I guess I can call it a mid term review, I haven’t worn them out yet, I am probably about half way trough the life cycle of these goggles.
So how do they compare to the previous version with no plus in the name? What has changed?
The short answer is, the plus refers to the shaped lens & the added layer of foam, the lens is stronger, and is stiff, much easier to install and remove, but the con is it takes up more room in the backpack, unless you lay it on the top, you have to be careful where you have it, for me it’s not really an issue.
I don’t know how strong these lenses are, I discovered Leatt has lenses that are bullet proof, but I don’t know if these are.
But I don’t know if they changed the formula for this plastic, it’s exactly the same, but the shape, and properties, like the flex, stiffness seems to be the same so is the comfort.
The durability seems to be the same.
I found the Stock lens to be weird, natural colour. They had a blue tint. So I bought new lenses.
here it is, much natural color.
I also think the goggles look great with both colours of goggles.
This is the lenses I had from the previous goggles, but I ordered clear Plus lenses.
The stem is quite big and probably is be quite strong.
Map of Whistler bike park on the sides.
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.
I 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 good tolerances in the head, so there will be some play between the hex key, I had the same experience with all other Race Face Bolts, on Turbine Dropper, Atlas Cranks.
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.
If any one has tested this stem with aftermarket bolts, Titanium bolts, or have any knownlage to share about it, feel free to comment on this.
I have of course not tested it in a lab, or special tools so can’t have precise findings.
The test was done with black inserts & thick shims.
The first test I did, was to check how the movement in the grips felt, I did some wheelies bunny hops and it felt quite good, so I went for a short ride later, I tested it on very touch icy pavement with tractor tyre tracks, which is basically a torture test for vibrations, I could definitely tell the grips were working, but of course grips have a limitation they won’t eliminate everything, but they definitely do a great job.
I lacked control I struggled doing manuals, So at the time the best combinations was blank & red inserts, do the upper and bottom are red and front and back are black, using no shims, for firmest set-up use black inserts without shims.
august 2018 I switched the cockpit over to my old bike so, so started with fresh set on the Fuel ex.
I switched to softest setup:
But after moths of use, I tested fully soft setup in June 2019, but I did not have any issues with the soft setup, I still was able to do manuals, that day I had great balance and was strong, so I did manuals, I did not find the softest setup to be an issue no matter what I did, I did some urban riding, did a lot of different things, the added comfort was definitely worth it, I am not sure why I did not like it at first, it might have been that I was weaker, was not as good at manuals, but now it’s not an issue.
It feels more comfortable than ESi grips do due to the slight rotation when riding roughest trails or riding hard down stairs or what else.
The sleeves/grips have similar grip levels to Maxxis MaxxGrip tyre compound, so of course, it has much greater grip than ESI silicone grips
The durability, I rode with these grips for few months. march 2018 I noticed slight wear on the grips, 11th march I noticed quite clear wear, on the inside and outside of the grips.
After many long rides to Skansehytta, I was not surprised to see wear after so many months of use.
as you can see the grips are wearing well, I will flip and rotate them to keep using them for longer, the grips are durable enough to do so
I got some riding done June & July, but less than the other months due to a lot of neck & back issues. but still these grips are far more durable than Esi Grips.
Very sticky grips, give great grip, much better than Esi silicone grips.
3 sizes, I use 34mm which fits me perfectly, any other sizes won’t fit my hands.
The thumb will rub against the lock on clamp when shifting with the XTR M9000 shifter, but this is not the Grips’s fault, I would like some more adjustment for the XTR shifters, but so far this has not been an issue yet, this of course leads to wear where the thumb rubs.
None I can think of at the moment, but the lock on clamps take up some room, so you might want wider bars.
they definitely work, one of the best grip options on the market right now.
So far these are my only grips of choice, due to comfort, and durability.