Sedona MTB Fest Gear Round-Up Vol. 1
Products from the expo at the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival.
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Rogue Panda Handlebar Mount – Price TBD
We have no details on the pricing and availability of this new gadget from frame-bag manufacturer, Rogue Panda, but its function needs little explanation. There are numerous methods for strapping gear to your handlebars, ranging from overly complicated to laughably basic. Rogue Panda has come up with something right in between.
The yet-to-be named system is made up of a small carbon-fiber rod that’s offset slightly from the handlebar itself. It allows you to strap pretty much any cylindrical bag to your bars without interfering with your cables or fighting with your controls. But the real genius in Rogue Panda’s system is how they support the bag’s weight once it’s strapped to your bar.
A separate brace straps to the bag, and rests on a plastic guard that straps to your headtube. The fully loaded setup they had here in Sedona had remarkably little friction that might add unwanted steering damping, but that probably wouldn’t be a bad thing when riding with a heavy handlebar bag. The system helps keep the bag from swinging, prevents your headtube from getting rubbed through, and allows you to keep your cable housing out of harm’s way.
It’s light, simple, and made in-house by Rogue Panda just up the road in Flagstaff, so hopefully we’ll see them available soon.
Orange Mud Transition Wrap 2.0 – $40
Orange Mud was a brand we might not have known about had we not strolled past their booth here at the expo. Their catalog of products serves adventure runners at least as much as mountain bikers, with a deep selection of hydration and cargo vests, but no traditional packs or hip packs. This unassuming towel caught our eye, though.
The Transition Wrap 2.0 functions as a changing towel, thanks to a secure stepped buckle system along one edge, making it a safer option to use in public than relying on the wrap-and-tuck method with a traditional towel. And if you’re still a little messy after getting out of your muddy shorts, the Transition Wrap 2.0 then unzips partially to make a hood-shaped cover that hangs off your driver’s seat.
And of course, the whole thing functions perfectly well as an ordinary towel. Not bad for $40. And they’re even in stock.
Galfer 243mm Rotor – $140
Two hundred and forty-six millimeters. Sheesh. Look, Galfer, we only just got used to 223mm rotors. And now you’re expecting us to accept almost an whole extra inch? Well, I suppose Galfer’s 246mm rotor features the burly 2.3mm thickness that SRAM recently adopted with the HS2 rotors, and is also similar to what Hayes has been using with their Dominion brakes. Probably a good approach, given the amount of force these rotors are designed to handle. As e-bikes get more capable and are being put in more hands, it simply makes sense that the brakes would have to take some significant leaps to keep up. Problem is, brakes can only get so powerful, so the greatest advantage is a mechanical advantage. There are limits to the sorts of forks and frames that are burly enough to work with such a big pie plate, but as more and more forks are built specifically around 180 and even 200mm rotors, it seems like we may be ready for it. We just need to adapt. And we also need adaptors.
Dharco Men’s and Women’s Party Pant – $73
There’s a growing number of liner shorts that, let’s be honest, are just padded underwear. Except that’s not exactly what they are. If they really were padded underwear, they’d be softer, lighter, and more comfortable. So many padded liner shorts seem to be designed as if the ”padded” part is the only box to be checked, and everything around the pad is an afterthought. Maybe they’re a coarse mesh, maybe they’re a synthetic-feeling Lycra. But they’re rarely as nice against the skin as the Dharco Party Pant. That’s partly because the pad itself is actually on the thin side. These are meant for short rides, or for those who run saddles soft enough to meet them halfway. But it’s also just the fabric’s silky-smooth texture. And on top of that, they have a side pocket. Even on the women’s version!