Under Test: Blackburn Central 100 & 20 Lights

Blackburn Central 100 Front

It may only be August, but it’s not too early to start thinking about lights. Blackburn Design‘s new Central 100 (front, shown) and 20 (rear, not pictured) are compact, lightweight, and easily via a micro-USB cable (included).

Stay tuned…

First Impressions: Alpinestars Moab Gloves

When you think of Moab, images of slickrock, epic singletrack, and desert heat spring to mind. Alpinestars designed their Moab full-finger gloves to excel in exactly those types of conditions. I put the company’s gloves through the proverbial wringer to see if they lived up to their namesake.

Balancing ventilation and protection in a glove can be tricky. For its Moab glove ($44.95 MSRP), Alpinestars uses mesh/spandex main construction with synthetic leather reinforcements. Wrist and knuckle padding help protect against falls and impact, while the double-layer palm maintains a positive tactile feel. If I had to categorize the Moab, it sits in between a minimalist race glove, and more heavily armored gravity model.

AStars Moab gloves

The author’s Moab gloves after several months of use and countless launderings.

The Moab’s fit is slim, but not restrictive. I usually wear a large size glove, and the large Alpinestars fit me, well, like a glove. Riders with thick fingers or meaty palms may want to size up, however. While the majority of the glove is nicely proportioned, the thumbs are a bit shorter than expected. This created some tightness between the thumb and forefinger, but it didn’t seem to affect function or durability.

For warm weather riding, the Alpinestars gloves offer a reasonable amount of ventilation. They may lack the hands-in-the-breeze feeling of single-layer gloves, but they’re extremely effective at managing moisture. Despite my copious perspiration, the Moabs never felt clammy or slippery. The fingers’ silicone print offered increased grip and control during braking, and didn’t peel off after the first washing.

Although they lack the exoskeleton-like armor found on many enduro or downhill-oriented models, Alpinestars’ Moab gloves easily fended off branches and sticker bushes. I happened to be wearing the Moab gloves when I took a nasty spill back in May, and aside from some cosmetic damage to the rubberized graphics and minor abrasion on one palm, they remained intact (which is more than I can say for myself). Three months after the aforementioned crash, the Alpinestars gloves are still going strong.

Riders looking for a lightweight glove that still offers a modicum of protection would do well to consider Alpinestars’ Moab model. With sizes ranging from XXS all the way up to 3XL, and seven colorways to choose from, chances are there’s one that’s just right for you.

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

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…