Long-term review: ESI Chunky extra chunky silicone grips- Revised & added video

Race Face Turbine 1x Dropper post remote_1608

Here is an improved review, since the last time I posted a review on these,

I have used Esi grips since 11.2015 until January 2018, so I am very familiar with them. updated it march 2018. But now finally I revised the review, new pictures, improved text.  July 2019 I added video and revised the text some more.

I put them thru its paces, I rode with them in -11c to summer heat, in most weather conditions.†

I went from hard and too small diameter grips to Easton MTB grips, which was torture to ride with so I had to get something better, but ESI Grisp were just a temporary solution.

I went for the 34mm diameter grips, they fit me perfectly.

I have been using these grips since 2015, they definitely work, but not for long, So I had to swap them out for a fresh set after few weeks.

my upgraded  2010 trek 3900 ESI Chunky orange silicone grips

but when used for longer I managed to put a lot more wear in them, and eventually they were spinning slightly, especially at the the ends.

Some pictures:

Timber bell_1607
Race Face Turbine 1x Dropper post remote_1608
2014 Fuel EX 7 29er: ESI GRIPS-Deore Xt M8000, M615 brakes-
View from left-Trek 6300 Race Face Turbine
Cockpit_0615

Sortimo T-Boxx_20170424_103707
I stored them in Sortimo T-Boxx

Flickr Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskorWHoL

Pros:

  • Shock absorbing
  • feels great without gloves
  • 10 colour choices, I got green fits my fuel-ex perfectly.
  • stays in place, does not slide off.
  • reduces hand numbness – fatigue- arm pump
  • easy to clean with a hard brush
  • not effected much by the subzero temperatures, they work in the summer heat and in the freezing winter.
  • they can be used in the winter, I have ridden few days with -10  and more, with the grips, without any issues.

Cons:

  • not as grippy as rubber grips.
  • but they only last me 4 weeks, they become too soft and lose the shock absorption, and at that point, they are torture to ride, so they are expensive in long term. In the  In the winter I use 2.1 Suomi Gazza Extreme studded tyres with 4psi higher pressure than my summer setup with Maxxis 2.3 tyres, which becomes torture to ride with once the grips lose the shock absorption feature, first comes the loss of shock absorption then the grip becomes more fragile and gets ripped apart easier and easier, then they begin to spin slowly, but this happens over the course of many weeks, with higher volume tyres I could ride them for bit longer, but not with my current winter setup, it’s torture, so I had to swap to fresh grips every 4th week, which cost way too much. even though the too soft grip is not as noticeable with bigger tyre volume this is not acceptable for me.
  • birds can damage the grips like here, after riding with them more than a week after the bird attacking them there are holes so deep I can see the handlebar, so if you crash hard you will rip the grips part.
ESI Grips Extra Chunky Black- closeup
I don’t know what caused damage on this one, maybe some branches, they could definitely cause this.

Verdict:

I can’t recommend these grips due to the issue with the grips getting too soft fast, but so far it seems like I am the only one mentioning this, maybe I got a bad batches these years, if you have other experience with them why not comment below. if htey lasted longer this would be a cheap and great option I guess, but for me it did not work that great for long.

So when I saw RevGrips I bought them, and that’s what I have been using since, and probably will continue to do so.

http://www.esigrips.com/Silicone_Grips_Shock_Absorbing.htm

The end caps are junk,  you can replace them with proper alloy end caps instead.

Putting them on & off:

The best way to install the grips is by using a compressor.

here are some great videos I found on YouTube:

I put the grip under running hot tap water to heat expand it or fill the sink up with hot tap water, but a using compressor instead is much easier.

What you should NOT do:

DON’T USE A SCREWDRIVER TO PUT THEM ON AND OFF!!! It will damage the grips on the inside and the grip can rip apart.

Don’t use hairspray, even if the bike mechanic tells you to, it might stink, and make the grip slipperier on the inside.  it’s dangerous stuff to breathe in.

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Long term Review: Crank Brothers Speedier Tyre Lever

 

Use period: 2016 – 2018

Pros

  • Durable.
  • Easy to remove as long as you do it the right way, which is not how it’s shown in the press videos.
  • last longer than many cheap thin flexy alternatives, Weldtite for example.
  • the put on part works with light xc tyres, but not with sticky thicker tyres.
  • Because it’s plastic it does not scratch the rim.
  • the ”remove” part of the lever works great for installing, just keep the tube away from getting pinched.
  • makes install and removal of all tyres easier, including Suomi wire bead tyres.

Cons:

  • no matter how I hold it the tip and the rest body flexes.
  • I got 2 of these, one of them was bit tight to get on the rim but was ok after few times of use.
  • I ended up using just the ”removes” instead of the ” install” part of the lever when I was finishing off putting the tyre on.  ( I used Maxxis High roller 2 tyres)
  • Does not fit average and big hands

 

Super easy the lady said, The method this woman use does not work with Maxxis High Roller 2 on Bontrager Duster wheels, one of the issues is that the tyres are so tight, unlike the bike magazine have shown in their video

https://vimeo.com/44559641

The best method to take off the tyre with these Tyre levers:

Removing this way does not work on some tyre, rim combos:

Even when I lubed the tyre with soap, and used the put on part of the lever but it I still struggled with the Maxxis High Roller, This is unavoidable because of the tightness of the tyre, of course you have to get the tyre bead into the channel in them middle of the rim for easier removal, but still it was harder on the Bontrager rim, but on the Hope rim it was easier.

So I did this instead:

When taking off my Maxxis High Roller 2 tyres off my Bontrager duster wheels, I used one lever with a spoke hook to hold the tyre in place, and taken the ”remove” part of the lever under the tyre bead and lifted it, step by step  did the same thing over and over to the tyre loosened, it worked quite well. But dragging/pushing/pulling the lever just does not work.

After long term use:

Crank Brothers Speedier Tyre Lever_20181212_201041edit

A groove can be seen & a small piece has snapped off.

Crank Brothers Speedier Tyre Lever_20181212_200845edit

Crank Brothers Speedier Tyre Lever_20181212_200839edit

Crank Brothers Speedier Tyre Lever_20181212_200827edit

Crank Brothers Speedier Tyre Lever_20181212_201026Edit

and scratches.

Verdict:

One of the best plastic tyre levers, that’s for sure.

Durable, strong enough, decent price, definitely worth a buy.

in my opinion this is a better option than Park Tool metal lever, which has plastic cover, but the tips are not covered, so they will scratch the rim, these won’t, also the speedier lever is strong enough, you don’t need the park tool lever.

I have used Weldtite and Zefal lever before, the Zefal levers were way too thin and broke, Weldtite levers flex too much.

Product page: https://www.crankbrothers.com/tools_speedierlever

Other reviews: https://www.vitalmtb.com/product/guide/Tools-Tool-Kits,77/Crank-Brothers/Speedier-Lever,18691#product-reviews

Revised Review: 2015 Poc Index DH Vpd 2.0

I have updated the review on Dec 16, 2015, I have improved the review.

Pros

  • very comfy
  • lightweight
  • they cost the same as the giro remedy X  gloves and are way better when it comes to comfort & Poc offers protection padding but Giro does not.

Cons:

  • the impact protection is too thin, they won’t help on a proper impact, I tested it with hitting my hand harder and harder on a stem
  • The adjustment strap is twisting and keeps getting undone.

because these gloves were actually bit too big(size large) I changed to 2016 Resistance strong gloves(size medium),the palm on some of the gloves worn out, I think this is caused by the material used & the venting holes in them, so far the Index Dh has been holding up OK,but I guess over long period of time they will eventually wear too.

 

This is how the gloves look like inside out.

Flickr album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskpkGhn6

Winter use:

I have used the gloves my two pairs for the whole winter of 2017-2018 I managed to wear out the stitching in the long finger due to braking, but that is easy to fix.

I use these gloves in the winter, with fleece gloves and Nitrile gloves,  for colder days with -5c and below I use two pairs of fleece gloves, and nitrile gloves for waterproofing, which has worked great.

I recommend doing something similar.

I get good to feel a and control over the cockpit with this setup,  but with Ski gloves, I Lack control and feel.

because these gloves are one size to big, I had to get them sewn in where the gap with the elastic is, which results in no need for the Velcro strap. So the glove fits securely, and I can take it on and off easily.

this is the exact set up I use:

www.gsport.no/produkt/212512/aretti-fleece-hanske#001

Park Tool Nitrile gloves Size L, I just stretch them out a little bit for better fit on top of the fleece gloves.

www.parktool.com/product/nitrile-mechanics-gloves-mg-2

Verdict:

more durable palm than the Resistance Strong gloves due to no venting holes.

I am looking for maximum protection, for fingers & knuckles which this one does not do properly.

I will be looking at other gloves, like Mechanix for example, they got full finger protection.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/POC-Downhill-Cycling-Gloves-Uranium/dp/B00FWRJDH2/ref=sr_1_17?srs=2179656031&ie=UTF8&qid=1465624641&sr=8-17

https://www.bike24.com/1.php?content=8;product=85527;menu=1000,18,56;mid%5B456%5D=1;page=3

Revised Review: 2016 POC Resistance Strong Gloves

Since I first wrote this review in 2016 I have improved this review, more & better pictures, improved text, and more details.

Pros:

  •  no more twisted strap, like on 2015 Index DH glove
  • more air flow than the DH index glove provided by the holes in the palm
  • I stay cool even in 25 deg. Celsius
  • comfortable
  • true to size, I have 21cm knuckle size, and the medium fits me perfectly. I went from Index DH gloves in large which was a bit too bit too big, to this glove.
  • Durable ceramic-coated SuperFabric® with abrasion-resistant properties, this actually works.

Cons:

  • the impact protection is silly thin, they won’t help on a proper impact, I tested it with hitting my hand harder and harder on a stem.
  • Because of the holes on the palm, the durability suffers when you get something (pedal pins for example) stuck in the holes you can tear the fabric, but this is also caused by the fabric’s weakness.but if you do it can easily be fixed if you got some sewing skills.
  • the triple dots on the fingers wear off fast because they are glued on.

Holes got bigger.
  • The Stitching failed on one pair, They were Only used one day, I put these on today and the stitching came loose.
    • the glue holding the Velcro to the rubber strap failed of some pairs of gloves, but you can easily fix this with a sewing kit. Sadly I got an inconsistent quality of the stitching on these gloves with the gloves I got.
    • after many months of use, the glove stretched and had to be sewn in the palm to fit me properly.
    • the picture below shows a new glove:

    Photo Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskCuD9Ar

    Verdict: 

    But if you want longer lasting palm to get the Index DH glove instead, but it will of course not be as cool as the Resistance glove, but the durability of the palm must be improved.

    I still use my Index DH gloves in size L, for colder days, I wear them over fleece gloves in size M, which works well.

    I will look into other gloves, like Mechanix for example, they got full finger padding and knuckle padding.

    Product page: http://www.pocsports.com/en/product/2556/resistance-strong-glove

    Kan kjøpes her/can be bought here:

    https://www.amazon.com/Resistance-Strong-Black-Gloves-2016/dp/B01F1H7FGS

    Norge/Norway:

    https://www.oslosportslager.no/produkt/resistance-strong-glove-sykkelhanske-herre-40061.aspx

    Suomi Tyres Extreme 294 2.1 26″ & 29” Revised 3 season review

     

    These tires give excellent grip, but they, of course, don’t stop you from sliding on very slippery ice when you turn too fast or brake too hard, no tyre will.

    the strong stink goes away after few weeks of use so the stink will not irritate you when you got the bike indoors.

    after about 4 months of use, there were some cracks in the tyres, which have been caused by broken glass, some studs fell out some snapped in half, but studs can be replaced.

    Pros:

    • sticky well gripping tyre
    • the tyre is stiff enough for the studs to sit securely, which is not the case for WXC 300
    • good pattern, that helps with getting the mud away and gripping the surface.
    • Does not lose studs easily
    • fast rolling
    • they can last several seasons, at least 2 or 3 probably more if you are not too crazy with them.  Since 2016 I have put these tyres through its paces with hard single track, riding on ice, riding street, I have dropped jumped, I rode down & upstairs, and they survived.
    • they are not as loud as WXC 300

    Cons:

    • due to the 2.1 studded tyre will feel like horrible no matter of the rim width, with a lot of vibrations,lowering pressures means folding & hitting the rim,  for this  to not happen I have to add 4 psi more from usual setup, so instead of 28psi rear it’s 32 psi rear & 28 psi front, so when the Esi grips wore out & got softer my hands hurt due to the massive increase in vibrations.
    • they got a strong stink to them when they are new, which last few weeks.

    about 4 months of use:

    Suomi Tyres Extreme 294 26"

    Suomi Tyres Extreme 294 26"

    Suomi Tyres Extreme 294 26"

    Rear evo snow covered _20170222_144808844

    Verdict:

    If you don’t mind the harsh ride, But proper grips help, and you want durable tyres these will do the job, But I  might try bigger tyres, but be as durable as Gazza Extremes 294.

    Check out Tommi Kivimäki‘s review & set up of  Suomi Tyres Gazza Extremes 294:

    Suomi Stud tool:

    https://www.bike24.com/1.php?content=8;product=73184;menu=1000,185,191;mid=0;pgc=0;page=3

    https://www.bike-discount.de/en/buy/nokian-tool-for-installing-replacement-spikes-51301/wg_id-11

     

    31.10.2017 updated plus 2 years review: Bergans Airojohka Mens jacket

    I have used this jacket for about 2 plus years.

    This is not a cycling specific jacket, but a sports jacket, but I think it it’s good for cycling.

    The arm zippers:

    To close them while riding, you have to do the bicep bodybuilder move, which will hold the jacket in the sleeve in place while you zip it up, do it carefully of course.

    Pros:

    • excellent fit, which you can see in the video above, yes this jacket is very comfortable, there isn’t a point where I feel like it’s annoying or restricting or uncomfortable in any other way, I can move freely.
    • Lightweight
    • easily fit into a backpack, it’s so thin and flexible it’s easy to roll up & fold up to get into the bottom of a backpack.
    • the jacket covers up the neck, which is a necessary feature to have, there are some jackets out there that have too low neck coverage, but of course, I still use 2 Buff’s for maximum coverage, covering my face with one & neck with the other one.
    • Good coverage. I went with size XL, size L could fit me, for walking, but I went with the XL so I had full coverage, so the when my arms are down my hands are inside the jacket, but when having it on when riding and moving in all directions and stretching my arms and moving my upper body backwards, the jacket covers everything, and I don’t get wet.26429134494_b9afe8dc82_b
    • The velcro sleeve wrist adjustment works great, there is great room for big ski gloves to go on the inside of the sleeve, and the Velcro adjustment is a good proof solution to adjust for maximum protection/coverage, no matter if you use huge gloves or thin gloves, you can adjust it to fit with ease.
    • well placed venting zippers, so when I began to be too hot, I just unzipped them and I stayed the perfect temperature.but when wearing a backpack you can’t fully unzip the zippers, but that is not a big deal, But you have to be careful unzipping it, as these zippers are more fragile than the heavy duty zippers.26429093764_582e974c2a_b
    • the hood fit perfectly under the helmet, and it has adjustment i the back head and 2 in the front, but it is not in the way of the helmet adjustment which is great.25540285094_bae8fc92a8_b
    • Excellent fit, perfect for mountain biking.
    • the adjustments are placed in the perfect spots.
    • 2 big & well placed front pockets
    • the jacket has an adjustment in the hood & the bottom, which is also a feature that is necessary to keep water & mud out, it’s easily adjusted.
    • I can wear the POC elbow pads without any fit issues.
    • the front of the hood is stiffer than the rest
    • you can roll it and put it in your backpack, it takes little space. so its perfect for me, as the weather can change from warm summer weather to cold and rainy weather the same day.
    • I have ridden in -9 Celsius with only Swix base layer and a jersey under this jacket, I stayed warm, but I also did a ride in -11 Celsius I stayed warm but if I was still too long I felt bit colder, so if I am very active, I won’t get cold in -11 degrees, but, if your activity is not intense, another jersey should do fine.

     

    acceptable durability:

    The jacket fabric:

    I crashed few times, but the latest crash, I jumped a root over & over a log and landed, due to my back twisting and I lost control, and my bike went to the left I went on the right and, the jacket’s sleeve landed on the gravel-covered asphalt, I got a small hole, on the left sleeve. but after being used for a really long time afterwards the hole did not get any bigger.

     

    The velcro stitching on the sleeves loosened up, but it is to expect & long term use.

    Cons:

    • The Zippers:

    the zipper is definitely the biggest weak point of this jacket.

    2 of the lower pins in the zipper, bent so I had to bend it back, but it came keeps coming back to pent position, I don’t know why this happened, maybe in one of the few crashes I had.

    Conclusion:

    This jacket is a seasonless jacket, it can be used no matter the season, in my opinion, no matter if you run, ride, or ski.

    But the Zipper has to be improved, it’s too easy to damage it, This is the first of this type of zipper I have ever used, But I have used many clothes with YKK zipper, but they all were bigger.

     

    Flickr album

    Product pages: http://catalog.bergans.us/clothing/jackets/shell/Airojohka-Jkt-Green-Tea-Lime-Navy-L-163309-p0001052230

    http://nettbutikk.bergans.no/kl%C3%A6r/jakker/Skall1/Airojohka-Jkt-MidnightBlue-Yellowgr-XL-163315-p0001052346

    I found this German review: http://ich-liebe-berge.ch/test-bergans-airojohka-jacket/

    Shimano Acera FC-M361 Long term review-Revised – Ridden to destruction

    35395054834_c97965866b_o

    4th August I posted the review, but Since Then the crank was completely useless.

    Time of use:

    I have ridden this crank at least one season, but after I got my new bikes in 2015, I only rode this crank few weeks and days each year.

    Too Flexible

    On my trail bikes, I have been using Race Face Turbine Cinch cranks, and they are very stiff, but the Acera cranks are not, it’s noticeable while track standing or on technical climbs.

    When track standing I can feel the cranks flexing, which I have not experienced while riding on Hallow XT cranks.

    So far no damage to the threads for the pedals, like on the M522 cranks.

    But these cranks are clearly not good enough for me.

    The cranks are quite flexible,

    I destroyed the cranks.

     

    Failed Shimano Acera FC-M361_0401

    Picture showing the left crank arm with crushed metal, the damages on the corners is also quite visible.

     

    A few Days ago the crank looked like it was in perfect order, but I took the bike for a short side-walk ride, and after doing a inspection on the bike  I noticed  I managed to bend the spider leg on the front/ to the right of the crank. after a closer look Isaw the square taper hole in the crank had tiny alloy ”spaghetti” & when sliding on the crank on the tapered square axle I noticed that there was a difference in resistance on each angle, might be due to wear caused by too flexible crank,I am about 75kg with all the gear on.

    A few days later crank arm to loose after about 14 km ride, with some bike-path and some light xc trails, I torqued used Loctite 243 bolt thread, I torqued it to spec, and I left it to cure, the next day I checked the cranks as I was Already working on bike, I noticed creaking sound from the BB area, so I inspåected it, I cocked each crank arm in all directrions,I noticed the left was making the noise, I then removed the bolt, and inspected it further, by rocking the crank arm, doing this I managed to take it off using my bare hands

    I abused them but not much:

    I have jumped the bike with these cranks, dropped of concrete walls.

    The hardest abuse these cranks got must be the time I landed on a stair step, with the pedals after jumping.

    Revised Long Term review of Poc Joint VPD 2.0 Dh Long Knee & shin pads

    I have used these pads for a really long time now, over 2 year,The whole year, and I put them trough some hard crashes, and they protected me every time.

    I was so satisfied with these, that I bought second pair as spare,So I always have clean protection, or if I damage one the other can be repaired.

    When fabric has stretched:

    When the rear fabric has stretched make sure you fix it, get it back to the correct measurements again so the pads fit as intended,which is important so they don’t slide around,So they give you maximum protection.

    You have to use the right technique to put them on:

    if the pad slides up its because you did not use the right technique to put them on,You should hold the top part with 2 hands and pull them up so all the fabric slides upwards keeping the pad low, and have to top part with the adjustment strap as high as possible, this way they say in place, I have the typical muscle legs and thighs, And I use size Medium and have worked perfectly, as long as I did put them on right. I also noticed that they will make noises as the pads are against each other, as for the discomfort,you should have the upper part as far up as you can,if it’s right under the knee it will not be comfy.

    The wear you see between the plastic plate and the Velcro strap is caused by friction from bending your knees, which causes friction.

    The stitching should be close to the end of the pad,thigh pad and leg pad should be overlapping,slightly. The strap should NOT be way on the top,the rubberised material on the in side of the pad should be on the end  near the end,there should be about 0,5cm  space between the Velcro and the end of the pad, but as you use it it move little bit,as seen in this picture,few millimetres of change will happen as you have the knee in a different position.

    Pros:

    • comfortable(if worn & put on correctly)
    • good fit, the upper is made like a joint, so the upper part stays n palace while the rest moves with your leg and knee. this work very well.
    • does not slide down
    • good protection on the side of the knee
    • good Velcro straps
    • no movement restrictions
    • size matches the size guide, not like 2015 products from Bliss

    Cons:

    • But of course you are gonna get bit warm, but the protection Poc’s pads give you is definitely worth it, but in the fall, winter this is not a con:-)
    • the weight,but I don’t care, if they protect me.

    27034607385_1da049c58b_b
    some signs of wear, but this is unavoidable,the way its made, but the way its made gives you good protection, and the wear you see here developed slowly.

     

    After few crashes & branches, ,but this is easy to fix,  if you know how to sew

    Verdict:

    I think these pads are one of the best on the market right now

    if you want durable,heavy duty protection these are a good option,if you ignore the fact they are sweaty to wear.

    Sickline.com video in the Poc stand at Interbike 2014:

     

     

     

    You can buy it here:

    Knee pads:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/POC-Joint-Shinpads-uranium-black/dp/B00A9ERQ0E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487381326&sr=8-1&keywords=poc+joint+dh

    https://www.amazon.com/POC-Joint-Uranium-Black-Small/dp/B00A9ERQ2W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487381397&sr=8-1&keywords=POC+Joint+Vpd+2.0+Dh

    Shin pads:

    https://www.amazon.com/POC-Joint-Shins-Armor-Black/dp/B006L25ZRO/ref=pd_sim_468_9?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B006L25ZRO&pd_rd_r=79TZQSCFM1N5H5KDV000&pd_rd_w=bfGPU&pd_rd_wg=MPWY0&psc=1&refRID=79TZQSCFM1N5H5KDV000

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Sports-Outdoors/POC-Joint-Shin-Protector-black/B006L1QLSC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487381598&sr=8-1&keywords=POC+Joint+VPD+2.0+Shins

    Pris:1.249,-

    Kan kjøpes her:

    Kneepad:

    http://www.sykkelkomponenter.no/products/poc-vpd-20-dh-long-knee-knebeskyttere

    http://www.fjellsport.no/poc-joint-vpd-2-0-dh-long-knee-uranium-black.html

    https://www.bike24.com/1.php?content=8;product=54180;menu=1000,18,216;mid%5B456%5D=1;page=1

    Shin:

    read the view of POC Joint VPD Air Elbow pads here: https://mtbboy1993.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/review-poc-joint-vpd-air-elbow-pads/

    Updated REVIEW: Rapid Racer Products Enduro Guard 200mm/large

    It protects you and the fork from the most of the mud and dirt and stones, but if its very muddy and its splashing mud from every direction or other riders it does not help much with seal guard.32732697525_afef6fc554_o

    but the seal guard I have used it almost 7 months, and its still going strong, evo but the guy in the store tried to mount one white guard on one of my other bikes and it snapped(according to him).

    enduro guard large green mounted on a FOX Evo29” no matter the size of  of the travel i think you should get size large, more protection the better, unless its a small kids bike.

    IMG_20150907_152145

    23842118325_aa2f158a92_o

    As you can see the seal guard don’t help much, the featured picture shows it even better, as the seal is covered with snow.

    After long ride, I discovered that it failed. I heard a lot of banging noises, when jumping or riding off a drop or hitting a root and now I know why.

     

    Official site: http://www.rapidracerproducts.com/EnduroGuard.htm

    Verdict:

    Not Recommended, It failed after being used ca 1 year on my main bike,1 winter in 2016/2017, and few weeks on my spare bike, it’s not durable enough.

    Give light protection against mud or gravel in your face, but does not catch everything in bad weather, my goggles will still get wet, muddy

    You will definitely need a bigger & longer fender/mudguard if you plan do a mud bath.

    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, until they failed.

    Cons:

    • No banjo fitting
    • 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 changes to the materials, 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.

    The threads for the Torx screw failed, which is clamping the cover which clamps down the grommet, SO fluid leaked. 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.


    The cause of failure was certainly not over torquing  the screws, It 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
    • 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,

    25193088823_b2f5dda76f_b
    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.

    21445634124_fcc18a2ed2_b
    The Deore M615 on a 2010 trek 6300

    Extra Info

    M615 Piston seals: the number written on pistons 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 Reservoir Lid Unit for M396, M395.

    Failed tHreads on M396 right lever/rear lever.

    Flickr album

    Review: 2015 Five Ten Impact High- October 2016 update

    Corrected. 04.03.2017(typos & some )

     

    The reasons I got these shoes:

    the main reasons I got these shoes is the protection it gives for the ankle, and use them all year and I can wear them over my rain pants.

    Five Ten is probably the most used and well known flat shoes on the market.

    as far as I know there is no other MTB shoe that gives you ankle protection, these shoes do not have any protection padding, it’s just that these shoes go over the ankle and are thick so will give protection against smashing your feet against stuff.

    Almost waterproof: The tongue is not waterproof unlike 2017 Freerider Esp

    The only way to get wet in these shoes is if rains come through the shoe tongue or the top of the shoe-pants tucked into them. But if you don’t tighten the shoe laces properly you can get quite wet.

    The venting holes don’t make any difference.

    But I do not recommend standing too long in water where the tongue gets under, it will eventually soak up water&  when you bend the shoe water will come between the tongue.

    five ten impact high- shoe sole flex

    Pros

    • stiff sole but you are still able to walk in these shoes without any issues.
    • the stiffer sole makes my foot more stable and does not twist like with softer running shoes.
    • comfortable
    •  The leather on these shoes is durable.Even there are venting holes(that don’t really work).
    • the shoes will fit with high feet with fat toes.
    • Very durable outer sole After almost 6 months:26448255655_a0f22c77f6_b

      Wear 16 august 2016
    • Very sticky sounds like you have jam under your shoes, but of course, on very wet and slippery or slimy roots and such, it will not help with anything no matter how good rubber you got.
    • reflective logo
    • good side protection around the whole shoe, but on the top of the shoe you will not get the same protection but if it had that it would probably be uncomfortable.
    • will protect your rear part fo your feet against the pedal bite.

    Cons

    • weight
    • Some design flaw which results in wear
    • I got water in the shoe o n a rainy day and soaked trails when the shoe whole was bent, even though the laces were tight.
    • The outside -side material/side venting wears down, stones, dirt, mud, collects there and the friction tears it apart.

      IMG_20160216_220820
      The friction from riding tears  apart the fabric on the sides of the shoe and the tongue

      Tongue wear 15 May 2016

      IMG_20160216_220825

    Replacing laces is tricky if you use the original fabric loops, they are so tight and in such angle, it’s very tricky, that’s why I later just use the holes in the leather which is much easier to and will not wear the laces as fast.

    • waI had issues with the laces slip, they undo them self slowly, but after 15-10 minutes, but I later changed to some other shorter and grippy laces,b ut the new laces snapped too, which is caused by the fabric lace guides.
    • The tongue design result in the tongue sliding up to the side, the 2016 model has a standard tongue, where this is not an issue, but the tongue was still sliding up this way, this is a design flaw.
    • 23760740499_43cf388589_b
      Enter a caption

    mine came with sticky glue , this only issue I had with these shoes, not really a issue because this has no effect on anything there is no necessary to have glue there at all.i have not returned them because really need these shoes.

    I switched to shorter laces with more grip:

    After almost 2 years of use:

    11 October I noticed a hole in the outer sole.
    The new 2016 shoes had arrived, so I am using the new ones.

    here are the measurements of my foot.

    So these shoes are actually a bit too long for my feet, but the width is perfect in size 44, so that why I did not go lower.

    the size is very similar to Adidas running shoe sizes, or identical

    I have been using these shoes both in + and – degrees,  you will get bit sweaty and warm on hot days, But it’s worth the sacrifice for the protection and grip the shoe provides.

    I have used the shoes in -6 degrees Celsius with wool socks, on a normal intensity ride, but for slow casual riding or commute you would need 2 socks.

    Things to improve:

    • making the shoe lighter
    • Grippier laces
    • side shoe vent material should be replaced, with leather or something wight similar strength.

    Conclusion

    If you want an all year all round shoe, these are a good choice, but buy new shoelaces, and you have the best MTB flat shoe in my opinion.

    If you ride in trainers/running shoes then you are missing out big, the amount of grip these shoes give is good.the have to lift you your feet to move it on the pedal, it sticks so well, but of course walking on ice or wet surface you lose grip.

    February 2016 update: some wear on the top on the side of the shoe where the shoe tongue goes. the sole wear is minimal.

    I have ordered the 2016 model, but need to return them because of faulty glueing, but I will review these shoes after I have used them a while.

    Flickr album

    the 2016 models:

    http://www.vitalmtb.com/photos/features/2016-Mountain-Bike-Apparel-Protection-at-Eurobike-2015,9338/2016-Five-Ten-Impact-Impact-VXi-and-Freerider-Contact,96572/bturman,109

    Product page: http://www.fiveten.com/us/bike/impact-high-2015-team-black

    Int stores:

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/no/en/five-ten-impact-2-hi-mtb-shoes-2015/rp-prod116142

    Norwegian stores:

    https://www.fjellsport.no/five-ten-impact-high-team-black.html

    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.

    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

     

    review: Fox 180 MX jersey

    Size comparison:

    Mavic int L/EU, GER M

    Alpinestars L

    FOX XL

    My size for this jersey is XL, L will be too short arms.

    Pros

    • very cool jersey, it’s so cool I can almost not feel that I’m wearing it, So its cooler than the Mavic Crossmax jerseys I have.
    • Wearing protection is not an issue, because of the perfect fit.
    • True to size Fit
    • Perfect with elbow pads.
    • not too baggy
    • The collar is not too big, which I think Mavic Crossmax had.

    Cons

    • None if you are careful, something can get hooked on it and pull the threads, but this is going to happen with all thin clothing.

     

    Verdict: Recommended

    It’s a jersey, so there is not much to say about

     

    https://www.foxracing.com/

    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.

    Review:Weldtite Cycle oil

    Time tested: few years

    Pros

    • Works excellent for lubricating the chain.
    • Works great on the chain in dry conditions, and does not get the chain too dirty.
    • Cheap

    Cons

    • It stinks, I don’t know what Weldtite have changed but it stinks more than before.
    • Too short tip on the bottle
    • A screw on cap would be better, to avoid spillage better.
    • The tip is bit short & thick so a bit tight when lubing rear dérailleurs.

    Verdict:

    recommended if you want a cheap lube that does the job and does not add extra issues, But if you are willing to ignore that the tip is a it short.

    Review: POC Resistance Strong shorts

    New closing system:

    These shorts use 2 buttons instead of one button through a hole.

    The pockets are smaller than in the trail vent shorts, a small wallet or keys will fit perfectly.

    Pros

    • Comfortable
    As you can see the Cat s 50 phone hits perfectly inside the pocket.
    • Zip pocket at leg works well as phone pocket

    Durable material used in the the seated area.

    2016 POC Resistance Strong shorts- front  - riding
    • light weight
    • True to size fit
    • good breathability, the short is made of a thin material in the thigh and front area, and with Super Fabric on the sides. these shorts are a huge improvement in terms of cooling over the trail vent shorts.
    • perfect with knee pads
    Poc Resistance strong shorts Medium-black_20170322_150209340
  • good adjustment & sizing, the sizing is perfect for me, I am 32 in waist and 26 in the hips, and I use the adjustment straps to the max both on the Poc Trail vent and Resistance shorts.
  • smooth YKK zippers
  • the material with stripes is the stretch material
  • The VPD padding does not compromise comfort.
  • strong threads/stitching
  • This one is half con and half pro, the huge Sony xz premium phone with Love Mei case just fits in snug, but but could be bigger, or maybe or have two sizes one on each side, but the zipper is a weak piont, also having phone in there is wearing holes in the fabric.

    Sony Xz premium with Lovemei case inside phone pocked on Poc Resistance strong shorts_20170710_193244

    Cons:

    • And of course white will look dirty
    • the VPD padding could be wider and longer.
    • only 2 colour choices
    • better zippers are needed, stronger zipper, with strong zipper grip.
    Poc Resistance strong shorts  broken zipperDSC_0324

    I had to use a zip tie to fix the broken grip.

    Poc Resistance strong shorts phone pocket zipper fix with ziptie C_0163

    .

    Poc Resistance Shorts buttons & hip adjustment _0931_DxO
    Poc Resistance Strong VPD shorts_20181016_170935Edit
    Poc Resistance Strong Shorts zipper damage_0513

    eventually the zipper failed on all of the shorts.

    worn out Zipper_2559Edit

    Conclusion

    Because of the fit, comfort, and protection, I recommend these shorts.

    These shorts are one of the best shorts you can get.

    In my opinion, these 2016 shorts are the best shorts for use.

    Flickr Album: https://wp.me/p60aTF-1h7

    http://www.pocsports.com/en/product/2629/resistance-strong-shorts

    Kan kjøpes her/can be bought here:

    Norge/Norway:

    https://www.fjellsport.no/ (utsolgt nå jeg skrev dette/sold out at the time of writing)

    https://www.x-life.no/ (utsolgt nå jeg skrev dette/sold out at the time of writing)

    http://www.outnorth.no/ (utsolgt nå jeg skrev dette/sold out at the time of writing)

    https://no.coolshop.com/produkt/poc-resistance-strong-shorts-cycling-clothes/AF4E6P

    https://no.coolshop.com/produkt/poc-resistance-strong-shorts-cycling-clothes/AK4ZT5

    https://www.bike24.com/1.php?content=8;product=150827;menu=1000,18,12

    https://www.bike24.com/1.php?content=8;product=150831;menu=1000,18,12;page=203

    Review: 2015 Topeak PerpStand Elite

    I have used this repair stand for few months.

    Cons:

    • the stand I got Failed after few days of use,the clamping plates failed when I had the Trek Fuel ex 7 29er in it.and suddenly I hear a loud bang,but it was fixed with 2 washers on each plate.
    • The teeth on the and angle-adjustment wear out fast and there will be huge play, which makes the bike hang loose. it should be made of metal instead, or there should be a different solution for adjustment.
    • The plastic where the screws are got eaten up by the weight of the 13.6 KG bike.
    • the arm holding the bike is sagging so the bike will not be hanging 100% straight.
    • No replacement offered for Plastic inserts for the arm.The plastic inserts where the arm fro the adjustment slides in and out, wears out fast, so there will be huge amount of play, that causes huge amount of sag,(the bike hangs uneven. there is nothing wrong using plastic there but then spare parts are needed.

    IMG_20160530_033744838
    Enter a caption

    • huge amount of play, in the legs
    • when working on the bike you have to take the wheels of or the the weight of the bike might flip the stand.
    • the clamp failed after few times of use, I had my 13,6 kg bike clamped. and suddenly I hear a loud bang,one of the plastic plates on the clamp failed, so now its very flimsy and bike wont stay still.
    • there is  noticeable play I the whole stand
    • when you have The small-parts box is useless,if you hang the bike to by the seat post.
    • The plastic camping plates, will scratch the frame,so you need to have something over it.
    • Price
    • The clamp adjustment is bit time consuming

    Pros:

     

    Conclusion:

    Too many construction flaws, high price tag.

    I cant really recommend  it,the huge amount of play,which makes the bike hand weird, is a too big con, and no spare parts are offered, which is stupid.

    but I recommend getting a high-quality,metal repair-stand, with weight plate.

    but I need a bike-stand as fast as possible.

     

     

     

     

    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