DIRT ISSUE 143 – JANUARY 2014
Words by Steve Jones. Photo by Steve JonesLIGHT AND MOTION SECA 2000 LIGHTS
There is much said about lights – one or two on the bar, one on the head one on the bar, the highs and lows of buying high–power low–cost eBay offers that ultimately result in short lived disappointments. With a night time race looming I was urgently in need of some visibility and after a few calls I got tipped off on the Seca’s.
Still the question remained over whether I needed two lights. The talk (and also the fashion) around here is to have two – the head light a necessary for switchbacks and slow tight corners.
Cracking the Seca’s out I located battery and charger and light/lead. A concise manual instructed very clearly, it kind of went like this: “Put charger lead into battery and plug into wall. Wait for light to turn green and press on.” Simple. A rubber strap/belt enables the light itself to be fitted to bars of any size and holds securely even when you fall off it seems. Unlike bolted lights there is no risk of small, loose bolts and the manual fitting means it’s tool free.
Turn the lights on and the message is immediately clear, ‘why the hell would I need two lights!’ The power dial is second nature offering three levels of brightness. In terms of light duration I raced a two hour event plus another couple of night rides before they faded – something you cannot quantify depending on how much non–riding chat there is. Lets just say it’s a significant amount of time.
In times of trouble look no further. The definitive trail bike mud tyre. But be aware of its limitations for after all it is narrow and light. Available in S–Works casing in 26 or 29, 540g or 620g, tubeless ready and 60A compound (or the marginally heavier Control casing) the Specialized Storm Tyres offer that great mix of grip and rolling ability. The grip comes from the narrow width and raised knobs. We’ve tried wider mud tyres, stickier mud tyres, pointier mud tyres… and… most of the time heavy mud tyres, but for general duty from October to April off road, non–trail centre, here are your boys.
Take a look at this little gem. The SportCount Velo X is a bar mounted stopwatch that features a specially designed band allowing it to be fitted to the handlebars. This allows manual, fuss free attachment and unlike complicated multi tasking ideas gives you a simple one button alternative to timing whatever DH run or enduro loop you have. It’s a similar watch used by ten time World downhill champion Nico Vouilloz.
Not taken long has it? How many years now have mountainbikes been around? And how long for a usable option to become available? Well there’s a few options that either hold too much mud, or are too expensive. We have mudguards cable tied to the downtube, we have material tied to the inside of the fork stanchions, but a standard guard to keep the shit out of your face? Don’t be silly. On a recent visit by the head engineer and marketing manager of a major bicycle corporation I asked them why they didn’t offer mudguards on their bikes. The reply was that the fork manufacturer should offer that. Well nobody does.
Weighing in at 100g the mudguard does more than protect your pretty little face from shit, it also protects your fork stanchions from mud and dirt build up. Available in 26/27.5/29”, and in three different sizes we feel the shortest version is ample for the task, otherwise (like some other alternatives on the market) simply hold too much mud resulting in bad steering and weight disadvantages. The company describe their product as ‘game changing.’ Strong words, but its certainly priceless.
We featured our favourite grips in one of our recent issues and then we came across these. Good rubber, single clamp – simple.
Not heard from the Funn folk for some time and these Bigfoot’s turn up at 360g, with a good wide cut outs, nice rise on the pin and just about the right amount of width. Featuring titanium axle the reliability has been excellent so far.
Forged carbon steel head, Fibre Comp handle with reinforced moulded, non–slip elastomer grip. Perfect for all your woodland needs. Length 49.5 cm, weight 300g.
Fox pint tin and bulldog clips… optional