Gear Watch: New SRAM Brakes, 240mm Dropper in for Test, and a High End Hip Pack

Gear Watch Wednesday is a weekly update on the latest mountain bike gear releases and products that Singletracks has received for test. Have gear news to share, or products you’d like us to check out? Email jeff@singletracks.com.

New YT Industries Jeffsy Uncaged 8 Build

YT Industries has a new peanut butter colored Jeffsy build on offer that they’re calling Uncaged 8. The bike comes with Cane Creek suspension front and rear, a SRAM AXS wireless drivetrain and dropper, and that fork receives a travel bump above the stock Jeffsy up to 160mm.

SRAM DB8 brakes

Unlike other hydraulic disc brakes in the SRAM line, the new DB8 4-piston brakes use mineral oil for longer service intervals. They will use existing Code pads and are said to deliver Code-like power. The new brakes not only minimize the need to bleed, but they also come in at a reasonable price. This model will have its own bleed kit, specifically designed for mineral oil use.

  • Price: $137 per wheel
  • Available soon

Ortlieb Seat-Pack QR

We tested the Ortlieb 11L Seat-Pack in February and found it works well with a dropper post. Last week Ortlieb unveiled a new option — the Seat-Pack QR — that’s even more dropper-friendly and capable than the original. The key is the rigid saddle rail attachment system that allows riders to use most of their dropper post travel and minimizes bag sway. Add in a protective plastic shield on the bottom and the ability to carry up to 6kg of gear, and this 13L bag seems like a winner.

  • Price: $190.
  • Available from Ortlieb.

Tifosi Swank Glasses

Photo: Matt Miller

I had to double-check that I had the right glasses after seeing the price tag on the Tifosi Swanks. $25! Nope, not a typo, and I’m glad I remained unaware of the price tag until I reviewed them. As a bit of a self-proclaimed sunglasses snob, I’m picky when it comes to summer eyewear. I don’t want them to just look good, I want them to feel good in my hands, and on my face. The Swanks have a snappy, sturdy hinge (flimsy hinges usually signal cheap glasses), a rubberized nose, lots of color choices, and a classic look. The Swanks fit well enough without squeezing and are a great casual option for riders who don’t want techy-looking glasses.

240mm travel OneUp V2 Two Forty in for test

This is one long dropper post. With 240mm of travel, the OneUp V2 Dropper Post promises to make this tall tester happy on the trail. Out of the box, the 30.9mm sample weighs 649g plus another 111g for the remote and cable bits. Look for a full review later this spring.

Evoc 60L duffle bag

Sixty liters is the perfect bag size for adventuring and as a carry-on for airplane travel. The main pocket has ample space for clothing, pads, and miscellaneous gear. There is a larger stash pocket on the end with breathable mesh inside for a helmet or shoes and a side zipper pocket for small things like tools, sunglasses, AXS chargers, etc. The removable straps are backpack style, are easy to adjust, and have thick elastic “rubber bands” to hold any extra strap length. They also feature looped velcro fasteners as one attachment, and easy-to-undo clips as the other. The bag itself is waterproof and the zippers are bombproof. 

Evoc hydration vest

The Evoc Hydro Pro 1.5L hydration vest is exactly as it sounds: a vest that wraps around the upper portion of your back and buckles around your chest. The lightweight, flexible, and breathable Hydro Pro is designed to hug your body and stay put even amid rocky obstacles and repeated bounces. The Evoc 1.5L water bladder fits snugly in an inner hydration pocket and on the outside of the hydration pocket there is ample space for essentials like snacks, lightweight layers, and small tools. Those on the ends of the size spectrum will likely not find comfort in this vest. Though there are extra wide adjustable elastic hip wings and adjustable compression front straps, the sizing is not ideal for extra-large or extra small individuals. 

Pearl Izumi Women’s Rove Short

These casual, commuter-style bike shorts by Pearl Izumi are made mostly of lightweight organic cotton and are on the shorter side with a 5″ inseam. The five pockets (two front, two rear, and one zippered side pocket) are probably most handy when you’re not actually riding. The belt is faux but allows for adjustability and for looking a little more polished when you roll up to a lunch meeting.

Mission Workshop Axis: VX Waist Pack

This Axis: VX waterproof waist pack looks simple but is full of technical details. Don’t let the hi-vis orange fool you; the diamond weave of this bright ripstop fabric should aid in its tear and abrasion resistance. And the Fidlock belt closure (not shown) makes getting this pack on and off a snap.

Mission Workshop Toro Handlebar Bag

We couldn’t reisist a coordinating waterproof handlebar bag! The Mission Workshop Toro pack has a slightly smaller capacity than the Axis waist pack should you prefer a bag-free ride. And honestly, it makes snack access way easier. We have yet to see if it stays put on rocky trails, hopefully, my precious cookies healthy vegan energy bars won’t be bounced to bits.