Under Test: SKS Airchecker Pressure Gauge

SKS Airchecker

Whether you ride dirt, gravel, or pavement, proper tire pressure can make all the difference when it comes to comfort and efficiency. SKS‘ Airchecker pressure gauge offers Presta and Schraeder compatibility, and an easy-to-read display that displays psi or bar.

Stay tuned…

First Impressions: ACROS Zero Stack Headset

The ACROS brand may not be a household name here in the US, but the company has been cranking out components in Germany since 1999. In addition to headsets, ACROS offers bottom brackets, hubs, and even a shifting system that eschews conventional cables in favor of hydraulics. The company’s extensive range of headsets includes external cup, zero stack, and integrated models.

ACROS ZS top   ACROS ZS bottom

With all the different head tube and fork designs currently available, choosing the correct headset can be a daunting task. If you’re not sure which one you need, the folks at Cane Creek have an online tool that will help you determine which headset is compatible with your frame and fork. Our 29er test rig utilized a tapered headtube (and steerer), so ACROS recommended their ZS-44 and ZS-56 units. The German-made assemblies feature CNC construction and sealed, angular contact bearings. For the fashion conscious, ACROS offers the ZS-44 uppers in eleven colors, and the ZS-56 lowers in black, red, or silver anodized finishes.

Our test process for the ACROS headset was pretty simple–install it and then ignore it. To insure that everything went together correctly, installation was performed by the pros at Vecchio’s Bicicletteria. During our eight-month test period, we alternated between Carver and Whisky carbon forks, as well as Thomson stems of various lengths. The only maintenance that we performed was limited to a quick wipe-down and inspection when swapping out forks.

ACROS ZS-44 top

So how has ACROS’ headset fared against Colorado’s winter, spring, and early-summer riding conditions? To be completely honest, we basically forgot it was there. We never detected any creaking, knocking, or other issues. The bearings have remained smooth, and based on our very infrequent inspections, the seals have done an excellent job of keeping out dirt and moisture. This is no small feat, either, as much of our initial testing took place on snow-covered trails and roads. While it’s too early to offer a definitive verdict on the headset’s long-term durability, we’ll follow up with a one-year update (or sooner should a problem arise). If you’re looking for a set-and-forget headset, the ACROS should definitely be on your short list.

ACROS components are available from select US retailers. For additional information regarding availability, visit the ACROS website.

Disclosure: ACROS Sport GmbH provided review samples for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review.

Under Test: Octto Professional Gel Bar Tape

octto

Octto‘s Professional Gel bar tape comes in no less than 15 colors, smooth or carbon textures, and features Gelicone™ Enhanced Comfort Foam. The tape’s extra-long length accommodates virtually any size handlebar, and the low-residue adhesive backing leaves less residue when it’s time to change tape.

Stay tuned…