September 4, 2012
Muc-Off’s ceramic C3 Lube impressed Chipps massively when he tested it during the depths of the rainy season – so much so that it won the coveted Singletrack Recommended award. It’s a super long lasting lube that contains ceramic elements to offer low friction performance and water resistance. This year they’ve introduced a new version which is designed for drier weather use but it has two important differences. The first is that it’s green rather than their traditional lurid pink, but the second difference is rather cool.
The C3 Dry lube contains a UV sensitive additive which, when you shine the supplied mini torch on it, lights up to show you which areas have had a decent covering of lube and which are still lacking. Muc-Off reckon it’s mostly for the bike workshop types to quickly and easily check that a chain has been lubed properly, but it will also appeal to the perfectionist rider – or anyone who wants to lube their chain with something that looks exactly like Predator blood.
They’re also doing their shower-in-a-bottle Muc-Off Dry Shower in plane friendly smaller sizes and their anti bacterial Nano Grit Hand Cleaner was possibly the closest we got to fresh fruit during our entire Eurobike stay, having a beautiful scent of grapefruit. We’re also assured it does a sterling job of getting grease and dirt off your hands without ruining them, thanks to the grit particles, parabens free formula and moisturising agents.
Their biodegradable, acid, CFC and solvent free Nano Cleaner is now even more friendly thanks to this reduced packaging refill which makes a full two litres of cleaner when mixed with water. It’s designed to be totally harmless to every material you can conceivably find on a bike while removing dirt quickly and gently.
Leatt are mostly known for their range of neck braces but this year they’ve been moving into other forms of clothing with a range of hard and soft shell knee pads, protection vests, a pair of hydration packs and a range of under-armour clothing that keeps you cool for hours at a time.
Their Cooling Vest uses a special patented material called Hyperkewl which has tiny compartments which hold water in them. The idea is that you immerse the vest in cold water, wring most of the water out and it then can be worn underneath body armour or other clothing to provide a cooling effect for around 4-5 hours. The material is used on the back, sides and on the underarm section, where there is a mass of blood vessels close to the surface. The other sections are made from tight fitting and moisture wicking material.
Apparently the sensation is more like feeling slightly damp and cool rather than riding in a soaking wet top. We’re looking forward to riding somewhere warm enough to actually need one of these – but it should make riding in armour or while sat in baking hot uplift vans or lifts much more tolerable.
Talking of body armour, Leatt have released a range of long, short and sleeveless protection vests. They use a tight fitting compression-style material with sections of visco-elastic 3DF material that is light and flexible but hardens when struck. They’ve got some very nice features including zipped offset entry to prevent claustrophobic freakouts when getting it on or off, mesh pits to keep you cool and they’re fully compatible with Leatt neck braces too.
There’s no point having all the other bits of your body covered up in you leave the knee uncovered. In a recently made-up statistic, it’s the part of the body 75.38% more likely than any other to make you cry during a crash. Leatt use the same 3DF magic-foam material in a knee shaped form and then use a tough Aramid fibre reinforced outer to provide abrasion resistance. It’s held in place with thinnish but stretchy mesh ‘Moisturecool’ fabric with silicone grippers on the knee cap to stop it moving about.
They’ve also moved into the world of hydration packs with a pair of minimalist models. Both feature an almost rally car style cross-chest harness held in place with a single buckle. Leatt reckon this totally eliminates movement as well as making it less of a faff to remove.
It’s made from a tough looking ripstop Cordura style fabric with a seriously chunky zip. The model pictured here is the smaller of the two, with a small media/multitool pouch, while its larger relation has a more storage for tools, jackets and so on.
It comes with a 2.5L bladder which is designed as a very basic, semi-disposable item. The reasoning is that you can run sports drinks and the like in it and when it starts to get minging, you can simply chuck it away (or in the recycling) and use another. Each pack will come with five spare bladders too…