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2022 Norco Range C1 - Nov. 12, 2021, 9:06 a.m.

I really prefer the engagement feeling of an Onyx over anything else.  That has honestly been one of the biggest drawbacks of riding them, is that I pretty much HATE the feeling and the sound of anything else now at this point, and I have to swallow that $$$ whenever looking at building a new wheelset.  They are not cheap hubs but they have all represented a solid long-term investment to me because they provide the dead solid durability and the performance/ride feel I really honestly love.  If you have an opportunity, give one of the classics a try with the steel freehub body. 

I remember when I saw in the announcements that they were speccing Onyx and WA1 as stock on this bike I was stoked, but then was concerned when I saw it was the Vesper.  I don´t think that was the greatest choice, but I understand the trappings of wanting to offer the latest and lightest version.

2022 Norco Range C1 - Nov. 12, 2021, 6:11 a.m.

I have more Onyx hubs than I care to say, but I don´t have any Vespers (actually I put one on my wife´s road bike) and I dont use any of the alloy freehub bodies after having a few issues with those, including ripping one clean in half.  Classic, and Stainless freehub body all the way.  Very durable, and a better design on the preload adjustment, but if there were one/two things I would change it would be to just get rid of the bearing preload adjustment all together, and use press-on end caps.  The classic hubs also use two full rows of sprags, so the engagement is Very solid without the clang of a normal pawl/star-ratchet setup.

The Gear We Live In - Nov. 2, 2021, 2 p.m.

Yeah they are just the right combination of water proof´ish in my opinion.  Keep the DWR fresh on them and they do a pretty damn admirable job of truly fending off quite a bit of water, but more important to me is that you dont immediately boil in them and remain quite comfortable in the rain/cold/wet while wearing them. If it´s really raining out, your skin and your baselayers/undergarments are going to get damp no matter what, but the outerlayer is going to make all the difference in how comfortable and how dry you Feel.  The Agent pants dont soak out and start feeling heavy and wet, and they also dont leave you feeling like a lobtser being boiled alive if its cool enough outside for them in the first place.  But you definitely aint gonna be dry-suit dry underneath if thats the expectation.  haha

The Gear We Live In - Nov. 2, 2021, 11:20 a.m.

Continued:

- NF DP3 pants. So comfortable. I always look forward to wearing these once the temps dip enough or the riding intentions warrant them while its still warm outside. 

- NF Dan Merino short sleeve and long sleeve wool shirts. Excellent albeit expensive, but worth it. Wear on and off the bike and both just make a great option for whatever. 

- Raceface Agent pants. Waterproof enough, has some stretch, and most importantly doesn't ride like your typical waterproof type material. Comfortable in the rain but breathable enough that I can still wear these even if its just a wheelspray/splash kind of cold and wet ride. 

- 5.10 Freerider EPS mid/high-top shoes. I use these pretty much all year. Sole is just the right combination of stiff enough/soft enough/thin enough for my preferences and the shoe can cover all but the absolute coldest temperatures and is actually fine for me even in the hottest. 

- 100% Brisker gloves. Cheap, breathable for being windproof´ish, thin palm, warm enough and can also made quite a bit warmer with thin liner gloves.  

- Answer Sleestak gloves. Cheap, WARM, thin palm, packable, breathable. Very natural feeling glove for the full cold deep winter. Awesomely warm for how minimal they feel and have been my best solution for warm hands with good dexterity in real cold conditions.  

-Blackstrap, The Danna. Its essentially a velcro backed bandana. Can cover enough of my neck when its fully fíng cold out without causing me to overheat, and easy to take on and off and adjust perfectly. 

- Gore windproof skull cap, and gore windproof headband.  Super thin and right combination of breathable and warm and windproof for the cold and the cold cold. 

I could keep going but these are most all of the pieces that I would hate to live without, especially the ones I use during the cold dark wet and snowy season.

The Gear We Live In - Nov. 2, 2021, 11:18 a.m.

When I think of my absolute go-to legendary gear, my mind tends to go to the stuff thats both lasted, and keeps me riding when the weather and temperature would like me to think otherwise, and I think those types of pieces make or break your comfort and riding experience in the more challenging weather conditions. Those are often the hardest pieces to find, and take more experimentation to work out what works best for all of your riding preferences and requirements. They can also take years to acquire all the perfect pieces and work out how to pair them all to form a versatile and effective kit that keeps you riding And smiling all year long. This list is representative both of my tried and never think twice good weather gear, and my SO HAPPY to have found them pieces of gear cause they keep me comfortable through the cold dark and sometimes wet misery weather without becoming a boiled sweaty wet then frozen stew.  

- Leatt 6.0 knee pads have amazed me for their total comfort and pedalability for a very safe feeling pad, and the airflex proś have also been an awesome pad for a lighter weight/warmer weather option

- Leatt 3.0 and 4.0 shorts. Great price, awesome fit, great durability. I would like a thigh pocket on both the right and left leg in the 3.0, same like in the 4.0. 

- Leatt 5.0 jersey. Love the overall fit, and the windproof front and breathable back. Very adaptable layer once the weather gets cold enough and is usually my go to mid and/or outer layer throughout the fall/winter/spring.  

- Fox Racing Defend Fire Alpha Vest. This thing has been an Absolute favorite and I would have a hard time finding a suitable replacement if I lost it. Breathable and flexible softshell type fabric with a very effective insulation up front, and max breath-ability on the back.  

- Fox Defend wind vest and jacket. Super light and packable with breathable backs, and I´m always more comfortable having one of these along even if they don´t get called to action. 

- 7mesh Re:Gen gore active jacket. Got on closeout. My go to rain jacket layer for cold temps. Love wearing this jacket but not sure I would pay full retail for it if I ever lost or fully destroyed it, but its more than just good. I´d probably look for an even more breathable neoshell layer next but those are too much $$$ for how infrequently I find myself riding in full on rain.

The Worst Purchase - Oct. 7, 2021, 9:28 a.m.

I've actually had quite good luck with the tubed Tannus Armor on mine, and my sons DH bikes.  It's been very set and forget and has as good puncture resistance as I could possibly ask for within reason.  They're heavy, but I just want to ride DH with as little concern for puncturing as possible.  And they work well enough as a run flat to get down the mountain without breaking your rims, and are a quick and clean tube change once you get to the bottom.  I'm wondering if you kept pinching the tube during the install, as I have found the install process to be quite difficult since its so much material to cram into the center channel and keep organized, and also avoid pinching the tube when you are getting the last few inches of tire-bead back over the rim.  I have to first mount the tire either tubeless or tubed without the insert to get the bead seated, break the bead off one side, and then install the insert and tube.  That way I have the most amount of room possible for the insert and tube, and most importantly room to get the tire bead into the channel and over the last few inches rim without resorting to going full ape with the tire levers.

AXS Eagle Economics - Sept. 27, 2021, 10:48 a.m.

I've had nothing but great experience with the Sunrace cassettes and actually found the shift quality to be as good or better than 11speed Shimano XT.  Currently have a build in the works and am going to use the Sunrace 11speed 11-50T cassette with a 11 speed XT shifter and a 12 speed xt derailleur.

AXS Eagle Economics - Sept. 24, 2021, 9:35 a.m.

Tri bikes (the horror) should be MANDATORY wireless only.   Road in general is a great place for wireless drivetrains.

Knolly Tyaughton Steel & Titanium Hardtails - Sept. 21, 2021, 7:58 a.m.

It's the next step in the illogical evolution of the ever coveted drop to flat.  The dorp to falt just takes it that much further and helps put to words something that is so completely awkward and harsh that it defies all common convention.  The high jank holy grail.

2022 Canyon Lux Trail - Aug. 20, 2021, 11:13 a.m.

It is great that they fit two bottles in there, but it's more that the seat tube mast is unnecessarily long and inhibits the dropper length.  Especially considering that the seat tube looks like it can accept a very long insertion depth.  I just feel like with the omission of that design consideration, among todays competition, the bike is going to be quickly overlooked by people less strictly xc focused unless they are coming from a very similar xc bike.

2022 Canyon Lux Trail - Aug. 19, 2021, 1:17 p.m.

So, the Real question... 2014 Kona Process 111, or this new Lux?  For myself if the intention was to find a fast but still fun and versatile xc'ish/trail'ish versatile and adaptable bike I think I would still go Process 111.    That seat tube length would be the deal breaker for me honestly.

Minor Threat - Chromag's Latest Bike is for the Groms - July 23, 2021, 11:39 a.m.

I´m currently working on getting my hands on a Rootdown Ti.   Makes perfect sense since I already own a Stylus, right? Right!?

Minor Threat - Chromag's Latest Bike is for the Groms - July 21, 2021, 6:22 a.m.

Off topic, but how has the addition of the Surface Voyager flown under the radar over here?  @Andrew Major??  Looks sweet.   

Back on topic, the Minor Threat looks amazing.  Nice job, Chromag!

2021 Leatt Winter Apparel - Feb. 16, 2021, 9:27 a.m.

Anyone else find the fit of the 5.0 jacket a bit funny in the chest and shoulders?  Mine is quite tight across the chest and into the shoulders.  Not as noticeable when in the riding position, but it is quite bothersome when standing or sitting upright and doesnt match the fit of the rest of the jacket, or much of the other Leatt items I own.  Maybe it was just with the first gen 5.0 jacket, as it doesn't look like tight across those areas on the rider in the review.  Agreed on the material though.  It is robust.  No real chance of packing this jacket into a normal riding bag, but it is the jacket I want on if its really crappy outside and doing something primarily DH focused. 

The 5.0 jersey is one of my favorite jerseys and pieces of riding gear ever.  The weight of it is perfect, the windproof chest and arms, and super breathable back means it is Super versatile for layering and regulating body temperature effectively. Not too hot, but warm enough where it actually matters, and alone or combined with a vest it is easy to pull the sleeves up a bit too cool off fast during hard efforts or rising/variable temps, which is not something you can do very well with a windproof jacket.   I wear it with an appropriate base layer depending on the temps, and the funny looking but super effective and versatile Fox Pro Fire Alpha vest on essentially every ride through the fall/winter/spring, and its as close to perfect layering system as I have ever found for near and below freezing winter conditions.  I will also always keep a super packable DWR wind jacket in case the weather takes a turn. 

The 5.0 shorts are made very nice but I haven't used them as much as I had hoped when I bought them.  They are a bit too warm for really pedaling hard in unless its really cold and wet out, but when its cold and/or wet out I find that I would just rather be in a pair of pants like the RF Agents or my NF DP3's.  I guess for DH days in the wet they would be pretty great, and the material should really help them to not feel soaked and heavy and gross in those kind of conditions.

Dylan Korba - How We Got Here - Feb. 12, 2021, 12:27 p.m.

I loved this.  I also have a stylus, and this is exactly how I would love to be able to ride it, if only I had those skills! Haha! Really fun and relatable riding and very inspiring!

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