Specialized Swat stuff

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Endpoint's picture
Specialized Swat stuff

x posted from CBC site so written for the masses not the intarcktronated...

Pictures here: http://www.carytownbikes.com/blogs/carytown-bicycle-co/15515681-specialized-swat

On long rides or ones with harsher conditions striking the balance between packing light and being prepared is always a challenge. Whether I’m on a short mountain bike ride or a multi day tour I don’t want to be weighed down with a bunch of unneeded gear but at the same time the thought of being unprepared for a broken chain, sliced tire, or some other mechanical is not exactly appealing. The designers at Specialized have quietly been designing some neat solutions to this challenge. Their goal is largely centered around use on a mountain bike but much of what they have come up with lends itself quite well to touring as well.

I want to carry the bare minimum of gear needed for any ride but I also want things organized in such a way that whatever I may need to deal with delays along the journey should also be the things most accessible in a hurry. Camp stove can be deep inside a bag but flat repair kit and a multi tool need to be easy to access. I think about things in terms of having a problem in the rain. How can I solve the problem without getting anything wet that needs to stay dry?

Specialized calls their line of gear for this purpose “SWAT” or Storage Water Air Tools. I have been using some of their products from the SWAT line for a couple months now with success.

The EMT cage mounted multi tool and stem top cap chain tool work nicely towards this end. The multi tool is stored neatly in it’s own housing that is bolted onto the bottom of a ZEE side load cage (also a nice bit of engineering for smaller frames or using a frame bag) while the chain tool is actually tucked away inside the steerer tube of my fork. Both can be quickly accessed preventing me from having to fumble around inside a bag. The tool itself has all the basic needs for road side adjustments and the chain tool even has a place to stash an extra quick link. Pretty smart. These two little tools can be acquired separately or as part of a full kit with a storage box that also fastens to the base of a water bottle cage that has a full flat repair kit in it.

In addition to clever tools Specialized has also developed some apparel in their SWAT line that have some really useful features. In particular I have been using the Mountain Liner Bib Short quite a bit this year. On many of my rides I opt for more casual baggy shorts and a t-shirt rather than a jersey and bib “kit”. This usually means minimal or no pockets on my shirt and I don’t like anything loose in my baggy shorts. The SWAT bibs are essentially a normal looking pair of bib shorts constructed out of a much lighter weight fabric. The fabric is more like that of a summer weight base layer than lycra and is noticeably cooler when worn under baggy shorts compared to a normal weight lycra short. A very comfortable chamois is in there to keep my butt happy as well. That in itself is a nice thing and would make these worth having in my opinion but there is more to it. Sewn into strategic positions are 5 pockets perfect for stowing stuff for the ride. I can keep things like my i.d. and debit card super handy for a store stop as well as whatever other small essentials the ride calls for. Pretty brilliant actually.

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 13:45
JUGE FREDD's picture

Seen a dude whip that multiool out while riding, it was awesome

I've got a bunch of campy bibs with two small pockets in the arch of the back that work great

Leg pockets seem fucking ridiculous, though does that let you stash an unbagged phone there without steaming it up?

It's a struggle, but you cut out his tongue, and his last words are "atmo atmo Atmo ATMO ATMOOOOOGORIHGGHRSHGGRLMGGMMGMgrrglegurglegrr....."
– akasnowmaaan

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 18:24
Endpoint's picture

Leg pockets def more for gels than phones. Perfect spot to stash id and debit card though.

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 23:18