Kali Invader 2 Helmet NSMB AndrewM.JPG
EDITORIAL

Things Put Aside, For When I Can Ride (Part 1)

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major (Unless Noted)
Date Mar 7, 2022
Reading time

Projects

I have an original Acre Hauser pack in blue that my wife bought me as a gift the year they were released. It used to show up pretty much any time I was in a photo on NSMB but a couple years back one of the straps failed fantastically in a crash and it's been living in a box ever since. I know I could have sent it back to Mission/Acre and they would have replaced it or repaired it, but it made way more sense to me to have it fixed locally. Or, rather, to leave it in a box and occasionally think about having it fixed locally. It's currently with the good folks at HMPL being repaired, and it's one of a handful of projects I'm keen to take onto the trails once my Achilles has full function and fortitude.

Over the next few months, (many months? hopefully less than a year!) I'm going to share a few projects or products that are helping keep my fire alive. Gear really needs to be ridden to be tested, so most will be my own projects as opposed to anything I'm testing. There are however, a few exceptions, like my Kali Invader 2.0 helmet that I've Gollumed away for a riding day.


SR Suntour Tri Air NSMB AndrewM (4).JPG

RIP Gore Bikewear vest. It started life as my least favourite fitting rain jacket but after being de-sleeved it became my favourite piece of weatherproof gear year-over-year. Photo: Mr. Lungstastic

Banshee Titan NSMB AndrewM.JPG

This shot is a perfect gear obituary. My vest is dead and I was overdue in retiring my Leatt DBX 3 full-face due to a shortage of replacements. The Stamp shoes in this shot are basically toast too. Photo: Mr. Lungstastic

7Mesh Guardian Weatherproof Vest

If this waterproof vest looks a bit familiar, that's because it started life as the first generation 7Mesh Guardian jacket I reviewed in the fall of 2017. It's easily the best jacket I've owned but after years of regular use on and off the bike the sleeves in particular were getting a bit ratty.

About six months ago, my previous weatherproof vest, up-cycled from a red Gore jacket that never really fit me, finally crapped out and I missed it immediately. I was wearing it more than any piece of rain gear I've owned and was keen to try it combined with the RaceFace Conspiracy jersey and a merino base layer for my ultimate rainy day riding gear. Then I put a big slash in my Guardian sleeve being an idiot (never wear your high-end shell in your workshop, even for a few minutes) and 7Mesh received some fresh jacket inventory.

I bought myself a new 7Mesh Skypilot jacket in a sweet cloudy grey colour that they could have called 'Dave Smith's Perfect-Day Grey' and I dropped my used Guardian off with my friend Sherry at Sateen Alterations, who disarmed my last vest. It was completed a week after my Achilles ruptured. Yeah, serendipity.

7Mesh Guardian Vest NSMB AndrewM (1).JPG

This 7Mesh Guardian weatherproof vest served me first as a jacket from fall 2017 until recently. I'm wearing it regularly right now - more than my jacket in fact - around town, but I'm looking forward to pedaling in it.

7Mesh Guardian Vest NSMB AndrewM (2).JPG

The adjustable hood doesn't just fit over a helmet, it will even fit over a trail full-face like the Kali Invader 2.0. I know you're thinking "hood but no sleeves, WTF?" but don't knock it until you try it, okay?

I've been wearing my new Guardian vest almost every day. We've had a lot of grey days where it might rain and it's perfect for crutching around on those days. It's also a great layering piece on colder days when I'm wearing a warm sweater and just need some wind-blocking for my core. So far it's seen twice as many days of action as the Skypilot. But, it really does have a purpose that's unrealized at the moment. Keeping some super sweaty dude (that's me) comfortable on dank and drizzly days in the mountains riding my bicycle.

I assume the reason that companies like 7Mesh don't offer weatherproof vests is because they believe they'd be a hard sell to riders. I'm not talking about the 'water resistant' windproof, or at least windproof front, vests that roadies use, but rather a proper weatherproof jacket without sleeves. I don't know how they'd ever catch on without more riders having the opportunity to try one but the way they combine a comfortable core with better mobility, quiet performance, and the best breathability is awesome.

Like Close Your Eyes & Cut Your Bars, if you have a weatherproof jacket nearing the end of its life that you're replacing anyway, consider hacking the sleeves off and taking it for a few rides. I think you'll be impressed on the right days and if you run hot like me I think you'll find most days short of a deluge are the right days.


Kali Invader 2 Helmet NSMB AndrewM (4).JPG

No hinges here. The heart of Kali's Invader 2.0 helmet is the unibody construction and resulting strength of the chin bar. It's intended as a well vented trail full-face.

Kali Invader 2 Helmet NSMB AndrewM (3).JPG

It's also sub 700grams and has significant venting, Kali's LDL (Low Density Layer), and their most-helmets-are-too-hard design principles.

Kali Invader 2.0

This Invader 2.0 full-face arrived the day after I ruptured my Achilles but I've waited two years for this lid and I'm holding on to it harder than an e-bike cable change. If you're having a hard time discerning what that level of resistance looks like, here's a helpful pictorial representation from Cam's last experience. Why did it take two years? Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks an ultra-breathable fixed-chin bar full-face is a brilliant idea and between demand and pandemic-production they've been sold out consistently.

Under 700grams with a chin bar that passes motorcycle testing standards, adjustable via a retention system and swappable pad sets, Fidlock magnetic closure, and, it fits my head. The vents are huge and for shuttle or park riding I'd still choose a full-on full-face helmet, but for the trail riding I do on the North Shore I'm hoping this is the mix of protection and comfort that best balances my needs. Other than wearing it around the house to get a sense of it, and my daughter snapping some photos of me wearing it, it's going to be a while before I can include it in a follow up to Where Have All The Chin Bars Gone? but I'm hoping for many rides in this 225 USD | 285 CAD helmet. More information at Kali Helmets.


Fresh Kicks

For the significant majority of my years mountain biking, I clipped into my pedals. For over a year before my injury, I didn't clip in once, as part of my unplanned 365 Day Flat Pedal Challenge. I've tried a quite a few combos and I lean towards maximum mechanical grip with sticky enough rubber soles to keep my feet on the pedals on the greasiest days, but without impairing my ability to move my feet when they're in the wrong spot. My baseline combination has become the North Shore Billet Daemon combined with the most basic Crankbrothers Stamp lace-up shoe.

The shape of the NSB pedal and their custom pins bite hard. The Crankbrothers Match rubber sole is sticky enough without any of the wear issues that come with some of the stickier shoes I've tried. Still, whether I'm riding clipped or on flats, my shoes only seem to last so long. I don't know if it's the single speeding or just my generally heightened level of hackedness but I trash my shoes. If something is going to be a baseline, it has to be available to A/B test, so I ordered a fresh set of Stamp's. I know this is starting to sound like a theme, but they were available a week after I started learning to navigate my not-to-code-steep staircase in a walking boot. The trail gods obviously have a sense of humour.

Crankbrothers Stamp Shoes NSMB AndrewM.JPG

I have a refresh of my baseline flat pedal shoe preference ready to rock. The basic lace version of the Crankbrothers Stamp is my perfect mix of grip and re-positioning.

NSBillet Daemon Pedal NSMB AndrewM.JPG

The other half of my baseline is a pair of NSB Daemon pedals. Just a reminder to buy your boutique Canadian Made flat pedals in silver so they'll look fresh forever.

Projects Deux

I've been thinking about used bike a lot lately (thanks to everyone who's already contacted me about Min-Maxing Their Ride) and between vesting my Guardian jacket and getting my old favourite backpack fixed, I've started thinking about used riding gear. Have you ever bought used cycling gear? Shoes ridden a couple times or a waterproof jacket that didn't suit the first owner after a few rides, months, of riding, or maybe even years in a closet? What about a helmet with a couple of rides, but no crashes on it?

I have some friends who have wardrobes full of cycling clothing they don't use. Maybe they've changed sizes or maybe they just found a piece that they love way more and I'm wondering if that stuff actually has potential to earn them a few bucks and make getting into some of the best gear less expensive for newer riders or folks on a budget. I'm the oldest child, but growing up I wore hand-me-downs from the neighbourhood, so I may have an abnormally open view to it. It's a line of inquiry I'd like to hit in the future.

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Comments

velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+4 Vik Banerjee Andrew Major meloroast Tjaard Breeuwer

I'm all about the used gear. Not safety stuff, but pre-worn shoes, jackets, vests and shorts have all graced my lanksome frame.

Aside from the sustainability factor it's a great way to try things in real use before buying a new edition.

Reply

rolly
rolly
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major Velocipedestrian

I will almost always get used gear if possible.  Even safety gear if it's in good condition. I save money, help someone out by putting cash in their pocket, keep stuff out of landfill for a bit, keep riders from getting ragged on from their significant others for having too much crap, etc.  Win-win-win....

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
6 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Same question as above, where do you usually find your used gear? Online buy-and-sell, consignment shop? Friends closet?

Reply

rolly
rolly
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Pete Roggeman

Usually online classifieds. Almost all my riding gear is used. The amount of money I've saved over the years is in the thousands of dollars. Two weeks ago I was looking for a chain whip. Found a guy selling a bag of tools including a chain whip for $20 (not stolen).  Probably 4-5 tools I don't need, but the rest I did. It helped him out too.

Reply

velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Tjaard Breeuwer

Ha! Wandered into an opshop killing time with the wee chap today and found a bargain!

Neither safety gear, nor going to keep me dry on a ride, but in new condition at $5 ($100 less than the cheapest I could quickly find online) I'm stoked.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
6 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Do you hit the consignment shops (Sports Swap?) or do you normally find stuff online?

I want to write more on the subject, so yes I AM totally using this piece as research material for another.

Reply

velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Mostly on Trademe (NZ eBay equivalent). Not much use to you up north, but so much easier for us than endlessly asking if people will ship internationally / dealing with money transfer etc.

Reply

Lynx
Lynx .
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Vik Banerjee Geof Harries

Hahaha, well if noting else this injury is definitely keeping the articles coming and brain working on possibilities :-) Looking forward to see what else you think up over the next few months, but hoping that you find a long term project that can really keep you occupied until you can ride.

To the second hand clothes/equipment - unlike you, I'm the last of 4 boys,  all I knew growing up was hand me downs, so it's no big deal to me, a good wash, with good detergent and maybe a little bleach if really worried and they're as good as new. I've had quite a few pairs of riding baggies that didn't seem to mesh or fit people and worn them without issue for years. Sadly now all of my riding shorts are dead, so it's just normally surf baggies right now with the little riding I'm doing, can't justify spending $$ on new shorts if I'm not doing the amount of riding that needs them, my WTB PureV saddles are comfy enough that I can do 20, 25, 30 miles without issue.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
6 months, 3 weeks ago
0

At least this is looking at the future to when I will be riding! 

I really want to do write some more stuff about used gear, so I'm enjoying all the inspiration here.

Reply

BenHD
BenHD
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Vik Banerjee Andrew Major

+1 for the CB shoes. It´s the only shoe that was able to fit my foot except for the 510 Freerider. It has held up well and I wouldn´t hesitate to buy another pair.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
6 months, 3 weeks ago
0

I’ve ridden many shoes I like that fit my feet - nothing special required here - but the combo of grip/re-positioning and quality is tops. 

For your feet is it width or general sizing that makes it tricky to find shoes?

Reply

DogVet
Hugo Williamson
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Too many sniper tree stumps in Uk not to have a shoe with a decent toe box, broken my big toe 3 x with softer shoes!! Ouch

Reply

BenHD
BenHD
6 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Width. But with those I stand like an oak. So I am not complaining :)

Reply

Lynx
Lynx .
6 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Got a pair of the Ride Concepts LIVEWIRE shoes late last year after I finally accepted that I'd be riding flats for a bit yet and am super stoked with them, they have a really sturdy toes protector, the fit is bang on and the soles grip is really good, they're light, plus, look not out of the ordinary if I want to just wear them someplace. Considering going for a pair of clipless when I'm ready to be back to that.

Reply

Vikb
Vik Banerjee
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Kos Andrew Major

I don't need/want a fully waterproof vest, but I do wish vests got more love. Roadie cuts don't work for me on a MTB and a lot of the MTB styles just seem like half-hearted efforts. My favourite vest is a trail running piece that of course got discontinued so I can't get a replacement. I found a reasonable option from Sugoi in a jacket with removeable arms. I just leave the arms off full time and enjoy it as a vest. I'll keep your idea of cutting arms off a jacket in my pocket should the need arise in the future.

Don't get me started on the lack of outdoors capris [manpris?] these days. You used to have a ton of choice and now there is next to nothing. Once I wear through the pairs I have I'll have to start cutting the lower legs off pants.

Buying last season's gear on clearance is a good option. Costs are often ~50% new, gear is new with a warranty and if stuff is around that long it's in danger of essentially being disposed of as waste so you get the feel good vibe from saving a garment from that fate.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Vik Banerjee

I had the Sugoi crossover jacket that was a vest with a one-piece ‘cape’ structure that attached with magnets. Wanted to love it.

I’ve used lots of roadie wind vests (some with mesh backs, some solid) and when I’m riding in the cloud a weather proof piece is just so much better. Either over a long sleeve wool piece or a weather-resistant layer,

I do ride in the mountain shadow in a rain forest though so mileage, others, vary as always.

———

Knickers! Swrve used to make them to last, in the USA, of medium-weight super durable soft shell materials. It’s insane how long mine have lasted and continue to be usable.

I wear knee pads most mountain bike rides now so my needs have changed some. But if there was a good option I’d refresh mine for sure. I’ve even looked at having some pants tailored (that I know clear knee pads).

Reply

Vikb
Vik Banerjee
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

I don't "love" that Sugoi vest/jacket, but of the options I have at hand it's the best of the rest after the Patagonia Houdini vest that's my favourite at the moment. If you ever did a multi-vest review article I'd love it. Gather up as many potentially great vests and do a shoot out.   

I wear capris when I am not wearing pads for biking and hiking/running. For knee pad missions I'm wearing MTB shorts [14" inseam so almost capris] and MTB pants.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Vik Banerjee

It’s one of those things where after spending time scouring options, having booked clothing for a shop, loving vests in general, I came to the firm conclusion that the best vests on the market - in any style - are jackets/long sleeves with the arms cut off. 

My Sugoi merino vest some 10+ years ago was my first experiment and it was awesome. 

I mean, I’m also generally not a fan of “shoot out” pieces but that’s a whole other thing.

Reply

Vikb
Vik Banerjee
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

I'd be happy with 10 full length gear reviews on vests, but I thought that could be unrealistic even for NSMB. ;-)

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Vik Banerjee IslandLife

1. Has no sleeves. Has no hood. Is inferior in every way to my disarmed 7Mesh weatherproof vest. {INSERT PHOTOS BY THE DENTIZT}

2. Has no sleeves. Has no hood. Is inferior in every way to my disarmed 7Mesh weatherproof vest. {INSERT PHOTOS BY THE DENTIZT}

3. Has no sleeves. Has no hood. Is inferior in every way to my disarmed 7Mesh weatherproof vest. {INSERT PHOTOS BY THE DENTIZT}

4. Has no sleeves. Has no hood. Is inferior in every way to my disarmed 7Mesh weatherproof vest. {INSERT PHOTOS BY THE DENTIZT}

5. Has no sleeves. Has no hood. Is inferior in every way to my disarmed 7Mesh weatherproof vest. {INSERT PHOTOS BY THE DENTIZT}

6. Has no sleeves. Has no hood. Is inferior in every way to my disarmed 7Mesh weatherproof vest. {INSERT PHOTOS BY THE DENTIZT}

7. Has no sleeves. Has no hood. Is inferior in every way to my disarmed 7Mesh weatherproof vest. {INSERT PHOTOS BY THE DENTIZT}

8. Has no sleeves. Has no hood. Is inferior in every way to my disarmed 7Mesh weatherproof vest. {INSERT PHOTOS BY THE DENTIZT}

9. Has no sleeves. Has no hood. Is inferior in every way to my disarmed 7Mesh weatherproof vest. {INSERT PHOTOS BY THE DENTIZT}

10. Has no sleeves. Has no hood. Is inferior in every way to my disarmed 7Mesh weatherproof vest. {INSERT PHOTOS BY THE DENTIZT}

Now I just need to collect up every vest I've ever wasted money on and get Deniz to photograph me wearing them. Maybe add some bespoke details about the relative quality of their zippers.

xy9ine
Perry Schebel
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major Lynx .

NF has a neat program going on - they take back old gear for store credit & re-sell pre-worn team / proto / returned & repaired soft goods. their warranty repair program is fantastic as well (unlike most companies that just bin & replace). love supporting these people.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
6 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Do love that they repair stuff and there’s an in-house buy-and-sell setup for used gear. Would love to see other brands do both those things.

Reply

Ripbro
Ripbro
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Really love the vest idea, I’ll be stealing that when one of my shells bites the dust.

I also picked up a lightweight full face that I am pumped on, the ixs trigger ff. I’ve been waiting a while to the local shops to get one in stock and they finally arrived. Mine weights in at 590 grams in a S/M. I’ve worn it fat biking this winter and I need a beanie under it to keep warm which is a good sign for the summer. 

A buddy has the MIPS version, and complains that it makes a lot of noise while riding (popping, creaking etc) so I saved a few bucks and went with the basic version. It’s been silent so far and the number of adjustments it has, allowed me to really dial in the fit. It’s about 250g heavier than my old half shell and less than half the weight of my old giro remedy. It’s incredible.  The only way I know I have a full face on is the bit of pressure on my cheeks, and a bit of the chin bar in my peripheral vision.

I would have liked to try the Kali, but couldn’t find one locally. It looks like it has even better venting than the trigger, but weighs a bit more. I also like that Kali has a crash replacement discount, where the ixs has nothing. I was also looking to try a Troy lee stage, but those are hard to find as well. The trigger fit so well, I decided to go that route.

Now I need to find some good elbow pads. I’m getting older, and with experience have found I can crash on anything lol. The new stuff is so light, I don’t mind wearing it to get some added protection.

Reply

silverbansheebike
silverbansheebike
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major Ripbro

Every time I'm out I get asked about my Trigger FF. Lucky I was able to get one and reccommend it so highly, but that probably doesn't help with the supply shortage. Are you able to get a rain coat over yours? I'm not so lucky, but I am definitely eager to cut the sleeves off now.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
6 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Do you mean to get the hood of my raincoat over it? Yes, the hoods on 7Mesh jackets are very generous. They didn't do what a lot of companies do and try to make a hood that's both helmet-friendly and non-helmet-friendly (or worse, designed to be worn under the helmet). I can run this hood even over my true-DH FF lid and the DJ/Skid-Lid that I commute in. 

The flip side is you really need to wear a ball cap for the hood to be usable without a helmet. Totally worthy trade-off for me given how much I use a hood on the bike when I can ride.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
6 months, 3 weeks ago
0

The times I’ve about Kali products and Brad’s approach to helmets…

[aside] can’t wait to interview people about things in person again [/aside]

…the number one follow up I get from readers in Canada is “where can I try one on?”

The folks there are really nice, margins are solid (shops buying direct instead of through a distributor), it’s not something that every other (any other) shop has, and riders want to try it on. Why don’t shops carry them?!

The simplest explanation is the same reason Maxxis tires dominate every shop wall. It’s much less work to sell an Assegai than an equivalent Magic Mary even if the Mary would be a better tire for many riders. 

What can you do? I mean other than have a conversation with your preferred local shop if you have a good relationship with them.

I’d love to have somewhere to refer Kali helmet (and Leatt helmet) inquiries. Specifically for trail full-faces and also in general.

———

Definitely steal it! Weatherproof vests are awesome, I promise.

Reply

Ripbro
Ripbro
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

My small local shop is pretty great. They bring in a lot of the hard-to-find items ( IXS, Leatt, Dumonde etc) that come up in NSMB articles. Even they tried to push me to a convertible helmet, but I told them, I don't what to think or faff around with a removable chin bar.

I agree, shops will always stock what they know will sell. If there is one positive to limited supply, its that shops are a bit more willing to bring in other brands, because all their regular stuff is on back order... On the flip side, the biggest bike shop in the city is now carrying KTM e-bikes, I don't love that (despite knowing nothing about KTMs mountain bike division).

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Lynx .

I’d argue most shops will always bring in what will sell easily. And that’s their business - gotta keep the lights on and feed the staff. But there are shops that are much more individually curated, especially in the road/commuter market.

I mean, Dream Cycles has their own handlebar (now in three rises) which is a window into Darren’s process that includes components from Phil, Paul, etc. It’s a sell what they ride environment.

Then you get, for an example, shops where all the staff use product X, but product Y that’s more universally popular is on the wall and that’s always seemed like a loss to me. Again, shop needs to make money, but don’t you want to tell a unique story?

Locally, James@Obsession, for example, was one of the few people who was really into Plus tires (and I’m right onboard with that for most riders) and I think it was cool that folks that talked to him about bikes were getting another perspective than they would at other shops.

Yes, I’m also a nerd about the LBS experience. Hahaha

Reply

Lynx
Lynx .
6 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Andrew, only now 2 sort of bike shops here, so don't bother, but what you're saying about shops, what the employees ride/use and then sell different shit because it's what's being pushed, is why I don't bother with most brick and mortar shops, as it's either that or the employees know less than I did when I had only been into MTBing less than a year and are of no help - you pay the "premium" to get the knowledge etc from the staff, if not there's no value there, could as well just go online and buy cheaper and do your own research.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
6 months, 3 weeks ago
0

I think the value that a great shop can bring to a riding community goes way beyond inventory, knowledge, and experience. Even beyond other good things I've seen local shops do like organize wicked events and support trail building and riding clubs. Certainly, the best ones are communities on to themselves. 

I wrote a piece about the institutions in 2017. I don't love it, so it's something I should tackle again.

rolly
rolly
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

I can't do vests because my upper arms get so cold from the wind. I must be an outlier, because I'd much more prefer to be too hot than too cold.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
6 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Short sleeve jacket?! 3/4 sleeve?! 

I love it, all about tailoring gear to individual needs. There’s a local garment shop that can modify it a reality for way less $ than most expect.

Reply

AverageAdventurer
AverageAdventurer
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+2 Pete Roggeman Tjaard Breeuwer

I have been an advocate for the shortish sleeve jacket for a while! Being tired of tent patching forearms after unintended offs most of my jackets at this point are just above the elbow. It looks kind of wacky even compared to a vest and justifying it to others has always been odd but before making the jump to full on vest, try the Shacket!

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
6 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Might depend on where you ride. On the shore, most of the time trail speeds are low, and fast sections are short. Elsewhere, you can be maching along or riding in a lot more exposure and that's a lot colder on the extremities. Are you on the shore?

Our forests may look dank and dark, but they're temperate and that keeps windchill down.

Reply

ElBrendo
ElBrendo
6 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Pedalsport in Chilliwack is a Kali dealer. I was absolutely dead set on buying an Invader 2.0 until I tried it on. The crash replacement is awesome, the price is right and it looked ventilated enough that I'd actually wear it. It just felt cheap (maybe because it was so ridiculously light?), unpadded and uncomfortable. The little blue rubber things on the inside just dug into my skull (and I have hair lol). I also tried on an IXS Trigger helmet which I really liked, but I had a gift card to burn at Pedalsport. 

In the end, I tried on a Giant Realm helmet on a whim and despite it looking dorky AF, I absolutely love it. 3/4 protection ftw.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 ElBrendo

That's going to come down to expectations certainly. I think what amazes me most about the Invader is how well I can hear relative to any other full face I've worn, including my Leatt with the chin bar on. It's crazy the noise difference between that and my 7iDP. 

Does the 7iDP feel much more solid and fit a lot tighter with a lot more pad contact? Yes, it's a full-on DH lid. 

This is a very lightweight trail full face and I think (weight and breathability wise) it will fit that bill very nicely. But, I won't know anything until I can get out on the trail. 

As to the Armourgel padding, with Kali helmets or similar setups from Leatt or 7iDP the nice thing v. MIPS is that these can be individually modified {insert long disclaimer about how you shouldn't modify your helmet}. It turns out our heads come in all different shapes and sizes and hot spots suck. Until we can 3D print helmets to fit our individual weirdness, I'd think nothing of removing one of the Armourgel sections (or a 360° Turbine in Leatt's case) if it was bothering me.

Reply

cheapondirt
cheapondirt
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Others' online shopping mishaps make this a great time to buy lightly used gear!

Reply

kos
Kos
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

I absolutely LOVE Kali's approach to helmet technology. I'd own a Maya (open face) in a heartbeat if they offered a hi-viz color. Sadly, no dice. Just picked up a new Fox Speedframe Pro from Fox in bright orange. Seems sweet, but I like Kali's approach to impact tech more than the standard MIPS.

And, Capris FTW!!!

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Kos

I have a Viva in bright green for city riding and I’d love a the Invader in that colour. It’s a challenge though, you have to order so many lids in a given colourway that if you screw up the cost / effort to move them sucks. I’d love to see a hi-vis colour too, but I can appreciate why they don’t have one is what I’m trying to say.

Reply

kos
Kos
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Agreed. I've spoken directly with Kali and the response was basically "we agree, but they just don't sell".

Bummer.

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
6 months, 3 weeks ago
0

I’m sure the day glow colourway trend will be back in fashion soon!

Reply

trumpstinyhands
trumpstinyhands
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Velocipedestrian

'Invader'..... that name hasn't aged well all things considered! It always amuses me that mountain bike related companies feel the need to use aggressive / macho sounding names for products to be used by someone riding a bicycle over some bumpy things :)

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 IslandLife

I assumed it was a tongue-in-cheek laugh at the appearance (alien invader) as opposed to machismo.

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trumpstinyhands
trumpstinyhands
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

To be fair (to be fair to be faaaiiiiiir), I hadn't spotted the shape. It just reminded me of other companies that use the same or similar names. Not quite as bad as this though heh heh:

https://huddersfield.greatbritainlisted.com/trailers-mobile-homes/abi-marauder-450-ct-45-berts-caravan-good-condition-no-damp-very-light-690kg-good-tyres-awning_6437715.html

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 trumpstinyhands

To be faaaiiiiiirrrrr... the names of some RV/5th Wheels are hilarious. I mean, you're going to pull up into a random town you've never visited with 'PROWLER' boldly painted on the side of your rolling sleeping arrangement?!

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velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

"Trail weapon" "Murdered out"

It's a bicycle.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Velocipedestrian

Is it a bicycle? Or is it... A WEAPON? Dun, Dun, Duuuuuuuuuuuun.

Yeah, seriously, it's a bicycle.

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Sethsg
Sethsg
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

I LOVE Fidlock buckles!

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Ripbro
Ripbro
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

That’s the one thing I don’t love so far. Easy to use but I find it a bit bulky. I would prefer a small regular clip

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
6 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Once you’ve used it a while I’d love to know how you feel, especially if you go back to a regular clip. Either way, I love to hear other riders’ experiences with this stuff.

I wasn’t originally a Fidlock lover (they’re not cheap, so it bumps up helmet price over a standard clip!) and I have a few friends who weren’t convinced as well - but now, we’d all take it as a solid first choice.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
6 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Me too! Actually, I never think about it until I'm using a helmet that isn't a Fidlock.

My daughter, on the other hand, is endlessly jealous of my helmets with Fidlocks (she has a Fidlock water bottle) and feels they should come on everything and especially her hockey helmet.

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DirtSnow
DirtSnow
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Huge fan of the waterproof vest. Picked up a Fox Defend Fire Alpha Vest this fall. Unfortunately I think it’s been discontinued however it’s a clutch piece. Warm, repels water enough to get through the ride, small enough to pack.

I’d love to cut it apart and remake it with truely waterproof fabrics.

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Shoreloamer
Greg Bly
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Some may have noticed the rather affluent crowd parading in hi end out door jacket s, pants , merinio wool tops. Not mountain biking garments. But it's out door gear.  One can not be seen in public with a permanent blemish or a loose thread. These thoughtful people donate such garments to thrift stores . The hunt is great fun . Over the years I have collected some amazing clothing I use in layers . 

Japan makes garments I believe with a greater attention to detail. Such as extra buttons sewn on the bottom as spares . Thumb holes are cool. The only brand I don't see is Patagonia. Probably because the quality is so good it becomes a best friend you can't part with. Life time warranty is nice. 

Really any favorite garment can be fixed professionally by a seamstress. I use shoe glue. 

I think my only bike specific clothes are vintage Sombrio jerseys that I wear. I like clothes that look good ,don't make me look dorky,in a  pub or jibbing in the Shipyards . Even if my gear has fixed ripps and a funny spot that won't wash out.

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velocipedestrian
Velocipedestrian
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

As a lanky fella, I often get to choose between the torso of a jacket fitting me, or the sleeves being long enough.

Gonna keep the vest mod in mind when perusing the racks of used goods.

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hotlapz
hotlapz
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

I wish I'd thought of the vest before I sold my useless paclite jacket.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
6 months, 3 weeks ago
0

Ack. Sorry this wasn’t up sooner!

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meloroast
meloroast
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Andrew Major

Yes to gently used gear! Luckily as a lady rider I've got the Mudbunnies Facebook group where folks often clear out closets of unused gear (where do people get all this stuff???) or newbies who opted to hang up their pads after a few not too successful rides. As long as it's only mildly used! 

I would probably stop short at helmets though cause really you never know and I'm not skimping on the noggin!

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
6 months, 3 weeks ago
0

I’m not saying this is true, and obviously it’s a generalization, but a friend (female) hypothesized years ago that the reason she has an easier time finding fresh used gear (shoes, jerseys, gloves a couple times, shorts) for cheap is that when women try mountain biking and don’t love it they sell their stuff quick and move on to something else, but men in the same boat burry their fresh stuff deep, deep, in the back of their gear bag along with a profound sense of failure. Might be true… she may have been joking (darkly) now that I think about it…

…either way, glad you’re giving some good gear a second life!

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Mynameischris
Mynameischris
6 months, 3 weeks ago
0

What’s the collective’s opinion on a new set of pedals for me? I love the Kona wah wah 2’s size but have broken 3 spindles and looking for an improvement. I wear a size 15 five ten so they gotta have a larger platform. I’d be OK with getting something not as wide (technically) but with a larger Q factor and possibly longer. Alloy is a must. Thanks!

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
6 months, 3 weeks ago
+1 Mynameischris

I have some bigfooted friends who don't go in for the biggest platform pedals, but the ones that do run the Dagga from Chromag. Some with the long Dagga pins - which work great for maximum grip with a thick-and-soft sole shoe, like a FiveTen Freerider - and others have swapped the pins out for the Scarab option that is a bit shorter and less grabby if you like to be able to move your foot around.

I have averaged-sized flippers myself so I'm very happy with my NSB Daemon pedals but I also get along with the Chromag Scarab, OneUp Composite, and the WahWah as well.

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