In for test this week are new e-bike specific tyres from Vittoria with added Graphene compound, plus the latest light full face helmet to hit the shelves from Smith Optics. Also in are Smith goggles, a new hardtail from Merida and a 3 litre hip pack from Evoc.
2021 Merida Big.Trail 600
This Merida Big.Trail 600 sits at the top of the all-new 2021 range with bikes starting at £800 and topping out with this one at £1,500.
The kit list is sorted, as you'd expect for this money. Upfront, a Marzocchi Z2 fork has 140mm of air-sprung travel. It's based more or less around parent brand Fox's 34, so it gets 34mm upper legs and a version of the GRIP damper.
Elsewhere there is a Shimano Deore level 12-speed drivetrain with a whopping 10-51T spread on the cassette and Shimano M4100 brakes.
We've got a first look here and will be following up with a review very soon.
Smith Mainline helmet
The newly released Smith Mainline helmet is the latest lightweight full face to join the line up of lids on test for Liam. This one is equipped with the Koroyd straw protections system plus a MIPS liner and is certified for downhill use. The 21 vents are designed for use with Smith goggles and there's plenty of removable pads to swap for different sized to fine tune the fit.
Smith Fuel V.2 goggles
The Fuel V.2 goggles are (unsurprisingly) an updated version of the Fuel V.1's. This time getting a sweat absorbing 3 layer foam and a better design to fit with Smith lids. In the pack you get a mirrored lens and a clear on making these look ideal for summer or winter riding. Liam will be testing them alongside the Mainline full face helmet and well as his other open face trail lids.
Evoc Hip Pack 3L
Looking for an entry into our guide to the best hip packs you can buy in 2020
is the Evoc Hip Pack 3L. Bags get into the guide if they score over four out of five stars on test, will the airy looking back ventilation, 3L capacity (1.5L bladder) and plenty of storage option be enough to make the Evoc Hip Pack one of the better ones we've tested?
Vittoria e-bike tyres
Made for e-bikes, this range tyres from Vittoria get an added compound called Graphene 2.2 which is supposed to reduce rolling resistance, increase range and battery life too. We've heard of graphene (a single layer of graphite with properties that make is strong and flexible) being used before in the carbon layup of wheels.
The E-Mazza tyre is designed for both front and rear use with well defined centre knobs for braking traction whilst giving these knobs a stepped edge which they say acts like ramping for decreased rolling resistance. The E-Mazza comes in 27.5 and 29er sizes, both in 2.4" or 2.6" widths and it'll cost you £57.59.
The E-Martello gets smaller, square blocks, there's no front/rear bias listed on Vittoria's website but it looks like a rear tyre to us when partnered with the E-Mazza. The E-Martello is also ready for both 27.5 and 29er wheels but that one is available as a 2.35" width or a 2.6" for the same price as the E-Mazza.
The E-Agarro is made for climbing technical terrain at slower speeds, with ramped edges making it a faster rolling tyre too. It's noticeably less aggressive looking than the above two tyres. It comes in a 2.6" width for 27.5 wheels and 2.35" or 2.6" for 29ers. Again it costs £57.49.
Even faster rolling, the E-Barzo is essentially a substantial cross-country tyre made for the rigours of e-biking. It has a rounded shape with smaller tread blocks in a v-shaped pattern to decrease resistance. This one is 29er only in widths of 2.6" and 2.35", prices at £54.99.
If you aren't e-powered yet, then these tyres are both available without Graphene, making them lighter for enduro and all-mountain bikes.
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