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

Advertisements

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.

25702034523_8a840d9d75_b
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

International shops:

https://www.bike24.com/p2117947.html

https://www.evanscycles.com/fabric-scoop-shallow-race-saddle-EV223759

 

2 season Review: Bontrager Duster 29 wheelset

https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8501/29661608046_beca702a88_o.jpg

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 front hub use 3/16 inch bearing

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.

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

32577666342_3a846ef0f1_o
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

26982482352_9db4290990_b
the lockout remote
24433705680_ea022cc335_b
Sr Suntour VS Marzocchi

Pros:

  • good clearance, mudguard and 2.3 tyres are not an issue, I have tested it with RRP Enduro guard, Zefal, and Mudhugger Fr, without any clearance issues.
  • 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 not ridden that hard with this fork yet, so I can’t 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.

Some 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/