A peek at emerging products, culled from crowd-source sites like Kickstarter, PR campaigns, and industry scoops on the sometimes cutting-edge, sometimes quirky world of gear design.
‘High Tech’ Bike
An embedded computer on the handlebars (with a 2.4-inch screen) makes the Volata unique. It gives riders access to information such as performance, weather forecasts, turn-by-turn directions, heart rate, smartphone notification, and automated front and rear lights built into the bike frame. Oh, and this bike has a belt drive and horn, too. $3,499 once it comes for sale.
Black Diamond’s 2017 line will include a new belay device, the ATC-Pilot. It has enhanced braking performance for controlling falling climbers and “smooth rope pay out and gradual, controlled lowering.” Price TBD.
Developed by Japanese entrepreneur (and core snowboarder) Takahiro Miyasaka in 2014, the BONX Grip is now coming to the U.S. The “wearable walkie-talkie” ($150/pair) fits over the ear and enables group conversations between outdoor athletes. “All you have to do is speak,” the brand states. “Within a fraction of a second, the earpiece picks up your voice, passes it to the smartphone, and an app sends voice data to everybody in your group.”
Tiny Titanium Knife
The TRAK ($25) is a tiny utility knife made of titanium “designed to be worn” for quick deployment anywhere. It fits on your finger and exposes its sharpened blade for cutting open packages, slicing fishing line, or as self defense (a necklace-sheath is an optional upgrade).
Taillight Bike Backpack
Among a new line of packs, the Cloudcover Transit from Showers Pass ($264) stands out. It embeds LEDs for safety on the road and is weather-proof with welded seams, waterproof zippers, and “protected compartments” to keep your gear safe on the road.
Coming November, Fishpond is releasing a new line of waterproof duffles, and the Thunderhead Submersible looks like a great addition to the field. The TPU welded 840 denier fabric and TIZIP submersible zipper should keep gear dry and safe. Braided climbing rope handles and tuck-away backpack straps on the large model easily carry a variety of loads. Available in two sizes at $300 and $400.
Ratcheting Titanium Bike Tool
The T-Ratchet and Ti-Torque Titanium Tools from Silca are compact ratcheting bike tools that drive hex and screw heads. The brand quickly surpassed a funding goal on Kickstarter and will be delivering these slick tools in December. From $40.
Update To Popular Trail Runner
New for this fall, Pearl Izumi updates its popular M2 trail-running shoe to the M2V3 (pictured). A new seamless upper gives improved mid-foot fit, the brand states. It hits the market in September for $125.
Bags For Education
Miir launched a line of bags for commuting and daily use. The purchase of any MiiR bag – 25L Commuter, 20L Day Pack, 18L Tote, or 1L Pouch – supports students through funding education resources. From $79.
High-Volume MTB Pump
Most bike pumps inflate tires to well beyond 100 PSI. That is overkill in the mountain bike world, where simple volume is more of a premium to fill large tires. The Blackburn Chamber HV Floor Pump inflates tires to 50 PSI fast. It has a 47-inch hose to reach valves in stands or car racks. $80.
Fancy Tea Time Anywhere
File this one as an oddity in the outdoors for those who REALLY like tea. Tea Drops dissolve in hot water to give you some next-level tea brews. We’re not sure how this improves upon the portability of the teabag, which is really second to none, but we’re guessing these come with more complex flavors and sweetening built in. Plus, there’s added caffeine, so it’ll get you moving in the morning.
Carhartt Bikewear Collab
Workwear big boy Carhartt (the ‘Carhartt WIP’ division) teams with Pelago Bicycles and Mission Workshop on a product launch. The apparel is Carhartt’s first go at the bike space, and the single-speed bike, developed by Pelago, is a toolbox-green. The bag, designed by Mission Workshop, affixes to the front rack for storing lunch or tools. The collection will be for sale in select dealers, Carhartt WIP stores, and at Mission Workshop stores beginning next month.