NBD: Damped Headsets, Timberjacks, Vegan Shoes…

by 13

… 7Mesh Stash System, Unparalleled shoes, the Stone King Touring Club and a nice wrap-up vid from Nukeproof. New newsy news things as the bike industry slowly gets back to work after the holidays. Think of this as ‘Inbox mopping-up’.

Cue loads of dusty old mountain bikers exclaiming “Hopey steering damper!”, which this isn’t…

Cane Creek press release:

Cane Creek Cycling Components Introduces Steering Stabilizing Hellbender 70 Visco Headset

Asheville, NC – Cane Creek is proud to announce the introduction of their NEW Hellbender 70 Visco headset.

Building upon Cane Creek’s ongoing legacy of bicycle headset innovation, the introduction of the Hellbender 70 Visco brings new patented steering stabilizing technology to a wide variety of cycling disciplines. This headset is ideal for cargo bikes, commuter bikes, children’s bikes, gravel bikes, bikepacking bikes, and even an occasional mountain bike.

Designed to reduce high-frequency oscillation of the bicycle steering assembly, known as speed wobble or handlebar shaking. The Cane Creek Hellbender 70 Visco headset helps riders maintain control, reduce fatigue and add confidence.

The Hellbender 70 Visco’s patented technology utilizes a series of stainless steel shims called damping plates that create friction between the outer and inner damping plates. Inner plates rotate with the handlebar and outer plates stay stationary with the frame. Riders and mechanics can tune their damping characteristics to their preferred amount of steering damping by changing the orientation of the plates. Hellbender 70 Visco is sold in the middle of its damping range and can be adjusted to have either more or less damping from the factory setting. Adjusting the level of damping requires no proprietary tools and is as simple as performing a basic headset service.

Cane Creek’s Hellbender 70 Visco was designed with durability and longevity in mind. Cups and covers are 7075 T-6 Aluminum and equipped with premium stainless steel HELLBENDER bearings. Similar to other Cane Creek headset offerings, the Hellbender 70 Visco has robust seals – located at the crown race, steerer tube and top cover to protect against the elements and to ensure long-lasting reliability.

The Hellbender70 Visco is offered in two press-fit options – a top-only ZS44 configuration and a bottom-only ZS56 configuration. The addition of the new ZS56 lower fitment option allows for more compatibility on bikes with oversized headtubes, internal cable routing and 1.5 in. straight steerer tubes.

As with any Cane Creek product, the Hellbender 70 Visco is available at select retailers and riders can buy direct at www.CaneCreek.com. The Hellbender 70 Visco ZS44 Top is available at $99.99 and Hellbender 70 Visco ZS56 Bottom is available at $119.99.

New colours and build kits for the 2023 Salsa Timberjack range of hardtails…

Salsa Cycles press release:

Salsa TImberjack

Timberjack is back with six new colors and build kit options. Our playful aluminum trail hardtail is the life of the party, yet stable enough for riding loaded in the backcountry.

Timberjack’s well-rounded feature set suits singletrack addicts, bikepackers, and off-road ramblers:

  • 130 mm travel fork (up to 150 mm)
  • 29″ and 27.5+ options
  • Alternator 2.0 dropouts for adjustable ride characteristics
  • On-bike cargo mounts

Limited numbers of Timberjack are in stock now at Salsa Authorized Retailers, with more on the way. Learn more about Timberjack and find your new trail toy today.


Etnies have released a Vegan friendly version of their Semenuk Pro MTB shoe (which we really like actually – review coming soon)…

Etnies press release:


etnies is proud to announce its new high-performance vegan Semenuk Pro MTB shoe is now globally available. Designed by Brandon Semenuk himself, the copper colorway is made with an animal-friendly synthetic mesh and TPU. Featuring Formula G rubber on the sole, the shoe is formulated specifically for the rigour of flat pedals. The tread pattern is made for multi-placement pedals with a Force Shield reinforced upper. etnies has combined animal-friendly materials with quality and performance – the Semenuk Pro MTB shoe.

Inspired by Brandon Semenuk’s own performance needs in mountain bike footwear, the Semenuk Pro MTB shoe has a hot-melted quarter panel with a repel-treated upper that blocks moisture and a 3M Thinsulate lining and tongue gussets that shields from moisture, dirt and pebbles. Made for all mountain biking needs, the ankle shield protects your inner ankle from the gears and bike frame.

Built to last, the midsole has a reinforced board lasted Pedal Shank 1. The lace pocket on top of the tongue and Pro Foam 1 molded PU footbed offers functionality and long-lasting durability.

etnies is proud to continue its eco-conscious efforts, introducing the new Semenuk Pro to an already wide range of its eco and vegan collection. The company has created animal friendly footwear for many years now and in addition to vegan footwear, etnies supports sustainability through its ‘Buy a Shoe, Plant a Tree’ program. For every pair of select etnies styles purchased, one tree will be planted in support of international reforestation. Introduced in 2011, etnies has planted more than 2,000,000 trees. Join etnies in its goal of reaching 3,000,000 trees planted and learn more about its commitment to reforestation here.

The vegan Semenuk Pro MTB shoe in the copper colorway is available now at etnies.com

7Mesh launch self-stuff-sack apparel that you can attach to your bike frame…

7Mesh press release:

Leave the pack behind with the Stash System, 7mesh’s bike-attachable apparel.

After debuting in fall of ‘21, the pocket and clip system is now available on a series of styles.

Until now, the one problem with packable outer layers was finding a place to actually pack them. The 7mesh Stash System provides the solution as a lightweight, integrated clip system which lets riders pack garments into their own stuff pockets and attach them to their bikes when not in use.

No hip packs, no knapsacks, no bulging pockets — just pure performance and convenience, available when it’s needed, and stashed when it’s not.

The range of styles which feature the Stash System include protection for a wide variety of conditions. There’s the ultra-compact three-season coverage of the Northwoods Windshell, the full waterproof protection of the GORE-TEX® Copilot Jacket, the cozy warmth of the WTV Chilco Vest, and the versatile Freeflow Jacket with Polartec® Alpha®.

The changing coastal mountain weather of 7mesh’s Squamish home provided the perfect testing ground for the 7mesh design team and athletes as they tested iterations of the Stash pocket, elastic straps, and clip system. Perfected individually for each style, the Stash System allows attachment in a variety of places from handlebars to top tubes and seat posts.

Learn more about Stash System and the complete 7mesh collection at 7mesh.com

Details of a UK distributor for the Unparallel shoe brand…

Unparallel press release:

Unparallel Mountain Bike Shoes now available in the UK

Dark Ventures are delighted to announce that we are now the official UK distributors for the Unparallel range of Mountain Bike shoes.

With over 20 years of high friction shoe design and manufacturing experience, Unparallel have had a history of producing some of the world’s best climbing and bike footwear. In 2018, Unparallel introduced their own brand of climbing and mountain biking shoes to the world.

Based in California, Unparallel do everything in house. From design and testing, cut and sew of materials, hand gluing and assembly, finishing and quality control, to the final packaging of each pair of shoes.

Using only premium materials and industry leading high friction rubber compounds, Unparallel creates climbing and bike shoes that are designed and engineered for improved performance.

UP Mountain Biking shoes are built for strength, grip, comfort, style and function. Equipped with a high-friction, sticky UP Rubber outsole, all UP Mountain Biking shoes can endure anything the bike trail will throw at you.

Our Mountain Biking shoes are designed by experienced MTB riders guaranteeing you an unparalleled biking experience.

Mo Overfield – who previously ran the 5.10 brand in the UK, and has nearly 20 years of specialist MTB retail knowledge – will spearhead our campaign. He is super excited to develop the Unparallel brand and looking forward to meeting customers in store, at demos, or just riding on the trails.

Dark Ventures have been instrumental in developing Unparallel from the start, primarily focusing on climbing and approach shoes. We are thrilled to have Mo join our team, and look forward to the continued growth of the brand in all markets.


Ride-not-race the Stone King Rally route…

Stone King Touring Club press release:

Introducing the Stone King Touring Club

Santa Cruz Stone King Rally is an annual, six-day, point-to-point enduro race across the southwestern Alps to the Mediterranean Coast. Centred around the same blend of wilderness adventure and gravity racing excitement that its predecessor Trans-Provence brought about, but set to a fully original awe-inspiring itinerary, Stone King Rally is a genre-defining event.

Racing aside, Stone King is more fundamentally an incredible journey which also lends itself to being enjoyed outside of a race setting. To this end, Stone King Touring Club (SKTC) has been created; a structure of information to help all avid, experienced mountain bikers enjoy their own adventure along the annually-renewed route.

To understand what Stone King and the Touring Club are really about, let’s dive deep into Ash Smith’s journey towards creating a benchmark for mountain bike events which provide much more than a few days racing across southern Alps but also leaves a positive impact on local communities and mountain biking trail development.

What exactly is Stone King Touring Club?

Stone King Touring Club (SKTC) is an invitation to live a non-race journey of one’s own making, on each year’s official Stone King itinerary.

Racing mountain bikes through unknown terrain isn’t for everyone. One may be a highly capable, quick rider who dislikes the pressure of the clock. One may be an adept Alps veteran who simply wishes to stop a few times per 1000+ metre descent, be it to admire the medieval village through which your trail passes, or to gaze at the awe-inspiring view.

In concrete terms, Touring Club is a multimedia, A-Z structure of practical information helping anybody to bring their own Stone King adventure to life; from early inspiration, through detailed planning and booking, to turn-by-turn navigation on the route itself.


Nukeproof 2022 wrap-up video is worth some of your precious eyetime (if only for Mad Mr Dunne)…

Nukeproof press release:

Can we still say Happy New Year?

So, we’re unfashionably late to the New Year’s party. But at least we brought a little edit by Tommy Caldwell/ Caldwell Visuals on a few highlights from 2022 and some of the fun stuff we got up to:  

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Cotic RocketMAXer. Schwalbe Magic Mary Purple Addix front. Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra rear. Coil fan. I have been a writer for nigh on 20 years, a photographer for 25 years and a mountain biker for 30 years. I have written countless magazine and website features and route guides for the UK mountain bike press, most notably for the esteemed and highly regarded Singletrackworld. Although I am a Lancastrian, I freely admit that West Yorkshire is my favourite place to ride. Rarely a week goes by without me riding and exploring the South Pennines.

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Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • NBD: Damped Headsets, Timberjacks, Vegan Shoes…
  • 5lab
    Full Member

    can’t the damped headset be achieved by simply overtightening your current headset? It seems like its just a friction damper..

    Full Member

    Unparallel are the 5.10 guys who left after the Adidas buy out…

    Full Member

    The vegan pumps look tasty.

    Full Member

    Hopey steering damper!

    Full Member

    Is it just me that thinks the name Hellbender makes the product sound far Gnarlier than it really is?

    Full Member

    <stoned engineers> Hey guys,remember when we invented the clutch mech?” “Yeah, that was so rad…” “Well how about <giggle> a clutch headset?

    Full Member

    For all the Viscoset sneerers, they’re amazing on Long John type cargo bikes, where the wheel sits way out the front and is impossible to weight unless you’re actually carrying a load in it. In fact I think they’re stock equipment on the Riese Müller cargo bike that was reviewed back in the Lockdown issue of the mag. There are definitely applications for adaptive cycling too.


    Not sure I’m 100% behind the rationale for MTB use but I’m very glad someone is developing and manufacturing these products.

    Full Member

    Vegan shoes would looked even tastier if they came if bacon flavour. Smoked or unsmoked – the choice is yours.  I go unsmoked. And no sauce – why ruin bacon with red or brown chemically shiiite ?

    Full Member

    anyone else still waiting for foot-shaped shoes?

    Full Member

    anyone else still waiting for foot-shaped shoes?

    Oh yes. Those Etnies look terrible for foot shape, look how flat they are at the toe box, barely any height for toes, and in general they are narrow. Currently got some shoe stretchers in a pair of ride concepts increase width, had to remove insole to increase vertical room.

    Full Member

    ‘Vegan shoes’

    I would think many shoes, trainers and the like are effectively vegan as theyre made from canvas.

    But then you dont get to sell them at a premium price.

    Full Member

    They’ve got tongues and soles, so not really vegan.

    Full Member

    Yeah, foot shaped bike shoes shouldn’t really be an outlandish dream.
    One day maybe…

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