Words By: Colin Reed
It’s that time of month again! We’re back with the top trending products for the month of September. These are all of the things that you and your buddies have been buying up to either upgrade, replace, replenish, refurbish, or simply add-on to your bike and/or bike peripherals. The bike industry has seen a lot of action lately with everything going on in the world, so inventory across the board is unpredictable, but these are the things that we still have and that you guys are buying!
First up is something that isn’t a newcomer to this list. The Fox Factory Rebuild Kit for Float Rear Shocks actually made the list back in March of this year, so I guess people are following service intervals responsibly. This little kit comes in at $19.99 and is packed with all of the rings, dust wipers, and even Fox Float Fluid lubricant to keep everything slick and smooth. Rebuilding your shock after a season of riding dry and dusty conditions is not only a great way to increase the life of your shock, but also to keep it feeling like it just came out of the box. If you’ve never rebuilt a shock before, I highly recommend you give it a try. You’ll be surprised what a difference it makes.
Next up is Park Tool’s chain link pliers, also known as MLP-1.2. Unlike the Fox rebuild kit, this one is a newcomer to the list. Park Tool’s pliers make the pain-in-the-butt process of opening and closing master links at least 1000 times easier. It’s made from really high quality materials, so this is definitely a tool you can buy once and enjoy for the rest of your mountain biking career. It retails for $15.95, which is a great deal when you think about how much easier it will make bike maintenance and building for the rest of your life.
Here is our first and only big ticket item on the trending list for this month. The new SRAM XX1 Eagle 12-speed 10-52 rainbow cassette for an XD driver body (yeah, I know it’s a mouthful) is a true sight to behold. It retails for $449, which I know is a pretty penny, but in this case, you really get what you pay for. SRAM not only did a great job of making it look amazing, but you also get all of the engineering that went into it. The shifting performance, weight reduction, quiet operation, and durability are well worth the cost. This isn’t one of those things that you slap on your bike because it looks nice; it will actually feel and work better than most of the competition. It’s compatible with both mechanical and electronic (aka AXS) derailleurs, is e-bike ready, and has a massive 520% range, which depending on the size of your front ring will either give you insane climbing abilities or absolutely monstrous speed capabilities....actually, it’ll do both at the same time!
Like it or not, shorter days are upon us. When it gets dark early, that’s not an excuse to not ride your bike, especially when light systems are getting better and better all the time. Here we have the NiteRider Helmet Mount for Lumina and Mako lights. I find I tend to ride more in the dark when my setup is easier and I don’t have to mess around with cables and clunky mounting systems. This is where the NiteRider helmet mount comes into play. It costs $14.99 and provides a really sturdy and adjustable base for your Lumina or Mako light. It’s easily adjustable, fits practically any helmet, and just makes your life easier for those nights when you’re struggling to find the motivation to ride in the dark. Night rides are coming faster than you think, so nab one before you find yourself finishing rides in the dark.
This next entry to the list might seem like kind of an odd one, but trust me when I say it’s important. Carbon cranks are a great investment in your bike as they help stiffen things up while reducing weight. The problem is that they can oftentimes be expensive. If you’ve decided to make the jump to SRAM Eagle carbon cranks, these little crank arm boots will go a long way in giving you peace of mind. They help protect your Eagle cranks not only from scratches and dents, but also from potentially disastrous impacts that could ruin your cranks completely. They go for a measly $11.49, which is nothing when you consider the protection they offer your expensive bike investment. It’s easy to forget you need them, so if you’re reading this right now, just go snag a pair before you forget.
Last but not least, we have a big fan favorite here (obviously, it’s on the trending list), the Maxxis Minion DHR II tire in 27.5x2.4. This particular Wide Trail one is tubeless, folding, with 3C Maxx Terra, EXO+ protection, and retails for an even $80. I know 29ers continue to gain in popularity, but 27.5 is still much beloved, plus mullet bikes with the smaller wheel in the back is starting to gain more traction. The Minion DHR II is a really fantastic tread design that can work both front and rear, but tends to really shine in the rear. It offers great cornering traction and loads of braking grip. This beefy boy isn’t guaranteed to make you ride faster, but it will definitely give you the courage to try.
That’s it! Those are the most popular things that flew off our shelves last month. There are some shiny things, some slippery things, some squeezy things, some rubbery things, and some strappy things, but regardless, all things that make mountain biking better, easier, and far more enjoyable. If anything on this list caught your eye, take some action now before they disappear!