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Swapping Bladders For Back Protectors - Dec. 7, 2021, 3:55 a.m.

I've had the original Camelbak Kudu 18 in the past and currently use the EVOC Tail Pro 10 you've mentioned is on your Christmas list. The EVOC protector definitely has a wider and slightly longer coverage than the Cambelbak and also seems to sit more squarely and is held in place better by the pack's better straps. It's less comfortable off the bike as the protector is much more rigid, but it is very comfortable in a riding position and also a lot lighter.

I've had one big off while using the EVOC and it did save me from a potentially more severe injury. The protector (which uses similar material to a helmet and is designed to be a one-hit-only deal) was dented right in the centre, which would have been my spine. EVOC provide free replacements of the protector, which I received within days from the distributer.

So all in all, I thoroughly recommend the EVOC for maximum coverage and I think the more rigid protector is also more likely to help in an over-extension type situation than a fully flexible protector would (although I have nothing to back that up).

Michelin Wild Enduro Tire Review - Nov. 18, 2020, 7:14 a.m.

I bought the Front/Gum-X option for a lighter weight winter setup, but puntured on the second ride (the dreaded 'just above the bead' type cut that's pretty much a tyre write-off). Wasn't running an insert since the idea was to save weight, but in hindsight I really should have!

Back to the heavy but bombproof MM SG in Ultra Soft until the spring...

Over-Forking The North Shore - May 22, 2020, 6:39 a.m.

I started with a 2008 Commencal Meta 5.5 over-forked with a 160mm 36 Talas. Since then there's been a 2008 Demo 7 with a 888, a 2011 Mondraker Dune with a 170mm XFusion Vengeance, a 2016 Whyte G-160 with a 170mm Lyrik and now a 2017 Firebird with a Smashpotted 180mm 36. Every single one was an improvement over stock.

Push Industries ACS3 Coil Conversion Review - July 4, 2018, 4:01 a.m.

Reading between the lines, it seems the coil conversion wasn't the element that made the forks great in the end, it was some custom tuning and ongoing damper tweaking - would you say with the damper tune and settings you ended up with, that the fork would feel any worse if you'd stuck with air?

Interestingly, after extensive tuning with a Shockwiz on my 2018 36 RC2, I ended up at HSC completed open and LSC at least 75% closed, which ties in with where you ended up on the damper side.

- Sept. 22, 2017, 5:17 a.m.

- Sept. 22, 2017, 5:06 a.m.

Definitely, my local terrain is pure nasty rock and a real mix of flat out, wide open descents, and super steep, chunky, slower tech. Now I have it dialled, it feels great on everything. I can see how you'd end up going the wrong way though, as it is a linear design which encourages you to dial in more HSC. I can say without doubt the way to go is adding volume spacers and using minimal HSC. My initial rides with 5-6 clicks HSC did result in choking on chunky terrain.

As far as the stiffness goes, I'd judge it to be in between my last two bikes (I change bikes quite regularly). My last ride was a Whyte G-160 which was extremely stiff, but also very heavy. My ride before that was a 2015 Alu Reign, which was plenty stiff enough but did flex more than the Firebird. Taking my experience and every other review I've read, I'm sure the Reynolds wheels are the culprit here.

- Sept. 18, 2017, 9:20 a.m.

Dirt put the flex they felt in the back end of the Firebird down to the Reynolds wheels as well. I'm around 175lbs kitted up and can't say I can feel any flex in my FB shod with custom wheels using Flow Mk3s.

Also check out the last page of the thread 'New Firebird!!!' on MTBR. I've had the same experience as a couple of others on there tuning in the Float X2 - adding a 2 or 3 volume spacers, running 30% sag and backing off the HSC to 1 or 2 clicks from open results in a super plush yet still responsive ride that only bottoms out on the biggest of hits and does so with no harshness.

Admittedly, it has taken a lot of time and patience getting to this happy place with the rear suspension, but now I have, it's the best bike I've owned. Just my 2 cents!

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