Stuff that Kicks Ass- 2012 Season Edition

In honor of leaving for Interbike on Tuesday to see lots of new stuff, I figured I’d go ahead and lay out there some not-new stuff that I’m inducting into my personal “stuff that kicks ass” hall-of-fame. In no particular order…

1. Misfit Psycles. I can’t say that I’ve ever ridden one, but, even though Peter Keiller is a big, scary Canadian with veins popping out of his forehead, he is generous enough to help me out in my Interbike quest this year. He also carried Dicky around in his jersey pocket for the entirety of the Breck Epic. F-ing Heroic.
2. Maxxis Tires. One of the companies that I really liked prior to asking them if they’d be a sponsor. Their tires are some of the best in balancing tread/weight/durability, and they’ve got something for every condition. I’ve been riding a prototype tire on the front of my bike since June, and I can’t wait for the production version to come out.
3. Shimano XTR Brakes. Sure, the rest of the group is good, too, but when you compare the XTR brakes to their SRAM XX competition, there is no competition. They work great, aren’t finicky to set up and maintain, feel awesome, and don’t howl when you’re going downhill. If you’re going to spend $800 on brakes, do it with Shimano.
4. XXC Mag. One of the most visually pleasing, no-fluff periodicals you’ll ever pick up. It’s kinda like National Geographic got in to mountain bike endurance racing and removed 90% of their ads, but better. The guys that run it are pretty freakin’ cool, too.
5. Gu Roctane and Clif Turbo shot gel. I can’t decide which one I like more, but both will hit you “like a freight train like a wet paper sack” (thanks to Forrest Owens for that one).
6. Yoga. Yoga is awesome. It makes you stronger and more flexible in both mind and body. Favorite yoga “thing”? This mat: Prana Revolutions Yoga Mat
7. 2×10 mountain bike drivetrains. It should go without saying that singlespeed kicks ass, but if you are going geared, this is the hotness. SRAM and Shimano both do a good job. My personal preference is Shimano because I like the shifters and the look of it a little more than the SRAM stuff, but they both function well.
8. ENVE Carbon Meh.
9. Joe Stamp at No Regrets Tattoo. He does amazing work. Everyone should go get a tattoo from him.
10. The Arundel side-loader bottle cage. I originally got one for my Jet because the frame clearance is tight. Lo and behold, the damn things NEVER drop a bottle. I now put them on everything- including bikes that don’t need side-exit cages.
11. Thomson stems & seatposts. No frills, nothing really expensive, nothing proprietary or cheesy- just really, really good stuff that looks classy as hell on any bike. I haven’t tried the handlebars yet because I’m kinda in love with my Niner bar. Hopefully I’ll get my hands on them at Interbike, though.
12. Sodastream. Damn you, Amanda Carey, for getting me hooked on carbonated water…
13. Feeling like a rockstar when total strangers stop in Whole Foods to ask if you’re the cyclist with the blog and congratulate you for doing well in your races. Thanks, Zach… I needed the pick-me-up.

Is that all? Probably not. I’ll make another post of great things once I’ve remembered all of the cool stuff I forgot.

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