Saturday, October 08, 2011

New Stuff To Share: Planet Bike, Bontrager

A bunch of new stuff to test has hit the door of late and I thought I would introduce some of it here for your enjoyment and information. Let's take a look at some new Planet Bike products for 2012.

Planet Bike's "Snack Sack"
Snack Sack: I love top tube bags and with the adventure bicycling thing heating up, not to mention gravel grinders, these types of bags are getting very popular. Enter Planet Bike with their "Snack Sack" top tube bag.

This is a pretty smartly designed bag which is rated at 43 cubic inches. It should easily hold a small digital camera, a cell phone, and some nutritional products all at the same time with ease. could just fill it with grub!  The choice is yours.

The loop on the back that you can see here attaches to two zippers and opens a flap that is attached with Velcro at the top/front of the bag as a sort of safety measure. I like that. many times you only have a  moment to grab something quick, and with this bag, you can flap the lid down and the Velcro will hold the lid fast until you get a chance to zipper it up again.

The other thing I like here is that it has a form that holds itself in the basic shape you see here. This keeps the bag stable on the top tube, and not flopping over sideways or something. The front is shaped to nestle into the steer tube, and the attaching straps, (one in front, one below), are wide and the Velcro is pretty aggressive.

Planet Bike also offers a bigger 74 cubic inch version called the "Lunch Box" if something bigger trips your trigger. The MSRP on the Snack Sack is $16.99 and the Lunch Box MSRP's at 20.99

Borealis Glove, er Mitten, or...whatever!
Borealis: Planet Bike has a new version of this hand warming device that should work as a colder/cold weather solution for cycling. What they have here is a two piece glove/over mitten design tailored to cycling activities.

The inner glove is fleece and is pretty beefy. On its own it should suffice for your cooler fall riding and into winter. With the outer mitten, you add a windproof back of the hands panels and "forchettes", and a water resistant, reinforced Serino palm area. The cuff on the outer mitten is neoprene and features a good hook and loop closure to help seal out the searching winds of winter. Of course, you could also just wear the outer mitten part as another way to make the system more versatile.

The Borealis also has reflective piping on the outer layer for better nighttime visibility. There is a good patch of fleece on the back side of the thumb for "nose wiping" duties too. The design of the outer layer groups your pinky and "ring fingers" together, but allows freedom of independent movement of the remaining digits, so you can operate drop bar levers, and grip Shifters for sure. Trigger shifters? The jury is still out on those, but I'll know when it gets colder.

The Borealis MSRP's for $41.99 and comes in sizes Small - XXX-Large

Captain Safety Super Fun Reflective Stickers: 

Stickers.  Yup! I like 'em. Always have, so when I heard about these "super fun" safety stickers, I was hooked. So, what exactly makes them "safety" and "super fun"?

Well, these stickers have a reflective coating, so when you see them at night illuminated by car lights, for instance, they are supposed to "pop" and look like little beacons of light. (I don't know if they do yet or not)

The "fun" part comes with the star shapes, dots, and strips that can be used in creative ways to express your inner kid, or to just be weird if you want.

The flexible stickers conform well to three dimensional shapes and seem to have a decent adhesive on them.

These have an MSRP of $7.49

Re-designed and updated tires!
Bontrager 29"er Tires:

Bontrager  down loaded some new tread designs and an updated Mud X model for me to try out. Here's the skinny on these...

29-4: (Left in image) The 29-4 gets a completely new tread design going forward. Now instead of the claw-like, elongated shapes it had, we see a block shaped tread pattern with a chevron shaped grouping starting from the center of the casing out to the edges of the casing. The central tread blocks are slightly ramped for better rolling resistance, and the spacing to the outer blocks is a bit more open. The blocks themselves are low-ish in profile. The outer blocks are reinforced at their bases with tie-bars and all have slight siping. This is rated at 2.3" width and there is an Expert and Team version here. Both are TLR tubeless compatible. Bontrager says these are good for rocky, loose grounds and are okay in mud and wetter terrain.

Mud X: (Center in image) The Mud X continues on with the same tread pattern and width as before, but now has an improvement to the rubber compound for better grip and mud shedding abilities. (Which were already at stellar levels, in my opinion) TLR tubeless ready, of course.

29-1: (Right in image) This is the replacement for the XR-1. Bontrager has re-designed the tread pattern here to retain the speed of the XR-1, but to give the tire some much needed lateral grip. XR-1's were way too easy to drift or to have slide out sideways on you. To combat this, the 29-1 has more elongated knobs placed laterally at the edges of the casing, which are slightly bigger, and spaced wider apart than the XR-1's tiny blocks were. The center of the 29-1 retains the blocky. low knobs with slightly ramped leading edges that made the XR-1 so speedy. This tire is a Team Issue and now is TLR tubeless ready, which the old XR-1 was not. Width is rated at a slightly wider than XR-1 2.2", so it should have a bigger volume as well.

I'll have mentions of how things are going with these products here, but look for detailed reviews on Twenty Nine Inches for the tires, and The Cyclistsite for the Planet Bike stuff later.

Note: All products were submitted for review at no charge. I am not being paid, nor bribed for these reviews and will strive to give my honest thoughts and opinions throughout.


kevin said...

I'll miss Bontrager's 29x1.7-1.9" tires; the XDX and XR-1 were great on my Vaya. Hope they come out with something in that size range again.

MrDaveyGie said...

Geeepers GT you mention the 'snack sack' and everybodies sold out...out of of stock...:-)