Shimano SLX M675 Shadow Plus – Used to the end – long term review

This rear derailleur has been on some long rides, and got some abuse.

Time used:

I have ridden this rear derailleur since 2015, some weeks in 2016 & the whole 2016/2017 winter plus one winter, and some weeks and days in the summer of 2017.

I ride a lot, I ride at least 5 days in a week, from 1 hour few hours, depending on how I ride up to 20 plus km, some times less, but my point is I ride a lot

Durability:

I have mostly used this rear derailleur with 1x setup.

Some times I am unlucky and crash or mess up on a technical climb, and this is why the rear derailleur got some scratches, It had some scratches before the crash, for smaller impacts, but the last crash really shows damage, but it’s only cosmetic damage, so my conclusion is that this is a robust rear derailer able to take a lot of abuse, but the pins and swing arms are not replaceable, So when has play you have to get a new rear derailleur.

I crashed off a 1 m concrete wall, the cage was grinding against the wall, I had shifting issues, First I thought they might be the result of the crash, But later I found it not to be the case.

I  Did an inspection on the rear dérailleur,  I checked all the adjustment screws I took off the cage and did a service, the cage was bent, So I straightened it, but the shifting issues were still present. So I checked the, but then I checked for play, the rear dérailleur had huge play, so it was definitely the play. causing issues.

but I straightened it, but after few days of riding, I noticed shifting issues, So I checked the all the adjustment screws, but then I checked for play, the rear dérailleur had huge play, so it was definitely the play. causing issues.

after riding few weeks with, there was just too much play to do up-shifts, the play caused the Rd to hesitate on shifts.

The plastic cover took some abuse, but it held up well. This is the most abused rear derailleur so of mine so far.

 

 

Jockey wheels:

SLX M675 comes with bad jockey wheels, but you can upgrade to proper jockey wheels, the problem with the stock jockey wheels is that the that the jockey wheel and the metal ring grind against with other and cause damage to the jockey wheel which causes it to not spin smoothly.

Even upgrading to XT jockey wheels which work better, they are not that great, Hope has better spacers, they are Labyrinth style spacers

I recompared upgrading to Hope jockey wheels or similar, with proper bearings & proper cover.

July 2017 Revised Review 2017 Five Ten Freerider ESP

Since last time I posted the review in January, I Revised the review a lot,with pictures & improved the text.

I have used these shoes for one winter and few wet summer & spring days.

The shoe is  flexible the right way(up) but not too flexible, but won’t bend down(very important if you ride hard & ride on  gnarly trails and jump, this result in a shoe that is very comfortable to walk in, the Impact  shoes much stiffer, but they are still quite comfortable to walk in, I even played soccer with them once, but definitely not ideal for that use, obvious reasons.

Feel & comfort.

But the Freerider ESP is comfortable when running, the sole bends as much as running shoes upwards, I think the Freerider shoe is a well thought out shoe.

I can feel the surface I walk on & the pedals,without any discomfort, which gives me good feel of what the bike is doing & this is a good thing for walking up things you can’t ride over/on.

Winter use:

I have seen reviews of this shoe, saying that they will not be so warm on very cold days, but I assume they did not wear wool sock, Like I do, I have not had any issues with cold feet with these shoes. of course there is a limit to the isolation,I wear size 44, and there is room for 2 pairs of wool socks.

I have used the Freerider esp down to -11 Celsius, with 2 pairs woolsocks, I stayed warm.

 

 

Pros:

  • The laces don’t wear out after months of use they are like new, unlike the 2015 Impact shoes.
  • The long tongue that extends higher than the shoe it self.
  • Very easy to tie and untie, when tying the laces, i bend my legs down and tie the shoe, with few millimetre of room between the laces and the tongue, which gives perfect tightness,without Hurting , and when doing it this way I know it’s going to be right, if I do it this way, I can tuck the laces on to the side.
  • the shoe laces don’t untie if you tighten them properly.
  • Easy to take off, the tongue won’t restricts you from taking the shoes on and off fast.
  • The Tongue stays in place.
  • waterproof,  water won’t come in,unless it gets in the upper part of  the shoe or your socks.
  • the tip of the shoe is stiff, I hit some hard surfaces, few times and I did not even feel it.
  • But  there was no big wear or damage on the shoe, the outer sole failed before this would happen, but five ten offer replacement soles, on their site,but I have not seen it in any shop yet. http://www.fiveten.com/us/accessories?___SID=U

Cons:

  • 32804768015_88df88e776_o
    Water can come in where the fabric mesh is. friction damage caused by shoe touching the crankarm.

    maybe reinforcing the shoe lace holes for more durability, other than this I can’t think of anything else, Time will tell how long this will last. But so far I did not have any issues with the holes for the laces.

  • could be as high as the summer version with leather higher up on the ankles, to provide better protection.

Wear update July 2017:

After 1 winter plus some wet summer weeks the outer sole gave up.

 

There is a hole in the outer sole.
The damage in this area already began in the winter, but got bit worse.

The inner sole was in pretty good condition, but the was bit of wear in the big toe area,but once the soles wear out you can buy new ones.

Verdict: Recommended

The Freerider ESP is the most comfortable winter shoes I have ever used, I have used winter boots and winter shoes from several brands, none of them can compare to Five Ten.

If you replace the outer sole & repair the wear on the fabric, you should be able to use these shoes at least 1 more winter, But I think they will last even longer if nto abused too much.

So far it’s the only proper winter cycling flat/platform shoe.

I think the Freerider shoe is a well thought out shoe.

 

Some stores you can buy it from:

Kan kjøpes her:

Norwegian stores:,Norske butikker.

https://bikeshop.no/WebPages/Produkt/ProduktInfo.aspx?plid=88271&WebSiteMapNodeID=1000001

 

Can be bought here:

https://www.rosesykler.no/article/five-ten-freerider-eps-high-flat-pedal-shoes/aid:878545

https://www.bike-components.de/en/Five-Ten/Freerider-EPS-High-MTB-Winterschuhe-Modell-2017-p51077/

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/no/en/five-ten-freerider-eps-high-mtb-shoes-2017/rp-prod152877

https://www.amazon.ca/Five-Ten-Freerider-High-Mountain/dp/B01LX6PB2J

AUBURN:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Five-Ten-Freerider-Winter-Mountain/dp/B01KA7VTG6/ref=cts_sp_1_vtp?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_p=1212178027&pf_rd_r=636NW0KFH22CJ2XETPTZ&pd_rd_wg=74luu&pf_rd_s=desktop-detail-softlines&pf_rd_t=40701&pd_rd_i=B01KA7VTG6&pd_rd_w=JngdN&pf_rd_i=desktop-detail-softlines&pd_rd_r=636NW0KFH22CJ2XETPTZ&_encoding=UTF8

Midnight

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Five-Ten-Freerider-Winter-Mountain/dp/B01AU87SHO/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1487459969&sr=8-4-fkmr0&keywords=2017+Five+Ten+Freerider+ESP

http://www.zappos.com/p/five-ten-freerider-eps-high/product/8731570

https://www.bike24.de/1.php?content=8;product=185863;menu=1000,18,58 (does not ship to all countries)

Core black:

https://www.bike24.de/p1185877.html (does not ship to all countries)

 

 

Muc Off foam Fresh Review

It leaves your gear smelling fresh,If you apply a lot of of foam,but it won’t do a better job than hand soap.

Dish soap or hand soap can do better:

Does not work as well, as normal hand soap will.

Fast såpeBilderesultat for zalo

I used Lano hand soap to clean it,So far Lano soap & Zalo (Zalo is a quite common dish soap which a lot of people use to clean their bikes, not perfect for drivetrains,which Muc off degreasers do well and getting that brown color off you bike, which the last one Muc-Off Nano Tech Bike Cleaner does a great job with.) has been very good at cleaning all kinds of things out of my hands,apart chain lubes and stuff like this, But for cleaning stuff soaked in sweat it works great.So I had to try it.

With these 2 soaps you can see the helmet the effect of the soap quite fast.

 

with these 2 soaps I managed to clean helmet inserts so there was no dirty water coming out when rising off, which Muc off fresh foam did not, when rising off, there were dirty water after many tries, even after applying the foam and let it soak in and and rub with a sponge, there were still very dirty water when rising off many times.

Most dish soap will do the job,But make sure you don’t use to soaps/cleaners on helmets that can damage the materials.

Muc off fresh foam can clean lenses filled with dirt, but not much else.

Getting the sweat soaked helmet inserts, or adjustment straps clean & completely without a  stink is impossible.

I even Tried to clean my Forest smelling Five ten Freerider shoes, which did not work, the shoes still smelled like forest, even after applying a lot of foam many times with aggressive cleaning with a rag.

Another bad thing about the foam is that it runs out way too fast, but with liquid soap or solid soap, last way longer.

 

Verdict:

I can’t recommend this cleaner,as it does a poor job on cleaning shoes, shoe soles,goggles,helmet inserts. I won’t buy it again.

 

Cleaning tips:

To clean properly clean items like these: shoes, shoe soles,goggles,helmet inserts.

I recommend cleaning them by hand with water and hand soap or dish soap

Using a Washing machine can damage goggle foam,plastic parts on the helmet inserts,as it is a way too brutal method.

The best method to clean shoes,helmet inserts, similar things, is to use water, hand soap or dishwashing soap, and a sponge.

soak the item in water, apply soap, get soap every where with a sponge, let the soap do its job few minutes,then use the sponge clean every thing and the last the is rising the item with water. if you use hard hand soap, you can rub it against the surface you want to clean.

Revised Long Term review of Poc Joint VPD 2.0 Dh Long Knee & shin pads

I have used these pads for a really long time now, over 2 year,The whole year, and I put them trough some hard crashes, and they protected me every time.

I was so satisfied with these, that I bought second pair as spare,So I always have clean protection, or if I damage one the other can be repaired.

When fabric has stretched:

When the rear fabric has stretched make sure you fix it, get it back to the correct measurements again so the pads fit as intended,which is important so they don’t slide around,So they give you maximum protection.

You have to use the right technique to put them on:

if the pad slides up its because you did not use the right technique to put them on,You should hold the top part with 2 hands and pull them up so all the fabric slides upwards keeping the pad low, and have to top part with the adjustment strap as high as possible, this way they say in place, I have the typical muscle legs and thighs, And I use size Medium and have worked perfectly, as long as I did put them on right. I also noticed that they will make noises as the pads are against each other, as for the discomfort,you should have the upper part as far up as you can,if it’s right under the knee it will not be comfy.

The wear you see between the plastic plate and the Velcro strap is caused by friction from bending your knees, which causes friction.
The stitching should be close to the end of the pad,thigh pad and leg pad should be overlapping,slightly. The strap should NOT be way on the top,the rubberised material on the in side of the pad should be on the end  near the end,there should be about 0,5cm  space between the Velcro and the end of the pad, but as you use it it move little bit,as seen in this picture,few millimetres of change will happen as you have the knee in a different position.

Pros:

  • comfortable(if worn & put on correctly)
  • good fit, the upper is made like a joint, so the upper part stays n palace while the rest moves with your leg and knee. this work very well.
  • does not slide down
  • good protection on the side of the knee
  • good Velcro straps
  • no movement restrictions
  • size matches the size guide, not like 2015 products from Bliss

Cons:

  • But of course you are gonna get bit warm, but the protection Poc’s pads give you is definitely worth it, but in the fall, winter this is not a con:-)
  • the weight,but I don’t care, if they protect me.
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some signs of wear, but this is unavoidable,the way its made, but the way its made gives you good protection, and the wear you see here developed slowly.

 

After few crashes & branches, ,but this is easy to fix,  if you know how to sew

Verdict:

I think these pads are one of the best on the market right now

if you want durable,heavy duty protection these are a good option,if you ignore the fact they are sweaty to wear.

Sickline.com video in the Poc stand at Interbike 2014:

 

 

You can buy it here:

Knee pads:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/POC-Joint-Shinpads-uranium-black/dp/B00A9ERQ0E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487381326&sr=8-1&keywords=poc+joint+dh

https://www.amazon.com/POC-Joint-Uranium-Black-Small/dp/B00A9ERQ2W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487381397&sr=8-1&keywords=POC+Joint+Vpd+2.0+Dh

Shin pads:

https://www.amazon.com/POC-Joint-Shins-Armor-Black/dp/B006L25ZRO/ref=pd_sim_468_9?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B006L25ZRO&pd_rd_r=79TZQSCFM1N5H5KDV000&pd_rd_w=bfGPU&pd_rd_wg=MPWY0&psc=1&refRID=79TZQSCFM1N5H5KDV000

https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Sports-Outdoors/POC-Joint-Shin-Protector-black/B006L1QLSC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487381598&sr=8-1&keywords=POC+Joint+VPD+2.0+Shins

Pris:1.249,-

Kan kjøpes her:

Kneepad:

http://www.sykkelkomponenter.no/products/poc-vpd-20-dh-long-knee-knebeskyttere

http://www.fjellsport.no/poc-joint-vpd-2-0-dh-long-knee-uranium-black.html

https://www.bike24.com/1.php?content=8;product=54180;menu=1000,18,216;mid%5B456%5D=1;page=1

Shin:

read the view of POC Joint VPD Air Elbow pads here: https://mtbboy1993.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/review-poc-joint-vpd-air-elbow-pads/

2 Months Review of TRP Spyke caliper & Spyke ML800 & ML930 levers

I have used these brakes for over 2 months on 2 bikes without any issues.

And I have put these brakes trough their paces.

I don’t think I have to wait much more than 2 months before publishing this review, as these brakes are mechanical brakes, So not much can go wrong, But I will update you if there is something more to write about.

Both levers offer excellent feel, but the ML930 has a smooth surface on the lever blade, the ml800 has a textured surface with a Spyke logo, but the white paint on the logo wears off after few weeks or days.

Spyke Levers:

The Spyke logo on the lever blade actually gives more grip as its engraved, But for me It does not make a difference.

Pros:

  • Rech adjustment so these levers will work well for a kids bike.
  • Excellent barrel adjuster, it fits well into my fingers and makes it very easy to adjust the wire tension.

Cons:

  • up and down play in the lever blade
  • No hinged mount, so you have to remove the grips, but for me this is not a deal-breaker.

https://www.trpbrakes.com/category.php?productid=1233&catid=184

ML930 levers:

The lever body has visible flex while braking, But I can’t notice it while braking.

TRP offers a carbon version of this lever, which is ML940.

https://trpbrakes.com/category.php?productid=1016&catid=184

Pros

  • Excellent barrel adjuster, it fits well into my fingers and makes it very easy to adjust the wire tension.
  • Lighter than the ML800 Spyke levers
  • Hinged mount for easy removal
  • Rech adjustment so these levers will work well for a kids bike.
  • I have these levers on both of my fuel ex 29ers, and they the levers on both survived crashes, on one it survived over the bar crash, where the bike landed parked upsidedownon the other bike it survived a fall about 1 meter from a concrete wall.

Cons

  • Same up & down play as the Spyke levers

TRP ML 930 levers fittet on a 800mm Race Face Sixc handlebar, I have them setup 3cm from the grips.

Calipers:34472227101_6dcff0e7c5_o

The dual arm has is quite harder to pull up compared to Tektro single piston brakes, but this does not bother me.

the Spyke brakes offer one finger braking, as powerful as the Shimano m615 brake, but without the issues of leaks and impossible to get seals.

The Pad mud cover does not protect the pads that much, mine were had sand on them, when riding in wet conditions, there is no way to protect the pads, things will get in the rotor and can get stuck and make noises.

Pros:

  • well engineered, caliper, the narrow design gives good clearance so you won’t hit your heals on the brake.
  • the 3 mm piston adjustment, makes these brakes easy to set up.
  • barrel adjusters that are easy to use and by figners fit nicely on them.
  • rubber seal helps to keep dirt from coming in the hoses.
  • Easy to align The calipers: To align the callipers with the Hope floating rotors, I screw in the outside pistons about ca 3 quarters, and the inside piston about ca 2 quarters, then I tighten the caliper bolts and loosen the pistons, which leaves me with perfectly aligned brakes.
  • easy to assemble, & get the cable clamped.

Verdict, these brakes performed well so far, so far I don’t see any reason to switch to back to hydraulic brakes.

https://www.trpbrakes.com/category.php?productid=1223&catid=184

To keep the brakes having consistent braking power and modulation, you only have to use thread lock on the piston threads and have proper wire tension, and check it regularly. And of course, adjust the pads inwards as they wear out.

The semi-metallic pads give excellent g braking power, and they held up well for a few months, and I think they will last a few months more.

https://www.trpbrakes.com/category.php?productid=1197&catid=187&subcat=0