New kit this week comes in the form of two 2018 bikes from the Giant and Liv range, a cool handmade handlebar bag, another brand of waterproof socks and Joe's milky tyre sealant.
This week we are celebrating the fact Rachael survived the Redbull TimeLaps, a 25-hour race, despite being a road race virgin and even came back smiling after enduring it on the skinny wheels. She says she's keen to do it all again, leaving us with questions - what did they do to her? Where is the real Rachael?!
Elsewhere, the Off-Road team played an interesting game of 'how many bikes can we fit in the back of an unsuitably small van' (Answer: 15) before taking them on a photoshoot. This means we are now all set to bring you a very varied mix of bike reviews, with all bikes coming in at under £3,000, we can't wait! So you make sure don't miss 'em just type in your email address into the box on the top right-hand side of our home screen to sign up to receive our newsletter. Right, on with the new stuff.....
Giant Reign 2
In the 'his' or 'unisex' supplement to this week's his 'n' hers bike theme is the new Giant Reign 2. Released earlier this year the Reign received its first update since the bike's radical overhaul in 2015. 2018 sees the bike get a few subtle tweaks, such as a longer front centre and a re-worked rocker link incorporating a Trunion mount shock and a one-piece upper link. We are looking forward to getting aboard this iteration of the Reign and as the winter conditions are hitting their hardest we are pretty pleased to see this bike is fitted with a nice and grippy 2.5" Maxxis Shorty!
Liv Hail 2
Over in the 'her' corner is the 2018 Hail, the 'female specific' enduro bike from Giant's sister brand, Liv. A bike that looks like the direct competitor for the Reign but built and designed specifically for the ladies. Liv goes ten steps further than most other brands and rather than just changing bars, grips and stems for the ladies, they change the geometry, and quite radically too. For example both the Reign and the Hail sport 160mm of rear travel but the Hail features a higher bottom bracket, a shorter effective top tube, a steeper head angle, a taller headtube and a steeper seat angle. Details that, on paper, only one makes sense for an aggressive enduro bike. But, we don't judge books by their covers here at off-road.cc, in the same way, we don't judge a bike by its geometry table so the only way to investigate the differences between these bikes is to get out and ride then back to back, again and again.
For this reason we called in the Hail 2 a bike that is very similarly specced and priced to the above Reign. Plus we think the feminine teal and yellow colourway of the Liv will quite suit Jon.....
Dex Shell UltraThin Crew Socks
After we showed you guys that we had some Shower's Pass waterproof socks in to test, you told us about another brand of socks that you claimed were better, lighter and warmer - Dex Shell UltraThin Crew Socks. This thin, waterproof bamboo number is new to the Dex Shell line up and offers a flexible, comfortable and breathable sock to keep your tootsie's dry in inclement weather. We are going to send these our waterproof sock aficionado, a member of our test team that still hasn't grown out of jumping in puddles, and see what his toes tell him.
Outer Shell Adventure Drawcord Handlebar Bag
We’ve received the Drawcord Handlebar Bag from Outer Shell Adventure and our first impressions are excellent. It has fantastic construction quality and some great functional details. We particularly like the closure system which is easy to operate one-handed whilst riding and closes the bag securely. The bag is made from a hard-wearing Cordura main fabric with a weatherproof X-Pac lining. The main compartment should be large enough to hold spares, food, an extra layer and a camera and you should be able cram a bit more into the outside pockets. Handmade by Kyle at Outershell in California, pricing is high but reasonable for the quality and unique product that it is.
Joe's No Flats Super Sealant
Old Joe reckons' this ultra-fast sealant will have no problem sealing holes up to 6mm in diameter! Joe also says this Latex based sealant is good as a multi-purpose product for CX tyres, to road through to MTB's. Essentially it consists of two substances 'milk' and 'sand' which work together to block the hole - shake well and don't leave near the kettle...
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