Kali Journal

Our Limited Edition Artist Series Collection is Here!

We've launched three exclusive designs, as well as two new models, as part of our new Artist Series collection. The collaboration was done to create a unique, limited edition collection with 100% of the profits going directly to the artists. The collection was curated in support of artists impacted by COVID-19 and features limited edition designs for Maya 3.0, Chakra Child, Chakra Youth and the new Saha Child and Maya Full Face Child, the Maya you know and love that features a removable chin bar and our proprietary QuadCore Low Density Layer that reduces rotation impact forces up to 25% and low-g linear forces up to 30%. “Our goal with this collection was to provide support for artists that have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As independent artists, what they create is their primary source of income and that became uncertain when COVID-19 came into our lives. We’re excited to lend support with the sales of our Artist Series going directly to the two artists we’ve collaborated with,” says Brad Waldron of Kali Protectives. The Collection      Meet the Artists Cori Dantini Fueled by coffee, muffins, and black licorice, Cori Dantini searches for inspiration in hopes of creating images that contain layers of meaning. After earning a BFA in Painting from Washington State University and spending a few decades fiddling with brushes, pencils, markers, and most recently, her computer mouse, she has discovered an organic process of layers and language. Cori never begins a project with a message in mind. Rather, her materials and methods are what drive the meaning. It is this mysterious, reciprocal quality of art that intrigues her and makes her think of her works as visual poems.   Andrea Irmscher Born in eastern Germany, Andrea was convinced she would never discover the world’s beauty beyond the bounds of her home. She dreamed of visiting exotic places full of nature, sun, and dschungel. As time passed, doors started to open to reveal endless opportunities. Andrea studied design in Dresden where she practiced shaping, coloring, and creating. Over the years, Andrea enjoyed travelling and finding inspiration in new cultures she encountered. Kali Protectives is an award winning helmet and protective gear manufacturer based in Morgan Hill, California. Kali’s mission is to engineer, design and produce the safest protective gear in the world.    
read more

The 7 Things You Wish Santa Had Brung

It has been a wild year filled with more undulations than the Kali dirt jumps. I love the way the Kali team has worked together throughout the uncertainties of 2021. Keeping the focus not only making the safest and most protective gear, but also toward the best customer service in the industry. From all corners of Kali these efforts are repaid by the loyalty of our customers and friends. For those of you riding our gear I want to thank you. When you wear a Kali product it comes with our commitment to do the everything we can to protect you. We do the research and we follow the science ( and how we have learned to ‘love’ that term this year). For those of you that know me you know safety is my focus, as long as I am in my position at Kali that will remain the focus. With that said I am also excited about the design team had cooked up for the 2022 line-up. 2022 is assured to be Kali's most exciting year ever. And I want to wish everyone a happy ending to 2021 and welcome in 2022.  We put together a short list of things every bike rider should consider having in their garage. This is not the most exciting list or a list of the most expensive crap, but it is a list of things which could help to make your bike riding more fulfilling and comfortable. We hope you get what we're putting down. -Brad Waldron Dirt Jumper You don't have to have to want to hit a CashRoll Tailwhip like Christian Arehart or Nicholi Rogatkin to enjoy the benefits of owning a Dirt Jumper.  For those of you still confused at what constitute a DJ bike, it is a basically a rigid frame with a short travel front fork, smaller wheels with fast rolling tires with high pressure and a single gear. The lower stand over height and jacked-low saddle leave you plenty of room to toss the bike around and the solid construction means you don't have to be overly worried about bailing out of all the not-so-smart things you are going to attemp on said steed.  The dirt jumper is the perfect platform to learn how to pump, corner and jump. Learning to pump will make you smoother and faster on the trail. Learning to corner will make you just plain faster. And learning to jump makes everything on the trail more fun.  But the real reason to get yourself a Dirt Jumper is the hang. Whether it be at the Kali dirt jumps, the local pumptrack or a set of TOP SECRET dirt jumps in the woods, there is a hugely enthusiastic and dare-we-say friendly group of riders who are always looking for someone to help them dig and share their knowledge with. With just a little bit of guidance and a couple of hot tips you should be nailing that backflip in no time. Pictured: Evil Faction 2, with Deity cockpit, Maxxis DTH tires and Marzocchi fork. "I just built this up and I got a chance to take it to the new pumptrack in the Oakland (Ca.) Hills before the rain. It's awesom. I'm excited to work on my pumping skills and maybe even try to get the wheels off the ground." - Jim Merithew Dropper Post If you're not droppin' you're dying. Do you need a dropper post? No. Should you be running on a dropper post on almost every bike you own? Definitely. There are just no good reasons to be running your ride without a dropper post in 2022. The current lineup of dropper posts are excellent. The weight penalty is minimal and the added safety and comfort benefits are ginormous. That's right we said "ginormous."  Do no delay. Run to your local independent bike shop and get a dropper installed on all your whips: singlespeed, hardtail, gravel, dual suspension, xc race bike, etc... You can thank us later.  Pictured: PNW Dropper Post. "I love what PNW is up to. Their stuff just works." -Alain Lanusse    Cycling Specific Outerwear  We've all been there, sitting on the curb outside the convienient store pulling on some sandwich bags over our soaking wet socks and ripping a hole in the top of a garbage bag getting ready to get back at it in the pouring rain.  And yes, we are well aware cycling specific rain gear is far more expensive then garbage bags or some cheap rain poncho you can purchase at the your local Odd Lots or Dollar Store, but it is one purchase you will not regret the first time you actually get caught out in a downpour. Maybe you don't need those fancy watt-saving dereailleur pulleys or those over-sized super-wrap sunglasses, but we believe you definitely need a waterproof/breathable garment for the upcoming monsoon season.  Pictured: Shower Pass Rain Jacket. "It’s totally waterproof for rides in the Wasatch Mountains. I really like how I can tighten the cuff on the sleeve with quick Velcro adjusters and the hood fits right over my Maya 3.0, keeping me nice and dry." - Jon Sacks Hardtail Mountain Bike Have all your skills gotten soft? Are you just pointing your big hit bike downhill? Do you no longer get sketched out on sketchy terrain? Have you not come close to "testing" your Kali helmet in a really long time?  If you answered "yes" to any of these previous questions then it might be time to add a modern hardtail to your ever-growing bicycle collection. Hardtails cost fewer dollars, require less maintaince, can be ridden in just about any situation and, above all else, create quite a stir at the trailhead and generate hours of bike nerd conversations.  Pictured: Chromag Wideangle. "I just picked it up because my Pivot Switchblade tends to be overkill on some of my local trails and I was excited to see what it was like to ride a hardail, again." -Brad Waldron Modern Blinky The new era of bicycle lights would make even Rudolph seem not-so-bright. So if you're still running AA or AAA batteries in your aging bicycle light game it is definitely time to upgrade your blinky light game. The new lights from Lenzyne, Moon and the like are packed full of lumens, come with impressive rechargable battery life and most of them offer up multiple mounting options to make sure your sleigh it guided with glee. Or some other terrible holiday reference.  Pictured: Moon Sirrus and Sirrus Pro Tail light. "I make sure to have this light on at all times, making me highly visible, day or night. The Moon unit even has a motion sensor to indicate to those behind you that you are slowing down or stopping. It is perfect for that commuter." - Jason Aven  
read more

Sea Otter 2021: That's a Wrap

What has to be the strangest Sea Otter Classic of all time has come and gone.  It may have felt extra strange because it was being held in October or because it had been so long since there was a Kali trade show booth, but it definitely felt weird. It was definitely Monterey weather, because as usual the temperature fluctuated from scorching hot to freezing cold on a moment's notice. We spent most of our time in the booth talking about all things Kali, showing off our new Mission 2.0 knee pads, goggles and gloves, but we did take a little time to look around to see what the greater bike community had to offer and took in a little two-wheeled competition. The dual slalom course was completely clapped out, the one corner looked a little more like a sandbox than a race course, which made for some interesting viewing and a lot of verbal grunting and groaning from the riders. In the end it might not have made for the fastest laps, but it was fun to watch everyone wash out and try to get back up speed. Yeah. Yeah. We also like to watch Friday Fails on PinkBike.  We snuck up to the top of the corkscrew to watch the roadies rip a piece of pavement we’re more used to seeing on the television during the auto races and MotoGP. The riders say coming in blind on that corner looks just as gnarly on a bike as it does in a car. We don’t have any official attendance stats, but while not being the best attended Sea Otter we have ever been to, there seemed to be plenty of folks willing to put on a race number and take a go at the downhill course. There were dozens of young groms taking their first go at competition, some crazy dude on a banana seat hardtail and even a fully-furried rider giving the fans a show. After four days and three nights of sleeping in our cars or on the ground, drinking camp "coffee" and eating about 42 pounds of carnival burritos, we can finally call Sea Otter 2021 a wrap. Now we’re headed for actual hot showers, whole milk lattes and a decent meal.  Smell ya later. Literally.  This is the quietest we saw the Kali booth all weekend. Thanks to everyone who was able to stop by and say hello. If we missed you...see you in April.  Kali riders, Zac West and Marcus Schoepe, take to the Sea Otter Classic Dual Slalom course during practice. The course was just a nudge beach-like, but Marcus put the hammer down to finish on the podium.  Pivot Grim Donut V2 What was wrapped up like the a glorious Christmas gift at the Pivot Booth? Our curiosity got the best of us and we wandered over to give it a look. We asked Pivot's Patrick Ribera-McKay to pull the wrapping off and expose their top secret bike for us. Of course, it was a no go. They finally pulled back the veil and it was an old gravel bike…confused as ever, the crowd kind of slow clapped. Then they rolled out the Grim Donut 2, a bike so low, so long and so ridiculous it almost seems...perfect. Then they gave us actual donuts.  Industry Nine The Industry Nine booth was just two booths over from Kali and we couldn't help sneaking over again and again to drool over their multi-colored splendor and spin the wheels, to hear the sweet, sweet whirl. We had to restrain our ourselves from begging them to send us the wheels we have on order, but the sweetness of the hoops in the Industry Nine booth has us feeling like it will be worth the wait.  Kali rider, Manuel Riestra, flew into San Francisco from Mexico to press the flesh and work the room at Sea Otter. We were lucky enough to have him camp out with us for the weekend and when he said he would be riding for Propain Bicycle in 2022, we couldn't be more thrilled. The Propain are fairly well-known in Europe, and they are bringing a trifecta of their bikes direct-to-consumer in 2022. We're excited to see what Riestra and Propain get up to in the future.  Ian Abraham, of Team Elevate Webiplex Pro, seen ripping through Laguna Seca's grapevine, made it onto the podium of his Circuit Race.  The Rigel Power Light by Moon Sport The Rigel has six LEDs and 3600 lumens making it the brightest, self-contained light we have ever seen. On a full charge you can run this light on full-tilt for one hour and 45 minutes. You can run the Rigel on two, four or six of those LEDs with each having their own high, medium and low modes and a strobe mode. The 350 gram light comes with a mount so you can rock it on your helmet or you can attach it to your bars and switch settings with ease using the USB bar remote control. Available from Moon Sports in November for $275. Specialized Crux Of all the crazy shit on offer at this Sea Otter, the $12,000 Specialized Crux was a topper, both in price and drool factor. Specialized claims the Crux is the world's lightest gravel bike. At 725g for the 56 cm, we found ourselves totally prepared to lighten our wallet for this two-wheeled wonder. Don’t hate.Donate. Kali Protectives Maya Full Face Child This kids' lid converts from an added piece-of-mind full face to a ready-for-the-trails Enduro lid with the press of a button. Okay, to be more accurate two buttons, but you get the idea. And that's a wrap. 
read more

The Panda

Amanda Nauman, or Amanda Panda as she's colloquially known in the cycling world, was a name I first heard back in 2016 at the Belgian Waffle Ride in San Diego. That year, Amanda took top honors in the egregiously arduous event that follows an anfractuous quest through 140+ miles of San Diego County, usually fairly evenly split between gravel roads, single-track, and pavement. To simply finish the event will have you lauded, but to win is truly a sign of a precocious athlete.  Fast forward 6 years, and I find myself driving toward Laguna Beach, camera in hand, to ride with Ms. Panda herself at the bequest of Kali Protectives, one of Amanda's sponsors, who was releasing a new gravel-focused helmet. The job is innocuously simple: capture Amanda in her element, on her backyard trails. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't somewhat nervous.  As I pull up, Amanda is already there in her modest, but awesome, race Sprinter van she's just driven back from altitude in Mammoth to prepare for the Unbound Gravel XL, a race more than twice the distance of the race that solidified my admiration for her in the first place. I go and introduce myself, finding a wonderfully gregarious individual, a nice contrast to the aged apathy that sometimes plagues professional athletes. We engage in the usual small talk: mutual friends in the industry, races we've technically done "together", her real job as an Engineer (and the subsequent high level of secondary education she needed for that job), promulgating her own gravel race, The Mammoth Tuff, and of course, her upcoming plans for racing.  As we head through a sinuous network of trails around the Laguna Hills, Amanda's comfort and professionalism on a bike is immediately recognizable. "Do you want me to smile, or do you want resting bitch face?", she yells out to me as a perch just ahead of her for a shot. I laugh, and simply tell her to do whatever comes naturally, which she does with exuberant ease and fluidity, somewhere between a genuine smile, and yes, a slight tone of "resting bitch face" that comes with a hyper-focused individual such as Amanda. Kali is proud to have individuals like Amanda as part of the #kalikrew.  Want to keep up with Amanda and her adventures? Follow her Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/amanda_panda.  -Anthony Palicci 
read more

Getting Dirty in Oregon

We spent the morning chasing Sean Gerhardt, astride his mountain bike, off of Mount Ashland and now are spending the afternoon chasing him on his moto up the dirty, mountainous roads east of town. Gerhardt has mad skills on both sets of two-wheeled whips, but if you met him at the coffee shop instead of on the trails around Ashland, it would be hard to believe that under his untroubled and mellow personae lies a first class hucker. Kali: Things on two wheels? Gerhardt: I’ve always been fascinated by things that propel themselves on two wheels and motors just add to that even more. I really have a fascination with ‘flow state,' adrenaline and just having a good time. Kali: Where are you from? Where did you grow up?  Gerhardt: I grew up in Southern Oregon in a really small town. My graduating class was 97 people. There wasn’t much to do in my small town. Motorcycles were actually a big part of a lot of people's lives where I grew up, not necessarily mine because my family couldn’t afford to get me a motorcycle at a younger age. Once I was old enough to afford one on my own it gave me a deeper appreciation for motorcycles in general just growing up not having one. Kali: What kind of motorcycle do you have?  Gerhardt: I have a BMW F700GS. Kali: What was your first motorcycle? Gerhardt: CBR 600 Honda?  It was between my brother and we lived in Oahu, Hawaii. I commuted to work on it almost everyday on a freeway and that’s just how I was introduced to motorcycles after my brother taught me to ride them when I moved there to live with him when I was 19. The whole year I lived out there my only mode of transportation was a motorcycle. I remember one day I had to ride home from work in a dreadful downpour rainstorm and I just remember being incredibly frustrated the whole time that I was riding in puddles and the cars passing me had no sympathy and they were just going their normal speed and splashing massive puddles over my head. I had never been in a situation like that where the cars are creating tsunamis and soaking me on a motorcycle.  Kali: Are there any motorcycles you want to try out or own in the future? What are they?  Gerhardt: I’d definitely love to own a motorcycle geared more towards enduro riding but is street legal. The WR250R has always reached out to me just because I do love the really rough stuff. I love trails and climbing hills and 475 pounds of motorcycle sometimes is a bit much to be doing that stuff on. So if I got another motorcycle it would be something lighter, something with more torque not as highway centric but a little more catered towards the dirt. Kali: Do you have a favorite trail to take your motorcycle on? Gerhardt: I don’t have a favorite trail but I do have a favorite route that is common in Southern Oregon. It goes up and over Mount Ashland from town and then you come down into the other side through the apple gate. A really cool loop that offers amazing views and it ends at a lake. You can ride up the river and visit wine country. It's a beautiful place to ride. I have a lot of favorites here. Another loop I like to do is 80 miles of four different lakes you pass through up into the mountains on old logging roads and dirt roads. Where I live no matter which direction I go there is a stunning route to take so I’m very fortunate to have that at my fingertips. Kali: If you have a day off to ride, are you riding your moto or your mountain bike? Gerhardt: If it’s a whole day off I’m picking both. One in the morning, one in the evening or ideally I’m connecting them both and riding my motorcycle to my favorite mountain bike trail. Kali: After riding your mountain bike does it feel weird to ride your motorcycle? Gerhardt: I like to see them as two different tools but it's really the same thing, both have two wheels, one is heavier. It's really just about learning the weight, how much you can lean it, throttle it, or how you can use your brakes on downhills. Kali: How often are you riding your MTB bike? How often are you riding your motorcycle? Gerhardt: During the summer months I put in a lot more hours on my motorcycle than my mountain bike. It’s hot and I don’t want to sweat that much. Being on my motorcycle lets the breeze in and I usually ride up to the mountain lakes. It’s a beautiful ride. Kali: Where’s the furthest you’ve taken your motorcycle? Gerhardt: I have taken it to the point where I thought it was gonna run out of gas. I only travelled about 500 miles that day. I went to see some waterfalls, camped out for a night and hit some hot springs.  Kali: Do you plan on doing a road trip? Gerhardt: I have a desire to go see my family in Malibu, California but the hard part about that is I want to be able to strap my surfboard on there. I just haven’t figured out a safe way to do that yet. Kali: What tips would you give someone getting into adventure riding or someone who’s never done it before? Gerhardt: I would say you learn the most from consistency, from going out even if it's just your local gravel or dirt roads, whatever it takes to get you on the motorcycle more. Feel it, understand it and put in the hours it takes to really learn what it is to be on a motorcycle of any kind whether it be an enduro, an adventure, or even a street bike.
read more

King Kog: A Monster of a Neighborhood Bike Shop

King Kog Bicycle Shop in Downtown Oakland, CA, has been managed by Shawn Yackle since they opened their doors on 17th Street almost 8 years ago and before that he did a stint working at the King Kog in Brooklyn. We caught up with Shawn to talk all thing King Kog.  Kali: Tell us a little bit about yourself and King Kog.  Shawn: I’ve spent most of my adult life either here in the Bay or in New York City. Before King Kog, I was a bike messenger in both New York City and San Francisco for about 10 years. We are a neighborhood bike shop that started as the probably the only fixed gear specific bike shop anywhere in the world back in 2005. It was like a small one room boutique type of situation and then we moved out of there and have branched out to all kinds of bikes and services.  Kali: What percentage is still fixie? Shawn: It’s quite a bit. About 80% maybe and we sell mostly commuter-oriented bikes otherwise. But we are also an Ibis dealer and we carry All City and Bianchi bikes. But we still sell a large percentage of fixed gear, for sure.  Kali: The neighborhood has changed quite a bit in the last 8 years. How do you stay in business? Shawn: It’s a mixed bag, there is definitely gentrification. There are condos on almost every corner and Amazon trucks on every block. It’s hard for mom and pop businesses to stay competitive and valid. Everybody is ordering everything online.  Kali: What allows you to stay in business while others struggle? Shawn: We all ride all the types of bikes and love it and are very passionate about. We also maintain a large stock of collectibles and vintage things you can’t just get anywhere or get online and grab. We try to have unique products. We support our friends who make things locally and in California. Hand built bikes. It’s all for the love. 
read more