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Dispatches : Gear

SRAMgnam Style

Component manufacturer SRAM gathered some of its biggest sponsored riders during the U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross earlier this month and proved, once and for all, that cross racers are indeed more fun than roadies. The dancing is terrible, but that's what redeems the video. Wouldn't it be even worse to find out that Chris Jones, Ryan Trebon, Tim Johnson, Todd Wells, and all these other racers can kick you around on the dance floor as readily as they can on the bike? Oh, the humanity!

Let's just hope that SRAM's latest components (think Red 2012, XX1) perform better than its dance crew.

—Aaron Gulley

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Schwagbox Goods of the Month Club for Cyclists

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Does the cyclist in your life stump you when it’s gift-giving time? Are you a rider who geeks out on trying the latest and greatest bike-related anything as soon as it becomes available?

Schwagbox, started by the guys who run Bikerumor.com, ships a selection of new cycling-related goodies to riders and triathletes each month. The package typically contains performance energy foods, chain lubes, chamois creams, and other bike and body care products engineered to make every ride better. The monthly selections are curated by the Bikerumor.com editors, so you get the latest and greatest products, many of which won’t be in your local bike shop yet because they are so new.

“As Bikerumor editors, we get to try new product constantly, and we wanted to share that opportunity with everyone that rides,” said Tyler Benedict, Bikerumor founder. “Schwagbox lets us hand pick the most exciting, best tasting, and most functional items to share from established brands as well as upstarts.”

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Picture of the Week: Stroller Camping!

Photo 4Photo: Sam Moulton

When my colleague and friend, Outside’s executive editor Sam Moulton, emailed this photo to me, I was pretty sure I was looking at the birth of a new adventure sport: sidecountry stroller camping! Like backpacking with kids—only less lugging, more rolling. Sam and two pals—Outside editor Chris Keyes and architectural designer Jonah Stanford—wheeled off with six kids, a pile of gear, and two strollers into the Sangre de Cristo mountains above Santa Fe. Here’s the story, in his words:

It was early September, and we wanted to take the kids camping. Our initial idea was car camping, but Jonah’s kids are older [eight and five] and they have their own packs. My son, Beck, was 14 months at the time and Lily was 3 1/2, so I wasn’t sure how far I’d get carrying them and all our gear. That's when we started talking—what if we loaded up the strollers and went somewhere flat and pioneered a kind of sidecountry stroller camping?

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Lowe Alpine Apparel Is Back: 3 New Pieces Not to Miss

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In 1973, Lowe Alpine was born in climber Greg Lowe’s garage. Greg and his brother Mike Lowe started the company to make the gear that Greg needed for alpine climbing, ice climbing, and expeditions that simply did not exist at that time. Mike Lowe once said, "our innovations were simply a by-product of necessity.”

It was cutting-edge stuff, some of it the most influential gear of all time. The brothers conceptualized and built the first internal frame backpack, technical climbing clothing, and a host of other alpine gear. 

Eventually the business got big, the brothers sold, and then Lowe Alpine went through a series of ups and downs that came with changes in ownership. Through all of it, Lowe Alpine maintained its reputation for excellent performance at a value price. But the brand faded from retail stores, finally disappearing in 2010.

Now Equip, the U.K.-based company that also owns Rab, is bringing Lowe Alpine back. It’s investing heavily, updating the Lowe Alpine pack and apparel design with the goal of keeping it accessible—as Lowe Alpine always was—with top notch tech at affordable prices.

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Scott Sports Announces a Brand New Line of Ski Boots

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In 1958, Sun Valley Idaho’s Ed Scott, an engineer and ski racer, invented the first tapered aluminum ski pole. The new aluminum pole replaced bamboo and steel, and launched Scott, which became a leading manufacturer of ski gear.

For Scott, categories have come and gone as the company has changed management over the past 50 years. In 1978, Scott USA went bankrupt. In 1981, the new owners decided to focus the business on ski poles and goggles, where Scott USA was a dominant player.

Recently, Scott renewed its commitment to winter sports in a big way, expanding its line into eyewear, outerwear, protection, skis, bindings (in Europe), and poles. And just today Scott announced that it will launch a new line of boots, including freeski performance, ski mountaineering, and telemark models for winter 2013/14.

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