If you haven’t already heard of the Storm Trooper then you must have been living under a rock, or perhaps on a planet in a galaxy far, far away. This jacket has developed a bit of a cult following over the years, with very good reason, as regular Spoke reviewer Mark Dangerfield can attest to: It’s tough. “I don’t have to be a pussy about riding in it. I know it’s going to take whatever I throw at it… like the ground.” It’s waterproof and breathable, and it lasts. “After six years of frequent use it’s only just starting to take on some water.” It’s got some nifty features. “I don’t often use the zip-away hood, but the fact that it stows away in the collar is great as it stops the collar from flapping around.” It’s highly visible. “It comes in two really bright colours: orange and lime green. I only wish they had a colour that better expressed my inner yearning for world peace and greater understanding amongst men.”Well, Mark’s in luck because the Storm Trooper is now available in a third colour, azure blue, and it still has all the handy features: lightweight waterproof breathable fabric, fully tape-sealed seams, full-length front zip and storm flap, pit zips, thumb loops, shockcord hem, reflective safety trim and sewn-in emergency repair patch. The price, $299, might seem like a chunk of change, but as anyone who has been biking in a cheap jacket will know, it’s well worth it for years of dry, comfortable and safe winter riding. LEIF ROY
A 170mm 29er built to go fast as hell, and only weighs 14.4kgs with an aluminium frame. Banshee build one hell of a bike, and the new Titan lives up the hype. Get the low down inside
A new Tallboy that redefines it’s image. No longer just an XC trail bike. This thing decend’s as good as it climbs. Maybe better? Get the details inside.
The Meta TR 29, the new 130mm travel beautiful brushed alloy trail rig from Commencal just passed through the office recently. A solid, well-priced build makes this a very good option for a lot of people wanting that perfect blend between fun and pain. The go-everywhere, do-everything Meta in a neat little bundle.
One of the supercars of the modern era, the Pivot Firebird has been on the lips of everyone this past year. With Ed Masters piloting one to all sorts of reults, we got the Rod Bardsley to swing his leg over a Firey Bird and deliver some wise words of his own.
Santa Cruz have reached into their bag of tricks, and conjured up the all new Hightower. A completely revised version of their extremely popular 150mm 29er. We got to get an early ride aboard this beautiful machine on some equally stunning dirt. Here’s the lowdown…
Afton are another newcomer in what seems a flood of new shoe brands, but the stylish look and comfort have got everyone talking. Want to be the snazziest dude among your mates? Look no further.