Revised Long term review: Straitline DeFacto pedals

Flickr album

Straightline Components flickr group

I was so impressed with these pedals that I ordered more sets so now I got 4 in total.

I run these with all pins, and the grip can’t even compare to normal cheap pedals they are on a whole new level, But They are not perfect, the short standard size platform is rideable but it’s too short for me.

I have jumped and landed with the pedal on the end of a stair end and no damage not bend no play. but they are now on my fuel ex and the left crank arm failed and the left pedal fell off, the threads for the pin failed few days later, which is probably caused by loosened pin, and damage to threads was probably done wheel the pedal fell off,I have Used Loctite 243 all of my pedals,the thread locker on the pins are will no do the job properly, So you have to apply some more.

IMG_20150805_165018

 

No damage to the threads

 

IMG_20150805_165802 IMG_20150805_174302 IMG_20150805_165323

No I did not overtighten them, it as a bike mechanic in the store that switched the pedals from my trek 6300 to the fuel ex.good they had a spare crank.I have used the pedal with the xt crank arm I got and the pedal did not fall of, so I assume it was just a faulty crank arm that caused this.

After about 2 season of use the metal rings and the locking clips will show sings of wear, I had to bend the clips with pliers to make them tight again, the O rings stretch after few months or weeks, causing the pedal to move from side to side and making knocking & creaking sounds.

But straight line provides spare parts, which can be bought directly from their site, or from online shops.

Winter Use:

After riding few days in freezing conditions& rapid changing conditions, the service intervals changed to servicing them quite often.

I had to use grease instead of lube, and apply so much grease it hindered water from coming on the inside, but the harsh conditions I rode in, still required the pedals to be serviced often. To Prevent Rust This is necessary, This is normal you will have to service any component more often in the winter.

Cons:

  • The platform is too short, for my 44 size feet, a longer platform would be nice. But riding with the five ten impact shoes defenitly help. 
  • Bushings are not as reliable as bearings

Pros:

  • Very durable, can take some abuse.
  • excellent construction
  • excellent grip, the pins amount of pins & the sharp shape provide excellent grip, combined with Five Ten shoes it gives perfect grip.
  • easy to replace pins
  • easy to service, one of the easiest on the market right now
  • The pedal has plastic shim, which allows the pedal to stay in place in the same position when you remove your foot from the pedal.

Conclusion

If it was not for the ”standard” size platform I could recommend these pedals.

Defacto are not the lightest pedals with good grip on the market, but if you want to save weight go for the Syntace nine nine titan instead, but the Straightline de facto are much cheaper, But in my opinion a longer platform medal would be better, I don’t care about some tiny weight gains.

I have wanted a longer platform pedals for years, and I wanted to buy some buy never got around to do it, but I think my next pedals will be Pedal innovations catalyst,I think I will buy them to try them out for myself, The Straitline defacto and many other pedals are too short for me, but this does not stop me from using riding well, but I can definitely feel the disadvantages of the standard platform size.

http://www.straitlinecomponents.com/products/defacto-pedals

Kjøp Straightline komponenter i Norge/buying straightline components in Norway:

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/no/en/straitline-defacto-platform-flat-pedal/rp-prod92591

eller: http://www.sykkelbutikken.no/komponenter/pedaler/mtb/straitline-defacto/

https://www.worldwidecyclery.com/pages/search-results?page_num=1&q=straightline

Long term review on 3 bikes: Shimano Deore M615 I-Spec-B brake set- it’s garbage

I have used these brakes on 3 bikes, some more than others, the one That the threads for the Torx screws failed, was the one I used on my main bike.

Cons:

  • The brake lever body/Master cylinder flex when braking harder than 50%,which is why the plastic lid & the separator &  the Master piston unit to bend or get damaged, and cause leaks, so the lever will be soaked in oil, and oil will spit out through the middle where the plastic lid is.I compared the flexing in the levers on m396&m615 and there is significantly more flex in the m615, if you press the lever blade half way you wont see flex on the m396,but on the  m615 you will.
  • Leaking caused by plastic cover bending upwards, and front and the back is also being pushed upwards but sideways too, causing a leak.
    temperature changes, will cause this, a minor hit can cause this. the design is clearly flawed.
  • I had to replace one master cylinder due to failed threads, and I had the leaking issues with the new one too,but with a set of pliers it was fixed, by pressing the cover into the master cylinder until it was straight/flat against the master cylinder,but this is pointless to do, you are better off buying a mechanical brake or a proper hydraulic brake.
The threads for the Torx screw failed, which is clamping the cover which clamps down the grommet, SO fluid leaked, But I don’t know if it just failed, of if it was due to a crash, but the Torx screw was not damaged. In my opinion these screws are way too small,the design is way too fragile.
  • Impossible so far to get placement seals/grommets/diaphragms, or just the master cylinder separately.


I don’t know what caused the threads to fail, it was certainly not over torquing  the screws,I don’t know if its caused by fluid pushing the parts and girding the threads apart until they are so polished that they cant hold the cover, maybe I don’t know, I certainly was not a crash that caused it,because I never crashed with this particular brake.

Pros.

  • Hinged clamp,no need to remove grips & shifter.
  • the levers are easy to bend back if you bent them,which I have done on 2 bikes so far.
  • good modulation
  • good braking power,at least if you use Metal pads, ( if its wet or ride a lot)
  • it’s not too  expensive
  • it’s not too heavy
  • no need to take off grips to take off the brake, because of the swing arm clamping mechanism.

The Brake Lever will bend if you crash into a tree(before I upgraded the handle bars i was used to ride on the fuel ex 7 with 720 bars),at low-speed,don’t just let the bike fall on the ground,it can bend the brake lever.

  • 23779701854_0a5eeb02bd_b

You can of course bend it back with proper tools and technique.

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The I spec B system, is flawed, it’s quite flimsy, the shifter will move if you did not use Threadlocker and torqued it properly,
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2016 Shimano Deore XT M8000 Ispec B shifter mounted to Deore M615, (there is no B on the brake but its compatible jsut look for the I spec B holes) i know  the brakes are bit steep in this picture but I have tweaked that later.
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The Deore M615 on a 2010 trek 6300

Extra Info

M615 Piston seals:

IUY 21.1 25  3.19 78 NOK

Verdict:

The Both brakes are too fragile.

Because the brake lever body/master cylinder is way too flexible and that there is a palstic lid,instead of metal lid,which causes the brake to leak.

I have seen a lot of reviews claiming these brakes are a good value at a low price point.

I agree with the braking power for the money is there, but not the reliability, these brakes are too fragile.

same goes for the other brakes with the similar design, for example, M396, M395,but at least it’s possible to get seals for M396, M395.

Failed tHreads on M396 right lever/rear lever.

Flickr album

Updated 2 Years plus Review: 2014 Trek Fuel EX7 29er

I really needed a full suspension bike, at minimum 120 mm travel, I got the the best bike, I could as fast as I could.but I knew I might need to change few things, but I test ridden the bike around the store, but that was not good enough test.

It was a lot better to ride than the 2010 Trek 6300.

This is my first full suspension bike, and my first 29er, I have never ridden other full suspension bikes, so can’t compare it to others.

Don’t let others decide for you if 29er is the right choice for you.The ride quality not only depend on the bike, but the person sitting on it and the correct size, but for me it climbs well and turns well even in gnarly sections.

The ride:

I and I felt at home straight away, I noticed the smooth and easy controllable steering straight away, But 800mm handle bars would fit my arms better, but this is will depend on your body measurements.

I think this bike is easy to ride, much better compared to my 6300(100mm stem & 720 bars) even its heavier it goes much faster, no matter if its downhill steep up hills, even doing a wheelie.

with 720 mm handlebars you get easy and controlled steering,720 mm bars, the 18,5 frame and the 29 wheel is just perfect for me.

The bike does not accelerate as fast as a 26er would do but it maintains the speed longer, but the bike is fast & stable in corners.

Technical climbs is not an issue with this bike, but with most trail bikes there is not.

Get a Dropper post

the lack of dropper post hides the capabilities of this bike.

with a dropper post I can get my body in the correct position for going downhill.

Even the dropper post adds more weight, it get you in the correct pedalling position when its up, and for technical sections you just lower it, and the capabilities of the bike increases, the dropper post made me alto faster in descents and on technical climbs.

Routing a dropper post on this frame:

internal:

the cable should go alongside the brake hose, For the Race Face Turbine 440mm 150mmdrop dropper pos.

External:

if you use 1x drivetrain, you can use the front dérailleur routing for the external dropper post.

The suspension

do not have every adjustment there is, but the CTD (climb,trail,descend)
work pretty well for me I am bit more than I am somewhere close to 75 kg with gear on.

So I ride with 180 in the shock and 80 psi in the fork.

I did not want to bottom out the fork so I ran 110 psi for doing drops and jumps, but I later reduced it to 80 psi because the fork was but it too harsh on the roots.
The recommended psi for my weight(with gear of course) is 80 psi.

I am ca 180 cm high,the 18,5 frame and the 29 wheel is perfect for me

I experienced some knocking, clicking sound from the spokes grinding, in turns or when the temperature was way over 20 deg Celsius.

The bike is 13,600 Grams in size 18,5 so it could be too heavy for you if you really need a light bike, but for me it’s not that heavy I can ride pretty fast with it anyway in fact it’s a huge upgrade from my 26 inch 6300,lighter bikes are more expensive and have to break these parts is expensive to replace.

Drivetrain

the 10 spd 11-36 x3: I don’t need the 42 tooth ring at the front where I live,  but if you have long roads or steep 40 degrees downhill(where you can run out of gears with 36T) its nice with a 42T ring.I have upgraded to 11-42T cassette and 36T Race Face Narrow Wide ring, I will test it out without chain-guide.

You can watch  Seth’s Bike Hacks review to see how the narrow wide chaining performs

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Saddle: Bontrager Evoke 2

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Pros:

  • The saddle grips well.
  • it flexes and got cushioning
  • I don’t feel the rail inserts
  • the foam cushioning does not work that well, my weight compress it all the way down(  I am somewhere between 170 and 180 KG + gear)
  • I can feel folded synthetic leather where the fabric and the synthetic leather is stitched

Cons:

  • the wheels: way too flexy,get untrue way too fast
  • Weight
  • the rims had alloy machining residue, on the inside of the rim, it came out of the spoke holes.
  • trek should have done a better job with selection of components.
  • front resin brake pads got worn out in ca. 2 months,I upgraded to Shimano J02A IceTech
  • the saddle is not so comfortable as it should be,I can feel the sides of the saddle.(I notice it if i use the climb mode on the rear shock)

    26156162020_97a7da149b_h
    I can feel the bump where the fabric and pleather is,I can feel the side of the saddle
  • The screws on the seat post are too long for mounting lower saddles with shorter rails,the Bontrager saddle got the rails higher s other is more space between the saddle and the screws.if you are using a carbon saddle with higher rail profile,instead of round rails, it’s nice to have long screws,but not that if you plan to upgrade saddle to  a lower profile saddle, like i did, you might need to cut the screws,

I upgraded to Fabric Scoop Shallow Race, which is more comfortable for me, but the screws on the seat post hit the plastic underneath the saddle.

PROS:

  • The 2014 Shimano Deore BL-M615 brake got good modulation, feels perfect to me. it’s a excellent brake set for a excellent price( as long as it works) but of course at a weight penalty.
  • Shimano Deore SL-M610 Shifter triggers,gives smooth and very easy to shift, a lot better than the 2010 Deore, more ergonomic than the past model like the 2010 from my 6300 bike.
  • handle bar got stripes to help you with brake and gear lever alignment.

    Enter a caption
  • handles well on the rough downhills
  • holes for internal cable routing  for dropper post
  • external toptube routing support for shock remote or a mechanical dropper post.
  • the bike is stable in the descend and climb
  • Shimano Deore brakes work well and are not expensive brakes.
  • the frame got SCG-05 chainguide mount
  • no tools need to take off the wheels
  • fork: work well, even its not the top of the line fork from Fox it’s good in my opinion, i don’t notice any flex when riding.
  • the rear suspension works very well.
  • The EVO link is stiff  & light
  • feet & legs do not hit the swing-arms

 Updated 12.04.2017:

CONS:

  • The rear bolts on the Evo Link are getting loose very fast, it takes few weeks for them to get loose, but the other bolts stay tight,I think this is caused by the flex in the chain stay and down tube,which then flexes the chain stay so the bolts get loose.
  • On one the main bike/the bike with hamburger bell) the threads on the rear/right master cylinder failed, so the brake was leaking fluid,and NO I did not over tighten the Torx screws, first I tough the brake just needed a bleed, so I bled them, so there was no air but the next day I lost a lot of braking powers, there was air in the master cylinder, and oil was leaning,I checked the screws they were just spinning endlessly, I opened up the master cylinder and I saw the threads were polished away, I don’t thin kit was caused by a crash, at least not this particular brake, because I have never hit the brakes in a crash with this master cylinder.
  • one of the frames had uneven welding for the zipties the gap was too small for the big zipties on the upper cable guide on the downtube,.I could use bit ziptie all over but the one spot.
  • Noticeably Flexy down tube & chain stays:

After upgrading to the much stiffer Race Face Turbine Cranks, I noticed that the frame is flexing on the right side in the chain stay when turning /leaning the bike to the left,and it hits the tyre 2.3 tyre,I have a tube wrapped around the chain stay , It’s  between 1-2 mm. So by upgrading to the stiffer cranks instead of the cranks flexing the chain stay is flexing,so the flex in the frame is more significantly more noticeable with a stiffer crank.

.

You can see the tyre is pretty close to the chainstay.

2014-trek-fuel-ex-76-29explain

  • I would not recommend using tyres wider than 2.3,the seat stay&chain stays are too close for bigger tyres.
  • SHIMANO RT56 RESIN ONLY rotors, After few months of use with Metal pads I worn out the rotors, the holes are rounded off, and I lost a lot of bite.
  • Noticeable flex in the Shimano Deore M552 crank arms, the cranks failed on both of the bikes, without any abuse,so faulty crank arms, or the they are just too weak for a track stand, flexy cranks like this should not be on a trail bike.
  • like any suspension bike there is some pedal-bob, but its minimal, I get about 10% of the travel.
  • The chain stays near the bottom bracket could be made stiffer,but the flex is not I did not notice the flex when riding relaxed on flat surface,unless your tyre or wheel is untrue,the design should be improved.
  • no chain guide,the chain fell off more than 10 times the 2015 season,when jumping and riding ruff places hard, I jumped from 3 steps of stairs and if fell off)
  • 24173105230_3bcbca165c_c
    I will never use A plastic press fit shimano BB’s I had to use pliers to remove stuck parts.

    (as you can see the paint got stripped off by the chain)

  • one Allen bolt  on the EVO link was over tightened from factory ,but I managed to unscrew it by using warm water and Allen key in the freezer for few minutes & the big bolt on the chain stay and seat tube fell off,but the bike shop replaced it.
  • chain fall off when jumping sometimes, my plan is to get 11 speed and get a chainguide.
  • Tyres: Bontrager XR3 Expert, is not a very lasting tyre, because of the soft trubber, l the rear tyre lasted me few weeks,so i upgraded the rear with SE4 Team Issue tyres,witch has last me to the winter came.
  • the weight is 13,6 on 18,5(virtual)(real 17.5)
  • the Fox 32 has flex/twisting,from side to side, but not noticeable when riding, but this is quite common for 32 mm stanchion forks ,my RockShox tora sl 2010,Marzocchi Corsa 2012,the flex is a lot less than these forks, but when the wheel is on it can be flexed to about the same, but when wheel is off the fox 32 evo is clearly stiffer.
  • no dropper post.
  • Bontrager RL(Race Lite) lock on grips: they are way too hard for me,but got good grip,but they are too hard for me and give no dampening, so I replaced them with ESI Extra Chunky green grips in is a pretty good match.19525248243_5d21846fca_b
  • this bike really need a chain guide. If you ride hard or jump you will need a chain guide.
  • 3 chain rings for a trail bike is not optimal, the problem is over big roots or obstacles you can hit it some time times, and as bigger the chainring is as more chance there is for you to crash or damage the ring.
  • The chain-stay protector does not work well, the chain will hit the zip-ties, and they will snap so the protector will be loose and will scratch the paint,and because it does not cover the whole chain-stay the inside of the chain stay will get hit by the chain, i replaced the protector with a old inner-tube instead.
  • chain slap on the Front Dérailleur: which crapes of the pant and make visible scrapes on the puller arm.
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Chain slap

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Upgrades I did:

gallery of the upgraded bike upgraded-2016

  • Shimano M8000
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    Shimano Deore XT M8000 I spec B shifter on Deore M615 I spec B brake(the rbake is too steep in this picture,I don’t use them like this any more.

     

  • TRP Spyke Dual piston mechanical brakes
  • Race Face Atlas Ø35 50mm
  • Race FaceSixc Ø35 800mm

Flickr albums of the 2 bikes:

Upgraded Fuel ex 7 29er Ved skansehytta _20170529_170745
2017 upgraded XT m8000 2014 Fuel EX 7 29er checkmate _20170411_183811_1

Verdict/Conclusion:

Disappointing build, too flexible BB area.

the bad choices of components, and flexy frame, is Disappointing, the must be some flex in a frame or it will snap, but this is too much in one place.

the bike rides well, very stable no matter how I ridden it,but ,trek did not do a good job on selecting all the components, the drive train is outdated, The wheels are too flexible and get out of true way too easily, triple chain rings is outdated,and the crank arms have too much flex. In my opinion most riders do not need triple chainring setup,wider range cassette just replaces the Front RD so there is no point in having a front Rd.

The frame:

I think the frame will be too flexy in the left chain stay for  average riders.

after 2 seasons the bearing in the chain stay worn out,(by worn out I mean they did not turn smoothly and they made noise even when I repacked them with grease,but they had not noticeable play in them) so I had to change them,So I did,but even though I have had repacked them with grease once, I think I should have done it sooner.

I have been riding with the second bike in -11 degrees, and on wet rainy days, and al lkinds of weather, I had to repack the bearings after few weeks of winter riding, but the bearings were running smooth, So I guess I will just have to cheek the bearings more often.

buy new rear tyres,

If you ride very steep downhills a, A dropper post will definitely be the next upgrade.

Full Specs:http://www.vitalmtb.com/product/guide/Bikes,3/Trek/Fuel-EX-7-29,12595

Other reviews:

http://reviews.mtbr.com/review-trek-fuel-ex-7-29

http://www.bikerumor.com/2013/05/22/first-look-2014-trek-fuel-ex-29er-weights-details-ride-impressions/

http://www.pinkbike.com/v/embed/458872/?colors=c80000

Videos of me riding:

Some street/Urban mountain biking:

Shimano SLX M675 Shadow+ vs XT m8000 Shadow+

Using your 10 speed deore,slx,xt,xtr, rear dérailleur for 11 speed is possible, but it wont be as smooth.

but of course to compare this you have to have exact same setup, which I had here.

And of course The clutch tension must be properly adjusted & all other adjustments, I set mine up by decreasing tension until it the shifting performance was acceptable.

I recently rode the bike with SLX M675 few days and then the xt m8000 bike after wards and the performance is definitely noticeable.

Even on 11-42T cassettes with stock links/without goat link, the difference was noticeable.

the difference was most noticeable in the lower gears/bigger cogs.

If went up and down much faster, and made less noise.

I used KMC 11X SL Silver on both setups.

on my 2014 Fuel ex 7 29er I had to get a Goatlink to run 11-46T cassette possible. this picture shows the Rear dérailleur adjusted to the max,with a 1|1-46T XT m8000 cassette.

Is it absolutely necessary to upgrade? absolutely not,but on rougher trail  it’s nice to have better shifting.

Review: 26er Weinmann Zac 2000 36 spokes double wall rear wheel

22078437061_ffd550d39a_bI have been riding world cup level XC terrain to trail/enduro/downhill level terrain with this wheel, But have not done any crazy high jumps or crashed badly, abused the wheel.

But I would not big jumps or downhill rampage on this wheel.

the spoke tension has been regularly checked, and the wheel has been trued by the bike mechanic, punctured and lately by me.

I ran 40 psi in the rear tyres.

I punctured few times and hit edges of stair steps, but no harm was done.

I have used this wheel for few years, at least 3 years.

I have done alto of jumps ridden up stairs and puncturing and wheel was fine, and riding down stairs with loss of air, and eventually hitting the rear wheel to stair several stair steps, the wheel has not shown any signs of bends or flat spots.

Stays true for long time

I only broke one spoke, even when some of the spokes were bit too lose and after hard riding the wheel stayed true, it got trued, and of course I need to get the spokes tensioned, but I was just not checking the spoke tension how much I should have, but nowadays I do it regularly.

Shimano hub is easy to service

the spokes are pretty thick.

The hub is FH-M475 viam

which is not a great hub.

I have bent the axle on all of my  M475  hubs, which resulted in damaged cones, and sigly worn bearings, I don’t think I have ever ridden hard with too loose cones, but it noticed loose cones few times, but I checked for this often.

The dust seal/caps are horrible, a rubber seal is need, just a metal ring does not protect the bearings from hairs, dirt, water, and other things & the grease comes out which result in short maintenance intervals.

this dust cap lets dust in,
this is after one ride with fresh grease, riding in -2 Celsius in snowing weather. there must be a rubber dust cap if you have cone ba.ll bearing design, the dust cap on the M475 hubs will let dirt and hair and water and all other small stuff inside, so I have to take it apart a lot when I use it a lot. never take one the dust seal, If you have to don’t use a screwdriver to do so,it will damage it,I got a front wheel with similar seal it got lose, so if you a hub like this you have to check it a lot, and be sure every ting is right, and if you crash you should inspect it, the dust seals are fragile so if you get a stone or what ever hit the seal in a crash, check it!!!

worth riding   At least 5-7 days in a week, the free hub for me it got worn out after year season of use, it happen on several free hubs, on other wheels too.

wit this hub design, it’s important to check the bearings and cones,and do regular maintenance, if the bearings or the cones wear out, the wheel will have wobble and the cassette  & freehub will wear out faster.

the freehub got pretty low engagement,there is few degrees of pedalling movement until it engages,which is noticeable if you are a experienced rider.

At the time of writing this review I am using Hope Pro 4 hubs, on my fuel ex 7 29er, and I love’em. but there are more good options.

Verdict:

decent wheel for xc & trail riding, but the hubs have it’s flaws.

This wheel is noticeably heavier than the stock/original Bontrager Ranger rear wheel, the performance is definitely worth it.

36 spoke double wall 26er wheel is a very strong wheel.

but the hub

IF you want a wheel that you can swap between old school Vbrake bike and a disk brake bike, this rim is a good choice.

But as the hub is not user-friendly and not goo, I can’t recommend this as a package deal.

http://www.weinmanntek.com/Products/MTB/ZAC2000.htm

10.12.2016 Updated Review: 2015 Bontrager SE4 Team Issue 29×2.3

After few weeks of use of the XR3 Expert tyres, so I need new tyres so I purchased all the se4 tyres in stock. I did not abuse the tyres, I rode singletrack & some stairs.I do not mind the weight of these tyres because of the durability.

After using the 2015 Bontrager SE4 Team Issue 29×2.3 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.

Pros

  • durable
  • No twisting when running 25 psi.
  • Takes rock gardens pretty well, no cuts yet.
  • the excellent pattern gives you good grip
  • I did not notice any difference in rolling resistance from the Xr3 expert to the Se4 team issue
  • puncture resistant.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)
  • no problem to run 25 psi,no matter how hard I ridden,which I can’t do on the  Bontrager XR1 Team Issue 26″” x 2.20 or the Bontrager XR 3 expert
  • fast rolling & cornering, Compared to Maxxis HigRoller 2 23.3 Se4 corners better on asphalt.its the thread pattern & hardness of the tyre which does it.(but for grip Maxxis HighRoller 2 2.3 wins.)

    24361985621_db4f36398b_b
    As you can see the side knobs are pretty close, that’s why this tyre corners so fast.
iso103
these tyres are easy to put on and off the Bontrager Duster 29e rims

Cons:

  • heavy at 1010 grams for one tyre its quite heavy, but the higher weight is unavoidable with thicker s, stronger tyres.
  • The Se4 tyre is way too hard which result in the tyre washing out/sliding out on hard packed dirt or loose dirt, The tyre does not compress and form to the surface enough. I had these tyres on my spare bike, but iI swapped wheels from my spare bike over from my main bike and taken a ride the local trails with the Bontrager Se4 tyres the rear i crashed which I have never done on the trusty Maxxis High roller 2 3C Maxx Terra EXO TR  2.3.

Verdict

I can’t recommend these tyres because I have tried Maxxis HighRoller 2 3C ‘s

I have not had any issues when riding on the pavement or asphalt road, but I haven’t ridden down o’clock turn on asphalt, so I can’t Tell you about it.

Not so good on common variable trail conditions. mountain biking, I recommend getting a tyre with better cornering grip, and stickier rubber for better grip, I now use Maxxis HighRoller 2’s and I have never looked back.

Maxxis HighRoller 2 is as durable and got a much softer compound.

For me the Maxxis HighRoller 2, offer a better package, even it does not turn as fast, but for me it’s perfect, sacrifice, the result is an excellent overall experience.

I use Maxxis Minion 2.3 on my trek 6300 26er bikes, and they roll fast in corners, but they don’t slide/wash out on you when riding fast in corners, so for more technical trails I recommend Maxxis High Roller 2 2.3 or 2.4

for xc gravel, or not too rooty trails, for xc, gravel and asphalt Minion’s are perfect

6 months Review: Fabric Scoop Shallow Race

After 5 months the saddle tip showed signs of wear, probably caused by the saddle flexing and compressing and the material rubbing against the plastic.

some of the tip is got little bit loose.

Some words:

does not grip as well as Bontrager saddles,but it’s not very slippery neither.but if you use a the SSR seat post you should change to shorter screws, because of the flex and the low profile of the saddle,there is too little room, so the saddle will hit the screws.

This saddle is the most comfortable saddle i owned yet,but i gave not owned many.

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The screws were so long that the saddle flexing down and hit them.I need to use brake caliper screw spacers because of too of too long screws on the SSR seatpost.

Pros

  • The plastic fame will be lasting a long time because the rails are mounted to the plastic base using a machine instead of 2 or 1 small screw holding it together with a plastic plate.
  • Very comfy
  • perfect amount of flex for comfort.

Cons:

  • the cover wears out with too much friction/rubbing.
  • The white lines for the adjustment, are not equal on both sides on all of the saddles, I got.
  • saddle Vs asphalt,I crashed and the saddle this the asphalt,this is the result.

     

 

Verdict

The cover need improvement.

I do not regret buying this saddle, because of the comfort & the frame durability

Finally a saddle with a base made how I would have done it,simple no screws that pop out/jump out/fall out.

one of the most comfortable saddles,to a competitive price.

.Flickr album

Product page: http://fabric.cc/shop/saddles/scoop/

If you live in Norway you can order from these sites:

http://www.sykkelkomponenter.no/products/fabric-scoop-shallow-race-blackblack-sete

http://bikeshop.no/Sykkel/Komponenter/Sadler/Konkurranse/trening/Fabric/Fabric-Scoop-Shallow-Race-Sadel-Sort-142mm-Titan-Rails-254gSEFBSHARABBK-p0000080836

http://sport.beach-mountain.no/Sykkeltilbehør/Cockpit/Seter/Sete-Fabric-Scoop-Shallow-Race-Blk-Blk-SEFBSHARABBK-p0000046806

2 season Review: Bontrager Duster 29 wheelset

This wheelset is a perfect example of why you should know or read long term reviews.

The Bontrager hubs using in this wheelset are manufactured by Formula Hubs.

the type of riding I have done is the most normal trail/enduro/singletrack

The highest I ever jumped with these wheels was 1 meter.

This is the stock wheelset on my 2014 trek fuel ex 29ers.

The front wheel wheels were fine, but the primary bike had a noisy front wheel, its most likely the spokes, or the rings in the rim, on the rear rims many of them were loose.

Brushed & black

Maxis high roller 2 are quite hard to take on and off on this rim, a good tyre lever is needed.

Tiny tent in the left sidewall, I think this if from hitting a stair step edge, I have punctured quite many times and lost air too much air when I was riding down stairs, but this dent can probably by fixed.

The wheels get out of true way too fast.
I managed to make it true sideways but not radially.
after few km on my spare bike, the rear tyre was hitting the inner tube wrapped on the chainstay, I took off the tyre and tried to true the wheel, it was impossible to radially true it.
even at max tension & loosening the and loosening the other spokes above to make it true)the spokes could not pull the rim inwards.
the primary bike had a flat spot, but it also was untrue very fast, and the tyre hit the frame on it too, but it was fixed with truing.
but the flat spot was impossible to fix, I managed to get it better but still was about half cm out of true radially.
this was after few months

the rim had drilling residue after spoke holes.The other had something black inside it, probably drilling residue with black paint-job.

Formula DC-51

The spoke nipples:

It’s Am not brutal or using the wrong tool for the job, I have never seen so soft spoke nipples, but some worked fine. so this might be faulty nipples, something wrong with the alloy on these spokes.

many of them were inaccurate so the spoke wrench did not fit properly unless forced,
almost half of the spoke nipples got rounded off,t he metal was like chocolate that began to melt, some nipples even cracked,t o take them off I need pliers, some nipples even snapped/cracked.
I used the correct size of a wrench, I will rebuild the wheels with new rims, spokes, and spoke nipples.

I have been puncturing a lot, even I go beefy tyres: Maxxis High roller 2 2.3, and I have been riding down stairs and rough terrain, and lost air pressure, and ridden down stairs until I hear a loud bang, But I did not get any big dents.
So upgrading to tubeless might be a good upgrade.

28 spokes are too few on a 29er trail/xc/enduro bike.these are the Moist flexible wheels I ever rode.

Bigger the wheel is more spokes it needs.

more spokes easier it is to true it, and longer they stay true.

The original rim tape, eventually will twist and bend, when you get punctures.

the freehub on the spare bike had no grease in the freehub bearings.
I had ridden the bike only 60km, at the time, but this resulted in play, and loud noises, I had to repack it with grease.
the front is almost idiot proof.
It’s so easy to service as long as you got the right tools for the job.

rear hub:

the rear bearings did not need any repacking, they have good, blue grease in them.

to take off the freehub you need an 11mm Allen/Umbraco key & an adjustable wrench, and use the long side of the Allen key.

because of the Park tool 11mm, Free-hub retrench is too short for this particular hub.

Verdict:

Horrible wheelset.

Way too flexy get untrue too fast, the only good thing is the easy to service hubs

It’s best to read a lot of reviews, and see what your friends or the rest of the community are riding and what they think is good, before you order a wheelset. that what I am gonna do.

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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Enter a caption

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:

26307676250_68f1a4b4fd_b25193088823_b2f5dda76f_b

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:

25023025415_969c733b3d_c

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.

 

Enter a caption

 

 

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

quick review Review: 2012 Marzocchi Corsa Superleggera(RL) RC 26er fork

I need a fork as fast as possible, this fork was the best I could get at the time straight away.the 2012 XCM v3 I had on the Trek 3900 worn out, so I had the local shop swap the 2010 Rockshox Tora SL fork over from the 6300 to the 3900, and get the Corsa on the 6300.The fork plus lighter handlebar & stem (race face turbine) made the front a lot lighter.the flex is about the same as on the Rock Shox Rora SL, bu the suitability is much better.

Winter riding:

The fork was making less noise, the knocking sound was almost gone or maybe gone, itsI had no issues riding in -6 degrees Celsius.I don’t know why the fork get silenced in below freezing, and the knocking is back with above freezing.

Flickr Album

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the lockout remote
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Sr Suntour VS Marzocchi

Pros:

  • a lot more stable/controllable ride than the Tora SL,because of the adjustments
  • remote lockout
  • lockout adjustment
  • much better adjustment than the 2010 RockShox Tora Sl

according to bike radar the corsa forks got noticeable flex, I have nto ridden that hard wit this fork yet, so I cant really say much about it.

http://www.bikeradar.com/mtb/gear/category/components/forks-suspension/product/review-marzocchi-corsa-sl-lr-12-46027/

Cons:

  • knocking sound on rebound,The knocking sound comes from the right leg, I can feel something move in there, when I press the brake and rock back and forth.
  • The red rebound adjuster have a very flimsy feel, it got huge flex when you turn the knob.

Soem Riding footage:

The pump:

21335034461_62a03b39ca_b

Pros:

  • the button to reduce air pressure  is more precise than the Beto/Trek/Bontrager bump

Cons:

  • the black peace screws off sometimes

https://www.marzocchi.com/support/forks/2012/2012-corsa-sl-lr.aspx?idC=62354&idM=19240-1433-1433&idMy=15637&idP=18780-560&idS=15793

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: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: 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.

IMG_20150924_192543

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/