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Avid Juicy 3 Disc Brake

“2010 Avid Juicy 3”

 Avid Juicy 3 Disc Brake

The Good:

reach adjustment is not effected by the reach adjustment.
I've not had any issues with leaks, contaminated rotors, pads, or brake fluid on the master cylinder. Decent modulation, and grab.
can get all parts as spares, so you can fully rebuild these brakes.

The Bad:

After few years I lost power, and the bike shop bleeding the brakes, did not help, I was braking hard and brake barely braked., and the lever blade was slow to return, so it was probably a internal issue, the piston assembly probably needed to be replaced.
No hinge to quickly swap brakes.
No
can't take the brake pads out from the top.
usses toxic, paint eating, DOT fluid, it's bad for your skin and eyes.

Overall Review: So I the brakes probably could have been rebuilt to work again, but I left them at the shop. and shop managed to get Shimano M615, but those leaked in less than 2 years.

Race Face Turbine Stem

“Race Face Turbine Stem Ø31.8 100mm ”

 Race Face Turbine Stem

The Good:

The Stem is well machined, no sharp edges or burrs. but due to the weight reduction holes it’s probably not the best stem for Carbon Fiber bar.

The Bad:

The bolt got rounded off when I tried to undo the bolt, it had to be drilled out. This is not the only product from Race Face I had issues with bolts, the bolts on 4 of the Race Face Turbine dropper posts got quite worn quite fast too. Similar to the Atlas stem bolts loosened quite fast, but I haven’t ridden with this stem so hard, so I can’t really compare how this stem do with hard riding compared to Atlas. But both are robust stems, that handle MTB well.

Overall Review: As this was used on my old hardtails, they were not used much, so I did not get a lot of time with this stem. You need to follow the torque specifications or the stem the stem will spin, it needs to be quite tight, so you might need a torque wrench to get it tight enough, unless you get used to so high torque as most stems don't require this high torque. You can see some of the coating of that the handlebar had got stuck to attached to the stem, not permanently of course. Handlebars used with this stem: Race Face Turbine & Bontrager Race Lite Check out this video byLuescher Teknikabout Stems for Carbon Fiber steerer & handlebar:  

Race Face Atlas 35 Stem

“Robust stem but bolts keep getting loose handlebar spins.”

 Race Face Atlas 35 Stem

The Good:

if you like the map design this is a pro for you.

The Bad:

I had issues with the bolts loosening, and the Loctite 243 disappearing, I’m not sure why, but maybe I am pushing the stem to extremes with the temperature changes, and the Loctite gets worn off, most of the traces were gone. I had to check before, during and after the ride to make sure it was secure, other wise I would risk the bars spinning, which happen several times, and when getting the bike out from room stem home to outdoors in -10C this was not the case with Renthal apex 35 stem as long as I used Loctite 243, the only times I made it loosen was without Loctite or not cured with big temperature change, I have tested this on the Apex stem I Intentionally Did not put Loctite 243 with the Apex them the stem spun on the steerer, at a day with rapid temp change, it got to 25C, but it did not other places where it had Loctite on. I also experienced this in the winter when I just installed it and Loctite did not cure. But with The Atlas Stem it would happen even with Loctite cured, It did not handle this well even with Loctite 243. So loose headset was common issue even with Chris King headset. can’t know if it’s a combination of the materials used in bolts, stem, or and the clamp design, but the difference was huge. The Atlas Stem is made of 6061-T6 aluminum. I haven’t tried changing the bolts yet, So I haven’t tried Titanium bolts, I don’t know how much it will effect the issues I experienced. I know many are satisfied with this stem, But they might not be using it to the extremes I am, with the temp changes. The bolts don't have great tolerances in the head, and the they wear a lot, so eventually they looked quite worn but not worn out, but they did not wear out, so there will be some play between the hex key, but nothing huge, I had the same experience with all other Race Face Bolts, on Turbine Dropper, Atlas Cranks, but the bolts on all of the dropper posts got worn out eventually, as I had to tighten them more often, so they were so bad I would need to replace them, but I replaced dropper posts, and same thing happen, but I had to return them and get refund due to other issues. Not for ”weight wienies”, 9 grams heavier than the Renthal Apex, it’s quite a noticeable difference, when I hold them, but not a a huge difference, but it all adds up.

Overall Review: If any one has tested this stem with aftermarket bolts, Titanium bolts, or have any knowledge to share about it, feel free to comment on this. I've of course not tested it in a lab, or special tools so can't have precise findings. Not for ''weight wienies'', 9 grams heavier than the Renthal Apex, it's quite a noticeable difference, when I hold them, but not a a huge difference, but it all adds up. Product page

CushCore PRO Tire Inserts

“Great but Valves could be better.”

 CushCore PRO Tire Inserts

The Good:

No ratteling
does not tear
does not soak up sealant.
The valve stem, is great upgrade from my Stan’s tubeless valves, the metal cap threads on easier, and will of course last longer, plastic caps will wear out eventually, and if they get a lot of abuse they can snap, but this one will be a lot more durable, The green matches my current bike, but more colour options would be nice. Valve cover of alloy is more durable, and last long time, unlike most plastic covers which last few months, before the they crack, the threads fail.

The Bad:

No complaints about the inserts.
but the here is what I have to say about the valves
The valve can get clogged completely, and it's impossible to clean it if it gets that bad with using just pick set.
so you need a latex removal solution. it would be nice if it had hex hey hole at the bottom for easy cleaning and make securing the valve easier. But I've not tried drilling a hole at the bottom.
sometimes the cap can get stuck and you might need pliers to ride, even if you have tightened it only by hand.
The valve cover can get stuck and you might need pliers to remove it, but it can loosen and you can loose it, I am not sure if I lost one due to this or if I lost it somewhere at home, but grooves to grip it would be nice. so a nut shaped cap might be good idea, but not really an issue if you got pliers, I got Wolf Tooth Pack pliers, which could do the job if you have enough strength in the fingers to hold it. So not really an issue for me, but this could happen not any valve cap.
because there are no grooves on the cap this makes it harder to unthread.

Overall Review: Installation took me few minutes as I got the hang of it, I got faster at it. CushCore Installation - 2018 Official Video CushCore I installed Cush Core on both wheels, and rode with it for a while which I will continue to do. I lowered the pressure in my suspension by 20 psi, run 4 psi less in the tyres, a lot more comfortable ride, I can smash down and up stars jump off stairs no problem, I will continue to run them in both tyres. I guess I am somewhere between 72 and 80 kg with all gear on, now I use 190psi rear 90 front, 20psi front tyre, 24 psi rear. this is set up with DRCV shock & Fox 32 Read More »

2021 Niner JET 9 RDO 4-Star Bike

Vital Review

“First Ride - 2021 Niner JET 9 RDO”

2021 Niner JET 9 RDO 4-Star Bike
Less than a month ago we wrapped up our test with the Niner WFO, a big mountain brawler. In a move that is quite indicative of 2021, we literally handed over our WFO and took possession of the new Jet at the same time. While the WFO had us headed for big rocks and high-speeds, were were quite excited to get our mitts on this new JET 9. Short-travel 29ers with trail bike geometry are infiltrating more brand's lineups and many riders are finding they are a great intersection of rowdy and efficiency. Let's dig into how the new Jet stacks up. Strengths CVA suspension design has a planted feel Balanced reach to Read More »

CushCore Tubeless Valves

“you need a cleaning solution to clean out sealant clogging the valve.”

 CushCore Tubeless Valves

The Good:

good finish, several colour choices.

The Bad:

The valve can get clogged completely, and it's impossible to clean it if it gets that bad with using just pick set.
so you need a latex removal solution. it would be nice if it had hex hey hole at the bottom for easy cleaning and make securing the valve easier. But I've not tried drilling a hole at the bottom.
sometimes the cap can get stuck and you might need pliers to ride, even if you have tightened it only by hand.
The valve cover can get stuck and you might need pliers to remove it, but it can loosen and you can loose it, I am not sure if I lost one due to this or if I lost it somewhere at home, but grooves to grip it would be nice. so a nut shaped cap might be good idea, but not really an issue if you got pliers, I got Wolf Tooth Pack pliers, which could do the job if you have enough strength in the fingers to hold it. So not really an issue for me, but this could happen not any valve cap.
because there are no grooves on the cap this makes it harder to unthread.

Overall Review: I was about to start a ride once and the Cush Core was clogged, so I had to clean the valve. So I had to fix this before riding, because I could not pump the tyres up. Later on I had issues too, but they were worse, completely clogged valve I could not fix, but I’ve not tried latex removal solutions. I’ve decided to try STZY tubeless valves which have a hole at the bottom you can use a hex key on when tightening the nut, you can clean it easier without having to use latex cleaning solutions. So far I’ve not found any other valves that have these features.

Bontrager SE4 Team Issue 2017 Tire

“2015 Bontrager SE4 Team Issue definitely not a tyre for me”

 Bontrager SE4 Team Issue 2017 Tire

The Good:

Turners fast, so if you have a twitchy bike this will make it harder turn precisely.
Puncture resistant. I don't know if I was lucky or this is very puncture resistant, but I never got a puncture no matter how hard I rode, which is partly good luck at the time, but these tyres won puncture by trail use. even if I rode on broken glass.( of course I if you ride on a big and sharp thing you will puncture every tyre) Takes rock gardens pretty well, no cuts yet. But I don't have any many sharp rocks where I lived at the time of the review.
Fast rolling

The Bad:

Loses grip when leaning bike over on dirt, possibly due to the firm rubber, and close side and transition knobs and less sticky rubber than a lot of other options, thee tyre caused me to crash on a trail I rode many times with High Roller 2 2.30 C3 Maxxterra, without any issues, for some reason I had to swap to the wheelset with the Bontrager tyres, both on same rims, Hope Tech Enduro 29 23mm internal width.
Due to the lack of cornering grip I could no continue to use these tyres.
It's quite heavy at 1010 grams for one tyre its quite heavy, but the higher weight is unavoidable with thicker & stronger tyres. but not unusual for a enduro tyre.
But in 2021 I tried Michhelin WInd Enduro which were even better cornering, and had more stability than any of these, but they are heavier, but peerform much better.

Overall Review: After few weeks of use ofthe XR3 Expert tyres, so I need new tyres so Ipurchased all the se4 tyres in stock. I did not abuse the tyres, Irode singletrack & some stairs. I do not mind the weight of these tyres because of the durability. After using the 2015 Bontrager SE4 Team Issue 292.3 for the 2015 season, I tried Maxxis High roller 2 3C Maxx Terra EXO TR  2.3  the 2016 season, which are much better tyres in my opinion, so I needed to update you on this. Footage of me washing out. Johannes Nilsen 7 mtboy1993 Just a close look at the tyres. I can't recommend these tyres because I have tried Maxxis High Read More »

Lezyne Twin Speed Drive CO2

“Lezyne Twin Speed Drive CO2”

 Lezyne Twin Speed Drive CO2

The Good:

this package has a nice cartridge head, well machined with good black finish.
The sleeve insulates, so your hands won't be freezing.
Threads on nicely.
Easy to puncture and let air in the tyre, but you can then close it again if you did not use up all the air, but even if this is feasible you will need a whole canister anyway.

The Bad:

I got two of these, and after few uses, the seal failed to keep air in, letting all air out, I don't know if this was bad tolerances at the cartridges or the seals.
So someday I might see how the second head does.

Overall Review: Leaking seals letting all air out. mtbboy1993 / Johannes Nilsen Review is also on my website

Lezyne Rap Tools

“Multitool with robust steel chain breaker.”

 Lezyne Rap Tools

The Good:

Robust steel chain breaker.
due to the length you get better leverage than with a small tool like Sv10

The Bad:

I don't have anything to say here apart from Teng Tools have slightly tighter tolerances on the tool hex bits than this tool has.

Overall Review: I got this tool in 2019, because Sv10 did not have enough tools. But later I discovered the Sv10 had a weak chain breaker, it was made of aluminium and had a light weight construction. Rap 14 has a much beefier steel construction. and the tool is longer so you get better leverage. Lezyne due to the amount and type of tools, and size of the side plates and the much more robust steel chain breaker this tool is quite heavy, but not overbuilt. The multi tool comes with this sleeve, keeping the tools secure so they won't pop out, this protects the tools and other things the tools might damage. You should keep the cover Read More »

2018 Pivot Mach 429 Trail RACE X01 Bike

“Blisteringly fast but flawed”

2018 Pivot Mach 429 Trail RACE X01 Bike

The Good:

Great, no AMAZING rear suspension
Lightweight, overbuilt frame

The Bad:

Leaned towards XC moreso than trail

Overall Review: I bought this as an outdated model, new. Loved the ability to run 29 or 27.5+ wheels so i bought both in carbon. Prefered it with the 27.5+ Changed all the typical stuff, bars, crankset, to carbon, played with stem lengths. When the single track hit, this thing was FAST. But I started to notice having troubles keeping the front planted through turns, keeping the front down on climbs and serious twitchiness at speed. This is likely due to the steep HT angle and slack ST angle. Too much weight rearwards seated and and REALLY small cockpit, so when trying to shift weight fore/aft it was too small of a movement window. Eventually got frustrated and sold it. However, I'll always miss that single track speed.