You've come a long way from the stair gaps of L.O.
Added a product review for Shimano Zee RD-M640 Rear Derailleur 5/20/2013 9:51 AM
The Good: Low cost, clutch, black, strong. Great warranty service.
The Bad: Clutch is finicky and fragile. Replacement parts? Good luck.
I traded a warrantied XTR shadow+ derailleur, new in box, for the ZEE, because it was cheap. I chose the ZEE specifically because it has a steel backplate in place of the aluminum one which lives on the XTR. This aluminum backplate turned out have a significant weak spot, which I broke. I figured that due to this key difference, the ZEE would have a fighting chance.
I mounted up the ZEE on my G-Spot, with a 11-36 cassette and an MRP Mini Guide. Things were great, the clutch was effective, the chain was silent. After four months, the clutch started weakening in strength, and effectiveness. I popped off the clutch case expecting to find a similar tiny little wrench to what the XTR has, instead finding no tool at all. I grabbed a pair of narrow pliers and adjusted the set screw tighter by about a quarter of a turn. I returned the case cover and applied the clutch, and it wasn't much tighter. I rode for a few more weeks, then popped the cover off again and the clutch strap fell off in my hand. What was one piece, became two.
I called Shimano tech support, and learned that those fancy little clutches have literally no replacement parts available. They were very kind, and sent me a shiny new ZEE derailleur, which I will do my best to keep in one piece.
The lessons I learned were:
- Never apply the clutch with the cover off, the mechanism relies on the inner moldings of the case providing support from the outside.
- If you don't know the torque spec for the set screw on the clutch strap, and have a crow footed torque wrench with MINIMAL Newton- Meter values, then don't go trying to adjust it. What is that torque spec? Nobody seems to know.
- If you run a short cage derailleur without a clutch, an 11-36 cassette, and a chain long enough to reach the 36, the chain will catch in the rear wheel very often. I discovered this undesired side effect on a set of 30ft. tables, when my rear wheel locked up. I came skidding to a stop and looked down to see that my chain was being eaten by my frame. This occurred during my two week wait for the warranty replacement unit. I figured that because I had a chain guide on the front, I could just ride without the clutch and it would be noisy at worst, I was wrong. It happened at least four times during the day of shuttling.
This product has 2 reviews
Added a comment about video Rapid Fire: Charlie Sponsel 5/11/2013 6:27 PM
This video has 9 comments.
Added a product review for Continental Der Baron DH Tire 2/1/2013 9:32 AM
The Good: Grip beyond belief on al things wet and slippy. No lug separation problems. Fast enough to be a xc tire, acts like a spike tire in the mud.
The Bad: Blew out the sidewall of the APEX casing tire after 6 months of use. Did not grip very well in sandy type soil.
I ordered this tire thinking it was going to be the 2ply, 2.3in tire of my dreams. When I received it, I noticed that it was not a 2ply tire at all. What I received was a single ply folding bead with an "APEX" casing, which I was told was a super tough "Freeride" tire and great for tubless too. I initially installed them tubless on a stans flow wheelset. Eventually, I determined that due to burping tires every ride, I would just run them with tubes. I loved them for six months on all types of rides and through all conditions, they were my new favorite tire. Recently, I hit a fast g-out and blew the sidewall of the rear tire open so bad the boot barely worked to get down the hill. What I want to know is; what happened to the 2ply 2.3 that I ordered from the catalogue? The rep doesn't seem to know. I don't want to have to go with a wider tire to get 2plys of rubber. If this tire had a thicker sidewall it would have lasted years longer. Why did 2.3 dh casing tires go the way of the DOHDOH bird?
Tested on a Cove G-spot
This product has 3 reviews
Added a comment about slideshow INSIDE: Spank Industries Wheel Building Factory 1/30/2013 8:43 AM
As a proud builder and Destroyer of many wheels, I have been nothing less than astonished by the strength of my spank subrosa rims. Four years of riding the same rims with too many bone chattering g-routs to count and they are still going strong. I put a dent in the rear and it cracked a little bit on one side, that was two years ago. They are every bit as strong as my old trail pimps were, and don't chew through tubes like a badger. All of this durability at 540g? Quality counts.
This slideshow has 6 comments.
Added a product review for 2011 Cove Gspot Bike 11/29/2012 11:00 AM
The Good: Built in BC by people who ride the trails I dream about. Burly, rugged, designed for an aggressive rider. Low standover height and long feeling, but with a higher bb than most in its class.
The Bad: No exit hole for a dropper stealth, 2.4 max rear tire clearance.
I've put 6 months of riding on this bike, from Shuttle DH and Black Rock kickers to 30 mile backcountry epics. This is my one bike that I use for everything and it does everything asked of it. I have a single ring in the front and climb it everywhere I would climb an XC bike. When you do reach the downhills, it opens up a world of opportunities. It is more nimble than a Downhill rig, but can still mow down obstacles with authority. The 1.5 headtube allows you to achieve 65.5 at the head angle which really helps with cornering and keeping it on the trail when things get hairy. The first ride on this bike, it felt like it wanted to gallop down the trail, rocks and roots became just more opportunity for traction. When things get really chundery, it feels like a magic carpet.
I love that cove has long term reliability down to a science, something really missing in the industry today. I feel like the frame will last through many seasons without having issues because Cove did three years of proto testing before releasing it. The pivots utilize common bolts and bearings too, so they are easy to find if something fails. The back end is 135mm, with a traditional clamp secured hanger. Too many of the newer hanger designs have fatal flaws that can ruin rides and even frames. I wanted a bike that I could own for a decade or more, and I found it.
This product has 2 reviews