Pedaling Innovations Catalyst Pedals Short term Review

This is just a short term review, so might update it later.

Initial use:

Some long time ago I found a review of the Catalyst Pedals on pinkbike, since then I wanted to buy them, but did not get around to doing it, But this year I did, actually wanted pedals with a long big platform like the Catalyst pedals for several years, but I could not find anything until I found that review on Pinkbike.

I felt at home straight away:

The first time I took my feet on the pedals I felt at home straight away, I did not even take them out for a ride yet, and I could feel the difference, but then I took them for a And they were what I expected, they gave me more control, I noticed my climbing was better, when doing manuals I was much more in control, No matter what I did on the bike It felt great, and more in control, I Rode up a wall in the city plaza and jumped off it, there was a definite difference when I landed, the drop off, my feet were much more stable, standard size pedals always it felt weird for me on landings, but with the Catalyst pedals, landing jumps and drop-offs hard feels a lot easier on my body.

Many benefits:

More precise pedal stroke, more stable climbing, I no longer spin the rear wheel while climbing Gravel roads while standing.

The pedals hold position when you spin the cranks with the foot off, which is great, but of course, at extreme speed, they will move slightly.

The bigger platform also makes it easier to place the feet on the pedal, in those situations when you can struggle to put your feet on the pedal properly.

These pedals have much less drag than the Straitline DeFacto pedals.

I installed the longer pins from the get-go, as I got issues with my joints, which mess up my riding from time to time, so the maximum of pins is the only choice for me.

 

Size comparison between Catalyst pedal and Straitline DeFacto pedal

After few weeks:

After weeks of use, I did not notice any creaking or noises from the pedals, unlike the Straitline pedals, which have issues with a O-ring, but the Catalyst pedals don’t have any flimsy O ring that could cause issues, instead, they use a bushing and bearings inside the pedal.

 

So far the cleanest & smoothest pedals I have used, which the Straitline Defacto struggled, they needed service more often and got dirtier, and washer got worn, the O ring stretched and disclosed, there are no so such issues with the catalyst pedals.

The black bushing has never dislocated.

 

The catalyst doesn’t attract as much dirt as the Straitline pedals, because they don’t as open design, with shims, and E pins.

The platform does not get as much dirt stuck in between the platform as the Straitline pedals do, but their pins will get dirt stuck in them.

 

easy to service:

 

you need an 8mm socket, a 6mm Allen key or a bit.

 

Cons: There are not many cons with these pedals.

The pins are won’t be easy to remove when damaged, because of the female Allen design, the Straitline pins are easier to remove, but if you have can drill out the pins this won’t be an issue, not everyone has the tools for that job, I managed to smash some pins on my first rides.

Both sets I received came with missing long pins, also one pair had 1 more missing pin.

Verdict:

I absolutely recommend these to any rider, if you are using standard size pedals you are missing out, The catalyst pedals are the best pedals on the market In my opinion.

 

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Slightly Revised Long term review: Straitline DeFacto pedals

I have revised this one before 14 june, But I added some info about issues with the O-rings. I have also ordered Catalyst pedals, SO I will see how much difference they will make.

Flickr album

Straightline Components flickr group

I was so impressed with grip of 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.

I  did go trough several bushings in a year,about 1- 2 depending on use , as In got got several bikes & ride a lot.

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 definitely help.
  • The o-rings were problematic,f ew times as they stretched in a short time, and in hot weather the stretched O ring slid up from the spindle to the pedal wrench slots,after changing the shims, few times the o-rings start to wear. my experience was that I had to change them after few months or weeks,they cracked and stretched way too much way too fast, So if you got these pedals, toy need to stock these Orings.After having these issues I found on MTBR.com forum that others have the same issues. http://forums.mtbr.com/all-mountain/straitline-all-mountain-amp-pedals-727035.html

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,But for smaller feet these will do the job. but as I have big feet, these feel too short.

IF you decide to get these, you will lave to get better O-rings

DeFfacto 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

 

 

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.

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

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.

26307676250_68f1a4b4fd_b
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

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