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taldfind's Product Reviews

Added a product review for Teva Links Flat Pedal Shoe 3/15/2013 8:01 AM
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Get a High Five from your Feet.

Rating:

The Good: -Stiff sole -Just the right amount of grip -Really comfortable -Water Proofed(except for the mesh) -Mesh on top for breatablility

The Bad: After giving this a good five minutes of thought, I suppose they could have more color options to match my gear.

Overall:

Let me start by saying that I have spent most of my biking life running skate shoes or basketball shoes as my everyday and bikingfootwear. About two years ago, Idecided to buy some dedicated mountain bike shoes. The Teva Links was not the first pair I purchased. While the other shoes had amazing grip, they were impossible to move to make small foot position adjustments, the sole was too flexible, and I hated walking around in them.

So after a year I got the Teva Links. And with it I lost all my previous complaints. In the short, my feet love me for buying these. I wear these shoes all day, every day for almost everything. In fact the only time they come off my feet is when I need my steel toe boots, church, or bed.

The water proofing is good too, with only the toe mesh as a weakness. But that toe mesh makes these shoes cool off better than other shoes I have had.

On the bike the shoes are nice and stiff and help you really push the bike into corners and off lips. The grip is pretty good too. Just drop your heels and you will have your feel locked in place. But if you fell like your foot isn't quite where you want it on your pedal, just lift your heel a bit and wiggle it on over.

I don't have any real complaints about this shoe, not even the color choices are a big deal. But hey, if you have to have a certain color, it's unavailability might bug you.

These are great shoes and I am certain that once my current pair wears out, I'm going to buy another pair.

Edit on Oct 1, 2013.  I've had to take a star away due to durability. Let me preface my reasoning by making two points. First, my pair of Links have been my "go-to" shoe for bout 90% of the time that I need some king of footwear. Which brings me to my second point; the last time I wore just a single pair of shoes for 90% of my activities was when I was a young teen. Back then my parents bought my shoes from Walmart, and the $20-$30 shoes would last six months. I had two exceptions, both were second-hand Nike shoes that lasted me until I out-grew them (a year or more).

Based on that, I figure that a shoes that cost about $70 on sale should last two to three times longer than my Walmart shoes ever did. I've had the Links for one year, and three months, and the sole is coming apart from the uppers. I had expected to get three to nine more months out of these shoes. Perhaps my expectations are too high, and perhaps it is just the result of all the love these shoes got compared to other shoes I have purchased to ride with.

This product has 2 reviews.

Added a product review for RockShox Vivid Air R2C Rear Shock 3/11/2013 10:34 AM
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Vivid Air is a Step in the Right Direction

Rating:

The Good: -Light for a DH/Freeride shock -High volume air can for a less progressive feel -Sag indicators -Dual-rebound adjustment.

The Bad: -Not as smooth as coil shocks -Air can valve can be a pain to get to

Overall:

When I bought this shock, I was on a weight loss kick for my rig. Basically I wanted my baby to slim down without loosing performance. At the time, the Vivid Air R2C was the only air shock that I was considering since it has a larger air can, and is built from the ground up to be put on a DH/Freeride bike. The Vivid Air comes in three different compression tunes to match the travel ratio of your bike. The problem I had with this, is that Rockshox doesn't make it very easy to find out which tune fits which travel ratio. After a few weeks of searching and comparing forum results, I found that my bike could run either a medium tune, or a high tune. Iopted for a medium tune so that I could have a more subtle ride, while letting the air springs natural progressive rate take care of bottom out.

I ran into trouble as soon as I started setting up my rig. Because of the large size of the air can, I wanted to be sure that the shock wouldn't make contact anywhere on the frame. So I let out all the air, and started to cycle the shock through it's travel. Sadly I forgot to take off the shock pump, so I ended up breaking the schrader valve. Fortunately, that is a replaceable part, and I got it fixed for about $30.

After the fix, I made sure to keep a very close eye on the shock while setting sag, since they want you to keep the pump on the shock during the process. Thanks the the location of the schrader valve, installing a removing the shock pump is a bit of a pain. On the bright side, thanks to the sag indicators put directly onto the shock, knowing if I needed more or less sag was easy.

Tuning the shock took some getting used to. I am much for used to two compression and one rebound settings. The Vivid Air R2C has two rebound and one compression settings.  After numerous tuning ride sessions, I finally got the Vivid Air to start behaving the way I wanted it too.

On the trail I found that it handled big hits very well, since it took a few casings on the jumps. Medium hits were also taken care of to my liking. In fact, I found that the harder I charged into rock gardens, the more smooth the shock felt. On the flip side, the shock never felt quite subtle enough on smaller hits, and tended to feel like I was loosing traction. This characteristic made it difficult for me to have the confidence to charge into anything.

My verdict? While the Vivid Air felt better than other air shocks that I have tried on other bikes, and I feel that it is a step in the right direction, I ultimately decided to switch back to a coil shock so that I could regain confidence in my bike's handling.

This product has 2 reviews.

Added a product review for FOX DHX RC4 Rear Shock 3/7/2013 12:00 PM
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Best Rear Shock I have owned to date!

Rating:

The Good: Smooth. Easy to tune. Amazing Damping.

The Bad: Only that it took me soo long to wake up and buy one.

Overall:

The Fox DHX RC4 is the third shock that I have run on my current rig. And let me start byapologizing to my bike for not buying this shock right away.

Okay, so for the experiences. As soon as I installed it, I promptly took this shock up to one of my favorite trails. The trail has some gnarly rock sections, with some nice big drops too. Perfect for tuning. I had found and copied the Fox tuning guide for the RC4, and found their instructions and suggestions perfect for helping me quickly and accurately fine tune the settings. After about an hour, I had my rear shock dialed in to perfection.

The RC4 takes all the hits I throw at it with ease, never bottoming. I've even cased a few landings on it. And as for trail chatter and rock sections, well lets just say the term for smooth needs to change from "smooth as a baby's bottom" to "smooth as a Fox DHX RC4."

This product has 5 reviews.

Added a product review for RockShox Lyrik RC2DH Solo Air Fork 3/7/2013 11:45 AM
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Tougher than You think

Rating:

The Good: -Light for 170mm of travel -Dual flow Rebound -High and Low speed compression adjust. -Tough

The Bad: -Could be smoother.

Overall:

I rode my Rockshox Lyrik RC2 DH Solo Air for all of last season. I love to catch air and tackle technical terrain, and took everyopportunity to hit lots of both while tuning in the damping.

I did a lot of playing around with setting on this fork, which thankfully is made easier by the little turtle and jack-alope icons. Maybe it's just the way I think, but I found Rockshox's tuning tips to be of little help, so it took me quite a while to find my settings. Once I found my settings however, I felt a lot more comfortable on the bike.

The one thing that i couldn't overcome was the slightly sticky feeling on the rough terrain. On big hits the fork was wonderful and never bottomed out, but the fork felt sluggish in rock gardens, no matter how few clicks I ran the damping.

Overall, this is a good fork that surprised me on it's big hit capabilities, but left me feeling compromised on rough terrain.

This product has 1 review.

Added a product review for Hayes Stroker Ace Hydraulic Disc Brake Set 3/6/2013 2:14 PM
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Simple and Strong

Rating:

The Good: 4-piston calipers. Great power. Lever adjustment.

The Bad: No modulation. Lacks contact adjustment.

Overall:

This is the start of my third season with the same Hayes Stroker Ace brakes. Since purchasing them they have run countless miles of downhill trails, jumps and attempts to get some street tricks on. These are the strongest breaks I have run to date, often allowing me to wait until the lastmoment before making a quick squeeze on the lever the achieve my desired speed. These brakes make me feel faster than other breaks I have run. With four pistons, and a large pad, these things are born for long descents.

However, the technology of Hayes gravity brakes is falling behind. Almost every other company sells brakes with all the adjustments and power of the Ace, but add in brake modulation for better braking on lone and hard pulls, as well as pad contact adjustment point to help the rider find the perfect spot to start slowing down. This makes for a simple brake to set up,but leads the Ace to engage the pads early and hard in the lever pull range. Riders who tend to grip overly hard while braking will want to look elsewhere.

The worst part, is that Hayes has put much of the missing technology into their Prime Brakes, so why not carry it over into the Stroker Ace?

The bottom line is that while I personally feel like they fit into my riding style, I also believe that they are not a brake for everyone.

This product has 2 reviews.

Added a product review for iXS Slope-SeriesEVO Knee Pad 2/28/2013 6:40 PM
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Pads that you will forget, in a good way.

Rating:

The Good: Great protection. Amazing comfort. Large range of sizes.

The Bad: I can't think of any.

Overall:

Amazing.Incredible. Awesome. I hope iXS never stops making the SlopeEVO knee pads. I have worn knee pads for the last 10 years, but until i bought the SlopeEVO pads, I was always bugged by them.

Never before could I wear pad the whole day without feeling relived the moment I took the pads off.With the SlopeEVO pads, I can wear them all day.

Plus the stay in place, which no other pads have ever done for me. I think this is do to the larger range of sizes available from iXS. Other pads had me choosing between too big or too small, but these pads are a perfect fit for my rather chicken like legs.

I am also pleased to announce, that they can be worn under your jeans, if that is your thing.

And did I mention that they passed the carpet test so well, that I did it a few more times just for fun.

I will wear these pads to their grave, if it is even possible to kill them. And if they die, I will just buy a new set.

This product has 1 review.

Added a product review for iXS Phobos-Anchor Full Face Helmet 2/28/2013 6:30 PM
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Well built with nice looks.

Rating:

The Good: Solid performance, good venting and great looks. Great Price

The Bad: Fit is more snug than other helmets I've had. D-ring is annoying.

Overall:

For the past season and a half I have been wearing the iXS Phobos helmet. I chose the helmet based on the bright colors and great price that they are available in. I'm a huge fan of bright colors, and iXS delivered an amazing looking helmet with the Phopos.

While I haven't had many crashes to my head, I can think of one particular crash that sent me face first into the dirt. My mouth was full of the brown stuff, but there was absolutely no injury to worry about. The Phobos took the hit like a champ, protecting my head, while only suffering a small, cosmetic crack on the visor.

This helmet would be perfect IF it slid on easier. It's a squeeze to get the helmet on and off, and requires a break in period to get to the point where it isn't annoying. And while I have grownaccustom enough to it to feel comfortable, I have never reached the point where I forget that it is on.

Also, the D-ring seems to be harder to loop the straps in and out of compared to other helmets I have worn, and of coarse a D-ring always looses to a clip-in strap.

All things considered, I have no plans to replace my iXS Phobos, and when I do reach that point, it will still be on my list of helmets to consider.

This product has 1 review.

Added a product review for Azonic Outlaw Wheelset 2/28/2013 5:59 AM
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Azonic Outlaw, for the set and forget crowd.

Rating:

The Good: -Strong -Nice, long lasting color -Inexpensive -Can hold a ghetto tubeless. -Tough to knock out of true.

The Bad: -While not overly heavy, they also aren't overly light.

Overall:

I've been running my Azonic Outlaw wheelset for a season and some change now, and I can honestly say that these are an incredible bargain.I'm 5' 11" and a mere 150lbs (with gear on), and I love to jump my bike, and charge into rough sections of trail. I have managed to destroy one wheel (from a competing company) within a week, so it's safe to say that my riding style can reap havoc on a wheel. Despite multiple casings and bike flinging crashes, the Outlaw rims remain dent free, and only required minimal truing after nearly 8 months of neglect and abuse.

After a while I decided to convert to tubeless using gorilla tape to seal the rim. The system is holding up very well, and I have yet to experience the dreaded air burp while hammering a corner. Oh, and my tires are not the UST model.

There are a couple of nit-pics that I wish Azonic would change. First, while the green on my rims has stayed strong, and still looks new, I wish they had more colors than black, white, red, blue, green, "hustler", and the occasional gold. Mainly I think that gold should become standard, and that "raw," purple and orange be added to the line up.

Second, they need to find a way to lighten up the wheel set without sacrificing their strength. At a claimed 2200 grams they are neither light, or heavy but there are wheel sets out there that are just as strong, and lighter, but for extra cash.

Overall, I have received way more performance and bling than what I paid for from the Azonic Outlaw Wheel set, and with a few changes, they could go from being the best deal I know of, to simply the best wheel set around.

This product has 1 review.