One of the coolest things about being involved in the bike industry is the first hand exposure to all the cool bikes, gear, and technology that continues to elevate out sport. Wait, is sport the right word? Maybe hobby? Or lifestyle? Maybe obsession? I digress…
At a retail level, it can often be hard to decide what products to sell and promote, as there is an endless sea of companies making great products. Well… at the very least there is an endless sea of companies telling you they are making great products.
At WLC, we always try to hold ourselves to a high standard. Do we know everything? Absolutely not… but at least we’ll tell you that. We’re a small shop. We don’t stock everything (but feel free to ask, we can get in TONS of stuff that might not just be sitting on a shelf). What we do stock though, tends to be products we believe in, and that we personally have experience with. We continue to sell what we ride and ride what we sell. And even though we don’t get out on the bikes nearly as much as we would like (does anyone ever?), we do still get out and ride.
Last week I had the chance to check out a couple GREAT trails in Banff (Star Wars and Top Notch), and I figured it’d be a good opportunity to highlight a few products that live in my personal collection. No I didn’t get this stuff for free. Yes, I paid for it with my own money.
Here’s a few things you can find in the photo above, and my brief 30 second thoughts on them:
Kona Process 153 CR DL 29
I LOVE this bike. There is also no rational reason for me to own it. It is WAY more capable of a bike then I am a rider. I’m also not convinced that most people need this much suspension travel….. but it sure is fun! The bike climbs WAY better then it should. It handles winding trails well, eats up decents (fast or techy), and it just loves any sort of trail shenanigans. The new Process 134 is arguably a WAY more practical bike for Alberta riding, but I just can’t help giggling like a school girl every time I get to ride this mini monster.
Kona Wah Wah 2 Pedals
They’re huge. So are my feet. BOOM! Magic! I have a plastic set on my fatbike (which are arguably the better value) and the aluminum version (which features an additional traction pin on each side) on my mountain bike. They grip well and have been reliable. What more can you ask for? Colors maybe? Rest assured that’s a thing too!
Fox Dropframe Helmet
This things looks weird. Unless maybe you have a background in moto trials. Or live in Squamish, where everyone seems to ride with bigger helmets. And yet when I tried it on, it fit really well, felt surprisingly comfortable, and didn’t seem too heavy. As I continue to get older (and as My Kona Process keeps suggesting I ride goofier lines…) the concept of more coverage and more safety in a helmet just seems to make sense. So I picked one up to use on “bigger” rides. It does put a bit of pressure on the 00 guage flesh tunnels in my ears, but those come out easy, and its not like most people are rocking oversized man jewelry like I am. It’s also a bit warmer than my IXS trail helmet, but not so much that it creates an issue. On the trail it’s extremely comfortable, and I’ve found myself using it a lot more then I expected too. I quite like it.
Fox “Defend” Kevlar Glove
Fox gloves are great. Not too expensive. Well made. And available in red… which for some odd reason seems important to me. The Defend Kevlar version gets you all that goodness, plus a tougher fabric and some armor/protection over your knuckles. They’re not quite as comfy as the Ranger/Ranger Gel gloves, IMO, but on days where you want more protection, they are quite great.
Five Ten “Freerider Pro” shoes
I’ll be honest here… I bought this exact model because it was the only one I could find in a size 14. Luckily I like green. Luckier still, the shoes are GREAT. Way more support and traction then the light hiking boot I used to ride it. Even interfacing with the aggressive Kona Wah Wah 2 pedals, the soles show very little wear after two years of use. The sole is firm enough to provide good peddling efficiency and ward off foot cramping, but still flexy enough to let you grip your pedals.
It holds your bear spray in a water bottle cage. It’s from a small local company. There are color options. 2019 may as well be the year of the bear with all of the activity out there. If you ride, you should have a Bear Cozy.
I had something more to write at the end of this…. but I honestly don’t remember what it was. Toss a handful of customers into the mix, and it’s time to wrap this up and get back to wrenching.
Happy Trails and Happy FRIDAY THE 13th to everyone!