Once the high country melts here in Santa Fe, it’s singletrack 24/7 in the Land of Enchantment. Santa Fe is a MTB town with trails accessible right from your front door. Because of this accessibility, I put a lot of miles on my gear in our summer season. I wanted to offer a quick rundown of some of my favorite new accessories and apparel items I’ve enjoyed over the past few months…
100% NORVIK Sunnies $195
When I’m not wearing Ombraz or those new 44RN sunnies, I’ve been enjoying these 100% NORVIK shades. They’re not my usual m.o., as someone who prefers to wear a more classic silhouette in black or earth tones, but the lavender lenses provide great color contrast and clarity on the trails. They provide 100% UV protection, and I like the little side vent wings under the arms. The lenses are Ultra HD made from crack and chemical-resistant material and have a scratch-resistant coating.
These check a lot of boxes for me. Plus, a little color never hurt anyone. What’s most important about these glasses is that they cover my skin cancer scar, so even if I forget to re-apply sunblock, the shades keep the sun from baking the scar area.
These were sent to me by 100%…
Even in the summer heat, I wear long sleeve shirts when I ride. Primarily to save my arms from UV radiation and to shield them from over-reaching piñon branches. My go-to shirts have been the Mission Workshop merino long sleeves, which they’ve had discontinued for many years now, and as they have worn out, I’ve been looking for replacements.
I don’t like “tech” fabrics as much as merino wool. Mostly because I’ll wear the same merino shirt four or five times between washes, and tech fabrics tend to stink after one ride. Yet, Foehn apparel uses a Polartec blend in its Cortes shirt that stays cool in the heat, wicks sweat, and remarkably doesn’t get stinky after one ride.
The fabric has a stretchiness, with a split side with a gusset, minimal branding, and fits my large frame quite nicely. These shirts are on sale for $34.97, and I can’t speak highly enough. I just bought my second shirt today!
ORNOT Mission Shorts – Obsidian $118.00
It’s getting harder and harder to find MUSA apparel that lasts, looks great on the bike and off, and won’t completely shred your savings. Granted, $118 isn’t as cheap as a pair of Dickies, but the stretch fabric, strong stitching, perfect fit, and resilience to trail burn (aka wrecking) quickly made these some of my favorite shorts. I crashed the hardest I’ve ever fallen in recent years in these exact shorts and they still look new. I have two pairs – one in black and one in grey – I’ve bought over the past year or so and cannot emphasize enough how much I love them.
I now own three pairs of the Five Ten Trailcross shoes! One pair of the Gore-Tex for winter riding, the mids in a flat pedal configuration, and now these low TrailCross Clipless shoes. They’re a mix between what feels like a trail running or hiking shoe with features that make them perfect for mountain biking. With a deep heel cup, a wide sole, laces, and an inner neoprene ‘sock’, they don’t require unlacing to slip on.
The velcro closure is all you need to open to slide these on. The best part is they dry out fast, which is perfect for our trails here with water crossings. I’m sold on the TrailCross line and was more than stoked to buy them from my local shop, Sincere Cycles.
As y’all saw (I love how that phrase sounds) with my Ritchey Tam build and review, I love converting these old mountain bikes to tubeless with Ultradynamico Mars tires. The main issue I’ve had is the sealant not forming a proper bead seal, causing them to go flat if they sit for a week or so. Usually a floor pump will get them rolling again, but it has been an issue with that bike in particular. I tried Orange Seal, Stans, and WTB sealant but it was this kevlar reinforced Fiberlink sealant from Finish Line that fixed the issue for me. I finally pumped it into this one pesky wheel and it’s solved the issue completely. The kevlar fibers in the sealant get into all the nooks and crannies, forming a stronger seal. When your rims aren’t “tubeless ready,” this helps a lot!
Finish Line sent this in with a few other products for testing…
Wolf Tooth 6-Bit Hex Kit $39.95
The Wolf Tooth 6-Bit is a solution to a problem I’ve felt with bigger, bulkier multi tools. I cannot emphasize how compact and small the 6-bit is and how easy-to-use its bits are. This is one item that I didn’t think I’d use all that often but ended up carrying just about everywhere. It stays in my riding pack but gets used just about every ride as I adjust either my stem position or whathaveyou. It’s slim, small, relatively easy to use with gloves, and thanks to the magnetic closure, stays neat and orderly as it jostles around my hip pack with Sour Patch Kids, sunblock, and other random riding accouterments. I’ve found the short handle still offers enough leverage to swap your pedals out with the 8mm.
The 6-Bit comes with 11 functions, which include: 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm hex bits; a flat head #3.5 and Phillips #2 screwdrivers; and T10 and T25 Torx-compatible bits. All bits are ED-coated and corrosion-resistant. These little bits are held nicely in place thanks to the power of magnets. If you lose a bit or two, Wolf Tooth also offers replacements!
I bought my 6-Bit Hex Kit from Sincere Cycles here in Santa Fe.
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