Gear

Tech Report: Winter hooky

It looks like winter has been playing hooky around these parts, which is just fine with me. I have actually had a chance to do some real mountain biking for the past two 55-degree, sunshine-filled days. You’ll get no complaints from me about there not being enough snow here in Colorado. I say let’s keep the riding season rollin’. Don’t get me wrong – not all of our recent riding has been in the relatively toasty 50-degree range. There have been a few days in the mid-30s, and light-snow days in the teens, too. These chilly days have given me the chance to break out a few samples of the latest

Don’t tell Mother Nature, but we’re still ridin’ in Colorado

By Andrew Juskaitis

Good for those rides that dips into the teens...

Good for those rides that dips into the teens…

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It looks like winter has been playing hooky around these parts, which is just fine with me. I have actually had a chance to do some real mountain biking for the past two 55-degree, sunshine-filled days. You’ll get no complaints from me about there not being enough snow here in Colorado. I say let’s keep the riding season rollin’.

Don’t get me wrong – not all of our recent riding has been in the relatively toasty 50-degree range. There have been a few days in the mid-30s, and light-snow days in the teens, too. These chilly days have given me the chance to break out a few samples of the latest cold-weather gear sent our way for testing.

If money isn’t of concern (or if you plan on moving to, say, Belgium any time soon), I really believe that Assos still produces one of the finest cold-weather riding kits available. But with price tags oftentimes doubling our North American-designed offerings, it’s rare that we “regular Joes” can afford such luxury. For those on a tighter budget, some of the best cold-weather cycling clothing comes from our friends up north.

My recent favorite cold-weather riding kit has to be Sugoi’s Canadian-made WindHibitor Evaporator heavy-duty jersey (almost a jacket) and RS Winter Chamois Tight. At $110 for the jersey and $150 for the tight, both pack a powerful punch against the teeth of winter.

Powerful wind stoppers and affordable too

Powerful wind stoppers and affordable too

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The WindHibitor Evaporator jersey is the redesign of last year’s piece – it has a WindHibitor front body and sleeves (lab tested at 95 percent-plus windblock) with MidZero fabric on the back for ventilation and stretch. The stretch allows for a fit that is close to the body without constriction. It’s finished with rear pockets, reflective material on the back and “full Euro-disco contrast stitching,” says Sugoi’s “Tall Paul” Done.

Done also added that the RS Winter Chamois Tight offers a stretch laminate, which is both waterproof and wind resistant, on the front and a rear splash patch for the un-fendered. With a full-stretch MidZero body for warmth, it stays plenty toasty. Sewn inside is a top-end RS molded, pressure-sensitive chamois for comfort. Check out sugoi.ca for more info.

One other item I’ve been particularly stoked about is Answer’s latest off-road racing shoe, the XC-1. I’ve ridden just about every version of this shoe, but have never been particularly pleased with its durability or fit. According to Answer’s Bill Christensen, the shoe has seen “a ton of development” lately. The shoes offer a three-strap closure system, a light dual-compound sole with stiff sole, a breathable mesh upper and anatomic heel cup to resist heel slip. Now I know shoes are a very personal item, seeing as how every rider’s foot differs in design, but I can say that these XC-1s are the most comfortable and durable (so far) version of the shoe I’ve yet ridden. My favorite feature is a very reasonable $120 price tag. Check out www.answerproducts.com for more info.

Rotor Wars (cont.)
While the patent dispute over Galfer’s wavy rotor design continues to rage on, we just received this release straight from the horse’s mouth:

Galfer is the original and current patent holders for European patent #99500110.4 and United States patent #6386340 which covers non-round (wave style) disc brake rotors. As of this writing, Magura is the only officially licensed user of this patented technology. No other company is legally using this patented technology. Currently, there are several companies who are presenting this technology, images, and trade names of Galfer rotors as their own. They have received neither our permission nor our authorization to do so. At this time we are preparing legal action to defend our patents, images and trade names.Galfer’s patented wave rotors allow the user to run at significantly cooler braking temperatures while providing superior self-cleaning properties and lighter weights over round rotors.
Andy Schwartz
Bicycle Division Manager

Avid and Hayes both say their wavy-rotor designs do not violate Galfer’s patent. This one is sure to end up in court. We’ll keep you up to date on that one.I’m off to Boston to visit with a few East Coast manufacturers. Look for the full update next week.

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