This little missive has been delayed by a move more complicated than I thought possible, not to mention a moving company more inept than modern times should permit. Which is to say, I’m behind.
By the time the third day of Press Camp rolled around my leg had healed enough that I was able to do more than just spin on the smoothest roads. It was a chance to actually get out on the mountain and following the days’ presentations there were a number of bikes I wanted to ride, but none moreso than the new Mach 429 Trail from Pivot. This is a variation on the popular Mach 4 that increases travel, frame stiffness and accepts both 29-inch wheels and 27.5+ wheels. Pivot CEO Chris Cocalis designed the bike for riders who want/need a versatile bike. Marketing head Carla Hukee chimed in, “It’s perfect for the rider who can only afford to own one bike.”
Wahoo showed off a new lower-cost version of the Kickr trainer, this one called the Kickr Snap. Meant for riders just trying to stay fit when they can’t be outside, the wattage maxes out on this unit at 1100 watts, and features a lighter flywheel at only 10.5 lbs., At $849.99, it drops $250 off the price of its big brother, but offers Zwift users all the same functionality.
Orbea showed off two new bikes, the Occam TR, which is a 29er with 120mm of travel front and rear, a lower bottom bracket than its predecessor as well as a longer wheelbase, shorter chainstays and slacker head tube angle. With more riding time, I’d have gotten out on this; word from my colleagues was that it was a very fun bike.
Alpinestars was a new attendee at Press Camp and while they showed a number of items aimed squarely at the enduro and downhill crowd, this vest caught my eye. It’s a close-fitting base layer that incorporates both back protection and a hydration bladder.
Years ago, Camelbak offered a hip pack that I found really handy for shorter mountain bike rides on hot days, days when I was unlikely to be out more than two hours, which was any time the temperature was above 100 degrees, which was all summer long.
The new Low-Rider series is designed to keep the bladder and your gear lower on you so it doesn’t move around as much while you ride. The Palos, above, features a 50 oz. bladder and plenty of room for gear and food.
The top flap flips up easily to give you quick access to tools or any other gear you might have stowed. Additional pockets are handy for a cell phone or food.
Kali introduced a new aero helmet, the Tava. It features lightweight webbing and a Boa retention system, as well as a few strategically placed vents.
Kali has been known for the “Conehead” technology it uses, a combination of high density and lower density EPS meant to help dissipate impact energy and reduce the possibility of a traumatic brain injury. The Tava not only includes cones pointed outward, but is Kali’s first helmet with the cones pointing inward as well.
Inside the helmet are these small pads Kali calls Bumper Fit 2.0. They are made by a British outfit called Amor Gel. These pads are meant to help reduce impact and rotational forces, much the way MIPS is said to decrease rotational forces.
Saddle manufacturer Fabric was back with some new saddles, but also this cool new take on the multi-tool. The Chamber has got a baker’s dozen tools—six two-ended bits, plus an 8mm cap in the middle of the tool holder.
When closed up, the carrier functions as the handle. There are two versions, a silver-anodized edition that goes for $60, plus a black anodized version that adds a ratcheting head for $80. The carrier is machined in such a way that you can see the tools on the bottom as well as the top so that you don’t need to pull each bit out of the carrier to see what’s on the other end.
There’s even more that I saw, of course, and some of it will be turning up in subsequent reviews.