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Dec 21, 2016 – It’s day nine of the 12 Days of Dig, and we set aside some rad products that own the top of the ranks in their element.
LOW MKI ROAD. Alloy is the undisputed champ when it comes to bang for your buck, and nowhere is this more important than at the races when a simple pileup can easily trash 50 Gs worth of carbon. But alloy ain’t sexy, unless it’s LOW. Made in San Francisco, the mki features what LOW calls FLEXshape tubing, delivering quite a traditional frame, with tubes just large enough and lines just clean enough to create a very stylish silhouette. The smooth welds and matte-black finishes give the mki an almost carbon monocoque look, and the alloy ensures the bike will get up and go when you hit the gas. $2,450 ( frameset only); lowbicycles.com
CASTELLI INFERNO BIB SHORTS. Lots of brands make jerseys for hot weather, but none better than Castelli, so why not bibs for hot weather? Called the Inferno, these bibs use six different fabrics, each designed to cool in a specific zone, like the GiroAir mesh leg-grippers and perforated side-panels. The Progetto X2 pad is ventilated with four-way stretch and all of it is hydrophobic to push sweat away from your body where it can dry. It’s so light, use of sunscreen is recommended, but it’s hydrophobic qualities also mean it’s great in bad weather, because it won’t soak up rain either. $230; castelli-cycling.com
SILCA SUPERPISTA. If you’ve had enough of crappy floor pumps giving up on you right before a club ride take a look at what pro mechanics use. No one asks more of a pump than a pro cycling team and, since 1989, one pump has dominated pro team services courses in Europe: the Silca SuperPista. And now it’s back. It has full-alloy construction, features a leather gasket, an alloy piston taken from a suspension fork, a huge, stable base and a 3-inch gauge with 2-percent accuracy. It may be pricey, but it will outlive about 10 of those crappy pumps. $235; silca.cc
F3R FCC. At just 1,395 grams, FFWD F3R full-carbon clinchers shatter the all-important 1,500-gram mark to ensure the wheels will be light and lively. And to ensure they will also be durable FFWD uses a host of technologies, from a special hi-mod strip of carbon that reinforces the rim bed to special latex bladders in molding that are specific to each rim. The resulting 30mm-deep rim is then hand built in the Netherlands with your choice of DT or FFWD hubs. The durability of these wheels is legendary in Europe. From $2,265; ffwdusa.com