Preach it brother! The lack of that option has had me roll my eyes at new offerings from others (Schwalbe, Conti, etc.) and stick with my EXO+ MG Assegai front and DD MT DHR (or EXO+ with insert) rear. Yeah they're pricey, but that's the best setup for my trails.
I've been using mini-GPS computers for the last couple years, and currently have the Roam v2. The v2 is basically the same as the v1, but with a color screen and slightly smaller form factor while maintaining the same screen size. It's small enough that you can use it with a K-Edge stem spacer mount without blocking a steerer tube mounted OneUp EDC. It charges via USB-C.
A few other nice things about using a mini computer like this that weren't mentioned in the article:
* if you're running it in the backcountry as a map, you can keep your phone shut off or in airplane mode, preserving your phone's batteries for emergencies. (You can pre-cache a map before leaving home.)
* you can see text message previews on the screen. Nice for knowing when your late buddy finally arrived, or when your wife is wondering when the hell you're coming home to take over watching the kid.
* you can go full nerd mode and see what gear your AXS is in, or your current heart rate if you're someone with a medical condition
Also, it doesn't matter if the location tracking isn't super accurate in terms of emergencies, as long as they can tell what trail you're on and rough location. I know a guy who knocked himself out a few years back but thankfully was running Strava Beacon. His wife noticed he was a half hour late and hadn't moved in an hour, so she called one of his friends who knew the trails. They hiked up and found him with a bad concussion.
Haha, yeah, I told my boy, "I wish my bike shoes had velcro like yours!" I've noticed that once I got these for him, his feet started staying planted on the Radar pedals a lot better compared to his normal running shoes.
At the advice of the local kids' bike coach, I removed all but the corner pins on the pedals for now, and put double washers on the remaining pins. He said for early riders (mine is 5), it's important to allow them to be able to reposition their foot, more than having absolute grip. When they're just starting out, they will seldom get their foot in the right position first try. This seems to be working pretty well so far. He can move his foot around to the right spot when he wants, but once he's there his foot stays put.
Shortly after I started riding (several years ago), I grabbed one of the first convertible helmets (Bell Super 2R) for all the reasons you listed. I then upgraded to the Leatt because it fit my head better. But I got sick of dealing with the removable chinbar, and when the TLD Stage came out, I got that to replace them. The Stage is lighter than the convertibles, and breathes well. I only wear a pack (and even then, just a Camelbak Chase vest) for very long rides, so stashing a chinbar is just an awkward chore. If I've brought the Stage and am climbing, I just hang it off the handlebar since 98% of climbing I do is on fire roads.
But I also own a Fox Speedframe Pro and now a TLD A3. I wear them for most of my rides. Like many have said, it's about risk assessment. If I'm riding flow trails that I've ridden hundreds of times before, I judge the A3 to be plenty protective. If I'm riding rocky chunk, progressing on jumps, or doing anything shuttled, I wear the Stage. Hell, even riding pumptrack I take the Stage. When I'm regaining confidence after having a rough crash, I wear the Stage more. The risk assessment of which helmet to wear does seem to have a little bit of an affect on my riding: I might focus more on doing lots of laps and goofing around with the half shell, and more inclined to go as fast as possible or try newer jumps with the full face. But on the flip side, I can also wear down mental blocks on certain features by consciously choosing the half shell - I know it's really safe enough to ride with it, so just commit and ride!
FWIW, I also bought my son a Fox Proframe XS at age 4 (the swappable pads allow it to grow with the kid) as his only helmet. I'll probably make him wear light full faces until he gets much older and I feel confident in his own risk assessment.
I hate the officially stated ideas for Super Boost like most people. I don't want 3" tires, super short chainstays, etc. But the way WAO is using it (with regular Boost crank) is a compelling argument. We're not roadies, most of our revolutions are on the largest 1/3 of the cassette, especially the biggest cog. We have data to back that up from the AXS app. So it stands to reason that the only reason we should be messing with rear hubs at this point is to optimize chainlines, not making it worse (55mm? WTF).
My GG bike is spec'd with the hub dished 3mm to drive side, with similar intent. I can tell you from first hand experience, it dramatically reduces the wear in the big cogs. On my X01 cassette with about 1,000 miles on it, most of the wear on the anodizing is about 2/3 of the way down the cassette. Unfortunately, while this is a good engineering idea, they've gone to standard Boost chainline for the fully Revved carbon rear end, presumably to let people let off-the-shelf wheelsets. I get that reason for selling more bikes to the lowest common denominator, but it only took my mechanic about 15 minutes to redish my old wheels into the GG frame.
I grew up in BC and the Seattle suburbs, and now live in the Bay Area, and am also guilty of longing for The Real Stuff. Websites like this one certainly do nothing but fuel my nostalgia from growing up.
But I'm certain my memory is selectively excluding the 9 months of the year when it drizzled, the moss that grew on my fucking car, the 6 hours (if it wasn't cloudy) of daylight in the winter months, and how awful it was for the 1 week a year when it actually did get hot in August.
Of course, it was only 45 minutes to go skiing (instead of 4.5 hours), we never locked our doors, my childhood home cost $80,000 instead of more than 10 times that, and only weirdos sent their kids to private schools.
The total pin height remains the same with the grub screws. I think the difference is the conical part on the machined pins kind of pushes up on the rubber, and is also more slippery than cheaper black iron hex pins (like that on most pedals).
I know you like shoes that have more "medium sticky" rubber vs. Stealth. So I think it might be the stiffer rubber grabbing onto the sharper pins. And super soft sticky rubber like Stealth or SlipKnot will probably favor coarser pins/grubs.
I found the grip on the Daemons with the stock pins to be a little bit less than Tenet Occults (also with pins), although the visual quality is hands down better, and the sealing/internals seems better also. I swapped the fancy machined pins for some grub screws, and they're now otherworldly grippy. So the Occults live on on my DJ, and the Daemons get the place of honor on my MTB.
YMMV, just my personal opinion, etc. I'll take all the shoe pedal grip I can get, then ask if there's still a little bit more. My comparison is using Freerider Pros and Impact Pros in warm, dry conditions.
Yeah, even in MG, a DD Dissector pedals a lot better than a MT DHR. Where I live, the ground is a lot harder, so I find the brake knobs on a DHR actually wear out faster than the Dissector too, although the smaller Dissector side knobs start undercutting a lot earlier.
On one YouTube channel I watch occasionally (Send 'er Buds), the two guys running the channel broke 2 Enduro frames each at the head tube, and have moved on to a Spire & Patrol because they got tired of replacing the frames. Looks like they race a bit and ride park with them.
I've been very pleased with my Hydras, having previously owned DT 240s & 350s. I love how easy it is to service the Hydras, and how they don't require a ton of expensive special tools (like DT). The bearing life does seem to be only on par with frame bearings, but they're super easy to replace. I also wash my bike too much, which kills bearings.
I don't care about the extra engagement for riding tech, I just like it because there's not a bit of slack followed by a hard thunk when riding chunky sections (like DT, even with 54t). I rode my buddy's bike which had new DT 240 EXP hubs back to back with my bike with Hydras, and the kickback from the DT hub was really unpleasant.
I thought about silent hubs like P321 or Onyx, but passed due to weight and the fact that I ride on a lot of multi-use trails, so having a noisy hub is a benefit.
I don't even use it for trails. Where we live is so hilly that just riding to the park involves hills so steep that he can barely walk up them, let alone pedal a single speed up them. My wife can't make it up them on her 7 speed townie either. I was having a hard time motivating him to get him to ride his bike at all, so a tow rope is a small price to pay for getting him out on the bike and slowly working on basics. When he's big enough for a bike with gears, then we can start having conversations about "building character" (earning your turns).
I surprised my 5yo with a set of those Chromag Radar pedals in his favorite color (red) for his birthday, in addition to the requested Legos. He actually really liked them, and had fun installing them on his bike with me. Yeah they're pricy, but they'll be good for at least another 5 years until he starts wearing adult sized shoes.
I'd also recommend a Towhee pulling strap for any little bikers if you don't already have one. Think how much you'd like having someone pull YOU up the hills! My kid loves that.
I've seen other people complaining about this issue on MTBR & TGR. I'm certain the tire beads are fully seated (have pulled valve core out and visually inspected the bead). My guess is that the insert itself is not evenly aligned in the center channel, or has a crease in it from packaging that causes it to push on the sidewall in a particular location. I'm going to try removing the tire tonight without disturbing the insert to see if I can tell what's going on.
I'm running Union rims and it's a brand new Maxxis Dissector DD, so nothing unusual. Same rim and I think a DHR DD when I had this happen in the spring. That time, I seated the insert first, then the tire over it one side at a time like you would Cushcore.
My worst purchase, twice, has been Tannus inserts. I just gave it a second chance last night, and both times the stupid thing causes a wobble in the tire. I know the tire's fine because it's brand new and I test mounted it before I put the insert on. The first time I tried it this spring, I gave it away and the person who took it said the same thing happened. I cannot understand how Tannus gets such good reviews. It's harder to install than Cushcore, and won't seat straight. I now hate Tannus with a fiery passion.