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  1. Team SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing let us into their camp to reveal what they take along on a typical stage of the Absa Cape Epic. A view from the top: Some of the seldom seen elements for success at SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing. Yes, that's a saddle bag - a Topeak Weatherproof Dynawedge to be precise. Fitted to none other than XCO World and Olympic Champ Nino Schurter's bike. Not something you'd see the team sporting in an XCO, but at the Cape Epic the riders need to be self sufficient. This pouch houses a spare Maxxis tube, with a little extra room to slot in other small items. This Topeak Mini 20 Pro multitool is not shy of tools. With 23 functions it sports allen wrenches up to 10mm, T10 & T25 Torx wrenches, screw drivers, spoke wrenches, emergency tire levers, and a chain tool. Oh, and a bottle opener for good measure. The team also carry a pump along, mounted in the conventional spot adjacent to the bottle cage. This Peak DX II from Topeak is designed for mountain biking and adds just 155 grams. Scott's MTB RC shoes are their top end model, designed for stiffness through the carbon outsole and light weight. It fastens using two Boa IP1 systems. Protecting their heads is the Scott Centric Plus helmet. It's an aerodynamic, yet well vented helmet which features MIPS for added safety. Keeping it simple: CO2 canister with the Topeak adapter attached, wrapped in some duct tape which secures a few cable ties - both of which can prove very useful for mechanical quick fixes. A spare chain link is neatly tucked beneath the Garmin mount straps. Swiss Sports Nutrition brand SPONSER provide sustenance during the racing. We spotted their High Energy bar, a tube of Liquid Energy gel, Energy Gums and Electrolyte Tablets. Oakley EVZero Shades GoPro Hero Session Garmin Edge 1000 A Sahmurai Sword tyre plug tool tucked neatly into the crank axel. Another Sahmurai Sword to be packed in a pocket. Now take a look at Nino Schurter's race bike in our Bikes of the Epic feature.
  2. The idea behind designing and manufacturing a floor pump seems simple. Build one that will inflate a wheel and have a reliable, trustworthy gage. You only have to look at Topeak's range of floor pumps to realise it's not that easy, especially when taking the added demands of mountain bikers into consideration. Enter Topeak's JoeBlow Mountain. Click here to view the article
  3. With this dedicated mountain bike floor pump Topeak have managed to take all the lessons learned from their standard JoeBlow and listened to the needs of mountain bikers. For starters the barrel diameter has been increased from 30mm on the JoeBlow Sport to 44.4mm. This means bigger volume with every stroke, so you will need fewer strokes to inflate your tires. Inflating a 2.35 tire from flat to 40psi takes 23 strokes vs 51 with the JoeBlow Sport. I've had mine for over a year and am yet to meet a tire it won't inflate or mount from completely flat which makes mounting UST tires a breeze. TwinHead switches between Presta and Schrader; the JoeBlow Mountain's 44mm barrel next to its smaller sibling SpecificationsHead: TwinHeadBarrel: Painted Steel Gauge: Base Mount Analog Hose: X-Long Pressure Tuning: Air Release Button Handle: Oversize Padded Capacity: 75 psi / 5 bar Base: Composite Added Features: Ball/Bladder Heads, Hose Dock Size (L x W x H): 17 x 23 x 69 cm Weight: 1.74 kgs Another stand-out feature is the dedicated mountain bike gage that only reads to 5 bar/75psi compared to the Sport's 11 bar/160 psi. This saves on valuable display "space" which means you will be able to fine tune your tire pressure better as the increments are smaller and therfor a lot more readible on it. In a world where 5 psi can make all the difference this is a big bonus. Then there's the usual Topeak features. The Double-sided TwinHead™ works with Presta or Schrader valves by flipping it over. No need to swop out the inners or carry extra bits around with you. The head has an easy to use leaver that locks the head in place and opens the valve to inflate the tyre. A built-in air release valve makes it easy to fine tune even further. The pump has a wide composite base to keep it stable trail-side. The hose is extra long and there are guides at the top of the barrel with a hose dock at the bottom to keep it secure. The handle is oversized and padded, mimicking mountain bike grips. The mountain bike parents among us will be glad to hear it also ships with a pin to inflate soccer or rugby balls. In the endAn affordable, reliable, well thought out floor pump that keeps going year after year. It makes pumping up MTB tyres that much easier and does away with most of the gauge that you won't ever use. For those with tubeless tyre setups, this is surely something to look at, as it could do away with the need for compressors once and for all. The Topeak JoeBlow™ Mountain is available from your local bike shop. For more info email supercyc@icon.co.za
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