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WORTH EVERY PENNY

Worth Every Penny: November 2021

Date Nov 24, 2021
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Who doesn't love a piece of gear that represents awesome value? These editor's picks are pieces we reach for every time and would replace in an instant if necessary.


Octa Mousse Inserts - Cam McRae (words and photos)

(Click here for my complete Octa Mousse review)

The world of inserts continues to be the Wild West. There is no agreed upon formula for the best combo of weight, protection, and ride quality and there are many differences between the foam density, integrity, weight and feel between the emerging players. I've enjoyed aspects of all the noodles I've ridden with but I've finally come to realize the four elements that are most important to me; low pressure sidewall support and traction, rim and tire protection, run flat performance, and weight.* Those are roughly in order of priority, but really I want all of those elements to be within my expected range. The one that has most recently identified itself as vital to me however is run flat performance, where Octa Mousse excels. I've had two rides where I've flatted using these inserts, both of which could be described as user error. Once I cased a step down, and more recently I tried to gap over a rock garden and instead gapped into it, without any sealant in the tire. These experiences pushed me to revisit these unique inserts.

*mass becomes less important in eMTB applications

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This makes a lot of sense to me.

The first time I managed to ride out about 80%. It was fast enough to have fun but not quite fast enough to stay with my buddy. That was with a 2.6" tire and an Octa Mousse 50. Straight line performance was very good but things got a little loose in the corners, forcing me to overweight my bars. The recent flat involved a 2.4" tire and a similar Octa Mousse 45, which was a very tight fit indeed. (The install was a little tricky the first time but after repairing my flat at home it went on quite easily). I flatted before the top of Fifth Horseman on Cypress (the other one was lower down but also on Cypress) and decided to ride it out and I was a little shocked by what I discovered; my riding ability was virtually unaffected. I was a little leery of the rear sliding out when cornering hard, but this never occurred and the ride was near perfect. I rode rock faces, drops, berms, chutes and doubles without a second thought, all the while knowing my tire and rim were well protected.

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They can indeed double as pool noodles when the weather gets better.

Not having to worry at all about flats is a revelation, and it makes riding without a pack an almost automatic choice. You could carry a pump or cartridge and some bacon strips if you like, but they are actually optional. A pair of descents isn't enough evidence to send you into the South Chilcotins without any tubes, but if my experience on Fifth Horseman is any indication, I wouldn't be surprised if that becomes commonplace in the future.

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There is nothing fancy about Octa Mousse, and the price is reasonable as well.

In terms of my priorities, Octamousse scores well in weight (110-150 grams in 29" size), traction and sidewall support, rim protection, and it knocks it completely out of the park in terms of run flat performance. A bonus is that, unlike some other inserts, Octa Mousse doesn't seem to sustain visible wounds on impact like some others. When I've pulled them out after several months use, they look brand new.

An exciting element for me is that I believe Octa Mousse could be even better with a vertically asymmetrical shape that nests in the rim bed, supports the sidewalls more actively, and balances traction and ride quality on the portion closest to the tire. It seems to me airless tires, or mostly airless, aren't far away at all, which sounds like a beautiful thing.

Octa Mousse ships from Spain and each insert costs either €42 or €44. Octa Mousse also makes compatible valves.

Click here for more info.


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DryGuy Force Dry DX

DryGuy Force Dry DX - DENIZ MERDANO

Close your eyes and imagine you are standing on the edge of the Mediterranean.

The water is warm, and the sand is soft. The sensation of all the money you hemorrhaged to get to this very moment fades away in the crashing waves. There is a slight breeze and you can feel the epidermis-cooking power of the sun.

Slowly open your eyes to the reality, that it is actually early winter in the Pacific North. You are standing in water, alright but it's a creek that appeared spontaneously in the middle of the forest during a recent “atmospheric event” strangely called the “river” or the “bomb”. It is just above freezing, and perhaps you are the coldest you'll ever be. The money you spent to get to this moment is no different to the Mediterranean one you just dreamt about. The bike, the gear and the time you put into being in the mountains here in this part of the world.

When the weather is this miserable, I tend to wear my most robust gear. Generally it’s a shuttle event and multi layers do not hinder my downhill performance. Shimano MW5 winter shoes, NF Dp3 pants and Gore GTX trail pants on top of those. Wool layers, jerseys and GoreTex outershell with 100% Brisker Hydromatic waterproof gloves. It is so wet in fact that most of this gear gets saturated by the end of the ride.

The DRYGUY FORCE DRY DX has been doing and excellent job at making sure the same gear is ready to rock the next day without much fuss. Force Dry Dx has a gentle airflow with a warm(100°F) 37°c or ambient temperature setting. The dryer turns on with a timer dial which allows you to turn it on and go on with your day without the worry of leaving it on. 180 minutes is usually enough to get the boots and soaked gloves dry in a warm house. I will sometimes set it for another 180 to make sure they are in fact dry.

There is also an optional helmet stand to dry your helmet but I haven't tried this option. This contraption will accompany me on roadtrips as I can plug it into the inverter of my van for dry shoes on the go. Unit draws 230W of power.

It will work with ski or snowboard boots and gloves too

90 USD-CAD for this simple contraption is worth every penny in my opinion. It is available through QBP, so most bike shops will be able to get you one too.

Force Dry DX


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180 minute timer and heating switch

100% Brisker Gloves - Andrew Major

To steal from Winston Churchill, the 100% Briskers are the worst winter gloves for West Coast mountain biking except for all the others that I've tried. I've tried a lot of them. I'll admit I didn't think much of the soft-shell Briskers to look at them. I only purchased a pair because they came highly recommended by a couple of my friends who routinely have temperature tantrums in fall, winter, spring, and occasionally the Juneuary portion of summer. Then, they made enough of a difference for me, without feeling massively different from the thin gloves I prefer, that I purchased a pair for my then six-year-old. She raves about them.

The Briskers wouldn't be my choice for anywhere that it actually gets cold but for most of the year locally the trade-off of having fingers that aren't uncomfortably thick and a thin palm that doesn't take away from bike handling is worth a trade-off in total warmth. I think of them as a perfectly imperfect compromise. They're my go-to gloves for hiking, mountain biking, commuting, and fall and winter chores outside - like shoveling the sidewalks in our neighbourhood.

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The backings are insulated without being awkwardly thick. I love that the fingers aren't overly fat, even for my seven-year-old. Photo: AM

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My old grey Brisker's have a couple or few seasons of use in them now. Not one blown stitch. Lots of trips through the wash. Photo: JacAttack

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Fresh Briskers for the whole family this season. At 35 USD | 50 CAD they deliver a high-value combination of comfort and durability. Photo: AM

When folks ask me if I like them I always say no but I also highly recommend them. I wish they were a bit warmer without being a millimeter thicker, but that isn't going to happen. I wish the medium was ever so slightly bigger or the large was a bit smaller. This is an issue for me with many gloves, with the Briskers I wear a medium as they do bag out a little after a few rides. I wish they were more weatherproof but on that note please don't bring up the 100% Hydromatic or the Hydromatic Brisker unless you've actually tried them. Not 'tried them on' but actually tried them in the wild. The standard Brisker is certainly the only model I'm recommending here, and it's also the only model available in kids' and womens' sizing.

I'd love to see glove companies drop sex-specific header cards - and a bunch of SKUs - by just creating a size continuum based on actual measurements. But, in the meantime, one note on sizing is that a large women's glove corresponds directly to a small men's glove on 100%'s sizing charts. The XL women's matches the medium and so on. So, if you're a woman who would like a slew more colour options, who's lucky enough to wear a large glove, and you don't care what sex is on the header card, try on the mens' version as well.

These gloves are fresh in my mind because it's that time of year and I just bought a fresh round for the family. In my case, I wanted a second pair for when mine soak through on rides. In my daughter's case, I wanted to have the next size on tap. In my wife's case, well, fair is fair. I go through a fair few lighter gloves a year but I've had good results from 100% in general and my experience with the 100% Briskers has been that they're a great investment.

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Comments

Vikb
+4 domdb Zero-cool Deniz Merdano Mammal
Vik Banerjee  - Nov. 24, 2021, 6:50 a.m.

At some point you could just skip the air inside the tires and flats wouldn't even be on your mind since you started riding that way!

We've had a version of that shoe/glove dryer in the house for years. Works great. Gets used after every winter ride. I really should buy a second one so we can stop fighting about who gets to dry their gear first.

Reply

SebO
+5 Vik Banerjee Deniz Merdano tashi hotlapz Greg Bly
SebO  - Nov. 24, 2021, 7:21 a.m.

The boot dryer is available at CdnTire. 90$cad. And on special a couple times a year. It's the exact same machine with another colour and branding: https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/maxxdry-heavy-duty-forced-air-shoe-glove-dryer-0875295p.html#srp

If you have kids and live in a snowy environment, it's a game changer also!

Reply

denomerdano
0
Deniz Merdano  - Nov. 24, 2021, 8:43 a.m.

Great to see so many alternatives to the boot dryer.

I can't live without it.

Reply

vantanclub
0
vantanclub  - Dec. 2, 2021, 3:40 p.m.

I saw the Dryguy dryers at Nanaimo Costco for $54.00 (branded as little hotties and dryguy, same machine though).

Reply

ehfour
+2 cbamos Mammal
ehfour  - Nov. 24, 2021, 8:27 a.m.

Reply

cbamos
+2 Deniz Merdano Cam McRae
cbamos  - Nov. 24, 2021, 8:38 a.m.

I use the Coscto version after every ride, all year, to dry out shoes and (rinsed) helmet. I believe I paid $45 USD. Just another enticing reason to come back to Whatcom County dear friends to the north! Our Costco and Trader Joe's aisles have felt empty without you.

Reply

denomerdano
+1 Cam McRae
Deniz Merdano  - Nov. 24, 2021, 8:44 a.m.

You had me at Trader Joe's

Reply

mammal
0
Mammal  - Nov. 24, 2021, 9:32 a.m.

Got mine for about $35 CAD on sale. Best purchase of the 3-year span since then.

Reply

tashi
+1 Cam McRae
tashi  - Nov. 24, 2021, 9:25 a.m.

Count me as another big fan of the boot dryer. 

When I was on the tools it actually made me a noticeably happier person. Having to wear wet boots at work AND on the trail is just a bit much, even for hardass framer formers.

Reply

mammal
+2 Karl Fitzpatrick Andrew Major
Mammal  - Nov. 24, 2021, 9:31 a.m.

I LOVE Briskers and swear by them for offseason riding.

I LOVE my Costco version of the boot dryer. Got it for $35 a couple years ago, and it's everything I could want it to be.

Octomousse looks promising, anyone know if they are available locally?

Reply

GiveitsomeWelly
+3 Mammal Andrew Major Lu Kz
Karl Fitzpatrick  - Nov. 24, 2021, 11:14 a.m.

Briskers = AMAZING. Even for this guy who doesn't usually ride with gloves. 

Inserts are still expensive. Rimpacts are an excellent price however I haven't heard how they measure up for run flat. Obviously, they're a lower profile than the Octomousse but can anyone offer comparisons?

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - Nov. 25, 2021, 11:28 p.m.

Unfortunately I didn't run Rimpacts flat, but I wasn't very impressed in other areas.

Reply

Eula
0
Eula  - Nov. 26, 2021, 10:45 a.m.

Cam did u run rimpact pros or standard rimpacts?

Reply

nickbb10
+2 Andrew Major JVP
Nick Black  - Nov. 24, 2021, 11:49 a.m.

The hydromatic briskers are disgustingly sweaty, do not buy!

Reply

FlipFantasia
0
Todd Hellinga  - Nov. 24, 2021, 11:56 a.m.

put me in the Briskers are overrated camp. Did not perform as advertised or hoped for....although may have been the hydromatics now that I think about it, regardless, major disappointment.

Reply

mammal
+1 Andrew Major
Mammal  - Nov. 24, 2021, 12:32 p.m.

Yeah, you need the regular kind. They're amazing as long as the temp is too cold for regular gloves.

Reply

cxfahrer
0
cxfahrer  - Nov. 24, 2021, 11:11 p.m.

Briskers are just fine between. +5°C and +9°C. At around zero, your fingers will be freezing. Around 10°C, they are too warm. When it is raining, they soak. The fit is awful, got a pair in XXL and had to sew it to fit. They are short and wide.

But I agree, all other options are even worse in some way or other. Just bought another pair for 18€...

Reply

Lornholio
+3 AndrewR Andrew Major Todd Hellinga
Lornholio  - Nov. 25, 2021, 7:36 a.m.

Ditto on the short & wide Brisker fit.  My hands are an XXL length and L width and I usually compromise with XL in most gloves.  Briskers were way too short.  Leatt 2.0 SubZero fits a lot better, still not perfect for me but nothing except the old Specialized Lodown XXL has been.

Reply

andrewbikeguide
0
AndrewR  - Nov. 28, 2021, 12:57 p.m.

Large hands and medium length fingers so sounds as though their weird fit might just work for me.

Don't wear gloves until 0ºC anyway so these might fill the gap between 'hands' weather and poggies weather.

Thanks

Reply

mammal
0
Mammal  - Nov. 25, 2021, 7:57 a.m.

Huh, interesting. They fit me great and I find they're warm down to just below zero (when my fork gets too sticky and I probably shouldn't be riding anyway).

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Todd Hellinga
Andrew Major  - Nov. 24, 2021, 2:43 p.m.

I, absolutely, am not recommending the Hydromatic or Hydromatic Brisker models. I noted that quite purposely in the text. Actually I can’t recommend any glove that claims to be weatherproof for that matter.

I haven’t come across a better thin-palmed cold weather glove than the standard Brisker and know enough ardent fans, that I’d be surprised if it’s the standard Brisker you tried and despised Todd.

Reply

denomerdano
0
Deniz Merdano  - Nov. 24, 2021, 3:33 p.m.

Brisker family definitely have a confusing naming structure. 

I LOVE my Briskers and the Brisker Hydromatics are amazing for wet commuting or downpour rides.

Reply

FlipFantasia
+2 kmag76 AndrewR
Todd Hellinga  - Nov. 24, 2021, 9:56 p.m.

hydromatic confirmed, and the palm material started peeling off relatively quickly too. I've been using the Fox Ranger Water gloves for the past year or so and I really like them, thin palm

Reply

andrewbikeguide
0
AndrewR  - Nov. 28, 2021, 12:58 p.m.

@TH - how warm are they please?

Reply

FlipFantasia
0
Todd Hellinga  - Nov. 29, 2021, 12:02 p.m.

I've been using them in the 5C +/- a few degrees and they've been suitable, definitely get a bit warm closer to 10C and if I was more in the cold 0C range they might be lacking a bit. Wore them hiking in 3C and heavy rain on Saturday and they soaked out after about 2 hours, but my hands didn't get super cold.

Reply

mammal
0
Mammal  - Nov. 25, 2021, 7:58 a.m.

100%;) It's the balance of warmth and thin-enough palm that really hit the nail on the head for cold mtb rides.

Reply

oldmanbike
0
OldManBike  - Nov. 25, 2021, 8:07 p.m.

I hate confessing my vanity but LORD those Briskers are ugly.

Reply

ChazzMichaelMichaels
0
ChazzMichaelMichaels  - Nov. 24, 2021, 1:11 p.m.

Inserts fundamentally annoy me. There is either something wrong with tyre or rim tech. We shouldn't need them. I can ride at places where I have low pressures around 20psi, or some places where I need over 30psi, (Alexandra, South Island, New Zealand). 

I have tyres in Super Tacky compound for high grip (no pedaling) days but too be fair, I don't ride in wet or slippery conditions too often which seems fairly typical of parts of Canada/USA. Should we all be on DH casings at 30psi? Are tyres simply too light?

Reply

mammal
+2 Vik Banerjee taprider
Mammal  - Nov. 24, 2021, 1:56 p.m.

I think the answer is "there are times and a places for running inserts".

Reply

Vikb
0
Vik Banerjee  - Nov. 24, 2021, 2:58 p.m.

Yup. I haven't put them in my FS bike and ride just fine in BC at 18-20psi front & 20-22psi rear. On the rear of my hardtail the Tannus Tubeless insert is a game changer. I may try Tannus front and rear on my FS bike when I go to Moab next. A lot more square edge rocks there + high speeds.

Reply

mammal
0
Mammal  - Nov. 25, 2021, 8:02 a.m.

Finally, someone who runs similarly low pressures to me. I'm usually 19/21 on the full suspension bike in the summer (no inserts), and 17/18.5 on the hard tail with Tannus. And that's with EXO casings. I'm always about 5psi lower than any given riding buddy, and it's always been this way.

Reply

FlipFantasia
+1 Mammal
Todd Hellinga  - Nov. 25, 2021, 8:14 a.m.

Yup, I'm in the 20ish range on my FS, usually start at 22 or so and adjust down on the trail as per conditions, exo+ dhr2 rear, exo dhf front, no inserts, maybe one puncture per year due to sharp rock impact

Reply

andrewbikeguide
0
AndrewR  - Nov. 28, 2021, 1:08 p.m.

I tried the Tannus Tubelss insert with my We Are One wheels on my Sight and Optic and quite frankly they did not do anything to allow a lower tyre pressure (20-22 psi front and 22-25 psi rear Michelin WILD Enduro GUM-X tyres) so they got ditched as 'not worth the additional pfaff' for no real reward (* for my riding style and terrain).

I have installed them on my e-Sight (I know I know!) as it came with a DT Swiss Hybrid 1700 wheel set and I don't love the e-Sight enough to warrant another set of We Are One wheels.

(the e-Sight is a necessary work related 'evil' in my life - I get quite a few e-bike trail guiding/ coaching days through the summer and loath riding a loaner bike, that is off in the set up/ fit, even more than I generally loath the idea of owning an e-bike).

I see the Tannus as an effective way to preserve an alloy rim on a heavy-as e-bike, especially whilst I learn to ride it properly ie timing of pops, manuals and jumps etc. I can see a few heavy hits in its future and I had the Tannus Tubeless sitting in the workshop as I hadn't got around to selling them yet.

I also dabbled with Cushcore XC and they did allow a lowering of 1-2 psi and provided better run-flat side wall support, not as much as the Pro version but the XC version was only 9/10 on the hernia install and pfaff scale versus the 10/10 on the scale for the Pro (including using a tyre fitting trash can and the Cushcore tyre lever/ threatener!). 

By comparison the Tannus Tubeless are about a 5/10 on the same scale.

The Tannus do scar up from use so I expect that they have an obvious fatigue life.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
+1 Mammal
Cam McRae  - Nov. 25, 2021, 11:32 p.m.

There are certainly things that inserts can accomplish that tires filled with just sealant cannot, like run flat performance. That said, the advantages are much less obvious in summer conditions and I found myself running without them much of the warm season.

Reply

kmag76
0
kmag76  - Nov. 25, 2021, 5:16 p.m.

Personally I prefer these Pearlizumi thermal gloves over the briskers, ...Maybe its just my old hands needing a little more warmth. 

I find they work great from 0°c - 10°c

https://pearlizumi.ca/products/thermal-glove-14142008?variant=40428888817861

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