Magura Sedona Press Camp 2011 – SKS products

by Brian Mullin on June 1, 2011

Magura USA (aka Magura Direct) hosted an incredible press camp in spectacular Sedona Arizona in mid-May, and they were kind enough to invite me on the wondrous shindig. The invited editors and writers got to test out the Magura Direct products that they distribute, which includes Magura (brakes and forks), uvex (helmets and sunglasses) and Vaude (packs and apparel), and they also were joined by SKS and Crank Brothers. We got to test the products from each of the companies on the inspiring, scary and extremely technical trails of Sedona, and the riding experience was simply superb.

SKS is a German company that is best known for their bike fenders and mudguards in the US, but their product suite also includes pumps, saddle bags, multitools, chainguards and water bottle cages. They have been manufacturing bike pumps for 80 years, and originated the mini pump, and last year sold 7.8 million pumps and 4 millions fenders/mudguards worldwide. The US general manager for SKS, Mark Burgener went through part of their products one evening at the press camp, and I was amazed at the breadth of their line relative to mountain biking, and to a lessor extent the commuter and urban bikes.

Floor Pumps
Their floor pumps include their 40 year old prestigious Rennkompressor, the top of the line Airbase Pro, the entry level Airwork and the mountain bike specific Aircon. I used the Aircon quite a few times at the Sedona camp, and the large stable base, and the ability to add monstrous amounts of air volume with each stroke was perfect for inflating fat mountain bike tires. All the pumps include their EVA (Easy Valve Access) head, which auto detects the valve type, whether it’s a Schrader or Presta. All their pumps are engineered and made in Germany.

  • Rennkompressor
    • Cast iron base and Steel barrel
    • 230psi and 650mm stroke
    • $60
  • Airbase Pro
    • Steel base and aluminum barrel
    • Top mounted gauge
    • Top of the line, built like a tank
    • 232psi and 728mm stroke
    • $80
  • Aircon
    • Steel barrel and ultra wide stable base
    • Extra large gauge
    • Large diameter barrel for more volume per stroke
    • 87psi and 730mm stroke
    • $45
  • Airworx
    • Affordable
    • Top mounted gauge
    • Dual compound handle
    • 144psi and 655mm stroke
    • $35

Mini Pumps
SKS also has some pretty nifty mini pimps, that have a lot of highly functional features, that are innovative, and definitely come from that German engineering thought process. The Revo pump ($25-$33 and 125-142 grams) just presses onto the valve, and then a quarter turn of the barrel end locks it onto the valve (manually set the valve type). The inner shaft has an internal pressure gauge, and the clear tube has a small plunger to mark the pressure, so you can know what your tire pressure is while inflating (way cool). I tried it out and it works quite well. On the Supershort pump ($21 and 103 grams), one end of the barrel pops off, and slides back on the end to become an ergonomic T-grip pump handle for stroking, while the Injex T-Zoom ($21 and 166 grams) end rotates 90 degrees, and becomes the stroke handle.

They also had a nice CO2 inflator named the Airgun ($24 and 100 grams), which comes with a water bottle fastener and a holder for an extra cartridge, and has a pressure control valve for fine tuning the fill. For precise pressure measurements, they have the Airchecker digital gauge ($25 and 45 grams), which has a backlit readout, and swivel head (valve type at opposing ends), and measure bars or psi, and has a small button that will release air in 1 psi increments. They also have a new top secret pump that Mark helped design named Hidden Treasure. The long skinny flexible pump fits inside a handlebar (straight or tapered) for storage, and is held in place by some varying sized flexible plastic washers to keep it from banging around, and a special bar end plug. The pump screws on, and has a short and low volume stroke, so it will take it longer to fill a tube/tire, but for the commuter and minimalist mountain bike weenie it’s a great item. At 50 grams and 90psi maximum output, you can just leave it there until it’s needed, a very innovative and sweet idea.

Shock Pump
The new MSP (mountain suspension pump) is a well made shock pump, that has a braided steel hose, a pressure release knob, a small gauge and a unique 2-stage thread connector making is possible not to lose pressure when unscrewing (what you read on the gauge is what you got). The MSP has a nice feel, with excellent build quality, weighs 150 grams and has a maximum output of 290psi and retails for $55.

Tools
The Tom 14 ($30, 14 tools and 129g) and Tom 18 ($33, 18 tools and 184g) tools are made with chrome-vanadium, with a stainless steel framework. They are really nicely built tools, and the 18 model includes the always useful chain breaker.

Fenders
SKS makes a slew of fenders and mudguards, which are made from CAB or Cellulose Acetate Butyrate, which is a flexible, durable, and long lived material, which has excellent UV protection. The fenders are for a gamut of bikes, from the Race Blades ($55) for a road bike with either permanent or quick release attachments and partial coverage, to the urban Chromoplastics (4 sizes and $40-$60) with more traditional coverage and shape, and finally the commuter Longboards ($50), which have the best in the industry coverage, and offer an extended flap to keep your feet dry.

For mountain bikes, the mudguards come in a variety of shapes, sizes and attachment methods. The new Dashboard ($25) and Dashblade ($20) offer quick on and off, the former connects to any fork with an insert adapter to the bottom of the steerer, while the latter attaches to the seatpost or frame with a strap and has an angular adjustment for fine tuning. For Freeride usage, the ultra wide Grand D.A.D or dual adjust dirtboard ($35) and Grand M.O.M or MTB Oversize Mudguard ($35) offers additional protection for ultra fat tires. Their X-Blades ($29) come in a variety of widths, and offer a better price point.

Last but not least they have a line of saddle bags and bottle cage products. They make a couple of nice bottle cages (Carbon, Offset and Normal cage), and then a very innovative cage adapter that connects to the seatpost via their strap based quick-release mount system. It would be a great item for racing, and would also be beneficial for a full suspension bike that doesn’t have water bottle bosses. I tried it one afternoon when I didn’t bring my hydration pack, and it worked like a charm. The bags are the Race (three sizes), Tour (two sizes), and Base (six sizes) models. The Race uses a tool-less connector that goes onto the saddle rails (with a quick twist disconnect) , while the Basic uses straps and the Tour attaches to the seatpost with their strap quick-release system.

Visit the SKS website at http://www.sks-germany.com/

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: