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Added reply in a thread Clearly The Silliest Bike Helmet Ever Made 11/15/2014 5:09 PM

Designer drives a car, never ridden ever.

Added reply in a thread Overpriced MTB products? 7/7/2014 9:34 PM

The reason some products are overpriced is simple, we the consumers are ignorant idiots, and will happily pay massively higher prices than the actual cost price because we believe that this means the product will perform better or be safer and have no ... more »

Added a product review for Schwalbe Albert Tire 7/6/2014 7:42 AM
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Rear Fat Albert 2.40 Pacestar Review

Rating:

The Good: Climbing grip and reasonable rolling resistance, can be picked up cheaply online, big volume, easy setup tubeless and matches up with Hans Dampf.

The Bad: Hideous cornering feel, wobble central on road or hardpack or even anything remotely not soft, even if soft very average. 'It's more expensive therefore it's better' marketing.

Overall:

Seems like Schwalbe Albert is a prototype for Fat Albert, and Fat Albert front and rear are simply the prototype for Hans Dampf. I have a Hans Dampf Pacestar on the front and had a Rock Razor on the rear. The Razor and Hans Dampf are great tires but the side knobs ripped off the Pacestar version of the IMHO too weak Rock Razor sadly, the Hans Dampf had plenty of life left in it, and I wasn't ready to quit on Schwalbe (for a 2nd time) yet so I picked up the Fat Albert rear specific tire online for a nice little discount ($30). Wish I hadn't and I'd waited for a 'performance' single ply HD. Put simply, although there are many of the redeeming features offered by Schwalbe off-road tires, such as easy tubeless setup and high volume, this tire fails on corners and is a hideous bag of jello on any kind of corner remotely not soft, scary and confidence damaging. Hans Dampf is a great tire, for trail riding even aggressively and I'd much rather have it on the back than this mediocre thing.

When you physically manipulate the side knobs on the Fat Albert they seem like some kind of gummi candy, and it's not a surprise that they handle the same way!

Avoid this tire, stay with Hans Dampf, Rock Razor (if you can stomach the short lifespan or wait for a 'performance' version) or run Maxxis, or Continental.

This product has 2 reviews

Added reply in a thread List off the mountain bikes you've had 6/30/2014 7:48 AM

Build my own bikes these days.....but bike frame combos look like this.. 1983 - Puch Mountain Jet 1985 - 2005 Some old crap lol 2005 - Giant ATC 2007 - Giant XTC 2008 - GT Chucker 2.0 (Still have frame) 2009 - Kona 5-0 2010 - Flyte Yankee-Zulu 2012 - ... more »

Added a product review for Schwalbe Table Top Tire 5/15/2014 10:20 AM
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Nice tire, but not much better than its competitors

Rating:

The Good: Cornering traction, weight, hold air well tubeless

The Bad: Nothing much

Overall:

I bought this for my city ride/street/park/x4 Nukeproof Snap with Fulcrum Red Zone wheels. Set up tight and true tubeless with no issues.

Hardpack you can really push hard without much slip on the corners, but maybe it's a tad slower than some of its rivals. The Maxxis Holy Roller seems to roll a tad quicker and be a tad more stable, the Kenda K-Rad seems to roll a bit faster and have a slightly higher volume with better cushioning. In the end it's a good tire, no better than its competitors, but no worse.

This product has 2 reviews

Added a product review for Schwalbe Hans Dampf Tire 5/15/2014 9:53 AM
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Hans Dampf vs Minion

Rating:

The Good: Braking traction, high volume, weight, cornering grip

The Bad: Not much wrong to be honest

Overall:

I've done about 1,000 kms on this tire, all in the dry and with it on the front only, enduro style and set up tubeless with Stans (Evo Pacestar 2.35x26). Personally I rate Maxxis Minion as a benchmark and I think the comparison will helpful guide for other riders, I usually use a Minion FR 2.35 EXO maxxpro for reference (old style, pre TR).

HD vs Minion

  • Rolling resistance - Similar
  • Braking traction - HD superior
  • Off-camber grip - Minion Superior
  • Fist sized rocks on trail composure - HD superior
  • Light over cornering/carving - Minion Superior
  • Dry ruts - HD Superior
  • Weight for size - HD Superior (700g is sweet) (single ply pretty narrow older Minion 2.35 also 700g, HD physically much larger)
  • Carcass/volume - HD Superior (it's massive like a balloon)
  • Higher pressure traction (32psi and over) - similar

If someone could genetically clone the HD carcass but put a Minion tread pattern it with whatever makes the HD stop, it would be a real winner. Also Maxxis need a talking to, their new TR Minion FR 2.35 is too heavy for real trail work, mostly suitable for freeride/DH, handing the market to Schwalbe. Dear Schwalbe have our goose that lays our golden eggs, love Maxxis. All being said if you carve hard the Minion slips less and bites harder, however the braking grip of the HD can save your neck. Both are great tires with no clear winner. On trails and running tubeless I prefer the HD, if was doing a day with an uplift service then Minion.

This product has 4 reviews

Added a product review for Nukeproof Snap Frame 2/21/2014 3:50 AM
C138_frame_nukeproof_snap

A thoroughbred for 4X

Rating:

The Good: Excellent paint, graphics, strength, minimal flex, light weight and stable. Replaceable rear dropouts.

The Bad: Not ideal for DJ, park or trail. Not a very forgiving or compliant frame.

Overall:

The Nukeproof Snap frame is very strong and flex-free making it great for 4X. Fast acceleration and cornering stability are its bread and butter. Those strengths however are it's downfalls, for example the chain stays are fairly long (XC length at 420mm) for a bike like this meaning that manuals can be annoyingly hard to perform. Also the frame is extremely rigid, making it very fast accelerating on hard-pack or on pavement, but mistiming jumps and riding on trails can be a painful filling loosing affair. A 67 degree HA  might make you think that the bike could descend quite well and whilst it is capable of descending slopes that would make you fear for your life on an XC race bike the frame's lack of compliance means it's just too painful on all but the smoothest hard-pack to have any real enjoyment.

Some other great things about this frame are the replaceable rear dropouts allowing you to go single speed if you want to, with easy availability of spares though chain reaction, ISCG tabs and some very tasteful paint and graphics, with a high enough seat-post collar to allow for a medium height seat to be able to pedal around sat down at a reasonable speed around town. With the medium length chain-stays, a low top tube and a rigid rear triangle the bike is perfect for wheelies and can wheelie all day long, also the head tube is a nice big 44m allowing for any fork within reason.

Nukeproof do not claim the bike is for anything other than 4X, many people though seeing the frame think DJ or maybe DJ and 4X  and maybe park or urban, this is not really right, the bike is just not quite for those as reasons previously stated. IMHO for a do it all trail, DJ, Urban or Park frame a steel frame with shorter chain-stays is a better choice of frame. Even alu Giant STPs or GT Chuckers are a bit more fun than a Snap around town.

Summary: 4X - 5 stars, Trail - 3 stars, Urban - 4 stars, DJ - 4 stars

5 star review as bike is advertised as a 4X bike.

This product has 1 review

Added a product review for Shimano Deore M590 Crankset With BB 2/12/2014 2:08 PM
C138_cr266j00

A solid and reliable but slightly heavy and ugly crankset

Rating:

The Good: Reliable, inexpensive, strong

The Bad: Slightly heavy and ugly

Overall:

I've used this crank for over a year and I've had zero issues. Still spins reliably in mostly dry dusty conditions. I've used Many SRAM/truvativ offerings that are pretty much as good, and I marginally prefer the GXP system, but it's close.

Actually I wanted a more bling crank, but I was running out of cash near the end of a build and went for something reasonably priced and well proven, and haven't been disappointed. Originally I set up the crank single speed with a guide, and now with a race face narrow/wide single chain ring, with absolutely no compatibility issues, and a nice weight saving.

Ideally I'd use something like a race face Next, lighter and all bling, but really you only shave at most 200 grams and that 's not a great deal, but it does add up over the build, but cranks are maybe not that critical a component to lighten compared to wheels or forks, but if money is no object, then maybe not the 590s.

This product has 3 reviews

Added a product review for Hope Technology Seat Collar 2/8/2014 12:56 AM
C138_qr703b01_black

Get the QR version

Rating:

The Good: Works well and well finished

The Bad: A child could strip out the extremely weak alloy bolt and even snap it

Overall:

In my opinion an aluminium alloy is just the wrong material to use for a bolt in this application, the weight savings are just minuscule, it's just too weak, I stripped out the bolt with very minimal force, which is pretty disappointing from a manufacturer like Hope.

However the collar part of the product is well finished and nicely anodised and has lasted for years, after I switched out the bolt for a steel version. I also use the QR collar and have never had a problem, so I'd recommend buying that instead.

This product has 2 reviews

Added a product review for Maxxis High Roller II Tire 2/6/2014 9:31 AM
C138_70747

Worthy, but Minion beats it

Rating:

The Good: Mud shedding ability, and downhill bite

The Bad: Weight, climbing slip, and cornering sketch unless ruthlessly thrown at the corner

Overall: Not a bad DH tire, if I got a bike with them I'd use them, but replace them with something else. They look like the offspring of the original HRs mixed with a Minion DHR. I was never a fan of the old High Roller, and much prefer the Minion DHF. The HR2 is better than the old tire IMO but still has some of the old annoyances, personally a think it just handles a bit worse than a DHF, but braking traction is good as is mud shedding. Climbing as HR is worse than a semi-slick

This product has 3 reviews

Added a product review for 2014 Kona Operator Bike 2/4/2014 1:25 PM
C138_operator

A solid sled

Rating:

The Good: Great frame and suspension, bike soaks up the terrain with ease.

The Bad: No direct mount stem, would prefer Minion DHF tires and Zee brakes, USD shock annoying to adjust, wheels are super heavy.

Overall:

I demoed this bike, I was pretty impressed with the frame, great geometry and graphics, Kona have come a long way even in the last 2-3 years. Other components slightly less impressed, upside down shock was annoying to adjust as as I couldn't see the compression knob properly. The normal stem looked like an ugly cheap option, when there should really be a direct mount stem. I also hate the High Roller 2 tires, seem just far too heavy and squirm around too much. I can't complain about the Code brakes, they work well, but I think they could have matched the Zee cranks with Zee brakes as surely the reliability and maintenance would benefit most riders.

If it was my bike I'd run tubeless rims and tires to really get the bike to fly by getting rid of 1-2kg of unsprung weight and maybe a regular rear cassette and rear derailleur as uplift days are so rare in my local area. Loved the stability of the bike, but I'll be sticking with my 160mm travel AM bike unless I move somewhere with a chairlift or cable car!

This product has 2 reviews

Liked a bike check Nukeproof Mega 1/19/2014 7:30 AM
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Added a comment about photo 960077 10152758696852524 1555010608 n 1/5/2014 7:12 PM
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I'm 40 this year, but I'm going to keep in shape to emarrass my kids! :-) Keep shreddin.

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This photo has 4 comments.

Added reply in a thread Best and worst purchases 1/2/2014 6:22 PM

1. ODI TLD grips 2. Race Face Narrow-Wide chain ring 3. Fizik Tundra addle 4. Stans fluid 5. Gorilla Tape Worst: 1.SDG Patriot saddle 2. X-Fusion Velvet Fork 3. Rock Shox Monarch RC3 4. 5.

Added a comment about feature 14 Things To Be Stoked About for 2014 in Mountain Biking 1/1/2014 9:04 PM
C50_lew_drop_avatar

What's all the big fuss over inverted forks? For motorcycles there are rubbish cheap bikes made in China with inverted forks and excellent performing normal way up forks on great bikes. Being a good fork is number one, being inverted not really such a great thing as I think the potential for damage and extra maintenance headaches is a serious problem enough, then teething problems with new designs. Out of about 10 forks I've had only half have ever made it to being 2 years old without serious issues. Seems like reinventing the wheel before the original design is fully refined.

For example not every hydraulic disk brake is better than mechanical brake.

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This feature has 19 comments.

Added a comment about press release The Most Expensive Mountain Bike in the World 12/25/2013 12:35 AM
C50_lew_drop_avatar

This is just an annoying publicity machine. Make something out of gold get publicity, melt it down into something else. This one is ever stoopider, an inferior material too.

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This press release has 26 comments.

Liked a comment on the item It's Gold, Baby! Inside X-Fusion's Inverted Revel HLR Fork 12/24/2013 2:59 AM

just another hype fork - im certainly not impressed, if im going to spend 1700$ on a single crown, it had better say BOS on it... Almost all of my experiences with x-fusion products have been overwhelmingly negative, lots of stiction, slow turnaround times for services, very...more

Added a product review for X-Fusion Slant RL2 Suspension Fork 12/22/2013 5:50 PM
C138_mt13slant_rl_b_gold

Will fail quickly but perform well. Syntace 15mm skewer is fantastic

Rating:

The Good: Excellent on the trail, buttery smooth, superbly damped

The Bad: Will break or fail somehow within a month. X-Fusion will then take like 2 months to repair it because this way they can 'sit out' out their 2 year warranty period. Please test your products before you bring them to market, we are not idiots.

Overall:

I tried this fork, borrowed from a friend for a few weeks. I have a Velvet, he has a Slant. We both found the same thing, the fork is quite excellent on the trail but doesn't last we've had countless warranty issues. Somehow X-Fusion rushed their R&D or something and made a bunch of hideously unreliable extremely excellent performing forks.

If you ride everyday, it's 1 star. If you have a specific race rig, then these will match up well with your Schwalbe Nobby Nic 5 ride racing tires and Crank Bros pedals. If you only have the time to ride once a week you might be OK too.

5 stars of racing provided they survive the race. 3 stars for a once a week rider and 1 star for everyday riders.

'X-Fusion the Crank Bros of Suspension minus the customer service'.

This product has 3 reviews

Added a comment about feature It's Gold, Baby! Inside X-Fusion's Inverted Revel HLR Fork 12/22/2013 3:47 PM
C50_lew_drop_avatar

X-Fusion manufacture for Fox in Taiwan. Like Fox their forks perform excellently on the trail, especially good for racing. However like Fox if you use their forks everyday they probably won't last and will need a lot of maintenance so you'll probably have a host of warranty issues. Not hating , just a heads up from personal experience.

X-Fusion rush their R&D to get their product to market sooner than other manufacturers, this is because they like mo' money.

Also lifetime service and warranty is pointless if it takes them 2 months to service your fork. You'll need a back-up Pike for when your X-Fusion is away being repaired for the 10th time. In fact, screw it just buy a Pike. The gold coloring on these fork is vile anyhow.

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This feature has 6 comments.

Added a comment about feature When 800mm Isn't Wide Enough - Introducing the Greg Minnaar Signature Edition ENVE Handlebar 12/20/2013 6:51 PM
C50_lew_drop_avatar

Marketing alert! Max length is 800mm unless you are an orangutang. 780mm is enough for most. My Renthal road bars motorcycle bars are 760, motocross are 800.

This feature has 11 comments.