Ed ~Today we present the fabled ‘lost episode’ of Gnome-Proof Gear, written by BBR/Test Pilot Evan LarSSon. Evan is the proud papa of a brand new bounce’n baby boy, so very soon, you’ll see a baby on a fat strider going huge off of everything we can find. To read about the next three items that receive the Gnome-Proof Gear Seal of Approval, please continue below.
I want to share with you a few pieces of gear I never leave home without. They’re of the utmost importance to me and take such a priority, that I had to immediately phone Gomez via the Fat-Satphone and insist the world must know about my ramblings!
Socks! Yes, they’re important, but I want to talk about what goes around your stanky socks. Your shoes! Yes indeed, right next to the infamous Himalayan Walking Shoe stands a piece of flat pedal footgear called the FiveTen Impact 2 Hi. At a price of $100-$150 they are not cheap but I’ve been slipping my feet into these bad dogs for over 4 years now and they are just as solid and comfortable as the day I got them (I’m pretty sure it was a Tuesday). Now mind you, I’ve always ridden flats and I’ve burned through my fair share of “skate” type shoes by regular use or smashing my toes into a rocks and roots. Not fun. Nothing out that I’ve tried comes close to how durable this shoe is or how fantastic the Stealth outsoles stick to my pedals. What pedals do I ride you ask? I’m currently running the PURPLE RaceFace Chesters, I love’em. The Impact 2s perform quite well when playing hike-a-bike over the rivers and through the woods. Which is reassuring for me, because there’s nothing worse than completely botching the hurdle over a downed tree or slipping up a climb. I use the Impact 2s year round and even when the temps drop just below freezing a nice set of wool socks can keep my toes toasty for a couple hours. Even in blistering summer heat, the high-top Impact 2s are vented just enough to keep my dogs breathing well and my ankles feeling secure. They also come in the regular version of shoe if the high-top isn’t your thing. My shins have been saved countless times when I would somehow bounce myself up off the pedal, just too barely catch the edge of my shoe, and still managed to hang on. One day, I’m sure these shoes will let go and after I can’t superglue them back together again, I’ll just go out and buy another pair of FiveTens.
Ed ~ I own 2 pairs of 5:10 shoes. Stealth Rubber soles are the jam.
Next on my list of cool shit I’d buy again is something I’ve already bought and re-bought, because of how fanfuckingtastic it is! The Revelate Designs Mountain Feedbag! I know we have plenty of options with bags these days but Revelate caught my attention first, so if you find a different bag that you like, get it. I think the concept itself is brilliant and that’s why this made my list. For about $40 you can enjoy the multiple options this piece of GPG will bring to your cockpit. I know, first main question, how much room does it have? I can tell you a 16oz beer with plenty of ice fits comfortably enough to keep your trailside beverage frosty for hours on that summertime ride. Speaking of riding, it’s locked in securely to your stem with Velcro and a strap buckles down to the top of the fork. With a simple drawstring top opening, access into the feedbag is quick and easy. Snacks are now within arm’s reach but wait, you said there’s a beer in there! No problem, two pockets on either side with hold your bag of jerky and jellybeans. With the simple Velcro and strap design the feedbag swaps out from bike to bike in less than a minute. If you’re sick of stuffing your jersey pockets, go take a gander at the feedbags. It’s Mr. Ed approved!
Ed ~ At interbike we learned that Revelate updated the feed bag to be completely one handed for both opening and closing and the lower attachment strap was updated for better fit and Bluto compatibility.
Finally, I want to share something we never would think we’d need, until we do. I’m talking about a gun. HA! No liberals, I’m kidding, calm down. The GPG tool I speak of is a small, foldable knife made by Benchmade, called the Mini-Griptillian (Tanto). Have you ever been on a beach ride where someone gets tangled in discarded fishing line and asks if anyone has a knife? Not yet? You’ll be a freaking hero. How about that stupid-cold night ride when your trail beer froze. What do you do, just skip it? Only drink the whiskey you’ve also brought? NO! You cut that fucking can open and eat that beer slushy like a yeti! This knife is made in ‘Murica if that matters to you. It has a patented “axis-lock” which makes one handed operation very easy (even with gloves on) and the knife is also ambidextrous. It’s not your gas station foldable. Priced around $100 cheap it is not but you have options when it comes to color and blade choice. Benchmade’s customer service and warranty is second to none so you can own this tool with confidence and take pride with what you’ve spent your hard earned dollars on. Or go buy a cheap knife, I don’t care. Just get something and keep it next to your multi-tool and tire levers. Like I said earlier, you won’t know what you’ll need it for until you need it.
Ed ~ My blade is also Benchmade (Griptillian – Sheepsfoot)
I hope my 3 cents have been worthy of your time and I really think you’d benefit from having these pieces of Gnome proof gear in your deck. Happy trails everyone, and remember to ride fast and take chances!