Our top MTB kit from 2015 | Editors Choice

December 23rd, 2015

By Andrew Dodd in Features

Factory Jackson’s top MTB kit from 2015

This year has been ultra hectic for us, and with nearly 6 weeks out the country shredding amazing trails we wanted to take a look back at the top MTB kit we’ve been most impressed by.

Below are the best 16 products that have helped us assemble bikes, repair them out on the trail and put the miles down…


Product Full Name |  Specialized 2Fo clipless shoe

Retail Price | £130

Available From |  Specialized UK 

Specialized 2FO Clipless - top MTB kit

Photo | Simon Nieborak

Although it looks like a skate shoe, the 2Fo Clipless has the best feeling sole of all the flat style shoes we’ve tested. Granted, it’s not amazing for hiking, and the laces get coated in filth quickly – but purely down to comfort and how damned good this shoe feels on the pedal, it’s a winner for us. Even in foul conditions we still find ourselves reaching for it as it manages to dry fast, unlike others.

The sole is also one of the few that works equally well on a minimal SPD pedal, or a full size Crank Brothers Mallet. The sole itself really is bloody good – and it makes the shoe an essential wherever we go these days, although we’ve been using the far louder Troy Brosnan editions in the Mango colour more!


Product Full Name | Weldtite tyre repair kit

Retail Price | £6.99

Available From | Weldtite UK  top MTB kit

Although tubeless tyres work great, you can still puncture the tyre itself enough that the sealant won’t work. If this happens you can fit a tube and repair the tyre once home – or use one of these little blighters, which have become a racing accessory on the enduro scene as they plug the hole rapidly, getting you back on the trail faster.

The system uses a special sticky rubber ‘worm’ that is pushed in to the hole using a mounting fork and a serrated  reaming tool to make sure the hole is big enough. There is also a knife included in this set, and vulcanising solution for making a more permanent repair.

Although this system is great, and good value for money, racers might prefer the Sahmurai Sword version, which is loaded and stored in the end of your bars for rapid use in a race. The designer of the system can fix a hole in just 20seconds with the Sahmurai Sword kit.


Product Full Name | Airshot tubeless inflation system

Retail Price | £59.95

Available From | Airshot top MTB kit - Airshot

Installing and inflating tubeless tyres can be a right ball ache if you don’t have a decent tyre and rim combination. The most common system would be a compressor, although the size and cost of that system isn’t for everyone.

The Airshot is a canister that you charge up with a conventional pump – or even a mini pump – and you can dump the air in to your tyre with the flick of a switch, instantly sealing and inflating the tyre. It’s incredibly effective and is safer than the home made versions that can be bodged with empty drinks bottles.

If you’re in the market for a new track pump, both Topeak and Bontrager make pumps with this pressure system in place, but we like the fact that the Airshot is compact and can be used with any pump – so it’s ideal to chuck in the bike bag with a mini pump for alpine adventures.  Check our review out here.


Product Full Name | TLD Ruckus 3/4 sleeve jerseys

Retail Price | £44.99

Stockist Details | Troy Lee Designs

top MTB kit - Troy Lee Designs Ruckus

Photo | Callum Jelley

I’m not usually the biggest fan of 3/4 sleeve jerseys, but since slicing my elbow up in France a couple of years back I tend to wear elbow pads quite a bit these days. Which can look a bit cack if theres a gap between pad and shirt sleeves. Kind of like the dreaded twat gap if your shorts are too short.

Anyhow, the cut on the TLD Ruckus jersey is fairly tailored, to the arms sit close to your elbows and don’t flap around. The fabric, colours and overall feel is bang on too – and once used to the longer sleeves they can keep you cooler on a hot day as the sun doesn’t bake your skin. They also help keep brambles away from enduro elbows.


Product Full Name | Evoc CP26 Camera bag

Retail Price | £219.95

Available From | Silverfish 

Evoc CP26 Camera Bag

Photo | Callum Jelley

I’ve been using this camera bag for over a year now, and it’s been every where with me carrying my laptop, camera and a bunch of lenses and spares.

Some photographers will need a bigger pack, and others smaller – but the 26litre suits my needs perfectly, and it’s as tough as old boots. I totally trust it to look after my kit and use it more than any other bag on a daily basis.

When fully loaded it can be heavy, but thanks to the huge waist belt that you can crank up tight without it digging in, I’ve found riding in the bag not too bad. It can move a little, but when a bag goes over the 20lb point you can’t expect it to be completely anchored.

The whole Evoc collection is exceptionally well made, and they cater for photographers just wanting to carry a GoPro and a compact all the way to professionals. We recently reviewed the Photo Scout – which is the size down from the CP26 – and loved it. Read the review here.


Product Full Name | Easton Heist wheels

Retail Price | £189 front, £219 rear

Available From | Silverfish  top MTB kit - Easton Heist 30

Wider rims mean more tyre support and stiffer wheels – and Easton offer them in three widths. I’ve been using the widest 30mm size all summer and despite being covered in scratches and scuffs from flying rocks etc,  they’re straight as an arrow and are rolling smoothly.

Long gone are the old Easton bearing issues (essentially the bearings could be run slightly loose or over tightened without knowing, which wrecked them) – we’ve faith in these incredibly tough and versatile new wheels from Easton. They also offer the rims under the name Easton ARC.

Read our Heist review here. 


Product Full Name | Schwalbe Procore

Retail Price | £156.99

Available From | Schwalbe UK top MTB kit - Schwalbe Procore

Ok, so the Procore system isn’t for everyone. It’s very expensive, and some people don’t see the point. But it’s bloody good and does what it’s supposed to do very well.

I slashed a rear tyre open in Verbier on a long descent, and was literally miles from a road so carried on riding. And I don’t just mean coasting down a fire road – it was a rough old downhill track and I didn’t have to lose much speed at all. Infact the only time that speed was an issue was when back out on the road at the bottom, as the rear tyre was squirming around all over the place.

It’s not the sort of system I think I need on home trails as I generally don’t run tyres too soft, as I have to transition between areas of woodland – but for riding trips abroad and races I really can’t recommend it enough. Procore is top MTB kit – just frighteningly expensive. Read our review here. 


Product Full Name | Renthal Ultra Tacky lock-on grips

Retail Price | £24.95

Available From | Ison Distribution top MTB kit - Renthal Ultra Tacky

They’re lock on grips that use a completely unique rubber that is grippy in all situations. With bare hands they even get gripper when wet – which for me is a godsend as I tend to only wear gloves when it’s rough out, cold or if it’s so hot my hands get sweaty. When the grip gets dusty or muddy it can obviously loose a little grip, but rinsing them off returns them to a super tacky state once more.

On a personal basis, nothing else even comes close to how comfortable and grippy these grips are. You know how ODI Ruffians feel when they’re about to wear through? That’s what these are like out the box. Review right here.


Product Full Name | Park Tools internal cable kit

Retail Price | £49.99

Available From |  Madison  top MTB kit- Park Tools IR-1 2

If you’ve ever tried fitting internal cables on a frame, you might know how infuriating it can be. Watch this videowe felt like this until we used the Park Internal Routing kit.

It uses three different cables with differing fittings to suit virtually all cables out there, and has a powerful magnet to drag the cable through the frame. Literally a piece of cake and makes a frustrating job a cinch. Highly recommended.


Product Full Name | MRP Amg V2 guide

Retail Price | £99

Available From | Ison Distribution top MTB kit - MRP AMg

Narrow wide chainrings are incredible, but for a little extra security an upper guide can be a good piece of mind. This guide by MRP is silent and doesn’t contact the chain – it just guides it back on, should it come off. It also has a bash guard too, which is especially effective and useful.

We’ve been using this guide constantly since it came in, and will continue to do so as it’s so minimal and light that there really isn’t cause not to!

Read our review here.


Product Full Name |  Acre Meridian waterproof vest/gilet

Retail Price | TBC

Available From | Acre Supply top MTB kit - Acre Meridian Vest

Although we’ve not published our review of this yet, we can safely tell you it’s a brilliant bit of kit.

For days when it’s wet but not cold (er, most days in the UK then) the Meridian vest keeps your core warm and dry but allows you to manage heat with your arms remaining as they are. The Meridian comes with a removable helmet hood too, and really is a great bit of kit for hard riding – especially if you ‘run hot’.

If the sleeveless thing makes no sense to you, you really should try a gilet this winter. You’ll be surprised.


Product Full Name | Fabric cageless water bottle

Retail Price | £9.99

Available From | Fabric CC  top MTB kit - Fabric Cage less bottle

Water bottles are perfect for fast blasts when you don’t want the burden of a heavy riding bag – but empty bottle cages look rubbish.

These water bottles have recesses on the bottom that click on to small mounts that fix to regular bottle cage mounts. Clean, simple and quite brilliant.

Read all about the system here. 


Product Full Name | Raceface Rip Strip

Retail Price | £39.99

Available From | Silverfish  top MTB kit

For days when you just want to carry the bare essentials, the Rip Strip is what you want. Even lighter and more comfortable than a bum bag, it carries what you need for a trail thrash.

And it’s cheap too. We love it and have used it so much over the summer for lunch time blasts – definitely one of our top MTB kit picks. Read our review here.


Product Full Name | Fox Evol air sleeve

Retail Price | £91

Available From | Mojo Suspension top MTB kit - Fox Evol sleeve

It’s not often that a hop-up comes out that dramatically alters the feeling of something – but the Evol air sleeve can transform the back end of your bike from something smooth and active in to something so unbelievably grippy and supportive you’ll be checking tyre and shock pressures at first.

The difference this air sleeve makes is nuts. Read all about it here.


Product Full Name | Shimano XT SPD pedal

Retail Price | £79.99

Available From | Madison top MTB kit - XT SPD

The original MTB clipless pedal has been around for 25 years, and the latest version is the best yet. It’s lightweight, adjustable, supportive, reliable and exceptionally good in the mud these days.

We’ve been Shimano SPD fans from the beginning, and really you can’t beat the big S when it comes to top MTB kit. These things just keep on trucking.


Product Full Name | Seven protection helmet

Retail Price | £59.99

Available From | Decade Europe top MTB kit - Sevel Protection M2

Styled like much more expensive helmets, and featuring lovely detailing too – the Seven Protection M2 trail ld is up there with the Troy Lee Designs, Giro and Bell helmets.

It offers great protection, comes in loads of colours and costs under £60. What’s not to like?

Read our review Here.


Product Full Name | Oakley Jawbreaker

Retail Price | £180

Available From | Oakley UK

top MTB kit - Oakley Jawbreaker

Photo | Callum Jelley

Simply put, Oakley make the best riding glasses out there, and the new Jawbreaker is just incredible.

With lenses nearly the size of goggle lenses, coverage is huge and once on you can’t see the frames – vision is amazing. There are a selection of lenses available for every condition – some of which even enhance light to help you see more. Just phenomenal glasses to ride in. Top MTB kit.

Read our review here. 

What kit have you been impressed by this year?

Have you used anything we’ve mention above?

We’d love to hear from you guys – let us know in the comments below…











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