Reviews

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”Reviews”

last time, we took a look at 10 outdoor andmountain bike products, and you guys wanted to see more. so today, we’ll look at another ten—forbetter or worse. let’s get started. first, the osprey talon lumbar pack. it’s a fanny pack for mountain biking. the main advantage to these packs is thatthey eliminate the back sweat problem that you get with hydration packs. this one comes with two water bottles, whichhold about 18oz each.

i find that this is enough for a 10 mile ridein hot weather. as far as storage goes, it’s pretty impressive. it’s enough for the tools and supplies thatany rider would carry, and even enough for a fair bit of my camera gear. because it’s so comfortable and easy toget stuff out of, the talon is now my pack of choice when i can get away with it. however, lumbar packs aren’t for everyone. if you have a small ass, it’s going to shiftaround and get annoying. i don’t have that problem, so it fits greatand stays put.

for what it is this was pretty expensive,but i’d have to say it was worth every penny. next are my fiveten freeriders. this is my second pair, which i didn’t actuallyneed. these work fine, but they’re permanentlyfilthy. so, they’re now my bad weather shoes. now you’ll notice these don’t have cleats,and that’s because they’re designed for flat pedals. a lot of people ask if they grip pedals anybetter than a pair of vans, and the answer is no, not that i can tell.

but a mountain bike shoe should also be splashresistant, and be good for hiking. it should have thick padding for protection,and super tough soles that don’t wear out catching the chainstay or mashing on pedalspikes. i’ve totally demolished skate shoes in thepast, but haven’t done a lick of damage to either pair of fivetens. they’re amazingly comfortable, practicallyindestructible, and i honestly don’t have anything negative to say about them. and that’s where our positive review streakends. meet formy grips.

the concept is that you send your measurementsto formy and they make you a pair of 3d printed grips that perfectly match the contours ofyour hands. indeed, they do fit nice and are made of reallygood quality materials. the only problem is that they’re no goodfor mountain biking. with gloves on they just aren’t grippy enough,and with sweaty hands i’d imagine they’d be worse. i found these to be terrifying to ride with,and i think it’s mainly because their diameter is so large, much more so than a pair of odigrips. the shape reminds me of what you’d findon a hybrid commuter bike, with palm pads

and an overall short length. in fact, these might be great for commuting,but the company told me they can be used for mountain biking which i strongly disagreewith. so only check these out if you’re strugglingto find a comfy commuter grip. let’s take a look at my smith rover helmet. i hesitated to get this helmet because somany people already have it, and now i see why. the ventilation is great and the straps lieperfectly flat on your face. twisted straps are a huge pet peeve of mine.

another pet peeve is this stupid mechanismthat never tightens up evenly. the rover uses the rotary variety, which issuperior in my opinion. generally the rover is really comfortable,but i find that you need to tighten the back a lot to get it secure. so i’m usually messing with this dependingon the intensity of my ride. i don’t know if these honeycomb vents arefor stiffness, or style points, but they’re certainly innovative. i’ve tried on a lot of helmets in a searchfor one i don’t hate, and i think the rover comes the closest, for now.

and here we have some more crankbrother’stools, which i’m only counting as one product since we reviewed the bigger versions of thesetools last time. let’s recap, starting with the f15 multitooland it’s counterpart, the f10+. last time we saw how the f15’s cover canbe used for leverage, enough even for pedals. with that leverage, a high quality finish,a nice chain tool, and detachable spoke wrenches, it’s one of the best multi tools you canget. the f10+ is exactly the same tool except itdoesn’t come with the spoke wrenches or chain tool. so, we’re left with a nice compact multitool with a cover that can be used for leverage,

and other things. in my opinion, any multitool without a chainbreaker should be super compact, super inexpensive, or both. i think the f10+ falls short of that, andso i’d recommend looking for something else or going with the f15, which is hands downthe best multi tool i’ve ever used. on to the pump, the klic hv. last time we looked at the klic hv gauge,which comes with a pressure gauge. the tube comes out of the handle and screwson separately, attaching to the pump body magnetically.

the result is a high volume pump that doesn’tput strain on your valve. it’s as good as hand pumps get, but it won’tfit in my lumbar pack. by shedding the gauge, the smaller klic hvfits perfectly and still has all the other features. even without the gauge, i think it’s anexceptional pump, so it’ll be coming with me whenever i rock the fanny pack. now let’s look at my raceface tailgate cover,an expensive replacement for a piece of cardboard or carpet. we’re not going to discuss the merits oftailgate covers in this video.

we’ll just assume that you do see the valuein a good tailgate cover, like i do. in terms of protecting your tailgate, i’dhave to say this does the job. the inside is a velour type material, whichmight even be overkill. speaking of overkill, there will come a daywhere i don’t even bother with these straps. between gravity and these big foam blocks,it would take a rollover for a bike to come loose. if you don’t feel like using them, the strapsare removable. what’s great about carrying bikes this wayis that you could probably cram 6 or 7 on a midsized pickup, the raceface pad comeswith 5 straps, with an extra block on each

side for a 6th and 7th bike. there’s a velcro cover on it to access thetailgate handle, although it’s probably measured out for a tacoma, not a ridgeline. when it’s not in use, i’m able to fitthis pad under my back seats, so it’s always with me ready to go. i haven’t used any other pads at lengthso my review is based on relative ignorance of the subject. still i paid full retail for this thing andstill feel i got my money’s worth. of course, you may not have a pickup.

before i did, i used a saris superclamp 2hitch rack, which i can’t give you a fair review on. you see my dad had a saris rack when i wasa kid, my first rack was a saris, and when i started my channel saris was the first companyto reach out to me. they send me cards around the holidays. so i’m a bit biased, but having used a lotof other people’s racks i always find my superclamp to be faster and easier. from experience, i can also tell you it’sthe most versatile. here’s a tall fat bike i brought all theway to key west.

if it can carry that, i’m pretty sure itcan carry anything. on the rack itself you’ll also have accessto two cable locks for pit stops. the actual bike scoops are made to fit widetires right out of the box, so it’s obvious saris is focusing on mountain bikers. my one complaint about this rack is that theclamps can freely hit the mechanism at the top of the arm, which you then need to popback in. a simple metal stop would prevent this. another way to prevent it is to not carelesslyfling the clamp up, but i’m a careless person and tend to do it anyway.

even though i don’t need it now, i’m keepingmy superclamp around for when my pickup bed is full of stuff, or for lugging bikes onmy wife’s car. speaking of things that hold bikes, i haveextensive experience with wall racks, having built, bought, and installed at least 5 differenttypes. the one i’m sticking with is the rubbermaidfasttrack. i had this at my last house, and got anotherone for here. these are sold at the home depot. the 48” rail is $8.99, but then each bikehook is $10 bucks. you can fit 4 on this rail, so you’re almostat $50 for that setup.

the metal piece has a bunch of holes in itso you just catch some beams and then slide the plastic cover over it. having used normal rubber hooks to hold bikesi can say they’re not as secure, and the rubber eventually wears through. these are more durable, and the modular designmakes the whole thing more flexible. my only complaint is that the bike hooks don’thave any sort of wheel scoop to keep it off the wall. for $10 it seems like they could have putsome kind of a piece there. next is my park adt-1 torque driver.

many parts of your bike are designed to befastened with a torque wrench, which allows you to tighten a nut or bolt to a given torque. when you reach the proper torque, it slipsto prevent over tightening. the park adt-1 is just a baby torque wrench. included in the handle are all the bits you’llneed for your cockpit or disc brakes. the handle itself feels really solid, andthe tool has some significant weight to it. my only complaint about this tool is thatyou need an allen key to actually change the torque value. this is a minor inconvenience.

in some lighting conditions it’s also hardto read the numbers, but i solved that problem with a magic marker. still, the convenience of having a compacttorque driver around has caused me to actually use it, which is probably smart for the sakeof my parts and safety. finally we have the dji mavic, aerial videographydrone. it’s not mountain bike related, but i’llreview it as it would apply to mountain bike video making. the mavic, like other copters, is great forgetting an establishing shot, or giving the viewer a sense of scale.

the video quality on this thing is a littlebetter than a cell phone, but with the built in gimbal it’s super smooth. the remote lets you see the video feed througha smart phone, and i was pleasantly surprised to find that it does this through an actualcable, not bluetooth or wifi. you can see the the video and control theaircraft for miles in any direction, and the battery gives you a solid 30 minutes of flighttime. enough, i find, for 3 short flights. the great thing about the mavic is that itfolds up small enough to fit in a hydration pack.

this makes it practical to actually take withyou to get shots, assuming you have legal clearance or don’t care. a lot of you have asked me about the followfeature, which is supposed to lock on to a target and follow it. it’s useless for mountain biking i assureyou. i’m able to use the follow feature for reallytame stuff like this at most. because it’s compact, easy to fly, and useful,i give the mavic really high marks. my only complaint is that it’s buggy—andi don’t mean the software. hundreds of ants moved into my mavic somehow.

i ain’t bringing it home inside the car. now, how to get these ants out. by putting it in a bag and leaving it in thesun, it seems that all of the ants have evacuated and died, with no damage to the unit. the end. so there you go, 10 mountain bike productreviews, for better or worse. let me know what you think in the comments,and do check out my last video for more reviews like these. i’m gonna get started on making a new listof reviews, so until then: thanks for riding

with me today, and i’ll see you next time.

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