQ. We've had brands showing us all of their cool things at CORE Bike at the beginning of the week, and now we're showing you all of the cool things we've had sent in for testing. Those come in the form of Hope's new brakes, a big ol' enduro e-bike, trousers, and 7iDP.
Vitus E-Sommet VRX
There's nothing quite like a big travel e-bike. It'll get you up the hills with blissful ease while being fully cable of smashing it back down. Here, we've got Vitus' E-Sommet in its spendiest VRX build. For the cash, it's graced with top of the range RockShox suspension with a ZEB Ultimate offering 170mm of suspension at the front, and a Super Deluxe Ultimate damping 167mm of squish. There's then a Shimano EP8 motor, XT shifting, along with XT brakes. Finally, a Nukeproof Horizon wheelset makes home to Maxxis rubber.
Hope Tech 4 E4
£195 per brake
At the beginning of the month, Hope announced the brand new Tech 4 lever with some updates to a range of calipers, and as if by magic, a pair has landed for us to thoroughly test. Hailed as 'the ultimate enduro brake', these guys feature all-new internal sealing, and the pivots spin on roller bearings for a smoother feel. They get a whole new design resulting in a slimmer reservoir and better leverage on the lever.
The E4 caliper now benefits from stainless steel pistons and a phenolic insert which is said to result in smoother movement and less maintenance. Some serious testing will see if the proof is in the pudding.
Fasthouse Kicker Shorts and Fastline 2.0 pants
£80 - £130
Last week we had some jerseys in from Fasthouse, and now we've got some bottoms. First off, there are the Kicker shorts, which are designed to be great for use on and off of the bike. They're made with a DWR four-way stretch fabric. Keeping in with the casual theme, there's a faux leather debossed emblem and all of the pockets you'll find on your favourite pair of everyday shorts.
Next up, there are the more serious Fastline 2.0 pants. These are aimed primarily at downhillers but won't feel out of place on an enduro bike. They're made from a 400D Poly body with a 600D saddle for a boost in durability and there are four-way stretch panels to aid maneuverability. There's then a YYK zipped pocket to keep your valuables safe as you ride.
GORE Fernflow trousers
Keeping with the trouser theme, we've got a pair of GORE's Fernflow trousers. These are designed to be both lightweight and durable while being ideal for cool and changeable weather conditions. The lower front, groin, and back regions get a four-way stretch material, there's an adjustable waistband and 2 zipped openings for ventilation, and a side zip that helps the trousers fit over knee protection. It'll also be rude to forget the partial Goretex dotted around the trouser, as well as the Gore Windstopper fabric on the knee, seat, and thigh areas.
Royal Racing Matrix Jersey and Quantum Tech Hoody
£60 - £80
The sun may be shining but I think we'll be a little naïve not to expect the temperatures to drop again at some point before the summer. Keeping us properly sorted for when that happens is 7iDP with the Quantum Tech Hoody and Matrix Jersey. Starting with the former, the brand says it could be the most relaxed technical bit of kit in your wardrobe and that it's great for layering. This one can be used as a breathable mid-layer underneath a waterproof or just used over a normal jersey to keep you that bit warmer.
Then, the Matrix Jersey combines the warmth of a crewneck sweatshirt with the performance of a jersey. It's made with Gridlock fleece insulation and a stretchy knitted fabric to keep movement free and easy. There's also a handy zipped pocket built into the side, so mid-ride snacks are quick to hand.
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