Looking for the best all-around snowboard for the Midwest? Point your eyeballs in the direction of the Burton Custom Flying V and be prepared to rock out harder than ZZ Topp the next time you shred.
For those of you not in the habit of following the trends in snowboard design you’d be forgiven for feeling slightly overwhelmed when confronted with the dizzying list of technology packed onto a snowboard nowadays: Dualzone EDG? Pro-Tip? Frostbite Edges? But don’t worry, we’re going to break it all down and see what’s behind the buzzwords.
Let’s start at the beginning: the name. Flying V comes from the fact that when viewed on edge, this board has a subtle but distinct shape to it; from the middle out the tips the board forms a “vee” shape. It’s actually closer to a “W” but Flying W? nah… This vee shape is actually a combination of “rocker” and “camber” which describe the shape of the board. “Rocker” bends the board up, like the curved rocker on your grandma’s rocking chair; a “rocker” board is going to float over the snow and have a fun ride but not a lot of speed, while “camber” bends the board in the opposite direction, almost like the shape of a bow, and the ride is almost opposite as well, lots of grip and speed but also harder riding.
By utilizing aspects of both “rocker” and “camber”, Burton is able to give the board plenty of float and the ability to cruise while also giving it responsive turning and the ability to carve with control. Add to that the fact that the board is symmetrical and you get a board that’s as home in the half-pipe as it is on the slopes.
The wood and composite cores of snowboards has undergone a huge leap in technology with companies using different types of wood in specific parts of the board to gain qualities. The Custom Flying V uses strips of wood along the nose and tail running in the opposite direction of the main board to add responsiveness and strength with a technology they call Dualzone EDG. Additionally, Burton layers carbon fiber throughout the board to increase responsiveness and cut weight.
Like many sports, improving speed is all about shaving weight and increasing control and Burton does that through thinning out the tip and tail, called Pro-Tip; this also reduces swing weight if your so inclined to uncork some rotations. Finally, control is improved through the use of Frostbite – essentially tuning the metal edges of the board to improve its “bite” against icy conditions and turning. This combination of design and materials allows for todays boards to have nicer ride qualities and more durability than ever before. Wrapping the whole package in killer graphics never hurts either! Stop by your local ERIK’S and check out a Burton Custom Flying V today!
Ride your board the way it is meant to be ridden, no matter what the terrain with the Union Contact Pro Snowboard Bindings. Coming in at only 720g, the Contact Pro is one of the lightest bindings out there and is sure to give you a flawless fluid feeling as you power down the mountain.
With a 5% board-to-binding footprint and softer flex, this binding will give you total freedom and a surfy board feel. The Contact Pro Mini Disc reduces interference with your board’s true flex. This provides you with a more natural response. Right out of the box, the Contact Pro comes with the proper discs to make it compatible with both the 4×4 system and The Channel.
Even though these bindings are light weight with a softer flex, they are still strong. The Contact Pro Bindings use the Duraflex technology to add strength in critical areas of the base. Union’s exclusive Duraflex technology was developed and engineered specifically for cold temperatures and is ultimate in durability and performance. There are three different versions of the Duraflex base plate, Duraflex CB, Duraflex ST and Duraflex, each providing a variety of flex and response. The Contact Pro comes with the Duraflex ST base plate. This base plate is responsive by design but has added stiffness in specific areas to provide you with a high level of performance.
Adding to the list of features, this binding also includes the Vaporlite bushing system. The Vaporlite2.0 bushing system is the same type of closed cell foam that is often featured in high-end running shoes. This foam in the Contact Pro allows for natural canting and premium shock absorption even in cold temperatures. So no matter what the terrain, you’re sure to have a cushioned ride.
Also added this year to the Contact Pro is the ultra grip toe strap, providing you with a secure fit. Like all Union Bindings, the Contact Pro comes with the three way adjustable heel cup, shift on the fly forward lean, toolless adjustable toe and ankle straps and lifetime warranty on the base plate and heel cup.
Looking to keep riding as the mercury plummets? Subzero temperatures and icy conditions are no match for the serious traction and control of 45NRTH’s studded fat bike tire: the Dillinger.
45NRTH wrote the book on cold-weather cycling and the Dillinger adds a new chapter to that already impressive tome.
The Dillinger boasts 240 carbide-tipped, replaceable studs that feature a concave (read: indented) surface. Why is that a big deal? The concavity means that these studs are self-sharpening; as material is worn away on the edge the cutting area remains sharp, ensuring great traction through the life of the tire.
Furthermore, the studs are grouped towards on the edges of the tread pattern where the tread spacing is wider, giving you the grippiest grip through the trickiest switchbacks. While in the center of the tire the treads are more tightly packed to ensure speedy descents and clean lines all the way down.
45 NRTH offers two versions of the Dillinger; the 4 and the 5, named for their respective widths. The Dillinger 4 is available in a foldable, ultralight 120 threads per inch (also known as TPI, which is a measure of the number of threads impregnated into the rubber of the tire. More threads means higher flexibility but also, generally, a higher price tag.) and a more economical wire-bead 33 TPI tire. The 33 TPI tire swaps out the aluminum concave studs for a two-piece steel construction – saving you money without sacrificing traction! The Dillinger 5 has over 250 studs and is only available in the 120 TPI model. The Dillinger 4 is available in a stud-less option as well.
All that traction does come with a trade-off: weight. The Dillingers weigh in around 1,400 grams without the studs. When you consider that this tire offers way more control on ice and hard pack than anything else out there though that weight is a pretty fair trade-off for the traction in my book. So, if you’re looking to keep riding through the nastiest parts of winter, stop by your local ERIK’S and check out the Dillinger from 45 NRTH.
Scott has come out with one of the best all-around downhill ski poles, the Team Issue Ski Pole. This pole is tough on the hills but easy on the wallet. The Team Issue Ski Pole is packed with great technology that is sure to show when you are out on the slopes.
This sleek looking pole is constructed with aircraft grade aluminum alloy. The S4 Aluminum is the strongest commercially available aluminum and rates up to 75,000 PSI. Attached to the top of this strong aluminum shaft is the anatomically engineered Notch Strike Grip. This grip is soft, lightweight and streamlined for proper wrist movement. So you can nail textbook perfect downhill tucks and grabs. The grip also contains their Lite Straps, for lightweight comfort and function.
The Scott Team Issue Ski Pole comes with a 3.6 disc basket that is designed to blend aerodynamic efficiency and durability. It is tipped with a Carbon Diamond tip that can withstand some of the harshest abuse. So if you are looking for a well designed pole that will last this season and the next, the Scott Team Issue Ski Pole is for you.
Now that winter has finally gotten to the Midwest it’s time to hit the snow-covered trails and have some fun! As anyone who’s ridden when the mercury is low can attest to – frozen hands are seemingly unavoidable but mittens and gloves are bulky and interfere with shifting and braking.
45NRTH has the solution: the Cobrafist pogie.
CobraFists are pogies, which are essential enormous mittens that enclose your shift/brake clusters on your handlebars and create a warm, microclimate for your hands! (For those of you wondering, the name pogie comes from the purported inventor of this winter accessory who originally made them for kayaking back in the 70s and wanted a ridiculous name so he settled on the name of a bait fish…) With a pair of pogies installed you can ride with only lightweight liner gloves and still have a warm, dry enclosure. Plus it can keep your shifters and brakes from freezing up!
If you aren’t familiar with 45NRTH, they make serious winter cycling apparel and accessories and the 45NRTH Cobrafists are as serious as they come. Made with PrimaLoft’s highest rated synthetic insulation, the Eco Gold is made from at least 60% recycled fibers. Originally designed for the U.S. Army, PrimaLoft insulation is now used by many high-end companies looking for superior insulation. Unlike traditional down insulation, PrimaLoft continues to insulate even when wet.
The Cobrafists protect this insulation by wrapping it in a shell of very tough 600D nylon. Additionally the pogies make use of two zippered vents when your mitts get a little too toasty. There’s even an inner pocket to store nutrition for easy access when you’re riding!
Good for any fear bar setup 650mm and wider the Cobrafists attach through a bar-end mount and have elastic drawstring closures for optimum warmth retention.
Strike fear into Old Man Winter with 45NRTH’s overbuilt winter riding pogies.
As the weather continues to get colder, it is inevitable that our skin will get dry and chapped. And if you are the type to spend your days outside in the winter, then the problem seems to be worst. Well, Warm Skin is the fix to that problem.
Warm Skin works as a barrier to lock in moisture and your own natural body heat. This prevents water loss and keeps your skin warm. It also moisturizes keeping the skin pliable and healthy even in harsh conditions. Warm Skin works all year round and can also be used to prevent chaffing. Warm Skin is great for those who spend a lot of time outdoors in the winter, are active or for those who get dry, chapped skin.
NiteRider continues to move forward with their top selling bike light, the Lumina. This year they have upped the lumen output to 800 and have added a multi functional digital display. The Lumina OLED 800 is going to function similarly to the Lumina 750, but with a brighter beam. The key difference is the addition of the display screen. This display screen shows you battery life, what light mode you are using and how long your light will last in that light mode. You also have the option to turn off the display screen if you so choose. There are three levels of steady light and 4 flash modes. So there is a light mode for every situation.
Feedback on the Lumina OLED 800 has been positive with users really liking the multi functional display screen. Riders say it is user friendly, shows useful information and is easy to use with winter gloves on (a good feature for those dark, cold, Midwest winter commutes to work). The lockout feature is another trait that is well liked by users. The lockout feature allows you to lock the buttons so the light doesn’t accidentally get turned on if you put it in your bag or somewhere where it might get bumped. The video below shows the different features on the light and how to use it.
Now you can live large without breaking the bank with Burton’s Women’s Society Snowboard Pant. This high end snowboarding pant gives you the premium performance that you are looking for but doesn’t come at a premium price.
This best selling women’s snowboard pant comes with Burton’s best in class DRYRIDE waterproofing. The name DRYRIDE says it all, this technolgy is designed to keep you drier longer and more comfortable so you can spend more time outside.
Another cool feature of the Women’s Society Pant is that the THERMOLITE® insulation is bluesign® approved. The bluesign® system is a sustainable textile production that removes harmful materials right away from the manufacturing process. So everything that is bluesign® approved has been safely produced and is environmentally friendly. So enjoy mother nature with a environmentally conscious and sustainable product.
Other key features to add to the laundry list are the inner thigh vents to dump heat when temperatures rise, snow blocking boot gaiters to keep the snow out of your boots and Cuff Elevators to protect the bottoms from dirt and pavement.
Kids these days get all the fun toys. Plus size tires on adult bikes are making ground with intermediate and beginner riders. So it seems only fitting that plus size tires would now be incorporated on kids bikes. The Specalized Riprock is the first of it’s kind kids bikes with plus size tires. Rolling in with a 2.8 inch wide Big Roller tire, this bike is offered in both 24″ and 20″ wheel diameters.
The wider tire provides a larger contact patch which benefits you with better traction, more stability and better stopping power. The Riprock also comes equipped with disc brakes and a front suspension fork.
Now kids can bike anywhere and mow over obstacles with ease. The Riprock is sure to boost rider’s confidence and adventure.
Looking for an affordable carbon fatbike? Well look no futher, the all new Heller Bloodhound is here!
Quality Bike Parts (QBP) comes through with another well built bike brand and this time it is a carbon fat bike. The Heller Bloodhound is not only easy on the eyes but on the wallet as well. This sleek looking bike is designed for the adventurer who wants something fancy, but not something that is going to break the bank.
This sleek looking bike is fully carbon and comes stock with the rugged 4.5 inch wide tires and rack mounts, making it ideal for any epic adventure. The Bloodhound is also available with the Bluto fork. Below is the full spec list.