First Impressions: Wolf Tooth B-RAD Double Bottle Adapter

Before hydration packs became the preferred method of carrying water and supplies, bikes had fittings for attaching water bottles. While bottle cages worked well on traditional diamond frames, cages became less practical as bicycle designs evolved over the years. When bikepacking and adventure riding became more popular, bottle cage fittings began reappearing on frames and even forks. Cool, right? Yup, until you wanted to use a frame bag and a bottle cage, or your frame was too small for high-capacity bottles. Thanks to Wolf Tooth Components’ B-RAD Double Bottle Adapter, you can satisfy your hydration and storage desires without resorting to hose clamps and duct tape.

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First Impressions: LOOK X-Track Pedals

I must admit that I have a soft spot for LOOK‘s off-road pedals. In the mid-nineties, I chose the French company’s big red S2R Moab model over Shimano’s more popular SPD. Why? More float for one. But to be completely honest, the Moabs’ glossy red finish just looked cooler than the matte-black SPDs. So when I was invited to preview LOOK’s re-entry into the MTB clipless space at last year’s Interbike trade show, I was very curious to see which direction the company would take.

GRAVELBIKE gravel grinder LOOK SPD clipless pedal 5.10
LOOK’s X-Track is also available in a dark grey finish.

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First Impressions: Goodyear Transit Tour Tires

“We’re bringing a tire brand to market in a month,” read the PR agency’s email. “I have 700 x 50 mm tires available. Would you have any interest in getting on a set?” As a self-described tire nerd, I replied immediately with an emphatic, “Hell, yes!” Opening the package from the aforementioned PR agency, I was more than a little surprised by the sight of the Goodyear winged-foot logo on the tires’ sidewalls. Yes, that Goodyear.

GRAVELBIKE gravel bike grinder goodyear transit tour tire tubeless
Image courtesy of Logan Vonbokel

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First Impressions: Lizard Skins DSP Handlebar Tape

GRAVELBIKE gravel grinder jones loop bar lizard skins dsp bar tape wrap

New bar tape is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to freshen up a tired looking bike. Unlike back in the day, modern bar tape comes in a rainbow of color choices, multiple levels of padding, and different textures for different applications. With three different thickness and a myriad of colors, Lizard Skins‘ DSP bar wrap offers something for practically any rider.

Despite the company’s reptilian name, Lizard Skins DSP tape isn’t made from actual lizard skin. DSP stands for DuraSoft Polymer, which the company claims offers unmatched levels of comfort, control and responsiveness. Knowing that one thickness doesn’t necessarily work for all riders, Lizard Skins offers DSP tape in 1.8 mm, 2.5 mm, and 3.2 mm thicknesses ($41.99-$49.99 MSRP). Each thickness also features its own unique texture, further enhancing grip and comfort.

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First Impressions: Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch Shoes

If you ride off-road and use clipless pedals, Pearl Izumi probably has a shoe for you. Boasting no less than a dozen SPD-compatible models, the Colorado-based company offers kicks to suit everyone from XC racers to Enduro wannabes. And now, with the introduction of the new X-Alp Launch model, flat pedal riders can get in on the action.

Judging by the Launch’s slim profile and understated appearance, you might mistake the X-Alp for another urban or recreational shoe. While the Launch certainly ticks those boxes, Pearl Izumi designed the X-Alp to handle the abuse of all-mountain riding. From the dual-density Vibram® sole to the seamless upper, the Launch delivers the comfort and support you need for all-day riding.

GRAVELBIKE.com gravel bike gravel grinder pearl izumi x alp launch
The X-Alp Launch shown in the black/shadow grey colorway.

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