Short term Review: Shimano Deore XT M8000 with Race Face Narrow wide

On 10speed Formula/Bontrager Freehub:

If I use the 42T cog on the cassette the chain will fall off when back-pedalling, but when I shift up to 37T cog the chain stays in place no matter how hard I pack pedal.

On Hope Pro 4 freehub:

the Pro 4 free hub, is 11 speed compatible, which means it’s wider, and comes with a spacer,and with 11speed cassette, the  cassette is closer to the frame/more outwards to the right, which gives a better chain line, so the backpedalling issues is gone,Unless you backpedal at unrealistic speed,then it will fall off,but I have done 180 U turns in 1stgear(42T) and the chain never fell off.

So if your rear hub is compatible with a wider freehub,you should get one.

Huge noise reduction when riding:

The first thing I noticed after I upgraded to 1×11 is that all the slapping ,banging and scraping noises are gone from my bike.25185797391_0cfdb76e37_o

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The narrow wide chain-ring will make more sound than the triple chain-ring,  but when ring in rough terrain or jumping, the noise is a lot less than a conventional triple ring set-up would make.

With this set up i used uncut CN-HG701-11 chain.

Shimano Deore XT M8000 I-Spec B shifter:

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There is big  difference in the force needed to press to press the small trigger(up shift),but I got used to it after days ,and it did not feel as hard to press, and I like the shifter feel,I get less accidental shifts this way.

The change in gear is instant like promised.

The possibility to shift by bending you finger and do a finger kick motion,which you can’t do with Sram shifters.

(like this(https://youtu.be/7HvJma35fZA) to push the lever/trigger is gone, as the Shimano Deore 10 Spd had.But for me this is a acceptable compromise.

But there will be no accidental shifts

Down shifting:

  • smooth lever-action.
  • There is huge difference in the force required to push the triggers between SL-M610 &  M8000 , so if you plan to upgrade a kids bike you might want to let the kid try it out first,but for the youngest I recommend getting SL-M610 or something similar.
  • you can shift down 4 gears

The I-Spec B shifter will have rotational play,because of the pin system, it’s not avoidable.

The screw came with a lot of  Blue thread-locker,so needed to try few times until I finally got it tight without loose shifter.

But the adjustment screws did not,so you have to buy thread locker for them, I used Loctite 243.

The rear Derailleur:

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11-26T M8000 Cassette  & RD m8000 with original link & trek ABP hanger

 

Pros:

  • A lot stiffer Clutch system, which is good.
  • Very smooth,fast shifting movement.
  • Esy to service, as long as you got magnetic bowl, and are careful with the round seal fo the spring assambly.

 

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Race Face Narrow wide:

The chain will not fall off no matter how hard I ride, if it falls off you must be crashing really hard.

There is some drag when pedalling but this is not noticeable when riding, the chain still wants to be on the ring for about a half of a second, but this is impossible to avoid with Narrow Wide.

If you want video proof that narrow wide works watch this video by Seth’s Bike Hacks

Me unboxing the 36T chainring

Down 50 degrees stairs test:

Steep stairs

set up used in test: 2010 trek 6300 1 x10 36-11T cassette Shimano SLX Shadow Plus, with 36T Race Face Narrow Wide chain ring.The chain dropped when it was in 24 Tooth cog, but when I tried in 21 cog it stayed on. Even on stairs that were not that steep probably 40 degrees,the chain fell off.

Pros of 1×11:

  • You get all the gears you need if you just select the right chairing for you.
  • a lot quieter drive train
  • dropping the chain is rare unless you ride in low gears down steep stairs.
  • No front chain rigns to deal with
  • easier to clean the drive train,less dirt & mud on the drive train
  • if you want to sue a chain guide, you can use a single ring chain guide which will be more secure,and look better
  • if you use a wide range cassette with a 9T cog you can get the a pretty high gear as you could with triple rings,but with 11-42 with 36T cassette I get a pretty good range,but once I get on the 1km flat straights I will run out of gears

Cons of 1×11: There are no real cons riding 1×11 it will have faster wearing cassette and chain of course,but that’s not a reason to not upgrade. the 37 and 42 cogs are the fastest wearing cogs, because of the bigger chain angle.

the cassette & chainring wore out at the end of the season like it did with 10×3, maybe few weeks sooner wear. I don’t have to shift as often and skip so many gear so often,so I get less side to side wear on the chain,by using 1×11,so the chain growth will be less.

If i changed the chain,a lot earlier, the cassette and ring would have lasted longer,but I had no spare chains,but I have a stock of chains now.

The Rear derailleur cage will have visible wear, with 1x  setup,because of the chain line the chain will hit the plates,but its not a big deal.

 

I absolutely recommend Both the Xt m8000 drivetrain and the Race Face Narrow Wide single chaining.

If you are not sure which gear ratio you need:http://gears.mtbcrosscountry.com/

Flickr Album: Shimano DeoreXT M8000

Flickr Album: Race Face

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4 weeks review: 2014 Bontrager XR3 Expert 2.30 tyres

They came stock on my 2014 Trek fuel ex 7 29er.

The rear tyre worn out(1 mm knobs and I changed them out) after about 4 weeks of normal trail riding & commute. (I did not do any skidding)

the sticky and soft rubber gives good with the knob pattern gives good grip,but the durability is awful,unless you want to use it for races,but for everyday use,these tyres are not durable enough.

I upgraded to Bontrager SE4 Team Issue

they lasted the rest of the season + some more weeks.

With these tyres you actually need to follow the pressure recommendations.

Pros:

  • good grip

Cons:

  • Awful durability, I upgraded to Se team issue tyres,but currently(2016) run Maxxis High Roller 2,they have better grip, and don’t wear out as fast as the XR3 Expert.
  • the tyre is squirm at lower pressures. So you can’t use lower pressure than 30 psi I’m somewhere between 170 and 180 Kg  and I need to keep the pressure at 40 psi,30 psi still makes the a unstable steering.
  • the grip is not as good as on Maxxis’s 3C Maxx Terra Compound.

 

Conclusion: NOT Recommended.

Awful durability

These tyres are waste of money.

Review: Mucky Nutz BUTT FENDER mud guard/saddle mud guard-useless

The Mucky Nutz is is more secure, or getting hit than Ass Savers large ,which will easily fall of when hit or or pulled,but the Mucky Nutz will not fall off unless extreme forces are applied.

Pros:

  • Provides pretty good protection a gianst mud from the rear tyre.
  • when hit from above or under side it will stay in place.
  • it will stay in place without any issues when you ride.

cons:

  • does a very bad job at keeping you mud free, unless you only sit on the saddle. just look at this video:
  • its hanging down a bit.
  • when hit hard from the side it can snap out of place and fall off, if you crash or for example when you are getting on the bike by pulling your leg up, so be careful if you do it this way,this is not really a big issue.
  • can be bit tricky to take off,but that depends on the seat post design,i got the 2014 Bontrager seat post on my fuel ex 7.On the 2014
  • will not fit every saddle there is, the 2014 Bontrager Evoke 2  saddle the Fender will not stick up like this but will hand about 5 degrees down.
  • there will still be dirt coming from the rear tyre but if you got a backpack or jacket on it does not matter, i use a Evoc Fr Enduro Team and the bottom part of it get bit dirty, but for me that’s not a issue,the main reason for this fender is to protect your pants or shorts being muddy.

 

Conclusion:

Useless

I can’t recommend any saddle mounted fenders, its best to have a fender mounted on the seat stays, so it protects the pivots, and the dropper seat post.

Review:BBB BSD-04 Anatomic Race-Black saddle- Uncomfortable

ncathis saddle has more cons than pros, it’s basicly butt torture for me.

the plastic on the sides and the plastic part that hold the rails will be pushed into your buttcheaks and will hurt when sitting on it.

i felt the saddle right where my butt bones/ischial tuberosities.

its very unconfortable saddle, the onyl reason i fot the saddle is because hte bontrager ssr saddle on my 3900 broke.

i now sue a Bontrager race RL wich flexes more and is thinenr btu still cmfortable.

Pros:

  • pretty durable
  • the front plate under the saddle did not breake
  • no screws popped out.
  • the grip,but can’t say how long it lasts becuase i got a new saddle as soon as i could

 

Review: 2015 BBB-11 LOUD & CLEAR Bell

 

Pros

  • The spring system work very well, and never get stuck
  • the plastic will not bend and touch the metal bell it self so it will always stay loud.

 

Cons:

  • When wet , you can barely hear it.
  • the plastic spacers do not work, so when you have the screw tightened all the way it will slide off the plastic spacers, it did slide of when i was doing some trail riding with my bike,it came off. if you buy this bell you have to mount it in the middle/wide part of the handle bar, witch is very uncomfortable way to use it, or sue some rubber spacers instead, i had some laying around. so i did that and it seems to be secure.
  • cant adjust the angle, but the bells you can do that with are usually very bad
  • when it was -1 Celsius the bell was not loud
  • Bit less loud than the hamburger and Disney bells
  • When wet the bell is not loud.

Conclusion:

Not recommended,I later bought Disney Winnie The Pooh Bicycle Bell,which is as lout,but works in rain.

http://bbbcycling.com/accessories/bells/BBB-11

Long term REVIEW: 2015 Bontrager xr1 team issue 26×2.20

I used these tyres more than 5 months. I have done some mountain-biking with these tyres,but since I now use a full suspension-bike i have not recently done any MTB with this tyres. But I have done a lot of commuting.

Pros:

  • Excellent cornering grip. the side knobs provide good grip when turning,the closer pattern middle knobs gives you the fast rolling.
  • fast rolling well gripping tyre for asphalt and hard-pact trails.
  • very easy to put on off the rim,no tyre lever needed.
  • low weight
  • does pretty well on wet asphalt too,not like the LT 3 that gave no grip on asphalt

Cons:

  • I am between 70 and 80 kg and I need to run minimum 40 psi or I will puncture on riding stairs or  of side walks.
  • punctures easily on glass,this is cause by how thin the tyre is, it’s a about 3 mm I think.
  • bit too loose when putting them on the rim.

 

1 rear tyre got a puncture lost all air,other rear tyre on a other bike exploded in the bike shop, with a loud bang, the hole was pretty big like some one  stabbed the tyre with a knife.and this was with just normal commute riding to stores,but i got them replaced i the store, and  the 6300 bike now got these tyres both on rear and front and they are holding up well as long as i run 40 psi on the rear.2 tyres failed with normal commute use,fut that was probably faulty tyres,

I have used the Bontrager xr1 team issue for a long time, without any issues.

 

Conclusion:

Recommended

Good tyre,not too expensive.

Good lightweight tyre,fast rolling excellent tyre not matter if you use it for commuting or riding on trails

price $69.99

 

 

 

 

 

Review: BBB ULTRABASE DTL Road & MTB saddle

the saddle is harder than the Bontrager race saddle on the 2010 trek 6300,saddles is a personal thing,not every one will find every saddle comfortable, this saddle was not the most comfortable one I had.

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Pros:

  • durability is acceptable, it did not wear out or bend og any screws that fell out, so this is good,i got few holes on the sides from few crashes.

cons:

  • becomes slippery after at  least 1 year of use
  • the black stripes that go on the sides ,top of the saddle wear out after much riding.
  • only 3 colour options
  • bit hard,not as flexy as I would like.

http://bbbcycling.com/