Spin Your Wheels: 2012 Mountain Biking Essentials
Published on 06/26/2012
By Shelby Trueax
Whether you’re just a beginner or a hardcore mountaineer, this list will keep you in check with all of the top-choice necessary gear for this mountain biking season. Between polarized sun-proof vision, sweat-absorbing headgear, wind-resistant gecko-grip gloves, pocket-sized tire pumps, and full suspension rides for your inner speed-demon, the gang’s all here. So bring the pain, Mother Nature, ‘cause we’re hungry for the 2012 season.
Santa Cruz Bicycles Tallboy Carbon - R XC Build
The Tallboy Carbon is a lightweight-yet-durable whip that can crush any terrain all day long. At first glance, it’s nothing special, but the second it hits the trail, it becomes obvious that this rugged big-wheeler was made to be ridden hard and roughed up as much as possible. The Tallboy easily busts through jagged and technical terrain with its exceptional VPP suspension, and turns on a dime down even the tightest alpine turns. We challenge you to maximize your stamina on this cross-country machine— we promise you’ll be comfortable all day.
Civilian Bicycle Co. Vive Le Roi
If you’re ready to get down and dirty on the cyclocross course, the Vive Le Roi will be right there with you. This sleek, lightweight all-terrain bike is exceptional for climbing and is easy to toss over your shoulder to conquer obstacles. When trudging through adverse weather conditions, rest-assured, the Vive Le Roi doesn’t disappoint when it comes to acceleration, either. The responsive pedaling system and dominant font disc brakes allow for extreme versatility.
Rocky Mountain Flatline World Cup Bike – 2012: best for speed
Speed-demon alert: if you haven’t experienced the WC, you haven’t properly defied gravity. This tossable-yet-stable mountaineer provides unbeatable Low Center Counter Rotating suspension and a smooth, energetic ride, up and down the trail. The stiff body begs to be taken airborne, so feel free to fly through jumps and bumps with ease. Bonus: the black and gold aluminum frame is pretty drool-worthy… you might want to invest in a durable lock for this hot piece of high-performance equipment.
Giro XAR Helmet: best lightweight protection
The XAR exemplifies perfect balance of ventilation, weight, and durability, making it the best, most versatile helmet for mountain biking. Giro uses a unique engineering process involving In-Mold construction that unites the indestructible shell with the breathable foam liner, giving you the perfect fit and flawless safety. And on those blinding summer days, the 15-degree vertical adjusting visor utilizes an internal clutch system that will undeniably block the sun for unsurpassed visibility, and in low light, the visor is easily removable. Available in three sizes and four color combos, and incomparable adjustability, the XAR is practically custom-made for any type of biker.
Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet: best sun visor/ventilation
Get your steez on with this sleek, lightweight headgear. Even in the melting heat, a grueling hill climb is no problem with the “Gangster Pad” feature around the inside perimeter, which is designed to absorb and wick away sweat. The eight vents are strategically placed for maximum airflow, and the removable, washable pads allow for a fresh, dry ride every time. Additionally, the sun visor is flexible and heat resistant; the Endur-O-Matic tempts you to bring on the heat.
Fox Flux Helmet: best fit/best deal
It’s pretty well known that Fox are motocross experts, but in familiarizing ourselves with their Flux helmet, we’re pretty sure they’ve become mountain biking gurus as well. The unparalleled fit is the key component of this ‘Foxy’ design, without compromising durability. It’s a breeze in the ventilation category with 20 vents, so breathe away in the hot summer heat. The only drawback: don’t plan on removing the permanent sun visor.
VonZipper Kickstand Sunglasses - Glass – Polarized
These super-light frames and super-thin polarized lenses stay put with a ‘base-8’ lens curvature that snugly fits your head for a wrap-around feel. The smoothness of the lenses is no accident; VonZipper’s “kickback coatings” are designed to maximize visibility while resisting water, smudging, and scratches. Plus, available in two life-enhancing lens colors, you’ll be seeing the world in a whole new way, on or off the trail.
Dragon Shield Sunglasses – Polarized
The Dragon Shields speak for themselves; they’re your best defense against the elements. Dragon knows that full coverage is no joke when the wind is blasting and the sun is blazing, so instead of letting your eyeballs turn into tumbleweeds, give them the comfortable protection Dragon has mastered. The rubber nose pad and smooth frame becomes a part of your face as you’re bolting down the trail, and before you know it, the sun’s harsh glare will be gone with the wind.
Spy Quanta Sunglasses
Spy has done is again with their Grilamid nylon frames and impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses. The Quantas are as tough as the rocks you ride on while maintaining the perfect fit, and don’t worry; you’ll never have to baby these babies. The practically unbreakable design allows for flawless visibility and protection. So, you call yourself extreme? You clearly don’t know the Spy Quantas.
Gore Bike Wear ALP-X WindStopper Glove: best for adverse weather
These gloves are essentials on the trail for Winter 2012, undoubtedly keeping your hands warm and dry without the bulk. The long cuffs pick up the slack of insufficient sleeves, keeping your wrists warm and cozy using soft terrycloth, while the innovative outside material uses WindStopper technology. Silicone-coated fingertips provide an unbeatable grip so slipping is not an option. And the best features, the gel palm hand pads, ensure smooth stability on bumpy terrain, so you can kiss that unpleasant hand-numbness goodbye.
POC Index Air Glove
The Index Air Glove includes none of the following: itchy scratchy material, crusty velcro, unnecessary pockets and pouches, heavy fabric. These low-key death-grippers breathe freely with their nylon mesh material, but remain durable for all types of riding. You’ll never loose your grip with the silicon fingertips, and they’re great in humidity because you can comfortably wipe sweat off your face without scraping or scratching. Tip: POC runs a little small, so size up for the perfect fit.
Gore Bike Wear Countdown Summer Glove
The Countdown Summer Gloves will tempt you all season until that first perfect, sweltering hot day you’ve been waiting for. The terry-cloth thumb inserts soak up sweat while the fingerless design allows for maximum ventilation, so you’ll stay as cool as possible while protecting your hands from rough trail vibrations. Comfort is a necessity this season, and the duel foam/gel padding provides relief and support all day, even if the rest of your body is super sore from the ride.
Lezyne Pressure Drive CFH
The Pressure Drive CFH never fails on even the most unpredictable trails due to the option of a pressurized pump or manual operation. This pocketsize, on-the-go style pump is super lightweight and super efficient. Definitely a necessity for all-day excursions, the Lezyne Pressure Drive CFH even includes a CNC-aluminum bracket that secures the pump and a 16g CO2 cartridge to the frame of your bike. Could it be any more convenient? Nope, don’t think so.
Lezyne Alloy Drive CO2 Inflator
This inflator is quite possibly the smallest, most easy to use CO2 kit on the market, so you can pull over, inflate, and get back on the trail with much less annoyance than usual. Even on cold days, filling up is effortless due to the insulated cartridge and easy-to-use trigger. The best part: even if you eat it on a sharp rock, this little guy is completely puncture-proof.
Effetto Mariposa Espresso Caffelatex Inflate and Repair Cartridge
The Effetto Mariposa Espresso Caffelatex Inflate and Repair Cartridge may have a complicated name, but trust us, it’s deceiving for how easy this thing makes repairs. Tire repairs are sometimes inevitable on rocky trails and can be a huge pain, but the Espresso Cartridge seals the puncture with foamy Caffelatex and re-inflates your tire in less than a minute. It even has a leak-free application and ammonia-free formula, so Mother Nature will be thanking you! It’s the simplest, most essential mountain biking companion this season, so you better be quick to get your hands on one.