16 Oct 2014

Welcome to another round of Flow’s Freshies; products we’re using, testing or just loving at Flow HQ. This time around, we have the very frothy Effeto Mariposa Cafe Latex sealant, Bontrager’s feature-packed RXL shoes and a new Camelbak that aims to save your spine.

Effetto Mariposa
The Caffe Latex trio: sealant in a pressurised form; in a 250ml bottle; and the ZOT! super sealant activator.

Effetto Mariposa Caffe Latex tubeless sealant:


250ml, $23.95. 1000ml, $56.95

Effetto Mariposa Caffe Latex tyre sealant (centre in photo above) may be a lesser known product here in the Australian market for now, but the technology behind the Italian product deserves a lot of recognition. Unlike other sealants, whilst the wheel is moving, the sealant froths up like a delicious frothy cappuccino, with the foam filling the entire internal cavity of the tyre. This, in contrast with conventional sealant that merely sloshes around in the tyre, is said to create far quicker and more effective puncture protection for tubeless setups, particularly on sidewall cuts where traditional sealant mightn’t reach so quickly. Thanks to the addition of “microscopic silicate particles” within the sealant, the sealing of punctures up to 5mm is claimed to be five times faster than a standard sealant. Interestingly enough, Cafe Latex is actually the sealant of choice used by none other than Nico Voullioz for his Enduro racing! The Effetto Mariposa Latex is available in 250ml, 1 litre and whopping 10 litre volumes, just in case you want to bathe in it.

We’ve also been testing the ZOT! Caffe Latex Activator, which is designed to be used in conjunction with the Cafe Latex to seal up those really big cuts which would normally require the tyre to be patched. We’ll have our review up on Flow shortly.

Bontrager RXL shoes 1
For a fully-featured cross country shoe, the RXLs appear to be very robust too, with lots of toe/scuff protection.
Bontrager RXL shoes 3
9 on the stiffness’o’meter. Big tread blocks make rock clambering easier.

Bontrager RXL MTB shoes: 



Here at Flow we’ve been fans of Bontrager kit for a long time, and the RXL shoe is a truly premium offering. If you’ve tried heat molded insoles, you’ll know that it really is the only way to get that truly snug, custom fit. The heel-tap feature allows the rider to further personalise their kicks, as the heel cup can be flexed/molded to suit your heel width. Heel security is further boosted by the use of a grippy ‘cat’s tongue’ style material inside the heel cup. The Micro-fit buckle is yet another great feature, allowing the rider to dial in the retention system in finer increments adjustments than a normal buckle system. All in all, definitely one to look at if you’re after a light and stiff shoe – even for trail riding, as this shoe has more tread for scampering up unrideable sections than most pure cross country shoes.

Camelbak Kudu 1
The wide profile of the pack at its base helps keep it very stable.
Camelbak Kudu 2
Plenty of room for all your Enduro adventures, it’ll fit a helmet with ease.
Camelbak Kudu 3
This sleeve houses the three-layered protective insert.

Camelbak Kudu 12 pack: 


This new pack from Camelbak is so fresh it hasn’t even made it onto their website yet! Spine protection may not be the first thing you think of when you’re considering a hydration pack, but with the continuing evolution of trail and all-mountain bikes tempting riders into terrain once left for bikes with triple crown forks, we see it as a relevant development; spine protection in your hydration pack could be the difference between walking away from a crash… and not walking. The Kudu 12 features lightweight, high density padding inserts that will help dissipate impacts that could otherwise do you real damage. Aside from the Spine protection, other developments with this pack include helmet/pad integration that fits your descending essentials tight and snug to the pack, meaning your stuff wont jiggle about climbing to the top of that epic descent. On the way back down the pack won’t sway either; the pack’s profile is wider than it is deep, in order to maximise stability and keep the contents of the pack firmly in place on the riders back. Genius!