This is the category for the best bit of mountain bike hardware, accessory, component or gadget that makes mountain bikers’ lives better. We had nominations for everything from chain tools to bike sheds. Here are the finalists:
The Airshot, reviewed in Singletrack issue 105, takes the old ghetto-style ‘pop bottle and a valve’ solution to mounting tubeless tyres and instead uses a sturdy metal cylinder and a positive on/off valve. You then pressurise it using a track pump and can use the compressed power of air to get your tyres to seat.
ProCore is an innovative way of protecting your tyres from pinch flats. Even with tubeless tyres now reliable and ubiquitous, heavy, fast or clumsy riders still suffer pinch flats. ProCore provides a high pressure inner ‘tyre’ inside the (regular pressure) outer tyre to cushion the tyre and protect it from the rim. We’ve seen it used successfully (and sometimes anonymously) on World Cup DH bikes as well as our local pinch-flat king who swears by it.
SRAM launched its new 1×12 groupset with much fanfare earlier this year and it has been used to great success in XC and Enduro races ever since. The Eagle group uses SRAM’s established xD freehub driver body and adds a twelfth sprocket. With gears running from 10T up to 50T now, a 500% range is possible and it’s as simple and as easy to use as any other gear system out there – only with more gears and a wider range. Currently only in XX and X0 guises, it’s hopefully only a matter of time before it trickles down.