Blackburn Switch Wrap Bag ($40)
For our testers who weren’t comfortable strapping tools and CO2 cartridges under a glorified rubber band, Blackburn made the Switch Wrap. It can securely hold a tube, two cartridges of any size, and even an inflater head and plug kit (not included).
Fox DHX Factory Shock ($570)
Why should long-travel enduro bikes be the only ones with the buttery-smooth feel of a coil shock? Fox introduced the DHX shock to be lower-profile and fit in more bikes than the gravity-focused DHX2. We loved the added speed and traction this upgrade offered to many otherwise humdrum trail bikes.
Trail Boss 3-Piece Handle Set with Steel Segment Upgrade, 3 Heads ($480)
Trail Boss makes the greatest collapsible trail tools you can buy. This set—which includes McLeod (pictured), hoe, and saw heads—was crowned by our test crew as the most comprehensive trail-care kit out there. Seasoned folks recommend the models with steel handles, which hold up nearly as well as traditional wood-handled tools.
Tasco Fantom Ultralite Gloves ($38)
The Fantom Ultralite is slightly stretchy across the back and features thin, vented, synthetic-suede palm material, and thus feels like a second skin. The microfiber wipe across the thumb was much appreciated for quickly cleaning our glasses during transitions on muddy rides.
Dakine Slayer Pro Knee Pad ($105)
The Slayer Pro hits a sweet spot somewhere between park-ready goalie pad and pedal-friendly knee sock. Instead of beefier, non-Newtonian D30 padding, the Slayer uses lightweight foam in strategic spots. Testers even felt the occasional breeze through the thin, formfitting chassis.
Deuter Flyt 18 SL Pack ($190)
With a bounce-free fit and ultralight back protector, this pack was our choice for long backcountry days. Small details helped, like the internal partitions and convenient external stash pockets that are handy for tools and snacks. The slim-fit version we tested is ideal for smaller riders.
SRAM HS2 220mm Disc-Brake Rotor (from $63)
As bikes have gotten more travel, more capability, and in some cases more motorized support, we occasionally need more stopping power. An underappreciated way to do that is with a larger rotor. This one is the biggest in SRAM’s lineup, and it is thicker than traditional rotors, so dissipates heat better.
Wolf Tooth GeoShift Headset ($105)
Most angle-adjust headsets are creaky and incompatible with many popular headtube configurations. Not this one. One tester has been noise-free and one degree slacker for nearly a year.
Osprey Savu 2 Hip Pack ($50)
This hip pack’s angled bottle configuration made on-the-go hydration a cinch, and the structural foam holster made it easy to put the bottle back in. The left and right zippered compartments connect internally, making room for bulkier items most hip packs can’t fit.