xyian's Product Reviews

Added a product review for Dakine Exodus Bike Gloves Black 2/26/2015 9:41 AM

Basic glove that requires personal stitching skills


The Good: Light, cheap, breathes well, fits bars well

The Bad: Craftsmanship


I bought these last summer as a cheap glove that breathed well so my hands wouldn't sweat so much. I wanted something light, cheap and with no padding so I could contact the bars. I looked at competitors' gloves but saw these for half the price. They couldn't be half the performance, right? Right? Well....

Fit - The gloves fit great. I normally wear a size large glove and these fit great. No extra length in the fingers and it conformed to the palm well. The velcro enclosure wrapped around nicely and didn't cause any pressure points. The velcro was clean and didn't come loose but tears away easily when you attempt to remove the gloves. A great thing about the gloves is when you grip the bars they don't bunch up like a lot of gloves do. They fit well with the bar and with no padding they allow you to feel the bar and the response is great. You're getting all the feedback for your bike. Whether you need padding or not will depend on what you seek from your gloves. I prefer next to nothing or no gloves at all.

Look - The look of these gloves is understated. I have the grey model which is grey on top and black on the bottom half. There's some red striping as well as the index finger paint for touchscreens. Not loud(like some other brands) and just there to do it's job. I'm not into flashy gear that pronounces you to someone five miles away. Good for avoiding being shot by a hunter but do we need neon streaks in the forest? No. No. We really don't. Personal preference, I suppose.

Performance - These gloves feel great on the bar as I stated before in the review. They have a tactile feel to them that allows you to get the feedback from under your bars. The snot wipe works fine and is nice and soft for those with a tender nose. The velcro doesn't come loose under any situation yet when you go to unlatch it the velcro lets go easily. The print stripes on the index finger works great on an iPhone touchscreen(and likely just about any other touchscreen) but after near a year of washings of the gloves the paint is left at about 50% of the original. So, these likely are one season gloves.

The big issue with the performance is that after my second ride the stitching on the side blew out on both gloves. This is just unacceptable. Fortunately, I'm like a cheap MacGuyver and fixed the gloves myself. Mama taught me how to sew and I grabbed needle and thread and ghetto stitched the gloves. Worked a charm because my skills are that good. Unfortunately after that on an index finger side the stitching blew out. The craftsmanship as far as the stitching on the gloves is horrendous. It's a shame because they're a decent light glove but the stitching just doesn't hold up. I'm not certain if it's the wet weather I subjected these to or too much bar drag. Point is that they're just not passing the tests.

Temperature range - I've ridden these in all seasons in the NorthWet. They're fine for about 50 to 90 degrees. Really is anything good above 90? Your hands are going to sweat. Period. But below 50 and they're pretty uncomfortable. The gloves breathe really well as they are mesh on top. Unfortunately when it's wet and cold it lets all that in and nobody needs cold hands. Once it hits your hands it starts permeating your body. Then it's game over.

Protection - These offer basic protection. Not much more than that. There's no fancy rubber armor on them. There's no frills. There's no padding. These are basically a condom for your hand. They offer a coating and are durable for wrecks but you punch a tree and your hand is gonna have to take it. They are basically to help you with resisting cuts but that's about it.

In short they would be a decent summer glove. But the stitching just isn't enough to be able to recommend them for anyone. One blowout I can understand. Two blowouts is bad. But three blowouts? Shame on you Dakine! Get some better overseas stitchers. Seriously.

This product has 1 review.

Added a product review for Pedro's Ice Wax 2.0 Lube 2/20/2015 10:10 AM

It LOOKS like it would be good but...


The Good: Inexpensive, goopy and waxy, smells nice

The Bad: Lasts only one ride, hard to get chain completely wiped free of lube


We've obviously come to a different era. An era where guys discuss lubes with other guys, right? Right. Wait. What were we discussing again? Oh yeah. Chain lube. I got this lube in a pack with a degreaser and chain cleaning tool. This was the product I was most jazzed about as it seemed really different. I have tried many a lube(from TriFlow all the way to B-9 to Dumonde) and have liked some and realized others were a waste. Unfortunately I'd have to put the Ice Wax in the latter category. I hold B-9 as my gold standard as it goes on easily, wipes away easily and stays adhered to the chain for at least three rides or more in the NorthWet winters.

This lube is more of the waxy, goopy type. It goes on easy enough with the applicator bottle but you'll likely have to press it into the chain with a finger as you spin the cranks to get it all up in yo chain. It dries well and wipes off in a so-so manner. There were certainly still chunks of it inside the links. I can't say I enjoyed that aspect of the lube. Oil and grease still on a chain in larger quantities means more area for which dirt can stick. Fortunately, this lube is really only going to stay on for one ride. It seems to come off rather easily and each time I noticed that my chain was squeaking by the next ride. Up in the Pacific NW that can't happen for me. I need something durable and relatively waterproof even in the summer. This might work better somewhere more dry as it's a dry lube.

For now, it was cheap, it smelled good but it didn't cut the mustard. I'll have to ask my neighbour if he has any Grey Poupon...

This product has 1 review.

Added a product review for Continental Mountain King ProTection Tire 1/28/2015 7:24 AM

I miss the Exiwolf


The Good: Light, uhh....durable?

The Bad: Super porous sidewalls, horrible wet root/rock traction, doesn't hold a seal, seems smaller than advertised size(2.2)


Well, since WTB discontinued my favorite rolling rear tire, the Exiwolf, I had to move on and accept the loss. Change happens. We get used to it. We adapt. We move on. We are humans after all. I had seen many a positive review on the Mountain King II(MKII) version 2. The first version garnered tremendous hate due to poor quality control that resulted in knobs ripping off randomly. So, I purchased the ProTection version of the MKII to set up tubeless. Still to this day the bead holds fine but the sidewalls are the consistency of cheesecloth. While this makes them nice and supple(120TPI) it does nothing for their ability to hold air even with sealant. So...keeping them aired is a daily chore. I was hoping that a couple rides would help snuff all that out but no. At least they wear slowly. That counts for something, right? Unfortunately, it means I'll be stuck with these in my garage for a long time.

So, the ride. That's what we all care about isn't it? For a blocky tire they roll pretty darn well. Unlike my Vigilante on my other bike they roll surprisingly fast. When you're on packed dirt they are a good tire. With their surprising rolling speed and tall side knobs they corner well and keep things moving. The transition from center to side knobs is very trustworthy and there's no loss of traction in that exchange. Where they don't do well is under braking. They give way almost immediately and break loose far too quickly. They also don't do well on roots. They chatter and skip on rocks going downhill but nothing too bad. They pick up traction right away once the brakes are released. In the wet they shed the mud well but if you're looking for grip you better look elsewhere. Most times when I laid down the power they were slipping and sliding all over. And braking is akin to feeling like Garrett Buehler on some loose shale ridge only without being him and without riding a big mountain ridge. This tire is definitely NOT a winter tire even with the Black Chili compound.

Would I recommend this to someone who rides only XC or races on buff trails? Sure. Maybe. Would I recommend it to anyone else who is seeking an all around tire? No. No I wouldn't. There's other choices that are going to be better suited for you.

This product has 2 reviews.

Added a product review for Fox Racing Dirtpaw Gloves 11/20/2014 12:14 PM

Like slipping paws over your mitts


The Good: Fit, feel, value, bar feel, protection

The Bad: Trying to think of something....nope.


I previously had some super light Dakine gloves that detonated within a month. I will say I expect all Dakine products to detonate immediately after purchase. Sometimes you're in a bind and need something on the spot. I had tried these gloves on at the bike shop a couple times. We courted each other for a while. I was a little hesitant due to the cost but then I started comparing against others such as TLD. Once the Dakine's shat the bed after stitching them back together I decided to ask the Fox out on a date. She graciously accepted and a cheap $25 date later we had consummated something special. No frat pick up lines needed here.

Slipping them on it's like having some Italian shoes on your feet: sublime. They feel very soft on the inside in contrast to their rugged exterior. They are a little in your face with the branding and such. Nothing a Sharpie couldn't fix on some of the plastic bits. The fingers articulate very well and you can feel the bars pretty well through their relatively thick palms. You can feel the bars and your brake levers with a good bit of response. That's a sensation that's missing in some of the more padded/carbonized gloves out there.There's protection galore below and above. I would put these more to the Rubenesque side of gloves rather than waif. What's surprising is that for their thickness they seem to wick sweaty palms quite well. If one were to wreck(I NEVER do that...) they will protect your hands handsomely. You can continue on with your hand modeling job after the ride. There's plastic bits on the knuckles and top of the hand and the padding on the bottom is just right.

The velcro strap is usually a tricky affair. It seems to never hold well enough, holds well but catches on any bike clothing when undone or the strap is in the wrong place overall. Well, I'm happy to inform you that with these gloves the catch is on the underside and the velcro they used seems to have the magical power of staying stuck yet not catching on your clothing when undone. Not certain what brand they use for the fastener but more companies should take note.

The grip bits on the index and middle fingers also work great on touchscreen devices. No issues there. They also grip the brake levers. As for the gloves temperature I'm not able to speak out on super warm Phoenix days but in the NorthWet summers they were just fine. They never had my hands overheating or soaked through with sweat. It also doesn't get cold enough here to say how far down in temperature they would go but so far I've been wet in moderate temps with them and it wasn't noticeable at all. And that speaks volumes for a glove. I'd say it's a glove that I put on but that I don't notice. I can't think of much more to ask from such a consummation.

This product has 2 reviews.

Added a product review for Fox Racing Sergeant Shorts 2011 11/10/2014 10:50 AM

Well cut but cotton??


The Good: Great fit, good cut, just baggy enough, length is nice, good liner

The Bad: Cotton fabric, crotch catches on seat, pockets are a bit deep


When I bought these I thought they were soft and supple and felt very nice. I mean, really, who doesn't like soft and supple, right? When I tried them on with the liner it seemed like they just fit right. These were gonna be summer shorts for when I wasn't wearing pads. The shorts are definitely on the long side. Think: modern day basketball shorts. They fit well on the waist though and were very comfortable. As a matter of fact, they were very comfortable on the first two hour ride with them including the liner. The crotch hung up on the seat a few times but I've learned to just deal with that over time with just about any short. The liner is very well made and doesn't use the strange tabs every other company uses that makes it all strange when you have to drop drawers. The chamois is well made and offers no chafing on the seams.

The short itself has a great cut and though the pockets are a bit long they aren't in the way unless full. Even when you have things in them they puff out instead of in and down. These are shorts you wouldn't feel out of place wearing in the bar. Relatively understated for Fox and seem like normal cargo shorts as they don't swish when you walk. Unfortunately, they're not the best for riding in the Northwest. I must have had a brain fart when I noted that they were primarily cotton. This is really a no-no. I rode these in the summer and they were sweat soaked and didn't dry out quickly. These wouldn't be the shorts to take on a road trip. You likely wouldn't be wearing them the next day. If they were made with some sort of soft polyester these would be great longer shorts.

This product has 2 reviews.

Added a product review for Mavic Alpine XL Clipless Shoe 9/23/2014 7:53 PM

Might this be the best non-Italian shoe for your feet? Well...minus a stormtrooper mistaken appearance.


The Good: Fit, weight, flex, price, grip, support

The Bad: Look, neoprene boot practically useless, pressure points up top


So, I had been rocking XC shoes since back in the day where I was dragged kicking and screaming into the world of SPDs. Mashing the pedals on the slippers is great because they're stiff as a 4x8 but because of the top section of my foot they were constantly falling asleep. Why? Well...because they were essentially being smashed against a 4x8 super stiff carbon board. I wasn't quite ready to dive into the world of flat pedals as I've gotten nice and used to the laziness of floating my feet around. Besides, my aging knees creak and moan at the mention of flat pedals. Fair enough.

What would be the compromise? I wanted a shoe that had a good stiffness to it but not so much as to restrict the capillaries from receiving their mandated blood flow to keep the piggies going to market. After all, nobody wants to make it to market and then pass out. Right? I also didn't want to sacrifice the off the bike climbing qualities of an XC shoe(really? they do OTB?) to have a skate shoe look(and grip). I wanted a front box that would maybe flex so that walking wouldn't be painful or torturous or feeling like I had a set of roman 4x8 bricks strapped to my foot like XC slippers can sometimes exhibit. I was also tired of the Cinderella slipper looks of XC shoes(and the required spandex wear) but also didn't necessarily find any skate shoes with lugged soles either. Am I searching like Goldilocks? Am I impossible to please? Bear with me here.

I tried them on at the store and they just slipped on. I'm not Goldilocks. I'm Cinderella. And I'm going to the ball mofo! They fit like a glove. That said, Mavic has always made shoes for me feet(adidas included). I have a high arch and a high arching top half to my foot. Now, while few shoes will deal with the top half of my foot, I also wanted to be able to fit in my orthotics and these have enough volume inside for that. But I found there wasn't a ton of need for the orthotics. The included insoles seem to work just fine. For once, I found myself riding and not feeling like I had to constantly adjust my shoes. I don't seem to have the upper section pressure like other reviewers I have seen across the web. The lacing system works really well for me. It's pretty no nonsense and easy to work. I have even marked the perfect spot with a sharpie to try to attain the perfect fit(knowing it will likely stretch over time). Anyway, I can go to the dance now because the shoes fit. The best part is I can drive to the dance in these if I'm running late. These are the first shoes I've ever a. felt comfortable enough to drive in and b. don't even notice half the time that I'm wearing bike shoes fully laced while driving and c. driven in while not transporting someone to a hospital.

Now, would you be seen at the dance in these? No. Absofuckinglutely not! Well, unless you always rock white pants. They are ugly. Over the years Mavic has never either understood aesthetic or they're just proud French. I'm gonna lean towards the latter because they still insist everyone wants yellow. Luckily, these are the white shoe(the yellow is their top tier). One thing they DO have going for them is they don't use Mavic's ratchet system. I've had little luck with their ratchets over the years and they're like finding a unicorn in a magical forest. I've been lucky enough to find one replacement set over the years. They are just really hard to track down. I wanted a strap. I got a strap. And it's durable as anything out there with super strong velcro. These won't win you any style points but they keep dirt a little bit to make your friends forget about them enough to stop making fun of your moon boots. That said...they're waterproof(minus the tongue which has mesh) enough to keep me comfortable even in the mild winters of the NorthWet. I've worn them in all conditions save for snow and they've never really bothered me and I've never felt like I had to put my shoe covers on them.

Let's get to the performance...shall we? Well, I was looking for a good stiffness but a decent front box flex. Wow! It's like Mavic was listening to me and heard my siren call. They have a great stiffness to them on the back 2/3. As a matter of fact they're likely not an XC super T89a24.1104 OSHA carbon footbed missing soccer spikes up front but I'm yet to say "man I wish these were more stiff!". The front toe box flexes for hike-a-bike and is the perfect balance. They are like wearing the perfect footbed with the right flex for real mountain biking. We're not tiptoeing through rocks like an XC racer. We're mountain bikers. We have suspension. But when we screw up and have to get off or you're rehiiking a section these are as comfortable as they get with superb grip. I had no issue with cleat clearance either. Using my Time cleats there's plenty of space all around and I've never had issues clipping in.

So, really, is there much to fault with these? No. They're light, they have the perfect flex, they fit great(on my feet) and at $120 they're a complete steal. What's to dislike? Well, unless you're a total Star Wars nerd they're pretty stormtrooper-like and the neoprene cuff on the top is relatively useless(I get a lot of small pine needles and pebbles inside). Even more important: they're really hard to find! But if you can find them you should try them. They're a well thought out and well executed shoe for the every man who uses cheater pedals.

This product has 3 reviews.

Added a product review for Fox Racing Launch Pro Knee Guard 9/13/2014 7:31 PM

Bombproof protection that won't let you down


The Good: Tough, rugged, stout, kevlar stays in tact, pads stay in place, cheap

The Bad: Bulky which leads to sweaty knees in warmer climates, slide on only so you have to wear them all the ride.


I finally got tired in my old age of wrecking(especially in wet winters) and bruising or scraping my knees. No, I'm not down on my knees as much as you may be thinking. But on a slick log over in December you can end up bouncing all your body parts and bruising more often than not. Also, with the advent of enduro riding(sarcasm) you just HAVE to have pads now, right? Not one to be left out on the trend I got my 800mm bars and knee pads.

All kidding aside these things have fit well from day one. I don't have robust legs and wear a size medium in these pads. They have always been good about staying in place and don't feel obtrusive while pedaling up hill. As a matter of fact they feel comfortable in all situations. The only time you're REALLY gonna notice these is on a warm day and having to pedal hard. These aren't very breathable because they have protection everywhere but right behind your knee. So you are going to sweat in these bad boys. But the protection is worth it. It's a hard plastic knee pad surrounded by a kevlar cover and believe you me that kevlar works! I have had some high speed wrecks where if I wasn't wearing knee pads my knees would be torn up. The side pads do their job as a firm foam.

These come in at a great price point and hold up over time. After a year and a half and at least three major wrecks(with a broken clavicle in there) they show one nick on the left pad. I know I've ground to a halt on the pads twice and you wouldn't even know it. I keep washing them and they look just as good as day one. I highly suggest these to anyone. If they could make them so that you don't have to slide them on and they would stay in place I'd easily give these a 5. Otherwise they get a 4.5. Superb product.

This product has 2 reviews.

Added a product review for ODI Lock-On Grip - Rogue 9/13/2014 7:23 PM

This would likely be the grip for those who want a fat grip


The Good: Locks on with no problem

The Bad: The thick grip isn't made for my hands, heavy, spendy


My bike came with these initially and I thought I liked them. Well, at least I liked them for the climbing portion of the trail. They offered a lot of cush for pulling on the handlebars. When it came time to go downhill though my hands cursed the very existence of all that padding. I wasn't into the cush and my hands started to hurt after extended downhills. The issue became exacerbated with repeated days in the saddle. I believe I found these to just be too thick for my paws and had to resign them to the parts bin. I ended up going for some ODI Vans grips and have found those to be my thickness.

If you need big grips these might be your ticket. I prefer thin grips and the feel they offer. It's kind of like saddles...to each their own.

This product has 6 reviews.

Added a product review for Kore OCD Handlebar 8/4/2014 7:09 PM

Like the McGuyver of wide bars


The Good: 800mm means there's space to cut Lightweight Stiff enough Durable

The Bad: Aluminum has a fatigue life


I bought these trying to go wider on my 160mm bike. Well....800mm is about as wide as you're gonna get for the most part. Jeebus! I tried it a ride at 800mm and knew immediately that it wasn't going to work that way. I tried on a few different settings and eventually settled on 760mm. That's a lot of cutting, right? Luckily there's gradations every 10mm so you can get things cut right. Bar actually cuts relatively easily. It's not a soft bar either. I've wrecked a few times with it and it isn't worse for wear. Eventually those wrecks WILL add up because it's aluminum and will fatigue eventually.

The bar is very lightweight for it's size. Actually pretty competitive with carbon. It was really cheap, hasn't creaked or complained and definitely been put through the paces.There's plenty of space and a good sweep and rise to it. There's really not much to fault with this bar. I'd suggest the bar to anyone looking for something wide that they might want to cut down.

This product has 2 reviews.