Dear Santa AndrewM 2018
NOTHING WITH BATTERIES

Dear Santa - Andrew's List

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major unless noted
Date Dec 7, 2018

Dear Santa

I'm sure a quick Google search would yield some smart-sounding Nietzsche quote about how good and bad are just social constructs but let's face it Santa, you're basically the Judge Dredd of the holidays. The arbiter of presents meting out undisputable judgments from a secret list. How about a little disclosure? What are you afraid of? Sounds like Christmas corruption to me. 

Look, everybody has their price. How about I keep a bucket lid on it and in a show of gratitude you throw me these five little bones? I'll even do some extra trail work next year to help you justify it. 

All The Magnets

The first time I used the Fidlock helmet buckle on the Leatt DBX 3.0 I was impressed at the intuitiveness but there's no way I would have paid a premium over a regular plastic buckle for what I would have called a champagne feature. 

Here's the thing though, the more I use the magnetic Fidlock buckle the more regular plastic clips, and D-rings, seem like an epic throwback to a less evolved time. It's 2018, we have 1x12, pedal-able 170mm bikes, amazing tires* and brakes, bar-sweeps and grip widths that take into consideration variations in physiology and preference, and I'll be damned if I don't want to secure every helmet with magnets.

*There are also sh*t tires, but hopefully I'm in the good-rubber column on Santa's list

Dear Santa AndrewM 2018

I couldn't get a solid figure on how much a Fidlock magnetic buckle adds to the price of a helmet, but it's worth it. 

nsmb_2017_gear_review__apparel_7mesh_guardian-9068.jpg

Last year I asked for a weatherproof USWE pack and Santa didn't deliver. Now I want weatherproof & a magnetic clasp. Photo: Dave Smith

I love the admittedly strange looking USWE Airborne 9 hydration pack I reviewed, and I still wear it on almost every ride. Last year I asked Santa for a weatherproof version and he did not deliver, so this year I'm upping the ante for a weatherproof Airborne 9 with a magnetic clasp. 

More complicated than the regular clip? Absolutely. Worth it? I think so. This pack has been thrashed and still looks to have years of use left in it, so an extra $10 up front amortizes out to nothing over the course of ownership. 

Longer LOOK Axles

If I'm buying SPD clip-in pedals tomorrow they're a pair of LOOK X-Track pedals. I can wax on about the lighter-and-larger bodies of the carbon version, but the hole in my wallet is more right-sized for the 50 USD aluminum version. 

These pedals take a beating, are cheap and easy to rebuild and, frankly, anybody can pull them apart to swap an axle. That's important because axles are exactly what I want to talk to Santa about. 

LOOK X-Track Pedals Carbon VS Aluminum

50 USD scores excellent durability, consistent entry and release, no accidental discharges, and full compatibility with Shimano cleats. 

I have a fairly wide stance, and one of the things I really appreciate about Crankbrothers pedals is the option to run two different widths of pedal axles. Crankbrothers' long pedal axle kit bumps the Q-Factor up from 52mm to 57mm and the difference is very noticeable. 

It's especially a factor since many more aggressive clip-in shoes like to have the cleat centered for best release-results and that's not an option for me with the narrower stance. 

 I'm not even asking Santa for more SKUs. Ditch the red alloy pedals and the titanium axle option on the carbons and just give me one alloy and one carbon option in two different Q-Factors. Or, sell the axles separately for 20 USD a pair and I'd still think that was a gift. 

Plastic Brake Levers

I'm not talking about plastic-fantastic, AKA carbon fiber, I'm asking Santa for some injection molded glass-fiber brake lever blades. With or without an aluminum core, I'll let the engineers figure out what's going to get me the warmest digits for the least outlay with zero loss in feel or performance. 

I know it's a big ask, but my brake levers are the one place on my bike that not-metal makes sense to me and if it makes sense to a lot of people then I assume that a company the size of SRAM, Shimano, Magura, TRP, etc. can come up with a lower cost mass-manufactured solution to frozen digits. 

Magura Trail Sport Brakes AndrewM

Magura now offers some versions of the awesome HC lever blades in their Carbolay material but at 90 USD per side, they're out of my budget. The injection-molding masters could produce a Carbotecture HC blade for much less if demand was there. 

I'm always on the fence in naming my favourite brake between the Magura Trail Sport and Formula Cura 2-pot. I ride both every week, they're both great performing, high value, stoppers with solid Canadian support. Affordable less-cold levers could be the deal maker. 

Another example is an SRAM Guide or Code aluminum lever blade at <30 USD versus their carbon option at about 60 USD. If I can smoke around a pair of plastic Kona Wah Wah pedals with impunity for half the price of the aluminum equivalent my napkin math has the happier digits of carbon-lever-blade-me at a lower price than the frozen fingers of aluminum-lever-blade-me. 

29 x 3" Bontrager SE5

29-Plus is dead? Long live 29-Plus! 

Tires in 2.6" width are becoming so commonplace that I wonder if mountain biking is working its way back to a semi-standardized tire size. From fast rolling options like my savory 29 x 2.6" Bontrager SE2 to the new 27 x 2.6 DHF 3C, the pseudo-plus tires max out the safe tire clearance in most non-Plus frames and forks and hit applications from Trail, to bike packing, to aggressive Enduro riding. 

27+ is hanging in there since a 27 x 3" tire works in most 29er frames with clearance for 29 x 2.6" tires but with exceptions, like Kona's 27+ Big Honzo lineup, the industry is riding to war in a chariot with 29" wheels. 

Where 27+ is becoming increasingly less talked about, 29+ is at risk of becoming an endangered species with just two major players supporting my favourite front tire size.

Bontrager SE5 Tire AndrewM

As one of the few industry-movers still developing 29 x 3", and with their excellent tire program, I hope Santa holds Keith's feet to the yule log until Bontrager puts out a 29 x 3" SE5. 

Their respective states have a college football rivalry dating back to 1890, and, fittingly, Trek/Bontrager, the Wisconsin powerhouse, and their Minnesota competition in QBP/Salsa are the two major players still pushing 29+ development. For Trek's part they sell the very interesting, single-speed-able Stache which I've tested previously, and the new Full Stache 29+ full suspension bikes. 

Trek currently makes my favourite 29+ tire, the 29 x 3" Bontrager SE4. Having ridden the 29 x 2.6" SE4 and the new 29 x 2.6" SE5, if the performance boost that the SE5 delivers in winter Shore conditions scales to 3" it's basically criminal that there isn't a 3" version to slap on the front of the Stache - full and half. 

I have faith that Santa will tell them they're naughty and get the rubber side sorted. 

New NeoShell

I'm looking for the big man's help with a new mountain bike jacket. Polartec NeoShell is bar-none the best material for high-output rain jackets here on the wet coast. Sure, the material just barely qualifies as being waterproof but it's yoga-stretchy and the breathability of this air permeable material beats anything else out of the water, and I've tested the nicest Gore-Tex Active mountain bike jacket available - the 7Mesh Guardian

Sure, if I look outside and it's raining cats and dogs I'll grab the Gore-Tex every time because I can, but if I had to choose one outer layer and be a dick about it, NeoShell is the only way to go. I'm a sweat factory and I will even wear my NeoShell when it isn't raining but I know the trails will be wet. 

The problem is that my first-gen Mission Workshop NeoShell jacket is getting long in the tooth and as much as they are top quality and made in Vancouver I can't personally justify an outlay that's 20% more than the already big-money 7Mesh. 

kona_process_134_7.jpg?w=1600

I love my ultra-breathable Mission NeoShell jacket but it's showing its abuse and a replacement is beaucoup-beaucoup. Photo: Cam McRae

Polartec NeoShell is by no means an exclusive material and it has often appeared on jackets at significantly lower price points. The problem is - and yes this is totally throwing shade - designers and marketers just don't seem to get it. 

Sugoi and Louis Garneau* make roadie-cut and styled NeoShell jackets which makes zero sense because the material can hardly be called windproof. I certainly wouldn't want to be breaking the speed limit cruising downhill wearing one on a wet day. In the trees and at off-road speeds I'll take the NeoShell but on a road bike give me Gore-Tex every day.

MEC very briefly offered a nicely featured NeoShell jacket called the Flightcheck with a helmet compatible hood and sleeves that were easily long enough for cycling** but it was marketed for Alpine Touring and Mountaineering where the 10,000mm waterproof rating is highly questionable - Gore-Tex Active is windproof, offers 28,000mm waterproofing, and is highly breathable which makes it a much better choice when you're miles from anywhere in adverse winter conditions. 

I'm not saying 300 CAD (~230 USD) is cheap, but with a proper explanation of what NeoShell offers, a slightly revised cut, and an MTB designation I think the Flightcheck could have been a go-to Shore-To-Sky riding jacket. 

*Now the same thing
**I do have T-Rex arms for the record

nsmb_2017_gear_review__apparel_7mesh_guardian-9074.jpg

Gore-Tex wins when it comes to maximizing both breathability and waterproofness and I think 7Mesh makes the nicest Gore-Tex Active mountain bike jacket on the market. Photo: Dave Smith

nsmb_2017_gear_review__apparel_7mesh_guardian-9086-2.jpg

It goes without saying that it isn't a cycling jacket if the hood doesn't fit over my helmet. The Guardian is, if anything, extra generous with the hood sizing. Photo: DS

This might be a Christmas miracle but I need Santa to explain to some high-value clothing brands how awesome NeoShell is for mountain biking, get them to make some mountain bike cut and styled jackets out of the stuff, and then explain to their marketing departments how to sell something that barely qualifies as waterproof but is so breathable as to more than make up for it in the temperate rainforest we ride in every day. 

Might have to sacrifice a couple reindeer to Cthulhu but the swampy sweaters among us won't forget it. 

*Wink* *Wink*

I was just kidding about that blackmail stuff Kris Kringle, but how about helping me out with these five little win/win/wins anyway? You get to look like a champ, riders get better gear, and a few companies get to make a buck.

See you next year!

Comments

craw
+1 Andrew Major
Cr4w  - Dec. 7, 2018, 9:31 a.m.

I just looked up the Look X-Track pedals. They make different versions for different things, including a larger platform (XT Trail style) for trail riding and an even bigger one for Enduro (though this closer to a bigger XT pedal than a fully caged DX). https://www.lookcycle.com/en/mtb-pedals/

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Dec. 7, 2018, 9:56 a.m.

I'm really happy with the regular body X-Track pedal - I'd just like a bit longer axle as an option. 

I've had nothing but great experiences with these pedals both with LOOK cleats and Shimano cleats.

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sanesh-iyer
+1 Andrew Major
Sanesh Iyer  - Dec. 7, 2018, 9:40 a.m.

Mmmmmm Neoshell. Any thoughts on cycling pants or tights Andrew? I'd love something comfortable for MTB & commuting that doesn't get super heavy when wet (a la Windstopper), but is burlier that a lightweight wool. 

Also, my guess is that the most complicated way to manufacture a brake lever is glass fiber with aluminum core. Metallic cores just add weight and complexity. If you're really hankering for a composite lever, measure it up yourself and send it off to Proto3000 to print one for you!

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AndrewMajor
+1 Sanesh Iyer
Andrew Major  - Dec. 7, 2018, 10:01 a.m.

I've been thinking about pants a tonne lately! I had really good experiences with SWRVE 3/4 soft shell shorts (both the USA and China made models) and they do a whole range of pants. They even do some Schoeller models occasionally and they also do lined options. 

That's definitely one brand I'd check out: Swrve.us

I don't know if I'm hankering that hard but you never know when a passion project comes up.

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craw
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Cr4w  - Dec. 7, 2018, 6:08 p.m.

I wasn't familiar with swrve.us but now I am!

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Dec. 7, 2018, 7:12 p.m.

There regular stuff (overseas) is good, but I really appreciate a lot of their USA made projects. The 'Combat Wool' stuff and Schoeller stuff is all very cool (to the clothing industry layman).

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extraspecialandbitter
+1 Andrew Major
ExtraSpecialandBitter  - Dec. 8, 2018, 7:34 a.m.

I agree, Neoshell is the shit.  My favorite ski pants are Neoshell (thanks Strafe).  Stretchy and breathable.

Also, the problem with 3D printing is it doesn't seem to be quite there yet.  We could try to make a cheap injection molded glass fiber brake lever Andrew.  Make a mold with Smooth On and then use epoxy and glass fiber / carbon fibers.  It'd be a fun and reasonably easy experiment.

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Lma
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Lma  - Dec. 9, 2018, 2:13 a.m.

I have the Alpinestars All mountain 2 winter pants, not strictly waterproof but they do have a dwr coating and are plenty warm when wet. Fleece liner in the front too so pretty wind proof.

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sanesh-iyer
0
Sanesh Iyer  - Dec. 7, 2018, 9:40 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

Bushpilot
+4 Skyler ExtraSpecialandBitter Sanesh Iyer Andrew Major
Bushpilot  - Dec. 7, 2018, 9:58 a.m.

For Neoshell, try the Westcomb Shift LT jacket.  Best dwr in the business, light weight and local.  You can even pick them up direct from their factory in East Van.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Cr4w
Andrew Major  - Dec. 7, 2018, 10:03 a.m.

I don't know how Westcomb wasn't on my radar - they're even made in Canada! THANKS!

Have you tried the fit for cycling? I'm always a bit wary of one-cut-does-all garments.

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Bushpilot
+1 Andrew Major
Bushpilot  - Dec. 7, 2018, 11:45 a.m.

I have a Shift LT I use for ski touring. I also use it riding but, admittedly, the fit is a bit baggy on me for that purpose. But if you bought one with the intention of making it a dedicated riding jacket, you might be able to size down accordingly and get the right fit. Overall I am quite impressed with the jacket and use it for all but the nastiest days.  323 grams for a size large BTW.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Dec. 7, 2018, 3:28 p.m.

I will definitely check them out! Thank you!

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extraspecialandbitter
0
ExtraSpecialandBitter  - Dec. 8, 2018, 7:47 a.m.

Nice.  Westcomb has really stepped up their game in recent years.  I too had discounted their products, but they look decent.  I'll have to stop by.  Now, if only they had a ski pant that could rival my Strafe Cham pants.

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DanL
+2 bart Andrew Major
DanL  - Dec. 7, 2018, 10 a.m.

I love the Santa/Judge Dredd analogy

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switch900
0
Andrew Hewitson  - Dec. 7, 2018, 10:40 a.m.

When are those Graphene levers coming to market?  ;-)

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cooperquinn
0
Cooper Quinn  - Dec. 7, 2018, 3:04 p.m.

Graphene can do everything except make it out of the lab!

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taprider
0
taprider  - Dec. 7, 2018, 12:25 p.m.

for your nietzsche quotes

try here

http://www.nietzschefamilycircus.com/

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Dec. 7, 2018, 3:31 p.m.

Thanks the share - there are some solid laughs in there.

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nouseforaname
+1 Andrew Major
Nouseforaname  - Dec. 7, 2018, 6:12 p.m.

Is it bad that I could imagine many of those quotes as PVD Facebook posts?

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Dec. 7, 2018, 7:13 p.m.

SO GOOD.

(<3 to PVD)

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mammal
+1 Andrew Major
Mammal  - Dec. 7, 2018, 12:45 p.m.

Andrew, ever tried some electrical shrink wrap on the levers?  Might be enough insulation to barricade the aluminum-to-wet-glove heat transfer, at least somewhat, without adding too much thickness. I was just thinking of this during a sub-zero night shralp session this week.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Dec. 7, 2018, 3:36 p.m.

I’ve tried all kinds of things short of plastic-dipping the levers which apparently sucks (mentioned it as an idea previously and got a PM from someone who tried).

Carbon blades make a huge difference but actually aren’t an option for either of my two favourite brakes (Cura or Trail Sport) even if price wasn’t a factor. 

Magura’s Carbon HC blades only work with the higher end brakes : MT6, 7, 8, and Trail. I’d almost consider spending the money otherwise. Having a real struggle with cold hands this year (more than in the past).

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GladePlayboy
+2 Kos Andrew Major
Rob Gretchen  - Dec. 7, 2018, 4:19 p.m.

Well the obvious solution is to brake less.... surprised no one thought of that!!  ;-)

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Dec. 7, 2018, 5:30 p.m.

Between asking Santa for some bicycle riding skills and asking Santa for bikes parts that don’t currently exist I went with the more realistic option!

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mammal
0
Mammal  - Dec. 8, 2018, 10:18 a.m.

I've had really good luck with the MEC firestarter gloves this year (subzero night rides). Multi purpose glove, so not quite as tight fit as specific mtb product, but found a size that's more than adequate for me.  Cheap, thicker finger/palm material for more insulation, a tiny bit of insulation in the sandwich, and a water resistant outer material. I think the best part about them (other than price - I'm cheap) is the long elastic cuff that keeps all the heat in. 

I also use them for Skate-Skiing and every day use as well, so they're well worth the $30 investment.

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andy-eunson
0
Andy Eunson  - Dec. 7, 2018, 4:52 p.m.

Heat shrink might work. When I “lived” in Toronto there was a motorcycle product called Roko Lever Skins. One package would do four levers. Slide them on and they’d shrink in the air. I don’t they are available any more.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Dec. 7, 2018, 5:35 p.m.

There are some different neoprene and leather options out there for moto clutch/brake but I’ve tried lots of things over the year and nothing touches not-metal lever blades. Always open to trying things but I think plastic is going to be the winner for this application, the same way it is for flat pedals.

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kos
+1 Andrew Major
Kos  - Dec. 8, 2018, 7:33 a.m.

I just want a 2.6" Bonty XR3.

That's my entire list!

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AndrewMajor
+1 Kos
Andrew Major  - Dec. 8, 2018, 1:46 p.m.

I'd be on the SE3, not XR3, but I can't argue with that idea.

Actually, a 2.6" and 3" SE3/XR3 would be an awesome addition to their tire line.

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tallguyridesabike
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tallguyridesabike  - Dec. 9, 2018, 9:33 a.m.

Hey Andrew,

I've been looking for a good jacket for MTB and hiking for roughly a year and I'm super confused with technology available.  Gore Tex Pro/Active/etc, eVent, Polartech, 2L,2.5L, 3L, etc.  I have money in my pocket to spend and I can't seem to really figure out what would be the best option.  I'm now even more confused by your piece on Neoshell.  You say that the material is barely considered windproof and barely waterproof.  Why would anybody want this for riding in Vancouver?  Breathability is important, of course, but isn't the point of a pricey rain jacket to keep the elements out?

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Dec. 9, 2018, 9:49 a.m.

2L/2.5L/3L refers to the number of layers of material. For example top end 3L Gore-Tex will have the liner, the air permeable / waterproof membrane / and then a face fabric assembled like a sandwich. There are some great resources if you Google construction of waterproof materials showing how the different products work.

For non-shuttle/park mountain biking, Gore-Tex Active is the best Gore-Tex option. It’s what we’d call the “most breathable” during continuous high output activity (moves the most moisture away from body).

Gore Pro is more durable and will go longer without wetting out but it’s optimized for stop-and-go activity and doesn’t breath as well.

NeoShell is a waterproof material but less than half as waterproof Gore-Tex Active. You can’t ride as long in the pissing rain before it wets out. In my case I find it’s way more breathable (not raining on the inside - especially in a humid Spring/Fall) and lasts long enough except for commuting on the road and the longest/wettest days on the trail.

Gore-Tex is totally windproof, in my experience NeoShell is not especially once it’s wet. So it wouldn’t be my choice for screaming downhills on a road bike in the rain.

Mountain Biking (and in my case for vigorous hiking) the breathability trumps all so NeoShell is the winner going hard in the trees.

Hope that helps.

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tallguyridesabike
0
tallguyridesabike  - Dec. 9, 2018, 9:53 a.m.

Great thanks for the explanation.  Sounds like it would work as a MTB jacket but not as a dual purpose for going on hikes, etc.  I have a Sombrio Vapour jacket right now, which they claim is 20,000mm rating in terms of breathability.  But it's useless when it starts raining.  Wets fully through in 20 minutes and takes forever to dry.  But doesn't overheat when I'm pedalling.  I use it when it gets cold in the fall but still in search of something for when it's likely going to rain.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Dec. 9, 2018, 1:19 p.m.

It’s hard to comment on jackets without knowing someone’s maintenance routine and the material.

For example, I have a buddy whose Gore-Tex Paclite jacket “sucked”. Until he stuck it in the dryer to reconstitute the membrane and resprayed the DWR.

Some materials don’t like the drier. Some face fabrics require DWR to be reapplied more often. Some materials (eVent for example in my experience) need to be washed with special cleaners much more often.

———

If max waterproofing with max breathablility is your goal then goal go Gore Active and never look back. I really like the 7Mesh Guardian but there are lots of options.

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MikeMc
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Mike McArthur  - Dec. 10, 2018, 7:03 a.m.

Agree that NeoShell is top shelf hardshell fabric for breathing and waterproofness. I commute daily on one, and use it on the trails. Sugoi make one with an mtb cut as well as a roadie one. The mtb one is 1" short in the tail, but otherwise is a decent cut. 

I remember all the mtb media gushing about the Guardian jacket, but never read anything as honest as this :"Gore Pro is more durable and will go longer without wetting out but it’s optimized for stop-and-go activity and doesn’t breath as well." So thanks for that. Also - thanks for the tip on Dumonde Tech chainlube - great stuff!

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Dec. 10, 2018, 7:39 a.m.

DuMonde Tech regular chain lube could certainly go on my best of list year-over-year. Happy to spread that word!

Unless I missed a typo somewhere (it happens - ack) the Guardian is Gore-Tex Active not Pro. So as optimized for continuous output as you can get with Gore. 

Other than my issues with the slash pockets it’s impressively breathable - especially with smart layering - for how waterproof it is... it just isn’t NeoShell. 

I’m sure if Gore wanted to make a less waterproof membrane (say 10,000mm like NeoShell) they could kill everything in terms of breathability but their schtick is definitely the waterproofness.

Does Sugoi still do an MTB cut NeoShell jacket? Thanks!

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MikeMc
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Mike McArthur  - Dec. 10, 2018, 9:30 a.m.

My mistake - replace 'Guardian' with 'Revelation' and it makes more sense. As for Sugoi neoshell, they had a model called the RSX but it appears missing from their website. I wouldn't be surprised if some NOS was out there though. 

I notice the Acre Meridian is also missing of late. Would be on my list if available. Guess I'll be babying my RSX in the months ahead.

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skyler
0
Skyler  - Dec. 10, 2018, 7:29 a.m.

I know Surly is responsible for making the worst plus tire of all time (the Knard), but you should really really give their 29x3 Dirt Wizard a try, Andrew. The heavier casing feels really good, the knobs are huge and in the right places, and the compound is soft enough to stick to the Shore. It's by far the grippiest plus tire I've tried. Most important, the thick 60tpi casing can be run at plus pressures without feeling like garbage like so many other plus tires.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Dec. 10, 2018, 7:48 a.m.

Thanks for the tip - I’ve never seen one around but I’ll keep my eyes open. You just run it on the front with something faster out back?

Have you tried the SE4 Team Issue in 3”? It’s really good. The Chupacabra would have won for worst Plus tire I’ve tried but the SE4/SE2 combo and SE4/SE4 combo I run (2.6” rear / 3” front) is really good. I prefer the SE4 notably over the 3” DHF.

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skyler
0
Skyler  - Dec. 10, 2018, 7:57 a.m.

I've run it front+back, but the 48A durometer doesn't last that long on the back, so I've taken to pairing it with a Terrene Chunk Tough in the back, which is still aggressive but much harder rubber.

I think a Dirt Wizard front SE4 rear would be a really good combo. I haven't tried one because they only do 2.8 in 27.5, and provided they have a supportive casing, I like 3.0s. But I've felt the casing on the SE4s and they do seem right up my alley. 

Regardless, I think the 60tpi dirt wizard is basically what you're hoping for in the SE5, and with QBP coming to Canada next year, they might even become easily available here.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Dec. 10, 2018, 8:19 a.m.

Yeah, big changes coming to Canadian distribution landscape next year!

Thanks for the info, the DW is definitely on my radar.

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AlanB
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AlanB  - Dec. 10, 2018, 9:08 a.m.

Cold fingers? Plasti Dip on the brake levers works like a charm. Better grip too!

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mzro
0
mzro  - Dec. 10, 2018, 2:02 p.m.

Hey Andrew, very nice wishlist. I want Leatt DBX 3.0 Enduro helmet had a better clasps/mounts. I read a lot reviews that they are flimsy and can be braked easily if you aren't very careful.

My question is - have you tried Bontrager 29x3 XR4 Team Issue? If yes, how they compare to SE4 in your eyes?

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