Maxxis Ardent Race 29 x 2.2″ 3C/EXO/TR
This latest offering from Maxxis is a winner for those technical XC courses or just general trail riding. The Ardent Race kind of blends the best bits of the regular Ardent and the Ikon, it features closely spaced centre knobs for great rolling capability paired with angled and slightly pronounced side knobs. The 29×2.2 version of these tyres come in at 720 grams each featuring Tubeless Ready compatibility, EXO casing and Maxxis’ 3C compound. We recently ran the Ardent Race tyres for the four days of the Port to Port MTB stage race and they were absolutely flawless. Highly recommended rubber.
Giant/Source Cascade 1 hydration pack:
Giant’s ever-expanding range of parts, accessories and soft-goods now includes hydration packs, and the Cascade 1 is their short-to-medium endeavour offering. It’s very lightweight and the two-litre BPA free bladder is manufactured by Source. Storage capacity is three litres, which is fine for your average outing, and we really like the addition of the elasticised cord on the outside, perfect for hooking your jacket into. Definitely worth a look if your current pack is developing its own bacterial ecosystem and beginning to smell like an unwashed pet!
Finish Line E-Shift Cleaner:
With the advent of electronic shifting in the mountain bike world, electronic groupsets are set to get a workout in the coming years as riders push them to levels of stress that never occur riding on the road. Finish Line have developed a degreaser specifically for keeping these electronic groupsets in tip-top shape, which they claim is more sensitive on important components of an electronic groupset such as wires and specifically manufactured derailleurs. We think this a great idea, especially considering the price tag on an electronically equipped mountain bike will probably force you to either rob a bank or re-mortgage your home.
MET Parabellum helmet:
We’ve featured the MET Parabellum helmet before, but one of our testers found the helmet very constricting, with the retention system cramming some parts of the head uncomfortably tight. Thankfully, for the latest model MET have revised the retention system, consequently making the helmet “distribute pressure in a more homogenous way”. Fancy thesaurus language aside, the new fit is much more comfortable, and the helmet has a swathe of other features that make it an alluring option for trail/all-mountain riders.
Clif Bar Shot Bloks:
Not a fan of really chewy bars or runny gels? Clif Bar Shot Bloks might be for you. Shot Bloks aren’t really a bar or gel, and are best described as a mixture of the two. These on-the-go trail tasties are chewy, yet easily digestible in a short space of time. Packing 100 calories (equivalent to half an average gel) and an ingredients list that’s 95% organic, having a Shot Blok right before that killer climb is going to be a decision you won’t regret. Coming in eight flavours with exotic tastes like ‘margarita’ and ‘cran razz’, even the fussiest eater should find something to their taste.