Race season starts next week and my bike is ready! Not much has changed since last year, but below are a few key points I'm excited about.
Cranskins to protect the finish on our Sram XX crank arms.
Maxxis IKON tires. EXO sidewall protection will be great for rocky New England racing. This will be my second year on the Stan's 355 29er rims. They have been holding up great. Together, rotational weight is kept to a minimum.
My clever (I think so) use of two ByKyle straps. I dislike saddle bags; I like to have everything be easily accessible. I don't like putting things into a jersey pocket because it is easy to forget things and whatever might be in a jersey pocket could come out during a crash or a not so smooth bunny-hop. I have a multi-tool and a chain tool held securely in place. The chain tool has a Sram quick link inside. That stuff won't be going anywhere.
Color matching, duh. It makes you go faster...
Genuine Innovations Big Air inflator. I hate flats (who doesn't), but I feel confident that should I rip a sidewall or ride over a bed of thorns, I can get back rolling in no time. GI has the best heads; I've tried a Planet Bike and Bontrager inflator. Both, quite frankly suck (harsh, but true) because they are not controllable and are a lot more fragile. With GI, you twist on the cartridge and push the head onto the valve, it is spring loaded. If you don't need to use your whole cartridge, just take the inflator off the valve (but don't unscrew the cartridge!). It won't keep spitting out the gas, it will stop. It is not rocket science for GI, but for other companies' inflators, it is. The Big Air comes with a sweet seatpost attachment that secures the system in place. Rubber band not included, I just like to be extra safe.
Quality parts means one can focus on riding and racing!