Active Junky’s logged hundreds of miles and thousands of vertical feet in mountain biking paradise Moab, Utah. These four pieces of gear stood the test of time – just like the red rock ridges on which they were assessed.
Smith Pivlock Overdrive Sunglasses
Really, sunglasses worth this kind of money? Affirmative, as the Smith Pivlock Overdrive flew through Moab’s slickrock and single-track with a total “been there, done that” attitude that boosted rider confidence. See where you’re really going, especially at speed. The Pivlock Overdrive is the full-framed version of Smith’s competition-worthy Pivlock platform. This pair’s fit and flex under a helmet surprised seasoned riders accustomed to crash-and-burn styles lasting only a few months. Medium fit with large visual area coverage, Pivlock Overdrive came kitted out with three, easy-swap lenses for low light (even indoor), overcast and bright conditions. Superior style along with a two-position nose bridge transformed it into a riding, running, driving and traveling system that takes minimal care for maximum benefit.
Best For: High-speed high definition
Pearl Izumi Impact Short
Now this is the Pearl Izumi Active Junky’s been expecting. Any time a chamois or liner-equipped piece shows up, testers get intrigued. From extensive road cycling product testing both of men’s and women’s styles, Pearl Izumi ranks among the strongest in high-mileage cushioned support. Impact didn’t disappoint and dropped in a detachable version with 3D Tour Chamois to protect across washboard runouts, streambed rumbles and sharp-edged ridgeline traverses. A 15” inseam and more casual styling matched the soft hand of the Transfer Dry fabric. A total package with dual zippered vent pockets and zip fly, Impact is no-brainer buy for aspiring and avid riders.
Best For: High-mileage comfort
Sugoi Formula FX Glove
SUGOI, a word meaning “incredible” in Japanese, is all this company has ever aspired to be and do (no overachievers here, eh?). Yet their road and mountain products have continued to advance and excel as evidenced by the Formula FX Glove – available in full or half-finger versions. Tested in the full edition, the glove’s suited for road and mountain with high-vibration environments its sweet spot. Strategic, generous dual palm pads (V-control gel) absorbed shock as tiny ventilation ports shed heat and perspiration. The remainder of Formula FX behaved as expected from easy wrist adjustment to flow-through mesh backs. Short of full-on downhill, this glove matched all requirements with characteristic Sugoi understated style.
Best For: Gripping on summer days
Smith Forefront Helmet
The only thing that kept this product test from pure fantasy was dodging rocks, ducking branches and keeping gravity from getting the upper hand. Forefront commanded rider attention from first glance to taking it off after gritty Moab sessions where the helmet proved essential. Twenty-one port ventilation for speed and a secure, floating engineered harness inside, Forefront allowed riders to focus on the trails (such as they were) rather than overheating or fretting with constant adjustment. Smith alchemists created a Frankenhelmet with bomber strength at minimal weight (310g in medium), then tricked it out with a flight-grade adjustable/removable visor along with an integrated light mount. Sound like Active Junky’s gone way past happy with this one? Yes and so should aspiring and veteran mountain riding warriors.
Best For: Ventilation and security