Bontrager TLR FLASH Charger pump
Getting a tubeless tyre to bead is all about filling it with a lot of air, quickly. Sometimes an ordinary track pump is up to the job, but often it’s not, meaning you’ll need to find a compressor to get your tyre to bead. Bontrager have come up with a killer solution with the new FLASHCharger pump. It’s a pretty simple concept (and truth be told, we’ve actually had a crack at making something very similar ourselves in the past!). You pump air into a large volume, high-pressure air chamber using a regular track pump arrangement. Then simply lift the red lever and all that stored pressure is released in one big hit, snapping the bead of your tubeless tyre into place! Bloody. Good. Idea. You can then top up the air using the pump as a regular track pump. It’s a lot bigger and heavier than a standard track pump, but heaps more convenient than a compressor or sweating like a mad bastard with a standard track pump. Product of the year?
Northwave Scorpius SRS shoes
Brighter than Steven Hawkins love child, the very orange Northwave Scorpius SRS have the kind of looks normally reserved for mega-dollar shoes but at a sensible price point of just $149.95. They’re supremely well ventilated throughout, and with a thermoplastic sole, our initial impressions are that they’re super stiff. Closeur is via twin Velcro straps and a ratcheting buckle. The slim buckles are replaceable should you tear one off. There’s precious little stitching to be found on the shoe, with all the seams thermo-welded as well, which is always a plus for durability.
Crank Brothers Mallet 2 pedals
The Mallet pedal is what happens when you take Crank Brothers’ legendary Egg Beater pedal and downhill-ify it. It features the same four-sided, simple, mud-shedding jaws as the Egg Beater, but encapsulates them in an aluminium and polycarbonate body. There are four models in the Mallet line up, and coming in at a very reasonable $109, the Mallet 2 runs a chromoly axle and weighs in at 440g/pair. The brass cleats give you a smooth entry/exit even in crappy conditions, and six grub screws per side add some traction should you miss an entry. We’ll be giving these a proper test over the next few months.