Welcome to our weekly roundup of small parts, gear & accessories reviews. These are the things we’ve tried and (mostly) liked, and can quickly convey their merits in a few paragraphs. This week we reviewed:
- Unite Co Chain Guide & Bash Guard
- Muc-Off Tire Sealant
- KX3 Carbon Computer Mount
- Uncharted Supply Co. Triage Kit
Unite Co Chain Guide & Bash Guard
Review by Jessie-May Morgan: Before heading out to race the Zermatt EWS, I needed to make my Cannondale Jekyll race bike as bombproof as possible – Zermatt is known for its gnarly rocky terrain, and general trail savagery. Enter the chain guide and bash guard combo from Unite Co.
In addition to the first round of the 2020 Enduro World Series, I also rode the downhill tracks in Pila, Aosta, featuring very high speed hard-pack terrain littered with braking bumps. Ultimate chain dropping territory. I’m pleased to report that the Unite Co Chain Guide served me well, keeping my chain on the chainring with no drama.
I ran a 30T chain ring, though it will fit 28T-36T chainrings, too. Unite Co says it is compatible with oval rings, though we didn’t test this. Included plastic spacers let me center the chain guide over my chainring with sufficient spacing on either side no matter what cassette cog you’re in.
The Unite Co bash guard served me well. It is important to remember that these are very much disposable items and, well… ours has now been disposed of. Thanks to some particularly poor line choices on my part, the bash guard was smashed off the high alpine rock edges and bent in the process.
The CNC machined 6082 Aluminium bash guard served its purpose of protecting my chainring. Importantly, it didn’t snap to leave behind unwanted trail trash and it didn’t bend so much as to interfere with the smooth running of the chainring. It stayed fixed in its place via the ISCG tabs and continued to protect my chain ring for the duration of the race. The Unite Co V2 chain guide will set you back £39.99. Pick up the bash guard for £24.99.
Muc-Off No Puncture Tire Sealant
Review by Tyler Benedict: Most tire sealants work well enough these days, and gone are the fears of ruining rims or tires if you choose the wrong one. So it takes a little more to stand out, and Muc-Off’s No Puncture Tubeless Tire Sealant finds a couple ways to do just that.
First, it’s thick enough to coat the tire as you roll it around. A lot of sealants immediately run back down to the bottom and pool, but Muc-Off’s seems to really coat the inside of the tire, as you can see in the image above.
But that’s not the best part. Each pouch and bottle comes with a UV light, which makes the UV dye glow. This makes it incredibly easy to spot leaks and punctures if they’re too small to find. It blends in multi-sized microfiber particles to help seal different sized punctures, too, and so far so good while riding.
Even the packaging helps it stand out, with resealable (and refillable!) pouches being perfectly sized to stuff in a pack or jersey pocket. Grab one, then purchase their larger 1L or 5L canisters to refill it. Prices range from $9.99 to $153.99 MSRP. Available direct and on JensonUSA.
KX3 Carbon Cycling Computer Mount
Review by Tyler Benedict: Upstart KX3 Sports’ founders Joe Savola and Kristin Armstrong took their prior experiences in racing and manufacturing to create a new short-reach, out-front GPS cycling computer mount. Using forged carbon fiber with softened edges, it’s 100% safe for carbon handlebar…and its matte finish blends perfectly with modern bike frames and cockpits.
Their first model, the KX1, is a short-reach mount designed for smaller cycling computers like the Wahoo Bolt/Mini and Garmin’s smaller units (not the 1000 series). That said, I was able to force my Wahoo ROAM into place, and it puts it almost flush with the stem’s faceplate…which I liked. Alternatively, I could have simply popped the computer on and then bolted the mount to the bar, which is worth considering if you want a similarly tight, nearly gap-free placement.
At $64.95, it’s among the pricier options available, but also the only one that’s full carbon with titanium hardware and has this look. It’s also rock solid. Check them out at KX3sports.com.
Uncharted Supply Co. Triage Kit
Review by Tyler Benedict: I’ve always dropped a first aid kit into my hydration packs for mountain bike rides. The new Uncharted Supply Co. Triage Kit helps me do the same for road and gravel rides, too…except it slips into a jersey pocket and weighs next to nothing. Which means it’s also the perfect little kit to drop in a hip pack, too.
Designed with a mix of emergency and medical supplies, it’s a “bare essentials” kit with room to add a few items based on your personal needs. The pouch is made of coated, surplus rip-stop military parachute material and uses a roll-top, Velcro closure. This makes it highly water resistant, and a small reflective hook tab on the top adds a point of visibility when it’s sticking out of your jersey pocket.
The entire thing weighs under 150g and is just barely bigger than an iPhone XS Max with case. Contents include:
- Duct Tape & Zip Ties
- Waterproof Storm Matches
- Emergency Blanket
- Lubricating Jelly
- Safety Pins
- Wound Closure Strips, Fabric Bandages, Blister Bandages
- Bailing Wire
Fortunately, I haven’t had to use it yet, but it’s pocket-sized peace of mind that carries no penalty for bringing along. Retail is $62 (on Black Friday Sale now for $40.30).
That’s it for this week. Tune in each weekend for more mini reviews!
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