Tire manufacturers often seem to fall into one of two camps–either they offer a dizzying array of models and variations, or they concentrate on a small number of core designs for specific use cases. With just six models in its current lineup, Terrene Tires finds itself ensconced in the latter camp. While initially making a name for themselves with knobby and mixed-terrain designs, Terrene recently added a dedicated touring model–the Honali–to its collection.
What differentiates Terrene’s Honali ($60.00 MSRP) from other touring tires? Tubeless compatibility, for one. While tubeless technology is a given in the MTB universe, true tubeless-compatible touring tires are relatively rare. And unlike most of Terrene’s other tires, the Honali forgoes the company’s Light (120 TPI casing) option in favor of Tough (60 TPI, TekShield) and DuraTough versions (60 TPI, TekShield+). Available in 700 x 40 and 700 x 50 (tested) sizes, both versions feature black sidewalls with reflective strips for added visibility.
As a self-admitted tire geek, I spend a fair amount of time swapping and inflating tires. And even though I have a small air compressor, I prefer floor pumps for their convenience and quiet operation. Note that I said pumps, as in plural. In addition to a high-volume pump for fat and plus tires, I also rely on a second, high-pressure pump for skinnier tires. Yes, it’s possible to use one pump for every type of tire, but that compromise usually translates into an absurd number of strokes for high-volume tires or a herculean effort for high-pressure rubber. But now, with the introduction of Topeak’s JoeBlow™Twin Turbo floor pump ($199.95 MSRP), tire nerds can rely on a single floor pump for all their inflation needs.
Thanks to their adoption by mountain bikers, BMXers, and urban riders, flat pedals have enjoyed a major resurgence in popularity. Unlike those oldschool platform pedals, modern flats deliver vastly improved grip and performance that often rivals their clipless counterparts. One key contributor to flat pedals’ performance is size. Bigger platforms offer additional support, which translates into better grip and more comfort. Unfortunately, bigger almost always means heavier. It’s not uncommon for a pair of MTB-style pedals to weigh 400 grams or more. To reduce the weight, manufacturers often scale down the platform size (reducing traction) or utilize exotic materials (increasing cost). But Taiwanese pedal giant Xpedo flips the script by offering weight-conscious riders an affordable option with the company’s $79 SPRY platform model.