Once again we've got another Five Cool Things that have come in for testing. First off we've got Hayes' four-pot Dominion A4 brakes, as well as another gravel-specific mini pump from Topeak and a Tubi Valve Cleaner. Wrapping up the cool kit is the new ABUS Moventor helmet and some Maxxis Minion DHR II tyres.
But before we get stuck in, let's recap our weekly news highlights. We kicked off the week with the Cape Epic MTB Race 2023 - riders to watch. In this piece, Lance picks out those riders who you should keep an eye on while offering his predictions for the eight-day stage race.
We've been stacked with reviews, too, starting with Suvi's write-up of the Canyon Grail AL7 eTap review, scoring it an applaudable four and a half stars for its excellent performance at a more than achievable price. DMR's Wingbar MK4 handlebar and Yeti's latest SB 140, also received praise for their reliability and performance.
Topeak Tubi Valve Cleaner
This tiny tool gathered quite the attention among the office staff once it was pulled out of its box. As its name suggests, it's a valve cleaner that's designed to unclog tubeless valves that have become bunged up with dried sealant. When assembled, it measures 6.8 x 0.95 x 0.95cm.
Boosting the tool's usefulness is both its size and that it lives inside its own CNC aluminium handle when not in use. The stainless steel probe is then serrated to help clear the valve. Handily, that handle also acts as a Presta valve core tool.
ABUS Moventor 2.0 Mips
Next up, is the Moventor 2.0 Mips from ABUS. It's marked as a downcountry helmet providing protection for those with a penchant for steep. It's built using in-mould construction and uses ABUS's Zoom Ace MTB fit system. The Moventor can accommodate ponytails and it comes complete with a non-slip TriVider strap system.
As with the Cliffhanger and Airdrop, the Moventor is QUIN ready.
Hayes Dominion A4
Back in September last year, we tested the Hayes Dominion A2 and liked it for its overall power and very useful features. The Dominion A4, takes all of those features and builds them into a four-pot platform, hopefully upping braking power and performance during gravity-fed riding.
Like the A2, the A4 comes with Hayes' Crosshair Calpier Alignment screw and a two-stroke dual-port bleed system. The Dominion A4 then gets what the brand called LOFI, which is said to offer a low-effort system with predictable and progressive ramp-up with the crisp bite point, in Haye's own words.
Elsewhere, the lever benefits from an added glide ring on the piston and a sealed ball bearing at the pivot. The brake is set at the lowest dead stroke possible from the factory, and metal pistons are used to keep the brakes as durable as possible. Finally, the lever's reach is adjustable via a dial, without the need to reach for an Allen key.
Topeak Gravel 2Stage
Living up to its namesake, the Topeak Gravel 2Stage uses a two-stage inflation design that's said to offer efficient, high-volume inflation up to 60psi and high-pressure inflation up to 90, with the twist of a switch. Topeak says that this pump can happily fit in a jersey pocket and that it weighs 101 grams.
The Gravel 2Stage features a full aluminium build and is compatible with Presta valves only, but it gets a built-in dust cap and thumb lock.
Maxxis Minion DHR II 29x2.40 WT 3C Maxx Grip EXO
We've tested many of the best mountain bike tyres here at off.road.cc so it comes as a huge surprise that we've not reviewed the mighty Maxxis Minion DHR II. Designed as a rear tyre companion to the Minion DHF, it's become a household name and is specced on a range of mountain bikes from stock.
While sometimes used on the front wheel, the Minion DHR II gets a rear-specific tread pattern with large centre knobs that are designed to improve braking. It's ramped and siped to help the tyre roll faster. It gets the same shoulder knobs as its front-orientated counterpart.
On test, we've got the tyre in the 2.4in width with Maxxis' mid-weight EXO tyre casing and the softest 3C Maxx Grip rubber.
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