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Osprey Packs names Jack Gresmer bike sales manager

CORTEZ, Colo. (BRAIN) — Osprey Packs has hired industry veteran Jack Gresmer as bike sales manager. “I couldn’t be more pleased to have Jack join the Osprey team,” said Jeff Busic, Osprey’s vice president of global sales

Felt Bicycles announces territory expansion under sales rep Juan Diaz

IRVINE, Calif.

Knog and Highway Two offer PWR Deal for shop floor staff purchases

RICHMOND, Australia (BRAIN) — Accessory brand Knog and its U.S. distributor, Highway Two, are now offering an employee purchase program for Knog’s new PWR lights. The PWR range is an “ecosystem” of bike lights with a power bank as the battery.

Light & Motion Vibe series lights use button-free smart sensors

MARINA, Calif. (BRAIN) — Light & Motion is offering a new series of lights for urban riding that rely on motion and light sensors to automatically turn on and off as needed

Adidas Sport Eyewear names Echos Communications as its North American PR agency

Adidas also announces new lifestyle/technical sunglass, the Horizor. SAN FRANCISCO (BRAIN) — Echos Communications has announced that it will serve as the North American public relations agency of record for Adidas Sport Eyewear. “Everything we do is rooted in active, outdoor lifestyle and the focus of Adidas Sport Eyewear on ski, run, bike and performance lifestyle aligns perfectly with Echos as an agency,” said Echos’ founder and managing director, Rob Reedy.

Lezyne Super Drive 1250 XXL light review

It’s only a few short years since lights putting out as much as 1250 lumens would have meant a head-unit and separate battery, so it’s impressive how quickly both battery and LED light technology have moved on. Lezyne is one of the pioneers of LED technology and the Super Drive is one of its latest to exploit this white light to the full.

  • The best bike lights for road cycling
  • The best mountain bike lights
You can rotate the bracket, and the jaws of the mount are soft enough to stretch around slimmer aluminium stems

The XXL controls its output cleverly so you can optimise between lengthy run time and maximum brightness when needed. With six modes and an Overdrive setting, you can run the XXL in 150-lumen flash or pulse mode, which appears like a slow flash, when in town or well-lit areas. In these modes we got more than 24 hours run time. Lezyne claims 25 hours for flash and 35 for pulse.

When your route starts to darken step up through Eco (250 lumens, nine hours, 15 minutes), Enduro (625 lumens, three hours, 45 minutes), Blast (950 lumens, two hours, 40 minutes) or the intensely-bright Overdrive mode, providing enough detail to ride in the dark through wooded singletrack. Note, that will reduce run time to one hour, 50 minutes for the full 1250 lumens.

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The single button features a colour change LED; green for 100 percent, yellow for 50, red for 10 and flashing red to indicate five percent battery life. This is good, but doesn’t fully tell you how long you’ve got left. We just took it as when it goes yellow turn the light down, red turn it down further, and if it flashes switch to a flash mode. Charging takes a lengthy eight hours if you’re using a USB port, but if you switch to a wall adaptor (phone charger) it just about halves charge time.

Quite often lights can be big on power, but don’t use it well. Thankfully the lens on the XXL is cleverly shaped. The flat base and curved top projects a solid centre with plenty of spill to highlight the peripheral vision spots and the solid top lip ensures you don’t blind oncoming traffic. Side cutouts on the body offer some side-on visibility too.

At 268g, including the quick-fix rubber mount, and 110 x 45 x 30mm, the XXL is big, but slim enough so that it doesn’t take up too much real estate on your handlebar. You can rotate the bracket, and the jaws of the mount are soft enough to stretch around slimmer aluminium stems. If you can live with the bigger size then the XXL just might be all the front light you’ll ever need.

You can read more at BikeRadar.com

Why was Huffy’s CEO at the IBD Summit?

TEMPE, Ariz.

6 tips for trail night riding

Although the days are now getting longer, riding at night still means riding in the dark. So as night ride season continues, often in conditions that may be cold, dark and frequently wetter than an otter’s pocket, there are plenty of ways to ensure the fun doesn’t have to stop. So read on to find out how to turn the dreary depths of winter into some of your best months of riding ever.

  • The best mountain bike lights
  • 7 ways for mountain bikers to relieve the pain of winter training

1. Get lit

A decent front light is essential if you want to enjoy nicely illuminated trails rather than spending the whole time scrabbling around in the dark. You may be able to get away with a 400-lumen light if you know the way, aren’t looking to ride like Danny Hart and don’t have a mate with a 5,000-lumen monster on his bar that leaves you in perpetual shadow. But if you’re wanting to go faster and harder, look for at least an 800-lumen output.

  • The best mountain bike lights

2. Mount up

There are a couple of options when it comes to mounting your light. The obvious choice is the handlebar, especially if it’s an all-in-one-unit. Alternatively, you can fix it to your helmet, but avoid this with a heavy light because it’ll cause the lid to shift around when you ride over bumps.

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The other consideration is the type of trail you’re riding. If there are lots of tight turns, a bar-mounted light won’t shine around the corners, which is where you need to be looking. A head-mounted light solves this issue because it shines where you look, but if there isn’t enough light to also flood the trail directly in front of you, you may struggle. The best option is to have both head and bar-mounted lights.

3. Pick the right route

If you’ve never been for a night ride before, try it out on a route you know well before adventuring into the wilds. You’ll be surprised by how alien the trails look and feel. Cues that you use to initiate turns and features you’re familiar with will be cast into shadow and won’t appear when you expect.

Take it easy — you won’t be ‘winning’ Strava on your first outing. Trail centres are ideal places to hone your night riding skills. The tracks are less likely to have hidden surprises such as stumps or rocks that could cause you to crash. You can always challenge yourself with more technical trails once you’ve built up your confidence.

4. Make friends

5. Keep your distance

6. Stay safe

You can read more at BikeRadar.com

Bontrager XR2 Team Issue TLR 29×2.35in tires review

Bontrager has upped its mountain bike tires with a whole range of excellent choices; from thin, featherweight XC skins to full-on World Cup-winning downhill treads. The Bontrager XR2 Team Issue TLR leans heavily towards the light, low-rolling resistance XC side. Yet it’s surprisingly capable with durability that belies its weight and appearance.

  • Bontrager XR4 Expert TLR tire review
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Bontrager XR2 Team Issue specs

  • 29 x 2.35in
  • 670g on my scale
  • Fast rolling with consistent, predictable traction
  • Excel in loose-over-hardpack and loamy conditions
  • Tubeless Ready (TLR)
  • Inner Strength casing

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Tire set up

My initial impressions of the XR2s were “man, these things are light! I’m gonna shred ‘em to bits.” My next impression was one of frustration as the XR2 I was attempting to mount on my front wheel was putting up a serious fight. A floor pump wouldn’t seat it, but eventually with a lot of persuasion and my air compressor I was able to snap the beads to the rim. 

In contrast to the loose front, the rear mounted super tight, even with the first bead slipped down in the rim’s inner channel it took quite a bit of strength to work the last few inches of remaining tire bead onto the rim. But from there, the rear aired up easily with a floor pump. It’s interesting how much variance there is between tires and rims.

Fast, oh so fast

Let off the gas and the XR2s coast with the feeling of a tailwind at your back

Pay attention

Surprisingly tough

You can read more at BikeRadar.com

Best mountain bike lights: everything you need to know

The world of bike lighting technology is packed with jargon and it can be hard to figure out exactly what you need without spending a fortune. Luckily, we’re here to help find the best mountain bike lights for you.

  • The best mountain bike lights
  • Best waterproof jackets for cyclists

To cut to the basics, the only requirement for mountain biking in the dark is some kind of illumination. Even a basic commuting light can stand in, but you’ll quickly discover that riding can get sketchy very quickly without enough power to light the trail in front of you.

How bright is right?

The temptation is — naturally — to get as much power as possible. And power is good, but there’s much more to the story. If you tend to cruise climbs and cane the descents, you want max power for the sketchy bits. You can then toggle right back to save battery power as you trundle back up. If you’re more into mixed trail riding, you need good lights all the time and battery life is more important.

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You may have a 1,500-lumen light, but if the battery means you can only run it at 50 percent power for a fast cross-country/trail ride, it’s less bright than a ‘weaker’ 1,000-lumen unit you can run at 100 percent. Given that battery life fades over time, having the extra capacity means you’ll get more years use from your light.

It’s also possible to have too much power — particularly in wet or foggy conditions, where bounce-back and glare mean you see less than with a less powerful unit. Riders with brighter lights behind you can throw your shadow down the trail, blotting it out.

In general, there’s little that will make you wish you had more power than a good average light produces. You’ll find you adjust to whatever you have and that riders who are faster in daylight are still faster at night, regardless of what lights they have.

What to consider when buying mountain bike lights

Features of a mountain bike light

Head or bars

Helmet

  • Pro: Light shines where you’re looking
  • Con: Flattens out visible trail features, reduces depth perception
  • Con: Can be knocked off by low trees

Bar

  • Pro: Easy to see indicators and operate switches
  • Con: Light only goes where your bars are pointed
  • Con: Drops backside of crests and lumps into shade, so you can’t judge obstacle size

Jargon buster

  • Amp-hour — A measurement of battery capacity. The bigger the capacity, the longer your lights will run. You need to divide this value by the amperage the light operates at in order to get the theoretical run time
  • Bag — A cloth pack that holds the battery onto the bike’s frame
  • Bar mount — Light bracket that fits around oversize (31.8mm) and/or older 1in (25.4mm) diameter handlebars
  • Battery cell — The single units that wire together to create a battery pack
  • Bottle — Plastic water bottle converted to hold a large capacity battery
  • Candlepower — Unit of light measurement
  • Cell — Individual unit within a larger battery block. Most mountain bike light batteries are twin or quad cell units
  • Colour temperature — Colour of the light. The more blue-white, the ‘colder’ the colour; the more yellow, the ‘warmer’
  • Cree — Leading LED manufacturer
  • Flood — Head unit designed specifically to spread light over a wide area
  • GoPro mount — Double-D and thumbscrew set up used on GoPro’s helmet cameras
  • Halo — A distinctive ring in the pattern of the beam
  • Halogen — Best of the conventional bulb types. Cheap and easy to replace, but power-hungry so needs big, heavy batteries. Most manufacturers now use LEDs instead
  • Helmet mount — Bracket that lets you fit the light on your lid
  • HID (high intensity discharge) — A metal halide lamp that uses a tiny but extremely bright striplight bulb that only draws 10W but produces more light than a 40W halogen bulb. Gives that distinctive blue/white alien light of BMW headlamps. Most manufacturers now use LEDs instead
  • Jack — Connector plug on the lead
  • Jubilee clip — Fastener that uses a band tightened with a screw-driven gear wheel
  • LED — Light emitting diode. A solid state semi-conductor that glows brightly when a current is passed through it. The ‘bulb’ choice of most manufacturers
  • Lead — Cable that connects the head unit and battery. Extra long extension units are available for use with helmet mounts
  • Lens — The screen over the LED and reflector that protects them and can also be used to modify the beam
  • Life indicator — Traffic light style colour change display that indicates the remaining charge in a battery
  • Li-ion — Lithium ion. The most expensive but lightest, most efficient battery available. Also the easiest to look after in terms of charging/ recharging and therefore a very good thing
  • Lumen — Often quoted measure of the theoretical power of a light. Thermal issues and management circuitry normally make it an optimistic guide at best, though. With no standard way to measure it for bike lights, most figures can’t be usefully compared
  • Lux — Lumens per square metre. The real light output figure that we generally use in our comparative lab tests
  • NiMH — Nickel metal hydride. Cheaper battery type that’s reasonably robust in a charge/recharge sense but heavier and bulkier than a Li-ion for the same capacity
  • O-ring — Thick rubber band used in some handlebar mounts
  • Peripheral — The outward edges of the field of vision. Useful for seeing movement in low light
  • QR — Quick release mechanism
  • Reach — The distance down the trail that the light illuminates
  • Reflector — The shaped reflective surface behind the LED that concentrates and reflects the beam of light
  • Seoul — LED manufacturer
  • Smart charger — Charger that senses how full/empty the battery is and adjusts its efforts accordingly rather than burning down your house
  • Spot — Head unit designed to focus light in a narrow, long reaching beam
  • Throw — How far a light’s beam can reach in front of it
  • USB — Universal serial bus. Standard connector for computers
  • Voltage — The power level the battery releases its energy at
  • Watt — A measurement of power. You’ll often see bike light outputs quoted as ‘equivalent to a 20W halogen bulb’ for example

How we test mountain bike lights

The science side

The practical side

You can read more at BikeRadar.com