LAZER ROX HELMET
It’s always tough to evaluate helmets because, ultimately, it’s
a personal decision. No two heads are the same, so one rider’s
perfect fit can be another rider’s headache. Still, over the years we
have found brands that cover the most noggins with their helmets’
designs (in and out) and adjustability. After hours of riding time,
we never sensed a pressure point from the interior pads or liner.
It is not the lightest helmet we have ever tested, but we never
found its weight to be noticeable, even on long rides where helmet
weight can become an issue. The Rox stayed as comfortable as
the first time we put it on. The helmet vents well, and the CoolMax
liner pads did an awesome job of managing sweat buildup.
The ultimate test of a helmet is being able to forget about it. You
don’t want a helmet that continually reminds you that you have a
helmet on your head. The Rox disappears on your head.
Don’t call it a comeback, because the RockShox Pike is an
all-new, from-the-ground-up trail fork, despite the name that has
been moved forward from the older design. The all-new Charger
damper is also a vast improvement over RockShox’s previous
Mission and Motion Control dampers. RockShox has mastered a
balance of low- and high-speed compression damping with this
fork, something that few peers can claim. Whether you’re cruising along a rolling singletrack or pitched down a chute, the fork
remains high in the travel until you need it, and then it digs deep
and delivers great big-hit control. Where other air-sprung forks can
feel either sticky and harsh on small bumps, or too “rampy” and
firm on big hits, the Pike strikes a near-perfect balance. The Pike
truly delivers a usable travel range, and that’s our favorite feature
on any suspension product.
As an added bonus, the Charger’s damper is completely sealed,
which means less maintenance for the rider. RockShox claims
the Charger damper can go an impressive 200 hours (compared
to only 100 for their previous designs) before it needs service.
Don’t use this as an excuse to neglect service, but know that the
designers have some serious faith in the long-term durability of the
design. During our months of testing, we never experienced even
the slightest decrease in performance that would warrant service.
One thing is for sure; the performance has been moved forward
along with the name.
Each and every time we came back from rides thinking the
same thing: this fork makes whichever bike it’s on even better.
We’ve bestowed five-star ratings on other suspension products,
but the new Pike raises the bar. This is the new benchmark for
trail-fork performance, and one upgrade that will make an immediate improvement on your bike and make your riding buddies green
PEARLY POSSUM SOCKS
Duke and Margo Lambert were on a mountain biking vacation
to New Zealand where they each picked up a pair of locally made
hiking socks because they needed something warmer than cycling
socks. They were so blown away with the socks’ performance
that they knew other cyclists would be just as impressed. We have
to agree. The socks proved to breathe really well, and that is so
important because you need a cold-weather sock to keep your feet
warm without being so hot that they cause sweating. We found
that we stayed dry and warm while testing in temps in the mid to