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9point8 make the Stout stem with graphics that incorporate the pre-load cap. It is also a well made and aesthetically pleasing stem with either excellent quality steel bolts or there own Ti (black coated) bolt kit.
The We Are One Da Package (bar and stem) is aesthetically pleasing and Canadian made.
There are lots of little touches that make a practical as well as an aesthetic difference. Coloured valves, for example, are not just so they match the theme of the bike (although this is obviously important) but they catch the eye more easily, compared to a black valve, and save time when looking for the valve for tyre pressure checks and adjustments.
The same reason that aligning tyre hot patches to the valve is worth the extra 20 seconds at the fit stage to saves minutes over the life of the tyre.
Reference wheels, after having to run my purple Hydra/ We Are One wheel set on my Sight (due to a pawl issue with my blue hydra/ We Are One wheel set) I have decided that the future shall be all about purple hubs. It was the ano colour of my first year of racing (1993) and I have decided that it goes well with every colour that I am likely to have on my bike (British Racing green, black, raw titanium or purple frames; blue, gold, black or purple ano parts).
I think it is also important to support the smaller Canadian and North American companies that create these parts. I feel that it is my duty as a Canadian mountain biker to buy ano build parts from North Shore Billet and other creators.
And whilst I agree that there is a place for $20 steel chainrings (SRAM make a direct mount which is 1/6th the price of the alloy one and will probably last 4-5 times as long) there is some artistry in the CNC loveliness of the Wolftooth stainless chain ring that brings a smile to my face when I see it on my Optic (on the CAMO spider - black, mounted with Gold bolts (Wolftooth do not do them in purple for some strange reason, on my beautiful lifetime eeWings cranks) already to pull that lovely rainbow coated chain for another awesome ride*.
We have bikes that are a central element of our lives and it is okay that we treat them like the critical equipment that they are.
*every ride is awesome, even on the valley trail to do the recycling or collect the post.
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