Ohayō gozaimasu! How good have the Olympics been? We have enjoyed every minute of this year’s games so far, especially the cycling events. Between the attack filled Men’s road race, Anna Kisenhofer going off the front at kilometre zero and staying away for the win, MVDP nose-diving off the Sakura Drop, Tom Pidcock winning from a fourth row start, the argie bargie between PFP and eventual winner Jolanda Neff on the first lap, the Swiss sweep and even the drama at the velodrome — we can’t get enough!
Our Aussie XC power couple Dan and Bec McConnell both raced on the formidable Izu MTB course, and while they didn’t get the results they were after, both of them fought like hell, and the team at Flow could not be any more proud!
Catching up on the Flow ticker, we brought you news of the new choose your own battery Norco eMTB’s and the latest on the athlete selections for World Championships happening at the end of August in Val di Sole.
Over the last few months, we have been banging out kilometres on the new 1440g Roval Control 29 Carbon Wheels, and boy-howdy are these hoops magnificent to ride.
Speaking of things that are shockingly lightweight, Canyon gave us the lowdown on how it used ‘unicorn hair’ to build its lightest mountain bike to date. We also caught up with Glen Jacobs from World Trail to find out why the Cairns-based trail builder is in Norway and learned how Christchurch Adventure Park rose from the ashes.
Without further ado, please enjoy another edition of Flow’s Fresh Produce.
Met Terranova Helmet
Sitting smack bang in the middle of Italian helmet manufacturer MET’s range is the Terranova. Weighing 353g in size medium, the Terranova has 17 vents, a MIPS C2 liner, and extended coverage at the temples and around the back of your head.
The adjustable visor allows for oodles of space to stow a pair of goggles, and the forward-facing vents are angled to accept the arms of sunglasses that have fogged up on a climb, but we have found the rubber tips tend to get hung up on the edge of the MIPS liner when you try to pull them out.
MET has opted for its Safe-T-DUO retention system, which offers three vertical positions, and utilises a dial to evenly reel in a nylon band that goes all the way around your melon. The cradle plays nicely with sunnies with long straight arms, and MET also says it’s ponytail friendly.
With a headform a bit rounder than the Lazer Jackel and a bit less round than a Bontrager Rally, Colin found the Terranova fit his noggin like it was tailor-made.
There’s no fancy Fidlock magnetic buckle, but the straps are lightweight and pliable.
It’s an interesting looking helmet for sure, and we can’t explain why but it looks a bit like a dinosaur to us.
- Price: $209.99
- From: Advanced Traders
ION Traze Vent jersey
Made entirely from recycled materials, the ION Traze Vent jersey is designed to keep you cool as a cucumber on scorching hot rides. The main body is a lightweight, stretchy perforated polyester, while the side panels are made from an even lighter gauge mesh. As spring has not quite sprung, we’re yet to pit the Traze Vent against the 12pm mid-summer QLD sun, but based on how quickly it wicks and drys, we think this jersey will be in heavy rotation as things heat up.
At the back, there is a drop tail to prevent the sun from shining where it shouldn’t, and there is a stitched-in goggle wipe and a zippered pocket that’s large enough to handle an iPhone 11 with a case, but is probably better suited to a credit card or some cash.
- Price: $109.95 AUD
- From: ION Products
ION Traze Plus Shorts
The Traze Plus shorts are made from a fabric that feels like cotton to the touch, but dries quickly and doesn’t cling or chafe when it does get damp. The waist is adjustable with two elastic velcro straps hidden on the inside of the waistband, and sees a board-short-esk velcro fly and a single stud closure. Zippered waist pockets on both legs are plenty deep enough for essentials, and laser-cut vents in the inner thigh keep your family jewels from getting clammy.
ION includes a pair of its removable In-Shorts Long short liners. Made from a high stretch waffled fabric, they have silicon thigh gippers to prevent them from riding up, and a chunky waistband. The chamois is relatively basic, there is plenty of contouring and the pad is perforated, however, it only utilises a single density of foam. It’s sufficient for an hour or two in the saddle, but for anything longer, we’d sub in something more technical.
- Price: $159.95 AUD
- From: ION Products
ION Scrub AMP shoes
Winner of a 2020 design and innovation award, the ION Scrub AMP shoes feature an evolution the brand’s Pin Tonic sole concept to offer better traction on and off the bike. The lugs under the heel and toe are ‘positive’, meaning they stick out and dig into the ground to provide traction while you’re hike-a-biking. At the same time, the forefoot and midfoot see a ‘negative profile’ to ensure maximum pin interface.
ION has also used a stickier rubber component and injected a bit of EVA foam under the shank to provide relief for your feet when you have to bail.
The toe box is armoured to protect your piggly wigglies from rocks, roots, and high-speed stubbing, and a raised inside ankle pads prevent bone on crank contact. The well-padded tongue sees a lace garage to keep them safe from being swallowed up by hungry chainrings. Best of all, they are great looking, and you would most definitely be able to wear these to post-ride beverages and wander out onto the dance floor without attracting any side-eyes.
- Price: $239.95 AUD
- From: ION Products
Dirt Surfer fenders
Flexible mudguards are such a simple way to keep grit and gunk flicked up off your front tyre away from your fork stanchions, seals and off your face. The fenders from Dirtsurfer are made in Australia, are 100-per cent recyclable (as is the packaging) and allow you to add a splash of colour to your bike.
Made from 50-per cent recycled polypropylene, they weigh less than 30g, and are stiff enough to deflect debris but won’t break off when you chuck your bike in the boot with the front wheel off.
Dirt Surfer has also sent us its Tailfeather rear mudguard. A take on the original AssSaver, this flexible fender slots into the rails of your saddle and will intercept some of the spray from your rear tyre on a wet day out.
- Price: $30.00 AUD (Front mudguard) – $24.95 AUD (Tail Feather)
- From: Dirt Surfer
Thule Rail Hip Pack 2L
Swedish brand Thule has continued to expand its backpack offerings with the addition of the Rail Hip Pack. Available in three sizes (0L, 2L & 4L), the Rail Hip Pack is ideal for riders who don’t want the bulk of a full-blown backpack, but still need to carry hydration and essentials out on the trail.
Shown here, the Thule Rail Hip Pack 2L is on the smaller side and weighs just 230g. However, it still manages to pack (*ahem*) in a load of high quality features. There are dedicated holsters for carrying two water bottles, and these are wrapped with stretchy stuff pockets for packing food and gels that you can easily access without having to take the pack off.
Inside the main zippered compartment you’ll find segmented pouches for organising your tools and spares, and there’s a dedicated felt-lined phone pocket on the front for carrying your Nokia 3310 or perhaps even a BlackBerry (ooh fancy!).
The elasticated waist band offers surprisingly good stability, thanks to the addition of a nylon buckle and dual tension straps. Tightening the waist straps adds tension across the bottles, helping to minimise wiggling and jiggling. Also nice to see is the perforated foam padding, which is good for both comfort and ventilation.
- Price: $99 AUD
- From: Thule
Thule Rail Hip Pack 4L
The Thule Rail Hip Pack 4L is the biggest bum bag option in the range, and comes with a 1.5L hydration bladder included. Manufactured by Hydrapak, the bladder uses a sliding closure system for ease of cleaning, and a soft bite valve for getting fluids into your cake hole. A clever trick brought over from the Thule Rail & Vital backpacks is the magnetic strip for the hose, which does a brilliant job of stopping it from flapping about all over the place. However, Southpaws should take note – the hose routing is biased for right handed use.
Like the Rail 2L, the Rail 4L gets a dedicated phone pouch on the front. A big looped cord for the zipper makes this quite easy to access while you’re riding, useful for mid-ride TikTok’ing, levelling up on Snake, or angrily commenting on Flow’s latest social media post. There’s also the same stretch pouches on each waist, a zippered main compartment with interior organiser pockets, and a front flap that’s just the right size for a lightweight wind jacket.
- Price: $169 AUD
- From: Thule
Specialized Power Expert w/Mimic Saddle
Specialized has broadened the use case for its Mimic saddle technology, bringing it into a wider variety of saddles beyond just the women’s specific options. That includes the much-loved Power saddle, which has earned many fans thanks to its short snub-nose profile.
Shown here is the Expert model, which features hollow titanium rails and a carbon fibre base. The overall shape is the same as the regular Power saddle, and you can get it in three different widths to suit your sit bone dimensions. However, the addition of the soft Mimic padding through the centre and nose section takes comfort to a new height – first impressions are very positive indeed.
- Price: $200 AUD
- From: Specialized
Troy Lee Designs Flowline Jersey & Skyline Pants
With a wet winter so far down at Flow’s Southern HQ, we’re due for a tremendous amount of Spring growth. All the lovely bush flowers are already beginning to pop, though the scrub is also starting to close in on some of our natural off-piste test trails. And with the ground remaining quite splooshy, it’s the perfect time of year for some long sleeve jerseys and riding pants.
Troy Lee Designs has got our limbs covered with the Flowline long-sleeve jersey and the Skyline pants. The pants are beautifully tailored with a mesh stretch panel above the bum to provide flex while pedalling. A black strip of thick reinforcing fabric is added along the inside ankle on the right leg to ward off contact with your greasy chain and chainring, while perforations around the back of the knee help to keep you from steaming up like a jacket potato.
- Price: $99.95 AUD (Jersey) – $229.95 AUD (Pants)
- From: Lusty Industries