Week in Tech: Kuat RackDock, featherweight Canyon Neuron, new Sidi shoes
Here’s your Week in Tech — all of the gear news you need, none of the marketing gibberish you don’t want.
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Kuat’s RackDock is rack storage made simple
I wish this product had been released a week earlier, before I wrestled with big-box store bike hooks to hang my hitch-mounted bike rack in the garage. Kuat’s RackDock simplifies that process by providing a docking station in which you’ll slide your rack for wall-mounted storage. Mount the RackDock to your garage or shed wall (make sure it’s secured to a wooden stud; RackDock isn’t made to mount to concrete or metal studs) no more than 24 inches off the ground, and you’ve got a parking spot for your unused bike rack. It will work with 2-inch racks and 1 1/4-inch racks and will hold up to 100 pounds. While it’s ideal for holding up your rack, the RackDock will not support a rack loaded up with bikes, so it should not be considered a bike storage solution. The RackDock will cost $68 and will begin shipping sometime by the end of the year.
Canyon continues its lightweight pursuit into MTB
The Neuron CF SLX 9.0 LTD follows in the footsteps of Canyon’s road featherweight, the Ultimate CF SLX, in pursuit of lightweight glory. The Neuron CF SLX weighs 250 grams less than the Neuron SF SL, making it Canyon’s top of the line Neuron offering. According to Canyon, the frame weighs 2,280 grams (size medium, without shock and axle), and the entire build tips the scales at just 25.8 pounds. The weight savings comes from the 40T unidirectional carbon, which Canyon says also increases tensile strength. A special finish celebrates the engineering behind the carbon layup with a “tinted black” color, which shows off the weave beneath. The Neuron fits in the trail category, with 130mm of travel and a Shimano XT 1×12 drivetrain. Perhaps most strikingly, the Neuron CF SLX 9.0 LTD costs $6,500, which is less expensive than similarly spec’d bikes in this category.
Sidi’s Defender 20 Trail shoe goes nice with that Canyon up there…
Long renowned for its XC and road shoes, Sidi has responded to the growth of the trail MTB category with the Defender 20 trail shoes. The Defenders feature a firm inner sole for support and power transfer, while the outsole is a medium-soft material to increase grip and pedaling feel. The single-dial Tecno-3 dial system snugs up the shoe; just pop open the handle and turn to tighten, then pinch the metal tabs to release. Sidi also includes its plastic heel cup for pedaling stability and support, as well as pull tabs on the tongue and heel to make it easy to pull the shoes off after your ride. The perforated Politex upper is a green-certified product, too (according to EU regulations), so Sidi has an eye on environmental consciousness too. The Defenders are available in sizes 41-48 for $225.
Enve restarts its Trade-in, Trade-up program
The bike industry sure does love to shake up its “standards” a bit too often. Fortunately, if you’ve got a set of carbon wheels kicking around that no longer fit your bike, or if you need to switch from rim brakes to disc, or just want the most modern tech, you can trade in your old hoops and get a credit toward a new set of Enve wheels. You can choose from the Enve M series, G series, or SES road wheels. If you’re trading in a set of Enve wheels, you’ll get a $900 credit; if you’re trading in non-Enve carbon wheels, you’ll receive a $600 credit toward the purchase of new Enve wheels. The wheels you send to Enve will be refurbished, resold, recycled, or donated to various programs in developing nations, high school mountain bike leagues, and more. You can trade your wheels in at a local Enve dealer or online from now until January 3, 2020.
Wolf Tooth uses dead space in your handlebars for EnCase tools
Believe it or not, there’s plenty of room in your handlebars that goes unused. Wolf Tooth now uses it as a home for its EnCase tool system, which includes a storage sleeve and and tools designed to store in that dead space. The EnCase system works with MTB handlebars or drop bars, and the storage sleeve is designed to not only keep the tool’s various parts secured, but also to protect your bars from scrapes and damage when you’re inserting or removing the tool. You can buy the tools individually or as a set; there’s a chain tool and tire plug system in one tool, and a multi-tool hex bit wrench and bits in the other. There’s extra space in the sleeves themselves to store a master link or a valve core, too. The EnCase system Bar Kit One includes all the tools and sleeves for $120.