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Added a comment about feature Vital MTB Face Off: The Best Flat Pedals 5/23/2020 5:37 AM
kdiff

Thanks for the input.

“So it is hardly fair to call us out because you stripped one pin thread and the company won't replace your pedal.”

It’s not just about the pin, it’s the fact that the pedal wasn’t built correctly in the first place. Them not being greased properly has nothing to do with them being “exotic”. I understand the pin issue might be an issue of it being “exotic”, though a friend of mine, that is much harder on stuff, has not had problems as fast with his HT Mag pedals. HT has also been over the top in their service when he’s had issues. (I’m not expecting this from DMR, but I do think they should last for a few hundred miles without needing service. I’m pretty sure the pin hole was stripped from the factory, not from me, because it is tight until I start backing it out and then it behaves like a stripped pin. If it were from me/impact then it would wobble when its completely in.) Regarding them being “exotic”, iIf a product is so unreliable then perhaps it shouldn’t be made. That said, my guess is that your issue is me calling out you/Vital, yeah, I don’t know maybe it wasn’t right of me, maybe it was, I’m not sure. If “x” reputable car site said “y” car is great and then a consumer bought the sport (“exotic”) version and had problems right away, I think it would be fair for them to post on the site and say “Hey, this is a bad recommendation on your part! The trunk won’t close and it eats oil.” The oil consumption could be the fact that its a higher performance engine (exotic) but the trunk is the same across all models and not the result of the “exotic-ness “. Is it not right for the car consumer to say something then?

“For the record, not that it should matter, but DMR is not an advertiser with us nor would we shy away from calling it as we see it if this was indeed a "shitty product" as you call it.”

To be clear I never said or implied you were a shill. I do think that there are times products may not get as criticized as they should or perhaps sites get specially prepped products. I also think website reviewers don’t have the same perception of reality as the average consumer, partly due to the things I just mentioned, and also because they’re going to be treated differently by customer service and treated differently in the industry. There’s also a lot of testing in a short amount of time.

My experience is admittedly limited, but it wasn’t good and based on my experience it’s a shitty product that is not backed by good service. I get that you had a different experience but that doesn’t invalidate my experience or the other people on here that have not been happy. If your response is going to be “not ever product can be error free”, yeah, I agree, and that’s why customer service matters.

Regarding #2, I didn’t say the testing method wasn’t explained. It was explained in detail. My comments/critiques were ways I think it could be improved. I added examples in each suggestion because it helped demonstrate why it’s important. If my suggestions wouldn’t add value then that’s fine. Though at this point it feels like it’s more like the critique isn’t welcome. I also clearly stated that pedal testing is subjective.

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Added a comment about feature Vital MTB Face Off: The Best Flat Pedals 5/22/2020 5:14 PM
kdiff

@jnroyal I live in Southern California, wet conditions are not the issue. When it does occasionally rain, I’m very cautious so not to damage the trail. (Often miss out on “hero dirt” conditions because of my caution.)

I don’t doubt that you’ve had good luck with yours and there are likely others but there also appear to be many that have had issues. If you go through the comments, you’ll see there are others that have had issues with DMR Vaults.

Also, like slovenian6474 said, my guess is that the Mags are crap which is pretty awesome when one is paying about $300. Link to the Mags on Jenson, read the reviews.

I emailed DMR last night about the squeaking and the pin. The service/warranty manager, Martin, response was basically “they’re very dry, here’s a guide”. No acknowledgement of the stripped hole in the pedal body. I don’t think that’s acceptable, do you? It appears that I need a special tool to service them. Why would I invest in this tool when the pedal bodies aren’t going to hold up?

Its a very bad choice on Vitals part to have them as #1 though the whole comparison method is flawed as I stated in my original post. I partially blame Vital for recommending a shitty product. They’re the supposed experts and this is what they produce? (Someone needs to say it.) Also, customer service matters for all products and if you read reviews of DMR, it’s pretty split on how good/bad service is. All companies have a product or an occasional item that is defective, it’s about how you treat the customer in response.

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Added a comment about feature Vital MTB Face Off: The Best Flat Pedals 5/21/2020 12:56 PM
kdiff

Before I start, I realize there’s a lot of subjectivity to pedal testing and I’ve not used all the pedals on here. That said, I think this comparison could be a better, critiques below.

1. DMR Vault pedals shouldn’t be #1. Their quality/reliability is not good. Based on this article, in January I bought the Vault 2 Ti Mag versions. They are expensive, which I don’t mind as long as I get quality. With less than 200 miles (essentially less than 12 rides) one pedal is squeaking. I also discovered that a pin thread in the body is already stripped. It either came that way or happened from the weight of the shoe, it doesn’t appear to be the result of an impact. Link to the pedal noise. To be fair to DMR, I’ve not reached out for support, I’m kind of dreading it given other people’s comments about their support. The good is that they spin freely (for now). I also don’t agree with the grip, while good, I would say OneUp Aluminum are better and the best that I’ve tried.

2.No top/high ranking pedal should have pins that are only able to be removed via the pedal face (e.g. TMAC). (Pins close to the crank arm that don’t require a hex are the exception to this.) One high speed impact and you can easily have a set screw that is impossible or nearly impossible to extract. It’s stupid to have to deal with this inconvenience for a $100+ pedal. I like working on my bike but I have enough other things to work on (e.g. dust wiper maintenance).

3.On the topic of set/grub screws, this is subjective, but I think pins like the ones found on OneUp, RF Atlas, Spec. Boomslang, etc provide better grip with all other variables being equal.

4. Durability - I’ve not tried any of the top “picks” other than the DMR Vaults and likely won’t be trying them given my experience with the Vaults, so I can’t comment on their durability. However, the Aluminum OneUp’s have been ridiculous in their durability. I’ve had quite a few impacts that I expected to put them into partial retirement but they keep going, excellent grip with bent pins and all. RF Atlas have also been pretty decent. I have two pairs and just rebuilt one pair after over 800 miles and a number of rock strikes. (Some have commented on side play but it’s not been significant enough for me to notice during riding.) Canfield Crampon’s not so good and talk about side play. (If Canfield fanboys still exist, I’m a little afraid they’re going to shank me on the trail for that one.)

5.Free spin when mounted - We’re not road bikers and I’m not expecting to extract every watt of energy to the ground. However, my belief is that there’s a lot of wasted energy because of the poor spinning pedals. I also believe that in many cases this could be solved with better parts and/or design. (This and durability are the biggest faults with flat pedals and why I keep considering going to clip-in pedals.) RF Vault and Specialized Boomslang are pretty good in being easy to spin. Vaults are phenomenal in this respect. OneUp missed on the mark on this and would have otherwise been perfection. Link to OneUp video where I spin the pedal before and after tightening it down. (I’ve contacted OneUp and they said it was fine. I don’t really think it’s acceptable but love the pedals otherwise.)

Please take this in the spirit in which it was intended, I like Vital and want to see it do well.

Other notes: In addition to improving Vital, I’m tired of buying expensive crap products because they got a good review and then trying to get support from an equally crappy company (looking at you Cane Creek and maybe DMR depending on how support goes with my Vaults). The issue with having a small industry is that people are afraid of burning bridges and/or making themselves targets so rarely will someone give an honest critique.

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Added a comment about feature What's New? 2021 RockShox Lyrik, Pike, Yari and Revelation Forks 4/9/2020 1:06 PM
kdiff

@sspommer do you have the part #s for the kits, specifically the kit for upgrading a ‘20 Pike ($25 option)?

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Added a comment about feature Blind Bobby Interviews Rob Roskopp - The Way Bobby Hears It Episode 1 1/16/2020 9:41 AM
kdiff

Trying not to build this up too much in my mind, but I'm excited to listen. From what I know about SC and what I've seen over the years, I like them a lot as a company.

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Added a comment about press release Santa Cruz Bicycles to Give $1,000,000 To Trail Projects - The PayDirt Fund 11/20/2019 9:57 AM
kdiff

I love Santa Cruz for doing this kind of stuff. As a Californian I've seen the bike raffles and etc they've done for their local area and other areas, e.g. CA areas impacted by wildfires.

There's a lot of talk from riders about wanting more access, better trails, etc. but very few are willing to consistently donate time and/or money. The same also goes for a lot of LBS'. The sitting around complaining but not willing to do anything frustrates me about this sport (and a lot of things in life).

Good on Santa Cruz and the other mtb companies that do this unprompted. This is a huge factor when I'm considering buying something and it should be for others.

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Added a comment about feature On eMTB's and Mountain Bikes 11/1/2019 3:55 PM
kdiff

@B.Radly - so still a mountain bike if it's 2hp-5hp instead of 1hp as long as it requires pedaling? We all know it's going there once batteries can support it or until people start modding them. Also, thanks for responding to my original question.

@cofattire - Totally agree.

This feature has 91 comments.

Added a comment about feature On eMTB's and Mountain Bikes 11/1/2019 1:11 PM
kdiff

Would you please tell me what differentiates a mountain bike from a dirt bike, i.e. at what point does a bicycle become a motorcycle? I’m not necessarily opposed to ebikes but the fact that they have a motor, tiny or large, makes them a motorcycle of some sort and it’s an incorrect categorization to include them with bicycles.

Edit 1.1: Asking @yetimike2019 and anyone else that thinks ebikes are mountain bikes as this is something I have a hard time wrapping my head around.

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Added a comment about product review Get Better Performance from Your Air Fork: Vorsprung Suspension Luftkappe 8/7/2019 10:19 AM
kdiff

Thank you so much for taking the time to go over this with me!! When I eventually make it out to CO I owe you a beer or two.

Those settings look good. I’ll do the psi & token removal and then go one by one on the others. (I could use a better real world understanding of each setting.)

I’ve gotten a lot better with fork maintenance. The dust wipers were replaced about 4 months ago when I installed the GRIP 2 and I just replaced them again this weekend. Also, gently wiping them down before each ride.

I think I’m good with bar, brake positioning, and lever distance. I’ve spent a lot of time refining it.

Totally agree about preferring the 31mm bar. That flexx bar is intriguing! It looks like a good option too if I don’t want to switch grips. I’ve tried a few grips and really like the Santa Cruz Palmdale. About a year ago I switched to the Renthal Kevlar Push-on as I like them a tad bit more but they are a harsher. I’m hesitant to do the Rev because of the outside clamp and that’s where I like to have the edge of my hand.

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Added a comment about product review Get Better Performance from Your Air Fork: Vorsprung Suspension Luftkappe 8/7/2019 6:51 AM
kdiff

-180lbs is riding weight; 5’’10”
-bike is a Nomad 4 (large)
-riding level is average, maybe slightly faster, with the desire to become faster
-no racing though I would like to get to the fitness to do something like the CA or OR Enduro (in a sport class level)
-I’m getting hand fatigue/numbness on high speed descents over 1 mile that have lots of 1”-4” square edged hits; with the old settings I wasn’t having this issue, but with the new settings I now realize how unsupportive the front end was with the “low psi/high tokens“ setup.
-Tire pressure: front = 22psi, rear = 24psi; 2.5 DHF & Aggressor (EXO casings)
-Fork is 170mm, 81psi, 1 token; GRIP2, settings from fully closed: HSC = 12, LSC = 6, LSR & HSR = 5

This product_review has 57 comments.

Added a comment about product review Get Better Performance from Your Air Fork: Vorsprung Suspension Luftkappe 8/6/2019 4:13 PM
kdiff

You’re good with your analysis!

"The only way you are getting away with it (I think) is by riding off the back of the bike. If you get rid of the spacers, increase pressure, you'll ride higher in the more supple part of the travel, but you will be forced to ride more on top of the bike to get any performance out of this setup."

You're correct that I'm riding off the back and I'm starting to think that running the low pressure/lots of volume spacers has reinforced that style. (I did a class with Fluidride and the main critique that Simon had was me being too far back.) I am working to change that but it never felt comfortable. (Probably because the psi was too low.)

"Before you go crazy with buying new stuff, why don't you try taking all your volume spacers out, going up in pressure and staying on the front of the bike? Your current setup would suggest you are running lower in the travel, near the firmer part of the fork's stroke."

After very recently watching a video with Jordi from Fox (Privateer season 2 episode 2?), I realized my psi was too low and did what you're also recommending (58psi to 81psi, all tokens removed except 1; reference riding weight of 180lbs/81.6psi, 170mm fork). I like the setup a lot more as long as I ride more forward/on-top like you recommend. I’m wondering if I should up the psi a tad bit more (82/83psi)?

Regarding the Luftkappe, my hands are getting beat-up a bit more on longer runs with this new setup and I was thinking maybe it would take that initial edge off? Or maybe I just need to toughen them up?

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Added a comment about product review Get Better Performance from Your Air Fork: Vorsprung Suspension Luftkappe 8/6/2019 1:02 PM
kdiff

@dirtworks911 @jeff.brines @LTrumpore @iceman2058 and possibly @vorsprung is there a downside to the Luftkappe? Sitting a little lower in the travel and a little more ramp-up (compared to no tokens) isn't really a significant downside, especially when the trade-off is a better initial suppleness. I ask because I don't understand why the manufactures didn't do this initially? I would think they've tested in all kinds of conditions, so there must be a trade off? For background I live in SoCal where the trail conditions are usually slippery (e.g. hard packed covered in sand or lots of tiny pebbles). I've been one of those people that's lowered their psi & crammed a bunch of tokens in. While not ideal in a lot of ways, the fork feels like it's glued to the ground in loose blown-out conditions.

Thanks guys, the comment section on here has been very informative.

This product_review has 57 comments.

Added a comment about feature The Best MTB Riding Gear of 2018 - Shreddy Awards 1/1/2019 3:24 PM
kdiff

Appreciate the responses. Thank you

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Added a comment about feature The Best MTB Riding Gear of 2018 - Shreddy Awards 1/1/2019 2:33 PM
kdiff

In what way is it better made? The feedback I’ve seen has said they’re about the same or the TLD is slightly better but I’ve not seen any specific detail. (I’ve not seen the TLD in person.) Regarding weight, the comparison I’ve seen is that a medium TLD is 713 vs 761 grams which is less than 2oz. This doesn’t seem significant in most cases, but I could be wrong. As far as fit, that’s personal preference and a non-factor in making it #1.

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Added a comment about feature The Best MTB Riding Gear of 2018 - Shreddy Awards 1/1/2019 7:52 AM
kdiff

The TLD Stage appears to be a near identical copy of the Fox Proframe, less maybe a few grams or maybe not, and it retails for $50 more (even greater difference when looking at street prices), yet it’s the #1? Perhaps I’m missing something but the comparisons I’ve seen people like the Proframe more because the Stage puts pressure on people’s ears. Don’t mean to be a jerk here, just really confused.

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