The Grind is a weekly column on all things gravel.
The new brand Dawn to Dusk has some gravel gear worth a look. In particular, their Socket Lever Set caught my eye, and I’m curious to test their extra-grippy bottle cages and the flip-top bottle caps. Lastly, their Bear Hug mount lets you stick a bottle cage any place it will fit on your frame. Here’s a quick look at each.
Socket Lever Set — $25
While not as comprehensive as a full mini tool kit, this tidy little package packs six bits and a ratchet into a tire lever. Containing 3, 4, 5, and 6mm bits plus a T25 and a Philipps, the Socket Lever is rated to 4Nm. The 6mm might not be deep enough to get all wheels off, but I’ll be testing them this winter.
Kaptive 8, 10, and 14 — $65-$70
These carbon cages pack between 8 and 14 pounds of grip force. The looks aren’t exactly traditional, but I’ll take the triple-arm vibe over losing bottles any day. If these look familiar to any triathletes or recovering triathletes out there, it’s because XLAB and Dawn to Dusk are sister companies.
Weight is just 39g for the 8 and 49g for the 14.
Bear Hug Mount — $20
Having lots of mounts on gravel frames is handy. You could buy a Salsa or a Trek with built-in mounts a-plenty, or you could just buy one or two of these. The Bear Hug comes with two lengths of Velcro straps. As with the other pieces, I’ll test this one out and report back.
Dirt Mask — $7-$19
This lid cover flips open and snaps shut. You can buy it on its own for $7, or with a standard Aqua Flow bottle or an insulated Ice Flow bottle. The thing is secure when snapped shut, but it isn’t super easy to operate with one hand. CamelBak has something similar with a rubber cover that keeps the mouthpiece clean. Both are after the same end goal: keep the crud off your bottle nozzle. I’m not sure either one is a perfect solution yet, but this is a start.