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What's On Your List?

Dear Santa - Niels' List

Words Niels van Kampenhout
Photos Merijn Prinsen, Bikeyoke, Niels van Kampenhout, Raaw
Date Nov 22, 2017

Dear Santa is a feature where we ask contributors and others (Niels does tech for us actually) what is on their radar; it could be a trip to a wicked riding spot, a product that doesn't exist or a derailleur that never breaks. It may not even be bike related. Whatever gets dug up, the goal is to expose you to something we like in case you might like it too.  Ed.


As a minimalist type of person, I’m pretty happy with what I have and don’t really need more stuff. I mostly just want more time to ride and to stay injury-free. However, here’s a couple of material things I get excited about.

Bikeyoke Revive 160

This German-engineered dropper post has relatively simple internals, a clever bleed valve, and is user-serviceable. Its shifter-style remote is both Matchmaker and iSpec compatible. The Revive also has the shortest stack height of any currently available dropper and therefore can do something that most other 150+ mm posts can’t: fit in my size large Giant Reign frame. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, reliability reports from actual users are overwhelmingly positive.

Santa, my old Reverb has had a hard life and I think it deserves to retire.

bikeyoke-revive.jpg

Earlier Revives had a 4 mm Allen bleed screw. Current versions have a small lever instead. Photo: Bikeyoke/bikeyoke.de

Riding Shorts That Fit

At 6’ 2” with a slim frame, it’s difficult to find mountain bike shorts that fit me well. Shorts that fit my waist leave a big gap between the top of my knee pads and the bottom of the shorts. Shorts that cover my knees hang around my waist like a garbage bag. RaceFace comes closest with the Indy and Ambush shorts. In my racing days, I used to wear them in size small! As I gained a bit of weight over the years (all muscle!), I moved up to medium and this year to large, but even those could be at least an inch longer.

Santa, I’d really like some riding shorts for Christmas. ~35” waist and ~17” inseam, any colour as long as it’s black. Thank you.

Shorts Pads Gap

"Fashion-conscious" is most likely not a word you would apply to me.

Raaw Madonna

Actually, I don’t really want this bike. I’d definitely like to ride it sometime but the reason the Raaw Madonna caught my attention is its design philosophy. Against a background of a never-ending stream of thirteen-in-a-dozen carbon superbikes and supposed innovation, I find Raaw’s approach, centered around usability and durability, refreshing. The deliberate choice for aluminum, huge bearings inside sealed pivots, threaded bottom bracket, removable brake mount, sensible external cable routing, and many, many more well thought-out details. This feels like a frame you buy for the rest of your life. The geometry looks dialled too, including size-dependent chainstay length.

Santa, I don’t really need a 160 mm 29er. But please let Raaw (another German brand) succeed and find their niche in the market. Then hopefully they can apply their design philosophy to a nice 150mm 27.5er in the near future.

Happy holidays!

Comments

Vikb
+1 Niels
Vik Banerjee  - Nov. 22, 2017, 7:07 a.m.

I hate short shorts! I'm only 6' so the RF Sage shorts meet my needs, but I feel you on your quest. Once you get shorts that fit well it's hard to go back. I bought 3 pairs of stages and gave away most of the other shorts I had.

I hope you find some!

Reply

JBV
+1 Niels
James Vasilyev  - Nov. 22, 2017, 7:56 a.m.

didn't some company post here about a yr ago about custom bike shorts and the like? colours, lengths, styles, etc.

Reply

legbacon
+1 Niels
legbacon  - Nov. 22, 2017, 8 a.m.

Reply

niels@nsmb.com
+1 Cr4w
Niels  - Nov. 22, 2017, 8:33 a.m.

According to the sizing table on their website, even their "long" shorts only have a 14.25" inseam for size L (waist 34-36). That's shorter than the 15" of the size L Raceface shorts.

Reply

JVP
+1 Niels
JVP  - Nov. 22, 2017, 2 p.m.

15" shorts are quite long, even for a tall guy.  I'd break out a tape and see what they really measure before you discount the 14.25" of the N3Teks.  If 15" is too short for you, your femur length is really long for being 6'2".

Post back here, I'm curious to see how they measure.

Reply

niels@nsmb.com
0
Niels  - Nov. 22, 2017, 2:20 p.m.

I actually measured them this morning before I wrote my previous comment. 38 cm (a hair under 15") on the Indy and Stage, 37.5 cm (14 3/4 ") on the Ambush.

Yes, I have long legs for my height. I have no trouble finding regular pants and shorts though so there must be more people like me.

Reply

cxfahrer
+1 Niels
cxfahrer  - Nov. 29, 2017, 11:29 p.m.

I am 6'7" and wear RaceFace Ambush shorts since 2006 and some day around 2012 they changed the length from ~45cm inseam to 38cm on L and XL.

Probably for most people they just were too long.

Try to get an older RaceFace short! Those are the black and brown ones with the bad stitching and RF logoscoming off :/ ...

An alternative may be Sombrio's Lowline or Highline, they are "OK" but I have a problem with the waist ( XL too wide and L tight).
Also Platzangst has some decent shorts, If you are more the XL. I always found them too wide.

craw
+1 Niels
Cr4w  - Nov. 27, 2017, 7:22 p.m.

I made some of my own winter shorts with a happy 17" inseam. Want some?

Reply

niels@nsmb.com
0
Niels  - Nov. 28, 2017, 6:56 a.m.

Ah yes, I think you messaged me before about this. Very interested too see how 17" inseam shorts actually fit!

Reply

legbacon
+1 Niels
legbacon  - Nov. 22, 2017, 7:57 a.m.

Yup, Revive and RF Stage shorts.  My shorts have been stitched up, and velcro flaps in place of the blown out rear pocket zipper, but are still my faves.  Disagree on black though, a mud brown camouflage pattern would save on laundry soap.

Reply

Captain-Snappy
+2 Cam McRae Niels
Merwinn  - Nov. 22, 2017, 9:10 a.m.

Nice one Niels!

Reply

david-max
+2 Cam McRae Niels
David Max  - Nov. 22, 2017, 10:39 a.m.

The Raaw Madonna is definitely on my wish list, although that's probably where it will stay given its cost and the fact that they're not set up to distribute in North America yet. It's impossible to say for sure without riding it, but the way the numbers add up on paper make me very curious about it. As a taller rider the size specific chainstays and the and steep actual seat tube angle are both very appealing to me. The weight weenie in me (which is I'm slowly letting go of every time I break yet another part) does kinda wish that the frame was a bit lighter, but I can let that go in favour of the overall design philosophy and geometry.

So yes please to an XL Raaw... with an 185mm Bike Yoke Revive :)

Reply

Endur-Bro
+1 Niels
Endur-Bro  - Nov. 22, 2017, 10:55 a.m.

Look up, way up north to those steezy Scandos in Norway.  Norrøna Fjørå Flex1 shorts or Sweet Protection Hunter Enduro short likely fit the bill.

Reply

niels@nsmb.com
0
Niels  - Nov. 22, 2017, 11:07 a.m.

Thanks for the tips, hard to compare the sizes as neither of those two brands specify actual inseam of the shorts but visually they look long for sure.

Perhaps Santa can pick some up on his way from the north pole.

Reply

blackfly
0
Peter Leeds  - Nov. 22, 2017, 5:32 p.m.

That weld on the top tube......asking for trouble.  Bent in the way it is going to feel the stress; moreover, welds are the weak point.   Should of gone with a bent hydroformed tube.

Reply

Bunzl
0
Steve Main  - Nov. 23, 2017, 8:30 a.m.

Ignore me

Reply

NealWood
0
NealWood  - Nov. 24, 2017, 10:59 p.m.

Just looking at the drawings on their web site it kind of looks like they could have just run the top tub straight to the seat tube.

Reply

niels@nsmb.com
0
Niels  - Nov. 25, 2017, 9:18 a.m.

Apparently, the bend in the top tube gives access to a compartment to stash small tools/spares. If you look closely you can see a little door.

Reply

gasherbrum4
+1 Niels
Sébastien Manelfe  - Nov. 25, 2017, 5:14 a.m.

A couple comments :

  • I've had a Bikeyoke revive for 4 weeks and absolutely looooooove it (flawless functioning, easy install, reset lever is an amazing idea)
  • Short shorts : you may give a try to Norrona Fjora : a Swedish brand (swedes are tall) with the longest inseam on the market)

Reply

niels@nsmb.com
0
Niels  - Nov. 25, 2017, 9:13 a.m.

Thanks, you're the second person to suggest Norrona, I really have to check them out.

Reply

GawiQ
+1 Niels
Mateusz Gawęcki  - Nov. 27, 2017, 3:49 a.m.

6'3" and slim frame here, always been struggling with short shorts as well until I tried Dakine. I have the Derail model now with 15" inseam and size 34 fits just perfect. Really could not have been better. Waist and length are spot on. They cover a bit of my pads even with knee in the most bent position when pedalling. Check other models as well cause they list inseam on every one. Hope this helps :)

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