Quick peeks: Gear from Shimano, Specialized, Airwave, Brand X, Gaerne & Muc-Off

New stuff has been landing thick and fast in the top secret Bikemagic underground lair. Here’s just some of the pile threatening to engulf the office.

Shimano Accu 3D Unzen 10 litre drinking pack

Shimano’s new 10-litre drinking pack looks like a solid entry into the mountain biking bag fray.

We previewed Shimano’s hydration packs when they were first revealed back in February. This 10 litre bag is the first to land here at Bikemagic HQ, and it manages to pack a lot of well-thought-out detail into a lightweight package. With no water in its three-litre bladder the empty pack weighs just 660g.

Features include an adjustable-length back; external and internal organiser pockets; zips on both sides to get into the main compartment; hip belt pockets; lockable bite valve and a clip built into the buckle to capture the hose.

However, the most eye-catching part of the design is the X-shaped shoulder straps, intended to pull away from your arms so the pack doesn’t limit your movement on the bike.

Price: £89.99
More information: Madison Cycles

Brand X X-90 Pressure washer

We call it ‘The pressure washer of the fallen leaves’

It’s definitely the frequent bike washing season, so we’re hoping this beast will make the job easier. Brand X’s X-90 pressure washer gets its power from your car’s power outlet (that thing in the dash where people used to put a cigarette lighter) and holds 13 litres of water, which should be enough to clean a couple of bikes, or one very, very dirty one. 

Price: £94.99
More information: Hotlines

Gaerne G.Etna shoes

Gaerne G Etna shoes with Vibram soles for grip off the bike.

Now and then you have no choice but to get off and walk. Talk to any serious walker and when they’ve recovered from the realisation that you’re a) a mountain biker b) being nice to them, and you’ll find a favourite among the booted set is Vibram, long renowned for their durable, grippy soles.

The Gaerne G Etna shoes have a Vibram SPD sole that’s intended to provide the best of both worlds: clip-in riding security and walking traction.

The upper is made from a combination of leather and mesh with a simple closure: good old laces, covered by a Velcro strap.

Price: £89.99
More information: Hotlines

Specialized Andorra women’s helmet

Specialized Andorra is a women’s ‘all-mountain’ helmet with a hint of pink and a pony-tail friendly design.

The main difference between this helmet and the men’s equivalent Tactic II is Specialized’s ponytail-friendly HairPort SL Fit System which, as the name suggests, leaves room for long hair. It’s also a more subdued colour than the Tactic II, but that’s in part because we asked for a screaming green helmet when we got the Tactic II we recently featured and not because Specialized has decided that all male riders must be decorated in lairy Kermit shades.

Like the Tactic II, the Andorra is billed as an all-mountain helmet, which means the shell extends a bit further down the back of your head to guard against off-the-back landings. That sounds like a good idea for all types of mountain biking, not just throwing yourself off stuff.

Price: £55
More information: Specialized

Airwave Motion mini pump

Airwave Motion pump folds out into an easy-to-use baby track pump.

Mini-pumps are great: easy to carry so they’re always ready when you need them. Unfortunately, mini-pumps are rubbish: they move so little air that by the time you’ve changed a tube your riding buddies have died of exposure or given up and left you.

The solution is a portable track pump like this one from Airwave. The fold-out foot gives you something to stand on to hold it steady and the extensible hose isolates the pump from the valve so you’re less likely to damage the valve as you pump.

It’s short enough to fit in a typical backpack, and comes with a mount to attach to bottle cage bosses or anywheer else on your bike with the included releasable zp ties.

Price: £15.99
More information: Hotlines

Muc-Off Dirty Work wipes – pack of 15

Dirty Work wipes: textured for more sensation, er, we mean better cleaning.

Textured for scrubbing your skin clean, and with a combination of citrus cleaners and lanolin, these wipes come 15 to a resealable pack so you can carry them around for easy hand-cleaning after on-the-trail fettling.

More information: Muc-Off
Price: £3.00

Muc-Off C3 Ceramic Bike Lube

Muc-Off’s ultimate wet lube includes ceramics for persistent protection.

The idea of ‘ceramic’ lubes like Muc-Off C3 is that tiny particles of boron nitride, combined with fluoropolymers (think of the teflon that stops eggs sticking to your frying pan in the morning) build up into a low-friction coating on the metal surfaces of your chain.

That makes C3 great for wet conditions, according to Muc-Off, and it comes in a handy pipette bottle so you can put ‘just enough’ on your chain.

More information: Muc-Off
Price: £8.00

 

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