THE SOUR SIX
SHOPPING WITH SOURPATCH
Several months back we excitedly partnered up with CompetitveCyclist.com as our online retail partner, which allowed us great freedom to test more products with a brand-agnostic third party retailer. Through this partnership we’ve been able to see, test and get our hands on lots more gear and equipment thanks to their large inventory and desire to support our website. We decided that Sourpatch, the grumpiest of grumps, should do a little site-searching and find cool products that get him excited and share them with you all. For this month’s Sour Six, the task was to imagine getting a blank gift card and to pick a handful of items. Sounds easy, right?Wrong. In fact it was so hard that we scrapped the original idea of making it a $500 gift card and just decided to focus on six products that I would be stoked to purchase. Now to figure out what next month’s challenge is going to be…But, until then, check out these items and keep an eye out for more recommendations from the Sourest-man himself.
Disclosure: Our team selects all of the products we review and do so with honesty and objectivity in mind. Some of the products we receive come directly from Competitive Cyclist, who also value our readers and have offered them a 15% discount (exclusions apply) on their first purchase by using LOAMWOLF15. Through this program we may also receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for your support, TLW.
SWEET PROTECTION ARBITRATOR MIPS HELMET
I actually have one of these that is currently in the test phase and so far it’s a pretty sweet lid, no pun intended. It is certainly geared more toward the DH crowd in its full face configuration as it can get a little toasty on trail bike days…but, guess that’s why it is a convertible helmet. It is slightly more expensive than other convertible and pedal-friendly full face helmets on the market, but it also looks far better and it has a carbon fiber shell. It’s an easy recommendation for me.
- DH-certified full face that converts to a lightweight trail helmet
- Removable chin bar lets you switch between downhill and trail modes
- 4-piece carbon and PC shell is both lightweight and strong
- ZYTEL internal frame increases the impact resistance
- MIPS technology mitigates harmful rotational impact force
- STACC ventilation actively cools the temporal artery
- Occigrip turndial makes it easy to find the ideal fit
- Adjustable visor, washable moisture-wicking comfort pads
FOX RACING BASEFRAME PRO SLEEVLESS
This compact vest features armor on the hips, chest, and spine, elevating safety while you ride. It utilizes F3 impact foam that provides full coverage, without restrictive movement. On the back, large perforations and flex grooves contour and flex with you while you ride, so you can forget that you’ve got armor on at all, until you overcook a berm and wind up in the bushes. F3 body armor offers unique traits that harden on impact, and soften with body heat, allowing the foam to mold to your unique anatomy, while still giving you serious backup when you need it. Open stretch mesh makes up the body of the vest, allowing for serious ventilation and moisture wicking while you ride. Look out for a review on this, as well as the short sleeve version, in the coming months.
- A padded vest that highlights core protection
- Perforated, grooved spine pad contours and moves with you
- Body heat softens the F3 impact foam for flexible comfort
- To shield from big hits, F3 hardens in event of impact
- Open stretch mesh body allows for ventilation and breathing
- Built in padding at hips boosts coverage and protection
- Removable back panel allows for easy washing
CRANK BROTHERS MALLET SPEEDLACE SHOES
These Crank Brothers shoes are essentially just an item I want because they look so damn good. Maybe we will get to review a pair one of these days. Blending rugged off-road performance with sleek, casual style, the Crank Brothers Mallet Speedlace Mountain Bike Shoe is ready to play in the mud before hitting the pavement for a post-ride brew with friends. These unassuming clip-in shoes pack all the necessary qualities for confidently hitting the turns and berms, yet remain comfortable at the trailhead when your ride ends and libations are in order.
- Street style meets durable performance with this clip-in trail shoe
- Synthetic upper conforms to the foot and promotes breathability
- Speed Lace closure system offers fast fit adjustments
- Ramped cleat box offers easier entry and exit
- Race Zone cleat setback adds greater control and stability
- Match compound rubber enhances grip over wet and muddy terrain
- Toe and heel lugs provide additional traction beyond the bike
SHIMANO SAINT SPD PEDALS
When it comes to clipless pedals, these Shimano Saint SPD’s are without a doubt at the top of the list. Bombing down the steepest and chunkiest rock gardens on this side of the Mississippi can take divine levels of courage, and while we might not be saints ourselves, we’re glad we’ve got pious pedals like the Shimano Saint PD-M8020 SPD’s to give us a sense of godlike stability in situations that can send us soaring down the mountain. The Saint PD-M8020’s combine your favorite burly downhill platform pedal with Shimano’s XT SPD clipless to boost your control when you’re charging off of drops that would have your grandmother saying five hail-Mary’s.
- DH hungry pedals with MTB clipless technology
- Big platform with 4 adjustable pins add grip when unclipped
- Bombproof construction holds up to the gnariest DH laps
- Dual-sided entry for easy access on all sides
- Four-degrees of float let you pick your release point
- Equipped with 2-bolt SPD cleats for setting up your kicks
- Sealed cartridge bearings stay clean and grime-free for years of use
LEZYNE TUBELESS CO2 BLASTER
When I channel my inner Ricky Bobby out on the trail, it always end in disaster usually with a flat. Having a tool like the Tubeless Blaster by Lezyne that can plug a hole and inflate the tire can help make life easier. This 2-in-1 cycling CO2 dispenser and tubeless tire repair kit is made from machined aluminum with a hardened steel reamer. It efficiently insers a plug and inflates a tire for rapid repair that doesn’t keep us on the side of the road for long. It’s sleek and compact, and it fits in a pocket or is easily strapped to our bikes.
- A tubeless tire repair kit that’s efficient and speedy
- 2-in-1 cycling CO2 dispenser and tubeless repair kit
- Machined aluminum and a hardened steel reamer get the job done
- High-quality tire plugs aggressively seal holes that are too large
- A sleek and compact design that stores away easily
ODI ROGUE GRIPS
The ODI Rogue grips are the one thing in this list that I have actually spent my own money on. These are some of my favorite grips and pair nicely with those who have bigger mitts. Even though I am linking to Competitive Cyclist to order, if you order from ODI you have the option adding custom laser etching to the rings…which I opted for. The soft rubber blocks are designed to cushion the blow that even the longest-travel fork can’t absorb. And since each block has a subtle file texture, they work great with gloves or without. The lock-on clamps guarantee the grip won’t move until you want them to. They come with the clamps, hardware, and end caps. You’ll have the option for standard length or 130mm.
- Soft rubber grips for tactile feel and damping control
- Thick, soft rubber damps and cushions trail chatter
- Textured blocks grip palms or gloves alike
- Secure your grips with lock-on clamps on both ends
- Available with standard width for trigger shifting